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Do Cards Move in PSA Cases?

Do Cards Move in PSA Cases

When you get a graded PSA card, you’ll notice that there’s a little bit of space around the card in relationship to the case. Depending on the size of the card, this gap can be considerable and worrisome.

Do cards move around in PSA cases? Yes, unfortunately, they do. In some respects, this can be a good thing. It helps anticipate expansion and contraction from elements in the environment. However, if your card is considerably smaller than the case, it does tend to slide around.

This can be an absolute nightmare because it can incur damage. As a matter of fact, many collectors report cards getting damaged within a case because of bumping around. This comes complete with bent corners and rumpled edges.

Do Cards Move Around in PSA Cases?

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Yes, cards will move around in PSA cases. If they put it in the right size slab, the extra space will give the card some breathing room. Also, it allows for expansion and contraction during different seasons, temperatures and if there’s any humidity in their storage area.

People have done video tests on how cards move around in PSA cases. Some people display how they’re completely fine after putting them on a paint mixer at Home Depot. Others drop them from certain heights and they show considerable damage within the case.

PSA Recommends using Card Saver 1’s when submitting cards for grading. To check the current price and availability of Card Saver 1 Sleeves, click here to view the selection on Amazon.

Potential Damage

So, it would seem, as long as PSA inserts a graded card into the appropriately sized case, the scant amount of excess room shouldn’t damage the card. However, if the card is significantly smaller than the space allotted within the case, then it will move around in concerning ways.

That said, PSA will include a Mylar sleeve with their graded cards if it is a much smaller size than the holder. The material of the Mylar with the plastic of the case should have a sort of magnetic effect when they touch. In many cases, it does keep the card in place.

However, this depends on the materials of the cardstock, if it’s super glossy and the type of printing or ink on the face of the card. If the card is slippery, shiny, slick or ultra smooth, the Mylar sleeve will do little to keep it in place.

Are PSA Cases Loose?

PSA cases aren’t loose per se, but the oversized holders can be something of a problem. It’s like nails on a chalkboard for seasoned collectors to see their high-value card sloshing around in a case. This kind of situation is infrequent but it does happen.

Therefore, it’s more about the size and materials of the card than the case in general. Also, the amount of movement the card experiences in the case will also affect how much damage it incurs.

Some people have noticed that older, thicker cards stay put in the cases better than newer ones, which are much thinner. For instance, people hardly report problems from cards dating back to the 50s or 60s. But, when you get into ones from the 80s or 90s, the stock is so thin that they slide around to a horrifying degree.

What Do I Do if My Cards Move Around in My PSA Case?

If you have a card that knocks around inside a PSA case, there are a few things you can do. While none of these are going to guarantee you won’t damage the card, they may help you devise a plan of action specific to your situation.

  • Lay the Card Flat: Wherever you store your cards, try keeping your PSA slab flat and avoid moving it as much as possible. If it can have a final resting area that won’t ever move or shift, this will be most ideal.
  • Store on Its Side: Either vertically or horizontally, keep the card upright. Use the same concept as you would for laying it flat. Make sure it won’t move too much and that it will be securely stationary.
  • Break the PSA Case: You could always free the card from the case and put it in something else more fitting. But, this isn’t an advisable option for high-graded cards.
  • Old School Method: The best way to secure a card and prevent it from sliding around is to use a penny sleeve with a top loader. It’s a rare event for cards to slide around this way. If they do, the sleeve creates a great buffer, so the card won’t be able to hit anything hard.
  • Card Savers: These are a good option for cards that don’t have a high value. But, they are very flexible. People report serious accidental bending that actually ruins the card. So, be careful what cards you use if you choose this.
  • Resend It to PSA: If you recently sent a card that came back in a case where it sloshes around. Contact PSA; send them photos and videos of what you’re noticing. Explain the situation and ask if you can send it back to get a more suitable case.

Final Thoughts

So, while it’s true that cards will shift and move around inside a PSA case, it’s not usually an issue. As a matter of fact, a little wiggle room is good for the card. It allows for expansion and contraction in various environmental situations. Humidity, moisture, cold, heat and others all occur while a card sits in a case.

But, if there’s too much space around the card in relationship to the case, this can be troublesome. This means the card will slosh around and it could cause damage to the card. There are some things you can do to keep it in place though.

In some instances it may be better to free the card from the case and put it in a penny sleeve with a top loader. This seems to be the surest way to keep it secure. But, if you need a quick fix until you can figure out something better, either store the card flat or on its side.

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