Grading Experiment Pt 2: Buying Raw Books to Maximize ROI

by Joseph Overaitis

050922B-1024x536 Grading Experiment Pt 2: Buying Raw Books to Maximize ROIWelcome to Part 2 of the comic book grading experiment. In Part One, CGC President Matt Nelson provided insight on the grading process and books that should be targeted by first-time graders.  The information on pressing; census numbers; and other comic book characteristics was a great preface but the experiment must move on to the next step…selecting the books.

Partners in Experiment

In any experiment, the observer must be distant.  I realized after talking with Matt Nelson that I needed to get different perspectives to properly perform this experiment.  There are many reasons people get books graded and I wanted to approximate as many of those people as possible.  Thankfully, as an attorney, I could reach out to my client base and ask for assistance.  I promised to maintain strict confidentiality in their identities.  I appreciate their assistance in providing the subject matter for this experiment.

Golden Age Comics

Submitter Information

People assume that the only reason to grade a book is to increase the value of a book.  Subject A is a collector who rarely sells their books.  They have never sent any books in to be graded, but they have purchased graded books. The books that are being sent in are done so in order to preserve them.

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Book Subject #1: Sensation Comics #22

Reason for Submission:

Subject A has not seen this book available for sale at shows or online when they have looked for them.  As a result, the book is being submitted to preserve the issue in the book’s current condition.

Key Elements of Issue:

This is an early issue of Sensation Comics that features Wonder Woman.  This issue has artwork by Sheldon Moldoff and Harry G. Peter.  Harry G. Peter is known specifically for his Wonder Woman work.  The fact that MC Gaines is the editor of this issue only adds to why this book is being submitted to be preserved.

This issue features the 2nd comic book appearance of the Golden Age Cheetah. First appearances are expensive in any age, but Golden Age first appearances are very expensive for iconic characters.  This issue provided the collector with a nice alternative piece of history.

Reason for Purchase

Most people are targeting MCU issues.  Golden Age issues are being ignored.  “Shop in the blue seas to get books while others focus on the red ocean,” is good advice. This book was purchased when others were focusing on MCU books.

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6IjQyZDA0ODRjLTdmNmUtNDI0ZC05ZDI5LTg3NjlkMTI0ZjBiMC5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-211x300 Grading Experiment Pt 2: Buying Raw Books to Maximize ROIBook Subject #2: Whiz Comics #21

Reason for Submission:

This is an early Whiz comic with only 22 total copies in the CGC census.  The Shazam movie along with Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s Black Adam film is making these books harder to locate.  Grading this book will preserve it for generations.

Key Elements of Issue:

Golden Age first appearances are expensive and hard to locate.  That does not make it impossible to locate these books.  This is the first appearance of the Lieutenant Marvels.  The Marvel Family concept was established with this book. A CC Beck cover is also a desirable feature of the book.

Reason for Purchase:

Key comics are always desirable to both collectors and investors.  Golden Age key first appearances are even more desirable.  Subject A said they were lucky to find this book. No issues were available for sale on eBay at the time this book was being submitted.

Silver Age Comics

Submitter Information

Subject B is a middle-age collector/investor.  The books are purchased with the intent to one day sell them when the time is correct.  Most of their books are ungraded.  The most important factor for this individual is the hunt.

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6IjVhMDNkZWQ3LTRkOTUtNDViOC05MDk5LTEzNzNjNzc1MDY0Yi5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-200x300 Grading Experiment Pt 2: Buying Raw Books to Maximize ROIBook Subject #1: Strange Tales #126

Reason for Submission:

This book was submitted based upon a possible reveal from the Dr. Strange Movie and the future direction of the MCU.  This book was not the submitter’s original choice but they wanted to take advantage of the possible rise in value of this book.

Key Elements of Issue:

Dormammu makes his appearance in this issue.  He is prominently displayed on the cover.  Clea also makes her first appearance in this issue, although she remains unnamed.

Reason for Purchase:

Buying on the dip is an important buying trick.  Many MCU investors dumped this book or lost interest after the first Dr. Strange movie.  Buying when others are selling is a good way to take advantage of the evolving market. This was a GoCollect recommendation based upon the double key first appearances in this book.

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6ImVlZGU1MjNmLTQxZDEtNDFkNy1iOTAwLTllNTlmM2UyOWEwYy5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-200x300 Grading Experiment Pt 2: Buying Raw Books to Maximize ROIBook Subject #2: Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #70

Reason for Submission:

The submitter liked this book after watching the recently released Batman movie.  The submitter wants to look at the long term with this book rather than the short term and was not influenced by the movie at all.

Key Elements of Issue:

The book contains the first Silver Age appearance of Catwoman.

Reason for Purchase:

This book has fewer than 1,000 books in the CGC.  Silver Age keys usually have more books in the census.  The submitter believes this book is undervalued because of the low census numbers.

Bronze Age Comics

Submitter Information

Submitter C is an individual who lives on a budget.  Comic books for this person are a collectible that probably will not be sold, as the bulk of their collection is not graded.  This is the first submission for this hobbyist.

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Reason for Submission:

The submitter was worried that this book would deteriorate with age.

Key Elements of Issue:

Captain Britain is introduced in this comic book that was distributed over the pond.  The issue does not have the normal American heavier stock cover. Instead, this book has a newspaper cover.  The issue also has a mask that is still included in the issue.

Reason for Purchase:

Fans of the Bronze Age know that even if you find this book, it usually comes without the mask.  Distribution in the U.K. adds to the difficulty in finding this book.

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6Ijk1YjY5MjcyLTE2Y2QtNDNkMy05NTg1LTY3NGM1MWU3NDczYi5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-202x300 Grading Experiment Pt 2: Buying Raw Books to Maximize ROIBook Subject #2: Green Lantern #87

Reason for Submission:

Green Lantern movie and television rumors have been around for years.  The submitter also wanted to see how square-bound books are graded.  CGC President Matt Nelson advised first-time submitters to choose books that are not going to be valued less than the grading fees.  The advice was followed by selecting this book.

Key Elements of Issue:

The issue has the first appearance of John Stewart. The second appearance of Guy Gardner is an added bonus.  Finally, this book features the artwork of comic book legend Neal Adams.

Reason for Purchase:

Most investors and collectors are seeking out MCU titles.  DC Comics are ignored by the vast majority of buyers.  The submitter believes prices will go up for DC Comic keys in the future and now is the time to buy.

Modern Age Comics

Submitter Information

Submitter D came into these books and is not a hobbyist or fan.  Comic books are assets to this individual. Ungraded books are less desirable as a commodity than graded books, thus, the reason this person is submitting the books.

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Reason for Submission:

Submitter D indicated that the intent to sell this book is always present.  Comics are but a commodity and grading a book makes it easier to sell.

Key Elements of Issue:

This is the first appearance of the Crow.  The Crow has appeared in several movies and on television.  There are always rumors of a reboot that may generate more interest in this character.

Reason for Purchase:

Independent comic books had lower distribution rates than the Big Two.  The individual knew of the Crow from the movies and purchased the book because the price was reasonable.

Next Step…

The books have been picked.  The next step is to get ready the books ready for delivery.  Subscription costs and mailing the issues will be discussed in the next installment of the grading experiment. I hope you come with us on that next step.

Previous installments of this series:

COMIC BOOK GRADING EXPERIMENT: ADVICE FROM CGC PRESIDENT MATT NELSON (PART 1)
ADVICE FROM CGC PRESIDENT MATT NELSON: THE GRADING PROCESS
CGC PRESIDENT MATT NELSON: HOT COMICS, GRADING, & POSSIBLE NEW CGC ITEMS!

00080221C_Green-Footer Grading Experiment Pt 2: Buying Raw Books to Maximize ROI*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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4 comments

Alan May 12, 2022 - 11:34 am

This seems like a meaningless article. How can you calculate and maximize ROI if prices paid for and suspected grade are not included?

Reply
Joseph Overaitis May 12, 2022 - 3:16 pm

Alan

The prices were not mentioned in this part so as to not impact grading biases. The books were selected based upon the submitters intent to get a good ROI or at least to save money if they could have bought books graded. In addition we used stock photos to into create any bias. The final analysis will have that data but we were afraid if it was presented in the first part it might impact the experiment. An honest experience is what we are going for and I can tell you already we have had an issue that was not ideal LOL. That will appear in Part 3….

Reply
GQGuyforComics May 13, 2022 - 10:14 pm

i really envy you guys being in a market that gives you a lot of avenues to buy , while people like me who are not base in USA and canada dont get to have a lot of options to buy raw and places to get better deals , im stuck with auctions sights , ebay, amazon , IG sellers who are hard at giving a bargain normally you see a good deal but its gone already. as much as i agree with the writer , its like longing for fresh water but cant have it and im stuck with salted water thats filtered and boiled just never the same feel but you can say both the same stuff.

Reply
Joseph Overaitis May 15, 2022 - 8:11 pm

GQGuy

Do you believe in serendipity. I have spent the last 3 days researching articles at a con. Guess what…one of the articles I am going to write will be on foreign editions. I was shocked at what was selling and for the prices they were going for at the show! It made me realize a complete segment of the market is being ignored. Where are you from because I wonder if your country was mentioned.

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