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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.

What partners do you work with?
We currently work with Beckett Grading Services (BGS) & CGC.

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

You can submit cards to either grader. If you wish to submit cards to both grading companies, you must create two separate orders. You can send them in the same parcel but please clearly indicate which order is for which.

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, following 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 an invoice with instruction for payment.

All submissions need to be sent with an order number. Please note we will only ask for payment once your cards have been received and processed. 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 will insure parcels when in transit to and from Beckett and CGC. This covers theft, loss or damage of items whilst in transit.

Each individual card within a parcel sent to Beckett is insured for its ungraded value. Items returning from Beckett are insured for their graded value (up to a maximum value of £1000 per card).

Black Label Grading use Fedex shipping to and from America.

Items returned to customers in the UK will be sent via Royal Mail signed for delivery.

Items returned to customers outside the UK will be sent via PostNL or DPD.

 

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.

BGS status explained

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”.

Opal service – $400 limit explained

The Opal Service is Beckett’s Collector’s Special Service. This is our most affordable service and has the same turnaround time as the Pearl Service (Bulk BGS Service). However to be eligible for this service, your ungraded card value must have a maximum value of $400.

If your ungraded (raw) card is worth more than $400, BGS or BLG will automatically upgrade your service to Pearl and you will be charged the additional fee.

We recommend looking at eBay sold listings to identify the cards value before submitting.

Submission Countdown

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

March 1, 2024

March 22, 2024