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HOW TO GRADE COMIC BOOKS? Options
morbius101
Posted: Monday, December 21, 2009 10:52:35 AM

Rank: Vigilante
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Joined: 12/19/2009
Posts: 83
Points: 249
I think a BIG problem is the scope of the VERY GOOD grade, there is a big difference between range of 54 to 36. If a seller describes it as VG and we assume a 1/2 grade error +/-, what you get is up in the air.

Another challenge in grading is what I will call a "QUALIFIED GRADE". In other words a fine+ book with some brown pages. or a VERY FINE book except for a light stain on the back. Or a fine/very fine silver grade Marvel with some "chipping" on the edge of the front cover. In other words it almost all of the characteristics of a FINE/VERY FINE, but the pages are a little browner than they should be....tricky to grade these.

A CGC grade of less that 6.5 is almost a curse on some books, they literally sell for more if you break them out of the plastic.
morbius101
Posted: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:58:32 PM

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To add to my last post, I have several examles of most CGC in my collection....In other words I have a 9.8, 9.6, 9.4, 9.2, 9.0, 8.5, 7.0, 6.5, 6.0, 5.0, amd 4.0 I think is my lowest grade. So I can see examples from CGC to help me even though I can't see the interior pages. I think CGC is extremely picky so it gives you an upper end of the grade. A few examples from a PRO sure helps in understanding how grading works.

In General....I would say comic books on Ebay are described a full grade higher than they are. Every once in a while I will get one undergraded...so look at the pictures carefully.
thomas4d4
Posted: Monday, December 21, 2009 5:21:01 PM

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I agree with you Morbious 101, it is difficult to grade the lower grade books. I rely on the pictures. Often what people call VF on E-Bay is what I call F (it has creases and color loss on the spine). Luckily the lower grades often get overlooked by most on E-Bay because everyone wants high grades so you can pick up some great deals here, but it's good to get good pictures and ask questions.
I tend to think that a G book is beat but readable (staple or staples detached, lots of creases, and maybe some small chunks missing), while a VG book is in between G and F (a book that has some creases on the spine and corners but is otherwise in great condition).


Come check out the new story line in
The BRILLIANT BELLA
as BELLA meets the legendary GOLEM and finds herself with
"FEET OF CLAY".
Written by Thomas Morrison and drawn by Tiina Birgitta Räisänen.
joebee6137
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2009 9:30:21 AM

Rank: Supporting Cast
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Joined: 12/22/2009
Posts: 42
Points: 127
Location: Williamsburg, VA
I don't bother myself much with the current state of comic book grading. Mostly because it's far too open to a mixture of interpretation, wishful thinking and/or personal desire for me to even (remotely) consider it as an accurate (or even valid) pricing medium.
The true worth (or grade) of a comic book, for me, often lies in it's nostalgic value and/or where it fills in on one of those great-old-classic story arcs. I generally buy for me and I enjoy putting together entire runs or volumes on a variety of series'. I rarely buy with the intent to re-sell, distribute or trade.
Some of my "rule-of-thumb" philosophies are that: Most comic books are only worth as much as what the next guy will pay for them (I NEVER pay top-dollar for a thing - Why should I? - and I have some very nice books in my collection); Most comics out there won't become even a little interesting in (high) value until they've aged about 50 years or so; And indeed, one man's "trash" is almost always another man's "treasure" (make any sense at all?).
So stop doing business with CGC (if you do so), because the only ones making out on the "deal" are CGC themselves. Paying $15.00 (or whatever) to have a book graded, that you're not even intended to enjoy afterward because it's sealed, is a ridiculous notion (and it's not even very economically sound). Just take the best care of your books that you possibly can and enjoy them!
thomas4d4
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2009 2:38:07 PM

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CGC is for the Golden age collectors. when your paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a book it's good to know exactly what you are buying. Is it what the seller says it is or is it a restored book?

Personally I like to buy older books and repair them (use archival tape to fix loose staples and such). This way I can get key books at a fraction of the cost and still be able to read them. This is not very popular with the collecting community but for myself it's great. You would be surprised how nice some of these GOOD books come out too(as long as there are no large pieces missing from the cover).


Come check out the new story line in
The BRILLIANT BELLA
as BELLA meets the legendary GOLEM and finds herself with
"FEET OF CLAY".
Written by Thomas Morrison and drawn by Tiina Birgitta Räisänen.
rook68
Posted: Sunday, February 07, 2010 2:33:38 AM

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Joined: 11/27/2009
Posts: 522
Points: 1,566
Location: San Diego, CA
I kind of agree with joebee. A sealed comic book that can never be read and enjoyed is terrible. I read every comic book that I purchase. Do I read my books with dirty hands or drink beer at the same time or eat a pizza while reading comic books? No. But I do read the comic books from front to back. I collect for the love of the stories and the love of the characters involved. I have never collected thinking I would make money off of them. I have never intended to sell my collection that I have amassed for over 20+ years. I do keep my books in bags and boards and in comic boxes; but don't really care if my whole collection isn't mint mint condition. I am just happy that my collection is mine. Everyone else can worry about CGC.


(referring to an original comic book piece) This is a art gallery my friend and THIS is a piece of art.

Elijah Price "Unbreakable"
played by Samuel L. Jackson


Tamwood
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 9:02:59 PM

Rank: Herald of Galactus
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Location: Indiana
I've been working on grading some comics to sell here on CCL, and I've had a very difficult time with the terminology used with their "online grading" tool.

I mean, what is the difference between "slightly creased, mostly flat" and "minor creases, mostly flat?"

With covers, we're given the choice between "very slight," "minor," "moderate, loose cover," "moderate, possibly detached cover."

I've graded several books that have detached covers, or detached centerfolds, that are grading out with the CCL grading tool as "Good." How can a comic with a detached cover grade as "Good?"

Can anybody assist me with my problem?
dunleavy75
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 9:09:05 PM

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Tamwood wrote:
I've been working on grading some comics to sell here on CCL, and I've had a very difficult time with the terminology used with their "online grading" tool.

I mean, what is the difference between "slightly creased, mostly flat" and "minor creases, mostly flat?"

With covers, we're given the choice between "very slight," "minor," "moderate, loose cover," "moderate, possibly detached cover."

I've graded several books that have detached covers, or detached centerfolds, that are grading out with the CCL grading tool as "Good." How can a comic with a detached cover grade as "Good?"

Can anybody assist me with my problem?


Well, I'm no pro but "good" is a very low grade. Isn't "fair" the lowest? I would expect a lot of things wrong with a "good" book. If I saw a book up close I could probably get pretty close with grading but using those standards you spoke of, I'd be lost.





Shop at - ComicsCastle - AlphaComics - TreeHouse
LadyJay
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 10:44:27 PM

Rank: Beyonder
Groups: Approver, CR-Policies, Member, Moderator, Super Hero Showdown Host

Joined: 5/13/2007
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Location: Monrovia, MD
dunleavy75 wrote:
Tamwood wrote:
I've been working on grading some comics to sell here on CCL, and I've had a very difficult time with the terminology used with their "online grading" tool.

I mean, what is the difference between "slightly creased, mostly flat" and "minor creases, mostly flat?"

With covers, we're given the choice between "very slight," "minor," "moderate, loose cover," "moderate, possibly detached cover."

I've graded several books that have detached covers, or detached centerfolds, that are grading out with the CCL grading tool as "Good." How can a comic with a detached cover grade as "Good?"

Can anybody assist me with my problem?


Well, I'm no pro but "good" is a very low grade. Isn't "fair" the lowest? I would expect a lot of things wrong with a "good" book. If I saw a book up close I could probably get pretty close with grading but using those standards you spoke of, I'd be lost.


On a the 10 point grading scale, with 10 being the highest grade, a comic in "Good" condition is a 2. This grade does allow detached covers or centerfolds. The lowest grade is actually a "poor" which equates to a 0.5 on the scale.

EDIT: The Overstreet Comic Book Grading Guide is an excellent resource for help in grading comics.



Tamwood
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 11:42:18 PM

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I know "Good" isn't, well, a good grade. Before I started grading these books, I'd just expected anything with a detached cover to grade out at Fair or Poor. I don't want to list stuff, and have customers complaining about receiving a "Good" book with a detached cover.
LadyJay
Posted: Thursday, April 08, 2010 1:11:32 AM

Rank: Beyonder
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Joined: 5/13/2007
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Tamwood wrote:
I know "Good" isn't, well, a good grade. Before I started grading these books, I'd just expected anything with a detached cover to grade out at Fair or Poor. I don't want to list stuff, and have customers complaining about receiving a "Good" book with a detached cover.


That's why I recommended the Overstreet Guide. It's an excellent reference to see what defects are allowed in the various grades. Another good reference are the Grading Standards that CommicsCastle (Pat) lists for his store. They can be found at the following link.

http://www.angelfire.com/comics/castle/images2/standards2.jpg

I find it helpful to consult multiple sources. Sometimes one source is clearer about a particular point than another.



Tamwood
Posted: Saturday, May 01, 2010 3:57:35 AM

Rank: Herald of Galactus
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Location: Indiana
Alright. So I'm gonna ask another stupid question.

I have a copy of Green Lantern (Vol. 2) #80. It's got a couple little creases by the spine, but my question is regarding factory binding errors.

This is my copy of GL #80. I'm not sure of scan size, so I'm just gonna include the web address.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v470/HoosierBuddy/Blue%20Moon/1.jpg

If you look at the spine, you'll see that there's roughly a quarter-inch (that's a guess-ta-mation) of white space, where the book wasn't bound properly when printed 40 years ago.

Is this considered a binding error? Or extreme spine roll? The Overstreet grading guide for Very Fine states "Spine is almost flat with no roll." This copy has no actual roll. VF also states "a limited accumulation of minor bindery defects is allowed."

F/VF states "the slightest spine roll may be present."

When grading, how do you handle this issue?
thomas4d4
Posted: Saturday, May 01, 2010 11:35:05 AM

Rank: Herald of Galactus
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Joined: 6/7/2007
Posts: 2,269
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Location: in the heart of California's Gold Country
That's a really nice book. The first thing that I look for is how clean and shiny the book is. If the inks are flat from being shuffled around too much, or is there some dirt. This determines wear, or how much it was handled. If it's got flat colors or some scuffing or dirt, your looking at most a FINE book.

In you book I really can't see it well enough in the scan to say how much wear it has. It does look like there is some dirt over the word "die"on the cover, but over all it looks pretty clean. Is this the only place that this dirt shows up?

The next I look for is the corners. Are they crisp and sharp, or are they slightly rounded?

These corners look very nice, with the exception of the upper right corner. I think because the other corners are so fine I would over look the upper right corner as a printer defect.

The next thing I would look for is the creasing. Personally I only allow a few small creases on a VERY FINE or FINE/VERY FINE book, not more than say 5 or 6, and they mustn't be too big or with color break. I even go so far as to hold it up to the light and look into the glare to detect creasing. In my opinion, if I see any creasing, no matter how invisible, it can't be more than a VF/NM.

I can see quite a few small creases on this book. Without the color break at the staple,I would only give this VERY FINE - at most. Does the color break at the staple come from one of these creases or is it really a tear from the bindery? this book also has that ding on the top middle of the book.

I would say a conservative grade for this book would be FINE/VERY FINE because of the relative cleaness of the book and the sharp corners. A VERY FINE - is pushing it in my opinion.


Come check out the new story line in
The BRILLIANT BELLA
as BELLA meets the legendary GOLEM and finds herself with
"FEET OF CLAY".
Written by Thomas Morrison and drawn by Tiina Birgitta Räisänen.
a_Kid_4_life
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 2:36:41 PM

Rank: Herald of Galactus
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Joined: 5/16/2007
Posts: 1,113
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Location: Tacoma, Wash
Joe is seeking input before udgrading the grading wizard so put all your thoughts here

http://www.comiccollectorlive.com/forum/default.aspx?g=posts&t=25591
a_Kid_4_life
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 3:42:03 AM

Rank: Herald of Galactus
Groups: Approver, Member, Subscriber

Joined: 5/16/2007
Posts: 1,113
Points: 1,051,207
Location: Tacoma, Wash
Bump! Please leave ideas and comments on this thread.

http://www.comiccollectorlive.com/forum/default.aspx?g=posts&t=25591
4saken1
Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:22:36 AM

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I have a question about a specific printing defect. I have an otherwise high grade Birds of Prey #8 (NM-) which has a very faint crease straight down the length of the comic. It's obvious to me that this is a factory defect and not something that happenned later.

How, in general, do factory defects affect the grade in comparison to post-release ones?

More specifically, how would said defect affect this particular book?

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yourplace2
Posted: Saturday, October 08, 2011 9:07:26 AM

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Big Hug
These are the scales I have seen in my 30+ years experience. And, it is still depends on the buyer/collector/seller's own opinion! This is a scale to use to put some kind of rating on the book. Put one book in a room with 5 people, you will get 4 or 5 different ratings.

If you were to use every number, meaning 10.0, 9.9, 9.8, 9.7, you would not be able to match the MINT and NM scale. When you add the +/- part, you get a much wider range in the number scale that matches, But you must leave out the ODD number part of the scale. If you put them in, then you leave a large portion of the 0 -10 scale, so why not just use 0-5, or 5-10.

(0-10x2s)(WORDs)(5-10)(0-5)(5-10)

10.0 Mint 10 5.0 10.0 M=Mint
9.8 NM/M+ 9.9 4.9 9.9 VF=Very Fine
9.6 NM/M 9.8 4.8 9.8 F=Fine
9.4 NM/M- 9.7 4.7 9.7 VG=Very Good
9.2 NM+ 9.6 4.6 9.6 G=Good
9.0 NM 9.5 4.5 9.5 P=Poor
8.8 NM- 9.4 4.4 9.4 VP=Very Poor
8.6 VF/NM+ 9.3 4.3 9.3 B=Bad
8.4 VF/NM 9.2 4.2 9.2 T=Trash
8.2 VF/NM- 9.1 4.1 9.1
8.0 VF+ 9.0 4.0 9.0
7.8 VF 8.9 3.9 8.9
7.6 VF- 8.8 3.8 8.8
7.4 F/VF+ 8.7 3.7 8.7
7.2 F/VF 8.6 3.6 8.6
7.0 F/VF- 8.5 3.5 8.5
6.8 F+ 8.4 3.4 8.4
6.6 F 8.3 3.3 8.3
6.4 F- 8.2 3.2 8.2
6.2 VG/F+ 8.1 3.1 8.1
6.0 VG/F 8.0 3.0 8.0
5.8 VG/F- 7.9 2.9 7.9
5.6 VG+ 7.8 2.8 7.8
5.4 VG 7.7 2.7 7.7
5.2 VG- 7.6 2.6 7.6
5.0 G/VG+ 7.5 2.5 7.5
4.8 G/VG 7.4 2.4 7.4
4.6 G/VG- 7.3 2.3 7.3
4.4 G+ 7.2 2.2 7.2
4.2 G 7.1 2.1 7.1
4.0 G- 7.0 2.0 7.0
3.8 P/G+ 6.9 1.9 6.9
3.6 P/G 6.8 1.8 6.8
3.4 P/G- 6.7 1.7 6.7
3.2 P+ 6.6 1.6 6.6
3.0 P 6.5 1.5 6.5
2.8 P- 6.4 1.4 6.4
2.6 VP/P+ 6.3 1.3 6.3
2.4 VP/P 6.2 1.2 6.2
2.2 VP/P- 6.1 1.1 6.1
2.0 VP+ 6.0 1.0 6.0
1.8 VP 5.9 0.9 5.9
1.6 VP- 5.8 0.8 5.8
1.4 B/VP+ 5.7 0.7 5.7
1.2 B/VP 5.6 0.6 5.6
1.0 B/VP- 5.5 0.5 5.5
0.8 B+ 5.4 0.4 5.4
0.6 B 5.3 0.3 5.3
0.4 B- 5.2 0.2 5.2
0.2 TRASH 5.1 0.1 5.1


If you use a mixture of these, which is commonly occuring today, then you invite large quantities of different opinions!
I try to stay near the two scales on the left. They are fairest, and cover each other perfectly.


See, in the past few years, I have seen the addition of the +/- signs being used, which is a good thing, but you need to use them all across the grade scale, as I did above. You can't use them only in the top grades to satisfy your own greed/need. APPLES TO APPLES is the rule!

For my store, here is the best rating:
100% Satisfaction or your money back! No QUESTIONS ASKED! Just ship them back and get another or a FULL refund of your money (return shipping not refunded. Replacement shipping paid by me).

SO, this is just my 2 cents worth, or was that 2.0 cents, or, um, .02 cents worth..oh NM (that's never mind, not near mint).Winking


Join the store on FACEBOOK!



* All items must be returned prior to refund at your expense. Return shipping not refunded.



jayzen
Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012 3:19:56 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 4/2/2012
Posts: 1
Points: 3
Hello, I'm new here =)

Sorry if this question is not in the right place but...
I have an x-men 101 that is a solid VF but it has one staple half way pulled through. Does anyone know how much that would affect the grade as I'm not really sure. Thanks a bunch!

-Jayzen
dagma333
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 4:35:49 AM
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Joined: 5/4/2012
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Location: Columbus, OH
danwes1 wrote:
In my humble opinion, ebay is a comic sales forum only. eBay is to me simply a "pulse" of the industry giving up valuable data on the comics industry in a global capacity, in general.

The data durived from ebay is some of the most important data to any collector, .


Hello, I consider myself more the collector/enthusiast. I buy, but have never sold, a few trades with buddies maybe. I will sell maybe 1/2 my collection when I retire, for fun $$, the other half of the collection will go to my daughter or some other young enthusiast when I pass away. So "value" holds some importance to me, long term, but my primary driving factor is just whether or not it is a "cool" darn comic to ass to add to My Beloved collection.

Anyway I am replying because I am curious as to how you extract the data from eBay? I am a member there, as a buyer, and I have tried finding the buttons or pull downs etc... where I can extract some old auction data, but have been unsuccessful. Is that data only available to sellers or members of a higher level?
CrossbowComics
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 5:43:00 AM

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dagma333 wrote:
danwes1 wrote:
In my humble opinion, ebay is a comic sales forum only. eBay is to me simply a "pulse" of the industry giving up valuable data on the comics industry in a global capacity, in general.

The data durived from ebay is some of the most important data to any collector, .


Hello, I consider myself more the collector/enthusiast. I buy, but have never sold, a few trades with buddies maybe. I will sell maybe 1/2 my collection when I retire, for fun $$, the other half of the collection will go to my daughter or some other young enthusiast when I pass away. So "value" holds some importance to me, long term, but my primary driving factor is just whether or not it is a "cool" darn comic to ass to add to My Beloved collection.

Anyway I am replying because I am curious as to how you extract the data from eBay? I am a member there, as a buyer, and I have tried finding the buttons or pull downs etc... where I can extract some old auction data, but have been unsuccessful. Is that data only available to sellers or members of a higher level?


Right next to the search box you can click "advanced", go there & and check the box for completed listings. For a while they limited data to the past 15 days but they bumped it back to 3 months. Very useful for valuing sets & key books.





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