What Does Pop Mean In Sports Cards?

If you are the kind of person who collects sports cards, then chances are you have heard of POP at some point. 

What Does Pop Mean In Sports Cards

When it comes to trading cards, there are numerous factors that can be used to determine a card’s worth, from SP to BMWT.

However, certain cards also come with POP, which remains a common tactic in valuing a card’s worth. But what does POP mean and how can it be used when trading sports cards? 

Well, that answer can be found in the article below, where we have compiled some useful information concerning sports cards and their POP status. 

So if you want to learn more about sports cards, this article has everything you need to get started…

What Does POP Mean?

In sports cards, POP is short for population and is used by collectors to determine how many cards there are in circulation.

For instance, a card with POP 1 PSA 10 would mean that there is only one in existence graded at a PSA 10. While a card with POP 10 would mean there are 10 cards and so on. 

For this reason, low POP refers to the low population of a certain card, which means it can be harder to find in collector circles. 

Now we understand that this could sound a little confusing since it transforms sports cards into questions. But it remains a common practice among collectors and is used to determine how many cards are available. 

For instance, say you obtained a notable card and wanted to learn more about its value, you would need to have the card graded, which means you would also need to choose a grade company, whether that be PSA or BGS. 

However, if you decide not to grade the card, you can still learn more about its value through its population, which can be accessed via the steps below: 

How To Determine POP 

When it comes to choosing a company, it’s important to remember that the overall process can vary depending on the service you choose. 

For instance, there are some companies that require a lot of information to obtain the data you need, while others are able to locate the card with a few simple clicks.

In the section below, we have outlined how you can check the POP of your sports cards with companies such as PSA, BGS, and SGC. 


If you decide to use PSA, you will need to access the website and locate the search bar, which should be available on the main screen. 

Once you have found the search bar, you can enter the card or athlete you want to research, which should result in the POP of the card. From these results, you should be able to find the card in question and the data associated with it. 

But what does this data mean? Well, in this case, the numbers associated with the card will translate to: 

  • Total cards graded: 75
  • PSA 6: 1 card 
  • PSA 7: 1 card 
  • PSA 9: 13 cards 
  • PSA 10: 60 cards 

Sounds simple? If so, then you can use this method to determine the value of the sports card. 

However, if you are interested in another card and know the certificate number, then you can use the website to authenticate the card and check the POP.

This can be done by accessing the main website and entering the certificate number, which is often located in the top corner of the sports card. 

Once the information has been verified, you should see the respective data, which correlates with the numbers above: 


If you understand how to use PSA, then you should have no problem with BGS, as both companies use similar methods. 

Go to the main website and create an account or log in. Once you have gained access, you can locate the search bar and enter the desired card’s information. This should display the card’s data and POP. 

What Does Pop Mean In Sports Cards (1)

However, it’s important to note that BGS uses a different scale than PSA, which means you can obtain the same data but through other methods. 

  • Total graded cards: 20
  • 8.5: 2
  • 9.0: 2
  • 9.5: 16

Beyond this, you can also use the service to search for a specific card via its serial number. All you need to do is access this website and enter the serial number into the search bar, which should display the results. 


We won’t spend too much time discussing SGC, as the service uses a similar method to determine a card’s data and POP. 

All you need to do is access the main website and input the card’s authentication code. This should result in the card’s details being displayed on your screen, along with the option to load set POP report. 

Once this option has been selected, the table will load each card in the set and the different POPs of each one. 

While this process is rather simple, it can still be a little confusing, as certain questions and terms will also need to be addressed. However, once you understand how to check the POP, it can be done in seconds. 

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to sports cards, the term POP is used to refer to a card’s population, which means the number of cards in existence.

This data can be used to grade a certain card, as those with limited numbers could be more valuable than those that are readily available.

For this reason, POP is an important factor when collecting sports cards, as it could determine the worth of your collection. 

Checking a card’s POP can be done using various companies and services, as the overall process does not require too much data or knowledge.

In fact, most websites will only need the card’s reference number to determine its POP and any other necessary information that could have an impact on its value and grades. 

So if you want to determine the value of your sports cards, the POP can make this process much easier.

Bruno Breen

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