Your Ratios of 9.8 Contenders

Hi all. Just a quick and unscientific survey,but what proportion of new books that you order are possible 9.8s.

I have had a few disappointing deliveries in recent months - with back cover colour-breaking spine ticks and colour rubs being the most common problems. Marvel’s cover paper and some of Diamond’s distribution don’t help.

I estimate I have 9.8 ‘possibles’ about 50% of the time and wondered how my experience compares with others?

I collect 99% of my books in person, so I always inspect them first before I buy, so I would say there is high % of them being 9.8 worthy

Of all the LCS here only 1 store does not have have a physical store, I don’t order much from them but I have submitted 5 books I bought from them and all 5 came back 9.8

It honestly depends who I order from. There are some online retailers who seem to pack stuff amazingly well and everything is a 9.8 contender. There are some other online stores that are definitely a better choice if I just need a reader comic. Then, when I buy from individuals on a site like eBay it’s a complete crapshoot.

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I was curious about this as well because it seems like I’m not even hitting 50% as far as 9.8 candidates go. Some might get 9.8 with a press, but most arrive as 9.4 or 9.6’s.

With Press: 70 - 75%
No press: 50%

Never impressed when brand new moderns get posted as slabbed 9.8’s.
And I certainly would not purchase a Modern 9.8 for the exponential $$$ compared to it’s potential 9.8 raw counterpart.


This seems to be about the same percentages for me. Mostly due to the crappy paper Marvel uses and not any shipping issues.

I’d say maybe 10% of my online orders are 9.8

50% of My last TFAW shipment were VF/NM at best with numerous spine ticks (IDW) and color rubbing off (Marvel). I maybe got 1 9.8 contender out of 10-12 comics.

At shops if I grab off the shelf I’d say I’m in the 75-90% success rate if I get there at opening and have a few to pick through. But my pull list is probably closer to 20-30%.

I’d say only 25% of new books are contenders…DC seems to have the best quality of paper and it might be close to 75%…Marvel and IDW the worst and likely close to 25% maybe lower on day of release. Sometimes it depends on if marvel had a dark color on the back where a lot of ink loss shows and even rubs off onto the adjacent front cover (in particular if the front is white or lighter color) not long after distribution.

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All your books are 9.8s you just have to catch the grader on a bad day. Since grading is just an opinion someone out there thinks it’s a 9.8.


Or just send them to PGX…might even get some 11.0s!!



Thanks for your thoughts everyone. Looks like there is quite a range of experiences. I’d love to go and pick myself each week, but work doesn’t permit it. I have a couple of online retailers who tend to treat me well, but beyond that I am often disappointed.

Ah well, looks like I am not the only one.

In person pickups the best way to get that ratio up.

Online is a crap shoot.

Took a while but I finally accepted that the hunt for 9.8s just isn’t worth my time, lol.

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I never really checked my overall percentages of potential 9.8s. I press a good number of my comics. A lot of the moderns I have gotten online probably average 9.2/9.4.Those that do not have color breaking issues press up to 9.8/9.6 fairly easy.

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