Hi guys I’ve been thinking about starting an all encompassing thread where we can discuss all things grading, pressing, and selling with a focus gearing towards ROI and investment. I know we have other cgc/cbcs threads for pickups and discussion but I find those usually devolve into complaining about the company’s business practices which can be a lot of fun of which I happily take part in.
This thread will be more for discussion on getting things graded by the grading companies and then reselling in the aftermarket. I feel like it’s such a huge topic that we don’t really have a thread for it to discuss this part of the industry and to keep up with trends.
Some topics I would like to discuss for now
-what are your current position on getting comics graded for investment or for PC?
-Is there a bubble coming with slab prices selling at such ridiculously low prices?
-What trends are you seeing in the industry?
-How have your sales been for your graded books in the last few years? Are they picking up or have you now been selling raws instead?
-What are your thoughts on buying grades like 9.2.,9.4, 9.6 moderns/copper/silvers for investment purposes? It seems like you can get these relatively cheaply compared to 9.8s and often times get a higher ROI
-pressing and grading questions
-any other questions you may have or experiences that you want to share
I have yet to get any books graded by any grading company yet but I will be doing so in the future. I won’t be getting any books graded by them for my personal collection, it will be purely for reselling. Books in my personal collection I can get a better looking case that’s UV protected and hang on my wall. In the meantime I’ve been practicing on how to clean and press books and have been getting great results. Been buying VF copies that I find for cheap and have pressed them to a NM to NM+ and have sold them for some nice profits.
I will start off by saying that I highly recommend to those selling comics on the aftermarket to start thinking about pressing your own books. It’s ridiculously easy but there is a lot to learn and there are a lot of resources out there. Sure it takes some time to learn but the benefits are highly worth it.
For example, when you send books to the grading companies they often just do a quick press. They won’t put in the time to get your books right. I’m learning now that getting the best results from your books sometimes takes several presses to iron out all the non color breaking defects, and every defect has their own method to smooth them out. I enjoy learning out this part of the hobby and it’s quite fun. A pressing company with a giant workload isn’t going to spend that time on your books for you.
Any good recommendations for pressers? preff on the east coast, wanna get some books sent to cgc but my usual presser dropped off the face of the earth it seems
I am also interested in a few suggestions. Would love to get into pressing my own books, but there are so many options out there for machines…
I just dropped off a batch to Josh Avery out of MA. We had a meet and greet and shared a delicious breakfast. This guy is legit and what a great guy.
I’ve heard from some pressers to get the ones with the pressure buffer springs instead of the levers that go up and down. Something like this:
The professional pressers get theirs custom made with more features that they want. But honestly if you’re pressing for the first time I wouldn’t worry about it too much. You’re starting out and you’re going to make a few mistakes, you won’t get it right right away. It’s a learning process and you will get better with time as you learn. When you get it right, just the profit you make off a few presses will already pay for your machine.
To be honest I’d say 90% for my work to fix spine tics and imperfections aren’t even done in a heat press. It’s about applying the right amount of moisture using cotton pads/q tips and other materials, tac irons and pressing boards to iron them out. I use the heat press just to flatten the books. Most of my work isn’t even done in the heat press. I even experiment with other tools like steel ball bearings and even a nail dotter tool like this:
Josh Avery, and CFP Comics.
One thing I like about CFP is that they are local enough to CGC they will bring your books there and drop them off.
Are you going to crack these, press them and get them resubmitted?
Josh will crack them and submit to CGC for regrading.
Make sure to post the results when you get them back from cgc.
I’ve got some graded stuff in my personal collection. Special covers or things I want to preserve for sentimental reasons. Nothing is that valuable. I’ll grad stuff to sell for sure, especially older stuff where it being midgrade isn’t a huge deal as opposed to if I send in a modern book and it being a 9.2 makes it, “Worthless,” compared to all the 9.8 copies.
I have a localish guy I use for cleaning and pressing. I used another guy before but he’s so backed up due to getting so popular. Now, I’m using Steve’s Comic Cleaning and Pressing. I’ve been pleased. Link:
Watch this video if your considering using CFP.
Haha I’ve seen that video before. I’ve always believe if you want to do something right you do it yourself. Get really good at doing it and you’ll realize how little the pressers at Cgc and cbcs really do.
It’s your own books and no presser will take the care and time to get the books just right when it’s not theirs.
I haven’t used them for nearly 5 years, so I can’t speak to recent results. But I can say I was satisfied with the results I did get at the time. I don’t recall thinking anything was missed or damaged.
I find a few things odd about this person’s experience. Maybe he’s just leaving out details, but he makes it sound like he sent in 80 books at once…but they’re getting pressed and submitted in “groups” because “started getting them back”…so a Number from that 80 or so submitted are still with the presssor who was backed up (CFP has always been backed up…should not have been a surprise if he was doing the research he said he did…but he admits he didn’t know what he was doing). Pressers are not going to split up your order…you send in 80 books…they will finish the 80 books before they release them to CGC or CBCS.
Another thing is he said he got into pressing his own books 4 months ago…and in that short amount of time he’s not only has learned how to press books but was able to submit and got the books back?
I suppose it’s possible…and others here can attest to how long it took them in with researching and experimenting with cleaning and pressing before they mastered the skill…maybe the guy is using fast pass but seems like a pretty aggressive turn around time to learn a skill, submit books and get them back. I’ve thought about doing pressing myself just because of the TATs, but it seemed from what I’ve read it would take quite the time invested to get to submitting books…
It’s also CGC…so there’s the factor that they hand out high grades like candy these days too versus the time frame he initially submitted the books…their product quality has changed significantly.
I think the one thing that did make sense is not to send in 80 books to a presser without sending in test books to gage their work for yourself. I’d agree to that.
For me there are only a small number of books I’d want to press…I’d spend more time and money invested doing it myself. But every so often I think about starting it up just to have a new challenge. Not there yet, though.
I send books into either CGC or CBCS every single month for the last 3 years. (Beginning of month)
CBCS when I have an autograph (unverified) to get VSP’d (I don’t want a Green CGC label)
CGC for everything else. (due to ease of selling this crap)
I have a professional presser who applies his dealer discount to submissions for CGC under his account (15%)
My criteria is quite simple.
- I grade my own book based on what defects I believe will press out after the presser is done.
- I assess that grade at current FMV and have a $$$ cutoff that I will consider profitable.
- If it hits that cutoff, I send it to my presser. If not, I sell the comic raw.
- There are very few recent Moderns I’ll send in as most of them just aren’t worth the hassle. Even 9.8 of recent Moderns are, for the most part, dead wood.
The whole caveat with this approach is CGC’s shyt grading lately. I’m not complaining they’re too high or they’re too low. They’re simply all over the freakin’ place like children graded them. Their delivered quality sucks too with constant cracks and sending back to them to fix. So it’s been hard to set that $$$ cutoff because I have no idea what the grades will come back as.
I don’t have that issue with CBCS grades
My ROI needs to be in neighborhood of $50 (bare minimum) for graded
What do you do when you find books at cons or shops for like 50 cents to a dollar that are minor recent keys that fetch like $15-20 raw? and are in great shape (NM) candidates.
I’ve been lucky enough to have found these at shows and have been pressing them and selling them rather quickly. Obviously the ROI here is huge but I’m wondering if I should’ve sent these to get graded for a higher return $ wise but lower ROI. There’s also the con there that it would take longer to sell that they’re graded whereas if I sell them raw it sold rather quickly. Something that I’ve been thinking about.
Honestly, i usually dont grade many $15 - $20 recent books.
I guess im more in a comfort zone with key copper, bronze, and silver and the assortment of grades typical for those eras.
To me, playing that 9.6/9.8 recent modern game, even for minor keys, is like playing at the casino. That silly $$$ differential between the 9.6 and 9.8 grades and the randomness of it all is just more than i want to deal with.
Id rather be wrong getting a 7.0 instead of a 7.5 on a key silver than be wrong on a recent modern getting a 9.6 instead of 9.8.
What about moderns like if you find Spiderman 7 (spiderboy) and Black Panther 3 (the next Miles) for cover price? You don’t think it’s worth it to get these graded to get a 9.8? Now that the turnaround times are so quick at CGC (14 days or less) isn’t it worth it?
For the longest time I never thought about getting my books graded because the turnaround time was so long. I almost made an account at CBCS but I heard from their members there that the TATs were over a year lol, so no thanks.
I mainly dabble with moderns because I can get them cheaply at cover price or less but what’s important to me is the liquidity, the fact that I can move them quickly. With Silver and copper age you will have to pay more to acquire the comics and it takes a little longer to sell. I guess I will be moving in that direction in the future when I get really good at cleaning and pressing my books.
I’ll be looking to upgrade my skills to remove stains/foxxing and whitening comics soon but I’m not there yet.