Is PSA Grading Worth it Right Now?

*UPDATE, July 2022: PSA has recently announced the return of their Value service level, coming in at a price that works out to just $30 per card. 

They’ve also brought back the $18/card Special tier, although the card must have a declared value of $199 or less. Both are exclusive to PSA Collectors Club members, while the latter has a 20-card minimum. 

With the addition of options at the lowest level, we can answer unreservedly; yes, PSA card grading is definitely worth it right now. 

You’ll be able to find a submission form here, where you can check though the various options.

We’ve left the original article in full below, where we detail how and why it became so expensive to send cards to PSA for grading.

PSA is undoubtedly the largest grading service on the planet, closely followed by BGS. (In fact, PSA 10s are my personal favourite, no matter what card is contained within the slab.)

However, at $100 per card for the cheapest tier, it’s not necessarily the best value proposition at this moment in time for collectors and investors. 

We’re taking the opportunity to discuss whether or not PSA grading is actually worth it right now, and if they’re likely to face problems when they reopen their Value tier for submissions.

What’s the holdup with PSA? 

The problem is, PSA has yet to reopen their cheapest service, so it currently costs $100 per card if you’re willing to wait for at least a couple of months for your items to be returned. 

Worse still, Regular used to be priced at $50 per card, with no sign that the price will be lowered back down to normal rates in the future. 

In fact, increased prices seem to be the new normal at PSA, even if it hasn’t stopped many collectors from sending off their very best pieces in the meantime. 

The service has been dealing with a massive backlog of cards which came to a head during the pandemic, and many collectors and investors have been waiting for over a year to send their items in at an affordable price. 

It’s a tough pill to swallow for collectors who can remember PSA card grading being priced at just $10 per card a few years ago. 

(PSA’s Collectors Club Value service, which contributed greatly to the company’s backlog, is now priced at $20 per card from $10 with a minimum order requirement of 10 cards. Of course, it’s currently suspended.)

Check the price of PSA 10s on eBay.

PSA: Pricing

PSA is reasonably expensive if you’re hoping to get a budget collection graded. However, in terms of final sale prices, you’re going to find it difficult to beat a card wrapped in a PSA slab. 

The lack of a budget grading tier could also have a knock-on effect on the average price of PSA cards in the future, especially if they raise the price of their entry-level service. 

Consider it this way. If it costs $100 to send a single card off for grading right now, it’s only worth shipping premium options that are likely to sell for $300+. 

Otherwise, what’s the point in waiting months for graded cards that are probably going to be sold for a loss? 

What do you do if you have a card that will sell for $80-$150 ungraded? 

The majority of collectors and investors seem content to wait for the time being, although it’s likely to cause another backlog that will see wait times increasing. 

It’s little wonder that lots of smaller alternative grading companies are popping up, from the United States to the UK. 

Check the price of PSA 10s on eBay.

Is PSA worth it right now? 

Is PSA worth it right now? Definitely not if you were hoping to send in cheaper trading cards that are likely to sell for less than $100 after grading. After all, it costs $100 alone to send one in; and that’s without accounting for shipping, or the price of the card itself. 

Even mid-level cards aren’t worth the time, money and effort it takes to get them graded by PSA at the current time of writing. Consider the 2021 Celebrations Charizard seen below. It would undoubtedly be worth it with the Value tier, but it’s still not valuable enough to make it worth the effort.

Of course, if you’re holding onto a 1987 Jordan Fleer or a similarly valuable card it probably makes sense to bite the bullet and pay the $100 fee. For the rest of us, we’re stuck waiting for PSA to open bulk Value shipping back up again. 

You’ll be able to find a submission form here, where you can check though the various options.

What do you think? Let us know if you’re planning to send off the best cards from your collection, or if you’ve opted for a new grading service. 

Check the price of PSA 10s on eBay.

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