Grading Your Collectable Cards

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on grading trading cards! As avid collectors ourselves, we understand the importance of ensuring your prized cards receive the best possible grades. Throughout our journey, we’ve encountered numerous frequently asked questions from fellow collectors, and today, we’re here to provide you with answers and valuable insights. From the impact of print lines on grading to the process of re-slabbing cards and everything in between, we’ll address the most common queries surrounding card grading. So, whether you’re curious about cracking slabs, considering crossovers, or seeking advice on storage options, this article will equip you with the knowledge you need to navigate the world of trading card grading with confidence.

Q: How badly do print lines affect grading?
A: Print lines can vary in their impact on grading. Depending on the grading company and the overall condition of the card too. There have been many experiences, where you can see a print line on a PSA 10 right through the middle but hadn’t affected the grade. However, the impact may differ when grading with other companies like Beckett for example. We’ve also come across PSA 10 cards with multiple print lines, so it ultimately depends on the overall condition of the card and the grading company you use as some can be harsher than others, some also more lenient with certain flaws over others.

Q: Can I get my cards re-graded by PSA without breaking the slabs open?
A: The short answer is yes. If you’re dissatisfied with the grades assigned by another grading company or you were simply trialing a company and you decided to try another company, you may consider regrading them with PSA. However, in most cases, you will need to break open the slabs yourself before submitting the cards for regrading. Keep in mind that there might be a minimum order requirement when sending cards to PSA for regrading. For more specific information, it’s advisable to check with PSA directly or with a professional middle-man service that is partnered with PSA such as Ark Grading or Dan’s Pokestop to name a few.

Q: Should I crack open the slabs myself or send them to the grading company?
A: You can either take the risk of cracking the slabs yourself and submit the cards as normal or send the slabs directly to the grading company for them to handle the cracking open process. It’s worth considering the expertise required for cracking slabs and the potential risks involved in doing it yourself. If you’re uncertain, it might be safer to entrust the process to the professionals.

Q: How do Crossovers work in Grading cards and what’s the consensus with doing it?
A: People tend to grade with a cheaper company or a company that grades cards in a certain way to achieve a short-term grade for a long-term goal so to speak. For example, if you grade with a cheaper grading company in the UK you will not need to wait a long time to see a result for your card which then could give you an informed decision about sending it off to a more well-known grading company for long-term value and safekeeping. Another example is people may send their card to a specific grading company i.e., CGC due to being able to see the subgrades of their card which may lead them to decide about sending it to another grading company who may grade it better due to the centering being the only thing that came back as a ‘negative’ so to speak. People can work the ‘system’ in a clever way and find means to bump up the grades of their cards. It’s worth noting that there is no science involved as such and individual experiences may vary, and it can take a lot of time and patience to ‘play the system’.

Many people have found that removing cards from their slabs (holders) and sending them in their raw form often yields better results when it comes to crossovers. Although this approach doesn’t protect the current grade, we’ve seen lots of instances where cracking and resubmitting cards resulted in an improved grade this could be due to a number of reasons, and we believe that sending in a card that’s already graded may put doubt in the new graders mind when making decisions on certain elements in the whole grading process. It’s best to exercise caution and make an informed decision based on your specific circumstances. However again, it’s important to note that individual experiences may vary.

Q: Should I crack my card before submitting it for grading?
A: It’s generally recommended to crack open your card case (slab) before submitting it for grading to avoid providing the grader with any bias. There have been many times where a card from one company graded as a 9 for example turns out to be a 10 to another grading company. Experiences can vary but it’s worth considering sending your card raw before it reaches the desired grading company like PSA for example.

Q: Would a PSA Graded 10 be out of the question because of a white dot on the surface?
A: Most likely, a PSA 10 grade would be difficult to achieve if there’s a white dot on the card’s surface. PSA tends to be strict when it comes to surface damage. While everything else on the card may be in immaculate condition, the presence of a noticeable white dot would likely result in a lower grade. However, this is just from our experience, but results may vary depending on the location and size of the dot.

Q: What are some recommendations for storing slabs (graded cards)?
A: Slab Sentinel offers excellent storage products for trading card slabs. Their products are known for being both high-quality and affordable. We have personally used their products so can recommend them as a good product you can use to protect and store your graded cards (slabs)

Q: I am wanting to send a Booster Pack to grade, what is the best way to do so?
A: The ideal way to submit booster packs for grading is by placing the pack inside a semi-rigid holder inside a team bag – this will provide added protection during the grading process.

Q: What’s the best way to reslab cards from one grading company to another?
A: You generally need to crack the slabs yourself or rely on a professional service like Dan’s Pokestop to do it for you. Some grading companies won’t cross-grade slabs from other companies. By removing the cards from their original slabs and submitting them in a raw form, you give the new grading company a fair chance to evaluate the cards independently.

Q: My case was returned cracked. What can I do?
A: If your case was returned cracked, it’s advisable to contact the grading company directly and provide them with pictures of the damaged case. They will be able to assist you and offer options such as a refund or regrading with some consideration given to the grade if the card itself isn’t damaged. It’s important to communicate the issue promptly and provide all necessary information for a resolution.

Q: When submitting my cards for grading what’s the best way to send the cards in minimizing the possibility of damage?
A: The short answer is: Send your cards in a clear penny sleeve inside a clear semi-rigid this is the preferred way that the grading companies like to receive the cards ready for processing. There are likely to be factors involved which may result in delays or additional handling of your cards before grading of course you want to minimalize this, therefore do not send your cards in a Top loader and it’s also recommended that you remove any sticky tabs or ‘pull tabs’ whilst it makes it easier to the person handling this isn’t something the companies work with as they access all cards on arrival and do not remove cards this method.

Q: If I have a card that’s graded a 10 is this worth cross-grading to Beckett in an attempt to get a ‘Black Label’?
A: The short answer is yes it’s always worth a gamble for a ‘Black Label’ with Beckett as we all know how rare and valuable this grade is however it’s worth noting that you will not be able to send Beckett another grading service like Get Graded or Pokegrade, for example, Beckett will only accept CGC or PSA to cross-grade and there is no guarantee that you will get a black label, so you could well end up where you started with a graded 10 with Beckett.

Q: I have an old style of PSA Label on my graded card (slab) and wish to now have an updated label, what are my options?
A: It’s best that you use a middle-man service here in the UK as they will be able to provide you the best advice for this, ultimately you will need to use a Reholder service with PSA which essentially means updating your label from old style to new style we recommend you review more details over at Dan’s Pokestop for more information

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