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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

  • Why does CGC use different colored labels and what do they mean?
  • 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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  • What is restoration?
  • Restoration is treatment intended to return a comic book 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 books are given an apparent grade, and, in accordance with CGC's policy, are encapsulated with CGC's restored label. Learn more about comic book restoration.
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  • How will I know if a comic has had restoration?
  • CGC has the industry’s top team of restoration detection professionals. The restoration check is an integral part of the CGC grading team’s review of your comic book, 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 books an apparent grade, which includes a description of slight, moderate or extensive restoration. At CGC’s sole discretion, Golden Age books with very minor glue and / or color are assigned a CGC Universal label, however, description of the restoration, in general or specific terms, is disclosed. Buyers always know what they are getting with a CGC-certified comic that has been restored.
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  • Does CGC perform pressing or dry cleaning?
  • CGC does not perform pressing, dry cleaning or any similar treatments for comic books. These and other services are available from our affiliated company, Classic Collectible Services (CCS). To learn more, visit their website CCSpaper.com or call 1-855-CCS-1711.

    Please note that pressing and / or dry cleaning performed incorrectly or on a comic book exhibiting certain flaws — such as slightly brittle pages, weak spine, cover wear at staple and / or other defects — can damage the comic book and lower its grade.
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  • Will your holder increase or decrease the safety of my comics?
  • The CGC holder is designed to securely hold your comic book and provide years of protection from many environmental hazards. All of the materials used inside 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 comic books.
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  • What if I want to take my comic out of your holder?
  • We anticipated that many collectors would do just that, even though the certified grade will then no longer be applicable without re-certification. That's why our holder is designed to allow optimal observation of the comic book inside. Also, we have designed our holder so that it can be opened carefully, allowing for safe removal. Due to the fragile nature of comic books, once our holder is opened, we then recommend the immediate re-certification of the comic book. To re-certify the comic book, the inner label should be returned to CGC to help keep the CGC Census accurate. After opening, the CGC holder cannot be resealed.

    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 comics in their holders for their protection, and to enhance their liquidity if they decide to sell. Leaving the book in its original CGC holder would prevent the need for re-certification and will retain the protective strengths of the holder.
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  • Why should I return a label of an opened or "cracked out" certified book?
  • You should always return a label of any opened certified book. This helps keep the CGC Census accurate. The CGC Census is a detailed database of all the comic books we have graded and their respective grades, and it has become an important resource in assessing the availability of certified comic books.
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  • Does CGC attend cons and trade shows?
  • Yes, we attend many major comic cons, including the Wizard show in Chicago and the San Diego Comic-Con. At these shows, CGC's Customer Service and members of our grading team are available to answer your questions and take submissions.
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  • CGC is described as independent and third-party. What does that mean?
  • CGC does not buy or sell comic books and does not have a financial interest in the comic books that we certify. In fact, employees of CGC are prohibited from buying and selling comic books commercially.
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  • What is a pedigree?
  • A pedigree is an exceptional and widely known original owner collection.
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  • What constitutes a pedigree?
  • CGC considers the following criteria when determining Pedigree status of a collection: The collection must be original owner. The collection must be of vintage material. The collection must consist of a considerable number of comics. The collection must be high-grade. For detailed information, please visit our Pedigree resources page.
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Grading Services FAQs

  • How do I submit comic books to CGC for certification?
  • CGC accepts submissions through a national network of authorized member dealers. These dealers are permitted to accept books and submit them on behalf of collectors and other individuals.

    If you prefer to submit your books directly, you have two options. 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. Or, you can submit comic books through CGC's Internet partners by visiting their Web sites and following submission instructions. Authorized dealers, information about the CGC Collectors Society and Internet partners can be found on our How To Submit page.
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  • When I submit my books, what assurances can you offer with regard to confidentiality and anonymity?
  • 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 comics without permission. As part of CGC's internal processes, complete anonymity is also ensured by a system of internal checks and balances. Comics receive generic barcoding upon receipt and our separate receiving department does not convey any information about the submitter to the graders. Therefore the comic owner’s identity is also completely unknown to CGC graders.
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  • How should I pack my books for shipping to CGC and how do I fill out the CGC submission form?
  • When you send books to CGC, we recommend that you take the normal precautions used for shipping your books through the US Postal Service (USPS).

    Also, we encourage you to carefully and completely fill in the CGC submission form. Here are some helpful guidelines for completing the CGC submission form and for packing your books. Or you may view the submission form and accompanying instructions on our Instructions on Submitting page.
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  • How long will it take for my books to be graded and how much will it cost?
  • Specific information on the costs and estimated turnaround times of CGC's various grading tiers is available on our Services & Fees page. This page is updated regularly with live information on the status of the current actual turnaround times.
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  • If submitting from Canada, what is the procedure regarding customs?
  • As a Canadian submitter to CGC, the burden of proof that the books came from Canada falls to 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 comics — 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 comic submission and, when the books 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 books with any claim stickers that were affixed to the original box. This has sometimes worked as proof that the books came from Canada. The value that we will declare on the package is the amount paid for the grading of the books and they will be noted as “Canadian goods being returned, shipped to US for evaluation only.”

    THIS INFORMATION WILL SAVE ALL CANADIAN CUSTOMERS FROM PAYING CUSTOMS FEES (AS PER CANADIAN CUSTOMS)
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  • I live outside the US. How will you calculate my return shipping costs?
  • Return shipping to locations outside the US requires special duties and shipping charges. CGC will notify you of the special / additional shipping charges before your books are returned to you. If you have further questions, please contact CGC Customer Service at 877-NM-COMIC.
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  • What are your grading standards for comic books?
  • The CGC grading standard was developed by taking a consensus of grades assigned to a variety of comic books by a nationwide pool of experts that included comic book dealers and leading collectors. (See Developing the Standard, under Grading Benefits). At CGC, we realize that comic book 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 comic books are properly represented to the widest possible audience.
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  • Does CGC grade magazine-size or treasury-size books? How about autographed books?
  • CGC does grade magazine-size books but does not grade treasury-size books.
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  • Does CGC grade autographed books?
  • CGC does grade autograph books. The prestigious CGC Signature Series® label (yellow) is applied to comic books that have been signed by someone of significance to the comic, 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 book, the date it was signed and, in some cases, the location of where it was signed. If a book is signed with a CGC representative present, it will receive a Qualified label (green), and will receive a Qualified grade. No authentication of signature is provided for books that do not have a CGC Signature Series label. Learn more about CGC Signature Series.
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  • Does CGC certify sealed poly-bagged books?
  • CGC does not certify sealed poly-bagged books. To have a poly-bagged book certified by CGC, you must remove the book 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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  • What measures are taken to protect my comics while they are at CGC?
  • 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 comic books will handle your comics. While at CGC, your books 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 comic books with the respect and proper handling techniques to ensure their safety.

    While CGC is responsible for the care of your books while they're with us, any damage that occurs during shipping to CGC or after the books leave our facility is your responsibility or that of the shipping company with whom you contract.
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  • How do I know the comic I'm buying is the same book CGC certified?
  • CGC has a number of technologically advanced security measures built into its holders. Once a comic is certified, any future attempt to open the holder will be visibly evident.
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  • How are my books insured when they're returned to me? Does CGC provide insurance?
  • CGC does not provide insurance for books shipped from its facility to you. The carrier you choose may provide limited coverage. CGC urges you to investigate and secure proper means of insuring your books against damage in transit. See policy below:

    LOSS OR DAMAGE IN TRANSIT POLICY

    Due to their fragile nature, comic books 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 books 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 books directly at CGC's facility.
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  • Does CGC offer a grading guarantee?
  • Due to the fragile nature of comic books, CGC does not offer a grading guarantee. However, CGC does offer the following guarantee: a) CGC guarantees that two or more comic professionals will review every comic book 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 books it certifies are authentic, as described on the CGC grading label.
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  • What are the costs of submission?
  • 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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  • How do I process a submission form online?
  • CGC direct submission forms are available online for CGC Collectors Society Associate, Premium and Elite members. Access the CGC online submission form.
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  • Can I send multiple invoices to your grading services in the same box?
  • Yes, but only on submissions to the same company. For example, do not send submissions for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) in the same box with submissions for CGC.
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  • Under Additional Services on the submission form, what does the "Image" option mean?
  • This is where a basic digital image (72 dpi web-quality) is taken of the front of the comic after grading and encapsulation that is sent by e-mail for internet purposes. The cost for this is $3 per book and if selected the whole invoice must be imaged.
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Membership FAQs

  • What are the differences between your membership tiers?
  • 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 coupons and more. Compare the CGC Collectors Society membership options here.
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  • I have registered. When can I expect to receive my membership packet?
  • 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-NM-COMIC for assistance.
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  • Do the grading coupons I received with my membership have an expiration date?
  • Yes. The coupons expire one year from the day they were issued.
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  • Is my membership refundable?
  • 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-NM-COMIC.
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  • What is my "public name"? And how can I change this?
  • Your public name shows up on your journal, the Registry and other CGC Collectors Society postings. You can change your public name in your profile settings.
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  • Can I make submissions to other CCG companies?
  • 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 log-in information to make submissions within these other companies.
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  • How many memberships can I have per household?
  • Currently, we only allow one membership per household.
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  • Can I transfer my coupons to my friends?
  • No. Any coupons you received with your membership are tied to your membership account and profile.
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  • Why do I keep having to re-log in?
  • If you are not logging in from a public computer, click the "Remember Me" box to save your log-in information.
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  • What is my login?
  • 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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  • How do I use my coupons to submit comics for free grading?
  • For convenient processing, we require that you send all discounted comics at once in the same submission form to claim your free grading award. When you fill in the submission form, please indicate the use of your coupon under payment option.
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  • Can I submit additional comics on the same invoice as my free grading submission?
  • No. When using your free grading award, we ask that you submit no additional items.
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  • 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?
  • 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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  • Now that I have direct submission rights to your grading services, can I submit on behalf of my friends?
  • No. Your membership is valid for submissions of your collectibles ONLY. You may not submit on behalf of any third party.
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