Card Grading FAQ's

What is Card Grading?

A: Card grading is the process of authenticating a trading card and assigning a numerical value corresponding to the condition of the card. The numerical value is based on criteria found in the grading standards.

How will the card be graded?

A: KSA uses a 10-point certification process that includes checking centering, corners, cut, colour, borders, enamel, focus, picture quality, registration and micro imperfections. Cards are measured, checked under magnification and special lighting.

Can memorabilia, patch or thicker cards be graded?

A: At this time KSA is unable to grade thicker memorabilia cards as they will not fit in our holder. 

What cards can't be graded through KSA?

A: There are some cards we unfortunately can't service due to the cards materials or the sizing/thickness of the card. We cannot service:

  • Metal Pokemon Cards
  • Any Thick Cards including Patches/Relics - services coming soon!
  • Oversized Cards and Tallboys - services coming soon!
  • 1980s Star Basketball
  • Any and All Unlicensed Cards
  • We also do not grade: Comics, Wax Boxes, Tickets, Post Cards, Unopened Boxes, and Uncut Sheets

How should I prepare my cards for grading?

A: Once you have selected the cards you will be sending for grading, we suggest placing all cards first in penny sleeves and then in either top loaders, card-savers or one-touch holders. We ask that customers please avoid screw down holders as well as taping top loaders.

What does it cost to have a card graded?


Regular Service 1 - 19 cards $30 per card
Express Service Any number of cards $50 per card
Walk Through Service Any number of cards $100 per card
Bulk Grading Service  20 - 49 cards $25 per card 
50 - 99 cards $20 per card
100+ cards $15 per card
TCG Grading Service 1 - 19 cards  $25 per card
20+ cards  $15 per card

How long does it take to have the cards graded?

A: Although turn around times can vary from the timeframes listed here on the website, a general amount of time is listed based on the service level selected

Regular Service  Approximately 20 business days from the time the cards are received
Express Service Approximately 5 business days from the time the cards are received
Bulk Service Approximately 30 business days from the time the cards are received
TCG Service Approximately 20 business days from the time the cards are received

If you are looking for turnaround times for the West office, please contact them directly as they are differing from the Ontario office. They have a large backlog of orders and are processing them as quickly as possible. 

What cards are allowed in the TCG Services?

A: TCG stands for Trading Card Game, so trading card game cards are only allowed to be submitted under those services. Pokemon, Yugioh, MTG, Lorcana, Digimon, Flesh and Blood, and Chaotic can be submitted under this service. If there is a TCG not listed here you are wondering if it can be submitted, please contact us. 

Will the price change based on the card type?

A: No, there is no price difference based on the type of card you submit, or the estimate value of the card.

Where is the manual submission form?

(Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, & Maritimes)

How do I fill out the manual submission form?

A: Please see the example image shown below or follow the instructions on the form.


How should I ship the cards to KSA?

A: This is up to the user on how to securely send cards to KSA within Canada, but a good option is the flat rate boxes available for purchase at all Canada Post locations. 

flat rate box includes

  • Flat rate postage
  • High quality shipping box
  • Tracking and on-time delivery guarantee
  • Up to $100 of liability coverage for loss or damage

Do I have to ship through Canada Post?

A: KSA Certification excepts mail in shipments from the following postal services:

  • Canada Post/USPS
  • FedEx
  • UPS
  • Purolator

Don't see your preferred postal service company on this list? Contact us before shipping your package to us! US submissions are NOT to be sent through courier.


Will I get a notification once my cards have arrived?

A: Yes, we will send you a confirmation email once your order has been received at our office. Please allow an additional 1-2 business days to update the order status. 

Does KSA have different holders?

A: Over the last 28 years, KSA has had three different designs of holders. To see them, view our KSA Generations page. 

Do I need to make an appointment to come to your store?

A: The only time an appointment is necessary to visit our store front location is if you wish to have our same day grading service done.

Does KSA accept in person drop offs?

A: KSA allows in person drop offs and pick ups with no appointment required at our store front location, 83C Arthur St. S in Elmira.

Does KSA offer onsite grading?

A: KSA offers a same day grading service which is $100 per card and is appointment required. To book an appointment at the Ontario office, click here. If you are wanting to book with the West office, please contact them directly. 

Does KSA accept submissions from the US?

A: KSA does accept US submissions. For any questions regarding customs and duties along with package insurance please feel free to call 519-804-8354 or email US submissions are not to be sent by courier.

Can KSA tell me what my card is worth?

A: KSA determines the cards condition and what the grade will be. We do not speculate on the value or the cards potential worth. 

Do I still have to pay even if my card comes back as counterfeit?

A: Yes. We are still evaluating the card and putting it through the exact same process as an authentic card, just not assigning a grade nor slabbing the card. 

Does KSA accept autographed cards to be graded?

A: We do, however any cards with after market autographs must have our autograph authentication service accompanied with it. This service needs to be completed for the card to be graded.

What is Autograph Authentication?

A: Autograph Authentication is a very detailed inspection of various characteristics of a signed item to determine it's legitimacy. Every detail of an autograph is closely examined for inconsistencies such as stroke weight, slant & flow. Special comparative tools are used to reference submitted items against an extensive database of known authentic examples.