PGX vs CGC - background info

Discussion of all "slabbed comics" whether Valiant or not

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cjmiller2213
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PGX vs CGC - background info

Post by cjmiller2213 »

Alright - not sure if this has been brought up but I can't seem to find anything on the subject (at least not with the search function).

Give your arguments why you would choose either CGC or PGX to professionally grade your comics.

I researched both and to be honest, I find the PGX to be, for the price, a better deal. Cheaper, faster turnaround, stronger plastic...am I missing something that comes with a $29 - $49 price tag.

So I have started the argument...can someone enlighten me as to the difference in these two services?

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Post by whetteon »

I can tell you who the winner will be in the next 5 minutes.

We've talked about the two companies to death (it's a tri-monthly favorite). PGX is a business ran out of someone's garage. Multiple scandles can be attributed to PGX and it's current business owner. Including over grading, special treatment to known defrauders and missed restoration out the behind.

CGC on the other hand has professionally staff members, a well known industry history, a real business location and strength and trust built into it's brand.

The price is different because one's for real and the other's not.
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Post by Chiclo »

cjmiller2213, you may not be a minority on this boards in being a PGX fan, but you might instead be a singularity.

I have no preference between the two. I have never sent a book to be slabbed and only own 4 slabs, all CGC. I have heard many arguments for CGC and many against PGX and my faith as a consumer is highly eroded in PGX. I would not bid more for a PGX book than I would for it raw. I would not consider a PGX book to be one that I would likely return my investment on unless I severely grifted whomever sold me the book.

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Re: PGX vs CGC

Post by greg »

cjmiller2213 wrote:Alright - not sure if this has been brought up but I can't seem to find anything on the subject (at least not with the search function).
The Search function only works for words of 4 or more letters...
so searching for "CGC" or "PGX" won't give you any results.

Here's what you need to know:
http://www.justafanboy.com/PGX/
(Site run by comic collector Brian Rempel)

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Wow

Post by cjmiller2213 »

I see - well I recant my previous ramble and will read up on some of the previous posts and links that come in.

This sounds pretty fishy I agree, now that the search function has been brought to my attention, I wll further explore the forum for more clues.

Forgive me everyone - I have been absent from the comic world for a while (14+ yrs). But...Valiant stands firm in my top comics of all time.

Sounds like I brought up some bad memories for some. Figure I would ask since I didn't see any Valiant PGX graded comics. Thougth that was a little odd when I was searching around on ebay.

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Post by greg »

cjmiller2213 wrote:This sounds pretty fishy I agree, now that the search function has been brought to my attention, I wll further explore the forum for more clues.
Welcome to the site! :thumb:

Honestly, I would love to see CGC have some serious competition
because it would lead to product and service improvements from both companies,
but PGX is literally a guy in his garage in Eugene, Oregon.

Not surprisingly, most of the PGX "supporters" are in Oregon,
and somehow they seem to have the best condition books on the planet
but they'd rather send them to PGX for the 9.9 and 10.0 grades than CGC,
despite the fact that PGX 9.9 sells for less than CGC 9.9.

Why could that be? :wink:

If the competition for CGC is coming someday, it won't be in the form of PGX.
They're not 100% con artists... but what % of "con artistry" is ok?

Here's a longer discussion (on this board) about PGX:
http://www.valiantfans.com/forum/viewto ... torder=asc

One of the highlights is the part where I show mathematically that
PGX is defying 1 in 192,450,919 odds against their grades
for a particular VALIANT book, Shadowman #0.

They might as well be buying lottery tickets if they're that lucky.

:P

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WOW

Post by cjmiller2213 »

Holy crap - there is an unheard of amount of information regarding this subject. It sounds to me like it is pretty straightforward with the PGX thing - but I am unsure if I will ever truly 'trust' a graded comic by any professional grading company. It seems like the difference between a 9.8 and a 9.9 is luck - and if you would run a 9.9 back through the process, it would probably come back a 9.8 - that seems like a pretty good method for making money. If there are a significantly less number of 9.9's out there, simple economics states the demand for these would obviously make the price more.

Am I getting a little warmer. Didn't even realize there were politics involved in a process like grading comics. I guess it kinda makes sense though - there can be thousands of dollars made just by adding a couple 10ths to a grade. Interesting and disturbing all at the same time.

Thanks guys for helping me out understanding this - and BTW, I think the search feature should include 3 letter acronyms :)

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Re: WOW

Post by ZephyrWasHOT!! »

cjmiller2213 wrote:Holy crap - there is an unheard of amount of information regarding this subject. It sounds to me like it is pretty straightforward with the PGX thing - but I am unsure if I will ever truly 'trust' a graded comic by any professional grading company. It seems like the difference between a 9.8 and a 9.9 is luck - and if you would run a 9.9 back through the process, it would probably come back a 9.8 -
That's where the subjectivity comes in. No one who has spent more than 5 minutes grading comics will call a book a 7.5 and another person of similar or more experience call it a 9.8 (even though that happens on eBay due to greed every single day.) No one.

But two people, looking at the same book, can disagree on QUARTER or LESS grade differences. To you it's a 9.8, to me it's a 9.6, to someone else it's a 9.9.

I own a 10 Fathom book that I'd never grade higher than a 9.9. Both the top and the bottom of the spine have minute paper flecks. But, at least two people at CGC DID think it was a 10, so a 10 it is. If it went back through the process, it might get a 9.9, or even a 9.8. This is subjectivity, and it's ALLOWED.

What will NEVER happen is, barring some additional damage, the book won't go through the same process and come back a 9.0.

Why, then, do idiots pay $$$$$$ for 9.9 and 10? Simple: bragging rights. Nothing more, nothing less. And no one with a 9.9 or 10 would ever DARE to crack that thing. That NUMBER is what is worth the money, not the comic inside. They WANT to show off that number, and to them, it's worth the extra cost.

Sad....in MY opinion, if a 9.8 is worth $200, then a 9.9 should be worth $225, and a 10 should be worth $250.

But I'm in a TINY minority in that opinion. If a 9.8 is $200, a 9.9 is going to be $500, and a 10 is going to be $2000.

That's just how the market has "shook out" the last 7 years.
that seems like a pretty good method for making money. If there are a significantly less number of 9.9's out there, simple economics states the demand for these would obviously make the price more.

Am I getting a little warmer. Didn't even realize there were politics involved in a process like grading comics. I guess it kinda makes sense though - there can be thousands of dollars made just by adding a couple 10ths to a grade. Interesting and disturbing all at the same time.
Which, again, is really lame....but you have to blame the BUYERS for driving the prices on these.

In May of 1999, a (future) 9.2 Hulk #181 was worth the same as a (future) 9.6 Hulk #181 was worth the same as a (future) 9.8 Hulk #181....about $500.

Now....those three same books are worth $1000, $3000, and $10,000 respectively. Who won? The person who was able to tell the (significant) difference between a 9.2 and a 9.8, though MOST folks will NEVER be able to tell the difference.

Oh, and PGX is tainted. I long for competition for CGC, as I long for competition for eBay, but PGX isn't it.

Who was the contrarian who voted for PGX??

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Post by Rufusharley »

Welcome cjmiller! :thumb:

yeah, you'll be hard pressed to find anyone here who suports anybody but CGC.

you've probably got a lot of reading material on your hands now about the comparision of these 2 grading companies. (but i don't know if i can call PGX a 'company' really).

For now always go with CGC.

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Post by whovianone »

Ok, I've never really said my part on the graded comic topic, but I thought this was a good time to start.

Maybe some others share my opinion, or have their own opinion or facts to sway me.

I do not in fact like the thought of having to rely on a third party for grading. I understand the "necessary evil" of it. I have, like many of you, been burned over the years on overgrading by idiotic or dishonest sellers on ebay or other places. I've also walked into comic shops where owners couldn't grade. I can understand a wide variety of opinion on the severity of water damage, the effect discoloration has to what degree on the grade, etc... I've purchased from a dealer before a book that looked nice, that I thought I was getting a decent deal on, only to find out later it was damaged on the back cover, etc. These experiences have now gone on for nearly 25 years for me, some of you longer. I've had both good and bad many hundreds of times over.

However, I've got a couple, and have seen many, that were graded that I didn't agree with either. I actually had experience in sports cards way before I knew CGC existed. A dealer I know sent a hologram card in to be graded with only one flaw, a very slight surfact scratch. It was a Michael Jordan card for a customer of his. When he received it the grade was a perfect 10. He was astonished as he expected a 9 at best. So, he sent it back to be re-graded and pointed out their flaw, they sent it back graded a 1 when in fact it deserved much higher with razor sharp corners and such. This having been said, I've got a book that's 9.6 from PGX and one that is 9.6 from CGC, and they look identical. Now, I'll concede that I've seen them miss restoration, but then again I've heard the CGC miss restoration as well. Maybe not to the same degree, but I've seen it. But, on newer books I don't see a difference much between them. I don't know of any favoritism given to individuals or companies because I've not seen it first hand. But, I've heard many rumors and even talk here on the boards about CGC doing the same thing. Many think that companies who send 200 copies of one book get more 9.8 or 9.9 than others. But, CGC does get defended more. I don't think that PGX is good, but I will admit that CGC is the lesser of two evils, and I think most here would agree with me on that. My vote for PGX was accidental, BTW.

That having been said. Althought I disagree with such wildly inflated pricing for high grade CGC comics, and althought I wouldn't turn down $1000 for a $10 comic with black cover graded 9.9, I do think it is a black mark on the history of our collecting when these things happen. I've always been of the opinion that although a book is only worth what someone will give for it, the price of a comic shouldn't vary insanely. If I go to a shop with a NM ASM 300, I expect to see it for around $100 if that's what it's FMV is. But, if I go somewhere else where two copies are on the wall for $300 in the same condition, that certainly doesn't make it a $300 book unless a large number of people are willing to pay that for it.

What grading does to the hobby is dilute the value of comics to collectors and put them out of reach of some who really care rather that speculate.

I'll never be able to afford a NM Showcase 4, or a Flash 105, or any number of other SA and GA books because they are 40+ years old and have stood the test of time. But, I worry that I'll also never own a true NM copy of many MA and BA keyes that I've wanted such as Albedo 2 (talked about extensively in another thread), or many other books because as soon as someone gets one they encapsulate it and sell it off for $1k's. I'm so happy that Zeph got a copy finally for his collection because I know the pain of searching for those few last books for so long, and to finally own them is so amazing. But, when copies that are raw are selling on ebay for $800+, and CGC'd is even much worse than that, how can I ever own one? Granted there are only a few thousand of many of these books, and it's a great character, but dear Lord, if a high percentage of the high grade books are slabbed, then... :::sigh::: It's just so silly to me.

I lived through people hoarding copies of Alpha Flight, New Teen Titans, and later Spawn number ones a dozen at a time. I understand speculation and investment. I do a little bit myself. But, comics, as a media, are supposed to be fun and exciting. Doesn't this grading mania hurt that?

I ask you..... Is the hobby better or worse for it?

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Post by greg »

whovianone wrote:I ask you..... Is the hobby better or worse for it?
Honestly, I don't see graded comics as required for any collector.

If you don't like CGC, or PGX, or any graded comics, then you can buy
one of the ungraded ones, as if CGC/PGX/whoever never existed.

To date, the top CGC-graded books of all time are Wolverine Limited Series #1 (1982) and Amazing Spider-man #300.
Both books have had less than 4,000 copies graded.

Both books had hundreds of thousands of copies printed.

Generously considering CGC as having graded 2% of the print run, 98% aren't graded.

Even the extremely limited books, such as Albedo #2,
Steve Gallacci says there are 2,000 copies.
To date, 43 have been CGC graded. That's 2%.
Again, 98% of the books aren't graded.

If graded comics aren't part of your hobby, what have you given up? 2%?
(It's actually much, much less than 2% for most comics.)

What has professional grading done to those comics that aren't graded?

Has it made collectors focus more on condition than in the past?
If so, wouldn't that make "mid-grade" books less expensive to own?
(After all, you can't charge NM prices for a FN book and expect happy customers forever.)

Has it cast doubt upon sellers who insist upon high prices ($500+) for comics they aren't
willing to have graded by a third-party? I hope so.
There's a reason that used car dealers have a bad reputation...
why should "used comic dealers" who demand high prices be any different?
Why not get a second opinion? (Or a third?)

So, who's hurt by professional grading?

Shady dealers? I can live with that.

People (in general) who overgrade? No problem with that either.

The average collector who wants to own a book?
If they can live with a "less than perfect" copy... it should be cheaper today,
if there are fewer "shady dealers" and "people who overgrade".

The "high grade" collector who wants to find a good deal on a raw book?
With 98% ungraded, I'm sure there are many gems in the ungraded world...
but why does "high grade" matter if you're not selling?
(And if you are selling, why not let CGC certify your "high grade" for more profit to you?)

The comic reader? Reader copies haven't changed in price, as far as I can tell...
in fact, key issues are often reprinted, and non-key reader issues are usually found
in bulk lots for low prices.

I understand that when a comic that was $10 sells for $200 (in a CGC 10 slab), it might cause an "outrage".
But if you can still buy an ungraded copy for $10, then where's the personal injury?

(...and graded coins and graded cards paved the way... we're just now walking their roads.)
Last edited by greg on Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:04:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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I agree

Post by cjmiller2213 »

ZephyrWasHOT & whovianone bring up some pretty good points and arguments - from the heated posts I have already encountered, I can tell this is a touchy subject for some and gets others boiling by just speaking the name PGX.

I can admit voting for PGX at the beginning for thread opening purposes - but I can assure you I would not vote in their favor again - learn from your mistakes is the name of the game right? And I haven't actually sent anything to either company so maybe this was a good idea actually...if nothing more than to open my eyes.

That said, I am not sure I would even vote due to the scrupulous nature of the entire method - it is a sure fire way to hike the prices on comics that people will pay good money for. It does seem like a good idea to put the comics in one of the holders to store for longevity reasons - just maybe forget about the little number due to the inconsistency.

You have all taught me well - the poll will stay up pretty much because I don't know how to take it down. This thread has also taught me a great deal about the 'new' market and tactics used by some to make money.

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Post by greg »

CJ,

Graded comics (from either company) are really just regular comics plus a nice holder.

Their value should be based on:

The comic value (as if it was ungraded) + the confidence that the grading provides

If you believe that PGX can provide "confidence value" greater than the cost of their fees,
then PGX is an appropriate choice.

If you believe that CGC can provide "confidence value" greater than the cost of their fees,
then CGC is an appropriate choice.

If you don't need a "confidence value" at all, then professional grading isn't needed.

As a buyer, I don't mind paying "a little extra" for CGC graded books.
As a seller, I wouldn't expect buyers to just believe me when I say a book is 9.6 or 9.8,
so I'd look for someone else to provide that "confidence" for my buyers.
As a collector, I like to know which books I need to upgrade,
which books are checked off my "to get" list in certain grades,
and which books I bought ungraded that are worthy of high CGC grades.

For me, the "confidence value" that I receive from CGC is greater than the costs
for their service for some of my books.
90%+ of my collection will probably always remain ungraded, and that's just fine, too.

I see my current choices as "CGC or ungraded"... because both options provide
the right mix of value & confidence depending on which book I'm collecting.

PGX might be a "low cost alternative" to CGC, but I'm not convinced the "confidence value"
that they provide (if any) is high enough to spend any money with them.

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Post by whovianone »

greg wrote:CJ,

Graded comics (from either company) are really just regular comics plus a nice holder.
Greg, our dear friend, you have hit the nail on the head for me. :-) However, I think the point I was trying to make is there is a far-reaching effect on the market when a book that's CGCd gets a high dollar sale or two, then others start paying more just because of that in the hopes they too will receive a "grail grade" which in turn affects the true fan who just wants to read the book or put it in their collection. I'm worried about these kinds of things turning comics into the hole that it's done to many sports cards...

In the past you would settle the card on what it was worth, now people are either charging large amounts for cards because they say, "This would get a PSA 9 or BGS 9.5 if it were graded, so I want double book for it." Which, granted, puts them into the "unscrupulous dealer" category, but then again, I've seen it spread through a con or community of collectors like wildfire. I've always taken to comics because of the love for the stories, not really condition as much as I do now. (I do have to consider a small bit the investment potential for the college fund of my little one.) But, I've seen it hurt the card market in recent years. I concede the it's a small portion of the market, but it's still an effect on the other parts of the market too.

Am I way off base here? Feel free to slap sense into me if I am. :-)

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Re: I agree

Post by Chiclo »

cjmiller2213 wrote:That said, I am not sure I would even vote due to the scrupulous nature of the entire method - it is a sure fire way to hike the prices on comics that people will pay good money for. It does seem like a good idea to put the comics in one of the holders to store for longevity reasons - just maybe forget about the little number due to the inconsistency.
I wouldn't so much say scrupulous or even unscrupulous, at least for the most part.

Subjective. Subjective is a very good word.

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Post by greg »

whovianone wrote:
greg wrote:CJ,

Graded comics (from either company) are really just regular comics plus a nice holder.
Greg, our dear friend, you have hit the nail on the head for me. :-) However, I think the point I was trying to make is there is a far-reaching effect on the market when a book that's CGCd gets a high dollar sale or two, then others start paying more just because of that in the hopes they too will receive a "grail grade" which in turn affects the true fan who just wants to read the book or put it in their collection. I'm worried about these kinds of things turning comics into the hole that it's done to many sports cards...

In the past you would settle the card on what it was worth, now people are either charging large amounts for cards because they say, "This would get a PSA 9 or BGS 9.5 if it were graded, so I want double book for it." Which, granted, puts them into the "unscrupulous dealer" category, but then again, I've seen it spread through a con or community of collectors like wildfire. I've always taken to comics because of the love for the stories, not really condition as much as I do now. (I do have to consider a small bit the investment potential for the college fund of my little one.) But, I've seen it hurt the card market in recent years. I concede the it's a small portion of the market, but it's still an effect on the other parts of the market too.

Am I way off base here? Feel free to slap sense into me if I am. :-)
I'll concede that there is "insanity" at the high end of the grading scale (comics, coins, cards, etc.)
...but I don't see the problem for "the true fan who just wants to read the book or put it in their collection".

"True fans" don't need 9.9... they can read an 8.5 or a 9.0 modern without a problem.
If they're looking for older books, excellent "reader copies" come in the forms of 4.0 to 6.0,
and generally don't cost much at all compared to their 9.0-9.4 counterparts.

For cards, a PSA 7 is still "near mint", right?
So why would a "true fan" need a 9 or a 10?

Any collectible which is a "freak of condition", that is, nearly perfect in every way,
should probably be protected from future damage. Why damage it?
The number of copies of Harbinger #1 that qualify as CGC 9.8 is tiny. Tiny.
If you had one for sale, why sell it cheap to someone who wants to plop it on their desk and read it?
There are 8.5 copies everywhere... they read just the same.
There are trade paperbacks with the whole 1st issue plus three others.

I don't understand why it's a "problem" if the most well-preserved, most perfect specimens of a collectible
are treated as if they are the "most well-preserved, most perfect specimens of a collectible".
Aren't they?

It just makes sense to me.

Of course, the prices for "perfect books" may not make sense,
but since when does the "most expensive option" for anything make sense?

For example, it would be silly to "complain about the price of travel" based on the cost of a Lamborghini.
It's equally silly to complain about the price of a comic based on the cost of a CGC 9.9 or 10.
You might as well complain that you can't go on vacation because "First Class" seats are too expensive.

Unless every option is too expensive, then there are alternatives...
and no one is forced to pay too much... we just can't always have "the best".
(... or I'd eat Filet Mignon every night.) :wink:

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Post by whovianone »

I don't think I'm arguing about the need to have grading, or even it's existence, but maybe this clarifies. I do tend to say what's in my head before I say what I mean. LOL
greg wrote: "True fans" don't need 9.9... they can read an 8.5 or a 9.0 modern without a problem.
If they're looking for older books, excellent "reader copies" come in the forms of 4.0 to 6.0,
and generally don't cost much at all compared to their 9.0-9.4 counterparts.
Very true. I wasn't saying that the average collector needs this, or that the fact they are out there is bad. I guess I'm more concerned that such a large portion of the hobby is affected by these prices that it will hurt the modestly paid fan who then cannot afford even mid-grade copies because of how these very high grade books sell. I just saw an auction for $1000 for the two Cap 25 covers graded CGC 9.9. Now, if that person gets $1K for those two BRAND NEW books. Ouch. I saw someone mentioning in another thread, "Imagine if Ebay had been around when Superman 75 was released."
greg wrote: Why it's a "problem" if the most well-preserved, most perfect specimens of a collectible
are treated as if they are the "most well-preserved, most perfect specimens of a collectible".
Aren't they?

It just makes sense to me.
Again, I don't know if I think encapsulating is bad. Guns aren't bad. People using them to murder is bad. I'm worried the same way here that my personal bent on high-powered rifles are not good for the gun-toting community because of the crazies who use them to murder. (Ok, a stretch as comparisons go.)
greg wrote: For example, it would be silly to "complain about the price of travel" based on the cost of a Lamborghini.
It's equally silly to complain about the price of a comic based on the cost of a CGC 9.9 or 10.
You might as well complain that you can't go on vacation because "First Class" seats are too expensive.
I'll agree, but we aren't talking about an item where there is no other choice but the high-end. And, the price of a Lamborghini doesn't affect the prices of a mid-sized sedan. Nor does it affect the price of the VW Bug, etc.
greg wrote: and no one is forced to pay too much... we just can't always have "the best".
(... or I'd eat Filet Mignon every night.) :wink:
Well, I'd take Swordfish steaks, but we're on the same track. ;-)

I guess, on reflection, my worries have to do with the effect of crazy sales on the regular collector. Graded books or otherwise. I remember when no one I knew could get a copy of New Teen Titans 1 back when it was fairly new. I know you can get trades for nearly anything, but it's no the same. Alot of my friends were turned off by dealers who priced them at $50 when the guide stated it was a $10 book. Now, prices weren't changed and shown daily back then, so it didn't have the same quick effect. But, many complain about a new book being priced up at the LCS the go to. And, that's my argument on a much smaller scale. But, some of those happen because of the dolts who saw the book sell for $20 on ebay, then bought it up so the local collector would have to pay THEM a premium.

It hasn't affected me personally in years. I tend to like things that go under the radar, like Flash, Legion, Green Arrow, etc. But, then again, I do like Invincible, and that's a high dollar book considering how new it is.

So, I'll strike my comments that suggest I don't agree with grading. I own a few graded books. But, my concerns are still that wild selling can do more long term harm than good.

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Post by greg »

whovianone wrote:I saw someone mentioning in another thread, "Imagine if Ebay had been around when Superman 75 was released."
I've given a little thought to this, and I'd say that prices might have settled more quickly,
so it actually could have been "less damaging" if Ebay had been around when Superman 75 was released.

If 1,000,000 copies of something were suddenly available... and people believed they could profit
quickly by buying them for instant resale, the reality of Ebay could change some minds
before they're 'set in stone' and before too many people get burned.

Take a look at this Captain America 25 example.
There are far fewer copies than Superman 75, and despite that "first week" of insane prices,
the book is already falling back to "normal"...

If Ebay had been around during Superman 75, the sheer quantity of them available on Ebay
could have set the prices lower, more quickly... once the "gotta have it at any price" people
had their copies, prices would have fallen.
It's likely that an auction or two might have even hit $1,000 for Superman 75,
but I doubt if it would have actually been paid. And if so, not many.

With plenty of supply, Ebay could have made the whole Superman 75 "phenomenon"
occur much quicker, with prices falling faster, and fewer people being "gouged"
by their local (in most cases, only) sellers.

I'd say Ebay may be single-handed responsible for stopping the "Wizard effect",
where Wizard could say a new comic is worth $20, but Ebay sells them for $5,
so few people have to get ripped off because of limited information.
"Truth" is a powerful thing, if only more people had access to it.
(Prior to Ebay, "truth" was whatever Wizard or my local shop owner said...
what other options did I have?)
whovianone wrote:But, my concerns are still that wild selling can do more long term harm than good.
:hm:

Possibly... but I'm sure people with "quick buck" mentality are prone to disappointment.

In some cases, though, the exact opposite may happen.

For example, I wouldn't have cared at all about "Walking Dead" if it had never
sold for more than cover price. It was the "wild selling" that piqued my interest.

"Wild selling" made me think...
"What is this Image book that people actually would pay so much for?"
"Is it really a good read? Maybe I should check it out..."

As a result, I read 30 issues of Walking Dead.

"Wild Selling" may be an expensive lesson for a few people, but if there's any merit
to the item being sold, the "advertisement" may bring more people in than it pushes away.

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Post by whovianone »

greg wrote: If 1,000,000 copies of something were suddenly available... and people believed they could profit
quickly by buying them for instant resale, the reality of Ebay could change some minds
before they're 'set in stone' and before too many people get burned.


With plenty of supply, Ebay could have made the whole Superman 75 "phenomenon"
occur much quicker, with prices falling faster, and fewer people being "gouged"
by their local (in most cases, only) sellers.
whovianone wrote:But, my concerns are still that wild selling can do more long term harm than good.
Ok, you've turned my opinion on that you. I hadn't thought that way. ;-)
greg wrote: Possibly... but I'm sure people with "quick buck" mentality are prone to disappointment.


Let's hope, huh? :-)
greg wrote: In some cases, though, the exact opposite may happen.

For example, I wouldn't have cared at all about "Walking Dead" if it had never
sold for more than cover price. It was the "wild selling" that piqued my interest.

"Wild selling" made me think...
"What is this Image book that people actually would pay so much for?"
"Is it really a good read? Maybe I should check it out..."
Ok, ok, I give on this one too. I've not read the book, but love his work on Invincible. I just don't know that it does more good that bad. I suppose there are a number of "necessary evils" in any hobby, eh? ;-)

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hell yea

Post by cjmiller2213 »

Possibly... but I'm sure people with "quick buck" mentality are prone to disappointment.
That is funny - good statement.


Greg, have some pretty good arguments that I really never even thought about (I am relative noob to the new age comic collecting phenomenon but I collected about 15 yrs ago like crazy).

IMO - Ebay has created the 'hype' for getting graded comics due to the fact the only other place you would see as many as you do is a convention. Comic shops around here (indy/midwest) have some but not like the numbers you see on ebay. Do a search for CGC comics on any given day and there are around 3000 entries. It is pretty much a solid advertisement for CGC for every auction that is listed.

Just 2 cents worth since I did see the ebay reference - ebay is a wonderful thing to hate, I have been using the program since it appeared back in 95 and continue to use it for just about anything I need to buy - go find it in a store to test out - see if they will match a price 'you saw on ebay' and 9 times out of 10 they won't - so purchase on ebay for a fraction. Back in the early days you could get deals that are unheard of now on the app. People really didn't realize some things were worth as much due to the lack of auctions for obscure items. Now - you can find anything and everyting you ever wanted.

Carry on - good reads you guys, this thread taught me more that I ever thougth I would learn on a forum.

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Re: hell yea

Post by greg »

cjmiller2213 wrote:Carry on - good reads you guys, this thread taught me more that I ever thougth I would learn on a forum.
:)

I was around Ebay starting in 1997, and since CGC didn't start until 2000,
and since I didn't buy a CGC-graded book until 2002, I know that I spent 5 years
buying Valiant comics in their "raw" forms from Ebay.
(My local shops have few Valiants, and I didn't attend any conventions until 2004.)

That being said, I know that I purchased multiple copies of some books
that would grade between 8.0 and 9.8 if they were sent to CGC.
I'm quite certain that I never bid on anything listed below "Near Mint",
so it's pretty safe to say that "Ebay Near Mint" can mean anything from 8.0 to 9.8,
and it just doesn't make sense to buy a Valiant book in 8.0 condition for a "near mint" price.
(Shipping costs are probably higher than the book value.)

So, it was a "logical step" for me to either purchase Valiant books only from sellers
who I was sure could grade accurately, or to purchase Valiant books which
had been graded accurately by a third party.


Since I can't afford to test each and every seller on Ebay to determine whether
they are accurate graders or not, it makes sense to use a standard like CGC.

(Of course, "accurate" implies perfection, and no one is going to be perfect,
but I shouldn't get an 8.0 when I'm buying "Near Mint".)

There is an increased cost for CGC 9.8 books vs. the ungraded book worthy of 9.8 grading,
but it is extremely hard to determine an ungraded book worthy of 9.8 grading in an Ebay auction.
It's not impossible, I'm sure they are bought and sold all the time,
but so are the ungraded 9.4, 9.0, and 8.0 comics which are labeled as "Near Mint / Mint".

I own some CGC 9.8 books that I wouldn't grade above 9.4...
but I don't own any CGC 9.8 books that I would call 9.2 or worse.
I own some CGC 9.6 books that look better than CGC 9.8,
and I have some CGC 9.4 books that appear they could be 9.6 or 9.8.

What CGC has done is "focus" the uncertainty of grading into a more limited space,
and it has given me the chance to buy comics on Ebay without worrying
that I'll wind up with an 8.0 that I paid near mint prices for.

Some might say that CGC has made modern books below 9.8 basically "uncollectible",
because only CGC 9.8 has any "value"... but I'm very happy to own books
that are CGC 9.6 that look far better than many of the ungraded copies I purchased
in the past 10 years. Especially when CGC 9.6 is generally only a fraction of the cost of CGC 9.8.

My current CGC collection for books from 1990 to 1996 (any publisher) is
70% below CGC 9.8.

Why would I bother with anything below 9.8? Because they are still better than my ungraded copies
that I purchased as "Near Mint", "perfect condition", "looks awesome", "unread beauty", "best you'll find".

With most of them selling for little more than the "ungraded price" plus the cost of CGC slabbing,
it's almost a "no brainer" to pick up a guaranteed CGC 9.6 at those prices.

Again, some of the CGC 9.6 are probably closer to CGC 9.4,
but none of them deserve to be 8.5.

I wish I could say the same for all those thousands of ungraded "Near Mint" books in my collection.

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Post by ZephyrWasHOT!! »

whovianone wrote:I don't think I'm arguing about the need to have grading, or even it's existence, but maybe this clarifies. I do tend to say what's in my head before I say what I mean. LOL
greg wrote: "True fans" don't need 9.9... they can read an 8.5 or a 9.0 modern without a problem.
If they're looking for older books, excellent "reader copies" come in the forms of 4.0 to 6.0,
and generally don't cost much at all compared to their 9.0-9.4 counterparts.
Very true. I wasn't saying that the average collector needs this, or that the fact they are out there is bad. I guess I'm more concerned that such a large portion of the hobby is affected by these prices that it will hurt the modestly paid fan who then cannot afford even mid-grade copies because of how these very high grade books sell. I just saw an auction for $1000 for the two Cap 25 covers graded CGC 9.9. Now, if that person gets $1K for those two BRAND NEW books. Ouch. I saw someone mentioning in another thread, "Imagine if Ebay had been around when Superman 75 was released."
If eBay had been around when Superman #75 was released, it would likely have sold for $50 on the first day, and then never again.

There were FOUR MILLION COPIES of the first printing, both editions, printed.

That was PLENTY to go around to EVERYONE.

I saw a STACK of 400 in front of me from my BOSS....my EMPLOYER...who REFUSED to sell ONE to me at cover price.

ONE.
I guess, on reflection, my worries have to do with the effect of crazy sales on the regular collector. Graded books or otherwise. I remember when no one I knew could get a copy of New Teen Titans 1 back when it was fairly new. I know you can get trades for nearly anything, but it's no the same. Alot of my friends were turned off by dealers who priced them at $50 when the guide stated it was a $10 book. Now, prices weren't changed and shown daily back then, so it didn't have the same quick effect. But, many complain about a new book being priced up at the LCS the go to. And, that's my argument on a much smaller scale. But, some of those happen because of the dolts who saw the book sell for $20 on ebay, then bought it up so the local collector would have to pay THEM a premium.
See, here's the deal: as graded books have been integrated solidly into the collecting landscape, they have actually caused average prices for average books to go DOWN....not up. Many, many sellers have been FORCED (they would NEVER go along willingly) to accept the reality that, unlike the old days, a high price for a very high grade is NOT going to correspondingly raise the prices for ALL examples in ALL grades. If you had a Spawn #1 in 10.0, it's a legit $400-$600 book. A Spawn #1 in 6.5? If a dealer was even WILLING to display it, they'd be pretty ballsy if they asked even $5 for it, and they KNOW it.

And even moreso, now they have a physical NUMBER to support that even moreso. And, as contempt grows for "less than 9.8" moderns, the prices will go even lower.

Back in the old days, that (future) 6.5 would have sat right next to the (future) 10.0 and been priced exactly the same.

The net effect is that everyone has been forced to realize that uber high prices for uber high grades are the EXCEPTIONS to the rules, not the rules themselves, and that everything else is very common, and won't sell for a premium when "uber high grade" does, too. This was true in 1994....it's not true anymore.

Does that mean idiot sellers won't TRY to price common examples of high priced books accordingly? Sure.....but, for the most part, the collecting public has figured it out, and generally rejects this nonsense.

And even more.....the spread between NM and Good in Overstreet widens every year...as it should.

I'm just waiting for the day when ALL books are priced INDIVIDUALLY, according to their OWN relative rarity in each grade.

Spiderman #28 shouldn't be worth more than Spiderman #27 in VG....but it is. Why? Because of the totally false idea that it is "scarcer in HIGH grade"....that aside, why, then, would it be correspondingly more expensive in LOW grade? It's no more or less common than Spidey #26, #27, or #29, and yet....it's more expensive than all of them in LOW grade.

Makes no sense.

The CGC guys at WWLA and I laughed about the example of the Restored book they had....it was Cap Annual #8, Restored 7.5 (color touch)....I said "how much, $1?" and they laughed and said "yeah, that's about the right price for it. LOL!"
It hasn't affected me personally in years. I tend to like things that go under the radar, like Flash, Legion, Green Arrow, etc. But, then again, I do like Invincible, and that's a high dollar book considering how new it is.

So, I'll strike my comments that suggest I don't agree with grading. I own a few graded books. But, my concerns are still that wild selling can do more long term harm than good.
The highest grade books DO need to be preserved and recognized for what they are, if for nothing else than the awe and enjoyment of future generations. If it takes a book being worth $50,000 so that it is preserved, GREAT.

It's sad that so few examples of certain coins survived into the future, due to melting and the lack of care in general that coins received for decades (keeping in mind that for many, a half dollar was a day's wages for that time, too.)

Now, there are example of coins that are so rare, only a handful of people can ever own them. There are coins that are so rare in super high grade, only a handful of people can ever own them. And that's a shame.

A super high grade ANYTHING is a sight to behold. Some of the most beautiful pieces of art are blazing examples of coins that are 200 years old. That's stunning, especially considering what they had to go through to make it all those years intact.

The same is true of comics.

I don't believe in slabbing mid to low grade comics (Fine or lower) for collecting. If it must be slabbed to sell, ok, but if I were ever to own a low grade slabbed book, and wouldn't be selling it, I'd probably crack it, just to hold it in my hands.

But if it's a Detective #37, in CGC 9.0...why risk it?

There are PLENTY of examples of Detective #37 in VG to go around (for now), so why risk damaging the high grade ONE?

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Post by ZephyrWasHOT!! »

whovianone wrote:
greg wrote: If 1,000,000 copies of something were suddenly available... and people believed they could profit
quickly by buying them for instant resale, the reality of Ebay could change some minds
before they're 'set in stone' and before too many people get burned.


With plenty of supply, Ebay could have made the whole Superman 75 "phenomenon"
occur much quicker, with prices falling faster, and fewer people being "gouged"
by their local (in most cases, only) sellers.
whovianone wrote:But, my concerns are still that wild selling can do more long term harm than good.
Ok, you've turned my opinion on that you. I hadn't thought that way. ;-)
greg wrote: Possibly... but I'm sure people with "quick buck" mentality are prone to disappointment.


Let's hope, huh? :-)
greg wrote: In some cases, though, the exact opposite may happen.

For example, I wouldn't have cared at all about "Walking Dead" if it had never
sold for more than cover price. It was the "wild selling" that piqued my interest.

"Wild selling" made me think...
"What is this Image book that people actually would pay so much for?"
"Is it really a good read? Maybe I should check it out..."
Ok, ok, I give on this one too. I've not read the book, but love his work on Invincible. I just don't know that it does more good that bad. I suppose there are a number of "necessary evils" in any hobby, eh? ;-)
Another example:

Back when X-Men took off in 1978, there weren't all that many copies to go around of X-Men #94-107-ish.

However, this was when Marvel didn't print less than 100,000 copies of ANYTHING, much less X-Men, so relative to, say, 2000-2001 books, they are still plentiful (that is, you can see AT LEAST ONE X-Men #94 for sale on eBay on any given day.)

But when X-Men went insane, and #94 went from 60 cents in the 1978 Overstreet to $60 in the 1979 Overstreet (you MUST keep this in perspective, in 1975, a scant four years earlier, FF #1 was selling for $50 in "NM"...so for the book to be worth $60 in the space of one year is somewhat like Captain America #25 being worth $1000....raw....this time next year) everyone started ordering MORE X-Men, and the hoarding began in earnest.

Net result?

There are now more high grade copies of X-Men from 1978-1981 than ANY OTHER TITLE in existence, and they are now RELATIVELY cheap to get.

You can get NM copies of X-Men #132 all day long off of eBay for $10-$15.

You can get CGC 9.4 copies of X-Men #132 all day long off of eBay for about $40-$60.

Go ahead and TRY to find a Batman #322 (same month of release) in CGC 9.4 for sale.

Go ahead. Try.

Or a 9.6.

Or a 9.8.

It's not possible.

Ok, GRANTED, if one of the TWO graded 9.6-9.8 showed up on eBay and sold for $$$, it MIGHT....MIGHT flush out more copies....MAYBE.

But probably not.

Because Batman was not hoarded like X-Men was.

So, while a raw X-Men #137 may still cost you $10-$25 in NM....

You can GET one.

This works across the board, by the way.

The prices may be a lot HIGHER...but it is OBTAINABLE.

"Wild selling" encourages hoarding, which keeps a HIGHER percentage of copies available in very high grade.

Look at the prices paid for last issues in CGC 9.8.

$200 for an X-O #68?

It happens.

And it happens because they weren't subject to "wild selling."

Frankly, I'm glad everyone hoarded X-Men. It's the Batmans I WISH they'd hoarded.

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Re: hell yea

Post by Chiclo »

greg wrote:I own some CGC 9.8 books that I wouldn't grade above 9.4...
but I don't own any CGC 9.8 books that I would call 9.2 or worse.
I own some CGC 9.6 books that look better than CGC 9.8,
and I have some CGC 9.4 books that appear they could be 9.6 or 9.8.
I think I have 4 slabs, and the highest grade is 9.6. I have only once paid more than $25 after shipping for any of them - and that was the Harby 0 Pink (8.0 - LOWEST ON CENSUS!) from Cinlach on a board auction.

I am perfectly happy with a 9.6. Especially when I get them for less than slabbing costs.

My first slab is an EW 1 Embossed Gold and I paid $9.99 or $12.99 for it before shipping. And I was happy to do so, because it was the third premium Valiant book I bought and it was my first slab.

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Post by ckb »

If Ebay had been around during Superman 75, the sheer quantity of them available on Ebay
could have set the prices lower, more quickly... once the "gotta have it at any price" people
had their copies, prices would have fallen.
It's likely that an auction or two might have even hit $1,000 for Superman 75,
but I doubt if it would have actually been paid. And if so, not many.
What you said above is going to be correct 99.999% of the time, but I actually think Sup 75 would have been in the other 0.001%. Demand was so widespred and so strong, it would not have mattered. The fact is that Superman 75 was actually vastly UNDER-printed. eBay would have actually increased the audience - don't even have to leave your chair to get one. Sure, no one would have paid $1K, but it would have been a $50+ book for a long time.


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