Does PSA Accept Top Loaders?

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I’ve been on a 2022 Bowman Mega box kick; it’s really the only sealed wax I rip! I just feel like they offer great value and upside, and especially with this year’s checklist, I wanted to make sure I grabbed a few.

Anyway, in my last box, I recently pulled a nice George Valera Orange Mojo Refractor /25. Not a gigantic pull, but a really nice hit. Not to mention that I’ve been stocking up on Valera anyway, so I’ll definitely take it. Here’s a video:


Guess who, more Velera…and a big one! #bowman #baseballcards #valera

♬ original sound – ballcardgenius

Immediately though, the question became “should I get it graded.” There are a number of factors that go into the answer to this question, with a big one being PSA grading cost, but I think I’m going to.

All of this to say, it has been a while since I submitted a card for grading. I think perhaps my last PSA submission was mid-Pandemic? Well, it has been a while either way, and while I know PSA loosened up a bit on their stance on top loaders, I wasn’t sure if they still accepted them.

Does PSA Accept Top Loaders?

PSA accepts top loaders, but they recommend semi-rigid plastic pouches like the Card Saver (Card Saver I®, specifically). In fact, on their online submission confirmation page, PSA goes as far to say “please do not submit unprotected cards, or cards in top loaders…”

On the their “PSA Card Packaging Guidelines” page, the language is a little more forgiving, but still clear, stating that “PSA advises against submitting in top loaders, hard acrylic cases or screw down holders.”

Read More: When Does PSA Charge You?

So, while the language used leaves a little room for interpretation, as in, it is “recommended” for semi-rigid holders, and “please do not” or “advises against” for top loaders, if it’s me, I’m going to submit in a semi-rigid. My thinking is if a company you are paying to grade your card says “please do not” and then you do that thing, why chance starting a subjective process off on the wrong foot?

So, as pointed out here when talking about the best sports card holders for each different situation, top loaders are great for selling cards, but semi-rigid pouches are best for grading.

Card Saver I® pouches are easy to obtain on Amazon:

What Happens If You Submit in a Top Loader?

For starters, you won’t receive your top loader back, but the real kicker is – again, stated on their PSA Card Packaging Guidelines” page – that “Submissions received in these types of cases will experience delays in processing…” Again, it just does not seem worth it to me.

And that’s it! The rest is pretty standard, and I’ll be sure to provide an update once I send in this orange Valera!

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