Welcome to this month's installment of  CGC 101! Each month we will be taking a closer look at the grading behemoth.  This month we'll be taking a closer look at that fun yellow label, the Signature Series!

In 2001, CGC decided it was high time to start the Signature Series line. Prior to this -- unless you had some sort of certification or proof -- it was harder to prove if a signature on a book was real or not. Of course, signed books are a treat to own, especially if it's a desirable signature! But how do you go about getting your books signed and authenticated? I sat down with long-time facilitator Rich Henn to gain some insight on this special label.

Rich Henn joined as a CGC Signature Series facilitator in 2005, four years after the series began. He is one of the few facilitators left who joined in the early years, and Rich has truly seen it all -- and has seen it evolve into the label it is today. In the beginning, fans could (and still can) coordinate with a facilitator to get their books signed.  Said facilitator would then get the book signed and submit the book to CGC. While this is still the norm today, CGC now requires a witness to be present to truly authenticate a signature. There are also over 50 facilitators who work with CGC to help fans get their books signed and graded via pre-arranged, private signings. Private signings make up the bulk of work for Rich, who frequently travels the United States getting those unique, and sometimes hard-to-find signatures.

Hit up the CGC Booth

CGC also allows fans to get books signed themselves at conventions. Simply go to the CGC booth at whichever convention you're at, grab a witness, and then submit your books right to CGC at the show. CGC does offer on-site grading at certain shows, but those slots fill up insanely fast. If that's the case, your books will be shipped down to CGC in Sarasota, Florida, where they will be graded. Fans don't always have to wait for a convention either. CGC accepts signed books from private signings as well, and once the pandemic started, CGC began to offer in-house signings at their facilities. On rare occasions, CGC will accept signed books directly from publishers as well.

The turnaround time for a graded, signed book depends entirely on the tier you are submitting under. The most common tier is modern, which covers books from 1975 through modern books. Comic books prior to 1975 fall under the economy tier. If you opt to fast-track your books (for an additional $15), the turnaround time is around 3 months. Submitting a modern book without fast-track will only set you back $24 (while economy books are $35), and on average books take 5 months to get back to you. Any era book is eligible for CGC Signature Series, but CGC also accepts magazines, posters, photos, and prints. CGC has a comprehensive price breakdown on their website, which will give you a better idea of if this is a good investment for you.

Too Early for CGC?

But what if you have a book that was signed years ago -- prior to CGC? Unfortunately, those books will not qualify for Signature Series. Without a facilitator or CGC Witness, CGC has no way of proving if the signature is authentic or not. Restored books are eligible for Signature Series, and would get a combo purple and yellow label.

Is CGC Signature Series right for your item? Rich has certainly seen some wild items cross his desk, and in his own words "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should". He also suggested that fans collect what you truly love and have a passion for, which is solid advice for collectors! Signed books will typically command more money than their bare counterparts, and some signatures are more valuable than others. Buy investors, use your best judgment. If the market is currently flooded with a certain signature, the value of that sig will decrease. Supply versus demand is key if you're looking to flip Signature Series books.

So what do you think? Do you own any CGC Signature Series books?
Tell us about them in the comments below!

*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not reflect investment advice on behalf of GoCollect