Grading

Think you've got something special? Get it graded!

We are taking limited submissions for grading of Pokémon TCG and Magic The Gathering TCG cards. See form link below.

Sports Cards Submissions coming soon!

Grading FAQs

What is grading?

Grading a card in the card industry is submitting a card to a third-party company that specializes in reviewing the centering, corners, surface, and edges. These company’s then “grade” your card, slab it, and return it to the customer.

Which company should I choose?

Choosing a grading company can be tricky! Each company offers different price options and ESTIMATED return times. Reputation of the company DEFINITELY matters. Do your own research before deciding. Card Pop will offer group submissions in the future with certain companies. Create an account and stay tuned with email updates.

How long does it take?

Grading times vary. All third party companies list their prices and ESTIMATED times on their sites. Submitting on your own is always an option. Card Pop will offer convenient group submissions with competitive prices and quicker return times. Pop into our Joliet location and ask what submissions we have available for you!

How much value does grading add to my card?

Grading a card usually establishes market value and protects the card from possible physical damage. Grading a card MAY increase the value but that is not ALWAYS the case. Card prices are CONSTANTLY changing. The market is always going up and down. A card is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it!

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Centering

Centering is basically the width of the border. Ideally, the border sizing should be equal on the left, right, top and bottom. Sometimes judging the centering won't be as simple as looking for equal spaced borders. The bottom line is that the card should feel balanced. If a card appears lopsided, this means the centering is off.

Corners

This is arguably the most important and most scrutinized of the grading attributes. A card with four sharp corners can alleviate other concerns, especially on older cards. Study all four corners looking at the front of the card first, then look at the back of the card. This is the best way to double-check. If a corner shows imperfections on both sides, it's not your eyes playing tricks on you. Sometimes the ink, foil or other factors can create the illusion of a weak corner, so always be sure to check the back. If a corner or two is an eyesore to look at, your probably looking at a card that will grade under 8.5. Slight corner imperfections, such as barely visible white might be the difference between a BGS 9 and a BGS 9.5, but can also result in no change.

Edges

The four edges of a card are important, as well. Some brands are notoriously terrible with edges, especially cards with dark or black borders. At the same time, less is expected from these, so lower your expectations. Graders also look at the back for this, too. Edges should be sharp and the color should be constant. Imperfect edges have dings, dents or subtle discolorations. As with corners, barely visible white isn't the end of the world.

Surfaces

Surface is the condition of the cardboard as a whole. With glossy cards such as Bowman Chrome, scratches on the surface can be an issue, as well as faded autographs. In addition, cards made with foil stock are prone to small pieces of foil coming off, leaving white specks on the card. With older cards, the main concern is creases and moisture damage. Many 1980s cards suffer from ink smearing and stamp marks that happen when the card goes through a print press. Many times a crease is hard to notice at first, as the picture on a card can hide one very well.

Submit Cards For Grading

Have some cards you want graded? We are able to bulk submit virtually all Pokémon TCG and Magic: The Gathering cards as well as other popular trading card games to CGC Trading Cards for grading. Use the form below to submit the cards you would like to be graded.

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Card Grading Submission

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