What did you ask us?
Creating a FAQ page is a pleasure for us, because we have received many questions from you. We tried to be the most precise and comprehensive in the pages of this website, but we still receive a lot of questions about our service. Therefore, here are the answers to everything you have been asking.
How does the service work?
In summary the service works like this:
0) you decide whether to bring the cards to a store or place an order directly on the website. The list of all sales points is here. If you decide to bring the cards in person to a store, you will do everything at the store, you don't have to place an online order or pay for the shipments: you will simply place the order together with our associate directly at the point of sale. If you want to make the order directly on our website, keep on reading.
1) you place an order on our site on the Order page on which you decide the Service Level (Standard, Digital or Authenticity), decide if you want couriers for the shipments (dispatch, return, insurance), and create a list of cards you want to send us (one or more). For each card you will have to write the full name of the card. Finally, you make your payment or, if you are in the area around Milan and you want to bring them yourself, you can choose payment directly at the store.
2) at the end of the order the system gives you a PDF file with a prefilled label to print. Please print it out.
3) you then prepare a package with the cards you entered in your order (please, remember to prepare the package with great care to avoid damage; here you can find the instructions for a well-done package) and then attach the label. NB: top loaders are returned, but boxes (cardboard, metal or other materials) are thrown away, they are not returned.
4) if you asked for a courier you can then call support (phone: 02 87393016 - from Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm) to arrange a time and date for package pickup. If you have chosen dispatch "no" you bring the package to the store or use your courier.
5) as soon as the package arrives at our location a check will be carried out to verify that the order is correct (the cards in the package correspond to the cards in the order). If the order is regular, the processing days count will start and an email will be sent to you with the expected delivery date for your order.
6) The cards in process are analyzed, they're graded and finally certified and encapsulated in the case and arranged in the return package. As soon as the order is concluded, you will receive an email informing you that the order is ready.
7) After the "order completed" email the package is ready. If you have chosen the return courier, it means that the next day the package will be delivered to the courier, otherwise you can come to pick it up in person or send your courier to get the package.
What kinds of cards do you certify?
We certify any type of collectible card in all languages, so obviously also Italian, as long as it is within the standard measures of the collectible card format within 68mm x 90mm x 1mm.
Can you help me evaluate the best cards in my collection?
Yes, but only in general terms. In fact we cannot give an assessment of the market value. GRAAD can analyze a list of cards and advise on which aones re worthy of being graded and which ones are not. To evaluate the opportunity to grade a card there are several aspects, qualitative and collecting ones. Considering these aspects we recommend reading our guides before (guide to self-assessment to evaluate the quality range, and increased value guide to assess the ratio between average market value and grade). This will help you make a first selection if the collection is very wide.
The best way is to come in person in one of our official sales points:
List of official sales points
At a point of sale you can check the collection together with the staff and choose the most suitable cards to be certified and sold. You can also place the order directly at the store.
If instead you are not near one of our stores you can take a picture of your collection (in each image put at least 9 cards, like the sheet of an album), then you can send all the photos to the email firstname.lastname@example.org, finally you can call support (from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 19:00, at number 02 87 393 016). The staff can indicate the best cards and also guide you in your first order on the site.
Our help therefore consists in analyzing the list of your cards and picking up those that, for various reasons, (low price, poor rarity, poor value over time, etc) would not receive great advantages if they were graded, and those that, instead, if graded, would get more or less a high added value.
How much does it cost?
The base cost of the Standard service is € 15 per card, but we also have discounts for orders in which you send many cards, and then optional and other service levels, as shown in the services and prices page.
The base cost of the Authentication only service is 10 € per card, while the cost of the Digital service is € 50 per card.
The base service Speed for an order is 15-20 working days starting from the date of arrival of the package to us (thus excluding the days for round-trip transport).
However, while ordering you can decide to shorten the processing times to 10 or to 5 days by paying an additional cost per card, as shown on the services and prices page.
To avoid delays we have implemented a calendar booking system that will appear by clicking on the button "check delivery times". You will find said button in your Order Summary as soon as you enter the first card of your order.
When clicking on the "check delivery times" button, the Delivery Time Calendar will appear on your screen. In the Calendar you'll be able to see how many working days your package will take to be completed. Please remember that the Calendar will take in consideration working days only, from tuesday to saturday. The count will start from the day after your package reaches our warehouse.
Your package will be sent back to you the day after the whole grading process is completed.
Example: a 15 day processing package arrives on Tuesday 1st January at our place. Processing starts on Wednesday 2nd and continues for 15 working days (2nd Wed, 3rd Thu, 4th Fri, 5th Sat - 8th Tue, 9th Wed, 10th Thu, 11th Fri, 12th Sat, 15th Tue, 16th Wed, 17th Thu, 18th Fri, 19th Sat). It is delivered to the courier on the following (working) day, so Tuesday 22nd January.
You will not need to write us to ask when your order is going to be ready:
1) the system sends an automatic email when your package arrives at our offices and you will find the exact calculation of the delivery date (the precise date can only be calculated starting from the actual date of the delivery of the package).
2) in your Reserved Area, by clicking on "Your Orders" you can check the current status of your order.
3) when the order processing is completed, we will send an additional "order completed" email that informs you that the order is ready and will be picked up by the courier the next day or, if you have chosen the in person pickup, it means you can come because your package is waiting for you.
What are the delivery / shipping options?
While ordering you can decide whether or not to include shipping, both forward and return, with a courier we will book for you. Here are your options:
- Online order and delivery in person in Milan
- Online order and shipping to Milan with our courier
- Online order and shipping to Milan with your courier
- Order in one of our affiliated stores and delivery in person at a store.
Delivery in person in Milan: you can deliver directly at the package check-in at Pianeta Hobby store, Via Ruggero Leoncavallo No. 15, 20131 - MILAN. In this case you can place your order online. You can come from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 7pm all day.
Shipping to Milan with our courier:
forward shipment: if while ordering you include forward shipment, our courier will pick-up the package at the address you specified, you will just need to call support to arrange date and day for the pick-up and we will organize the rest. As soon as the order is completed, prepare the package, print and attach the pre-filled label that you can download in PDF format at the end of the order, finally call support to arrange date and time for package pick-up. NB: until you call the procedure to book the courier does not start, so please remember to call our support.
return shipping: just like forward shipment, if you include return shipping, as soon as the order processing is completed, we will book a courier to deliver the package with the certified cards at the address you indicated in your order. If instead you have not included the shipment you will be notified by e-mail that your order is complete and you can decide whether to come pick up the package in person at our store or have it picked up by a courier of your choice.
Shipping to Milan with your courier: if you prefer to use a courier of your choice, opt to not include any shipping options in the order. After completing your order please print the PDF label and attach it to the package. On the label you will find our address, so you can deliver the package to us. NB: remember that we cannot collect packages at Post Offices so avoid to use services provided by your local Post Office because if they try to deliver the package while we're closed we will not be able to collect your package.
Affiliated Shops: if you bring the cards to a store (click here: list of affiliated stores) you can bring the cards in person and you won't need to order online because you will do it directly in the affiliated store. Your cards will be sent directly from the affiliated store to our offices in Milan.
What should I do if I included the courier for forward shipment?
If in the order you have included our courier for the forward shipment (to transport the package from your home to our processing place) all you have to do is to arrange date and time for package pick-up by calling number 02 87 393 016, from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 19:00. At that point the courier will take your package on the arranged day.
If you have chosen to include our courier you can also take out additional transport insurance that will cover any problems (theft, loss) caused by the courier during transport. If a package is not insured there are no refunds for damages, loss and theft during transport.
Our insurance is a specific insurance that covers with certainty the specific transport of collectible items. The basic insurance has a fixed cost of 5 € regardless of the number and value of the cards in the package and covers a maximum value of € 1000.
If you are interested in an higher insurance you can pick one of the other main options (1000€, 2000€, 3000€) or the higher than 3000€ option that covers a maximum value of 30,000€
How to package the cards?
If you have chosen a courier and want to know which is the correct way to protect your cards during transport, we have written a brief guide that can help you, here it is: preparation of the package
Are top loaders going to be returned to me? And the box?
Yes, top loaders are returned in the return package. The box you use to send the package is not preserved. So consider using a disposable, rigid, but not valuable box. Even if you use metal, tin boxes or other types of rigid boxes (solution often used by those who send one or two cards to protect them), remember that the boxes are removed and thrown away, they are not returned.
Online order: who should I send / bring the package to?
If you have chosen to place an order online, the dispatch (or delivery) address of the package is printed on the PDF prefilled label which the system will make you download at the end of an order. You can also find the prefilled label in your Reserved Area. In any case our address is Via Ruggero Leoncavallo No. 15, 20131 - MILAN.
The package check-in is active from Tuesday to Saturday, all day from 10am to 7pm.
Online order: what if i make mistakes?
With our new, implemented system your order will not be cancelled if, while entering your cards, you accidentally or intentionally refresh the webpage or close the browser. Your incompleted order will still be there, waiting for you, when you come back.
To continue entering cards for an incompleted order you can click to "Order". There you'll find the draft of your incompleted order. You can then decide to add new cards or delete previously entered ones.
Please check thoroughly your order before confirming it. Once the order is "Confirmed" you will not be able to edit your entered cards anymore. At this point, if you have made mistakes, you will have to make a new order.
Order at a store: where should I go?
If you are not in Milan or prefer not to send your cards and want to deliver the cards to an official affiliated store, see the list of active sales points.
List of official sales points
If you go to visit our store in Milan, you can decide whether to place the order there at the same time or do it earlier, through our online form. If you decide to order online please remember to select "no" for forward shipment. If you would like to pick-up your order in person as well, please select "no" for return shipping as well.
If you decide to go to any other store, you must place the order directly in the affiliated shop.
Who do I turn to if I have doubts or questions?
You turn to our customer service and support. From Tuesday to Saturday, all day from 10:00 to 19:00, you can call support at number
02 873 930 16
or, at any time, you can write to the email email@example.com
We are at your disposal to respond to any type of question relating to our services.
I have completed an order and prepared the package, how do I book the courier's pick-up?
To book a courier pick-up, if you have selected shipping with us, you must call support at 02 873 930 16 to arrange with a staff member date and time for package pickup. You can call from Tuesday to Saturday, all day from 10:00 to 19:00.
Take in mind that we will need weight and measuraments of the package to successfully book the pick-up.
What happens in the event of fake cards?
If a card turns out to be fake GRAAD inserts it into a protective blister (it is not encapsulated in a case) with a label that defines it as fake. The card will be sent back to the owner along with the other cards belonging to the same order. The grading cost will not be refunded.
In the name of the card that I indicate in the order do I have to only put the name of the card or also the set? Or do you manage it yourselves?
The name you write during the order phase is only needed to let the staff understand the various indications relating to that card (type of certification, minimum grade, etc) but the expert will be the one inserting manually in the slab (ie the certificate's label) the official name, set, serial number, and all the card's data.
So you don't have to worry about that.
An important note valid only if you choose package insurance (with us or even with your courier!):
Let's assume something happens to the package, the expert from the insurance company uses the list of cards in the order to calculate the refund. Those who take out insurance should therefore fill in the cards' list in our order with care and precision. The more detailed the description (name + set + notes) of the single cards, the more accurate the refund. In fact if a generic "Charizard" name was the subject of the insurance company's evaluation, the expert would take the most convenient reference for the insurance, ie the one with the lowest market value. A specific name like "Charizard first edition 4/102 base set" forces the expert of the insurance company to take the market value of this type of Charizard and not another one of the many that are possible.
How does the authentication of signed cards work?
GRAAD has recently enstablished a collaboration with Associazione Autografia, an association specialized in autographs that will authenticate the autographed cards you will send us! Before this collaboration the authentication was limited to a very specific pool of signatures present in our dossier.
After receveing many requests about autograph authentication, we decided to start this collaboration to offer you the specialized service of an authoritative and competent association.
Signed cards can be of two types: cards with handmade autograph signature and cards with printed signature. If the signature is printed, it is simple and the card will be certified as usual, there is no need to do anything specific.
If the signature is autographed, all you need to do, while entering your order, is to check the box "optional - signature authentification".
Please take in mind that if you do not check the "optional - signature authentification" box and pay for the surcharge your card will be sent back to you without authentication.
Standard or digital certification and signed cards
If you request a standard or digital certification for a signed card these are the possible cases. If the card is genuine and the signature is also authentic, the card will be certified with a number in the grade's blank. Also the SGNT (signature) code and the name of the author of the signature will appear in the special codes' blank.
If the card is authentic but the signature is fake, the issued certificate will not have a numerical grade nor the SGNT acronym and it is certified as AA (authentic altered) because the fake signature is considered to be the same as a scribble with a marker. If the card is fake, it is returned without certification.
What do you do in case of printing errors or other particularities?
Each type of printing error will appear on the label as shown on this page:
error special codes and printing peculiarities
The wording will always be the one you read on the page indicated, but there will also be many more, more specific wordings to better describe the error/particularity in question. For this reason if you think a card should have an explicit wording, while ordering write the error you have identified in the card's notes and request it to be reported on the label. The staff will evaluate if the wording you propose is correct.
Is the cost of package insurance optional or mandatory?
Optional, ie while completing the form the user can decide to choose whether to include insurance on the return package. If you have also selected the "forward shipment", a double insurance cost will be calculated for dispatch and return.
Does it make sense to request insured shipping? If an insured package was lost, should you have documents proving the value of it?
Yes it makes sense, and no, no documents are needed to prove its value. The insurance that GRAAD offers you as an optional service while ordering is related to the transport of the package (shipping) and it is a specific insurance that covers with certainty the specific transport of collectible items (it's not a generic insurance since many couriers do not cover collectible cards).
The basic insurance has a fixed cost of €5 independentenly of the number and value of the cards in the package and covers a maximum of €1500 of value.
The actual refunded value will include the GRAAD service fee you paid in the order and the sum of the values of the cards in the package involved in the accident. The refunded value will be quantified by an expert of the insurance company based on the list of cards declared in the order on our website, consulting the average pricing of the cards on Cardmarket. The expert reserves the right to also implement other methods that they will deem appropriate to quantify the value. However, those who take out insurance should make sure to have filled in the cards' list in our order with care and precision. The more detailed the description (name + set + notes) of the single cards, the more accurate the refund.
Insurance covers loss, total and/or partial damage, total and/or partial theft, robbery, during transport. The insurance holder is GRAAD, so in the event of accidents we will carry out and follow the refund process and we will pay you the premium by bank transfer or Paypal as soon as we receive it.
If instead you want to send a package with cards that have a total value higher than €1500 you can insure a package up to a maximum of €30,000.
To make use of the insurance for values exceeding €1500 you must first calculate 1% of the insured value. So, for example, if you want to insure a package of €5000, the cost for each insured way will be €50, therefore €100 for dispatch and return.
Can the shipment be carried out only in a cardboard box or can you also ship in those classic yellow envelopes, with pluriball inside?
A package is certainly more solid than a yellow envelope, so it is advisable. The dispatch of the package from you to us can be carried out with methods and protections at your discretion, but GRAAD strongly recommends following the package shipment instructions, to maximize protection of the cards during transport.
Is there the possibility to bring the cards in person to a location?
At the moment GRAAD is operatively partnered with Pianeta Hobby, in Milan. Daniele Sarriano, owner of the store, is also our head expert and certification supervisor. Therefore it is possible for us to receive a physical delivery (and the relative withdrawal) only at Pianeta Hobby, Via Ruggero Leoncavallo 15, Milan.
An appointment is not required but before coming you must complete your order online, on the order page.
In your order page you can select "no" for forward and/or return shipment, an option thought for those who want to personally carry out delivery and/or withdrawal of the package. Of course, if you choose this method, you will fill out the order by paying only the cost of the processing of the cards.
Does the service also include the cleaning of the cards?
Our service only includes a very delicate cleaning of dust that can be removed gently with a completely dry cloth, so only surface dirt is removed but the particles that stick to the surface, stains or other forms of dirt that adhere to the card are not going to be removed because it would imply a much longer and difficult treatment. There are ways to clean up the cards, but if you don't know the techniques and the right way to remove different types of dirt well enough, it's easy to ruin the cards. Therefore GRAAD never risks ruining a card. If you are interested to know what are the best cleaning techniques when dealing with cleaning cards in first person, there are several online resources.
Here are some tutorials
remove black spots
cleaning in general
Is there an affiliate plan?
Yes, we have developed a plan for professionals with VAT number and store owners who want to collaborate with GRAAD by organizing packages for their customers. To submit your candidacy to GRAAD and enter our affiliate plan you must write an email to
indicating your data (name, surname, company name, VAT n., email and telephone contact details). You will be contacted as soon as possible.
If the card does not reach the minimum grade, do I pay full price for the not-encapsulated card?
Yes, you will still pay the price in full because most of the cost of the service is linked to the evaluation procedure which is still performed until the end (the card is still graded) with the exception of the encapsulation. We therefore, for a card that does not reach the minimum required grade asked by the user, we give the possibility to choose whether to encapsulate it as authentic or to not encapsulate it at all.
Before the encapsulation procedure, do you send an email with the cards' ratings to the owner?
We send an email, but only after encapsulating. The email that will be automatically sent to the user at the end of the processing of the package is sent when the staff labels the order as "completed". In the email you will find the order's cards' list and for each card you will see the unique verification number. It will be up to you to decide whether to wait for the package to enjoy the surprise or run to our website immediately and check the grades received by consulting the digital certificates. Please remember that at that point the card is already encapsulated. For this exact reason we first give the user (during the order phase) the possibility of deciding the minimum grade acceptable and to tell us if for each card that does not reach the minimum requirement if they want to encapsulate it as authentic or not encapsulate.
How can I pay if I do not have PayPal?
If you don't have PayPal you can choose to pay via any credit card accepted by PayPal (Mastercard, Discover, Visa, Maestro, Carta Aura, American Express).
Just click on the "Pay with a credit card" button when entering your order.
Where do I find the PDF label for the shipment?
Normally the system at the end of the order allows you to download the PDF label to print and then attach to the package. On the label you will find the sender's address (yours) and the destination's address (ours). If for some reason you can't download it immediately, you can find it by going to the reserved area (1), then click on your orders (2) finally when you open the orders' list, click on the "label" button (3).
Where do i fin the list of my certificates?
Log in in your Rerved Area and then click on the "my certificates" button. There you will find the full list of your certificates and you will be able to filter them by "order number" or "unique code". If you decide to sell one or more of your cards to someone else, in this area you will also be able to transfer the ownership of the certificates.
Where do i find my sub-grades?
The sub-grades are only visible to the buyer or the owner of the certificate.
1) login in
2) go to "verify" or visit your Reserved Area/My Certificates and click on the unique code you're interested in.
3) there, if you are the buyer or the owner of the certificate, you'll be able to see the sub-grades.
What's the difference between buyer and owner?
If you log in and visit you Reserved Area/ My Certificates you will see the full list of the certificates that belongto you as a buyer or as an owner (or both).
Buyer (dollar bill icon): If you buy a certificate from GRAAD you are, at the same time, buyer and owner of said certificate.
When the buyer transfer the property (see below for full instructions) of the certificate, the buyer will stop being the owner of the certificate: the ownership will be transferred to someone else. The buyer will still be able to see the certificate.
Owner (rosette icon): if you receive property of a certificate by buying it from someone else, you will be able to see the private contents of the certificate. (such as sub-votes). If you transfer the property of a certificate, but you are not the buyer, you will no longer see said certificate in your Reserved Area and you will no longer have access to the private content of the certificate..
How do i transfer property of a certificate? Where do i find the user code?
To receive property (as a buyer of an authenticated card) you will first need to be registrated on our website. You will see your user code in your Reserved Area. At this poing all you have to do is send your user code to the seller you're buying the certificate from.
To transfer property (as a seller of an authenticated card), after received the user code from the buyer, you will just need to access you Reserved Area, click on "My Certificates" and then on "Transfer Ownership".
Insert the user code and click on the "Verify user code" button to see if the code is correct and actually corresponds to the buyer.
Once you've found the certificate you would like to transfer, just select it and click on "transfer certificate". The user you have selected is now the owner of the certificate.