Insight into Cardmarket: Grading, Upgraded

CMInsightTeam

With this column we want to give our users a deeper insight into what is going on at Cardmarket. This time our team has a bunch of news to share regarding Cardmarket Grading. For months we have gathered feedback, worked on implementing it, and now it's time to announce a series of improvements!


insight grading header

Last December we launched our official grading service: Cardmarket Grading. Today we have a big update, or several updates, regarding many aspects of it.

Cardmarket Grading, Graded

Late last year, Cardmarket ventured into a new service: grading. As the popularity of trading cards is ever increasing, so is the desire for people to have their cards graded. Naturally, as a marketplace, we have an affinity to graded cards, as it helps secure and authenticate higher- and high-end cards. We also noticed a demand for an affordable grading service specifically in Europe, and thus a possible connection to our marketplace, which we aim to be the one place to serve all TCG-related interests.

While the initial launch of our grading service is considered a success in our eyes, there are a lot of things we learned that could be improved and optimized. Today we take a look at the new and improved version of Cardmarket Grading. We talk about slabs, a population report, and the topic that has received the most feedback by far: the label.

Before we dive in, we'd like to thank everybody who has been vocal about their experience, positive or negative. It is only because of your feedback that we are able to improve.

Expansion

We are happy to welcome three additions to the list of countries where Cardmarket Grading is available. We now accept cards for grading from the United Kingdom, from Norway, and from Switzerland.

Improved Slabs


engraving

While there wasn't necessarily anything wrong with our initial slabs, designed and manufactured in Germany, we received some feedback on the size and shape, and have decided to adjust them. The new casings should offer a closer fit to what people are expecting compared to other grading services.

The following changes have been made to the slabs:

  • The slabs have become thinner.
  • The injection points have been refined and lowered.
  • There should be no more sharp corners.
  • We are using a different blend of PMMA materials which is more scratch resistant.
  • We engraved a small Cardmarket logo in the front and back of the case.
  • We received a lot of feedback about cards being sleeved in our slabs. This is now no longer the case. All cards will be placed in the slab unsleeved.

Public Population Report

Another important feature of a grading service is an existing population report. Cardmarket Grading was already keeping such a report for internal use, but we have decided to create a public version after having received a lot of feedback asking for it.

For those who don't know, a population report is essentially an online database that tracks which cards and, more importantly, how often those specific cards have been graded. Do you have a Beta Black Lotus? A Base Set Charizard? You can now see exactly how many other copies of that card have gone through our grading service, and what the grades were.

You can find our first version of the population report at:
https://guardandgradingsolution.de/pop-report/

Please keep in mind that we're still working on improving this report, and will add more features to it in the future. But for now, a very basic version allows you to check what cards have been graded, and how. Additionally, you can enter the unique ID of your graded card directly to find it in the population report. (Omit leading zeros, so for #00001515 just enter 1515.)

Improved Labels


label1

The topic we received the most feedback on, by far, was the initial design of our label. Whether constructive or less so, we've heard you and taken appropriate measures! We wanted our grading service to have a premium look and feel, especially with the new high-quality slabs, and the old label was not conveying this properly.

You will find the new label to be much more clean aesthetically and of a higher quality material. The following changes have been made to the label:

  • The material was changed so it no longer shines through when exposed to light.
  • We added a "brushed" metal effect to give it a more premium feel overall.
  • The label is considerably larger, meaning the text should be more readable.
  • The printing quality of the label has been improved.
  • There is no more perforation line (which happened on rare occasions).
  • The QR code on the back is larger, easier to scan, and links directly to the population report.
  • The logo has been removed from the front of the label. We know this is an important aspect for a lot of grading services, but we felt it was cleaner and neater to have no logo on the front.
  • The Cardmarket logo will instead be visible on the back of the label and the engraved Cardmarket logo will be visible (albeit relatively small) in the slab itself.
  • A card graded 10 will now receive a golden label, whereas any other grade receives a gunmetal silver label.

label2

The Long Run

We hope that these improvements will be more in line with your expectations for our grading service. We do take this matter very seriously and are in this project for the long run. We appreciate all of the feedback you have given us over the past months, it helped us directly make these improvements.

If you already did get cards graded at Cardmarket Grading and want to have them reslabbed with the new label, we're happy to offer you a 50% discount. Just purchase another grading on our platform from now until the end of the year and contact Cardmarket Grading through our messaging system. They will refund €10.

If you want to know more about Cardmarket Grading, we made a video back in December when we visited the Cardmarket Grading office. Have a look below!





As a final note, we're running a giveaway to celebrate the news. If you order a grading, excluding reslabs, between now and July 31, 2022, for Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dragonball Super, Digimon, Flesh and Blood, or the Pokémon TCG, you will enter into a raffle to win one of our featured graded cards for that game. Keep an eye on our social media channels for more information!

Entry to the raffle and prize is limited to one per person; prize will be selected based on the game of the majority of the cards you send in for grading.



46 Comentarios

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Visser94(27.06.2022 16:29)(Edited: 27.06.2022 16:33)

If I decide to reslab my cards, will they keep the same serial number and grade? Also, is the new slab also made out of paper, or is it metal?
I like the upgrades, however, not putting the logo in front of the slab is just a misstake. Why not a smaller CM logo? It can't be that hard.

SpielwarenFreak(26.06.2022 13:22)

Okay now in english... I really do not like this label.

SpielwarenFreak(26.06.2022 13:21)

Es ist nice, dass man auf die Community hört, aber wer hat sich bitte dieses Label ausgesucht. Ich finde, dass die blauen Akzente vom alten Label sehr gut gepasst haben, nur die draufgeklebten Zahlen und die nicht vorhandene Symmetrie waren das Problem.

Pilzkuh(29.06.2022 19:27)

Was mich total stört ist, dass die Abstände zum Rand unterschiedlich groß sind. Die Seriennummer ist z. B. Weiter am unteren Rand als der Rest. Und auf der Rückseite hätte ich den QR-Code etwas größer und das Logo kleiner gemacht. Sonst könnte es vielleicht wieder Probleme mit der Lesbarkeit geben.

Vokus(26.06.2022 00:38)

Still no grading of booster packs. :-(

SortaFireandIce(23.06.2022 21:49)

It’s good to see and much appreciated on my end that you’re listening to feedback and trying to improve. Good stuff and keep it up!

tarantix(23.06.2022 11:09)

The old label was by far the best grading label for me. Please give your clients the chance to choose between the old label and the new!

ShimmyTurner(03.07.2022 11:16)

Agree! :-( tarantix

MiraR(23.06.2022 08:15)

Who decided to use this label. Looks cheap and with no soul at all. If you want to copy some good labels, maybe take a eye on AceGrading. These are by far the best looking labels on the market and not comparable with this generic stuff you've used this time. If i compare the new label with the old one, i would more then appriciate the old one, rather then the "new" one. In this composition the label you've choosed looks extremly cheap, why don't you put the engraved logo from the bottom to the top besides your label? Cause you fear beeing called out for copying from beckett? Or what is the reason. Please put some passion in this product.

tarantix(23.06.2022 11:08)

MiraR you are perfectly right, I loved the old one and I can't figure out why they decided to change it!

RoXoR111(22.06.2022 22:05)

I am disappointed.

The Pop-Report is nice, but the label looks really cheap.
Even the old one looks much better in comparison.

Is there any chance you will consider the critiques/propositions here?

Yugiohhobbyliga(22.06.2022 16:44)

Okay und die neuen Cases gibt es absofort?

Kaluschnykow(22.06.2022 11:45)

Hey, I looked through the pop report and it seems like some cards are missing. I tried to search for one of the serial number of my card and it's not there

Pikafoodog(22.06.2022 11:31)

Hello,
Why would a Gem Mint Card still get a 9. 5? Cannot understand why grading companies always feel that a 10 is some sort of perfect Black Label standard. There is a reason PSA is the leader in grading and its because they have such a good grading scale. Wish more companies would realize that the majority of people want a more lenient down to earth grading system.
Why would anyone want to pay so much for cards stuck with low grades!?

diemaxi90(23.06.2022 12:13)

PSA grading fake cards!! Well done

Genan777(22.06.2022 07:37)

Hello,

Congratulations on taking this step. I feel like it's an improvement, but as another user has mentioned before, it feels painful for users who put their trust in Cardmarket Grading and now have 20+ cards graded with the old label. Having to pay €10 to change the label is really excessive. €5 would have been a symbolic and fairer price. Now I really wonder what to do, I'm not willing to pay so much money to update my old labels for the new one and I'm not going to grade new cards if it means having a mixture of two different labels. I am really happy about the improvements, they are very good and have been announced quickly, but I feel betrayed about paying so much money for the label change

Scuthern(21.06.2022 22:15)

Schade, daß Reslabs so teuer sind, die Karten müssen ja nicht neu gegradet werden. Fühle mich etwas wie ein Versuchskaninchen, daß für das früh entgegengebrachte Vertrauen bestraft wird. Frage mich, ob ich in dem Fall nicht lieber auf die nächste Iteration warte, bevor ich wieder etwas zum Graden schicke. Die Labels sollten noch mal überarbeitet werden, gibt ja Orientierunghilfen in Form von PSA und BGS Labels - besseres Layout und klares Branding auf der Frontseite.

shiar(21.06.2022 18:55)

The unsleeving, slab shape and material change is very good in my opinion. The label QR linking to the pop report is what I expected from the QR ;). I am also quite happy you are offering a discount on reslabbing, something I'm definitely considering. Can you share the exact width of the slab in mm?

This comment was deleted.

Pilzkuh(23.06.2022 21:16)

8. 5 x 13. 5 x 0. 8 cm

aircraft33(21.06.2022 18:11)(Edited: 21.06.2022 18:25)

Glad to hear you are striving to improve! As an old customer who cares about the evolution of the service, I will try to write a serious and structured comment about these news.

1. The new slab:
Thinner and higher quality slabs are super positive news, also the small engraved logo is very appreciated (by me personally, at least) and feels like a more premium/stylish product. The round corners are ok, I don't see any pros or cons about them as it's simply a choice of style. It's admirable of you to offer reslabbing at a highly discounted price!

2. Not sleeved cards:
I am NOT an expert on graded cards since I don't own many, but it feels like a very bad choice. I guess the reason why you opted for this solution is because some of the previously graded cards (which were sleeved) tended to curl (am I right? It also happened to a few of mine and I complained about it). If this is the case, then it's not the solution I was hoping for as it creates a bigger problem. With time, the owner will inevitably move the slab a few times and every small shock it will take will make the card hurt against the inner edges of the slab. It could cause damage to the cards which, if cracked open, won't be anymore the same grade they once were. I will be more than happy in case this was something that you addressed a priori and you can disprove what I am saying.

3. The label:
The previous label felt like a cheap piece of paper, so the new aspect with some fancy metal colours fixes this issue (also the gold label is a very nice addition). Unfortunately, this is the only positive aspect I see about the new label. The absence of the brand name is a big NO for me, makes it anonymous and not easily identifiable at first glance (you could have put at least your logo with a size comparable to the one BGS puts on their slabs). It's too thick, which makes it too prevailing to the eye with respect to the card itself and the grades are not formatted correctly, resulting in a very irregular pattern. Also, is it missing the card language? I am sorry to insist on this aspect, but the new label is a real disaster for me.

4. The population report:
This is the news that I am the most excited about and I really couldn't wait to see it. It's a fundamental tool that increases trust in the gradings services and in the sellers who can provide additional proof of authenticity. Once again, unfortunately, I must report an issue. I can't find my cards in the population report when I input their serial number (Example: Registeel Gold Star 00008753 -> 8753 -> not found).

5. For the future:
I remember you mentioned your plans to integrate your graded cards in the Cardmarket marketplace and I assume it's not a top priority, but please do not forget about this feature. Most importantly, rework once and for good the label and let it be unique, captivating and something that immediately identifies your brand (and aesthetically pleasing possibly). You could also consider an extra service (to be paid, if desired) to communicate the obtained grade before slabbing the cards (maybe with a brief comment) and ask the customer whether to proceed with slabbing or return the card unslabbed. I would personally appreciate it very much since sometimes grades can be unexpectedly low.

To be fair, I want to say this: I think your service is great (I love my old graded cards and I have them exposed on my bookshelf), you have awesome customer support and it's fundamental to have this kind of service in EU (especially if linked to the same brand of the reference TCG market in Europe). Keep up the good work and I look forward to using your services again in the future!

Best,
A caring customer

Zurgalhao(21.06.2022 18:32)

I support this opinion, the big no no is still the label... It's not good. To big, no logo... It's just bland... It need something else for the eye.

MTG-StrictGrading(21.06.2022 21:06)

Very good and constructive critcism
Some very solid arguments here

HayatoKun(21.06.2022 22:55)

My card i graded is also not there, As Serial Number and when i search it in the Set.
My Example: Brazen Borrower // Petty Theft (Throne of Eldraine Extras #00008382)
Population: 0?

aircraft33(23.06.2022 13:26)

To be fair, my cards now appeared in the population report, therefore I guess yesterday they still were in the process of being added or the databases were not updated.
That's very good news!

Elahir(21.06.2022 16:24)

In my opinion removing the sleeve from inside is a downgrade, and the label is still not very appealing. The rest of the changes are in the good direction, hopefully there will be a new iteration.

monsito(21.06.2022 16:21)

Great news, keep improving and listening to the community.

It would be great to be able to sell on the page, graded cards with cardmarket.

Congratulations team

yohan51100(21.06.2022 15:54)

Je trouve l'étiquette vraiment horrible ! Vraiment désolé de dire la vérité ...
L'ancienne était déjà mieux , même moi avec mon niveau amateur de photoshop , je pense faire beaucoup mieux xD
J'avais trouver ça cool aussi un boitier super costaux , mes apparemment ça aussi sa a changer...
Je préfère attendre encore 6 mois ou 1 an avant d'envoyer mes carte ( que votre projet final évolue plz ! ) , faites une vrai réunion sur le design de l'étiquette svp :-(

sluggy10(21.06.2022 15:46)

Neat! Will it be possible to send cards from "sorcery : uncontested realms" TCG when he will be out?

TripleSix(21.06.2022 15:40)(Edited: 22.06.2022 11:52)

Interesting.

I tested the service before, but I was quite disappointed. It took a very long time and got rather poor scores which don't seem fair compared to worse cards that BGS graded much, much higher.

Good to see you're upping your game though, nice!

Edit: Can't find my grading either :/

flixus(21.06.2022 15:33)

Well done and thank you for letting us know!

Tiarvi(21.06.2022 15:22)

Besser als vorher auf jeden fall

Komuraptor(21.06.2022 15:09)

The new label feels like such a downgrade.
Before it was heading the right way, you could identify in no time which company it was. Now is just your average grading label with no identity.
I don't want a label full of innecesary cosmetics like foiling or extreme designs that make you look at it instead of the actual card, but before you had a nice balance between your own design and simplicity.
At least I got a graded card before this change.

alexn159(21.06.2022 15:03)

Still not available in the UK, had mostly even forgotten you were doing this

npeippo(22.06.2022 19:15)

Alexn159
"We are happy to welcome three additions to the list of countries where Cardmarket Grading is available. We now accept cards for grading from the United Kingdom, from Norway, and from Switzerland." Should be available, soon at least if not yet?

M3GGL3Z(21.06.2022 14:56)

I like the new label now much better then before and I'm really looking forward to send you some cards in the future. Is it possible to send you OCG Cards?

Akrythael(21.06.2022 14:12)(Edited: 21.06.2022 14:17)

The new label is lacking on so many levels to help with your brand identity and visibility. It just looks like a random label with little to no visual composition. Font is better, but the change for that metal effect is a bummer. It makes me think of MTG Grading, a french "grading company" that was active last year. Did you actually ask for a graphic designer to come up with something professional and modern/efficient for your grading company? Cause both labels didn't give me that feeling at all.

MTG-StrictGrading(21.06.2022 14:59)

Personally, I very much agree with this comment.

Also with the comment that says that the 9. 5 subgrades aren't on the same row.
On BGS labels for example the subgrades are all "in line" (just looks more appealing).

No offense but at first glance the label indicates a potential scam card to me.. Still room for improvement :)

Wooday(21.06.2022 13:54)

Gute Änderungen. Der Public Population Report funktioniert allerdings noch nicht.
Manche meiner Karten werden angezeigt, andere nicht.

Danideno(21.06.2022 13:53)

The new labels have to be modified a little bit I think.
The 9. 5 subgrades aren't on the same row. And idem for the 10's ones. It would be better if on the same row.
The gold label for 10 is good idea. But I think that a different one for 9. 5 could be nice too (maybe a red bronze one ?)
Where is the language of the card?

Sammelaufloesung(21.06.2022 12:36)

Es würde mich sehr interessieren,
Da nun die Karte “ungeschützt”
Im Case liegt, ob diese hin und her wackeln kann?
Also im prinzip, wenn ich das case schüttel, klackert dann die Karte darin (hörbar) hin und her?
Vielen Dank!

Nissabel(21.06.2022 13:33)

Sammelaufloesung

It is a very important point to know that detail and we would appreciate it if the doubt is resolved as soon as possible.

SlowSohn(21.06.2022 14:57)

Sammelaufloesung
Du kannst anhand der Bilder sehen, dass die Karte nicht wackeln wird. An allen 4 Seiten sind Erhebungen im Case zu sehen, die die Karte festhalten.

Sammelaufloesung(21.06.2022 15:12)

Nicht bei der yugioh Karte @SlowSohn

Pilzkuh(29.06.2022 19:46)

Man weiß aber nicht die Größe des Abstandes der Erhebungen zur Karte. Die Karten werden im Case bestimmt etwas wackeln.

beubenman(21.06.2022 12:03)

C'est horrible le design de l'étiquette on dirait MTG GRADE !

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