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Non-comic book collectors selling comic books and listing conditions

Friday, August 16, 2019 12:50:12 PM
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I always find it interesting when people who don't collect comic books list them for sale and try to describe the condition.

The most common thing I see is people using the book rating system (Brand New, Like New, Very Good, Good, Acceptable) and describing comics that are FN/VF or better in "very good" condition. In all honesty, they might not even be using the book rating system, it may just be a casual observation. "Yeah, this book looks like it's in good condition, actually very good condition."

I've gotten quite a few books described as "very good" off of that one auction site that have turned out to be mid-high to high grade. And of course every time I judge by the pictures and buy it, I worry that there was some major defect intentionally not pictured which makes the grade accurate, though that has not once turned out to have been the case.

The most recent example was my mom got her most recent holy grail (Star Spangled War Stories #84, first appearance of Mademoiselle Marie) for a song because the person listed the item in "Poor/Fair condition". We couldn't see anything in the pictures that indicated that assessment was accurate. But my mom had the advantage of ONLY caring about the condition of the cover (she would have been fine getting just a detached cover if it looked nice) and the cover looked great, so she jumped on it.

Long story short, the comic was conservatively in 3.0 condition upwards of 4.0. So she ended getting exactly what she wanted at the price she was willing to pay and got a steal out of it.
Friday, August 16, 2019 2:33:03 PM
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Sometimes people who do collect comics don't know how to grade them. Big Grin

I know what you're talking about, though. I have seen a lot of craziness on fleabay. At least sometimes people will be upfront and say they have no idea how to grade and for you to judge by the pictures but occasionally I see some very bizarre descriptions.

I saw this guy one time who had a bunch of comics and every single one of them he had graded VG/VF. Eh? Confused

One telltale sign that someone is unfamiliar with grading, to me anyway, is when everything they have for sale is the exact same grade. Either you are intentionally selling comic books in that condition only, you aren't exactly familiar with what the grades mean or it's just a huge coincidence.

Full disclosure, I used to not know how to grade. (A few might say I still don't Nailbiting ) It has taken me years to fine tune my grading process and I still try to get better all the time. Grading is very subjective and it is my least favorite part of this job. At times I spend a lot of time grading a comic then I have second thoughts and pull it out to give it a second look.

I have a guy that brings me stuff from flea markets and estate/yard sales all the time and I have been trying to learn him on the specifics. Sometimes he'll bring me something and say, "This is in great shape!" then I'll look at it and say, "Well, the cover is detached at one staple, it's been folded in half at some point and there's a huge chunk missing from page 9."

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Friday, August 16, 2019 7:42:07 PM
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I like the people who are selling books that have been bagged and list them as "still sealed in the original plastic" when it was a book that was never sealed to begin with.

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