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Feedback on New Service13937

Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
Good Freezin' mornin'(I live in Houston),

My Name is Jesus Estrada. I have been building a marketplace, Guaranteed Comics, to buy and sell raw comics since January of 2020. We officially launched on December 18, 2020. I am posting to ask for feedback to make the service even better. Since we've launched we've received a tremendous amount of positive feedback and support but we have so many cool features coming that I wanted to see what ya'll thought was most important.

What we do:
We guarantee raw comic book sales for both buyers and sellers through an independent third party(CBCS).

How it works:
A seller posts a book for sale with description, estimated grade, and pricing. (NO SELLER PICTURES)
A buyer purchases that book.
Seller ships book to us, Guaranteed Comics.
We do initial inspection and then submit it to CBCS for a raw grade estimate.
If book passes, sale is complete, book gets shipped to buyer, funds released to seller.
If book fails grade, sale is cancelled, money is refunded to buyer, seller pays for grade fee and gets book shipped back or opens a Warehousing account to store onsite until book gets sold at new grade.


We know we have limitations to our original launch but this iteration is just the beginning.

Here are the features we are working on and would like feedback to prioritize resources.
1. Making and Accepting Offers
2. Negotiating after book grade comes back(both below and above initial grade)
3. Offering buyers ability to encapsulate comic after raw grade comes back
4. Seller uploading pictures(we intentionally left this off of our launch because of ebay tricks/angles)
5. Timeframe, currently at 3 week turnaround for raw grade, also up to CBCS

If there are other items you think may help the service, please sound off below or you can email me directly at jesus@guaranteedcomics.com

Thank you all for making this such a great community!

Jesus Estrada
Founder
Guaranteed Comics
Post 1 IP   flag post
Collector bythegram private msg quote post Address this user
First glance this sounds pretty cool. I have a handful of questions.

1. Raw Grading costs money, who pays for that the buyer or seller? You mention that the seller does if the book doesn’t pass the estimated grade but what if it does?

2. If a seller gives an estimate grade of 8.5 but the comic ends up a 9.0 does the buyer pay the difference or does the seller loose out on that extra value (some comics this could be a large amount)

3. This process seems to depend on the seller having a decent idea of the grade which is all good for pros but might discourage new sellers. What if the seller could just ship you the comic at the beginning and you provide the estimate?

Just some thoughts but either way I’m a fan of any/all new developments in the comic world. I’ll be watching to see where this goes.

Cheers!
Post 2 IP   flag post
Collector Ginosdad private msg quote post Address this user
following
Post 3 IP   flag post
Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
@bythegram Thank you for the questions!

1. Since our service is for both buyers and sellers, we split the cost between the two. Buyers pay a 9% "guarantee fee" like a buyers premium on sites like ComicLink or Heritage auctions etc, and Sellers pay an 11% Sellers fee, ~2% lower than eBay. We take the cost for grading out of these two fees. There are no extra payment processor fees because we have unique payment processing through Stripe/Plaid.

2.This is a current limitation. Currently, the seller loses out on the potential extra value. In the future we would like for sellers to capture some of this potential lost value(maybe 75% of the difference). This is one of the features we are working on as well. Also, our site currently caters to books that are valued between $75-$450 so the losses are not as large as they would be if we sold some 4+ figure books.

3.We do have an option to send us the books up front through our warehousing service but the vendor space is limited at this time due to resource restraints(space in warehouse). We also have a "grading FAQ" page on our site and we do our best to educate sellers before they upload a comic for sale.

Thanks again and keep those questions/feedback coming!

ALSO I FORGOT TO MENTION!! TO CELEBRATE OUR LAUNCH WE ARE GIVING AWAY ASM 300 NEWSSTAND AND VENOM 3 3RD PRINTING. DETAILS ON OUR INSTAGRAM @GUARANTEED_COMICS AND COMPLETE SIGNUP IS ON OUR WEBSITE WWW.GUARANTEEDCOMICS.COM
Post 4 IP   flag post
Collector Nchatzi7 private msg quote post Address this user
This all seems like a big time spend, If someone wants a guaranteed grade why not buy a slab right away? Why does he have to go through this process?
Post 5 IP   flag post
Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
@Nchatzi7 Great questions!

It can seem that way but raw books are generally less expensive than slabbed books so collectors can get books at a discount. Also, some collectors prefer to buy raw vs slabbed.

Guaranteed Comics was made to eliminate purchasing books online that are represented as certain grades and then when you receive them they are actually not that grade or even restored. I've purchased my fair share of "eBay NMs" that were actually VF but I, unfortunately, paid the NM price.
Post 6 IP   flag post
You do know that the new guy brings the donuts, right? DWeeB1967 private msg quote post Address this user
@GuaranteedComics, you mentioned restoration. The CBCS raw grade does not include a restoration check. Is there any guarantee that a raw graded book purchased through your service would not be found to have been restored if, some time down the road, the book was submitted for slabbing?

Also, I'm a fellow Houstonian. Hope you're doing well during the cold weather.
Post 7 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
@GuaranteedComics Some obvious questions - and no disrespect -

1) Is this a Single person company, ie how many employees?

2) What guarantees do the seller/buyer have that their books or money would not be go missing - for whatever reason (if a single person company, eg from illness etc)

3) You mention a warehouse - how protected is the warehouse from burglary, thefts, flooding, fire etc?

4) Are the books fully insured by a reputable insurance company - against all losses (also arising from natural catastrophes) - while in your possession?
Post 8 IP   flag post
I live in RI and Rhode Islanders eat chili with beans. esaravo private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWeeB1967
@GuaranteedComics, you mentioned restoration. The CBCS raw grade does not include a restoration check. Is there any guarantee that a raw graded book purchased through your service would not be found to have been restored if, some time down the road, the book was submitted for slabbing?

Also, I'm a fellow Houstonian. Hope you're doing well during the cold weather.


Unless I am mistaken, I believe that raw grade now includes a resto check.
Post 9 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by esaravo
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWeeB1967
@GuaranteedComics, you mentioned restoration. The CBCS raw grade does not include a restoration check. Is there any guarantee that a raw graded book purchased through your service would not be found to have been restored if, some time down the road, the book was submitted for slabbing?

Also, I'm a fellow Houstonian. Hope you're doing well during the cold weather.


Unless I am mistaken, I believe that raw grade now includes a resto check.


Correct - since last year
Post 10 IP   flag post
It was a one trick pony show but always hilarious. GAC private msg quote post Address this user
@GuaranteedComics How are damages (in transit or otherwise) to comics handled?

What recourse does the seller/buyer have in the event if a dispute?

Do you make any guarantees to buyers or sellers?

What are the timeframes (if any) for a buyer/seller to lodge a dispute? Do you mediate?
Post 11 IP   flag post
It was a one trick pony show but always hilarious. GAC private msg quote post Address this user
I apologize if I'm wrong here but if there are no pictures being shown/seen to/by the buyer and only the raw grade is known then we have a "buy the grade not the book" situation. How is the "this is the ugliest 5.0 I've ever seen, I want my money back" scenario handled?
Post 12 IP   flag post
Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
@poka Thank you for the questions!

1. We are a registered LLC with the state of Texas and currently have 3 employees including myself. We plan on hiring one more person in the near future, hopefully by the end of the month.

2. Not a single person company and a business continuity plan was established before we launched. Rest assured we have contingencies to contingencies.

3. The warehouse is safe and secure. We scouted several locations before we launched and we chose the best one for our needs. We do not have a lot of space, it is limited to those vendors that want to submit to grading before the book is sold. The warehouse has held up during this unprecedented and historic winter storm so we are happy with our selection. We plan on expanding this part of the service eventually but we knew we needed to offer this up front to those sellers that needed it. We are currently working with an overseas seller that is shipping about 100 books to us and it makes sense for them to warehouse vs wait until each book is sold and then ship individually.

4. We have a commercial liability umbrella policy from a reputable insurance company that covers the books while in our possession.

Great questions and please keep them coming! We know the biggest part of launching is the educational piece of it. We strive to earn your business with every transaction.

-Jesus
Post 13 IP   flag post
Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
@GAC Thank you for your questions!

1. Sellers and Buyers both agree to our Terms of Service. Both have recourse with us, Guaranteed Comics, not with each other since we are the middle man.

2. We don't guarantee that a comic will sell on our website and we don't guarantee the grading until it comes back from CBCS. We guarantee that if a comic book is sold at a certain grade, the buyer will receive at least that grade(after CBCS grading) or the transaction will be canceled.

3. Buyers and sellers can lodge disputes to us during the agreed upon time-frame found in our terms of service. Any disputes are mediated by a third party arbitrator in Harris County, Texas. This dispute process is standard with most online marketplace businesses.

Thank you for the questions!

-Jesus
Post 14 IP   flag post
Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
@GAC That is another great question!

When a seller agrees to our terms of service, they agree to also represent the book fairly and to the best of their ability. We require sellers to input obvious issues with the books they are selling in a description. For ex: We have a hulk 182 on the site right now that states "1/3 of the cover is faded", we also have a book that states "No Tattooz". We have an initial quality check and, if the book passes, we then send it to CBCS for the raw grading. Any obvious issues we will reject the book and send back to the seller.


-Jesus
Post 15 IP   flag post
You do know that the new guy brings the donuts, right? DWeeB1967 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by esaravo
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWeeB1967
@GuaranteedComics, you mentioned restoration. The CBCS raw grade does not include a restoration check. Is there any guarantee that a raw graded book purchased through your service would not be found to have been restored if, some time down the road, the book was submitted for slabbing?

Also, I'm a fellow Houstonian. Hope you're doing well during the cold weather.


Unless I am mistaken, I believe that raw grade now includes a resto check.


I didn't know that, Ed. Thanks for the education. I guess that shows how often I've used the raw grade service recently. 🙂
Post 16 IP   flag post
I'm a #2. BigRedOne1944 private msg quote post Address this user
With all due respect, I just don't see any kind of benefit from a service like this. It just seems awful confusing, while adding additional costs to a middleman, and time to buying a comic book. Maybe im missing something here but I don't believe I would ever require such a service myself.

Good Luck with your Venture
Post 17 IP   flag post
Collector Redmisty4me private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuaranteedComics
Good Freezin' mornin'(I live in Houston),

My Name is Jesus Estrada. I have been building a marketplace, Guaranteed Comics, to buy and sell raw comics since January of 2020. We officially launched on December 18, 2020. I am posting to ask for feedback to make the service even better. Since we've launched we've received a tremendous amount of positive feedback and support but we have so many cool features coming that I wanted to see what ya'll thought was most important.

What we do:
We guarantee raw comic book sales for both buyers and sellers through an independent third party(CBCS).

How it works:
A seller posts a book for sale with description, estimated grade, and pricing. (NO SELLER PICTURES)
A buyer purchases that book.
Seller ships book to us, Guaranteed Comics.
We do initial inspection and then submit it to CBCS for a raw grade estimate.
If book passes, sale is complete, book gets shipped to buyer, funds released to seller.
If book fails grade, sale is cancelled, money is refunded to buyer, seller pays for grade fee and gets book shipped back or opens a Warehousing account to store onsite until book gets sold at new grade.


We know we have limitations to our original launch but this iteration is just the beginning.

Here are the features we are working on and would like feedback to prioritize resources.
1. Making and Accepting Offers
2. Negotiating after book grade comes back(both below and above initial grade)
3. Offering buyers ability to encapsulate comic after raw grade comes back
4. Seller uploading pictures(we intentionally left this off of our launch because of ebay tricks/angles)
5. Timeframe, currently at 3 week turnaround for raw grade, also up to CBCS

If there are other items you think may help the service, please sound off below or you can email me directly at jesus@guaranteedcomics.com

Thank you all for making this such a great community!

Jesus Estrada
Founder
Guaranteed Comics


Good luck with your enterprise; it's not something I'd ever use, but others might find it intriguing.

My one bit of advice is that you shouldn't refer to unslabbed comics as "raw" - I find that term ridiculous.

Just call them unslabbed.

Best of luck!
Post 18 IP   flag post
Not trying to be an ass since February 12, 2020. HulkSmash private msg quote post Address this user
To play “devil’s advocate”; what is the purpose of your service if one has to grade screen their own book, be screened by a third party, then raw graded when it is sold with the possibility of coming back a lower grade?

Why not send my own books for raw grading and sell on my own or any other established platform?
Post 19 IP   flag post
Masculinity takes a holiday. EbayMafia private msg quote post Address this user
@GuaranteedComics The biggest problem I see is that there is all downside for the seller, no upside. They have to get the grade exactly right or they lose money. If they grade it too high they lose grading costs, if they grade it too low they lose opportunity to sell for true value. If the grade is not exactly spot on, the seller is a loser in this arrangement. I imagine in more than 50% of situations the grade is not exactly spot-on. I may have not read close enough, but is there some recourse for the seller if their sold raw 7.5 actually comes back as 8.0 or 8.5?
Post 20 IP   flag post
The Scar Giver Jesse_O private msg quote post Address this user
I don't think this was made very clear, but this is a website, set up like many online stores I've seen. I think some of these questions may be answered, or made clearer, by visiting the Guaranteed Comics site.
Post 21 IP   flag post
Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
@BigRedOne1944 Thank you BigRedOne! Good luck to you as well!
Post 22 IP   flag post
Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
@Redmisty4me That is interesting, we figured the term "Slabbed" was slang or informal and the more formal term was "Encapsulated". We use "Raw" because CBCS uses "Raw Grade Estimate" when submitting.
Post 23 IP   flag post
Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
@HulkSmash That is a very good question! You can absolutely raw grade the book yourself and sell on any platform you wish. We wanted to start something new to eliminate certain issues in the existing platforms. For ex: eBay is a jack of all trades and a master of none, while we cater specifically to the comic book market. We will continue to evolve and add different features that will benefit the community while eBay will continue to do what will bring value to their shareholders.

As far as the possibility of the book coming back a lower grade, that is absolutely correct, it CAN come back lower. If that does happen we cancel the transaction so the buyer is not negatively affected. In a future update, we will allow sellers to capture some of the value if their book grades higher than they initially input and also negotiate if it comes back lower. The goal will be to sell the book no matter the grade but at a fair price to both parties.
Post 24 IP   flag post
Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
@EbayMafia Thank you for the questions! There will be some recourse for sellers in future updates to the site. Sellers will be able to negotiate if a book comes back lower or higher. Other upsides for sellers currently are lower fees than eBay, and no worrying about feedback or shipping to sellers in different locations since the books will always be shipped to us. We anticipated that we will have a learning curve but I do think it will get easier as we rollout the updates.

As an aside, One of our first sales, a vendor put a Daredevil 181 as an 8.0 copy and it sold fairly quickly. Upon receiving his email to ship, the vendor emailed and told us that grading was subjective and his 8.0 could be another collectors 5.0, after we told him CBCS was going to grade it he asked us to cancel the sale. Although the sale was cancelled, I believe we saved our customer from buying a comic book that was really over graded and thus the purpose of our site was fulfilled.
Post 25 IP   flag post
Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
@Jesse_O Thanks for the response. Yes, we do have a FAQ on our site but anyone is more than welcome to ask questions.

Our biggest learning experience is that we need to do a better job of explaining what we do and how we do it. It is somewhat complex at first but, in the end, we facilitate comic book sales for sellers and buyers to ensure fair transactions. Everything else in between is extra. We will eventually have recourse for sellers. We already have recourse for buyers. We have cool features coming like offers and encapsulating after grading. We are just really excited about launching this completely new service to the community and we know its a challenge when comic book buying has been the same for 20+ years. Change is difficult, even if its done with the community in mind.
Post 26 IP   flag post
Collector Redmisty4me private msg quote post Address this user
Jesus, I'm very impressed with how you're fielding these inquiries.

While I think your model may need a tweak here or there, your communication skills are very impressive, and could take you far in the hobby.

Post 27 IP   flag post
Masculinity takes a holiday. EbayMafia private msg quote post Address this user
@GuaranteedComics Just spit-balling here, not completely thought through: maybe there's a guaranteed grade range of 2 grades (i.e. 7.0-7.5)and the buyer has a right to cancel or request a discount below that range and the seller has a right to renegotiate above that range? The grade screen of course would be for 7.0 but there would be upside for the seller when the actual grading happened.
Post 28 IP   flag post
Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
@Redmisty4me Thank you for those kind words. I have a background in finance and sales so my previous life helps me navigate the current one.
Post 29 IP   flag post
Collector GuaranteedComics private msg quote post Address this user
@EbayMafia Thank you for the feedback. We have a few ideas of how to incorporate the negotiating and grade range, including something similar to what you have posted. When we are ready to launch those updates, we will do our best to make sure both sides of the equation are treated as fairly as possible.
Post 30 IP   flag post
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