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Hello to all fellow comic book collectors, welcome to ComicBooks.ie!
I am an American and have lived here in Ireland since 2005. I have been collecting comics since the age of 9. At the time, it was just Spider-man. Then, around 1980, yes I am that old, I went to my first comic convention. At the age of 13, I realised that this could be a good money-making hobby and started buying other books. Long story short, I have been collecting and investing since then.
First of all, I am one of 2 dealers in Ireland registered with CGC. Most of you will know that CGC is a 3rd party grading company that grades raw books and encapsulates them. Second, it has taken me several years of submitting books to both CGC and PGX (another 3rd party grading company) in order to grade to their standards.
I regularly submit books to CGC to be graded so if you would like a book encapsulated, don’t hesitate to contact me via the website or mail me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ComicBooks.ie)
A CGC or PGX or a new company’s CBCS graded book that is 9.4 or better will command much higher prices than a raw book in the same grade. Because they are third party companies that specialise in grading comics, they have basically set and defined the standard of grading in the comic industry. You know what you’re getting when you buy one of these books and they are permanently sealed to maintain the grade. It completely removes the subjectivity of grading. One person’s NM would be another’s VF. I have personally graded every raw book (to CGC and PGX standards) and then priced based on the current Overstreet price guide and/or the market. Keep in mind that Overstreet prices only cover up to 9.2(NM-) and books are graded on a scale up to 10.0.
The basic grades that Overstreet has values for are Good (GD2.0), Very Good (VG4.0), Fine (FN6.0), Very Fine (VF8.0), Very Fine/Near Mint (VF/NM9.0) and Near Mint Minus (NM-9.2). A true Near Mint (NM) is a 9.4. Near Mint Plus (NM+) is a 9.6. Near Mint/Mint (NM/MT) is a 9.8. Mint Minus (MT-) is a 9.9. The highest possible grade for a book and, as a result, by far the rarest, is a Platinum Mint or Gem Mint (MT) is a 10.0. Near Mint books and better can get multiple times guide depending on the book.For those collectors in Ireland and the UK, me being one of them, we are sorely missing sellers that grade a book before putting a price on them. I say this because how can you put a fair price on a book without first determining its grade (condition)? All price guides have values based on grades. It is the norm here, rather than the exception, for someone to pay NM prices on VF or lower books. Before I go any further, I am not picking on or trying to offend any seller out there. Most sellers just don’t know how to grade a book especially the investment type book such as 9.6 and 9.8. I’m giving every seller out there the benefit of the doubt when I say that it has nothing to do with greed but rather lack of information.
I have already touched on many topics that should and will be covered in future columns.