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Comics Bronze Age

CGC, CBCS, and case of the Serious Squarebound screw-ups from "shipping".12884

Collector agamoto private msg quote post Address this user
Alright, an update to this personal soap opera that others should be aware of if dealing with CGC as it may happen to them too! Since it's happened to me with CBCS as well, my experience dealing with both companies should be on the record.

Quick recap:

Submitted what I thought was a VF/NM or better Giant-Size X-Men 1 that came back 9.6 White. Great! Except when I got it, the front right top and bottom corners were bent in on the overhang about 45 degrees. Not the back corners mind you, just the front. ARGH. I complained, they claimed it's a "mechanical error due to shipping". They offered to pay to return, repress, regrade and send back, but 90 to 120 day wait and no guarantee on any grade. While it could very well stay at 9.6, it's definitely NOT going to 9.8! I spent several back and forth emails trying to nail down the details about compensation if it doesn't come back @ 9.6 and I finally got a cast-iron answer from them.

It was basically this:

It's always a decision that's handled case by case by management, but the general policy is, they will repress, regrade and send back for free, w/o guarantee to the new grade as already stated. In the event I'm not happy with the new grade or the book is destroyed or significantly damaged further, they will compensate me only for what I declared for the value at initial submission, $2000, AND they keep the book.

Uhhh, what? You read that right and I had to confirm that last part twice by email and once over the phone. For example, if it comes back a 9.4, 9.2, or any other lower number after a repress and grading. I have only two options I can accept that lower grade and suck it up buttercup, or they keep the book and I get $2000 in compensation.

I paid $100+ to grade, not counting the pressing and shipping, so they can spend probably less than a few minutes looking at it, to tell me what it's grade is and what it's worth.

They wreck the damn thing in encapsulating it, due either negligence, piss-poor design of their case, or a little bit of both and try to blame it on shipping, which is absolutely ridiculous because, well, physics!

Then, they tell me that they'll "fix" what they did but it will take up to 120 days, with no guarantees that it will be the same grade.

Finally when I ask them what happens if it grades less they tell me I can suck it up and accept the new grade, with ZERO differential compensation or they will keep the book and pay me the $2000 that I initially valued it at when I submitted.

THAT IS INSANE. The entire reason it's being sent to them in the first place is to get a "certified guarantee" of its grade, so that the ACTUAL fair market value of a book can be calculated!!!$@#%!%#

When I first asked my Heritage rep about this, he said they'd compensate, but that's not what their CSR has made clear to me. Perhaps because I'm not a monster auction house that submits 1000 comics a month. No sir, you take the new grade and you like it, or they keep your book and you get $2K.

This is the same company who, at their sole discretion, will bump your book up to a higher tier and charge more if you they don't think you valued the book high enough when you submitted it, but you can forget about them offering customers any similar privilege when THEY screw up and have to make good on it when they can't bring a book back up to the grade, and it's subsequent FMV, they said it is.

I can say this for CBCS, when a very similar incident happened with a GSX1 I had them grade last year, I did get the book back VERY QUICKLY, No 90-120 wait, and it came back the same grade they initially gave it, a 9.2, BUT they did additional damage to the book in pressing it. To their credit, CBCS bent over backwards to make good on things, with even Steve getting involved and blowing 20 minutes of his time on the phone with me talking about it. Ultimately, I was able to sell the book as it was, instead of submitting it back to CBCS for a third time. I got perhaps 80% of GPA90 on that book, but at least I didn't have to worry about it any longer or risk further problems.

I'd love to hear others advice, including what CBCS might have to say on this matter. The difference between a GSX1 White page 9.6 and a 9.4 or 9.2 or even less is considerably more than $2K and I think it's absolutely criminal to not offer ANY differential compensation.

At the very least, they should compensate up to the maximum of the declared value if they want to play that wicked game.

The only thing I'm 100% certain of. CGC isn't getting another dime of my money nor will they be touching anymore of my books. I just renewed my elite status too, What a pisser.

CBCS has 55 of my books right now, prepare to get a whole bunch more. I just wish the market treated CGC and CBCS values equally.

You know what? I've got one more VF/NMish GSX1 left... I think I'm going to send that one to PGX, just for the hell of it. Let's see if they're the only comic grading company that doesn't bend my squarebound corners!



CGC's Victim



CGC's Victim hot off the press 1.



CGC's Victim hot off the press 2.


Looking back at the issue with my CBCS encapsulated GSX1, I realize that it might not actually have been as bad as what CGC has done.



CBCS's Victim1



CBCS's Victim2
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Collector Comicninja0215 private msg quote post Address this user
Man that is a crazy story!!! After hearing thay about your book, Steve is getting all of my shit lol
Post 2 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
There is a reason why you put an insured value whether CGC or CBCS. The max any company will compensate for a lost or damaged book is the lower of FMV or insured valued. Simple as that.

Hopefully such cases will be not common.
Post 3 IP   flag post
Collector CaptainCanuck private msg quote post Address this user
@agamoto

The only saving grace I can see is this.

Judging by the single picture you provided of the encapsulated CGC book, those creases are on the white part of the comic.

Moreover, they may even turn out to be non-color breaking bends that can be pressed out.

Unfortunately, there is also the chance that those bends may have caused color breaks to the ad pages on the inside covers.
Post 4 IP   flag post
Collector flanders private msg quote post Address this user
I think you'd be better off getting a refund for everything you paid to CGC and additional compensation to have it pressed. Even if they press out the damages there's a good chance they'll damage the comic again during encapsulation. Maybe on this particular copy, due to the overhang, it's best to never encapsulate.

What if they damage a book while it's in their possession that has a selected grade screen that prevents it from being encapsulated? Does their policy indicate they can damage your books without having to compensate you a dime? I'd request to speak to their legal department and get more specific information regarding the insurance you purchased through them. Companies do this all the time when they're handling other people's property. I used to work in the auto industry and when valets in parking lots would damage vehicles they would show a copy of the parking receipt to the customer where there is paragraph long description how they have no liability for damages.

That's not the case if an employee is driving your car around and hits something, but the company will try to convince vehicle owners that there's nothing they can do, even though they carry garage keeper's insurance for instances such as these. I'm not sure what the bailment laws are in Florida but you should look into it. It's best to do as much research as you can and get something detailed in writing from them, before you consider sending the book back to CGC.
Post 5 IP   flag post
Collector agamoto private msg quote post Address this user
It's common enough that it's happened to me twice, with two different GSX1's at two different grading companies within the span of a year.

By your reckoning, I should suck it up because I didn't declare the book to be worth @ $7000? How exactly am I supposed to know that? How am I supposed to grade ANY book to their standards and give it a properly determined value when I have no idea what those grading standards are? The entire purpose of sending a book to a grading company is to have a third party professionals determine the grade and it could easily be argued in court that the grade THEY set determines the value of a book. Not what the seller, nor the buyer think the grade might be.

You don't think it's wrong that they are able to unilaterally bump my book into a higher tier and charge me more if they think I didn't value it high enough, yet have zero obligation to drop the book into a cheaper tier if I over-value the book and place it in a higher, more expensive tier?

Don't you think it's a little unfair to essentially declare a book to be a certain grade, and thus subsequently a certain value, damage that book directly or indirectly while in their care, yet not have to compensate the owner for the indirect loss of profit due to the handling of the book while in their care or because of the failure of the design specifications of a slab which is not fit for shipping certain types of books?
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Collector CaptainCanuck private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by flanders
Maybe on this particular copy, due to the overhang, it's best to never encapsulate.

Solid advice.
Post 7 IP   flag post
Collector Bronte private msg quote post Address this user
This is just my opinion. And of course I can be totally wrong.

However, I can kinda see polka's point. Before you got the book back, or knew the grade, if that book was destroyed in a fire or something else happened to the book, you would have been content at the amount you insured it for.

The fact that it is worth considerably more now that a grade has been assigned to it doesn't change the fact that you "would" have been content at the insurance value you would have originally assigned it.

The tier bumping is kind of irrelevant in this argument because it has nothing to do with the situation. Its just a grievance in general about the company. It has nothing to do with the amount of money you assigned the book.

Don't get me wrong, id be pissed too, but if you look at it from their side, you signed on the dotted line to their agreement. You don't have much recourse.

I know when I was filling out my forms I put the maximum amount of value for modern books before entering next tier. Regardless of their theoretical value, I maxed it out to the top of the tier. For example a 30$ book was insured for 200$.
Post 8 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
@agamoto yes - if you replaced CGC/CBCS with an insurance company - max compensation. you would receive would be what the book is insured for.

it is a tough situation - but neither CBCS/CGC will ever pay more than the insured value.

or in plain words - the declared value is the max compensation one will receive
Post 9 IP   flag post
Collector flanders private msg quote post Address this user
@poka so in cases where there are damages to the book, you'll only be compensated after a transfer ownership of the book to the insurance company? They'll never pay out a portion of the insured value for any damages that devalue the book while giving you the option to retain ownership?
Post 10 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by flanders
@poka so in cases where there are damages to the book, you'll only be compensated after a transfer ownership of the book to the insurance company? They'll never pay out a portion of the insured value for any damages that devalue the book while giving you the option to retain ownership?


the book did not change owner. you will be compensated the lower of declared value or FMV. depending on the book - the companies may provide you with a replacement of same grade/pq. of course - they may also offer a partial refund for you to keep the book depending on the situation. all options may be open - but the max you ever will get in totality is the declared value.
remember - the companies use the declared values for their own insurance purposes.
Post 11 IP   flag post
Collector agamoto private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronte

I know when I was filling out my forms I put the maximum amount of value for modern books before entering next tier. Regardless of their theoretical value, I maxed it out to the top of the tier. For example a 30$ book was insured for 200$.


This, If anything, is my failure, however, in my research on this issue since, I've discovered that this particular problem has happened quite a lot. One fellow on the CGC forums with a 9.8 with bent corners looked into dozens and dozens of sales of high grade books archived on worthpoint and determined that 1 in 5 of the high grade GS X-Men 1's he's studied had bent corners.

I can't find the citation right now, but I do recall reading tonight that this problem is well known to grading companies and has been for a decade+, to the point that they actually stopped accepting these books for a short time specifically because of this problem.

This forum post is PACKED with examples of the damage done to lots of books, and plenty of other GSX1's as well.

There's debate over whether the damage caused by SCS is related to the damage caused to overhangs on some books like the squarebounds. I don't think it is. The damage I see caused by SCS to books where the covers stick to the inner well while the internal pages move around and often tear at the staples can be explained with physics. Explaining overhang bends is a lot tougher of a sell pointing the finger at SCS. Let's see some animations explaining how that's happening.

Plenty of talk about the problem many are saying is an "outbreak" over on the CGC forums.


A review of CGC's BBB ratings reveals that they maintain video surveillance of customer submission packaging and they have used that video to dispute serious accusations levied against them by some people. If this is true, then I'd LOVE to see the video of them encapsulating my book. Show me the pictures of it leaving their facility with the corners in 9.6 condition. They should be doing this anyway, with every submission. How hard is it to add a field to a database and some code to slap an image up on AWS at each step of the process? That said, even if it is shown to have left w/o a problem, that still means they have a serious problem with the design of their cases and it happens enough to give a lot of people a VERY bad day, and they should still shoulder at least some responsibility for their case wrecking comic books and not try to blame mishandling outside of their control.

Hmmmm, video surveillance at every step of the process huh? That's interesting.






This is a link to the original CBCS bent corner X-Men thread if anyone cares, with very detailed pics of that one. Several folks, CBCS prez included, blamed it on shipping/SCS, but there's some good video in there too of the box it shipped in, and how it showed no sign of damage, and of course the other 14 books in the same box were perfectly fine. Now that I think about it, I don't believe I was ever compensated for having to return the X-Men book to them. At this point, I'm just going to let it go.

It's just absolutely incredible to me that after submitting 100's of books to both CBCS and CGC, this practically identical problem would occur twice with both companies with two separate copies of this book. I'm sure there are dudes who have submitted dozens of these smirking at this while they read it.

Time to go back to my heritage rep and see if he's got weight he can pull with CGC since they'll be impacted by this too. Honestly, after everything I've read on this subject, I don't understand how the hell CGC hasn't had a monstrous class action filed against them.
Post 12 IP   flag post
Collector agamoto private msg quote post Address this user
Some additional close ups of what CGC directly and indirectly did to my book.











And yes, those are tiny little tears at the bend points. And there's some sort of stains near wolverines claw that were NOT there before.

The before pics:










I'm sickened... Even with a another press/clean, there will be two new little tears along the edge and what appears to be a 2-3mm flake on the edge missing on the bottom bend... and who knows what the deal is with those new stains. On top of that, the bend at the top is indeed right at the blue/black ribbon, next to the comics code box, so there's going to be at least a 1/4" color breaking crease there as that's where the bend is most severe.

Absolutely gutted and furious.
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Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
@agamoto yeah but not sure this is the. eat place to discuss what CGC should/could do.

actually the most famous case may be Bob’s ASC #8 which allegedly got damaged while in CGC’s possession

https://www.cgccomics.com/boards/topic/185786-jerrys-all-star-8-better-pics/#comment-3957435

personally the worst i have experience was someone at CGC indenting one of my books by writing notes on top of it - but hard to prove - yeah
Post 14 IP   flag post
Collector agamoto private msg quote post Address this user
I'm just venting, and letting people know that the way the situation was handled by the two companies has been quite different.
Post 15 IP   flag post
Collector agamoto private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by poka
@agamoto yeah but not sure this is the. eat place to discuss what CGC should/could do.

actually the most famous case may be Bob’s ASC #8 which allegedly got damaged while in CGC’s possession

https://www.cgccomics.com/boards/topic/185786-jerrys-all-star-8-better-pics/#comment-3957435

personally the worst i have experience was someone at CGC indenting one of my books by writing notes on top of it - but hard to prove - yeah


I read the first couple of pages of the all stars 8 book saga. Seems it was admittedly a restored book with glue on it and color touch at the staple and some mishandling caused what was likely quite an old repair to pop and I have to agree with some of the folks in there saying fix the pop and move on. Still, All Star 8, man alive.

Writing on your book... Yikes. Was it recent? The issue with CGC? As I mentioned, they are on the record claiming they keep video surveillance of their process for every book. If you brought suit, their video records would be discoverable and could find themselves in trouble if they were deleted or somehow not available when they should be.
Post 16 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
@agamoto mine was batman 404-407 set - where 3 books came out 9.4-9.8 while the last one came out 7.5 with grader’s note stating indent from writing. the indent was not there when i submitted - but given the cost of the book - i let it go
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Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by agamoto
I'm just venting, and letting people know that the way the situation was handled by the two companies has been quite different.

It's just sickening, to see what they did to that beautiful book.

Yeah, the compensation thing is so annoying. It is likely that, if they accept that they caused damage and need to compensate for it, that they simply can't go higher than their insured value. They will have to put in a claim to their insurer, and that insurance is based on the declared rate.

It's annoying, though, that partial insurance doesn't do the trick. I mean, if you declared it at $2000, for the insurance, and it's only damaged a little, then they should be able to put in a claim less than "total loss," and up to the maximum of $2000.

But I guess in that case, they have to try to fix the damage first? Or they can't put a claim in on a book as "damaged" because the case actually says it's a 9.6? To put a partial claim in, they would essentially have to say the grade is NOT what it says on the case. And they would never do that.

Anyway, I guess the difference between a 9.4 and a 9.6 is more than $2000? Really sucks that they did that, any way you slice it.
Post 18 IP   flag post
Collector xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
gocollect is having issues for me right now so I can't see the full grade breakdown. But a GSX1 in 9.2 is listed at $3700 and I know you get giant-sized jumps in price above that, so I would guess there could be more than a $2000 difference. On the flip side, $2000 is only going to get you something in the 6.5 - 7.5 range, so a book that ended up at NM was insured at the FN+/VF- level.
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Collector theCapraAegagrus private msg quote post Address this user
So, you valued it at $2k, and are pissed that they'll buy it off of you at what you valued it for...?

Correct me if I'm wrong there.
Post 20 IP   flag post
Collector CaptainCanuck private msg quote post Address this user
.
No one wants to take the blame.

Like a mechanic who breaks a part on your car, while trying to fix another part. Then charges you for both parts and extra labor. 🤦
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Collector MatterEaterLad private msg quote post Address this user
I'm sorry this happened. I had something similar do go down, which is why I currently have books with CBCS. One year I spent just shy of $30k with CGC, but when something goes wrong, you get the vibe that unless you're talking about a TEC27 they either don't care or don't have time to care. They have more business than they can handle, so losing even a large volume customer elicited an underwhelming response.

The next book I sent in after the screw up, was a purple 9.4, and it came back blue 9.6. I don't know if I just got lucky, or this was like an NBA ref screwing up a call and then looking the other way on the next foul to sort of even up. Either way, it showed me there's too much variance for my taste, or their judgement and grading is flexible depending on the situation.
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Collector brysb private msg quote post Address this user
If this is a well known problem with square bound comics why hasn't a better case been designed for these? Makes no sense to keep encapsulating them with such a high probability the corners will get damaged.
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COLLECTOR CFP_Comics private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by brysb
If this is a well known problem with square bound comics why hasn't a better case been designed for these? Makes no sense to keep encapsulating them with such a high probability the corners will get damaged.


This is only true of square bound books with overhang. GS X-Men 1 is classic for overhang, while many SBB are cut properly and do not have this issue. Even a regular comic with overhang will get damage or inward curling based on the way it is stored.
Post 24 IP   flag post
Collector brysb private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by CFP_Comics
Quote:
Originally Posted by brysb
If this is a well known problem with square bound comics why hasn't a better case been designed for these? Makes no sense to keep encapsulating them with such a high probability the corners will get damaged.


This is only true of square bound books with overhang. GS X-Men 1 is classic for overhang, while many SBB are cut properly and do not have this issue. Even a regular comic with overhang will get damage or inward curling based on the way it is stored.


Oh, ok...I understand. I have a solution...place a thin sheet of (backing board or larger acid free paper?) Between the front a back covers that over hangs just enough so if the comic gets bumped it will not hit against the corners.
Post 25 IP   flag post
Collector Siggy private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by brysb
Quote:
Originally Posted by CFP_Comics
Quote:
Originally Posted by brysb
If this is a well known problem with square bound comics why hasn't a better case been designed for these? Makes no sense to keep encapsulating them with such a high probability the corners will get damaged.


This is only true of square bound books with overhang. GS X-Men 1 is classic for overhang, while many SBB are cut properly and do not have this issue. Even a regular comic with overhang will get damage or inward curling based on the way it is stored.


Oh, ok...I understand. I have a solution...place a thin sheet of (backing board or larger acid free paper?) Between the front a back covers that over hangs just enough so if the comic gets bumped it will not hit against the corners.

That sounds like it could 'anchor' the cover while allowing the book to move, and that could result in popped staples.
Post 26 IP   flag post
Collector Siggy private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by agamoto
You know what? I've got one more VF/NMish GSX1 left... I think I'm going to send that one to PGX, just for the hell of it. Let's see if they're the only comic grading company that doesn't bend my squarebound corners!


After multiple submissions you've learned this specific issue is problematic, but you do love to roll the dice, huh?

Post 27 IP   flag post
Collector Bronte private msg quote post Address this user
@Siggy

Thing is, without grading it, you can't get the best return on the book. It sucks but what choice do you have if you want the most money for your books?
Post 28 IP   flag post
Collector Siggy private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronte
@Siggy

Thing is, without grading it, you can't get the best return on the book. It sucks but what choice do you have if you want the most money for your books?


1) Not PGX.

2) Someone besides PGX.

3) Anyone other than PGX.

4) All of the above.
Post 29 IP   flag post
Collector Bronte private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siggy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronte
@Siggy

Thing is, without grading it, you can't get the best return on the book. It sucks but what choice do you have if you want the most money for your books?


1) Not PGX.

2) Not PGX.

3) Not PGX.

4) All of the above.


That I agree with you wholeheartedly.
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