So you bought that beautiful copy of the comic you’ve always wanted. Maybe it’s your grail or maybe it’s an opportunity to make money. Either way, you’re going to want to have that comic professionally graded or what we call slabbed to protect it and provide a legitimate grade that takes out all guess work.
The best known third-party grading service is the Certified Guaranty Company, or CGC for short. There are others like Comic Book Certification Service or CBCS and Professional Grading Experts aka PGX.
Each company offers comic book grading to customers that ranges from a “No Grade” (where a comic is in pieces and incomplete) to a 1.0, to the mythical 10.0, which is as elusive as a two-headed unicorn.
There are many things to consider before you submit to CGC because just a difference in one point of a grade can mean a lot of money so you want to be sure that you cover all your bases. This article covers the top mistakes people make when sending in their comics for grading.
- Not Pressing Your Comics
Comic book pressing is a process that can enhance the appearance of a comic book by removing dents, bends, crunches, warps, spine rolls, and indentions. Pressing is not considered comic book restoration so there is no reason not to have it performed on your comic.
Be sure to use a trusted service before you send your comics to be pressed.. CGC even offers this service called Classic Collectibles Service or CCS. You can include this service before they grade your comics, for a fee.
There is no reason not to have your comic pressed and cleaned beforehand. Y es, it may be an added expense, but the potential to increase the grade far outweighs the cost.
- Shipping your Comic in Poor Packaging
- If a comic is bent in shipping, the bends or creases could drive the comic’s grading down immensely. Be sure you package your comic in bags and multiple backer boards. I recommend using Gemini comic mailers. Also be sure to pay for enough insurance to cover your comic in the event that it is bent or lost, or stolen.
- Not Checking the Book Value Before Submitting. Know the value of the book before you submit. Ask yourself, is submitting a dollar comic book worth the cost of slabbing? If the answer is no, don’t submit it. If the comic has an emotional or nostalgic value, that’s one thing, but spending $30+ on a dollar comic is a bad investment.
Research book values on ebay or in the latest Overstreet Price Guide to get an idea of what your comic might be worth. You can even ask your local comic book store and they can help.
- Submitting a signed comic that has not been witnessed – Never submit a signed comic to CGC unless you submit through a partner that has an onsite CGC witness at the time of signing. CGC can’t guarantee the signature without witnessing it. You will receive a green qualified label instead of the yellow. The comic is probably worth more in a raw state. If you absolutely must submit a signed comic without a witness, you should submit to CBCS who has a verified signature program with Beckett Authentication Services.
- Not Inspecting Your Book Before Submitting. Be sure to inspect your comic book thoroughly. This may include removing it from its bag and inspecting each and every page. I had a beautiful copy of Amazing Spider-Man #31 that would normally grade as a 7.5 or 8.0, but when I opened up the comic, one of the pages was incomplete. This would have resulted in a green label and devalued the grade considerably. Submit as many comics together that you can. This can reduce the overall cost per comic for shipping.
- Submitting multiple tiers at once. Different parts. Combine the comics in a single tier and ship together. (Silver Age, Modern, magazines, etc) the more books you have graded at one time – separate invoices.
- Also consider the services – how many are pressed
- Sending in the COA with your Comic. It doesn’t help the graders and it’s iffy on whether it will be returned at all. Just keep it.
- Gemini Comic Shippers – https://www.geminicomicsupply.com/
- CBCS Verified Signature program – https://www.cbcscomics.com/verified-signature-program
- Writen By: Brandon Woodson
- Follow him @thesharc on Twitter