What to Look For When Buying PSA Graded Cards

Not all graded cards are created equal

3 min readJul 8, 2021

If you’ve bought or ever considered buying PSA graded cards, then you know each card comes with a number from 1–10. That number determines what condition that card is in and inevitability what the card is worth.

It’s one thing to obtain a card that’s graded because you really liked the card and don’t care about its value. It’s another thing to obtain a card that’s a higher number and want to know if it’s worth anything.

There is both a short answer and a long answer to determining how much your graded PSA cards are worth.

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Only focus on higher numbers for the best value

Many people who buy graded PSA cards only focus on 9s and 10s. Those are the ‘Mint’ and ‘Gem Mint’ grades.

Some people claim that a PSA 8 — ‘Near Mint’ — holds significant value compared to lower numbers but historically it doesn’t perform well at all when compared to PSA 9s and 10s.

That’s why if you’re buying graded PSA cards and your goal is to hold onto them until their value increases in the future, you’ll want to only look at PSA 9s and 10s, but really you’re looking at finding PSA 10s.

How to find PSA 10s for cheap

If you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for PSA 10 cards then you have a couple different options.

Your first option is pulling the card yourself from a pack. If you sleeve it immediately it’ll be in perfect condition and have a higher chance of being graded high. Remember, the alignment of the card is considered when grading, so even a new pull can be a lower PSA grade.

Your second option is buying a raw card that’s not graded on eBay for cheap. Then, you can send it in to be graded and hopefully it’s in good enough condition to get a good grade. A lot of people take this route.

Your third option is bidding on eBay. A lot of times, bidders forget to bid at the last minute for a graded card and they go cheaper than their actual value. This is where you can come in and be a last-minute bidder to buy a PSA 10 for cheap.

Your last option is just buying the PSA 10 of a card you believe in and holding it for as long as possible. This is considered ‘cheap’ because when you sell it, hopefully, the value has gone up a lot and you make a great profit from it.

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