Board Games & Tabletop

How to Get Your Pokemon Cards Graded in 2023

Over the last few years, the Pokemon TCG has seen a significant resurgence.

A perfect storm of nostalgia, the pandemic, the 25th anniversary and a range of really solid sets in the Sword and Shield era has seen interest in the hobby rise to almost unprecedented levels.

Another facet of the Pokemon TCG that has seen its popularity rise is card grading and authenticating.

So, if you’re looking to protect your cards, authenticate them or increase their value, here’s how to get your Pokemon Cards graded in 2023.

Step 1 – Choose Your Service

The first, and one of the most important steps, is to choose who you want your cards to be graded with and what the purpose for grading them is.

There are arguably three major companies grading Pokemon Cards currently, with a smattering of smaller ones, each with its own pros and cons. Let’s break them down.


PSA, or Professional Sports Authenticator, is probably the most well-known, most recognisable Pokemon Card grader.

Despite the name suggesting they authenticate sports cards, the Pokemon TCG is a major part of the company.

It’s fairly safe to say that PSA-graded cards tend to increase in value the most, however, this is no guarantee and their recognisability is also a major factor in this.

Getting your cards graded with PSA also won’t break the bank as the company regularly runs promotions with the option to grade cards for as low as $15.

Beckett (BGS)

Beckett is another one of the big three Pokemon Card grading companies. There are a couple of major benefits of grading with them.

The first of these is the chase for the esteemed “Black Label”.

Beckett offers different labels for different grades, with anything getting an 8 or below receiving a white label, an 8.5-9 receiving a silver label and a 9.5-10 getting a gold label. However, if your card scores a perfect 10 (10 across each of the four major grading areas) it will receive a black label.

This label not only looks slick but usually adds a hefty sum to the value of the cards.

Unlike PSA, and like the next grader coming up, Beckett also offers subgrades on your cards slab. This means that you can see which areas your card shone and which it was marked down on. The four areas are Corners, Edges, Centering and Surface.

Prices with Beckett start around $18.


The third of the biggest Pokemon Card grading services is CGC.

The company offer subgrades, a unique blue label and some very solid slabs.

Like Beckett, CGC also rewards cards with a perfect 10, labelling the card “Pristine” and changing the score from black to gold.

CGC prices start from $15 but it will cost an extra $15 per card to get subgrades.

Smaller Companies

During the pandemic, a lot of new Pokemon Card grading companies popped up. While these aren’t necessarily going to appreciate in value like the three above, they can still provide a nice way to protect your cards.

ACE Grading for example offers its own unique labels for high-end cards and GetGraded offers a high level of grading accuracy and is the grader of choice for Gary “King Pokemon”.

The choice is yours.

Image Credit: The Official Pokemon YouTube Channel

Step 2 – Decide if you want to use a middleman

  • MORE – Pokemon TCG Crown Zenith – 5 best cards and most expensive list

There are various benefits to using a reliable middleman when getting your card graded.

They can deal with any issues that crop up with the grader on your behalf and they do a lot of the legwork.

Certain grading services/service tiers also have a minimum number of cards required to submit and using a middleman can help you get around this. If you only have a couple of cards you want to grade, but the minimum requirement is 10, a middleman will combine your order with others submitted through them to ensure the requirement is reached.

Those grading from the UK but using a US grading service (like PSA, BGS or CGC) will generally find it easier to grade using a middleman as they can deal with the international shipping and the customs charges. UK-based companies like TrustGrading and Dan’s Pokestop are very reputable for this.

Just make sure, if you do choose a middleman, they have a solid reputation.

Step 3 – Select your cards

Arguably the most exciting part of the process is picking the cards you want to send, and ultimately the reasons for sending them.

There are a few reasons for sending your cards for grading and most people send them for one of the following:

  • Nostalgia – people love to get their old cards graded, even if they’re not in great condition, the nostalgia of having a classic, personal card in a slab is great.
  • Protection – leading on from the nostalgia factor is the protection factor, yes a sleeve and a toploader are great for protecting your card, but nothing stands the test of time like a card in a grading slab.
  • Collection – those who are in the Pokemon TCG hobby for collection purposes may want to get their cards graded for just that reason. Maybe you want a collection of all PSA 10 Magnemites or you want to try and get every Heracross card graded. There are infinite possibilities when building a graded card collection.
  • Value – of course, arguably the main reason people get their cards graded is to increase the value, whether it’s to immediately sell or hold onto for a few years in the hopes that the price rises drastically.
Image Credit: The Official Pokemon YouTube Channel

Step 4 – Submit your cards

If you’re sending your Pokemon Cards through a middleman, you’ll likely need to submit your choices through them who will, in turn, submit them with your grading company of choice.

If you’re looking to submit directly through the grader, you can find a list right of sign-up and submission portals below:

Bear in mind that a lot of these companies require you to have a paid membership to submit your cards.

After you’ve submitted your cards, you’re now free to send them to the grading company, just be sure to get the proper insurance when posting.

Step 5 – Wait

After you’ve submitted your cards, all you can do is wait.

Grading companies and middlemen will often keep you updated on which stage your cards are at throughout the journey.

Image Credit: The Official Pokemon YouTube Channel


What makes a PSA 10 Pokemon Card?

According to PSA, a PSA 10 card is virtually perfect. It includes four perfectly sharp corners, be free of any staining and have a 55/45-60/40 centring on the front of the card.

An allowance may be made for a slight printing imperfection.

Is it worth grading your Pokemon Cards?

Yes, it can definitely be worth your time and money to grade your Pokemon Cards.

Grading offers a level of protection that a normal sleeve and toploader won’t and can also help to increase the value of the card.

How much does it cost to grade Pokemon Cards?

With the big three grading companies, fees start from $15 all the way up to $600, however, realistically you should expect to pay around the $20-$30 per card mark.

Can you get Pokemon Cards graded for free?

Unfortunately, no, you can’t get Pokemon Cards graded for free.

Do graded Pokemon Cards sell?

Generally the answer is yes, graded Pokemon Cards will sell, however, they’re not all going to be as valuable as a PSA 10 1st edition Charizard.

There are a lot of variables that dictate the price of a graded card, including the rarity and desirability of the card and the overall grade it receives.

Are there fake graded Pokemon Cards?

There are two answers to this. Reputable graders will not grade fake Pokemon Cards and therefore, there should be now fake Pokemon Cards that have been graded.

That being said, scammers can easily knock up fake graded slabs with fake cards in to try and get money out of unsuspecting victims. If you’re in any doubt, you can cross-reference the certification number on the grading company’s website to see if it all marries up.

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Sam Woods

Sam Woods has been in the games media space for around three years now, starting as a Staff Writer at DualShockers in 2020 before taking up the Managing Editor position there. After DualShockers was sold in 2022, Sam became GRV Media’s Global Head of Gaming Content, looking after HITC Gaming and Forever Geek, ensuring not only top-quality gaming content makes its way on the two sites but also TV, entertainment, anime, manga, tabletop and more. Outside of gaming, Sam is a big football (soccer) fan and avidly follows Ipswich Town.

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