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?
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.
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.
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?
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?