Cardmarket Grading – Review

When everyone was still in quarantine, many people started digging through their old Pokémon card collections in order to find something worth a bit of money. When all of a sudden more and more grading companies started appearing out of thin air, this industry started blooming, and people who were very much into collecting or simply those who wanted to keep their old cards in pristine condition started sending their cards to grading companies. With the number of companies that currently exist, it’s hard to know if any of them are good, what they will offer you in terms of value, and what the hidden costs and fees may be. We know the three big ones, such as PSA, Beckett, and CGC, which offer a value increase for your favorite cards, but as they are operating from the USA it can be tricky for European clients to send their cherished possessions to one of these companies to be graded. Now, however, a big name in the European market has started its own company, namely Cardmarket Grading. We were curious to see what the company had to offer.

Note: to learn more about terminology for card grading, and card grading service reviews, be sure to check our announcement article which will be updated frequently. You can do so by clicking here.





Ordering process

The ordering process is very simple when it comes to having your cards graded by Cardmarket Grading. You simply go to the website, select what type of grading you want, pay, and you’re basically good to go. All you need to do now is ship the cards to the company and then eagerly await the return of your prized possessions. On the site, you’ll notice different options, such as authenticating your cards, normal gradings, and cross-gradings. You can also select the time frame itself. You can pay extra to have a faster turnaround, or you can be more patient and still get the same quality grading experience.

We found the overall process simple and clear, but perhaps having to fill in a dedicated form does prevent certain errors. That being said, the process works, and that’s the most important part. We do have one remark about the grading itself, as we submitted our cards in a specific order, and one card was randomly thrown in-between said card order. This is something that is important if you’re sending a set that you wish to have graded in sequence.


Cardmarket Grading’s slabs are simple, clean, and clear. Cards are fitted snugly in the slabs and the company does have different cases for both Standard-sized and Japanese-sized cards. This means that both types of cards will remain in place, and thus your cards cannot get damaged by moving around. The cases have a frosted exterior and only show a small welding mark at the bottom.

The labels are very classy with their pseudo-metallic look. The score is clearly visible on the label, as well as the card name, set name, number, card type, and the subgrades. You’ll find the typical subgrades which all receive a grade from 0 to 10. One of the labels was inserted in a very crooked and tilted way for one of our graded cards. This is us just nitpicking, of course. The back of the label clearly shows the company name, as well as a QR code that will lead you to the database.


On the back of the top label of your slab, you will find a QR code that you can scan. Upon doing so you will immediately be taken to the database’s landing page which is being hosted by GuardandGrading Solutions. When you’re on the landing page you can fill in your grading number and you will find the data concerning the card you’re looking up. At this point in time, the database is a bit simple, as it does lack some of the more intricate options some other companies currently have. As Cardmarket has not been offering grading services for that long, we do expect the database to be fully fleshed out in the future. We would love to see a more clear population report here, as well as dedicated QR codes on the slabs that will take you to the card’s page immediately.

At this point in time, there is no clear link on the Cardmarket site that takes you directly to the database website. It would be very convenient if the company would add this link in their FAQ section.

Preservation or worthy investment?

With Cardmarket already having a huge presence in Europe, we can easily say that the reputation of the company will also increase the value of the graded cards. Cardmarket Grading will probably be an interesting option for European-based collectors to have a reputable grading company as well. While we have discussed several other local grading companies in Europe, most of these were mainly interesting for the preservation of your cards. We did find that GRAAD also offers a lot of value for your money. Nonetheless, with the platform behind Cardmarket Grading, we see a lot of options in the future and this might eventually grow into a big competitor for the three big companies: PSA, Beckett, and CGC.


Even though we had a few minor remarks, Cardmarket Grading is well on its way to becoming an established name in the grading industry. We do hope that the database is further fleshed out in the future and that dedicated QR codes will be implemented, but other than that, we enjoyed the clean slabs, the overall strict grading, and the decent turnaround time. If you’re looking for a good European-based grading company, we suggest checking this one out.

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1 Comment

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