Collectible Grading Services & Middlemen Services in the UK!

Grading services for collectibles, in particular, Trading Cards have become increasingly popular over the years, with collectors and investors seeking to determine the condition and value of their cards. Some of the most well-known grading services in the industry include PSA, Beckett, CGC, and in the UK Getgraded. In this article, we will break down each of these services and discuss their turnaround times, services, and impact on card values. We will then recommend UK middleman services you can use to get your cards graded!

PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator)

PSA is one of the most popular grading services in the industry, known for its rigorous grading standards and authentication processes. PSA offers grading for a variety of sports cards, including baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer, as well as non-sports cards, such as Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering.

PSA’s turnaround times can vary depending on the service level chosen. Their standard service has a turnaround time of approximately 20 business days, while their express service has a turnaround time of approximately 10 business days. For a higher fee, PSA also offers a super express service with a turnaround time of approximately 5 business days. (Based on USA location)

In addition to grading, PSA offers authentication and encapsulation services, as well as card restoration services. PSA-graded cards are highly respected in the industry and often command premium prices.

Beckett Grading Services (BGS)

Beckett Grading Services is another well-known grading service in the industry, specializing in sports cards and collectibles. Beckett offers grading for a variety of sports cards, including baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer, as well as non-sports cards such as Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!

Beckett’s turnaround times vary depending on the service level chosen. Their standard service has a turnaround time of approximately 20 business days, while their express service has a turnaround time of approximately 10 business days. For a higher fee, Beckett also offers a 2-day service with a turnaround time of approximately 2 business days. (Based on USA location)

In addition to grading, Beckett offers authentication and encapsulation services, as well as autograph authentication services. Beckett-graded cards are also highly respected in the industry and can command premium prices.

CGC (Certified Guaranty Company)

CGC is a grading service specializing in collectible trading cards, including sports cards, Pokémon, and Magic: The Gathering. CGC’s grading process involves not only evaluating the condition of the card but also verifying its authenticity.nCGC’s turnaround times vary depending on the service level chosen. Their standard service has a turnaround time of approximately 20 business days, while their express service has a turnaround time of approximately 10 business days. (based on USA location)

For a higher fee, CGC also offers a walk-through service with a turnaround time of approximately 2 business days.

In addition to grading, CGC offers encapsulation services and a buyback program for certain high-value cards. CGC-graded cards are highly respected in the industry and can command premium prices, particularly for Pokémon cards.

Getgraded

Getgraded is a newer grading service in the industry, offering grading for sports cards, Pokémon, and Magic: The Gathering. Getgraded’s grading process involves evaluating the condition of the card, as well as verifying its authenticity and identifying any potential alterations.

Getgraded’s turnaround times vary depending on the service level chosen. Their standard service has a turnaround time of approximately 20-30 business days, while their express service has a turnaround time of approximately 10-15 business days.

In addition to grading, Getgraded offers encapsulation services and a registry program for collectors to showcase their graded cards. While Getgraded is a newer grading service and the general value given to the cards is far less than those USA companies, their graded cards have been gaining in popularity in the industry, especially to those who are based in the UK and are newer to the grading scene – Getgraded will provide you the perfect entry point for getting a taste for grading.

In general trading card grading has become increasingly popular over the years, with many collectors and investors seeking the services of grading companies to determine the condition and value of their cards. Here are some opinions from famous people and industry professionals who have firsthand experience with these companies:

Steve Aoki, DJ and collector

Steve Aoki is a well-known DJ and music producer who has recently become involved in the trading card industry as a collector and investor. Aoki has used the services of CGC for his Pokémon card collection and has spoken about his experiences with the company. In a recent interview with Cardboard Connection, Aoki stated:

“I love CGC. They’re really taking over the Pokémon market. I think their encapsulation process is better than the other companies, and they have a great reputation in the industry.”

Aoki’s opinion highlights the fact that different grading companies may have strengths in specific areas or with specific cards, and that collectors should do their research before choosing a grading company.

Image: Steve Aoki

Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur and collector

Gary Vaynerchuk is a well-known entrepreneur and collector who has spoken extensively about the importance of grading in the trading card industry. In a recent interview with Sports Collectors Daily, Vaynerchuk stated:

“Grading is important because it makes it easy to quantify the condition of a card. It adds an objective element to the valuation process, which can be subjective when done by just looking at the card.”

Vaynerchuk is a proponent of PSA grading in particular and believes that it adds value to the cards that are graded by the company.

Rob Bertrand, host of Sports Card Nation

Rob Bertrand is the host of Sports Card Nation, a podcast dedicated to the trading card industry. Bertrand has used the services of multiple grading companies, including PSA and Beckett, and has discussed his experiences on his podcast. In a recent episode, Bertrand stated:

“I’m a big fan of PSA grading. I think they’re the gold standard in the industry. But I’ve also had good experiences with Beckett and CGC. It really depends on the card and what you’re looking for.”

Bertrand’s opinion highlights that different grading companies may be better suited for other cards or collectors, and that personal preference plays a role in the decision-making process.

Where can you grade your cards?

Are you based in the UK and looking to get your cards graded? There are several middleman services based in the UK that collectors can use to send their cards to grading companies out in the USA. Here are some of the most well-known UK-based middleman services:

Dan’s Pokestop

Dan’s Pokestop is a UK-based middleman service that specializes in grading and authenticating Pokemon cards. The company offers grading options from PSA, Beckett, and CGC and provides authentication services for ungraded cards.

Dan’s Pokestop has gained popularity in the UK market for its fast turnaround times, typically ranging from 5-20 days for most submissions. The company also offers card cleaning and encapsulation services.

Dan’s Pokestop is increasingly becoming a huge hit with UK-based Pokemon collectors and has worked extremely hard at building its brand, community, and following on social media. You can see live openings of your graded card returns as well as community ‘box breaks’ and ‘pack openings’ from time to time. Head over to Dan’s Pokestop and follow their Facebook group here!

Griffin’s Grading

Griffin’s Grading is a UK-based middleman service that offers a range of grading options, including PSA and CGC. The company has gained a reputation for its competitive pricing and fast turnaround times, with a standard service of 15 working days for most submissions. Griffin’s Grading also offers a variety of additional services, including card cleaning and encapsulation. Head over to Griffin’s Grading and follow their Facebook group here!

UK Graders

UK Graders is a UK-based middleman service that offers a range of grading options, including PSA, Beckett, and CGC. The company offers a professional grading service, with a team of experienced graders who examine each card to determine its condition and grade. UK Graders also offers a variety of additional services, including card cleaning, restoration, and encapsulation. The company has a strong reputation in the UK market and has been praised for its fast turnaround times and quality of service.

Black Label Grading

Black Label Grading is a relatively new grading company that has gained popularity in the collecting community for its high-quality and precise grading standards. They are UK based Middle-man service and the company specializes in a variety of collectible cards, particularly Pokemon cards, and offers a unique 10-point grading scale that includes subgrades for centering, edges, corners, and surfaces. Black Label Grading has gained a reputation for its strict grading standards, and cards that receive a Black Label grade are highly sought after and can command a premium in the market.

In addition to its grading services, Black Label Grading also offers a variety of additional services, including card cleaning, encapsulation, and storage options. The company has also launched a unique loyalty program that rewards customers with points for each submission, which can be redeemed for discounts on future orders.

One of the unique features of Black Label Grading is its online submission process, which allows customers to easily submit their cards for grading and track the progress of their orders through the company’s website. The company also offers a relatively fast turnaround time, with a standard service of 20 business days for most submissions.

Ark Grading

Ark Grading is a UK-based grading company that specializes in sports and gaming cards, with a focus on Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. Their specialty is grading with PSA.

In addition to its grading services, Ark Grading also offers middle-man services for customers who want to submit their cards for grading to one of the major grading companies, but don’t want to deal with the logistics of sending the cards themselves. As a middle-man service, Ark Grading helps customers prepare their cards for grading, then sends the cards to the grading company on their behalf. The company also handles the return of the graded cards once they are complete.

One of the unique features of Ark Grading’s middle-man service is its competitive pricing, which the company claims is among the most affordable in the UK market. Additionally, the company offers a range of other services to customers, including card cleaning, restoration, and encapsulation.

Overall, Ark Grading is a popular choice for collectors looking for cost-effective grading services, as well as a reliable middle-man service in the UK market. The company’s focus is on Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards may be particularly appealing to collectors of those specific card types.

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