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Why doesnt CCL have a GRADING standard page? Options
BurningDoom
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 3:45:01 PM

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Aw yeah! I just looked up my version on Amazon. Cheapest copy is going for $60. Cha-ching!

Make sure that you read and understand the forum rules here
freakdylan
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 3:51:53 PM

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MoonKnight1 wrote:
I think Dylan has a great point. There could easily be a permanent post in the Please Grade My Book section of the Forum. It could be stated right up front that these are general guidelines and not CCL Policy.

Thoughts?


While I applaud your gumption to want to fix this over site, I think a forum post isnt a cure. I shop at most comic stores that have an online shop but this is the only one I ever visit the forum on. (Yea I know how did yall get that bad luck).

So while a forum post couldnt hurt, I still think a grading link should be at the top of CCL or at the very least in the sidebar. Most people that will come here to shop wont bother to check out the forum 1st. However if the see a nice link in between shop-library-grading-community it would really help.

Again not trying to make a set standard for every store, just a general guide with a nice disclaimer:

Quote:
The grading guide below should only be used as a basic guide to a comics grade. For exact condition of a comic please message the seller.


Thanks to the following sellers for helping me put together my complete run of Amazing Spider-man #1-700

ComicsCastle
TreeHouse
Hall Of Heroes
Thundercron's Longbox
DrumCzar


Now for the sellers helping me finish my TMNT collection:

Hall Of Heroes
Green Bay Comics



comicscastle
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 4:52:28 PM

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I received a PM from a member asking for my input on this topic. Here is the answer I sent him.

I really am not in favor of posting a guide on CCL because it would look like it is a CCL sanctioned and approved guide. CCL tried to put together a guide several years ago by asking a number of dealers to leave comments and proposed changes to their grading system. I didn't participate because I refused to use their grader. Apparently they didn't get a good response or couldn't reach a consensus because nothing was ever done. I can post my grading guide because it only represents me and I have publicly stated that others can use it if they want, but I'm not CCL and I don't speak for all the other stores. CCL can't post Overstreet's grading standards without their permission. The same hold true for any other sources. One of the biggest problems is getting everyone to agree on what defects are allowed in a grade and to what degree. Remember we have more than 100 stores here. An example is water stains, spine roll, loss of cover gloss, writing on covers, date stamps, rusty staples etc. Some of these things really bother some people and others not so much. That's why it's hard to come up with a guide that represents everyone.

I think the discussion is fine, but posting a guide for all to follow is just something I can't support.




The following stores are all stores that I've dealt with or have become friends with through the forums and I highly recommend them all.
Comics Castle-owned & operated by Pat McCauslin
Alpha Comics--ComicVortex--Comic Cellar


bovard
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 6:22:35 PM

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BurningDoom wrote:
Aw yeah! I just looked up my version on Amazon. Cheapest copy is going for $60. Cha-ching!

They used to be readily available for around $10, I guess those copies have all been bought up... I think I paid $12 for mine back in 2009, the 2nd edition which is perfectly acceptable. There was not much difference between that and the third edition.

There is a copy on ABE for $40.


outcast
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 6:54:52 PM
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I bought a second edition of the Grading Guide at a library sale about a year ago. The price tag on it is $1.00, and I think I bought it on the second day for half price. Knowing there is a third edition, though, I can't help wondering what has changed.

As for the broader question of grading standards, it might be worth recalling how Comics Buyer's Guide used to handle the issue. CBG did publish grading standards, and the deal was that dealers could use CBG's standards, or state their own standards (if a dealer didn't state standards, it was understood that he or she was using CBG's standards). I don't see why something like that couldn't work here.
caseysorrow
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 7:30:24 PM

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Silly question. It's been awhile since I've used it, but doesn't CCL software have a grading questionnaire/guide in it?

Casey


outcast
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 8:14:01 PM
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caseysorrow wrote:
Silly question. It's been awhile since I've used it, but doesn't CCL software have a grading questionnaire/guide in it?

I don't know.

Even if it does, not all potential buyers use the software. I, personally, have placed orders here, but I do not use the software.
caseysorrow
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 8:16:56 PM

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outcast wrote:
caseysorrow wrote:
Silly question. It's been awhile since I've used it, but doesn't CCL software have a grading questionnaire/guide in it?

I don't know.

Even if it does, not all potential buyers use the software. I, personally, have placed orders here, but I do not use the software.


But if it does, as I remember, it would mean at some point that CCL had some standard ratings already in place. Just not placed on the website for some reason?

Casey


Thundercron
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 8:36:20 PM

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The software has a guide to help grade books. Most everyone that's used it will tell you it's wildly inaccurate to the point of comedy.
MoonKnight1
Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014 7:21:36 AM

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freakdylan wrote:
MoonKnight1 wrote:
I think Dylan has a great point. There could easily be a permanent post in the Please Grade My Book section of the Forum. It could be stated right up front that these are general guidelines and not CCL Policy.

Thoughts?


While I applaud your gumption to want to fix this over site, I think a forum post isnt a cure. I shop at most comic stores that have an online shop but this is the only one I ever visit the forum on. (Yea I know how did yall get that bad luck).

You're killing me!Rolling on the Floor
freakdylan wrote:
So while a forum post couldnt hurt, I still think a grading link should be at the top of CCL or at the very least in the sidebar. Most people that will come here to shop wont bother to check out the forum 1st. However if the see a nice link in between shop-library-grading-community it would really help.

Again not trying to make a set standard for every store, just a general guide with a nice disclaimer:

Quote:
The grading guide below should only be used as a basic guide to a comics grade. For exact condition of a comic please message the seller.

I think that a link would be best as well but I am not able to do that. What I can do is a Forum post which I believe would be better than nothing.

Fantastic News! Hall of Heroes has now surpassed 600 Hero Ratings! I couldn't have done it without all of you and I will strive to maintain and improve my high standards. Which brings me to my next announcement - starting now, all shipments will come with tracking at no extra charge to you! I'm a little late to the party but as they say - better late than never. You spoke and I heard you loud and clear. Excelsior!



Hall Liquidations


MoonKnight1
Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014 7:28:22 AM

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comicscastle wrote:
I received a PM from a member asking for my input on this topic. Here is the answer I sent him.

I really am not in favor of posting a guide on CCL because it would look like it is a CCL sanctioned and approved guide. CCL tried to put together a guide several years ago by asking a number of dealers to leave comments and proposed changes to their grading system. I didn't participate because I refused to use their grader. Apparently they didn't get a good response or couldn't reach a consensus because nothing was ever done. I can post my grading guide because it only represents me and I have publicly stated that others can use it if they want, but I'm not CCL and I don't speak for all the other stores. CCL can't post Overstreet's grading standards without their permission. The same hold true for any other sources. One of the biggest problems is getting everyone to agree on what defects are allowed in a grade and to what degree. Remember we have more than 100 stores here. An example is water stains, spine roll, loss of cover gloss, writing on covers, date stamps, rusty staples etc. Some of these things really bother some people and others not so much. That's why it's hard to come up with a guide that represents everyone.

I think the discussion is fine, but posting a guide for all to follow is just something I can't support.

I appreciate your position Pat but I would like the chance to persuade you that it is a good idea. I'm going to have to do it later, unfortunately. I was supposed to have today off from filming but I was called back in at the last minute.

Thanks everyone for your comments. I would urge you all to please keep an open mind and judge this for yourself. If the general consensus is that a GG is not needed then fine, no problem. If it's decided that it is a go then I will get started.

I will put my pitch together and have it posted by tomorrow.

Fantastic News! Hall of Heroes has now surpassed 600 Hero Ratings! I couldn't have done it without all of you and I will strive to maintain and improve my high standards. Which brings me to my next announcement - starting now, all shipments will come with tracking at no extra charge to you! I'm a little late to the party but as they say - better late than never. You spoke and I heard you loud and clear. Excelsior!



Hall Liquidations


Thundercron
Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014 5:41:09 PM

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I also appreciate Howie's willingness, but I still don't understand the purpose of putting guidelines together, with the input of users. There are already established guidelines out there, specifically Overstreet guidelines. For decades Overstreet was the leading authority in grading books. It's necessary to have an established set of guidelines for people to look to, otherwise things just devolve into peoples' own set of personal standards. And that's what's happened with the advent of the internet. Different websites and stores have their own grading standards, each tweaked to their own personal liking. Having CCL put together yet another set of rules based on user opinion will just add to the online clutter of people not agreeing across the board to a set of standards.

There's no need to put anything together. Just use the standards that have been accepted for decades. Post a link or copy and paste (with permission) the already-established guidelines.
BurningDoom
Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014 7:36:41 PM

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Thundercron wrote:
I also appreciate Howie's willingness, but I still don't understand the purpose of putting guidelines together, with the input of users. There are already established guidelines out there, specifically Overstreet guidelines. For decades Overstreet was the leading authority in grading books. It's necessary to have an established set of guidelines for people to look to, otherwise things just devolve into peoples' own set of personal standards. And that's what's happened with the advent of the internet. Different websites and stores have their own grading standards, each tweaked to their own personal liking. Having CCL put together yet another set of rules based on user opinion will just add to the online clutter of people not agreeing across the board to a set of standards.

There's no need to put anything together. Just use the standards that have been accepted for decades. Post a link or copy and paste (with permission) the already-established guidelines.


I completely agree with this. If there's a standard guideline, there will be less disputes due to separate personal interpretations. And what better guideline is there than the already established one?

Make sure that you read and understand the forum rules here
Tamwood
Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014 8:42:45 PM

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MoonKnight1 wrote:

I agree. That's why I would make sure at the top of the post that it states implicitly that CCL Sellers are not bound by these grading standards. It is only a general guideline for informational purposes.

I think that it would be a good thing for the site to have a Grading Guide permanently posted. Imagine someone googling "on line grading guide" and CCL popping up on the first page?

This is a good discussion and I appreciate all of your input.


Why in the HECK would you want a site-specific grading guide, only to post a disclaimer claiming that stores don't have to follow said guide?

Again, the best advice is to buy an Overstreet. Or take a look at Pat's personal grading guide. Having yet another link that 99.9% of the people who browse this site won't know about is silly.

For example: the number of people who didn't know about the (truthfully, less than useless) grading tool in the software. Or that can't figure out how to submit a CR. Or that have never seen the "library" link. Or the "Release Date" link. Or a ton of other links and bells and whistles that nobody seems to know about.
MoonKnight1
Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014 3:21:36 PM

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I would like to thank Dylan for starting this thread. I have wondered the same thing for a few years now: Why doesn't Comic Collector Live - which purports that their comic book database is among the largest on the Internet - not have a list with descriptions of the system used to Grade comic books?

This has been a great discussion and I welcome everyone to participate and let's see what we come up with. If the consensus is no Guide then so be it, we'll move on. If it is determined that a Guide would be a positive direction then I will be happy to help put it together.

My arguments for are as follows:

1) Not everyone knows what Grades are. Obviously most people reading this are familiar with the grading system and the terms but the average comic book reader doesn't really understand what Fine or Very Good actually means. You don't need a Grading Guide but how many people do? I would think that a lot of collectors don't own an Overstreet Guide and some might not even be aware of Overstreet at all. Sure you can find a grading guide online, so why not here?

2) Grading comic books is extremely subjective but the Grades are not. A list of the Grades and a description of the characteristics of each is not unreasonable to expect on a site dedicated to buying/selling and cataloging comic books.

3) I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here. Nor am I advocating for a "How Do I Grade My Comic Book" section. What I think would be beneficial to Comic Collector Live and the Community that buys, sells or just hangs out here is a Forum Post or Permanent Link (preferably the latter) that lists the Grades and gives a general description of them for informational purposes. Imagine someone typing into Google "Comic Book Grading Guide" and CCL pops up on the first page!

4) A few Members have suggested that having such a thing would lead people to think that this Guide would be CCL Policy and that Sellers would be bound into adhering to the standards. It is my thinking that most people who purchase through online sources understand that the individual Seller is responsible for their actions and not the site itself. For example, I have purchased things on eBay that I was not pleased with. I did not blame eBay, I placed the fault with the Seller.

5) What's better - Something, or Nothing? When you have nothing then it's hard to say whether or not something would be better or worse because you don't have anything. Right now we (CCL) have nothing. If adding a Grading Guide will be the downfall of this site then by all means let us not do it. It is my opinion that having a list of grades, brief descriptions of each and a glossary of commonly used terms would be beneficial to Comic Collector Live. I think that having something like this would draw more people to the site.

I will now address some specific comments.
BurningDoom wrote:
Thundercron wrote:
I also appreciate Howie's willingness, but I still don't understand the purpose of putting guidelines together, with the input of users. There are already established guidelines out there, specifically Overstreet guidelines. For decades Overstreet was the leading authority in grading books. It's necessary to have an established set of guidelines for people to look to, otherwise things just devolve into peoples' own set of personal standards. And that's what's happened with the advent of the internet. Different websites and stores have their own grading standards, each tweaked to their own personal liking. Having CCL put together yet another set of rules based on user opinion will just add to the online clutter of people not agreeing across the board to a set of standards.

There's no need to put anything together. Just use the standards that have been accepted for decades. Post a link or copy and paste (with permission) the already-established guidelines.


I completely agree with this. If there's a standard guideline, there will be less disputes due to separate personal interpretations. And what better guideline is there than the already established one?

Overstreet is the leading authority on grading comic books. I will absolutely use their standards but I will not plagiarize them. If someone can get their permission to use their information then I will be 100% behind that. If that is not doable then I propose my alternative.

As to the highlighted part, you are right. Too much input would turn the thing into a huge mess. Perhaps we could ask respected Members of CCL to form a Panel that would fine tune the language used in the category descriptions. I would gladly defer to those more knowledgeable than I in order to present something acceptable.


Tamwood wrote:
Why in the HECK would you want a site-specific grading guide, only to post a disclaimer claiming that stores don't have to follow said guide?


Steve, I understand your concerns but I prefer to think that this is a great opportunity to do something positive for Comic Collector Live.

I don't see a problem here. A guide is just that. It is not a specific rule or law to be followed it is a general idea and not meant to be anything writ in stone. That would be the initial impetus behind it, buyers would be encouraged to ask sellers about specific details if there is any concern.

Tamwood wrote:
Again, the best advice is to buy an Overstreet. Or take a look at Pat's personal grading guide. Having yet another link that 99.9% of the people who browse this site won't know about is silly.

Not everyone wants to buy an Overstreet and Pat (comicscastle) is fantastic and his guide is awesome but it is his guide in his store so unless you know it's there or you find it in some Forum thread then we're in the same boat. In today's world more and more people use their computers, etc for finding out information. If someone new to comics (or not) searches for Comic Book Grading Guide or something similar how cool would it be for Comic Collector Live to be right there?

Tamwood wrote:
For example: the number of people who didn't know about the (truthfully, less than useless grading tool in the software. Or that can't figure out how to submit a CR. Or that have never seen the "library" link. Or the "Release Date" link. Or a ton of other links and bells and whistles that nobody seems to know about.

You are making my point right here. This is the first I have heard about a grading tool in the software. If it is "less than useless" then it's no wonder no one has heard of it.

All I'm saying is that, in my opinion, a Grading Guide link or post on CCL would be an improvement and I sincerely believe that it would be a positive step for everyone. I really see more positive effects than bad.

Here is an example of what I am proposing:

Fine - A comic in Fine condition has some minor defects including slightly blunted corners, stress marks on the spine and around staples and possibly a small tear or missing piece. The cover will still have some shine but may show some surface damage. Cover and pages should be intact and could possibly be loose but not detached.

This is not meant to represent the final text, just a demonstration of how I would present the information.

I would of course consult with whomever is appropriate before submitting a final draft.

I will stress that I think the positives outweigh the negatives in this situation. Not having a Guide doesn't bring great harm to CCL but I am certain that having one will be a benefit in the long run.

Thank you all for reading this, I will await your responses and address any question or concern. Whatever happens I think this is a productive discussion and I hope to have many more.

My closing statement is this, from the Home Page of Comic Collector Live, and I quote:

What Can You Do with CCL?

Organize comic books and collectables with CCL's professional desktop software. Shop for comic books and collectables from hundreds of shops. Fill out your collection. Set up a store and sell comic books and collectables online.
Research hundreds of publishers, tens of thousands of titles, hundreds of thousands of comic books, graphic novels and even the most hard-to-find variants with our online database.
Read comic book reviews and interact with our community of comic book collectors and fans.
Comic Collector Live is everything comics.


Comic Collector Live is everything comics. Is not Grading part of comics?

Fantastic News! Hall of Heroes has now surpassed 600 Hero Ratings! I couldn't have done it without all of you and I will strive to maintain and improve my high standards. Which brings me to my next announcement - starting now, all shipments will come with tracking at no extra charge to you! I'm a little late to the party but as they say - better late than never. You spoke and I heard you loud and clear. Excelsior!



Hall Liquidations


Thundercron
Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014 4:00:49 PM

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I agree with Howie's comments. However, I don't understand why everyone is so concerned about "plagiarizing" Overstreet's definitions. The link I posted earlier to a grading guide was to Heritage's site, and comparing the grading descriptions there with Overstreet I see that they are taken directly from the brief descriptions in the Overstreet Price Guide, although the descriptions in the Price Guide are a little more extensive.

These are industry standards, as Overstreet wants them to be. I don't think they would have a problem reproducing them here. And if it could be a problem, all anyone has to do is ask.
MoonKnight1
Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014 4:26:11 PM

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Thanks Corey,

That's exactly right. OS has set the standard definition on grading comics. I don't think anyone disputes this. What I am proposing is a spot on Comic Collector Live that lists the grades from Gem Mint to Poor and gives a general description of what to expect.

That way if someone is shopping on CCL and has a question about grades, they can easily hit a link somewhere on this site that explains the difference between Very Fine and Near Mint and then continue shopping on this site .

I do not really see that much of a downside to having a site specific guide to the grades that comic books are categorized by.

Fantastic News! Hall of Heroes has now surpassed 600 Hero Ratings! I couldn't have done it without all of you and I will strive to maintain and improve my high standards. Which brings me to my next announcement - starting now, all shipments will come with tracking at no extra charge to you! I'm a little late to the party but as they say - better late than never. You spoke and I heard you loud and clear. Excelsior!



Hall Liquidations


comicscastle
Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014 4:58:54 PM

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Thundercron wrote:
I agree with Howie's comments. However, I don't understand why everyone is so concerned about "plagiarizing" Overstreet's definitions. The link I posted earlier to a grading guide was to Heritage's site, and comparing the grading descriptions there with Overstreet I see that they are taken directly from the brief descriptions in the Overstreet Price Guide, although the descriptions in the Price Guide are a little more extensive.

These are industry standards, as Overstreet wants them to be. I don't think they would have a problem reproducing them here. And if it could be a problem, all anyone has to do is ask.
Heritage has (had?) an agreement with Overstreet to publish an on-line version of the Overstreet Price Guide. I'm sure that with that came permission to use their guide.

I suggest someone contact Steve to get CCL's view on this discussion before a lot of time is wasted.



The following stores are all stores that I've dealt with or have become friends with through the forums and I highly recommend them all.
Comics Castle-owned & operated by Pat McCauslin
Alpha Comics--ComicVortex--Comic Cellar


Tamwood
Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014 5:27:27 PM

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"Fine - A comic in Fine condition has some minor defects including slightly blunted corners, stress marks on the spine and around staples and possibly a small tear or missing piece. The cover will still have some shine but may show some surface damage. Cover and pages should be intact and could possibly be loose but not detached."


How minor are defects? How much is "slightly" when speaking about blunted corners? How many stress marks are allowed, and how big can they be? How small is a small tear? And how big a missing piece? Half the cover? If you're missing half the cover, does that constitute a "missing piece?" How loose is loose? I've seen covers and centerfolds hanging on by the smallest bit of paper.


And if you're collecting comics, SERIOUSLY collecting comics. You should have an Overstreet. And if you're SERIOUSLY collecting comics, you know what the grades are. And if you don't know what the grades are, you shouldn't be collecting comics. Buyer beware.
padreglcc
Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014 5:39:40 PM

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Tamwood wrote:
And if you're collecting comics, SERIOUSLY collecting comics. You should have an Overstreet. And if you're SERIOUSLY collecting comics, you know what the grades are. And if you don't know what the grades are, you shouldn't be collecting comics. Buyer beware.

And what about the non-serious collector (whatever that means)? Is that the line we want to give Joe Average: "run out and buy this book" vs "here's a handy thread for free"? I have collected comics for about 20 years with thousands of books in my collection. I don't know if that makes me a "serious" collector or not, but I do know that I do not now, nor have I ever owned a copy of Overstreet. Off of the top of my head, I could not describe the difference between fine and good. Such info, freely available, might come in handy to a person like me.

comicscastle wrote:
I suggest someone contact Steve to get CCL's view on this discussion before a lot of time is wasted.

I've passed this request along to Steve.

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” ~ Bryant H. McGill

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