Grading collectibles will play a larger and larger role in the collectibles market as time goes on, especially as we see new growth in the community. One of the reasons for this is that as new collectors come into the market, they are less familiar with grading collectibles and sometimes shy away from raw comics or other collectibles because they don’t know what to look for. Companies like CGC take all the guesswork out of it and certify that collectible in its given grade, providing peace of mind to the buyer and protecting the collectible from any damage. I believe this is an incredibly valuable service to the community and that the fees associated with it are completely reasonable. As I’ve submitted to the CGC a lot over the years, I want to save you some trouble by informing you of the top three mistakes people make when submitting their comics:
Mistake #1 - Pressing Choices
I say pressing choices because people often make the wrong choice regarding pressing by either not doing it or by having the wrong company do it. I do all my own pressing now and say that at least 90% of the books I submit benefit from a press. Not all books indeed need a press, but you need to know what to look for, and it’s only about 10% that genuinely have no pressable flaws.
Choosing which presser is just as important as actually doing it, and there are many reputable pressers on IG and on the web that do fantastic work. Two critical questions to ask are their turnaround time and if they include cleaning. Some pressers don’t clean the books, and often books can benefit from a smudge here or there being erased or wiped off. Many people choose CCS, CGC’s pressing company because it’s easy and you send it to the same place. I wouldn’t recommend using CCS unless you don’t mind waiting an extra 4-5 months on top of the already long grading time. This turn time at CCS seems just to be getting longer, and I don’t know if they will ever get control of it.
Most people that submit to CCS don’t realize that they can expect 4-5 months. It says so right on their website. I think people get blinded by desire and believe it will go faster. That said, I have had 150 books pressed and cleaned by CCS, and I think they do good work. If they can control the turn-time, they will be a top contender for pressing options.
Keep in mind, too, that you can learn to press your books for a very reasonable setup fee. You can pay for your setup for the price of 1 25 books pre-screen pressing services.
Mistake #2- Submitting Books of Little or No Value.
This is common for a first-time submission. You get that brand new book from NCBD, you love the cover, and you decide to submit it, again blinded by desire thinking, “Oh, this will fetch a pretty penny in CGC 9.8.”
But you paid the cover price, and it’s still available for cover price, and by the time you get it back from CGC, all the hype is gone for that book, and it isn’t even on people’s radar anymore. Keep in mind that many hot and trending books are just a flash in the pan, and there are substantial wait times for CGC, so by the time you get it back, the flash can be gone. Stick to books that have established values or key status. The “key of the week” book very likely could only ever be a key for that week. Look on eBay and see what the book sells for in a 9.8. If it’s $50 or less, it’s probably not worth submitting.
Mistake #3 - Not using the pre-screen service.
Pre-screen is available for CGC when you have at least 25 books in the same grading tier. At that point, you can pick individual grades for each book, you can have different pre-screen grades for each book, or you can choose 9.8 for all of them. This means that if the book doesn’t hit that grade, they return it to you raw with a $5 rejection fee. It’s better in most cases to pay that $5 rejection fee than having a 9.4 of an essentially unsellable book.
I realize that not everyone has 25 books in one tier that they want to submit, or they don’t want to foot the bill of a 25 book submission, and here’s my recommendation for that. Go in with a friend. Find someone else to add ten books to your 15, so you have a total of 25 and can use pre-screen. Ask your LCS if you can throw in a couple of books on one of their submissions. He’ll ask me! If you want to send me 5 or 10 books for a pre-screen, I’ll gladly include in one of my submission, just pay for all costs associated.
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