PSA suspends card grading services

Is PSA still grading cards? Well, PSA suspends most card grading services until July 1st, 2021. Yesterday, Steve Sloan (PSA President) announced the unpleasant update on the official PSA website. Reason for the suspension of PSA’s card grading services is the months-long backlog and the unexpected high March order volume.

“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. […] Our goal is to bring all suspended service levels back by July 1, 2021.”

Steve Sloan (PSA President)

What does that mean for collectors?

In short, PSA suspends card grading service levels “Value”, “Economy”, “Regular” and “Express”. This is effective immediately. PSA is planning to reintroduce suspended service levels by July 1 2021. However, the suspension does not affect the services “Super Express” and “Reholder”.

Image with a game over sign. Illustrating that PSA suspends card grading services.
Game over for most if the PSA grading services (Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)

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What happened before?

During the last months, PSA was receiving growing order numbers for card grading. Consequently, PSA is facing months-long backlogs for most of their service levels. In other words, collectors needed to be very patient to receive their graded cards back from PSA. In response to that, PSA introduced “Complete Trough Dates” for all service levels and doubled prices for card grading in March 1st.

Why do high order volumes affect PSA unexpectedly?

Firstly, the collectible card market is at it’s all time high. Famous YouTube stars (Logan Paul, Steve Aoki, Trymacs) and ongoing events like the 25th Pokémon Anniversary drive the hype. In the same vein, card grading has become very popular as market prices for Gem Mint 10 cards skyrocket.

Secondly, the price increase for March 1st has forced collectors to submit their cards on short notice in February. Otherwise collectors would have to face todays doubled prices. As a result, PSA is facing its alls time high for order numbers.

What is PSA planning for prevention?

Steve Sloan (PSA President) announced to further continue PSA’s growth planning and capacity expansion:

  • “We recently added an additional 58,000 square feet to our California operation on top of the 62,500 square feet we added a few months ago [..].”
  • “Today we stand 783 people strong and are growing daily, compared to 421 employees at Collectors Universe in January 2020.”
  • “[…] PSA is working on physical office expansion to new international markets, and for the first time, new grading locations in the United States. This will help diffuse submissions across multiple locations and allow PSA to tap into new grading talent across the hobby.”

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