So here is another example I like to share with the illustrious GoCollect community out there. I found a sample of some comic books from the same comic book auction lot that can portray the picture further in what collectors want. Keep in mind that a graded 9.8 is pretty much the cream of the crop for collectors; but does page quality matter? Just how important are white pages?
AN INTRO TO THIS DEBATE
Is anything other than white pages a game-changer for the seller; not getting the desired page quality during submission or for the buyer; not white pages so they will bypass your auction? Don’t even think about getting a 9.9 or a gem mint 10, so we’ll just keep it practical here with the common 9.8 grade. As far as graded 9.8s are concerned, white pages rank at the top of the color scale. You be the judge, does page quality matter?
Personally I never really paid attention to the page quality of a comic book, more so just the grade. In essence, that is what you’re buying, right? The grade is what matters. I used to think the premium always goes to the graded 9.8 with white pages and any other page quality would be a little bit of a discount for buyers. Going back to page quality, I might have been wrong. Recently I having been seeing graded 9.8s selling for premiums no matter what the page quality is. Is this a sign of the times?
Worth repeating is the different tiers of page qualities you can receive. Every collector of graded comics is familiar with the information label located at the top of each slabbed book. The most important part is, of course, the grade, ranging from 0.5 to 10. In addition to the grade, other details that could impact the value of the book such as spine tears, ripped pages, and color breaks are also noted from the serial number given. Above the serial number assigned to each book is the page quality. A book with pristine, bright pages ranks at the top of the color scale and is most desirable, especially for modern age books. Other examples are off-white to white, off-white, a mix of tan and cream colors, and then at the bottom are the extreme cases of dark tan or brittle pages. The most common type of page quality you will see are:
I understand page quality does not matter for some collectors on high-graded comic books, but for other collectors, white pages are the only thing they want. To each their own. You decide.
AMAZING SPIDERMAN #194 (1979)
So this was an interesting auction and should paint a clearer picture of what collectors are looking for as far as page quality is concerned. I have never seen 3 CGC 9.8 copies of Amazing Spiderman #194 sell in the same auction lot and this case, it did. This is one of those 1st appearance comic books that any collector wants in their collection, especially Spiderman fans. Amazing Spiderman #194 features the 1st appearance of the Black Cat (Felicia Hardy). Pretty cool cover, if you ask me. The black front cover makes this a hard high-grade copy to find anywhere. But in this auction, there were 3 9.8 copies available to bid on for any collector out there. The graded CGC 9.8s were off-white pages, off-white/white pages, and white pages – a bit of a mix for everybody out there. Let’s see where these Comic Link auctions take us:
Amazing Spiderman #194 (off-white pages) – SOLD for $2,155 on 2/23/2021
Next, Amazing Spiderman #194 (off-white/white pages) – SOLD for $2,301 on 2/26/2021
Amazing Spiderman #194 (white pages) – SOLD for is goes $3,205 on 2/23/2021
Granted, the white pages example was a newsstand, and that by itself garnered extra attention amongst collectors. The other two examples were direct edition copies. Go figure!
As you can see, there is a little bit of a disparity in sold prices based on page quality, and one can expect to see the same in the many other auctions. Sometimes you will see three examples like this but in different auction sites separated by months. The buyer feels obligated to pull the trigger because they may feel the desired comic book may not come around. In this case, these were in one auction lot and clearly, the collector could choose whatever and the results have spoken. It seems page quality on a graded book actually does matter. Or is it still more about the actual grade?
There you have it. Please keep in mind that this sample size is just one example. Any conclusions must be made knowing that a bigger sample size involving hundreds, preferably thousands, of transactions could come to a more permanent conclusion. Fortunately for us, numerous graded transactions are happening every day with varying page qualities. As a result, more sales examples will be shared in the next installment of this article. Next time you’re wondering whether to pull the trigger on a book with off-white to white or off-white pages, bear in mind this evidence. Bid knowing that the value of the book may be materially impacted due to its less-than-white page designation. Is it starting to be a non-factor amongst some collectors? 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 graded 9.8s and their page quality. Do you only collect 9.8s with perfectly bright pages? Does page quality matter? Or are you more concerned with the overall grade? Would you want a graded 9.8 that has off-white to white pages? How about a graded 9.8 with off-white pages? Let the community know.
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