Grading Submission Instructions
- Choose your collectibles to be graded
CGA grades most action figures, collectible dolls, die-cast vehicles, and video games. Depending on the age, condition, and category of your item(s), our requirements may differ slightly. Please read What’s Eligible for Grading before sending your submission.
- Fill out our Submission Form
Download submission forms here. Please be aware that CGA requires minimum declared values for certain items. The submission form is designed to help you calculate the appropriate tiers and grading costs for your items, as well as to provide a record of the items you’ve submitted and the respective insurance values for both your reference and CGA’s.
- Make sure to complete the contact information including shipping and billing details, as this information will be used for your return shipment.
- Determine which service tiers you wish to submit under by referencing our Pricing and Tier Codes.
- Divide your items into groups if you have multiple service tiers and turnaround times. Please specify whether you’d like them shipped back together or separately. Separate shipments will need to have return shipping costs calculated for each.
- Mail your collectibles to us along with payment for the grading services
Follow our Packaging Recommendations to help ensure safe delivery of your collectibles to our grading facility. We do not offer in-house appointments at this time.
- CGA will grade your items and ship them back
Our turnaround times have been altered and will be not guaranteed until further notice. This turnaround time does not include transit times to or from our facility. Return shipments will be sent via USPS or UPS at the customer’s discretion and will be insured for the total of the declared values of the submitted toys. Return shipments with total values over $500 will require Signature Confirmation at time of delivery.
Submission Form Definitions and Detailed Instructions
Year refers to the year of production for packaged items, or in most cases, the year stamped into the toy for loose items.
Company refers to the manufacturer of each item.
Series or System refers to either the toy line or video game platform associated with each item.
Details refers to specific information associated with your item. For example, the card-back or specific release, whether loose or bagged, and any other relevant information you'd like to include.
Name (& variation) refers to the specific name of your toy or game, and any applicable variation that you'd like us to consider including on the label*. *While it is helpful to list a desired variation, we may not recognize every variation as valid by our standards.
Item Grading/Casing Specifics In some cases, you may want to include special instructions if applicable. Here are some words used to provide some of the more common types of casing specifics:
- For loose items the items should be sent with their corresponding accessory and should not be sealed in factory packaging/bags.
- For a limited number of modern items which have additional factory clamshell packaging in addition to standard retail packaging, such as Star Wars VOTC and certain Star Wars and GI Joe exclusives, the words in clamshell should only be written if you would like an item graded in the plastic clamshell, and understand that it will be billed under a higher custom tier level.
- For action figures and dolls which have a flap designed to open and close, the word flap open or flap closed should be used to designate how an item should be cased. Different custom tier levels may apply depending on this option which can significantly change the size of the case required. The closed flap option cannot be used for dolls such as vintage Star Wars which are designed to be displayed with the flap open. This option should only be used for items which were exclusively shipped and sold at retail with the flap closed. If no option is chosen, we will grade and case your item with the flap open, as this is by far the more displayable option.
Fair Market Value refers to the estimated fair market value of your item and your maximum insurance coverage in case of damage. Certain items may be required to be declared with a minimum value as set forth on CGAs Minimum Declared Values web page.
Tier Code & Tier Cost Please refer to CGAs Complete Pricing & Tier Code Schedule to determine which service tiers apply to your items, as well as the correct tier codes and applicable pricing.
Optional Upgrades You can choose to add optional services to most grading tiers. Optional services should be noted as follows:
- Clean To have your item(s) gently cleaned to remove dirt, dust, frost, and debris, and when applicable attempt to gently remove sticker residue left behind on packaging, please write $10 (the cost for cleaning one item) in the Clean column. Please be aware that we must consider the safety of your item over results. Therefore residue, dirt and debris will not always be removed. We will gently clean each item the best that we can, but results cannot be guaranteed. We strongly recommend cleaning all items prior to sending them in if you desire a more in-depth and extensive cleaning. For sticker removal, please include a special request as this is a separate service.
- Grading Summary Report– A handwritten report that includes a diagram in order to assist you in locating specific flaws. All reports are stamped with our official seal of authenticity. An item is eligible to receive a Grading Summary only when it is sent to CGA for either grading or re-casing. To receive a Grading summary, please write $20-$25 (the cost of one Grading Summary) in the Report column.
- UV To upgrade the acrylic material used to construct the display case for any graded item from standard high quality acrylic with some UV protection to UF-5 (or comparable) archival high quality acrylic with maximum UV protection, please write the cost of the UV-upgrade in the UV column. Cost varies greatly based on the size and type of a given item. Current pricing can be found on CGAs Complete Pricing & Tier Code Schedule, and ranges based on the size of your item.
Total Cost Add the Price you’ve listed in the Tier Cost column for each item with the prices listed in the optional upgrade columns for each item, when applicable. If you haven’t added any of the optional upgrades, simply write the Tier Cost amount again in this column.
Quantity If a line item applies to only one specific item, please write 1 in the Quantity column. If there are multiple examples of an identical item referenced on one submission list line, please write the total quantity of that specific item in this column.
Total Multiply the total cost of services for an item by the item quantity to determine the amount to be included in the Total column.
Calculate Total Insurance Value by adding the Insured / Fair Market Values you’ve assigned to each item together and writing the sum of those values in the space provided at the bottom of the Fair Market Value column. The insurance cost is $1 per $100 fair market value declared.
Total Quantity of Items refers to the total number of individual items referenced on a particular submission list page. This number can be calculated by simply adding all numbers in the Quantity column together.
Total Grading Cost from this form refers to the total grading and optional service costs associated with items listed on a particular submission list page only. This amount can be calculated by simply adding all entries in the Total (Cost x Qty) column together.
In Case or Refusal for Grading Please instruct CGA on how to handle items which are refused for grading due to tampering, restoration, or any other reason which makes the authenticity or original status questionable. Because CGA has already provided complete grading services at the point of refusal, applicable grading fees will not be refunded regardless of the option chosen. You can choose to either have a refused item returned uncased/ as-is (default) or choose to have a sliding bottom acrylic case made for your item. In that case, an additional fee of between $5 and $50 will be assessed as outlined on the bottom of the submission list page.
Choose your label style Please select either Classic Label Style or Clear View Label Style for your graded items. The Classic Label is a smaller label placed on the inner side of the case which is not directly visible from the front. The Classic Label style is mostly preferred by Vintage Action Figure collectors. The Clear View Label is a larger label placed inside the case above a graded item which is directly visible from the front. This label is mainly preferred by Modern Action figure collectors, Video Game and VHS collectors If you wish to select different label styles for different items on your submission list, please write Classic or Clear View in the Item Grading / Casing Specifics column specific to each item or in the Additional Notes.
Qualified Scale refers to items that show signs of previously being opened or items with autographs on. We are looking for the following criteria:
- AFA/ CDA/ DCA: tampered factory tape (cut, re-glued, double-tapped, etc.). Signs of previously opened boxes.
- VGA : reseals (aftermarket shrink wrap, re-glued cellophane/sticker, etc.). Signs of previously opened games.
CGA is offering the option of inspecting the contents of the item. If the contents are found to be in new and complete condition a Qualified Certificate will be released stating this information and a grade will be assigned under our Qualified Grading Scale. If this option is chosen then the item must be processed accordingly in order to receive a grade. If not, the item will be subject to refusal and the refusal options will apply.
- For ALL items with autographs CGA does not authenticate signatures; however, the item can be considered for grading on the Qualified Scale so the autograph will not be considered a flaw. A Qualified Certificate will be released indicating that the autograph was neither authenticated nor factored into the final grade.