Pokemon Card Grading | An overview of a controversial topic

God of Cards: Pokemon

Pokemon Card Grading

Pokemon is now one of the largest franchises in the world and so, at least since the Corona crisis and the associated Pokemon hype from 2020-2021, quite a few Pokemon collectors know that there is also a certain value behind certain Pokemon cards. This can be increased under certain circumstances with the help of a so-called grading[0127516 0127516] (evaluation). However, this is not guaranteed by all companies and, in addition, this topic is now being discussed more and more controversially. We will therefore give you a brief overview of this topic.

Pokemon Card Grading | An overview

The beginnings in the 1990s

The pioneer in grading and co. was, as is so often the case, the USA. At the end of the 1990s, an up-and-coming company developed there, which, to this day, specializes in the valuation of trading cards. Today it is certainly well known to many collectors, because this is about PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator).

During this time, another American grading company developed, which is now known as Beckett Grading and, like PSA, recognized worldwide and quite renowned.

Initially, however, Graden was relatively unknown and hardly any collector, especially outside the USA, had sent his valuable maps to PSA and CO. For international collectors the effort was simply too high or you simply didn't know these companies at all and even in America you didn't really know what to do with grading at that time.

By 2020

Over time, however, the worldwide interest in Pokémon cards grew, and as the franchise grew, so did the value of certain Pokémon cards. Thus, grading gradually became more interesting because more and more people wanted to protect their valuable cards. But international collectors still had the big problem that grading in America was hardly profitable, as import duties, customs fees and grading costs destroyed the added value.

That's why the first so-called middlemen emerged, who work directly with PPE and Co. and send out collective orders on a monthly basis so that the effort pays off. In Germany, by the way, one of the first middlemen were "the Pokegeodudes", who still take over this service today.

2020-2023: The Peak

However, middlemen and grading companies experienced by far the absolute peak during the worldwide Pokemon hype 2020-2021, so several million Pokemon cards were sent to PSA & Beckett during this period alone and for this reason these companies had to temporarily set up a recording freeze and massively increase prices. However, millions of cards had accumulated and could not all be processed and returned to this day.

When the hype died down and PSA and Co. increased their production capacities, the regular operation was gradually reopened and so nowadays you can easily send to America again via middlemen.

Why should you grade Pokemon cards (or not)?

Reasons for grading

  • The main reason why Pokemon cards are graded is that they are hoping for an 0127515 increase in the value of the 0127516 cards. This is because the authenticity and condition of the cards were determined by an external company and thus one has e.g. a basis on which you can sell your cards without any problems on eBay and Co. 0127516]. One can thus make everyday discussions about condition, etc. directly and easily out of the way. Buyers also don't have to worry about cards being sold. were falsified, so from this point of view graden would generally make sense.

  • If you are not looking for an increase in value or similar. and e.g. simply want to have your favorite cards secured in a great case , grading can also be worthwhile.

Reasons against grading

  • Grading is also a cost factor that must be taken into account. So you have to know in advance whether a potential increase in value can be achieved at all. Therefore, one must have dealt with the matter in detail.

  • In addition, there are many grading companies that suddenly emerged during the hype and do not have any reputation such as e.g. PPE and Co. can be shown. This has also happened in Germany[0127515 0127516] in particular.

  • Many newer grading companies from Europe and especially from Germany also advertise an increase in value through their product and compare with with the well-known competitors from the USA, but it must be noted that PSA and Co. have built up their reputation over the years and are now recognized worldwide. You can't compare European companies i.e. with the well-known American companies. This reputation, which PSA and Co. have worldwide, has to be earned first. So you have to make sure that you only send to certain grading companies. We recommend only PSA & Beckett if you want to expect an increase in value.

  • If you just want to display your special cards in a great case , we recommend so-called Magnet Holder, because unnecessary grades are in the end only expensive pre degrees and not worth much (more).

What grading companies are there?


First of all, there is PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator). This 0127515 American grading company had its beginnings in the 1990s in the USA and is now the largest and most famous grading company in the world[0127515 0127516]. Their grades are nowadays used as a benchmark for most valuations for trading cards and almost every collector has probably heard of the company in some way.

From Germany you can send in via various intermediaries, but also from other parts of Europe there are numerous providers today who take over the middleman service for you.

You can also send to PSA yourself, but unfortunately this is not really lucrative due to high customs and import fees and the expensive shipping costs.

Zoroark GX

BGS (Beckett)

Beckett or abbreviated BGS is the 0127515 second largest grading company in the world and, like PSA, also comes from America. It had its beginnings at the beginning of the 2000s and is now known worldwide mainly because of its designated strands in grading. Especially with BGS is the so-called Black Label, which you get with a perfect card. For this purpose, BGS also offers so-called Subgrades, which individually show where exactly cards are used, e.g. had vulnerabilities. These are in 1. Surface, 2. Centering (Zentrierung, 3. Edges and 4. Corners and in each value, a card must receive a 10 (the maximum rating) in order to get a coveted Black Label. For BGS, just like for PPE, there are numerous middlemen in Europe (and especially in Germany).

Basis Set Booster Glurak


CGC is the third largest grading company[0127515 0127516] in the world and comes from the USA. The company originally started with the evaluation of comics and the like. Since the Pokemon hype of 2020, 0127515 however, they have also added trading cards to their portfolio. However, they are therefore not as renowned as the other companies from the USA. However, the so-called Error/Miscut Label[0127516 0127516] is special for you. expel. So with such cards you should definitely go to CGC. However, there are currently no middlemen from Germany who send to CGC for you.

Basis Set Booster Glurak


This company is also from America and only authenticated sports cards before the Pokemon hype from 2020. But in the meantime they are also grading Pokemon cards, among other things. But there are currently no middlemen from Europe who will send there for you.

Basis Set Booster Glurak

Gold Standard Grading (GSG)

This time this company is from Germany. It existed before the Pokemon hype of 2020 and was only specialized in sports cards. However, Pokemon cards have become the priority. It is probably the largest European (and also German) grading company and is also, especially in Germany, Austria & Switzerland relatively known. Due to the hype at that time and the fact that American companies no longer took orders, GSG got a strong boost and so thousands of cards were sent to you during this time. GSG is known for their strings in scoring cards0127516] and only awards a 10 if all subgrades have a 10. A GSG 10 is, just like Beckett, labeled with a Black Label.

Basis Set Booster Glurak

Absolute Objective Grading (AOG)

This time this company is also from Germany. She came up with the Pokemon hype of 2020 and specialized directly in Pokemon cards. In the meantime, however, you can also have numerous other TCGs graded. In addition to the hype at the time, her breakthrough in the German-speaking world was probably also caused by a new grading method. This is because AOG uses AI-based technology to evaluate trading cards as objectively as possible. The grades are awarded from 0-100 and a perfect card must have achieved a value of 100 points in each subgrade.

Basis Set Booster Glurak

Platin Grading Service (PGS)

This time, just like GSG & AOG, this company is from Germany. Just like AOG, it came up with the Pokemon hype of 2020 and also specialized directly in Pokemon cards. In the meantime, however, you can also have numerous other TCGs graded. In addition to the general hype, the company probably also made its breakthrough with the fact that they entered into some collaborations with well-known influencers right at the beginning. For example, they hosted. with the Youtubers StandardSkill & Lofty a BoxBreak from the Pokemon Basic Set and drew the attention of thousands of people to themselves. Currently, in addition to trading card grading, they also offer the rating of video games.

Basis Set Booster Glurak


So, that was our compact overview about the topic of Pokemon Grading.

As you could see, there are quite a few grading companies these days, whether from America or Germany. There are many other companies that were not mentioned in this overview, e.g. B. PCA from France, Graad from Italy or ACE Grading from Great Britain. However, we wanted to focus on the most important grading companies as well as the largest grading companies from Germany, so we did not mention these and other companies.

In the end, however, it is also extremely important for us to make it clear once again that we did not want to offend any company with this guide and that of course every collector is free to choose where he ultimately sends his cards, but we also wanted to explain why perhaps company XY makes more sense than company YX.

We are pleased that there is now greater competition, but as long as the new European competitors have not been able to develop a long-standing, positive reputation, like their American competitors, this must also be pointed out in the interests of transparency.

Your opinion is important to us

But what do you think of grading in general? Have you ever shipped to America? Did you already know all the companies or could we help you with this overview? Feel free to write us in the comments, but please stay objective on this controversial topic. We would be delighted.

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1 comment

Marcel Kolloch

Marcel Kolloch

Aog ist aus meiner Sicht mit weiten Abstand die beste Grading Firma.

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