Helpful Hints for Scoring Higher Grades

  • Clean off all dust, debris, dirt, and residue from your packaged and loose items before sending in your submission. The safest way to do this is with a dry cloth or a very mild (and quickly evaporating) cleaning solution. We cannot endorse any specific cleaning solution directly because misuse and overuse of any product can damage your collectibles. However, most collectors recommend and are happy with a product called ‘Goo Gone’ which quickly evaporates. Please be advised that only the smallest amount should ever be used, and ‘Goo Gone’ should not be confused with ‘Goo Gone Spray Gel’ which is much denser and does not evaporate well. We would absolutely NOT recommend using ‘Goo Gone Spray Gel’ on any cardboard surface. We recommend you thoroughly research what solvent will best remove dirt, debris, and residue without harming your collectibles.

  • When reviewing your modern items before submitting them, look for the following common flaws which are often missed:
    • Small cracks and tears in the cellophane or corners which have worn through the cellophane.
    • Creases or light stresses visible on the item’s surface. It may be necessary to tilt your item in the light to view light stresses.

  • Items pulled from sealed factory cases will usually exhibit minor flaws, and at times moderate to severe flaws.

  • If you have an item which is valuable to you either monetarily or otherwise, we recommend that you double box it when sending it to be graded.

  • Carefully inspect all boxed items for double-tape (i.e. 2 layers of tape with the bottom layer cut). Items can be double-taped at the factory, but there is no way for us to verify where and when the bottom tape was cut and a second piece of tape placed over it. We will only grade double-taped items when pulled directly from factory sealed cases and in certain rare instances when the vast majority of a particular item came from the factory that way.

  • If you are submitting items for grading under the qualified scale, be sure to confirm that all items include complete and unused contents, including the unused item and parts, inserts, documentation, paperwork, and sticker sheets when applicable.

  • Be sure to use the appropriate declared value for each item on your submission form. This value is the maximum compensation you will receive in case of damage. This value should represent the value you would place on your item after it has been graded and is ready to ship back to you. It should also include all costs such as shipping and grading fees associated with the item.