Since Pokemon TCG prices are currently blasting off like Team Rocket, many collectors are thinking about grading their collections. But, how much does it cost to grade a Pokemon card? Here’s the lowdown on the best Pokemon Trading Card Game graders, their services, and the fees.
What does grading a Pokemon card cost?
Many serious collectors will only purchase Pokemon trading cards that have been officially graded by a reputable company. Grading a card can immediately increase its value — providing that the grade is high, of course. The cost of grading Pokemon cards can be steep, but the ultimate payoff is often worth it.
Grading a single Pokemon card costs a minimum of $18 to $35. Becket Grading Services (BGS) charge $20/card for economy service with no sub-grading, or $35/card for economy service with sub-grades. Meanwhile, the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) charges $18/card for standard economy service. Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), on the other hand, starts at $20/card with a 10-card minimum submission.
Some providers offer discounts for bulk service, assuming that collectors want to grade enough Pokemon cards to meet the minimum thresholds.
The graders outlined above are the most trusted and prolific service providers when it comes to Pokemon cards and many other collectibles. As such, seeking out a lesser-known grading service to save money could backfire. Many collectors won’t purchase Pokemon cards with a grade given by a company they’re unfamiliar with. If they do purchase the card, they may intend to have it graded again. This often factors into the initial purchase price, meaning that the card won’t sell for as much as it perhaps should.
Trading cards from the original base set are the most collectible, often making them the best to grade. For reference, here’s why the original Pokemon TCG set is so expensive.