Frequently asked questions

Most frequent questions and answers

What is evaluation?

Choosing whether or not you want evaluation is the first step in submitting cards for grading to ClayCards LLC. If you choose to have an evaluation done on your cards, Clay will check each card to see if he believes your card will meet the chosen “min evaluation grade” on your uploaded file. For example, if an evaluation grade of “9+” is chosen on your form he will look over the card and only submit the card to PSA for grading if he believes it can get a PSA 9 or better. If Clay doesn’t believe the card can meet the minimum evaluation grade you are not charged a fee for that card and it will be returned to you ungraded along with your graded cards.

This DOES NOT guarantee the chosen evaluation grade, rather it is an opinion on if the card can achieve the desired grade at PSA.

This process also includes a surface wipe of the card using a microfiber cloth. Clay will NEVER alter your cards, or any cards for that matter. 

If you choose to have your cards evaluated, but do not provide minimum grades I will assume you want them all submitted. They will be wiped down with a microfiber cloth and submitted to PSA. 

How long does evaluation take?

While we do our best to evaluate the cards and submit them as quickly as possible the evaluation process can take some time. It needs to be done carefully and thoroughly to make sure we are achieving the best grades possible. If speed is your main concern, we suggest bypassing the evaluation option, or you may elect to take advantage of a shorter turnaround time.

When will my cards be sent to PSA after you have received them?

ClayCards LLC tries hard to get things processed and sent to PSA as quickly as possible, but it is by no means a perfect science. In general, our goal is to have your cards sent to PSA within 5 business days of receiving them. This will stay true for submissions that do not require evaluation. 

Submissions that do require evaluation will vary based on volume and will be completed in order of receipt. 

Can I send multiple orders in the same package?

Yes, you are welcome to send multiple orders in the same package. They must be separated within your package, and each one must have its own form and be clearly marked. 

Should I insure my cards?

We do recommend insuring your cards, but it is not a requirement. 

If you do choose to have your cards insured by choosing “yes” and inputing your insurance amount on the form they will be insured from the time that ClayCards confirms receipt of your cards until the mail carrier (FedEx or USPS) marks your cards as “delivered” at your address. 

ClayCards is not responsible for lost or damaged mail on uninsured packages. 

Can I submit Pokemon cards or other TCG cards?

Yes! You can submit Pokemon and other TCG cards to PSA through ClayCards. However, these cards may ONLY be submitted via 20 or 5 day turnaround times. 

What happens with the cards that are NOT sent to PSA?

Cards that do not meet the minimum evaluation grade, and thus are not sent to PSA, are sent back to you when an order returns from PSA. 

Once an order has returned, you will receive ALL “rejects” that are currently in my possession, regardless of order number. 



Is there a minimum amount of cards required?

Yes, for 45 day submissions 5 cards is the minimum amount of cards required. This is the number of cards that must be sent to me, not necessarily sent to PSA. 

There is no minimum amount for 20 day or 5 day submissions.

What are the PSA Status Steps & what do they mean?

The ClayCardsGrading website now shows you the exact status of your order at PSA. Simply login to your account, go to your orders tab, and look under “PSA Status”. Below you can find more detail on what each step means for your order. 

Arrived – Submission has arrived at PSA and is awaiting entry.

OrderPrep – Submission has been reviewed, verified, and logged into PSAs system.

ResearchAndID – Submission is being researched so each item can be correctly identified on the PSA label.

Grading – Cards are being authenticated & graded.

Assembly – PSA labels are being printed and each eligible item will be sonically sealed inside a PSA holder.

QACheck1 – Grades are reviewed a second time for accuracy.

QACheck2 – Labels are reviewed for errors and holders are examined for defects.

Shipped – Items are on their way back to ClayCards!

How long will grading take?

PSA does not offer any guaranteed turnarounds, so there is no way to know for sure when your cards will return. Typically, the shorter the submission the more accurate it is. So, a 5-business day submission will stick pretty close to the 5 days, while a 45-business day submission can vary much more.

Please also note that the business day countdown for your submission does not start until the cards have been received by PSA and entered into their system. Once again, they tend to do this quicker for the shorter submission times vs. the longer submission times.

Why should I choose evaluation?

There are two main reasons to choose evaluation. The first is to save money! It is easy to gloss over things when looking at cards to send in for grading. Allow Clay, someone who has evaluated and submitted tens of thousands of cards, to take a closer look at your cards for you. If it doesn’t look like the card is going to meet your minimum evaluation grade, as provided by you, you will not be charged. The second reason is for the surface wipe with a microfiber cloth, this is just another way to ensure that your cards have the best chance to grade well!

How should my cards be packaged?

Your cards should be securely packaged along with your shipping slip. Your shipping slip MUST be included in your package. There should NOT be any tape on individual card savers or toploaders, and they should NOT be individually put into team bags. Doing so will result in an upcharge to your order of $0.50 per card. They should be packed like a “brick”. The video below is a good example of properly packaging your cards to be sent to ClayCards LLC.

How does payment work?

You will be provided with an invoice via email when your cards have returned from PSA. This invoice will be provided through Authorize.Net and can be paid using a credit or debit card. 

The invoice needs to be paid within 10 days of issue. After 10 days you will issued a new invoice with an additional 10% fee. After 20 days you will be issued another invoice with an additional 25% fee. After 30 days you forfeit the right to the cards and they will be sold to pay your grading fees. 

My hope is that it never comes to that. PLEASE PAY YOUR INVOICES IN A TIMELY MANNER! 

What happens if two people submit the same card?

We keep a detailed record of what is sent in for grading. From there all cards are put in order by owner and they are sent to PSA. PSA returns them to me in the same order, so keeping cards separated and knowing the owners is not an issue! 

Declared Value & Upcharges

In the most simple terms, PSA can charge more to grade your card if they feel the value of the card exceeds the maximum declared value for the submission type. To avoid this, submit your more valuable cards in the faster submission levels. 

According to the PSA website:

Economy submissions have a max DV of $999 per card

Regular submissions have a max DV of $1,499 per card

Express submissions have a max DV of $2,499 per card

Super Express submissions have a max DV of $4,999

For example, the Economy have a DV of $999. If, after grading, PSA determines that your card is worth more than $1000, they may charge an additional fee for that card. If an additional fee is charged, it will be noted on your invoice and added to your total. This fee is entirely at PSAs discretion and ClayCards has no control over any upcharge.

In our experience, these upcharges are very inconsistent and most frequently occur with “hot” cards in the hobby at the time.