PSA Grading FAQ

Trading Card Resources offers PSA grading and authentication services at multiple locations across 3 states. Learn more about why you should have your cards graded and authenticated by PSA. 

What/who is PSA?

Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) is widely regarded by collectors as the authority in third-party authentication and grading of trading cards and other collectibles. As an arm of Collectors, PSA represents the very best of the trading card hobby by providing tradition, technology, and knowledge to the always growing hobby that is trading card collecting. Despite the "Sports" portion of their name, PSA is the leading third-party authenticator and grader of ALL trading cards (Pokémon, Non-Sport, etc.).

Why should I have my cards graded?

The grading and authenticating of your trading cards serves multiple purposes. Each card is reviewed by expert graders before being authenticated, assigned a grade, and encased in tamper-proof holders. The authentication and grade serve to provide collectors the confidence in the quality and condition of their cards. Tamper-proof holders preserve the overall condition of the card, protecting the card from damage and even UV exposure that might degrade the quality of your cards. For many, the grading and encasing of cards is a significant value-add. Cards that receive high grades can even exponentially increase their values.

What is a PSA Authorized Dealer? and Why should I use/consult a dealer?

PSA Authorized Dealers are generally local professionals that are well-versed in all things PSA. Authorized dealers exist to help their local communities by streamlining the grading process, educating local collectors (new and veteran), among many other things. PSA dealership is contingent on dealers' abilities to provide exceptional customer service and knowledge of trading cards to all. PSA Authorized Dealers represent some of the most trusted trading card dealers in the hobby. Find a PSA Authorized Dealer near you. PSA strongly recommends using PSA Authorized Dealers that can be found in the dealer directory.

Do PSA Authorized Dealers grade locally on-site?

All cards that are submitted for PSA grading and authentication must be authenticated, graded, and encased at PSA headquarters in Santa Ana, California. While PSA Authorized Dealers can assist in the evaluation and preparation of your cards for grading, we are not permitted or equipped to assign grades to your cards or encase your cards. 

Why should I trust Trading Card Resources with my PSA grading needs?

TCR is the longest standing PSA Authorized Dealer in Hawaii. Since 2017, TCR Hawaii has helped over 200 unique collectors through the PSA grading process. In that time, TCR Hawaii has processed tens of thousands of cards ranging in values from $5 to over $100,000. We have managed millions of dollars of trading cards for the customers we have helped. The majority of our customers are repeat customers. TCR Norcal is our newest and most exciting addition to the Trading Card Resources family, located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The team at Trading Card Resources represents over 75 years of direct trading card experience including, but not limited to: grading, buying, selling, and trading. We are confident in our ability to assist you with all of your trading card needs. 

What is Declared Value, and how do I find it?

The Declared Value is the value that the collector assigns their card(s) when submitting for grading and authentication. Declared Values should represent the estimated value of a card in the condition that the owner believes to be consistent with the PSA 10-Point Grading Scale. Cards should always be valued with graded card values opposed to "raw" or ungraded values. For most modern cards that have been manufactured in the last 10-15 years, TCR recommends using PSA 9 Mint valuations. In the event that PSA deems a card to be undervalued, an upcharge to the proper value tier may apply. The majority of collectors use eBay sold listings to find values for their cards. Lastly, Declared Values often represent the value your cards are insured for throughout the grading process. In the very rare and unfortunate case of damage or loss, PSA and your Authorized Dealer will generally work around your Declared Value to find a solution that works for you. Your Declared Value is not a guaranteed amount in the event of damage or loss. 

How do I prepare my cards for grading, can TCR do it for me?

Prior to submitting your cards for grading, you will want to take a detailed look at the condition of your cards to achieve the best results possible. This means that you want to check the following characteristics of your cards: centering, surface, corners, and edges. You will want to look at the front and back of your cards, as both sides of the card are factored into the overall grade your cards will receive. TCR recommends using a table lamp with a bright white bulb while examining the condition of your cards. You will also want to use a microfiber cloth to make sure that your cards are free of dust, debris, and fingerprints before submission. Once you have made sure that your cards look their very best, you will want to place your cards in a penny sleeve and then a semi-rigid holder. To save you time, money, and stress, TCR offers a prep and review service. Having looked at and processed more cards than we can count of all values, TCR is confident in our ability to prepare and evaluate your cards for you for a small fee. If we see something that we think may result in a negative grade, we will let you know and provide options and our opinions on next steps. 

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