CBCS verified market and slabbing in general

Hi all,

CHU lurker here and first time reaching out to any sort of comic community on-line so please bear with me.

Outside of PC considerations, what are your thoughts on CBCS verified signature service and whether there is a market?

While you’re at it, what are your thoughts on whether to get a relatively recent release (regular CGC Univ) slabbed for market purposes for either long term holds and “quick flips” (“quick” taking into account slabbing turn around time).

Or do you consider slabbing (in general) more of a PC thing?

Love lurking in the forums and thank you for the patience with this question. I’m sure this topic has been talked about before in the comments in the main site…somewhere.

Only CGC a new book, for resale, if it will be a 9.8… The returns on a modern 9.6 (or worse) is not worthy your time/money to slab and sell. And due to turn around times at CGC, timing becomes a huge potential problem for CGC ‘d moderns. It is a case by case basis, but for the most part it is not worth slabbing moderns for resale.
As far as bronze books, that is subjective. Some books will be worth the investment to grade, some will not. It is a case by case basis. I do not buy n sell much silver or golden stuff, so I cant help there.
As far as PC goes, there are no rules. Slab none of it, slab it all. What ever blows your hair back. For my PC, I like having my favourite characters 1st appearance in a CGC 9.6 or better. And I am just about to send in my first CGC submission of Bronze keys, for PC and resale.

1 Like

I’m a keep it raw type of guy (if we weren’t on a comic forum that would totally be taken out of context). Anyways, like jcLu said, it’s almost a case by case basis for new modern books. 9.8 and if the book is hot, it might be worth the extra cost and effort to get slabbed if you want to do a quick flip.

I went over this in a post last year I think and concluded that unless the book gets you $150 or more after spending around $50 to $60 total to obtain the book, get it slabbed and shipping costs, it’s just not worth it, particularly if the raw books are fetching $100 or so.

Take for instance Naomi #1. I sold a raw book I bought for $10 for $110. After eBay fees and such, I pocketed around $90 or so. I think at the time, 9.8 CGC were going on average of $200. So yeah, there’s a bit more profit in there if you were able to buy it at cover, pay the slabbing fees and then shipping costs. If there’s any delays the window for top dollar could be missed and there’s also the chance the book comes back at 9.6 or lower.

The books I sold could have been 9.8 but they were likely 9.6 or so.

So use your best judgement and watch the trends. If a raw book in claimed 9.8 is selling for $100 while the 9.8’s are selling for $400 or more, that’s a no brainer if you know you got a 9.8 candidate.

As for slabbing in general, some do it just to throw into personal collection knowing the book has the extra protection. I myself, I just get top notch Mylar with Archival grade backer boards and I’m probably just as protected. Keep’em high, dry and don’t smoke around them. :wink:

There are a ton of Modern Age keys that sell very well at CGC 9.6. Not everyone needs a 9.8. The “Modern” age of comics started in the 90s. Most people want current comics from the past 5 years or so at 9.8, but even some of those are valuable at 9.6. Also, CGC turn around time for Modern comics is 1 month with fast track. I know cause I just got my submission back in less than 1 month. Please stop giving misinformation.

What misinformation was given? A month can make a HUGE difference. For example…Naomi #1 in 9.8 was fetching $400+ when I sent my 5 copies in…I did no press w/fast track and got them back in 30 days…over which the price dropped to $200. I paid $50 each after you factor in shipping for that. And Naomi is a rare situation where it’s still worth as I got back all 9.8s…which I was not expecting…I find CGC to be a little lax on their grading compared to CBCS…I bet I only get two 9.8s if I sent it to CBCS (more on that later)

And you only get them back in a month if you don’t press. You’re taking a chance if you don’t press a modern comic, so it’s better be just about flawless to get a 9.8 w/o a press.

1 Like

“The returns on a modern 9.6 (or worse) is not worthy your time/money to slab and sell.” - This is simply not true and is 100% misinformation. And one month is a great turn around time for submitting a graded comic. If you’re paying $50 each for grading modern comics, then you’re doing something wrong. They typically cost no more than $35 each with shipping.

CBCS Verified signatures:

My opinion is it has its uses. If you have a signature that was not witnesses by a cgc/cbcs rep and you’re looking to sell then that’s your best option. But know that you’d better be 100% confident its authentic, otherwise you pay for the service and you may just get a raw comic back unverified. That even happens with ones you know are real, because sometimes the don’t have enough examples of a persons signature in their database or someone like Stan lee has an erratic signature as he got older making it tougher to authenticate.

Also, cbcs does not do qualified green labels…sonIf you choose to have it slabbed and the signature not verified you’ll take a significant grade it…like staring at an 8.0 tops as writing on the cover is a major defect.

If you group comics together, you can save on shipping costs, which is where in think you’re going.

So I did look back and my 5 were $40 total expense.

$21 for 5 comics (cover price + tax)
$90 for grading (W/10% member discount)
$45 for fast pass
$5 cgc handling fee
$16 shipped priority
$22 return shipping fed ex

So $199 / 5 = $40 cost to acquire.

If I did a single comic $58 (assuming $22 total to ship their and back)

2 comics drops the price down to about $47 and so forth.

The cost was never my main point. My main point is that plenty of people buy modern age keys at 9.6 and my other point was that CGC turn around times are not that bad and not nearly as bad as people make them out to be.

BTW, as I eluded to above my personal experience is that cbcs grades slightly more strict than cgc. I’ve sent many comics into both and can see the difference. Also, I’ve also sent in cgc comics in to cbcs for grading and taken some hits (a 6.5 dropped to a 4.5 in one circumstance but it was for the PC so I knew it could happen and was ok with it).

However, given the same number grade (e.g. 9.8) cgc fetches a higher value due to having been in the business longer.

Also, CGC has the whole Newton ring problem…some of my Naomi 1s came back with them so it’s not fixed yet…an issue cbcs does not have. And the cgc cases have a slight tinting to them that the cbcs cases do not.

So I try to buy CBCS comics for my personal collection or long term investments (and sell cgc) as I like the casing better and if I need to sell I can send it into cgc without much concern of a grade reduction (maybe even get a grade hike) while getting a better sale price just because it’s cgc.

A good example…I have a Transformers #1 (1984) newsstand 9.6 cbcs I paid $55 for…one in a cgc case it recently sold for $220 and a 9.8 newsstand cgc sold for $1000…and looking at my copy I believe it’s a great candidate for a cgc 9.8 with a press…but it’s for the PC so I’m happy with the 9.6 cbcs case for now.

Maybe the confusion is what you consider a “modern age” key. A key is something that’s been established and held its value over time. And by “modern” I think we’re all talking comics within the past 10 years.

Given that, I think what some are arguing is that flipping new comics as they come off the rack is risky…most 9.6s sell at $30 and below from what I’ve seen…at best you snag a Naomi #1 cover A and might get $75 for it today when a month ago it was around $150. At best.

But if you’re talking about a Spider-Verse #2, Avenging Spider-Man #9 or Ultimate Fallout #4 then yes, if you were lucky enough to stash those away after paying cover price than yes definitely 9.4/9.6 is worth sending in.

But if you’re paying today’s NM raw prices for modern keys, I hope you’re taking advantage of someone undergrading their copy because most on eBay overgrade (e.g. you’ll pay for a
Raw 9.6 which will come back from cgc as a 9.2/9.4) and LCSs typically don’t part with high grade copies without asking for what they think it goes for in a cgc case with their assumed grade.

My experience anyway.

Bottom line, unless you get lucky (either already had the key in your collection or find a high grade diamond in be rough and Get a great deal on a raw) you’re not making any money in 9.6s modern keys by paying raw NM+ prices.

1 Like

I will be honest, I fully jumped on CBCS when they first came out, was a big supporter, and did signature witnessing. I did a bunch of cool signings including getting Garth Ennis to sign books for Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor’s personal collection. I stopped using them last year and went back to CGC grading. Too many issues.

The signature verification program has changed and the people who used to do it no longer do. It’s new people. While the service makes sense if you come across something cool for the PC you want verified, there isn’t much of a use for it outside that. The red labels do not bring a significant return on investment.

Maybe you should reread my post. As I previously said, the Modern Age of comics started in the 90s. Any comic from the 90s to now is “modern”, not just comics from that last 10 years. You guys are confusing “modern” and current comics. There’s a difference. All current comics are modern, but most modern comics are NOT current comics.

There are many Modern Age comics that are very valuable at 9.6 and even 9.4.

I’d agree with that. Red labels are really best for artists that have passed like Kirby. But otherwise don’t add much value back for what paid. There are exceptions, but rare.

And it’s not a 100% exact science so mistakes can happen. It’s someone’s opinion
Based on authentic comparisons.

I don’t think jcLu or drogio are arguing against that. I think it’s just in a general sense that most modern and current comics in 9.6 grade are actually worthless, unless we’re talking about key books. We could even argue that there are a lot of 9.8 slabs out there that are worthless. I see countless 9.8’s selling for $30 or less.

But I’m not getting the sense they’re words are literal and they’re claiming all 9.6 are worthless and not worth grading.

1 Like

I’m not trying to argue with anyone, this isn’t an argument. Jclu said, “The returns on a modern 9.6 (or worse) is not worthy your time/money to slab and sell.” That statement is completely untrue.

Well, in a sense it’s true and untrue but it’s more of an opinion. What’s one persons worth of time may not be someone else’s.

1 Like

Some flippers laugh when people flip books bought at $4 and flip for $10. They say it’s not worth their time. I take the same approach Anthony takes, profit is profit. Yeah I’m not sending my kids off to college on the small flips but if someone says they’ll hand me $10 for my $5, who would turn that down? Not this guy… :slight_smile:

My rules for slabbing:

Modern books - I only slab high grades to sell them. Mylar looks better anyways.
Copper/Bronze/Silver - I only slab if they are major keys. I plan to pass my books on to my kids and want to keep the keys set apart so that they’re not dropped off for pennies at a comic shop/pawn shop when I’m gone. Also makes it easy to sell if I need money quick.

I’ve used the verification service for some Berni Wrightson books where a CGC witness wasn’t available. I think it adds a little layer of certification, but I wouldn’t use it for an artist/writer who is still active on the con circuit.

Please dont confuse our different uses of the term ‘modern’, @Brione. Modern keys like a BA12 or NYX3 will sell well in 9.6. Yes. But will TWD192 sell well in 9.6? Hell no. But you could do well with a 9.8. A modern key and a modern are two wholly different things.

Lets look at Naomi #1A. 9.8 sells for $270 cdn, a 9.6 gets about $120 cdn. A raw NM copy will get you about $80 cdn. After investing in grading fees and shipping to and from CGC for one of the hottest recent moderns, you will make $0 profit when differentiating between selling a raw NM and a 9.6. The difference being that you dont waste your time getting the 9.6 graded because you will have the same profit margin selling it raw. Not many moderns have a viable black profit margin in 9.6. That there is great information for you. :wink: