Recommendations for CGC 9.8 pre-orders

Hello all.
Does anyone have a recommendation for stores they can pre-order new-release CGC 9.8 graded comics?

I know of and
Has anyone had experiences with either?
And are there other CGC 9.8 pre-sale services you’d recommend?

I know Unknown Comics lists some comics for 9.8 pre-sale in their FOC listings sometimes also.

Cheaper to submit books to CGC yourself.

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popculturezone on ebay is reasonable.

Fair point. I’ve yet to bite on any of these 9.8 pre-orders, but it’s so tempting because coming across 9.8s, either in the wild or in the mail via an online retailer, doesn’t seem to be an easy task these days… It wasn’t like this at all the last time I was actively reading/collecting in 2005 … I didn’t even have to concern myself with the condition of my books back then - I knew I could walk into my LCS or order from Midtown and both routes would give me books in high grade.

I had to pass on Daredevil and Star Wars Bounty Hunters this week at my local LCSs. Daredevil was at 2 shops and Star Wars at 4, but couldn’t find a single copy of either that didn’t have significant stress/dings/ticks along the spine. Then there’s the online route…

Since I got back into this a month ago, I’ve ordered from Midtown and TFAW - a total of 23 books across two orders. Mostly new releases or books that were no older than April 2020. At most, only half of the books I received were 9.8 candidates.

So, when I see hotshot comics offering 9.8 pre-orders for 39.99 with $5 shipping (shipping goes to $5 per book if you order 4+ books), seems like a good deal to me.

Any tips or advice in regards to finding raw books that are high grade candidates would def be appreciated.


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It got harder with Marvel books in the wild once they switched to “self-covering” paper. It’s a shame.

You know, I was wondering about materials …

I was going through an old long box today (2005ish) and the comics just felt like much higher quality to touch. Completely flat and crisp - not much “give” … “stiff” and in a good way - without a card stock cover.

Marvel def has some lousy quality books on shelves these days there’s no question - from the cover material to the ink on covers. Hate to say it but they’re kinda trash.

DC is better but then again couldn’t find a good copy of suicide squad 9 this week either - saw plenty on shelves but all were dinged up beyond personal acceptable limits…

I’m actually giving Hotshot a try. Shipping is free with 3 slabs. I got a few that I feel will be harder to find in 9.8 (black covers). Didn’t want to risk trying to find raw 9.8s, packaging, shipping, hoping they don’t come back 9.6s two months later. Worth a few extra bucks to avoid all of that.

I’ll report back in… 10 weeks or so. :eyes:

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I was going to say that I have gotten a few pre-ordered comics from Hotshot in the past with no problems. I have one coming later today. I usually send in my own but sometimes will just pre-ordered the 9.8 if the comic is hot and I didn’t order any of those raw issues. If it is from $40 to $65 I have no problem doing it if it is something for my PC.

completely agree it is so hard to find a reliable online seller for high grade books. Midtown comics new books are usually between 9.4-9.6, ebay is hit or miss with most of it sellers, tfaw which i just got my order for this month had 30 books with significant blunted corners (i emailed to try to replace them and waiting for the response. very frustrating because i feel most dealers are cherry picking the best books for themselves and other dealers just dont know how securely pack comics.

Preordering for $45 bucks may be the way to go if its a potentially hot book.

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Man I was a little more hopeful in regards to TFAW … I think I’ve given up on Midtown for now, but I do have some pre-orders on deck from TFAW that extend through october.

First package I got from them had 4 comics and the package was damaged along with 2 comics - they refunded me for the damaged comics so I’m thankful for that. As for the other two comics, hardly 9.8s but def not as bad as some of the comics that I got from Midtown - I got some straight trash from Midtown on my last order.

Fingers crossed that my books from TFAW show up looking new and without any nasty defects.

I use to order evenly between Midtown and TFAW, now I’m probably 90/10, with TFAW getting most of my orders as most of the recents from Midtown have just come not so minty… if they weren’t damaged in transit, most would have spine ticks and what not…

tfaw in the past would group 10 or 20 comics in a bag and the comics would be fine.
However in my last order, 100 comics are stacked on top of each other with some paper wrapping. resulting in 30 books with significant damage. does anyone have experience with getting replacements or refunds with tfaw.

I think dcbs is probably the best at time point, the only problem is you need to order months in advance.

Their customer service is always top notch when I’ve dealt with them. As for 100 comics in one order, please do share the wealth with me… :wink:

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I only get one shipment a month. still waiting for a response from TFAW.

With that many pre-orders, I’d probably opt to split orders into 2 monthly shipments. 100 comics in one package scares me. I’ve packed 30 to 40 before myself off eBay sales and when they’re that many with extra weight, it’s hard to pack that many securely.

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TFAW has been pretty good so far. Most have been 9.6 or better. Realistically, that’s about as good as you’ll get at an LCS. Maybe better. And their website and ordering system is fantastic.

I get the cheapest shipping with them, and it’s SLOW. Only downside, but I could pay more for faster shipping.

It’s all about how Diamond sends the books to retailers. Its not how retailers sends the books to customers.

TFAW online ordering, particularly for pre-orders is the best I’ve seen. You don’t get charged immediately and they combine them on release dates (or if you tell’em to ship weekly, bi-weekly or monthly). Unlike most shops, that’s one thing that bugged me about Midtown. Almost every order is a new shipment for that order.


understand 100 books is a lot but all TFAW had to do was bubble wrap the books in groups of 25. 4 extra pieces of bubble wrap and the books would be fine.

Now I have to return 30 books which I probably have no opportunity to rebuy.

dcbs also combines release dates and allows you choose your frequency and it comes with bullet proof packing. biggest problem is they may cancel your order especially for a hot book.