Selling comics Raw vs Slabbed

I wanted to get feedback on whether it’s better to sell books raw or slabbed. I have a stack of 1st appearances of Gwenpool which goes for about $25-30 bucks raw while the CGC 9,8 goes for about $200.

Grading fees are about $25 per book and pressing would add another $15. What do other sellers do?

Depends on timing honestly. At times you can get a better ROI by selling raw at peak value while you take a chance at getting them slabbed, also upping the cost and the chance they come back at lower grades.

So yes, in terms of more :moneybag: per book sold, a slabbed copy is enticing cause you’re cash exchanged is more but when you break it down in terms of % and ROI, raw is certainly a great way to go as well.

Example: Say you bought 10 copies of Gwenpool for cover price at $4 each. That’s $40 spent. You can sell them for $30 now raw. That’s $300 - $40 = $260 profit.

Now say you took those same books and got them slabbed and just for giggles, they all come back 9.8 that sell for $200.

Cost of book $4 + Grade fees $25 + Press Fees $15 and let’s just say $5 per book for shipping cause you are spending time packing, using materials to protect in transit, etc = $49 total now to get slabbed and we’ll just round up to $50 to make things easier math wise.

Now you’ve spent $500 on the books to get them slabbed and they’re selling for $200 each right? That makes your profit $2000 - $500 at $1500.

You can now do the math on total ROI, it’s actually better to sell them RAW cause you can also get away at selling a book that might not be 9.8 at the $30 mark still. You risk not all books being 9.8 and yes, while investing more money into the books to boost the overall cash in hand, you’re actual investment ROI is lower overall when comparing RAW vs Graded.

Now, if these were selling for $1000 slabbed and only say… $50 raw, then that’s a no brainer… get them slabbed because you’re ROI is much higher and it’s way more cash in pocket for profit.

So yeah, just do the math to see if it’s really worth the hassle based on the books in question.


Well put @agentpoyo. Getting books graded you also risk your books not all coming back a 9.8 depending on the grader(s). In some instances it also depends on the book and whether its a overnight flip where prices go up and are back down in couple days ala spiderman unlimited 1 cgc 9.8 (which hit 400+ and is back down to 300) or if its a book with long term potential that will hold its price or even increase.

$200 each x 10 books = $???

That missing $1000 goes to me.

Only slab if your ok with getting 9.6s. That’s my general rule of thumb. Also I slabbed about 20 copies of htd1 took awhile to sell them but I did ok.

Haha, that’s a finger and mind slip when typing… that’s my CHU Consultation fees for answering… :wink:

Seems like for the $1,000 amount, he is talking net after listing/payment and shipping fees. For $200 x 10 = $2,000 but say 25% at most for fees which should be around $500 so the initial net would be $1,500 - $500 = $1000 profit.

Definitely, I would check recent sales of raws vs slabbed to see what the price difference is. In some cases, selling raw is simply better because you can let someone else take the risk of books not being graded at 9.8 to get the most money.

Look at Ultimate Fallout #4 as an example. Raws on eBay are going for $600-800 while CGC 9.6’s are going for around $1000.

That price difference doesn’t seem to be worth it if you include CGC grading fees, shipping, 4-6 month turnaround time unless you are sure it’s coming back a 9.8. If it comes back a 9.4, then it seems like you are better off selling it raw.

Despite my initial typing out math slip up…

Raw at $300 revenue - $40 investment = 650% ROI


Slabbed at $2000 revenue - $500 investment = 300% ROI

Yeah, I didn’t even calculate other costs, was trying to keep it rounded for easy ROI % numbers but you’re right… if selling on eBay and accepting payment via credit card, those fees will add up. Also, expensive books usually have free shipping applied to really entice people to budge… etc.

But to keep it simple, just look at my last comment, the ROI % is still way better RAW vs SLAB at the current going rates.

The other thing to consider in getting slabbed is, are the prices going to hold steady for the next 6 - 10 months you don’t have the books in hand to sell? They might even go up but probably more times than not, they drop in price.

i stopped getting things slabbed myself awhile ago since i mostly only buy modern; i think with how fomo raises prices and than the bubble pops and drops the prices, you are usually better off getting a comic thats already been slabbed by someone else down the line - just have patience. for instance, i recently got a Star Wars HR #1 2nd print for $35 9.8 cgc at auction, i remember people were pre-selling them at $120+; sure if you can do that more power to you, but i think its usually a very limited window where that happens. new raw comics unload quicker, i think this all may be the opposite for older age comics especially keys where it may be more beneficial to clean, press and get graded. lost of these new books are flashes in a pan, its hard enough to spec 2-3 months down the road without another 2-3 months added lol


ROI only really matters if you are in a position to spend the same amount on raw books as you were going to spend on slabbing books.

In other words, you buy $500 worth of raw books and sell them For $30 ea or buy 10 books and Spend $500 getting them slabbed.

But if all you have are $10…and you’re sure they are 9.6/9.8 then it’s always lgoing to make you more net profit in the end to slab them.

Where the best argument to sell books raw vs slabbed is that if you’re buying modern backissues from shops and eBay you are not going to be getting 9.6/9.8s very often. So you’re likely going to loose money when they come back mostly 9.2/9.4. Versus I’d you’re buying these for cover maybe you’ll sell them for 2-3x profit.

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The other argument to be made is that people swear by grade screening being worth it. But you’re spending $8 (minimum 25 books/$200) just to prescreen, why not just pay the $29 have them graded?

You already paid to have gem shipped back and forth…you spend $8/book and if rejected all you’re doing is saving $12. I bet in any grade that $12 will pay for itself…especially if it was with it it se d it in and you’re pretty good with grading to get grades back within a point…

I’ve never tried the service, but are you charged the $8 fee Even if it passes screening, therefore paying $28 for a slab? Or charged $8 only for rejected books?


For hot comics you are better off selling them raw, unless you think that comic has some legs to grow. I had about 100 comics graded and I have been pretty good so far as getting the grade that I though it would be. When I was wrong it was one grade lower. That being said, I now just send comics for a long term investment. I don’t rush comics to get graded and then hope that there still is interest before it might come crash down in value. I buy most of my comics at cover price or less. For vintage comics I try to find a good deal and look for minor keys that are valued between $500 to $1000 graded.


Part of what sucks now is that the cost of failed prescreens didn’t go up proportionally to the cost of grading. $20 up to $22 is only a 10% increase in cost but $5 to $8 is a 60% increase.


What? ROI is exactly what it is, return on investment. I’m talking percentage wise… If you can sell RAW and get 600% ROI on some books compared to 300% or less if you got them slabbed, the better investment is selling RAW. Yes, you can send them off to get slabbed and $1500 in your pocket is more than $300 or whatever I said from my example but it’s just going to differ from book to book. With slabs, your risk on such ROI is much higher. My previous example is only if things went perfect and you got all 9.8 back and after waiting 6-10 months for them to come back, you can still sell them at the price of the day you shipped them off.

Wait, people actually pay to have someone tell them their book isn’t worthy?

Come to Poyo’s Palace, I’ll only charge $5 to tell you your comic sucks and you shouldn’t get it graded. I’ll even throw in a free CHU sticker for that $5 prescreen price. :wink:

$300 revenue - $40 cost = $260 profit
ROI = 260/40 = 650%

$2000 revenue - $500 cost = $1500 profit
ROI = 1500/500 = 300%

$1700 additional revenue - $460 additional cost = $1240 additional profit
ROI = 1240/460 = 270%

Both RAW and SLABBED have great ROIs.

RAW has more than double the ROI than slabbed but does that mean you should not slab? If you sell the copies RAW, now you have $300 in hand from the proceeds of the sale. What are you going to do with that money? Can you put it
into something that will yield 270% (like slabbing does)? (perhaps in as
little as 6 months (CGC turnaround time))

There are other financial considerations like your cash flow situation. And of course comic-specific factors to consider. Is this particular comic just having a temporary pop in price that needs to be seized quickly? etc etc

@D-Rog if it fails the screening you are only charged $8. If it passes you pay the normal grading fee.

My only counter argument is what I’ve pointed out, slabbing if all goes according to plan will give you more potential money in your pocket but there are a whole list of added risks:

  1. Comics do not get highest grade, eg 9.8 grade.
  2. Time spent getting slabbed, does the market of the said book stay consistent or fall down in value during the time the book is not in hand.
  3. Shipping = Possible Damages
  4. Slab issues from poor QA checks at slab company that might affect value.

There are plenty of pros and cons of selling RAW vs SLABBED. That’s why I say, it really boils down to the actual book and the sellers decision based on a whole lot of other reasons that include risks, etc that they have to evaluate.