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Trading Card Grading Guideline

Trading Card Singles Condition/Grade Guide

We use a generic trading card grading system for all of our singles card stock. The vast majority of our singles are Near Mint however we are now offering Near Mint, Lightly Played, and Played graded cards on our website. We do not sell Damaged cards on our website but we occasionally $1 reserve our bulk damaged cards on Trademe.

Please note: Tens of thousands of cards come through our warehouse every week and while our team do their best to ensure accuracy, with this volume there can be mistakes. Please feel free to contact us if you have any issues with the cards you have received. Thank you for your understanding.

Otakumart is currently unable to provide a grading service for customers.

We inspect for a few features when grading cards, Edges, Surface, Border, Centering/Misprints and Bends/Creases. These grades are grouped as follows:

Near Mint (NM)

A near-perfect or perfect card with 0 to 3 minor imperfections. Cards cannot be written on or altered in any way. Near Mint cards are not easily distinguishable from new cards in an unsleeved stack. Possible minor imperfections are:

  • Minor Surface Wear: Scratching or clouding (isolated area with micro scratching) which are generally minor. Not easily noticeable at a glance and are not white or remove any color from the card. Foil cards are more likely to scratch and are more visible than non-foils so minor amounts of scratching will still pass as NM.
  • Corner Wear: A minor blunt corner, impression or a tiny nick.
  • Border Wear: Border wear such as a minor impression or a tiny nick.
  • Minor Misprints/Centering: Card is centered well enough to not notice at a glance. Minor discoloration (Most noticable in old cards or cards from the same set printed in different locations).

Lightly Played (LP)

A card with definitive wear that would be expected of some play without sleeves. These can still be played legally in tournaments if sleeved.

  • Surface Wear: Scratching or clouding which may show white or silver (on foils). Foil cards are more likely to scratch and are more visible than non-foils so moderate amounts of scratching will pass as LP. Minor dirt and small bends in the card are accepted into LP as long as a crease is not visible.
  • Corner Wear: Edges show moderate wear and minor bends that do not crease the card. These are usually from improper storage or play without sleeves.
  • Border Wear: Minor shuffle crease and border wear. These are generally noticeable and isolated but not major. Whitening on the card border or silver(on foils) that minor to moderate will be placed in LP.
  • Misprints/Centering: Centering or misprints might be noticed at a glance but should not be a defining feature of this grade.

Played (P)

A card that shows obvious handling but is still attractive for play despite wear and imperfections. These cards will have many minor or several major imperfections.

  • Surface Wear: Large scratching or clouding which show white or silver(on foils). Moderate amounts of dirt, a slight bend(including indention) and minor inking. Minor water damage in an isolated area.
  • Corner Wear: Edges show distinguishable wear, minor separation (de-lamination) and bends that may create a very minor crease. These are usually from improper storage or moderate play without sleeves.
  • Border Wear: Moderate shuffle crease and border wear. These are generally very noticeable. Whitening on the card border or silver(on foils) that are moderate will be placed in P.
  • Misprints/Centering: Centering or misprints that can be noticed at first glance but should not be a defining feature of this grade. We grade cards with poor centering as Played as long as the card is so off center that it could be classed as a misprint.

Damaged

A very worn or damaged card with many major imperfections such as:

  • Tears
  • Creases
  • Stamped
  • Written on
  • Non-English
  • Foul odor

These cards are not listed on our site unless they are very high value or detail graded. Damaged cards are usually auctioned at $1.00 reserve on Trademe in bulk. Check out our listings to find if any are available here.

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