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CCL Grading Wizard Options
Peacefuldragon
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 1:38:34 AM

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noticed this myself. definitely needs to be looked into.

If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.
a_Kid_4_life
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 2:15:14 AM

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I will make sure to look in to this & post a thread in the approvers lounge & post follow up information here or have Comic Castle respond with what he learns about the topic.
The_Valiant_One
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:52:28 AM

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It's certainly something that we can look into. The Grading Wizard was created before I came to CCL, but I know exactly which part of the process you're referring to.

Since that was progamatically created and designed in a way, well...honestly I have no idea how it was built...it'll be something that Joe will have to get a programmer to make an adjustment on.

Are there any other instances anyone else has noticed in the Grading Wizard that don't seem to jive? The Wizard was more designed for novices that didn't even know what an Overstreet was, but clearly more and more are either becoming seasoned, or we're just attracting the best and most seasoned collectors ;)

Applause





a_Kid_4_life
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:52:51 AM

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I have sent PM's to those who would know the answer to your question. There is the need for some work in this part of the software since it now includes more then just comics. I know that I myself would like to see it improved for some of the same things you do. I was shocked to find out that some of the approvers didn;t know about this feature. So for other members who may not know what we are talking about here is a short over view & where to find it.
This helps you grade your books and rates it in sections such as cover & pages. It is easy to use by answering the question all of which havea selection of answers as well as tell you areas to look at when deciding which one to pick. It is found in the view of an issue in detail that is in your collection. on the right side by an icon that looks like half a dial face or a meter. Once you click on it you will see the first question of 12. After you answer them all it will have a grade based on the answers you have given in all the questions.

If you have any ideas on how it can be improved bring them up at the next confrence call or you can post them in this thread or send them to the staff at CCL. Myself I would like to have a price guide intergrated with it as well but know that this wouyld be a major programing overhaul and with the constant changes in the market as well as the value depends on which price guide you use there would always be room for debate as to it being correct. We all know they are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them anyways.
scotteaves
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 10:19:06 AM

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Nice addition would be the ability to grade Action Figures, Statues, and Cards.

Some for Action Figures could be:
1) Loose with all accessories.
2) Loose missing some accessories.
3) Loose no accessories.
4) Various grades based on both loose and carded/packaged figures.

Or even just the option to manually enter text into the Grade field which would allow for graded descriptions like those above.





Joe
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 1:11:03 PM

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Actually the grading system is very easy to adjust, including the questions and the grade the answer creates.

I will go over this with Steve, and we can tweak this very easily. Maybe we could list the questions and answers and grade level, and tweak this to more accurately represent real world scenarios.

We need to take this from start to finish, questions with possible answers, and grade each answer represents. Once I have this, I can update the database and the grading wizard version.



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Tamwood
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 8:30:56 PM

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I also think some better terminology (or, at the very least ... maybe picture references?) would be helpful. The very first question in the Wizard deals with cover creasing .... 1) should this be split into 2 questions ... front cover creasing and back cover creasing? and 2) it asks us to determine between "slight" creasing, "minor" creasing, "moderate" creasing and "significant" creasing. Overstreet, unfortunately, uses the same terminology, but where do you draw the line between "slight" and "minor" or between "minor" and "moderate?"

Also ... spine creases. Should these be included in cover, or spine? Because it asks in both questions, but it seems to take off less grade-wise for spine creasing.

And finally, can we add a question about foxing, with appropriate grade deductions? I have some books with interior covers that have really significant foxing ... where should that be counted off?
scotteaves
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:32:35 PM

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Tamwood wrote:
I also think some better terminology (or, at the very least ... maybe picture references?) would be helpful. The very first question in the Wizard deals with cover creasing .... 1) should this be split into 2 questions ... front cover creasing and back cover creasing? and 2) it asks us to determine between "slight" creasing, "minor" creasing, "moderate" creasing and "significant" creasing. Overstreet, unfortunately, uses the same terminology, but where do you draw the line between "slight" and "minor" or between "minor" and "moderate?"

Also ... spine creases. Should these be included in cover, or spine? Because it asks in both questions, but it seems to take off less grade-wise for spine creasing.

And finally, can we add a question about foxing, with appropriate grade deductions? I have some books with interior covers that have really significant foxing ... where should that be counted off?


What is foxing??

Jim
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:36:20 PM

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slight == minor
minor < moderate

Quote:
Foxing is a term describing the age-related spots and browning seen on vintage paper documents such as books, postage stamps, certificates, and so forth.


I'd like to see the system follow more closely to ComicsCastle's (Pat's) grading chart. His is the closest to accurate I've seen on CCL.

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scotteaves
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:37:03 PM

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thanks EE.

Jim
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:39:25 PM

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scotteaves wrote:
Nice addition would be the ability to grade Action Figures, Statues, and Cards.

Some for Action Figures could be:
1) Loose with all accessories.
2) Loose missing some accessories.
3) Loose no accessories.
4) Various grades based on both loose and carded/packaged figures.

Or even just the option to manually enter text into the Grade field which would allow for graded descriptions like those above.





This would really make my day. I have TONS of loose figures that I don't want to list on here because it's geared strictly toward carded figs. We need to institute the standard C-* grading system for figures used everywhere else.

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scotteaves
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 11:19:29 PM

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ErrantEntertainment wrote:
scotteaves wrote:
Nice addition would be the ability to grade Action Figures, Statues, and Cards.

Some for Action Figures could be:
1) Loose with all accessories.
2) Loose missing some accessories.
3) Loose no accessories.
4) Various grades based on both loose and carded/packaged figures.

Or even just the option to manually enter text into the Grade field which would allow for graded descriptions like those above.





This would really make my day. I have TONS of loose figures that I don't want to list on here because it's geared strictly toward carded figs. We need to institute the standard C-* grading system for figures used everywhere else.


Here's a link to AFA's grading scale...
http://www.toygrader.com/grading_scales.aspx

That's what I was thinking of (the C-* system) but it just wasn't getting to the front of my noggin in time. thanks for mentioning it.

a_Kid_4_life
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 3:33:03 AM

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Bump! Any more ideas?
CrossbowComics
Posted: Saturday, July 17, 2010 3:59:19 PM

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I would skip the grading wizard & head over to Amazon - snag a bunch of "out of date" Overstreet grading guides on the cheap & presto, your free gift for opening a store.

For the expensive stuff, the best solution is descriptions & pictures. Give me enough info to grade a book for myself & I'm good to go. Yes, date stamps are allowed in 9.2 but maybe I don't like date stamps.

For unscanned books, just try to be close, Overstreet provides plenty of basic guidelines. If someone sends me a VF with a 2 inch crease I know it either wasn't inspected or the seller is loosey-goosey, probably lost me either way.

Assume overgrading until proven otherwise, anyone who buys a lot of books already knows this.

So anyway, there are plenty of cheap & available resources, don't bust your butt too hard on the grading tool. I can't imagine anyone being a serious seller & not having some sort of Overstreet, it's like being a priest but you haven't gotten around to reading the bible yet.




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The_Valiant_One
Posted: Saturday, July 17, 2010 6:38:26 PM

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CrossbowComics wrote:
I would skip the grading wizard & head over to Amazon - snag a bunch of "out of date" Overstreet grading guides on the cheap & presto, your free gift for opening a store.

For the expensive stuff, the best solution is descriptions & pictures. Give me enough info to grade a book for myself & I'm good to go. Yes, date stamps are allowed in 9.2 but maybe I don't like date stamps.

For unscanned books, just try to be close, Overstreet provides plenty of basic guidelines. If someone sends me a VF with a 2 inch crease I know it either wasn't inspected or the seller is loosey-goosey, probably lost me either way.

Assume overgrading until proven otherwise, anyone who buys a lot of books already knows this.

So anyway, there are plenty of cheap & available resources, don't bust your butt too hard on the grading tool. I can't imagine anyone being a serious seller & not having some sort of Overstreet, it's like being a priest but you haven't gotten around to reading the bible yet.


Amen.

Still, we are working on tweaking the CCL Grading Wizard in a couple different ways.







CrossbowComics
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010 2:44:41 AM

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Unfortunately there are copyright issues, but it would be cool to scan the books in Overstreet as examples, or even just the pages with all the guidelines, such as how big a spine split or how big a chunk can be missing in a given grade. I'm sure Overstreet would rather have you go buy the book.

A formula is tough, although I can see where this would be geared to the non-sellers as a handy tool, another little bonus that comes with your monthly fee. In my last post I was thinking about it more from a seller standpoint, so I spoke too quickly perhaps.

One thought, is instead of going through a series of questions for every book, you could have a "grading guide" tab on the My Collections page. One click & I can scroll down to see that VG/FN is the highest grade that allows a 1/2 inch spine split. Heck, I'd use something like that. If a customer thinks a book might be overgraded, he has an instant reference, and can explain to me that he wants to return a book because I rated it VF with a 1/2 inch spine split. Kind of empowers the customer if you think about it.

Alright, if I'm going to get in a little X-Box before I sleep I'd better cut out.




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bovard
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010 11:32:21 AM

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CrossbowComics wrote:
Unfortunately there are copyright issues, but it would be cool to scan the books in Overstreet as examples, or even just the pages with all the guidelines, such as how big a spine split or how big a chunk can be missing in a given grade. I'm sure Overstreet would rather have you go buy the book.

A formula is tough, although I can see where this would be geared to the non-sellers as a handy tool, another little bonus that comes with your monthly fee. In my last post I was thinking about it more from a seller standpoint, so I spoke too quickly perhaps.

One thought, is instead of going through a series of questions for every book, you could have a "grading guide" tab on the My Collections page. One click & I can scroll down to see that VG/FN is the highest grade that allows a 1/2 inch spine split. Heck, I'd use something like that. If a customer thinks a book might be overgraded, he has an instant reference, and can explain to me that he wants to return a book because I rated it VF with a 1/2 inch spine split. Kind of empowers the customer if you think about it.

Alright, if I'm going to get in a little X-Box before I sleep I'd better cut out.


For a while, a group of us were working on a grading exercise were we would send books around, all grade them, then agree on a final grade. We would also scan the front and back covers, include graders notes, etc. Eventually, I hoped we would create our own online grading guide, with all of our own pictures, examples, and descriptions. It would have been much like the overstreet, except completely online. Unfortunately, we did not have enough interest, or time (myself included) to finish it.

The CCL grading wizard is useful, but obviously has it's limitations. Sure it can be improved, but just as a basic algorithm with questions about your book, it will never take the place of a grading guide that has examples of actual comics, notes to go along with the grade, as well as the specific flaws that go along with those grades. Even with a grading guide like overstreet, the grader still needs sufficient experience to take into consideration things not covered in the book, as well as recognize errors, like when they accidentally put a picture of a VG/FN book, next to a description of a FN comic.

One of the major problems with the grading wizard currently, is that it's WAY to subjective. Yes, we all know there's aspects of grading that are subjective, BUT there's also rules, as well as aspects that are easily quantifiable, like "1/2 inch spine split." Nothing subjective about that at all. It is what it is. But, using terms like minor, moderate, severe, just leaves too much open to interpretation. For example: to me, minor might be a 1/32 to 1/16 inch spine crease, but to someone else might mean a 1/4 spine crease. A drastic difference in interpretation, and a HUGE difference in actual grade. So, adding terms to the Grading Wizard that take out subjectivity, and allow users to quantify, would be a step in the right direction, imo.


Jim
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010 1:33:20 PM

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I think some of the confusion might stem from the fact that CCL provides a cover image of the book. It's what people see when they are making purchases off CCL and since it's the first image here that they see it's easy to set expectation even though they might be buying a VG/F book.

On eBay, buyers typically see an image of the actual book in the listing they are wanting to buy from so from the point of inception it's already seeded in their mind what that book is supposed to look like when it arrives on their doorstep.



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CrossbowComics
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010 2:23:41 PM

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I agree Miles, it's like how do you quantify minor, moderate and major foxing. Much of grading is eye appeal, it's like trying to come up with a formula for how attractive a girl is. Certainly a 36-24-36 has a good chance of being attractive, but different guys will cast different votes, heck we're notorious for it. No girls here right?

A formula can at least get you in the ballpark. Most books have SOME flaw that caps them at a certain grade, such as a crease, tear, chunk out, etc. If you want to allow a 1 inch crease in VF, go for it, but at least the customer could have a reference that says maybe that's not kosher. Just having a set of guidelines could eliminate MOST subjectivity. Stuff like minor vs moderate foxing you'll never pin down, but perfection isn't the goal, you try to get close, disclose the formula ins't perfect, call it good.

IMO, whether you have a grading wizard or not, a handy-dandy grading reference would do a lot of good. Maybe in the next day or 2 I'll pick a grade & throw something together. Fortunately, there are some well defined industry standards so it's not a lot of work. I'm sure if we put all the big heads together we can come up with a set of agreed upon guidelines, make it readily accessible. Hmmm, does Ebay have anything like that? If I hear some other people hop in the boat I'll grab a paddle & start rowing.

Doug



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bovard
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010 4:04:45 PM

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Some official grading standards would be great, and very helpful. I'd be willing to help out in any way possible. Something that meets all the same criteria as Overstreets, would probably be the best, so we're not grading books on CCL based on one standard, and then a buyer recieves a book and says "Wait a minute, Overstreet does not allow for a subscription crease in VG-, but CCL's standards do?" Not a specific example, but you get my meaning.

Foxing is pretty hard to pin down, as is shelfwear. You really can't describe it in any other way then, minor, moderate, severe. But, at least saying foxing is present, and showing pictures.

One of the nice things about Overstreet, is they have a section that describes the number of allowable defects per grade, as well as a section that translates their subjective terminology, into actual numbers, for example: Slight, subtle = 1/32" to 1/16" and 1 defect. Moderate = 1/4" to 1" and 4-8 defects. Yes, they sometimes have subjective terminolgy, but then explain it.


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