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Beckett Grading Services...for comics?12763

Collector Supertom private msg quote post Address this user
Sorry if this has already come up but I recently fell down a rabbit hole of watching unboxing videos of graded Pokemon cards. It's addicting, don't do it...

The thing that caught my attention is how Beckett Grading Service (BGS) offers a subgrading system which determines the final overall grade of the cards. Clearly stated right on the label are grades on "four key categories: centering, corners, edges and surface". If you happen to get all four grades a 10, you even get a fancy black label indicating that this is the most perfect of perfect cards. They also offer a "on time or it's FREE guarantee" and a "Report Card providing specific grade details and leaving no confusion as to why your card received its grade". It's basically a little cheat sheet where they circle spots on to show where they saw flaws. It's very helpful.

So, now that CBCS and Beckett have merged, why not shake up the comic grading industry and use a similar system for comics? I'm sure we've all shared the disappointment of receiving a lower than expected grade on a book. I've also recently had a friend buy 2 CGC 9.4s and both books had multiple, fairly severe, color breaking spine ticks. Of course we know CGC doesn't offer grader notes unless you pay up, so it's a total mystery. Thankfully CBCS does but their grader notes can be less than satisfying. A note on a book I recently received was "spine stress breaks color". OK, where? How much? Is that one spine tick? Two? Twelve? This may not be critical if you have the books in hand, but it would be incredibly helpful when buying books online.

I'd love to see CBCS implement this system in some way. Four categories like, spine, corners, surface, interior. If those 9.4s I mentioned above had a spine = 8.5, but all other categories were 9.8, then the 9.4 grade would make sense. Mystery solved! How great would it be if CBCS could essentially eliminate the debate of, "a CBCS 9.0 is probably a CGC 9.4", or "I'm going to crack this open and see if I can get a higher grade!" Being able to display and preserve our books is great but in the end we're paying these companies to determine the value of our collectibles. Depending on the book, a 0.2 swing could mean hundreds if not thousands of dollars. When it comes to that kind of money I'd want to know exactly why my book received the grade it did. Let's take a little of the "art" out of grading and add in a bit more science.

Thoughts?
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Collector Bronte private msg quote post Address this user
To be honest, I think that's asking a bit much. If they took the time to cite every fault they would be there all day. I can understand wanting more, but you have to realize the amount of books they go through a day. As for paying for notes, CGC doesn't always have notes. I have a 9.2 from a few months ago with no notes.
On the other hand I have 5 copies of another book where they copy and pasted the notes on 9.6 and 9.8.
Cbcs in the other hand is kind enough to have them for 9.6 and below.

As for the 4 aspects of grading, I don't think its feasible. The standard is set for the industry. To change it now would make it stand out worse than a PGX or HALO book. Nobody would buy it.

Edit

Respectfully I also disagree. They aren't there to evaluate the value of the book. They are there to evaluate the condition if the book. The market is what determines value of book
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Collector Siggy private msg quote post Address this user
Sounds like a different version of a CVA sticker.
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CBCS President & Comic Cover Connoisseur sborock private msg quote post Address this user
Well.....since that would take more time to grade each book and more information would have to be added to each label, how much would any of you pay extra for this service? Double?
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CBCS President & Comic Cover Connoisseur sborock private msg quote post Address this user
@Siggy I thought the cva sticker just meant "looks better" which we already do when there is a check mark next to the grade.
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Collector Supertom private msg quote post Address this user
I would hope that the graders already inspect every fault of the book and tally them up in some way. How else could they determine the grade? The only additional step would be to make a few scribbles on the report card and have an intern type it into the system. If that's an additional $5 per book then so be it. Also BGS manages to do this and still guarantee TAT.

The 4 subgrades wouldn't really change the industry standard. The overall grade would still be the standard system we're all familiar with. The standard, which was basically defined by Overstreet, already follows very strict rules. Each grade is allowed so many specific types of flaws. This would be just another tool to help collectors determine where the flaws are located and how the grader come up with the grade. It's odd to compare this to PGX and HALO who are relatively unknowns in the industry (or known for the wrong reasons). Beckett is well established and BGS hasn't gone spiraling down the ranks in the trading card community since they've implemented this system. As BGS states on their site, "leaving no confusion as to why your card received its grade". That seems like something that people would appreciate, especially when spending top dollar on a high grade book.

Of course the market is the final determination of value but that's because we are trusting the word or "guarantee" of these grading companies. Imagine if a Beetles poster signed by the entire band went up for auction on Heritage. An "expert" verifies that all signatures are legit and the poster sells for $1M. Then the buyer chooses to have another "exert" evaluate the signatures and it turns out one of them is actually Yoko Ono's. That $1M poster immediately plummets in value, the buyer is pissed, Heritage auctions loses trust and potentially a huge commission. Now, that's an extreme example for sure but it's not really that much different than if one grader sees a book as a 9.6 and another sees it at a 9.8. Their opinions directly effect the comic's value.
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Collector CatmanAmerica private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by sborock
Well.....since that would take more time to grade each book and more information would have to be added to each label, how much would any of you pay extra for this service? Double?


I’ve always felt that beyond standard grading principles ...getting into the weeds of it, so to speak... the minutiae just becomes a crystal ball impression of personal preferences, likes and dislikes. For instance, if one collector has an issue with fading or color strike, the next will judge registration or off center cut as a collecting preference and so on. Beyond a certain point, adding stickers or notations of perceived superiority just becomes an exercise in overly subjective appraisal.

I suppose such services could be offered, but I’d think it could lead to unfair criticism of grading with accusations of preferential acknowledgment for a fee. I’d think graders have enough to deal with without the addition of unnecessary grief from subjective bias criticism. That’s just my 2 cents.
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Collector Supertom private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by sborock
Well.....since that would take more time to grade each book and more information would have to be added to each label, how much would any of you pay extra for this service? Double?


That's understandable and it does look like BGS charges about double for the subgrades but they also guarantee their TAT 2 day, 10, day, and 30 day. They also have "no sub-grade" options for each level and even a "non-guaranteed" option, which is basically what we have now with comics.

It wouldn't be for everyone for sure, but it would be nice to have that additional peace of mind on higher graded/valued books to know that there's no disputing the grade.

This is mostly just a thought experiment as I know how volatile the comic industry and market can be. Heck, people get upset about the color of the labels so I'm sure this would enrage folks as well. But trying to buy keys and improve my collection is becoming less and less fun. I'm constantly disappointed with online sales and my local market is bone dry. I do appreciate you chiming in though.
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Collector Joosh private msg quote post Address this user
I think one thing that hasn’t been touched on is how much easier it is to grade a card. A comic is a bunch of huge flimsy cards stapled together and folded. There’s just a lot more to inspect. Now look at costs to grade cards vs comics and see that they are almost the same. I’m surprised comics aren’t more expensive to grade than they are. The Comic slabs with inner wells have got to be pricier than card slabs for the grading company.

Now with higher end books hitting 4 digits and up I could see people willing to pay an extra $20-$40 to get detailed grading on key aspects. It’s not really economical on the vast majority of modern books graded.
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Collector Supertom private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatmanAmerica


I suppose such services could be offered, but I’d think it could lead to unfair criticism of grading with accusations of preferential acknowledgment for a fee. I’d think graders have enough to deal with without the addition of unnecessary grief from subjective bias criticism. That’s just my 2 cents.


I don't get how you could accuse the grader of preferential acknowledgment. They're documenting what is, not what they think is. Wouldn't this help eliminate the subjective criticism? Some people will still complain no matter what, but it would make grading far more of an objective analysis. If a grader sees 5 color breaking creases and notes where they're located on the book there no subjectivity to that. No interpretation or guess work. A crease in the top right is either there or it isn't.

A preference of flaws would be on the buyer. I personally dislike poorly cut/centered books. So if I'm going to buy a 9.6 and there's 2 copies in front of me, I'd chose the one with better centering over one with fewer spine ticks. And if I'm buying said book online and I only get the standard front and back pictures of each book, those additional subgrades would help me make that decision.
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Collector Supertom private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joosh
I think one thing that hasn’t been touched on is how much easier it is to grade a card. A comic is a bunch of huge flimsy cards stapled together and folded. There’s just a lot more to inspect. Now look at costs to grade cards vs comics and see that they are almost the same. I’m surprised comics aren’t more expensive to grade than they are. The Comic slabs with inner wells have got to be pricier than card slabs for the grading company.

Now with higher end books hitting 4 digits and up I could see people willing to pay an extra $20-$40 to get detailed grading on key aspects. It’s not really economical on the vast majority of modern books graded.


I agree. I was actually surprised to see how much BGS charges. But they also don't charge based on the value of the cards, just the quantity and TAT. If you're sending in a book over $500 the price goes up fairly quickly. From $30 to a mortgage payment!

I also agree that this would be silly to do on brand new or low valued books. Although, with everybody's growing obsession with 9.8s, imagine how they'd feel about a quadruple 9.8s!
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Joined The Club Steverogers11 private msg quote post Address this user
Dear god would take forever to get books back
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Collector Supertom private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverogers11
Dear god would take forever to get books back


Well again, BGS has found a way to guarantee TAT. And really, it's what I believe they're already be doing to make grader notes in the first place. If a grader writes "spine ticks break color" is it some monumental feat to circle where on a scap of paper? One spine tick = 9.6 for the spine, 2 ticks = 9.4, and so on. Come on folks, I'm not asking for a detailed report on the theory of paper degradation.

Here's an example:




It's super simple but clearly shows they found flaws along the back top corner and edge. A little transparency would go a long way.
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Collector flanders private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverogers11
Dear god would take forever to get books back


By the time you get them back CBCS would be bankrupt.
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Joined The Club Steverogers11 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Supertom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverogers11
Dear god would take forever to get books back


Well again, BGS has found a way to guarantee TAT. And really, it's what I believe they're already be doing to make grader notes in the first place. If a grader writes "spine ticks break color" is it some monumental feat to circle where on a scap of paper? One spine tick = 9.6 for the spine, 2 ticks = 9.4, and so on. Come on folks, I'm not asking for a detailed report on the theory of paper degradation.

Here's an example:




It's super simple but clearly shows they found flaws along the back top corner and edge. A little transparency would go a long way.


Again Dear God it would take forever to get back
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Collector Bronte private msg quote post Address this user
Now we not only have written input but scans / diagrams of damage as well.....

@Steverogers11 has it right, forever and a day.
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Collector Supertom private msg quote post Address this user
Yeah, I guess you guys are right. Who needs accuracy and transparency when you have have your books back faster!

Seriously folks. If you think writing and scanning would devastate TATs then I pray none of you work in an office. How do you think they write their notes now? Also, as the picture shows you don’t even scan it. It’s taped to the case! But I know, I know. That scotch tape can be a tricky thing. Always getting stuck back on the roll. What a pain! That’d add at least 3 weeks to the TAT!

I was hoping for an actual constructive conversation but it seems like everyone is fine with the status quo of zero accountability for obvious mistakes on grades. But I guess as long as it’s a big number nobody cares. Carry on gents.
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Joined The Club Steverogers11 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Supertom
Yeah, I guess you guys are right. Who needs accuracy and transparency when you have have your books back faster!

Seriously folks. If you think writing and scanning would devastate TATs then I pray none of you work in an office. How do you think they write their notes now? Also, as the picture shows you don’t even scan it. It’s taped to the case! But I know, I know. That scotch tape can be a tricky thing. Always getting stuck back on the roll. What a pain! That’d add at least 3 weeks to the TAT!

I was hoping for an actual constructive conversation but it seems like everyone is fine with the status quo of zero accountability for obvious mistakes on grades. But I guess as long as it’s a big number nobody cares. Carry on gents.


Dude I don’t think your realize how much longer it would take seriously. As in forever to go through a comic to do the same as you would a trading card.
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Joined The Club Steverogers11 private msg quote post Address this user
TAT would b a year out with as many submissions they get
Post 19 IP   flag post
Joined The Club Steverogers11 private msg quote post Address this user
Move along with your Pokémon cards. If u don’t understand you never will
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Collector Bronte private msg quote post Address this user
@Steverogers11

Borock threw a number of maybe double for the extensive notes. The author replied a bit later with an extra 5$ for the extended notes.

I don't think the author views things the same way a majority of people apparently think.
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Joined The Club Steverogers11 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronte
@Steverogers11

Borock threw a number of maybe double for the extensive notes. The author replied a bit later with an extra 5$ for the extended notes.

I don't think the author views things the same way a majority of people apparently think.


Very true Bron
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Collector Supertom private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronte
@Steverogers11

Borock threw a number of maybe double for the extensive notes. The author replied a bit later with an extra 5$ for the extended notes.

I don't think the author views things the same way a majority of people apparently think.


Don’t cherry pick information to try and invalidate “the author’s” argument.

I was in the middle of typing my response of a $5 up charge, which is just a number I threw out there, when Steve posted. I also responded to him after that recognizing that BGS does in fact charge about double for the service which includes a guaranteed TAT. You’ll notice he was asking us if the additional cost would be acceptable. He didn’t immediately jump to, “That’d take forever!” I also stated that BGS offers this service as an option. All these little details that you all seem to be missing Or ignoring. But please continue to school me on the inner workings of grading companies and telling me how I think. The facts you guys are laying down is quite fascinating.
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Collector xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
Not to slam on Beckett, because I don't know anything about their end of the business or grading cards, but that guaranteed TAT doesn't seem so great anyway https://www.beckett.com/grading/estimated-turnaround-times . 10 days means 10 weeks? 30 days means over 100? And I think I saw something on Facebook about them raising the prices on the quickest tiers to try to discourage people from sending those in. I'm not interested in any of that happening to CBCS.
Post 24 IP   flag post
Collector Supertom private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by xkonk
Not to slam on Beckett, because I don't know anything about their end of the business or grading cards, but that guaranteed TAT doesn't seem so great anyway https://www.beckett.com/grading/estimated-turnaround-times . 10 days means 10 weeks? 30 days means over 100? And I think I saw something on Facebook about them raising the prices on the quickest tiers to try to discourage people from sending those in. I'm not interested in any of that happening to CBCS.


Now that is a fair argument. It’s interesting because their site says it’s a money back guarantee. It’s incredibly misleading of them.
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Joined The Club Steverogers11 private msg quote post Address this user
#would take forever
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Collector Bronte private msg quote post Address this user
@Supertom

If you were writing when Borock responded, then I apologize. I was going by message order.

However, as mentioned by multiple folks the time taken to generate notes would be extensive. And while I do not know squat about how to run a grading company, my assumption is that Borock does. And if he is spitballing double the cost clearly your adding pictures to it comment was after the fact, how practical can that possibly be?

I get it. As a consumer I want accurate notes to make judgment calls so I don't have to depend on my shitty ability to grade. However, time is money. And that's something you can't get around. If you are an expert grader, how long does it typically take to grade a book? If a book has extensive damage, how much time can you waste typing every fault? I have a tales of suspense 39 that you could spend literally 3 minutes writing defects down. By the time your done, how many other books could you have graded?

My point is financially it doesn't add up.
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Collector GAC private msg quote post Address this user
The question comes down to: as a comic collector, why would I pay for this more detailed service? Maybe there's a real valid reason why I would.

If the answer to the above question is: Yes I would. Then the business needs to ask: Is there enough demand to warrant offering this service at the price it needs to be in order to make it a viable option?

Maybe there's a demand for this out there. Market research would need to be conducted to truly find out.....but my anecodatal knowledge believes this is simply not worth pursuing.
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Collector Supertom private msg quote post Address this user
@Bronte I agree there. For lower grade books I don’t think is feasible. I also don’t think many people who send in beat up books will make a strong argument that their 3.5 should have been a 4. And the value swing in lower grades isn’t anything like an 8.5 to a 9.0 or a 9.4 to a 9.6.

This all stemmed from the example I shared about a friend who recently purchased a CGC 9.4 X-Men 129. It was a little over $300. When he got it in hand it had 5 very apparent color breaking spine ticks. So now not only is he disappointed that the book has a few visible flaws, he knows that his 9.4 is probably not really a 9.4. I have 8.5s with fewer flaws. This book that he was really excited to get now has this looming asterisks floating above it all because a grader at CGC maybe didn’t have their morning cup of coffee. Now if the book had subgrades and notes that stated the flaws he could have made that determination at the time of purchase.

Anyway, I’m just asking for some transparency and some consistency. Maybe it’s not this detailed subgrade system but as it stands now grading is this mystical art form that we’re not allowed to question. And it drives my OCD up the wall.
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Collector Bronte private msg quote post Address this user
@Supertom

So I have to ask. Do you buy grader notes on all high dollar books before you buy? At what price point do you start?

Edit

Actually a better question. Did your buddy buy the notes before he bought the book?
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