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Where to Grade Pokémon Cards in the UK?

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My Top Recommended UK Pokémon Card Graders

In this article we're going to look at the best places to grade your Pokemon cards in the UK. Whether you want cool looking slabs, accurate appraisals, or to add value to your collection, I'll give you my expert opinion, having graded hundreds of cards on home turf. Here's who I recommend...

Best Slabs
PG Grading
pg grading logo
Score:
4.5833333333333
Save 10% with code CARDCOLLECTOR10
Best for Subgrades
Tree Frog Grading
tree frog grading logo
Score:
4.25
Save 15% with code CARDCOLLECTOR

UK Card Grading Company Reviews

Best Labels

Ace Grading took the UK scene by storm in 2021, backed by some big names, they launched a service that gave us a level of customisation we’d never seen before with their labels.

Not only do they offer ‘colour match’ which continues the palette of the card through to the label, but they also have exclusive ‘Ace labels’ that extend the artwork through to the label. They look very impressive, and turn the slab into a display piece.

The plastic slab itself is thick, with solid edges, and much more akin to something you’d see from Beckett, as opposed to PSA or CGC. They’re also seriously durable, and impossible to crack open (speaking from experience)!

With the design of Pokemon cards really evolving in recent years, in my opinion Ace Graded cards are a brilliant way to compliment the artworks.

They also incorporate AI and technology in their process, which I feel is an important part of grading to ensure consistency and accuracy.

Furthermore in April 2023, they graded their 100,000th card meaning this company has been widely accepted and adopted by the UK Pokemon community. This is very important for adding value and future demand.

Overall I think Ace is a great option for UK collectors, with more and more of my collection headed their way every month.

Scores:
Slab Design
Label Design
Accuracy
Turnaround
Added Value
Price
Overall

Ace Grading took the UK scene by storm in 2021, backed by some big names, they launched a service that gave us a level of customisation we’d never seen before with their labels.

Not only do they offer ‘colour match’ which continues the palette of the card through to the label, but they also have exclusive ‘Ace labels’ that extend the artwork through to the label. They look very impressive, and turn the slab into a display piece.

The plastic slab itself is thick, with solid edges, and much more akin to something you’d see from Beckett, as opposed to PSA or CGC. They’re also seriously durable, and impossible to crack open (speaking from experience)!

With the design of Pokemon cards really evolving in recent years, in my opinion Ace Graded cards are a brilliant way to compliment the artworks.

They also incorporate AI and technology in their process, which I feel is an important part of grading to ensure consistency and accuracy.

Furthermore in April 2023, they graded their 100,000th card meaning this company has been widely accepted and adopted by the UK Pokemon community. This is very important for adding value and future demand.

Overall I think Ace is a great option for UK collectors, with more and more of my collection headed their way every month.

Features:
Custom Labels
Yes
Sub Grades
No

Pros

  • Innovative label designs that really compliment the artwork
  • A forward-thinking company willing to use technology in their grading
  • Backed by some experienced names in the Pokemon card community

Cons

  • Slabs don't feel as nice to hold as some other companies
Best Slabs

PG Grading is a company I really like. Their commitment to getting involved in the Pokemon community, with an owner that is open to his audience is very refreshing.

Huge kudos go to them as well for their commitment to slab design and innovation. It’s led to the ‘Arc’ slab, and beautifully rounded plastic case that is the closest thing to a CGC slab I’ve seen.

(As a point of reference, CGC has wonderfully designed slabs, with rounded corners that just feel great in your hand). 

They’ve also expanded into other parts of Europe, and with over 43k cards graded to date, they’re really making good strides and laying the groundwork for years to come.

I’m also a fan of their grading and population reports. There’s full transparency given which I really respect.

I still don’t quite think they’re at the level to add significant value to your cards just yet, but certainly from a craftsmanship perspective they look very good on my display shelf.

Scores:
Slab Design
Label Design
Accuracy
Turnaround
Added Value
Price
Overall

PG Grading is a company I really like. Their commitment to getting involved in the Pokemon community, with an owner that is open to his audience is very refreshing.

Huge kudos go to them as well for their commitment to slab design and innovation. It’s led to the ‘Arc’ slab, and beautifully rounded plastic case that is the closest thing to a CGC slab I’ve seen.

(As a point of reference, CGC has wonderfully designed slabs, with rounded corners that just feel great in your hand). 

They’ve also expanded into other parts of Europe, and with over 43k cards graded to date, they’re really making good strides and laying the groundwork for years to come.

I’m also a fan of their grading and population reports. There’s full transparency given which I really respect.

I still don’t quite think they’re at the level to add significant value to your cards just yet, but certainly from a craftsmanship perspective they look very good on my display shelf.

Features:
Custom Labels
No
Sub Grades
No

Pros

  • Beautifully designed slab that feels good in your hand
  • Lots of community activity on social media

Cons

  • Still work to be done for mass adoption
Best for Subgrades

I’ve used Tree Frog Grading so several years now, and have nothing but positive feedback to give you.

I really like the fact that they provide sub-grades on the label, as it helps you better understand the logic behind the overall score.

Too many times have I got submissions back from PSA, and I’m scratching my head as to why the card didn’t score what I expected it to.

With TFG, I can see how the card fared on Centering, Edges, Corners & Surface. I can then closely analyse the card and see if I agree with the scores. Most of the time I do.

I mention this a couple of times later in this article, but when your cards achieve their top grade, which is an ALPHA 10, I sometimes like to cross it over and resubmit the card to a more established US based grader like PSA, Beckett or CGC.

ALPHA 10 means the card is perfect in all 4 categories mentioned above, so there’s serious potential to add value to it should it grade the same with a US company. Of course, it doesn’t always work out perfectly, but for some cards it’s certainly worth the shot.

Now I think it’s also only fair to note that Tree Frog Grading has somewhat unique branding. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s actually born out of the owner’s military background and his desire to apply precision to their grading process. One can only respect their mission, but for some the frog logo just doesn’t marry up with Pokemon.

Overall though, TFG provides a service to the UK card grading scene that others don’t, and in my opinion, has certainly earned it’s stripes over the last few years.

Scores:
Slab Design
Label Design
Accuracy
Turnaround
Added Value
Price
Overall

I’ve used Tree Frog Grading so several years now, and have nothing but positive feedback to give you.

I really like the fact that they provide sub-grades on the label, as it helps you better understand the logic behind the overall score.

Too many times have I got submissions back from PSA, and I’m scratching my head as to why the card didn’t score what I expected it to.

With TFG, I can see how the card fared on Centering, Edges, Corners & Surface. I can then closely analyse the card and see if I agree with the scores. Most of the time I do.

I mention this a couple of times later in this article, but when your cards achieve their top grade, which is an ALPHA 10, I sometimes like to cross it over and resubmit the card to a more established US based grader like PSA, Beckett or CGC.

ALPHA 10 means the card is perfect in all 4 categories mentioned above, so there’s serious potential to add value to it should it grade the same with a US company. Of course, it doesn’t always work out perfectly, but for some cards it’s certainly worth the shot.

Now I think it’s also only fair to note that Tree Frog Grading has somewhat unique branding. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s actually born out of the owner’s military background and his desire to apply precision to their grading process. One can only respect their mission, but for some the frog logo just doesn’t marry up with Pokemon.

Overall though, TFG provides a service to the UK card grading scene that others don’t, and in my opinion, has certainly earned it’s stripes over the last few years.

Features:
Custom Labels
No
Sub Grades
Yes

Pros

  • Precise grading process
  • Traditional slab similar to those used by PSA
  • Brilliant owner, sticking to his roots, trying to offer something slightly different to the market

Cons

  • Marmite branding

The Rise of UK Pokemon Card Grading Companies

The pandemic was a gift and curse for the biggest grading companies in the US – PSA, Beckett and CGC.

Demand reached crazy levels, but unfortunately for collectors, so did the wait times.

We reached a period in 2020 where the cost of card grading reached over £100 per card, and you wouldn’t get them back for at least a year.

It was ridiculous!

Thankfully, this situation gave rise to a group of savvy and opportunist entrepreneurs who decided to start their own grading companies on UK soil.

Let’s not underestimate the low-to-mid five figure investment needed to purchase machinery, casing, staff, technology develop, websites and marketing.

Some of the people hated on these start-ups. Ironically, these were are the exact same people who are hating-on the likes of PSA and Beckett for not being open!

In my book, anyone who has the cajones to risk it for a biscuit in the Pokemon market deserves a chance at least…

That doesn’t mean to say I think all UK grading companies are great and worthy of your cards or money.

In fact, quite the contrary…

To compete with the likes of PSA, Beckett and CGC, these UK grading companies had to go above and beyond what our US counterparts are doing – or quite frankly – they risked being eliminated.

Fast forward a few years, and we have a very healthy Pokemon card grading scene here in the UK.

Several companies battle it out for your card by innovating in areas such as:

  • Slab design
  • Label design
  • Grading accuracy
  • Turnaround times
  • Price

So, this begs the question…

Who's The Best Pokemon Grading Company in the UK?

It’s important to remember, that if you’re purely looking to protect your cards, grading and encapsulating them in plastic will do the job, no matter who you do it with.

If you’re looking to simply display them, I recommend going with the company that has the slabs and labels that appeal to you most.

It’s totally a personal preference, but I’m my opinion ACE Grading provide the best label designs, and PG Grading have the best slab designs.

However, if you like to know how your card scores in multiple areas (Centering, Edges, Corners & Surface) then Tree Frog Grading is the company for you.

PRO TIP: If you’re card grades perfectly with TFG, it may be worth cross-grading it over to the likes of PSA, Beckett or CGC or and added bump in value. 

Finally, if you’re looking to add value to them, it’s important to go with a company that grades a lot of cards, is accepted by the community as a viable alternative to the likes of PSA, and one that has a good track record of sales data on eBay. Currently, this is ACE Grading because of the volume they’ve done. (Use code CARDCOLLECTOR for 5% off your next order).

The Key Benefits of Grading Your Pokemon Cards In The UK

1. The Power of Fast Turnaround Times

Even though PSA, Beckett and CGC are able to offer lower prices again, they’re never going to be able to match the rapid turnaround times that UK grading companies can. We’re talking days and weeks, compared to months here.

When new Pokemon sets are released, there is a rush and a buzz on marketplaces like eBay.

If you can pull a sought-after chase card, grade it quickly (in the UK), then the potential to flip it for a solid profit is very real.

If you were to wait for an established US grading company, by the time you got the card back, the set can lose its buzz and your anticipated profit may not be as high as you think.

In fact, many people who had the same idea as you, waited to grade it, and now the graded population of the card is so high, it’s value has been driven right down.

Power and profit goes to the first movers in the market, and UK grading companies give you the ability to do that.

It’s a cool model.

2. The Potential to Cross Grade Your Cards

Now this strategy works really well when you have a grading company that can give you the two important elements; sub-grades and detailed reporting.

If you were to grade your cards with Tree Frog Grading and you achieved their highest score (which they call an ALPHA 10), you could potentially cross that card over to PSA or Beckett in the future to increase its value.

As you can see, this is a great way to potentially add more value to your very best cards, which is definitely something to be happy about!

Right guys…

dancing pokemon

My Final Thoughts

So there you have it, my two-pennies-worth on the UK Pokemon card grading scene.

Thanks for reading to the end – I hope you feel the insight providing in this article is worthy of your time! I greatly appreciate it.

* And finally, one little disclaimer! This article is purely my opinion, and aims to share with you what I’m doing and what I value as a collector! You are responsible with what you do with your cards and money 🙂

Best Slabs
PG Grading
pg grading logo
Score:
4.5833333333333
Save 10% with code CARDCOLLECTOR10
Best for Subgrades
Tree Frog Grading
tree frog grading logo
Score:
4.25
Save 15% with code CARDCOLLECTOR

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ace grading logo

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Ace are my top recommended UK card grader!

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