What was once a $900 average comic book just last year, now is $2,000 +/- according to recent sales on GoCollect. As we already know, DC Comics Presents #47 is the 1st appearance of He-Man & Skeletor in comics, Masters of the Universe. What were the results when two identically graded books graded by two different grading houses went to auction at the same time?
I wanted to share this example with this spectacular comic book community. A recent auction took place on a key comic book on the ComicLink auction site. A sale that I could not help but notice and stood out to me. Watching 3rd party comic book-focused auctions are always interesting to me because the possibilities are endless. You will see modern age books, copper age, bronze age, even silver age and older books.
The varying grades make the buy-in price point interesting for many collectors. I am one of those collectors. These comic books are always the cream of the crop. Nonetheless, I perused through the multitude of listings and found one worth talking about. Keep in mind a graded 9.8 is pretty much the standard for collectors, but does the grading company matter? You be the judge.
It’s worth reiterating 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. At the same time, 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 series of articles continues to highlight such sales, let’s see what happens.
Before I go any further, let’s talk about the different grading companies out there. There are many to choose from, like CBCS, CGC, 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.
DC COMICS PRESENTS #47 (1982)
Let’s talk about a couple of recent sales that made me “dial a friend.” As we already know, DC Comics Presents #47 is the 1st appearance of He-Man & Skeletor in comics, Masters of the Universe. A fan-favorite character for many collectors, especially those who watched the original cartoon series back in the 1980s. Try to get a copy for $900 nowadays is impossible as it seems the price is continuing to rise due to the fact of nostalgia plus anticipation for the Netflix Masters of the Universe: Revelation series. ComicLink’s Spring featured auction; DC Comics Presents #47, was available 2x, one CGC graded and one CBCS graded. Let’s look at the results:
The CBCS 9.8 DC Comics Presents #47 sold for $1,535 with a bid count of 27 bids. Cool! Not bad at all. The 2nd copy, ending a couple of days earlier, a CGC 9.8 copy sold for $2,535 with a bid count of 39. Why the disparity? You tell me.
Both examples were direct edition copies, and both had white page quality. Very similar. But if you click on the link, you will see the CBCS copy presents a bit better IMO as it is perfectly centered versus the CGC copy, where it is off-centered a little; you can see the white spine border. The CGC copy wins here, as it seems. But a $1,000 difference? That’s a tough one to dissect.
Both CBCS and CGC are prominent companies compared to the rest, yet have varying differences in auction sales. Both press and clean comics as a service before grading and 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.
The Power of Grayskull was in full effect here. Some amazing sales. Please keep in mind this is just a small sample size and is only one example. Any conclusion 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 sale 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 auctions between CGC/CBCS; CGC sees the higher sales price. As a result, collectors are grading their collection with CGC versus any competitors. Customer service, turnaround time, pricing, 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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