PSA Suspends Card Grading Services Amid Record TCG Interest

PSA, the largest card grading company in the world, has suspended most of its card grading services through July 1st. This is an unprecedented move for the company.

The sheer volume of orders that PSA received in early March has fundamentally changed our ability to service the hobby. The reality is that we recently received more cards in three days than we did during the previous three months… Given our growing backlog, it would be disingenuous for us to continue to accept submissions for cards that we will be unable to process in the foreseeable future.

On March 1st, PSA announced their card grading services would essentially double in price. Its grading services have been strained by the demand created by the pandemic, which has lead to severe delays and a steep backlog.

As lockdown orders went into effect in March 2020, the company predicted the pandemic would create a surge in hobby interest:

Tangibles tend to get even more attractive during volatile economic periods. There’s a flexibility that tangibles offer. They can be bought, sold and traded more easily than other kinds of assets, such as real estate.

What no one could predict in March 2020 was just how much cards would increase in value, as PSA acknowledged in their announcement today.

As we reported last year, much of the interest in modern product has been driven by a lack of supply. This was caused by factories shutting down last year, which lead to shortages and backlogs for all trading card games printed in America. Interest in hobbies also surged as people stayed home.

Although some fans blame scalpers and even YouTubers for the scarcity of Pokemon products, they are merely symptoms of the supply problem, not the cause. It’s analogous to the rush for toilet paper in the early days of the pandemic.

PSA also announced they are continuing to expand their workforce and floor space to accommodate the increased demand.

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  1. TokenDuelist YGO TCG is Cheaper. Fight me.
    TokenDuelist

    Member

    Good, deter the scalpers. Get them out of the Pokemon community.
     
    CxEriK, srsrox, steffenka and 6 others like this.
  2. JayMankey Optimistic Trainer/Collector
    JayMankey

    Member

    Good on PSA for flipping the Delibird to scalpers by refusing to grade cards! Hopefully, Beckett and other companies will do the same!
     
    Ranger64 and Hongo like this.
  3. Hongo Aspiring Trainer
    Hongo

    Member

    Remove a couple of cogs and the scalpers will falter.
     
    srsrox, treeckonation and JayMankey like this.
  4. Stalltar Aspiring Trainer
    Stalltar

    Member

    Wow, that’s something I wasn’t expecting. And with hype starting to decline this might be the beginning of a domino effect finally (and hopefully) getting flippers, scalpers etc. to leave.
     
  5. Hydroi-gon Casual Player
    Hydroi-gon

    Member

    Good on PSA for doing this. Hope we can finally get rid of those flippers n' scalpers
     
    srsrox likes this.
  6. shiningdialga Time dino goes rawr
    shiningdialga

    Member

    I see everyone blaming scalpers, but I honestly don't think that's the main problem. I think at this point, it's every Logan Paul wannabe or "investor" who thinks they'll make big bucks by grading every single card they pull. I imagine most of the cards PSA is getting are bulk garbage that you'd find in dime bin at your local store. Jokes on them, though: too many graded cards will likely mean a price drop.
     
    JayMankey, Tytus and Hydroi-gon like this.
  7. The Vish Aspiring Trainer
    The Vish

    Member

    Yeah I heard people were sending in hundreds at a time. Bulk Ultra Rares, Holos, etc.

    And litrally anything base set. When all that comes back around October the price crash will be unprecedented.
     
  8. zzzeraora Aspiring Trainer
    zzzeraora

    Member

    Fer real. Just go watch every YouTuber except max who opens cards, they could give less of a shit what a card is but they'll act like professional graders
     
    treeckonation likes this.
  9. treeckonation Treecko is a good pokemon
    treeckonation

    Member

    oh man thank arceus we are finally saved!
     
  10. treeckonation Treecko is a good pokemon
    treeckonation

    Member

    i only keep ultra rares or holo mint who cares about the common or uncommons.
     
  11. Mistwalker Master of Martial Arts
    Mistwalker

    Advanced Member Member

    I understand the resentment towards scalpers, but for normal collectors like myself (I play the TCG and collect) who don't do this for a profit, this is kind of a bummer. I just recently went through CGC to get 5 of my cards graded, one of which is Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX (the full art, secret rare one aka the most valuable card in the set). I pulled it in the only booster box I got which was so freaking exciting, I had to get it graded. But I'm not selling it. Urshifu is my favorite pokemon so Im keeping that bad boi for a long time
     
    bbb888 likes this.
  12. Ranger64 Aspiring Trainer
    Ranger64

    Member

    Revenge on the scalpers! Yay! But seriously maybe this will stop at least 50% of the scalpers.
     
  13. don()shinobi PokeBeach's Yu-Gi-Oh enthusiast. I guess.
    don()shinobi

    Member

    New rule, shoppers need to show their YouTube subscriptions and watch history to prove that they haven't been influenced by Logan Paul or other attention addicts before being able to purchase cards.
     
  14. Raigetsu Lightning Trainer
    Raigetsu

    Member

    I honestly blame youtubers who keep slapping prices (inflated prices to boot) onto their openings for every ultra rare giving the impression to viewers this is an easy money scheme.
     
    JayMankey and Hongo like this.
  15. esperante started there, now i'm at the bottom
    esperante

    Member

    I love how even when you specifically write into the article that the rage in the community towards scalpers and Youtubers is baseless and misguided, every comment here is still the exact same whining that has been echoed nonstop for the past few months. I suppose that's what you get when you try to give a logical explanation to an echo chamber full of angry kids.
     
    bbb888 likes this.
  16. Hongo Aspiring Trainer
    Hongo

    Member

    How is it baseless and misguided when a lot of the YouTube community shifted from pack openings for the chase of a card and went into chase for the *money* with thumbnails and clickbait titles with prices and dollar signs which then created the snowball we’re in now?
     
  17. Number51x Blasting off at the speed of light!
    Number51x

    Member

    Vomiting is a symptom of the Flu. Doesn't mean I can't haaaaaate vomiting.
     
  18. Malavok Aspiring Trainer
    Malavok

    Member

    The rage towards scalpers isn’t misguided. Scalpers suck, period. Doesn’t matter if it’s for cards, electronics, masks, etc. The problem is people are assuming that PSA is doing this to stop scalping. They’re not; they’re doing it because they’re overwhelmed. It will luckily have a negative impact on scalpers though, as a positive side effect.
     
    Shinxed3, Number51x, bbb888 and 2 others like this.
  19. fleshrum April in Kalos...
    fleshrum

    Advanced Member Member

    Ultimately if you accept the PTCG system of rarity then you accept that a card's secondary market value is variable and scarcity is a partial determinant for that value.

    I'm genuinely curious if the caterwauling comes from uninformed consumers who just can't get their hands on product or what. No kidding, the supply issues do suck. People who are only in it for financial gain can be really toxic. They might enjoy ptcg in a different way than us, but they are still enjoying it, however shallow or fleeting that enjoyment might seem.

    But PSA not grading cards is not somehow a positive thing because of this. Standardized measures of condition are what keeps value in these products, and value is why we participate in this, even if that value isn't monetary. These (idk who, tbh? some sort of faceless menace) people come and go, and imo its important for card grading services to stick around to make sure that they keep coming and keep going.

    What exactly makes someone a scalper vs someone who just really enjoys the hobby, has disposable income, and trades/sells products? I buy a box of the sets I want. I use the codes to play online, I give the commons and simple stuff to my school for their junior club free time activities, I build a half-deck to play with my younger cousin, I trade and sell cards I don't like for whatever reason (artwork/mechanic/set completion/dex binder) for cards I do. Often the selling is through a third party who exchanges tcg product for store credit and resells at a profit.

    Change box to case and suddenly I'm breaking some unspoken rule? But my LGS isn't?

    Stop using scalper as this catch-all buzzword.
     
    Danny Gavin likes this.
  20. Number51x Blasting off at the speed of light!
    Number51x

    Member

    "What exactly makes someone a scalper vs someone who just really enjoys the hobby, has disposable income, and trades/sells products?"

    Pretty easy distinction. Buying up all the sealed product you can get your hands on that you personally have no interest in and then selling for double MSRP just to exploit the scarcity.
     
    LexGoyle and Hongo like this.