Here is another example I'd like to share with the illustrious comic book community out there.  A recent auction took place with ComicLink, and there were a few sales that stood out to me. Let's take a look at Amazing Spider-Man #194.

We all collect how we want to collect; raw comics or graded “slab” comics.  It’s what makes this hobby fun.  Some collectors like to keep their collections raw and be able to read their comics.  In comparison, other collectors like to preserve their comics through 3rd party grading companies for monetary or aesthetic reasons; to each their own.  What I want to write about is not what you should do with your comic books, but rather show you what is going on in the market with recent sales on certain graded books.  People say the gap is closing.  As this article series continues to highlight such sales, we will hopefully see it together.


Before I go any further, let’s talk about the different grading companies out there.  There are many to choose from, like CGC, CBCS, PGX, and EGS.  Each grading company varies as far as perks, cost, casing, and, most importantly, turnaround time.  So do your due diligence and determine which one best fits your collecting goals.  Most people choose CGC for the look and feel of the slab, while others select CBCS for the faster turnaround time and cheaper cost to grade.  Each company has its pros and cons.  At the end of the day, the selling value may be what ultimately helps you make your decision.  CGC and CBCS are the major grading companies in the industry and most favorable between collectors.  You decide.


Let’s talk about a couple of recent sales that made me pause for a moment.  What was once a $1,000 comic book just a couple of years ago, is now $4,000 +/- according to recent sales on GoCollect.  As we already know, Amazing Spiderman #194 is the 1st appearance of the Black Cat, also known as Felicia Hardy.  A fan-favorite character for many collectors, especially at comic con cosplay events; you will see her everywhere.  Try to get a copy for $1,000 nowadays is almost impossible as it seems the price is continuing to go up in anticipation of a solo movie or Spiderman movie appearance.  In ComicLink’s Spring featured auction, Amazing Spiderman #194 was available twice, one CGC graded and 1 CBCS graded.  Let’s look at the results:

The CBCS 9.8 Amazing Spiderman #194 sold for $2,617 with a bid count of 26 bids.  Wow!  Not too shabby.  As a comparison, ending a couple of days earlier, a CGC 9.8 copy sold for $4,200 with a bid count of 36.  Why the disparity?  You tell me.  Albeit, the CBCS example is a direct edition copy, and the CGC example is a newsstand.  But if you click on the link, you will see the CBCS copy is perfectly centered and presents well contrast to the CGC copy where it is off-centered a little. The newsstand copy wins here, as it seems.  But a $1,600 difference?  Interesting.

Both CBCS and CGC are prominent companies compared to the rest, yet have varying differences in sale results.
Both press and clean comics as a service before grading.  Both use the same grading scale when grading and encapsulating comic books.  But it seems the public has decided, and only time will tell if these types of sales continue.


Another example to digest.  Please keep in mind this is just a small sample size and is only one example.  Any conclusions must be made knowing that a bigger sample size involving hundreds, preferably thousands, of transactions would come to a more permanent conclusion.  Fortunately for us, numerous graded comic book transactions are happening every week from the various grading companies.  As a result, more sales examples will be shared in the next installment of this article.

For the most part, I think this is happening universally in all types of sales between CGC/CBCS; CGC is seeing the higher sales price.  As a result, collectors are grading their collection with CGC versus any other competitor.  Customer service, turnaround time, and product quality are the most significant game-changers I have heard between the grading companies, so choose wisely.  Time will tell.  Either way, I wish you luck in your comic book collecting endeavor.  Until next time you comic book junkies...

Please share your thoughts about the various grading companies.  Do you only collect CBCS? Do you only collect CGC?  Or, do you collect them all?  Does newsstand or direct matter?  Or, are you more concerned with the overall grade?  Let the community know.

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