lbej wrote: Xylob wrote: roguesquad wrote:
...They always grade them as FN or VF too. I don't really care since I just want to get rid of them anyway but its a little suspicious.
Until they list them for sale...
Believe it or not, my experience is they just grade hard. I can track books I've sold (not just consignments) through and they list at the grade they quote, at least as far as I've seen. Every
book I've had graded by CGC came back at a higher grade than what MCS gave it. They take the grading risk on sales so they grade hard on purchases. That's what I'd do, and I don't think there's anything nefarious to it.
Here's the problem. At least when I was there, the people that check in the buy/trade orders are usually different from the people that file the comics in the warehouse. Those people may or may not be the same people that then pull the comics back out of the warehouse when somebody else buys them... and then somebody else "checks" them to verify the grade. Then they go to get packaged for shipping.
Back then, The buy/trade check in was usually in the same building as the people that then checked orders later so the chances were better that at least the same pool of people were grading both in and out. Most of the comics are stored unbagged in longboxes out in the warehouse (comics valued over $10 usually got much better treatment... depending on where they were on the $ scale, they might be bagged and boarded in an air conditioned building and the really valuable stuff were in the vault... yes, an honest to goodness vault).
About 10 years ago or so, they built a new warehouse behind the old one and moved a lot of the work out there. Since then, they've bought some of the surrounding buildings and moved various components of the process to different buildings. There is one building (across the street from the warehouse) where all the buy/trade orders go to be unpacked and maybe graded.
Why is all of this a problem? Well, here's a quick breakdown of the travels of a basic comic once it arrives at MCS:
-Delivered to the old building out back and unpacked
-Taken to somebody for grading
-Having been graded and approved, they go somewhere else where people sort them (usually by quickly putting them in large alphabetical stacks based on title)
-once alphabetized, they go into boxes where they wait to be filed in the boxes in the warehouse by one of the warehouse monkeys
-when a particular comic gets ordered by someone, one of the warehouse monkeys goes and pulls it (along with a bunch of others... they print up the pull lists everyday for the stuff that was ordered since the last list was printed)
-the comic goes in to get double checked and then the individual orders are assembled
-then the orders go to get packed and shipped
Now, I doubt that Buddy has changed his philosophy on wages so the warehouse monkeys probably get paid a smidge above minimum wage with pretty much no benefits. It's a high turnover position and usually it's a bunch of young adults with little job experience but thought that working for a comic book shop would be fun. This is also usually the case with the people who are packing the comics for shipping.
The people that are verifying the grades of the comics you order are usually those people that were previously warehouse monkeys but proved to be fairly competent. Although, the comics in the warehouse usually had a color coded post it note attached to the first page of the comic that was visible at the top for easy identification by the warehouse monkeys. The checkers verified the post-it matched the actual condition that was ordered and then they remove the post it (back in the '80's, they wrote the grade lightly in pencil around the issue box and then erased it when somebody ordered it... some of those are still out there)
Pretty much, the only "grading pros" that ever dealt with the comics were the folks checking in the comics they were buying. Buddy used to do a lot of that himself.
So, in summary, the "best" graders check in what you sell them and then the stuff gets handled numerous times by a bunch of low paid employees before it arrives at your house if you buy something from them. Odds of receiving a comic in the condition it was initially graded? Low.