Now Accepting PSA Submissions

Freqently Asked Questions

Answers to All Your Questions

Card grading is extremely precise and occasionally complex. Each collector has their own reasons for why and how they have their cards evaluated. We have answered common questions below, but if you don’t find what you’re looking for, please reach out to us…

What is card grading?

Card grading is the process of providing collectable trading cards with authentication, encapsulation and a quality score or ‘grade’ that is based on the card’s condition.

The score is typically on a scale of 1-10, based on several values relating to a card’s state. The better a card’s condition, the higher the score and ultimately the higher the value of said card.

Who do you work with?

We currently offer grading services through Beckett Grading Services (BGS), CGC, SGC & PSA.

All four organisations operate from the USA and we serve customers across the UK & Europe to access their services.

You can submit cards to any grader. If you wish to submit cards to more than one grading company, you must create separate orders. PSA is managed and handled in a different UK location to our Beckett, CGC & SGC orders. Please get in touch for more information.

Why should I get my cards graded?

You may want to get your cards graded for several reasons. By grading your cards, you can:

  •  Provide authenticity that a card is legitimate.
  •  Increase the card’s value to buyers and collectors.
  •  Get peace of mind that your card will be protected forever as once the card is returned, it will be encapsulated in a secure casing.

Of course, there are many other reasons you may wish to grade your cards.

How do I grade my cards?

To grade your cards, using Black Label Grading services, simply follow the steps below:

1) Decide which cards you would like to submit for grading.

2) Choose your service level  and grading company.

3) Place your order through our online ordering portal, make payment and follow the instructions on the screen.

4) Package your cards securely (please always use clear penny sleeves).

5) Send your cards WITH your order number to the address provided.

6) Once we receive your cards, we will send you confirmation via email.

All submissions need to be sent with an order number. Please note we ask for payment upfront. If you need further advice, please contact us.

Please do not include any personal information in your package. We try our best to dispose of all personal data accordingly but cannot guarantee this.

Can I submit from outside the UK?

Yes, we welcome submissions from customers outside of the UK.

For customers submitting cards from Europe, please visit our European Hub page for further information.

For customers outside of Europe, please get in touch for further information.

What insurance does Black Label Grading provide?

Black Label Grading provides insurance for parcels during their transit to Beckett, CGC, SGC and PSA, covering instances of theft, loss, or damage. For all submissions, each card is insured based on its ungraded market value.

It’s important to note that for items returning from Beckett’s facility, Black Label Grading adopts a liability-based approach, rather than insurance, to cover the graded cards. This means we accept liability for physical loss or damage to the goods during the return journey, covering the market value of the graded card, relevant to its condition, up to a maximum of £1000. This approach ensures that while your items are not covered by traditional insurance upon return, they are still protected under our liability terms.

For CGC, SGC and PSA submissions, parcels are insured during transit, up to their market value. We utilize FedEx for all shipments to and from the United States, ensuring your items are transported securely. Please ensure you read our terms of trading for more detail on insurance and liability cover.

Upon their return to UK customers, items are dispatched via Royal Mail Tracked 24hr delivery, and for customers outside the UK, we use PostNL or DPD. This ensures a secure and efficient delivery process for your graded items.

When will I receive my cards back?

Dependent on the service level you have chosen, your cards may take a few weeks to a few months to be returned to you. We endeavour to process your cards as quickly as possible, however we must also consider seasonality and volume. We will communicate with you throughout the process, to ensure you know at what stage your cards are in their journey.

Below outlines the core Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for each step in our process:

1.   Processing

We aim to process all our orders within 5-7 working days after the submission deadline.

2.   Shipping to Grader

We allow 3-5 working days for shipping.

3.   Grading

Dependent on the service level and Grading Service chosen, the turnaround time will vary.

Beckett turnaround times can be found here.
Please contact us for current CGC turnaround times.

4.   Shipping back to BLG

We allow 5-10 working days for shipping back to the UK.

5.   Returns

We will ship your cards back to you within 5 working days.

We are committed to adhering to strict SLAs to get your cards back to you as soon as possible. However, sometimes there are delays in the grading process. As we are working as an intermediary, Black Label Grading cannot be held responsible for any delays due to the grader or shipping company.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes, we offer payment plans through Klarna. There is a minimum spend of £300 to use this service and all terms can be found here.

Order Platform Status

Each customer gets a status update on where their cards are in their journey. This update is sent via email on a monthly basis. You can view your status at ANY time by logging into your account.

There are multiple statuses we report on. Please find a description on each below. Please note timings at each stage varies and we cannot say when your submission is likely to progress.

1. Shipped to grader

The cards have left our facility and are on their way to your chosen grader.

2. At grader awaiting processing

The cards have been received by the grader and have been logged onto the system.

3. At grader in verification

Here each card is verified i.e. experts ensure they are correctly identified. Paperwork is then created based on the identification, submission number and due date. Personal information is removed at this stage to ensure anonymity when grading.

4. At grader awaiting grading

Cards are sent to a secure repository (the vault) to sit and await grading.

5. Graded

Well, this one is fairly self-explanatory. Your cards have been graded and will be returned shortly after.

6. In transit to BLG

The cards have been shipped back to Black Label Grading. You will get a notification once we have received them. Although this is exciting, please do not contact us to check if we’ve received the cards – this is done automatically on the day they arrive at our facility.

Once they are ready for dispatch your status will say ‘ready for dispatch’ and they will be sent via Royal Mail signed delivery in the next 5 working days. Tracking information will be sent to your email.

For those who have sent us cards through our EU Hub, you will have a couple of extra steps in the process. This is because the cards go through our HQ in the UK before they ship to and from the USA. Once the cards have been dispatched from our head office back to the EU Hub, your status will read ”dispatched to hub”.

What are Upcharges?

On occasion, additional charges, known as upcharges, may apply to your PSA, or CGC returns when the graded value of a card exceeds the maximum declared value for the submitted tier. These upcharges are directly passed on to you at the current market exchange rate without any markup. It’s important to note that we cannot predict these charges in advance, as they are significantly influenced by the grading outcome. Both PSA and CGC operate under the same policy, ensuring there are no penalties for submissions in lower tiers, only the difference in cost will be billed.

SGC may charge upcharge for older cards (pre 2000) if they exceed the maximum declared value of the tier. The same rules apply as above in these instances.

An admin fee of £1 per card will be added to each upcharge to cover our costs.

Submission Countdown

We submit cards monthly to Beckett, PSA, CGC & SGC. Please get your cards to us before the deadline to ensure your cards are sent off in time. This month’s submission deadline is:

July 26, 2024

July 19, 2024