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My Beginner Experience With Wata


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Timeline:

  • December 8 2020 - submitted game details and payment through website, paid for 15 day turnaround
  • December 16 2020 - shipped games out through Fed-Ex
  • December 23 - Wata received the package
  • January 18 2021 - The 15 business day turnaround came and went with no communication
  • January 22 2021 - 19 business days after receipt, Wata sent an email request for $8 for the Deep Badge upgrade
  • January 22 2021 (later) - grades started to show on my account and within a few hours, all grades were there
  • February 9 - I received an email with a FedEx tracking number for my games being shipped back to me
  • February 13 - graded game arrival

This is meant as a reference for how my experience has gone as a first time submitter. I have over 2000 games, many sealed but have never gone through any grading process in the past. I don't collect as an investment but with the value of some of these games skyrocketing and finding some incredibly uncommon variants lately, I've decided to grade a few and see how it goes.

In November I decided I would grade a few games and added them to my cart on the website. It was incredibly easy and actually fun to use their website system, I was impressed. I wanted to be absolutely sure what I wanted to do and what I was selecting so it actually took me a month to work up the courage to actually click the submit button. While I was waiting, Wata announced they were increasing the minimum grading times and increasing all costs.....bummer.

Early December I decided I was finally doing it and went hunting for the perfect sized boxes. I read Wata's packing suggestions on their website and determined I couldn't find a box large enough to put one box inside another box so I just went with a single box for everything and filled it with bubble wrap inside. I thought about whether I should package games inside soft acrylic holders, hard acrylic holders or just bare inside bubble wrap. The friendly folks in the Show Off Your Wata Games Facebook group told me I should just use bubble wrap without anything else so that's what I did. Just cardboard wrapped up in bubble wrap inside a cardboard box and hoped for the best. I read somewhere I shouldn't use tape around the bubble wrap so I didn't, I just left them wrapped with no tape (you're welcome, Kenneth).

After looking at the box for a week, I finally got the courage up and made my final selections for all 6 games on their website and paid the $700 grading fee. The following day I went to Canada Post and they said they can ship it but can only insure it for a maximum $5000 which wasn't high enough so I didn't ship it. I checked Fed-ex's website and they allow higher insurance so I went there a few days later. After waiting in line for almost an hour, they told me their maximum for collectibles is $1000 so at this point I didn't want to go anywhere else so I had to just do the $1000 insurance which wouldn't even cover a single game. Prices ranged from around $500 for next day delivery or $75 for 4 business days which is what I chose. The employee helping me was very knowledgeable of Wata, I guess he sees that address often. He was asking me what were the contents, if they were going for grading and if they were coming back to me after grading. This determined whether the border gents would charge me duties on the import when they come back.

On December 16 I finally left it with Fed-ex to ship out in 4 business days, having it arrive Tuesday, December 22.  I must have refreshed the tracking online 100 times. It started with an expected delivery of December 22, then switched to the 23, then the 28, then back to the 23 and today it was finally delivered. 

When selecting times, Wata has 4 different grading schedules you can choose from but due to the high value of some of the games, I only had the option for the fastest 2 times for most of my games. The options for me were 3 days or 15 days so I chose the cheaper 15 day option and instead of choosing a slower time for 2 of the eligible games in my submission, I paid the extra bit and got them all on the 15 day schedule to avoid getting everything back in 2 separate shipments, months apart.

Working with 15 business days for grading, that means they should be completed on January 19 so I'm guessing I'll have them back some time before February 1. I'll update this as things progress, just in case there are some other people out there curious how it all works. I honestly don't know if my games will get a 8 or a 9.8. I thought they were in very good condition but as I looked at them closer, there is some wear so I'm very nervous. I also don't know for sure if the box got crushed on its route so here's hoping it arrived safely.

Edited by Code Monkey
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I can tell that you were very stressed out for the packaging and shipping process. I remember my fist time as well. (It was VGA and many years ago). I started with one game just to test the waters. I ended up being lucky and getting a 90 on my Final Fantasy X. That experience hooked me. My second submission was 10 games. I think I was more nervous for that shipment because the value was much greater. Many of those came back not so lucky. It was that experience that taught me what flaws to start looking for. So for my third shipment, I requested a grade report for some of the games, just to see what flaws the graders actually indicate. It became clear to me then that if you see anything at all that’s not perfect, it will hurt the grade. By the time I got to my fifth shipment, I was up to over 30 games per shipment. I had become a pro at packaging. I remember thinking that my packages could be thrown dragged down the highway and run over by a car and the games inside would still be ok. I ended up loving the packaging and shipping experience as much as any other part of the hobby. There is a true sense of accomplishment to be had after dispersing a large shipment of games like that and knowing that there is nothing to worry about. Anyway, good luck with the grades. I’m excited to hear the continuation of your experience once they arrive.

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Dont Forget Wata had an official shutdown started on the 18th of December to the 8th of Jan and that may delay your order.

When I mail Fed X i insure my games as computer Software and never tell them they are games. I have heard they wont insure collectables  for more than a few hundred.  I myself had mailed almost 150 games in and Zero Have had damage both directions. On a single game i often use about 4 sq foot of bubble wrap and then put that in standard priority mail box and it fits snug, I dont use the Priority mail tape so wata does not have a hard time opening the box. Then I put all those in a much bigger box with extra padding like peanuts or more bubble wrap. 

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On 12/26/2020 at 9:57 AM, Trade-N-Games said:

Dont Forget Wata had an official shutdown started on the 18th of December to the 8th of Jan and that may delay your order.

When I mail Fed X i insure my games as computer Software and never tell them they are games. I have heard they wont insure collectables  for more than a few hundred.  I myself had mailed almost 150 games in and Zero Have had damage both directions. On a single game i often use about 4 sq foot of bubble wrap and then put that in standard priority mail box and it fits snug, I dont use the Priority mail tape so wata does not have a hard time opening the box. Then I put all those in a much bigger box with extra padding like peanuts or more bubble wrap. 

Yes, I paid for grading on December 8. They didn't shut down on December 18, they simply stopped taking online submissions. Their official statement is they were stopping submissions so they could catch up on grading so the fact I had my order in prior to that means they will still grade mine during that period. I think it was also December 16 and not 18, I can't remember.

My games arrived December 23 and I haven't received any sort of communication since. I wasn't expecting to with the holidays but today, after refreshing my order status every day, it finally went into grading status. Very exciting! A few more days and I should get my grades so I'll be able to tell if they were damaged in any way from shipping. Hopefully not.

I'm surprised I didn't get an automatic email when the status changed. I wonder if they only do that once the grade is published.

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  • 3 weeks later...
3 hours ago, Code Monkey said:

Well, since my games arrived December 23, today is the fifteenth business day since then and they're still in grading status. I don't have a lot of faith they'll magically be completed by the end of today.

I think it’s been established here in a few threads that the time you pay for is an estimate and they almost never hit that target. At least lately 

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25 minutes ago, kell said:

My latest submission was Turbo and received by WATA on Nov 9th.  Haven't seen any update on the site yet, however, they are DS games and that may increase their turn time.

They don't grade DS games so that's going to be a bit of a problem. I know they graded a few in the past but they had a limited quantity of shells and I believe they ran out. Otherwise I have a sealed Fritz' Chess here I would have sent with this batch.

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On 1/18/2021 at 2:47 PM, Code Monkey said:

Well, since my games arrived December 23, today is the fifteenth business day since then and they're still in grading status. I don't have a lot of faith they'll magically be completed by the end of today.

Yeah double that time frame is more realistic, that's been the norm for a while.

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Member · Posted
17 hours ago, Code Monkey said:

They don't grade DS games so that's going to be a bit of a problem. I know they graded a few in the past but they had a limited quantity of shells and I believe they ran out. Otherwise I have a sealed Fritz' Chess here I would have sent with this batch.

Yeah, I really want to send in my cherry Solatorobo. Probably won't be an option for another 5 years, though.

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My understanding is that they are ramping up to grade DS games and opened limited submissions to prevent too many at once. Supposedly, my games were approved for grading.

And for a new product with more counterfeits in the marketplace, I'd assume they may take a bit more time.

 

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I too was going to get something graded. I don't have a single graded item in my collection. Since they grade "anything" I had reached out about a TimeWalk CIB I have. But never heard back. I tried via email and FB Messenger but was just ignored. I'm not sure if they ignored me due to the game or their support is shitty. It was something I wanted to try, perhaps become a customer, but if you can't muster a response after a few days/weeks, then its not worth my time either. 

Best of luck to you, I look forward to hearing how the rest of this works out. 

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19 days into the 15 day process and this morning I finally got some grades!

When I submitted my games I selected the option for the Deep Badge upgrade which is a hologram type badge background behind the grade which you can only get on mint 9.0 or above. They only charge you if your game grades high enough so I got an email telling me at least one of my games received the grade and had a link for payment.

When I logged into my account, I saw that 2 of my 6 games were graded, with photos and a few minutes later a third game showed up. I'm still waiting on the other 3 games in my order.

I did submit one game that was covered in stickers and paid the $23 for them to be removed but I was surprised when I saw the pre-grade photos that they had removed everything except the plastic store hangtab. I would have thought they'd remove that as well, it's going to be ugly inside the case. Oh well, maybe they view it as part of the game or something.

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Member · Posted
33 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

19 days into the 15 day process and this morning I finally got some grades!

When I submitted my games I selected the option for the Deep Badge upgrade which is a hologram type badge background behind the grade which you can only get on mint 9.0 or above. They only charge you if your game grades high enough so I got an email telling me at least one of my games received the grade and had a link for payment.

When I logged into my account, I saw that 2 of my 6 games were graded, with photos and a few minutes later a third game showed up. I'm still waiting on the other 3 games in my order.

I did submit one game that was covered in stickers and paid the $23 for them to be removed but I was surprised when I saw the pre-grade photos that they had removed everything except the plastic store hangtab. I would have thought they'd remove that as well, it's going to be ugly inside the case. Oh well, maybe they view it as part of the game or something.

If it came from the factory with the hang tab, then there is no way they would remove it. That's part of the original condition. I hate them too, but if I found a nice, sealed game with one, even though I thinknit'$ ugly, I'd leave it. It is part of what the game originally was.

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5 minutes ago, RH said:

If it came from the factory with the hang tab, then there is no way they would remove it. That's part of the original condition. I hate them too, but if I found a nice, sealed game with one, even though I thinknit'$ ugly, I'd leave it. It is part of what the game originally was.

These were applied at the factory? I thought they were only applied at retail.

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I submitted games dec 5. Paid I think 65 per cib for 45 day turn around. Now I don’t see a 45 day  option. And prices went up a lot. 110 for 15 says or 85$ for 60 Days. That’s quite a jump. Demand must be high. I wonder if they would ever discontinue cib grading. I believe someone who works there said it’s not very profitable for them 

Edited by Jayleonis
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1 hour ago, Code Monkey said:

Today I got an email from them with a FedEx tracking number and my games are on their way back. Wow, 18 days after grading completed, they ship back. That means it takes them almost as long to put your games into a box as it does to grade them.

Well that is interesting I would have thought the bottleneck was grading itself not something easy that anyone can do

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1 hour ago, Code Monkey said:

Today I got an email from them with a FedEx tracking number and my games are on their way back. Wow, 18 days after grading completed, they ship back. That means it takes them almost as long to put your games into a box as it does to grade them.

To be fair, I just got back my first grade and the packing was the most intense shit I've ever seen. No one has ever shipped something to me that securely. 

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