FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


These are some of the most frequently asked questions from members. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us.

General Information FAQs
Grading Services FAQs
Membership FAQs

General Information FAQs

Grading Services FAQs

Membership FAQs


GENERAL INFORMATION FAQs

Q: Why does CGC use different colored labels and what do they mean?

A: CGC uses different colored labels to easily demarcate each grade category. CGC labels can be blue, green, purple or yellow, and are described on the label description page.

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Q: What is restoration?

A: Restoration is treatment intended to return a magazine to a known or assumed state by adding non-original material. Detected restoration is always disclosed on the CGC certification label. Non-additive procedures, such as pressing, dry cleaning and tape removal, are not classified as restoration by CGC. Trimmed magazines are given an apparent grade, and, in accordance with CGC's policy, are encapsulated with CGC's restored label.

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Q: How will I know if a magazine has had restoration?

A: CGC has the industry's top team of restoration detection professionals, led by Chris Friesen, Mark Haspel and Paul Litch. The restoration check is an integral part of the CGC grading team's review of your submission, and unlike other professional services that charge up to $100 for this service, it is included at NO EXTRA CHARGE in the CGC tier price.

When detected, restoration is specifically noted on the grading label, and is visible through a different colored label, the CGC Restored label. CGC assigns restored magazines an apparent grade, which includes a description of slight, moderate or extensive restoration. Buyers always know what they are getting with a CGC-certified magazine that has been restored.

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Q: Does CGC perform pressing or dry cleaning?

A: CGC does not perform pressing, dry cleaning or any similar treatments for magazines.

Please note that pressing and / or dry cleaning performed incorrectly or on a magazine exhibiting certain flaws — such as slightly brittle pages, weak spine, cover wear at staple and / or other defects — can damage the magazine and lower its grade.

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Q: Will your holder increase or decrease the safety of my magazine?

A: The CGC holder is designed to securely hold your magazine and provide years of protection from many environmental hazards. All of the materials used in the CGC holder are tested and proven to be archival-safe, and the holder is designed to be the first line of defense in a prudent plan for storage. Our research and design team created a holder that is truly unique and unrivaled for its protection and preservation of magazines.

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Q: What if I want to take my magazine out of your holder?

A: If a CGC-certified magazine has been removed from its holder, its grade is no longer applicable. But, the holder is designed to be opened carefully, allowing for safe removal should you wish to examine the interior. Because magazines are fragile, once our holder is opened, we recommend prompt re-certification of the magazine, as the CGC holder cannot be resealed after opening.

Collectors should remember that the process of certification is designed primarily as a tool for buying and selling that establishes standards in grading consistency for the hobby. Many collectors prefer to leave magazines in their holders for their protection, and to enhance their liquidity if they decide to sell. Leaving the magazine in its original CGC holder would preclude the need for re-certification and will retain the protective strengths of the holder.

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Q: Why should I return a label of an opened or "cracked out" certified magazine?

A: By sending certification labels from magazines removed from our holder, you help us to keep an accurate census of certified magazines and their grades. This information is a valuable tool for knowing the overall scarcity and relative grades of collectible magazines. Note that an online version of the CGC Magazines Census is forthcoming and not yet published.

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Q: Does CGC attend cons and trade shows?

A: Yes, we attend many major comic and magazine events, and when we do, CGC’s Customer Service and members of our grading team are available to answer your questions and accept magazine submissions. View our Events page for details.

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Q: CGC is described as independent and third-party. What does that mean?

A: CGC does not buy or sell magazines and does not have a financial interest in the magazines we certify. In fact, employees of CGC are prohibited from buying and selling collectibles commercially.

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GRADING SERVICES FAQs

Q: How do I submit magazines to CGC for certification?

A: There are a couple of ways. If you prefer to submit your magazines directly, you can join the CGC Collectors Society as a paid member. Your annual membership gives you direct submission privileges to CGC, as well as a number of other valuable benefits.

CGC also accepts submissions through a national network of Authorized Dealers. These dealers are permitted to submit magazines on behalf of collectors and other individuals.

More information on CGC Authorized Dealers and on magazine submission can be found on our How to Submit page.

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Q: When I submit my magazines, what assurance can you offer with regard to confidentiality and anonymity?

A: CGC will discuss the details of each transaction only with the original submitter in order to provide complete confidentiality for all parties. CGC will not release any information concerning the certification of your magazines, other than for inclusion in the CGC Census and certification verification lookup tool. As part of CGC’s internal processes, complete anonymity is also ensured by a system of internal checks and balances. Magazines receive generic barcoding upon receipt and our separate receiving department does not convey any information about the submitter to the graders. Therefore the magazine owner’s identity is also completely unknown to CGC graders.

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Q: How should I pack my magazines for shipping to CGC and how do I fill out the CGC submission form?

A: When you send magazines to CGC, we recommend that you take the normal precautions used for shipping your magazines through the US Postal Service (USPS).

Also, we encourage you to carefully and completely fill out the CGC submission form. You may view the submission form and accompanying instructions on our Instructions for Submitting page.

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Q: How long will it take for my magazines to be graded and how much will it cost?

A: Specific information on the costs and estimated turnaround times of CGC's various grading tiers is available on our Services and Fees page. This page is updated regularly with live information on the status of the current actual turnaround times.

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Q: If submitting from Canada, what is the procedure regarding customs?

A: As a Canadian submitter to CGC, the burden of proof that the magazines came from Canada falls on you. The best way to prevent this from being called into question is to visit your local customs office before shipping your submission and explain your intentions for these magazines — that they are yours and are being sent to the US for evaluation only. They will provide you with a form that should accompany your submission and, when the magazines are returned with this form, the package will not be called into question. If we are to receive a Canadian submission without this form, we will return the magazines with any claim stickers that were affixed to the original box. This has sometimes worked as proof that the magazines came from Canada. The value that we declare on the package is the amount paid for the grading of the magazines and they will be appropriately described as "Canadian goods being returned, shipped to US for evaluation only."

Per information received from Canadian customs, these instructions should exempt our Canadian customers from paying unnecessary customs duties. All applicable duties and fees are the responsibility of the submitter.

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Q: I live outside the US. How will you calculate my return shipping costs?

A: Return shipping to locations outside the US requires special duties and shipping charges. CGC will notify you of the special or additional shipping charges before your magazines are returned to you. If you have further questions, please contact CGC Customer Service at 877-662-6642.

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Q: What are your grading standards for magazines?

A: At CGC, we realize that magazine grading is an art that develops from years of experience, and while a consistently applied standard of grading eliminates much of the subjectivity and risk, grading itself IS NOT an exact science and remains subjective. That's why it is reasonable to expect that slight variances may exist between CGC grading standards and the standards of some dealers and collectors. CGC strives to consistently apply the most accurate grading standard to assure that the grades of magazines are properly represented to the widest possible audience.

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Q: Does CGC grade autographed magazines?

A: Yes! The prestigious CGC Signature Series label (yellow) is applied to magazines that have been signed by someone of significance to the magazine, or the particular issue, under the direct observation of a CGC employee or select CGC Authorized Witness. The signatures are authenticated by CGC and the labels indicate who signed the magazine, the date it was signed and, in some cases, the location where it was signed. If a magazine is signed without a CGC representative present, it will receive a Qualified label (green), and will receive a Qualified grade. No authentication of signature is provided for magazines that do not have a CGC Signature Series label. Learn more about the history of CGC Signature Series, begun by CGC Comics.

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Q: Does CGC certify sealed poly-bagged magazines?

A: NO — CGC does not certify sealed poly-bagged magazines. To have a poly-bagged magazine certified by CGC, you must remove the magazine from its poly-bag or send written approval authorizing CGC to remove it. The words “Poly-bag removed” appear on the CGC label.

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Q: What measures are taken to protect my magazines while they are at CGC?

A: In addition to vault storage, CGC uses state-of-the-art security and surveillance equipment, and only the most highly trained professionals who understand the unique handling requirements of magazines will handle your submissions. While at CGC, your magazines are always fully insured against theft or damage.

As an independent member of the Certified Collectibles Group (CCG), CGC benefits from the other member companies' decades of experience in thorough operations and careful handling of delicate collectibles. With the CCG companies successfully handling more than 100,000 fragile collectibles each month, you can be assured that we have the experience to treat your magazines with the respect and proper handling techniques to ensure their safety.

While CGC is responsible for the care of your magazines while they're with us, any damage that occurs during shipping to CGC or after the magazines leave our facility is your responsibility or that of the shipping company with whom you contract.

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Q: How do I know the magazine I'm buying was certified by CGC?

A: CGC has a number of technologically advanced security measures built into its holders. Once a magazine is certified, any future attempt to open the holder will be visibly evident. We also offer a free certification verification tool on our Web site, which allows you to verify certification information in the CGC database by using a unique serial number assigned to each certified magazine.

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Q: How are my magazines insured when they're returned to me? Does CGC provide insurance?

A: CGC does not provide insurance for submissions shipped from its facility to you. The carrier you choose may provide limited coverage, for example the US Postal Service provides insurance on domestic Registered Mail shipments up to $25,000. CGC urges you to investigate and secure proper means of insuring your magazines against damage in transit. See policy below:

LOSS OR DAMAGE IN TRANSIT POLICY

Due to their fragile nature, magazines can be damaged while in a CGC holder if improperly handled, stored or displayed. By using CGC's products / services, you agree that CGC is not responsible for any damage or loss whatsoever occurring during transit to or from CGC's facility, or thereafter. The risk of damage or loss during transit and thereafter is entirely upon you. Unless CGC receives special delivery instructions from you, CGC will return submissions to you by carrier of its choice. If you wish to control your risk of damage or loss by transit, you should make arrangements to pick up your magazines directly at CGC's facility.

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Q: Does CGC offer a grading guarantee?

A: Due to the fragile nature of magazines, CGC does not offer a grading guarantee. However, CGC does offer the following guarantee: a) CGC guarantees that at least two professionals will review every magazine submitted for grading. b) CGC guarantees its holder to be free of defects. Defective holders will be replaced at no charge, except when it is determined (at CGC's sole discretion) that the holder was subjected to abuse, or if damage is the result of storage in a hazardous environment. c) CGC guarantees that all magazines it certifies are authentic, as described on the CGC grading label.

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Q: What are the costs of submission?

A: Services and fees vary depending on the value and category of collectibles you are submitting as well as the turnaround time you desire.

Note: CGC Collectors Society Associate members receive a 10 percent discount (not applicable to on-site grading fees at shows) on CGC grading tiers when using the online submission form.

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Q: How do I process a submission form online?

A: CGC direct submission forms are available online for CGC Collectors Society Associate and higher-level members. Log in and access the CGC online submission form.

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Q: Can I send multiple invoices to your grading services in the same box?

A: Yes, but only for submissions to the same company. For example, do not send submissions for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) in the same box with submissions for CGC.

MEMBERSHIP FAQs

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Q: What are the differences between your membership tiers?

A: The CGC Collectors Society offers free and paid membership levels with options for every type of collector. The variety of benefits include access to online resources, direct submission privileges, grading credits and more. Compare the CGC Collectors Society membership options.

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Q: I have registered as a paid CGC Collectors Society member. When can I expect to receive my membership packet?

A: Membership packets are sent out via US Mail within 10 business days of registration. Please allow up to three weeks to receive your packet. If, at that point, it still hasn't arrived, please call us at 877-662-6642 for assistance. Once you’ve joined, you have immediate access to full Web site features, including the online submission form.

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Q: Do the grading credits I received with my membership have an expiration date?

A:Yes, any grading credits will expire on the membership expiration date listed in your confirmation email.

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Q: Is my membership refundable?

A: Because of the benefits of your membership, a prorated refund is not available. However, if you have signed up for auto-renewal of your membership, and decide within 30 days of auto-renewal that you would like to cancel your membership, you may receive a refund of your membership dues by calling CGC Customer Service at 877-662-6642.

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Q: What is my "public name" and how can I change this?

A: Your public name shows up on your journal and other CGC Collectors Society postings, including the Registry, if you choose to display your collection online in that capacity. You can change your public name in your profile settings.

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Q: Can I make submissions to other CCG companies?

A: Yes. Your membership in the CGC Collectors Society automatically gives you direct submission privileges to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) and Paper Money Guaranty (PMG). Use your same login information to make submissions within these other companies.

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Q: How many memberships can I have per household?

A: Currently, we only allow one membership per household.

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Q: Why do I keep having to re-log in?

A: If you are not logging in from a public computer, click the "Remember Me" box to save your login information.

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Q: What is my login?

A: Your login is the e-mail address you used to sign up for your account. You can use the Forgot Password link to get the password for your account. If you continue to have problems, please contact us.

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Q: Can I submit additional magazines on the same invoice as my free grading submission?

A: No. When using your free grading award, we ask that you submit no additional items.

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Q: Will one shipping fee cover the return of all my submissions if I send in multiple submission forms at the same time? Will all of my submissions be returned to me in one package?

A: You may submit multiple submission forms to the same grading company in one shipping box. Your submissions will be returned separately. For that reason, each of your submissions is individually calculated for its return shipping and insurance.

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Q: Now that I have direct submission rights to your grading services, can I submit on behalf of my friends?

A: No. Your CGC Collectors Society membership is valid for submissions of your collectibles only. You may not submit on behalf of any third party.

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