(Background: Got a 9.6 on the War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas Suayan Virgin Variant. Grader Notes: spine stress lines left center of spine, very small crease right top of front cover, very small, very light scuff left bottom of front cover)
They just installed that new gazillion dollar automated picking system that improves accuracy while increasing scuffiness a year or two ago. The top two comics in each box are the worst. they tend to get the most shipping rub.
Yeah, 9.8s are awesome but a 9.6 is a pretty darn nice looking book no matter what! Not the end of the world. If you really want a 9.8 maybe send it back for a press and re-grade? If most of the damage they wrote about in the grader notes don’t break color it could most likely be bummed up.
I posted details from the last several months in the other discussion before reading this. What extra did you get? Any time I’m short there’s usually something extra sent. How many line items? I might have 150 separate items this week so anything missing from one of them would be less than 1% if it happens of the shipment. This week 1,642 TOTAL UNITS SHIPPED so 5 comics for me this week from one title variant wouldn’t be bad overall in terms of error rate. You’ve also got a great shot at getting replacements shipped since you got them ahead of everyone else so you’ll be at the front of the line for the extras they held back to fill damages and missings. It used to suck being on Wednesday when everything damaged or missing seemed to be out by that point. Tuesday delivery really has improved the fill rate for mistakes noticeably.
In fairness they should probably refuse to sell any issues from FOC until the Friday after delivery so ALL back orders and damages could be filled but that would suck for spec purposes.
I don’t mean to pick on you (sorry but not sorry) however I’ve never seen so many defects identified and a book still grade 9.6. Not to say that isn’t possible, but usually the grading company only calls out the defects that are most relevant to the grade…more than two should have put this book in the 9.4 range…So likely all the creases are pressable (non color breaking)…but it’s likely the scuff which cannot be pressed out keeps it from anything higher than 9.6.
I don’t think this book was offered anywhere on the US…so it traveled outside the country and back again (assuming you’re in the US) and still was a 9.6. I’m shocked it didn’t have more significant “Marvel Rubbing” as most marvel books I order online that travel 200 miles seem to be 9.4 at best these days due to ink rubbing off on the backing board.
You’re right. It’s amazing it came in the condition it is considering its journey. This store exclusive came from the Philippines. I got a handful of the virgin and the trade dress and they looked pretty good so I had high hopes. I got a trade dress back in an earlier shipment at a 9.8 so my hopes were even higher. At a 9.6, I could probably recoup my initial costs.
With all that, I shouldn’t be disappointment but rather count my blessings. Yet, hopes dashed and 9.6 disappointment is real. And AgentPoyo’s “they’re all perfect, even the one’s will flaws” quote is truth in a way but its too hard to detach oneself from market valuation. I just wished the 9.8 to 9.6 market drop off for moderns wasn’t so steep whether or not its a flip or a PC comic.
After having said all that, I’m realizing my disappointment isn’t at the comic itself and prehaps not even at CGC grade but rather at the 9.8 to 9.6 market gap.
Grading is not a Perfect Science … you’d be surprised how many times I’ve consulted with my Customers on Golden/Silver/Modern books they intended on submitting in order to come to some sort of pre-submission consensus, reaching a consensus, both of us having Decades of experience and myself I consider a Professional at it …
Only to have the books come back substantially undergraded in our opinions … sometimes by 2 full grades … this makes the Customer absolutely livid … and does result in re-submission in many cases under a different name/address … only to have the books come back at that point near spot-on with what we thought they should have initially been …
As well, Modern Books are held to a higher standard, IMO … as well they should be, also, IMO …
As far as Diamond goes, their packing has been crap from the get go, it’s still crap … pulling a 9.8 out of a box of new books is a dice role, period … and when they eliminated the Paper Fill and went with large bubble wrap filler, it made it worse … Steve Geppi and his Minions could care less, to them, it’s a commodity … although, in all fairness, they do a pretty good job with Non-Comic material …
Then, the material has to pass through the hands of UPS, which are not generally known to be Handlers with Kid Gloves … ever seen a UPS sorting center in action … ?? I’ve had fork lift tines run through boxes, shipments that have arrived dripping wet, shipments that never arrived at all, shipments that looked like the Monkey Squad tossed them around the room for fun … etc …
For older books especially, the grade assigned is very subjective. I was in the market for a FF 49…I wanted one slabbed because I wanted no part of restoration. That was most important. I shifted through so many auctions until I found what looked like the best book for what i was willing to pay. My range was 3.5 to 6.0…and I’ll say there were some 5.0-6.0s that we’re very unaesthetic. I ended up with a very clean 5.0 that presents very well. Better than many 6.0s in my opinion.
My advice is to always buy the book, not the grade. The grade is an approximation. And for older more expensive books the restoration check may carry the most value across a potential grade range.
My Giant Size Xmen #1 looks like a 9.4 but it’s graded a 1.8 because it has a printer error slit about 3/4 the cover near the binding. You can barely even see the slit in its slab. I feel I should resubmit it because it’s a old label and really believe it was graded wrong because outside the printer error it’s defects are few and far between and believe the book should at least get a 4.5.
Other books I have 9.6s and they look better than 9.8s. I feel they should invent a machine and computer to do the grading, you catch an employee at a graders on a bad day and he could f*** your whole collection.
I’ve been there. I can empathize. I just suck it up and soldier on.
I will tell you this though - I never get books slabbed without getting them pressed as well, first. My results have been SO much better. I dont care if it looks perfect as is, I’m pressing it. Not that it always helps, but…
In fact I have three comics back from my early days of grading down at CGC now getting a Pop & Press.
I would say majority of moderns don’t need a press…but they have to be without waviness or finger bends/spine issues. I sent in 5 Naomi #1s and I thought 3 could come back as 9.6s, but they all came back 9.8. I didn’t press them because I wanted them back ASAP and didn’t think a press would help (their issues was with the very edges of the spine which had some minisucle binding tears).
I’d also be careful with heavy card stock… a press could create a longitudinal crease along the length of the spine
use someone whose been in the business a while and reputable…Otherwise a press could do more damage than good.