WIRED recently ran an article on their website that delved into the rise of UK Pokémon card grading companies and their perception in the industry. Since the recent Pokémon boom both PSA and BGC (arguably the two most well known, popular and reputable card grading companies in the world) have both closed their doors whilst they process their backlog.

This temporary closure was like blood in the water. Almost overnight in the UK we saw “experts” sneak out of every nook and cranny to set up their own grading companies to fill the void. Whereas the larger, more reputable, companies would charge £30 – 40 with a 10~ month turnaround time, these “boutique” graders could offer a 4-week turnaround for just £10 per card. Sounds like an absolute bargain, right!? Well unfortunately, it may not be.

Technically, anyone with the ability to “slab” a Pokémon card and the ability to print a grading label can start their own business. This low barrier to entry means that the graded cards from these startups won’t carry the same weight and subsequent value that the older companies carry. A PSA 10 graded card from PSA will likely be worth 3-4x an equivalent grade from a newer company, if not more.

Now, I don’t want to say that these companies don’t have their value! Grading cards through anyone will keep them in condition much better than a simple penny sleeve, just know that it may not hold the same value. I’ve sent small bundles off to a couple of UK grading companies to review them, though mainly for preserving cards that hold sentimental value, rather than monetary value.

So without further a due, below I’ve included as many of the UK grading companies as I could find (re: the first few pages of Google). I’m not looking to review them or make claim to which is best; just to cover off the options. I’ll be sending off a card to each to test the finished product in an upcoming post, so keep checking back if you’re looking for reviews!

If you’ve used any before or think I’ve missed any, be sure to leave a review in the comments!

The Professional Grading Co.

Established in 2021 to “meet the growing demand and low supply of Pokemon card grading options”, PGC boasts one of my favourite slab designs. The white and gold colour looks really high quality in my opinion, and the added security from the holographic is pretty cool. I’m unsure of the grading accuracy, but I’ll be sending a batch soon so will let you know!

With prices starting around £20 for a turnaround time of 3-4 weeks, it’s one of the more “premium” services, but still holds a substantial saving of PSA and BGC when they open back up. They’re one of my favourite new companies at the moment, so I’m excited to see how they do.


If you’re in any UK Pokémon Facebook groups then chances are you’ve seen GetGraded cards either being sold or having their services advertised. They seem to have quickly hit the UK market and gained a substantial number of cards going through their service. In the WIRED article mentioned at the start of this article, there’s a quote from Kane Crosfill that boasts as to the quantity they do in comparison to the other UK startups:

[Other UK grading companies] might be grading a 100 cards a week when we’re grading 500 cards a day: there’s no comparison

Kane Crosfill, GetGraded

From looking at eBay sales, it’s apparent that the cards don’t hold the same kind of value as the more established graders, but as they become more recognised I’d expect to see the prices normalise. The PSA slab design is quite simplistic in comparison to other slabs, as well as a couple of other controversies in the community (“butterfree” labelled as “butterfry” 🤣) but as a new company starting up they’ve been a friendly face in the UK Pokémon community and have come a long way in a short time already.

With a turnaround time 6-8 weeks for just £10 per card (with subgrades!) it’s a really affordable option.

Majesty Grading Company

In my opinion, MGC have one of the weaker slab card designs, just looking pretty bland. The encasing looks pretty sound though and from what I can see there isn’t a penny sleeve around the card to spoil the view of the card. With a similar £10 per-card charge and low turnaround times, this could still be a good option for preserving some cards with sentimental value.

One aspect that I found actually very interesting about the MGC service is their integration of technology in addition to the grading process. Each card includes a small microchip that will allow a phone to quickly scan the cards information for authenticity. There’s no real value in this, but it’s a pretty cool bonus feature.

There is also the option of creating a copy of your card as an NFT for an additional fee (just shy of £90 at time of writing). I won’t go in to too much detail here, but by creating an entry on the Ethereum network, you will additionally receive a unique, digital equivalent of your card that could theoretically be traded and sold separate to the physical copy. I don’t think there is a market for this at the moment personally, but it’s a really exciting concept.


I haven’t heard too much about Pokégrade, outside of a few Instagram posts creeping up as of late. The slab designs seem similar to MGC, though they have a nice gold trim if the card gets a pristine score.

From looking at their offering through the website it definitely looks like they target more of the casual collector, with “Gift Slabs” allowing for custom messages to be added to the graded card, and small monthly subscription booster packs as another offering. It may be that they’re still finding their niche along the way, but there’s nothing wrong with appealing to a more casual customer.

YouTuber iiamjoeyy interviewed the owner of Pokégrade earlier this year to find out a bit more about what they’re doing, and it makes for quite an interesting watch if you have some free time!

Universal Grading Company

Set to launch on July 1st of this year there isn’t much information around yet for UGC. I’ve included a shot from their Instagram that shows their prospective logo and examples of their slab. The slab design looks pretty nice, if not a little busy. The blue and yellow on black is a little contrasting, but will be interesting to see how it looks in person.

TCA Grading

Another “launching soon” UK grading company, TCA Grading has been teasing images on their Instagram for the past couple of weeks. The design is quite nice, but it could still be a work in progress.

Update: TCA have launched! Their website is now live and they have a range of different services depending on how quick you’re wanting to get your cards back, ranging from 1 – 12 weeks. The website also boasts that “All staff at TCA including our collectable trading card graders and authenticators are all fully-qualified and are industry professionals”. Hopefully with this statement we’ll see some quality grades coming out of the startup.

The finalised design is nice with the dark yellow against the black and there is a “Gold 10” rating for if your card is pristine, a trend that I’m really enjoying seeing from a few grading companies. I’m not sure if that would change the slab card colour to gold, but I really hope it does! That kind of colour inversion would really make it pop!