Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to Grading, a weekly series where we take you through the ins and outs of finding a card to grade and getting a PSA grade. There are loads of resources on the internet, so here’s your one-stop-shop.
Last week we went over what PSA looks for when inspecting your cards. Now that you’ve determined the cards you want to send away for grading, it’s now time to set up your submission and send your cards to Ludkins Collectables, the world’s #1 PSA Grading Service.
Disclaimer: This is brief information highlighting the different available services and what cards I will be sending away in each service tier. For more information regarding grading via Ludkins Collectables make sure to check out their link here.
Throughout this guide, I have documented what cards I want to grade and why. Whether that’s a love for an artwork, a sentimentality towards a Pokémon, or a card that is too valuable not to have slabbed.
I decided to go with a variety of price points and reasons for the purpose of this article, selecting 7 cards in total to send away to PSA.
Step 1: Email Ludkins Collectables
In order to get the process started, email email@example.com stating your intent to grade cards through their services. If you have any questions, ask them here and one of the team will reply to you.
Step 2: Selecting A Service
Ludkins Collectables offers multiple services to cater to different needs, I reached out to Matty Orlando from Ludkins Collectables for some expert tips on how to decide which cards to send at what price point.
Disclaimer: The card value recommendations are based on the estimated raw values at the time of sending. Damage or potential loss at PSA typically takes place prior to grading or during the grading process, so a post grade value will not have been established at this point. Ludkins covers for the post-graded value on return from PSA, on all service levels.
Standard TCG Service
This service is ideal for lower value cards or cards of a high sentimental value that are getting graded purely for a personal collection. This is the cheapest possible way to grade cards and preserve their condition starting from £12.75 a card (discounts apply for larger quantities).
The estimated return time including registration wait times at PSA (as of this article) is 10-12 months.
Gold TCG Service
This service is ideal for mid-high value cards and speeds up the process by a few months via the higher price point of £23.49 (discounts apply for larger quantities). Recommended for those keeping an eye on the resale market whilst not wanting to lower their net margin too much.
The estimated return time including registration wait times at PSA (as of this article) is 6-8 months. This service will always yield a faster return than Standard.
Platinum TCG Service
The perfect service for those who want the speediest return possible. If your card will be worth more than £600 after grading then this service should be considered to reap the benefits of a higher declared value whilst at PSA (PSA will upcharge orders based on the final value of the card post-grading if your card is worth more than the service price threshold. This means if your card is of a higher value, it’s safer to send that card away on a higher value service) More info can be found here.
The estimated return time including registration wait times at PSA (as of this article) is 2-4 months.
For more info around services, head on over to Ludkins Collectables where they have an in-depth Grading Service guide.
Step 3: Package Your Cards and send them to Ludkins Collectables
Once you’ve decided on the service for your cards, fill out the submission form and place it inside your package.
Ship your cards in regular-sized soft sleeves positioned inside a Toploader or semi-rigid protector. I like to attach tabs to the sleeve in order for the graders to remove the cards easier for inspection.
Ludkins Collectables recommend sending your cards in a box secured in bubble wrap in order to prevent movement during shipment or a bubble mailer envelope with hard protection such as cardboard on both sides.
At this point, your cards should be good to go. Depending on the service you selected, the wait times will differ. Once Ludkins Collectables receive your cards they’ll send you a confirmation and then the waiting begins.
For any more info or questions head on over to Ludkins Collectables.
The next update of this Beginner’s Guide to Grading will be as soon as some cards return from PSA, in the meantime Ludkins Media posts articles daily providing you the latest News, Interviews, and Features from the Pokémon TCG world and beyond. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor
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