Customer Communication Center

As the hobby grows, our mission is to provide PSA customers with more frequent and transparent updates on the state of our business. This page is designed to add context to our growth and answer many of the common questions that customers have about PSA authentication and grading services.

Please check this page regularly, as we will add updates regarding capacity expansion, policy refinement, and overall improvement to the customer experience.

Collectibles Certified Per Year (Millions)
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 3.5
  • 3.0
  • 2.5
  • 2.0
  • 1.5
  • 1.0
  • 0.5
  • 0
Collectibles Certified (Per Year)

PSA Growth History

It took PSA almost seven years to reach 1 million cards certified, a milestone that the company surpassed in 1998. Incredibly, since that time, PSA customers have submitted at least 1,000,000 collectibles for certification in each year since 1998. Today, customers submit well over 2.5 million collectibles annually to PSA.

Packages Received Per Week
  • 8/2
  • 8/16
  • 8/30
  • 9/13
  • 9/27
Packages
PSA Submissions Growth

Zooming in on the recent surge in the trading card hobby, we see an incredible increase in submissions to PSA in 2020 alone. Since reopening in May 2020, when PSA was closed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, PSA has received record-breaking amounts of packages.

While demand has been surging, PSA is doing everything within its power to expand capacity, while simultaneously retaining the rigor and precision required of its authentication and grading services.

PSA Initiatives

PSA is taking a three-pronged approach to grow capacity. Each of the three efforts are being done in concert and each represents a portion of the company’s operational focus to grow.

1
Initiative One
Hiring

The first step is hiring. We have numerous open positions on our Careers page. If you are interested in joining the team at PSA, or if you know someone who would be a good fit, we encourage applications to be submitted following the instructions on our website. Collectors Universe is a healthy, growing company with locations in both California and New Jersey. We offer 401(K) matching, and medical and dental benefits. Even if you do not see an exact fit with your professional background, please apply. We are always looking for passionate, energetic and hard-working collectors to join our team.

Since April, PSA/Collectors Universe has added over 100 new employees to its workforce.
2
Initiative Two
Lean Principles

The second approach is the implementation and adherence to Lean manufacturing principles. In December 2019, we completely reconfigured our Receiving department to optimize the workflow. The result was a 66% daily unit increase in our ability to input orders into our system. While COVID-19 has caused some inefficiencies, such as changes in workstation configurations and breaking into shifts to account for social distancing, we have now surpassed pre-COVID capacity levels. Similar Lean changes, such as room reconfigurations and the triaging of orders, have been made to our Research department. Additional Lean improvements to subsequent steps in our progress are also in place.

3
Initiative Three
Robotics

The third initiative is automation through robotics. PSA has made an investment in special machinery that will allow us to expedite the Receiving and Research of trading card submissions. This technology was recently installed and PSA will see real production benefits before the end of the 2020 calendar year. PSA will share more details on our automation efforts as the project develops.

Continuous Improvement

Above all else, PSA is eager to answer the surge in demand and work on multiple concurrent continuous improvement projects in order to scale our operation. PSA has already implemented numerous holistic changes to the way we process orders. For example, for efficiency purposes, we have eliminated all triplicate carbon copy paper submission forms and instead require that all orders are submitted using our Online Submission Center. In just a matter of months, we went from 75% of orders being submitted using our Online Submission Center to over 98%. This change alone has greatly improved our ability to efficiently input orders into our system.

Additionally, PSA Collectors Club Value Service submissions, which account for the lion’s share of our backlog, must now be segmented by year to expedite internal processing. Now, cards can be more easily segmented and assigned to our staff according to area of specialty.

Many other smaller internal changes have been made as well as we seek continuous improvement to our process. It’s a daily challenge for our staff, and one that they have taken great initiative to institute.

PSA Daily Units Shipped by Quarter
  • Mar 2019
  • Jun 2019
  • Sep 2019
  • Dec 2019
  • Mar 2020
  • Jun 2020
Daily Units

PSA’s Recent Updates

10/7/20

In response to the widespread increase in trading card valuations, PSA raises the maximum Declared Value to $199 on any card submitted under the four Value Services; Ultra-Modern, Modern, Vintage and TCG. Combined with the recent reduction in the minimum Value order size to only 20 cards, PSA is making it easier for collectors to take advantage of our lowest price points.


10/1/20

PSA releases a formal Group Submission page that guides interested collectors to the PSA Dealer Directory. These dealers have signed a formal code of conduct agreement with PSA and are approved to manage and submit group submissions. Read the announcement for more details.


10/1/20

PSA restructures Value pricing while lowering minimum order size for the service. Ultra-Modern pricing is now $15 per card with 20-card minimum order quantities. Modern pricing is now $12 per card with 20-card minimum order quantities. Read the announcement for more details.


10/1/20

PSA sells out of the Gold and Platinum Collectors Club memberships for the remainder of the calendar year. Current members who have not yet submitted valid vouchers are able to do so prior to membership expiration. Read the announcement for more details.


10/1/20

Due to overwhelming demand, PSA suspends Economy service for both the trading card and dual authentication and grading services. This suspension will allow PSA to catch up on impacted turnaround times for these services. Please continue to check this page for updates.


9/28/20

PSA releases a new Appraisal Service. After years of customers asking, PSA at last provides a formal answer to the age-old collector question, ‘what is my item worth?’ The service is available only to items that have been certified by PSA or PSA/DNA. The PSA Appraisal service will expand to include uncertified items submitted to PSA or PSA/DNA for authentication and grading on January 1, 2021.


9/23/20

2020 PSA Set Registry Award Winners have been announced! Judges have selected over 30 winners, including 10 new Hall of Fame inductees, from the nearly 180,000 registered sets. Additionally, 14,468 sets have received designation as the ‘Best of the Registry’, the largest total ever. Please visit the 2020 Awards page and the Hall of Fame page to see all of the award winning collections.


9/22/20

Collectors Universe hires industry veteran Jamie Kiskis as the company's first Vice President of Product Development. Jamie will focus primarily on expanding the PSA Set Registry and providing a better experience for both current and new users.


9/15/20

PSA releases a new website with a cleaner design and better user interface. The new site makes it easier to find information about our services and instructions on how to submit.


9/14/20

PSA’s New Jersey office stops accepting drop off submission for PSA trading card, ticket, pack, professional bat, professional glove, and ring/award/trophy authentication and grading services. However, the office will honor previously scheduled appointments for those services until November 30, 2020.


9/11/20

PSA implements a 5% service charge to submissions with items not submitted in the same order they are listed on their submission forms. Items not submitted in order cause delays in the Receiving department and delay the overall grading process.


9/11/20

PSA launches a new Submission ID label for orders processed through the Online Submission Center. This allows customers to print out and adhere a label to this side of the package instead of writing the Service Level name. When packages arrive to PSA, the barcode is scanned, and the customer is notified via email.


PSA Around the World

The expansion of third-party grading to new markets aboard has also contributed to the increase in demand for PSA’s services.

PSA opened offices in Tokyo in 2018 to better serve the growing Asian market in Japan and Southeast Asia.

Additionally, PSA has official agents in China, Canada and the United Kingdom, making it easier for collectors in these markets to submit to our U.S. headquarters.

PSA New Jersey
Office

PSA Japan
Office

PSA Canada
Official Agent

Platinum Promotions
PSA China
Official Agent

Shanghai Ruika, Ltd
PSA UK
Official Agent

Ludkins Collectables
PSA EU
Official Agent

Graded Gem
Total Number of Collectibles Certified
By Collectors Universe
85,969,707
By PSA
41,065,022
Types of Collectibles
35,629,204
Cards
138,263
Tickets
89,262
Unopened Packs
5,028,046
Autographs and Memorabilia
Types of Cards
17,772,081
Baseball
4,711,124
Basketball
5,187,897
Football
1,522,286
Hockey
124,718
Boxing
1,959,477
TCG
1,331,112
Non-Sports
3,020,509
Other
PSA’S Grading Process

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look and how PSA grades your cards.

01 SHIPPING PREPARATION

You’ve completed the online submission process and you’re ready to send your cards to PSA.

02 DELIVERY

Soon after you’ve shipped your cards, they will be delivered to our facility in Southern California. Your package will be among the tens of thousands of collectibles we receive every day.

03 ARRIVAL

The Submission ID Label on the side of your package is scanned, and your Account and Orders pages are updated to reflect the arrival of your items.

04 ORDER ENTRY

Your order is reviewed, entered into the grading system and assigned an order number to replace your personal information – thus removing the potential for bias throughout the grading process.

05 THE STICKER

Order ID stickers with unique certification numbers are placed on each Card Saver in the order.

06 THE RESEARCH DEPARTMENT

Your cards are researched so they can be properly identified on the PSA label.

07 GRADING

Your cards are authenticated and graded by PSA’s team of graders.

08 THE PSA LIGHTHOUSE™ LABEL

PSA’s LightHouse labels are printed showing each card’s information and grade.

09 THE SEALING DEPARTMENT

The card and LightHouse label are sonically sealed in PSA’s tamper-evident holder for security.

10 GRADE CHECK

Another PSA grader will review and check your order again for accuracy.

11 QUALITY ASSURANCE

A final quality control check is done on your order to check for errors.

12 THE FINAL STEP

Your order is reviewed one final time to make sure everything is accounted for and then is shipped.

Why doesn’t PSA process orders on a “First In, First Out(FIFO) basis?

PSA’s primary goal is to adhere to the FIFO principle. This may not always be possible, however, as certain aspects of our process, unique to trading card authentication and grading, may result in certain orders taking more time than usual. Below you find a breakdown of scenarios by department that may cause your order to be delayed.

The Receiving Department

Following PSA’s submission guidelines is an important part of ensuring your order gets off on the right path once it arrives a PSA. We encourage customers to adhere to these guidelines in order to avoid the dreaded “Problem Order” designation that can occur at the Receiving stage.

Here are some common examples of why an order may be delayed in our Receiving department:

The cards were not placed in the same order as they appear on the submission form.
The submission form contained incomplete information such as payment method or return address.
Cards included in the submission were not listed on the submission form.

Important: Cards packaged in a sequence that differs from the order confirmation page sequence are subject to a 5% service fee.

The Research Department

PSA’s Research Department is one of the largest departments in the company, and has the core responsibility of accurately and efficiently identifying the wide variety of collectibles submitted to PSA. As you might imagine, this includes a rich and diverse assortment of collectibles, from 19th century cabinet cards to the latest releases from Topps, Upper Deck and Panini.

Here are some common examples of how an order can take longer than usual within Research:

An order may contain 20 cards, and all but one is readily identified. However, that 20th card is a rarity and requires added research to confirm its year, manufacturer and other details.
The order contains cards that were just recently released and have never been seen before by PSA, requiring time to research and catalog the cards within our database.
Find My Package

PSA scans all packages once they arrive at our facility by the tracking or insurance number. If you don’t see your submission entered yet, you may confirm that your package has arrived at PSA safely by entering your tracking number below.