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CBCS GradedComics Modern AgeQuestions

CGC at 20 business day Modern turn time?1998

Collector Kaleljll private msg quote post Address this user
Just got this email from cgc. How do you go from 6 month turn time to a month?


CGC TURNAROUND TIMES

Dear Valued CGC Collectors,

As many of you know, CGC turnaround times reached a point where some submission tiers were a number of months behind our target turnaround times. While this is indicative of CGC’s growth—2016 was a record-breaking year for submissions—we understand that slow turnaround times are a major source of frustration for our submitters.

With this in mind, CGC took significant steps over the last year to bring turnaround times back down to an acceptable level. We increased the size of our staff by nearly 20%, with key additions to every department in the company. We developed a new online submission form that not only simplifies your submission process, but also creates meaningful operational efficiencies for CGC. Our grading, operations and customer service teams worked late and over many weekends to close the gap between where our turnaround times were and where they needed to be. At the same time, we took great care to ensure that CGC maintained its commitment to accuracy, consistency and integrity.

We are pleased to report that as a result of these efforts, the turnaround times for all CGC grading tiers are now operating on time. The tier that was most affected by slower turnaround times – Modern – currently takes less than a quarter of the time it took just six months ago.

We would like to thank you for your patience as we worked to reduce our turnaround times. Expert certification is not something that can be rushed, but we are now better equipped than ever to grade and authenticate your comic books, magazines, concert posters and lobby cards in a timely manner. We hope that you will continue to support CGC as we provide our services to the hobby that we care so much about.

Sincerely,

The CGC Team

Below are CGC's current turnaround times.  Click HERE to start your submission today!

Modern: 20 Business Days
Modern Fast Track: 10 Business Days
Economy: 26 Business Days
Economy Fast Track: 12 Business Days
Value: 26 Business Days
Value Fast Track: 12 Business Days
Pre-screen: 30 Business Days
Standard: 9 Business Days
Express: 4 Business Days
WalkThru: Same Day

P.O. Box 4738 • Sarasota, FL 34230 • 877-NM-COMIC (662-6642) 
CGCcomics.com • email CGC@cgccomics.com
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Collector Revelations private msg quote post Address this user
They increased their staff levels. What's the question? You have an overload of work, you hire more people. Common sense. Cbcs is now at 2.5 months, 10 weeks. Sounds like cgc is the way to go if you want a faster tat. Good for people who want to flip books. Even with fast pass, cbcs is behind. Worse yet, you're paying extra for slower service.

That being said, I like cbcs for their customer service.
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Collector Kaleljll private msg quote post Address this user
Hopefully they are training that 20% increase in staff correctly before setting them loose. I feel like I would be scared of something getting royally messed up with all the new hires. I'll stick with CBCS and just wait.
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Collector Revelations private msg quote post Address this user
Their letter states they started a year ago. I would assume that they spent that time training the new employees instead of playing video games.
Post 4 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
one way to make progress is not to write any grader's note and just go with your gut. Best illustrated with an example. This is from a July submission



Post 5 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
I dont trust it. They miss things constantly, and this sounds like they missed even more trying to catch up, including porking people on graders notes.

20% add to staff but 75% decrease in TAT?

I suppose that only 20% was required to maintain and they caught up with overtime, but that would mean they were getting behind at a rate of .2 per month, which using the 20day TAT as baseline means after a year they would be behind +48, and they were at +40... so I guess that does add up....


PS dont choose your grading company by their TAT people, choose it by their accuracy customer service and integrity 😎
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Collector Kaleljll private msg quote post Address this user
That's what I was thinking @shrewbeer.
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Collector Chaddyboxer private msg quote post Address this user
Honestly, it looks like CBCS is having faster TATs. I had a modern submission around a year ago, and it took almost 3 months. My fast pass is right on time now at about a month, so real happy about that.
Post 8 IP   flag post
Collector Kaleljll private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaddyboxer
Honestly, it looks like CBCS is having faster TATs. I had a modern submission around a year ago, and it took almost 3 months. My fast pass is right on time now at about a month, so real happy about that.


That's great to hear. I just sent my first submission in today.
Post 9 IP   flag post
Collector OrbitCityComics private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelations
They increased their staff levels. What's the question? You have an overload of work, you hire more people. Common sense. Cbcs is now at 2.5 months, 10 weeks. Sounds like cgc is the way to go if you want a faster tat. Good for people who want to flip books. Even with fast pass, cbcs is behind. Worse yet, you're paying extra for slower service.

That being said, I like cbcs for their customer service.


It's not as simple as most would think. More people means more overhead, more labor costs, more benefits cost, and no guarantee that work is evenly steady. Just because you get a thousand books to grade in January doesn't mean you get a thousand books to grade in July.

What happens if the market goes stale for six months? Do you let people go, or do you keep them on and run Inthe red and hope things get better? How do you explain it to your investors or creditors? Do you let people go after spending thousand of dollars training them?

There's a lot of factors at play, and many are unknowable with only hypothesis to help make the decision.

It sounds simple on the surface, but the underlying questions make it much harder.
Post 10 IP   flag post
Collector Draco private msg quote post Address this user
CBCS is the best choice for 1974 or earlier. To he'll with paying $60+ shipping to have a mid grade hulk 180 graded.
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Joined The Club Steverogers11 private msg quote post Address this user
?
Post 12 IP   flag post
Collector IronMan private msg quote post Address this user
I thought about starting a thread on this myself... Glad I waited for someone else to go there.

Because of my business (cleaning and pressing books), I send in a lot of books both for clients as well as my own. To all three grading companies. The majority of clients choose CGC, a good number choose CBCS and many here might be surprised that there is relatively small but still decent presence for PGX.

I like CBCS and I consider Steve B and a few others there friends. Friends will tell you what you want to hear - Good friends will tell you what you need to hear.

Facts are that when CBCS opened their doors they did so in a way that established them as the brash, upstart doing a lot of things better than the competition. CGC has in a lot of areas caught up and in some areas is once again better. This is reflected in my submissions as more and more clients are turning back to CGC.

Before listing what I see as advantages/disadvantages to both major grading companies, I'd like to comment on a few things said already....

It shouldn't cost $60 to get CGC to grade a mid grade Incredible Hulk 180. The 6.0 GPA on the book is under $200. The book isn't over $400 in value until 9.0. The CGC economy tier is $35.00 full price. Collector Society members get 10-15% off that and dealers get 20%. CGC works on a membership model - so you have either submit through an authorized dealer or join the Collector Society. CGC also has a Value tier that costs $25 with a $200 value limit. So your 6.0-7.0 Hulk 180 could go as Value if you have 14 other books to send in. There is no reason one should have to pay CGC $60 + shipping on a mid grade Hulk 180.

Grading notes take up a lot of the grader's time. I had a really interesting conversation about grading notes a year ago with a CGC grader. When they are behind management pushes for fewer notes so more books get graded. CGC rarely has notes for 9.8. And they are less likely to list grading notes for "run of the mill" type books. I don't want to take the time to relay the entire conversation as this post may well turn into a "wall of text". But after talking to this grader I have to say I'm willing to trade a lot of grading notes for faster TAT. All I really need to know is about defects the slab makes it impossible to see. Torn interior pages. tape inside, etc...

Everyone that collects or deals in professionally graded and encapsulated books owes CBCS a debt of gratitude. Clearly legitimate competition has made CGC a much better company. Here are my observations of how the two companies compare right now in various areas.

THE SLABS... When CBCS came out they clearly had the better slab. CGC's new slab roll out didn't go well - and how CGC handled the problem reflects they are still a ... type A company that resists criticism and initially wants to shift or deny blame. But they did do the right thing eventually and their new Generation 2 slab with the inner holder is a beauty. It feels way more substantial in hand and has amazing clarity. CGC now has the advantage here.

THE COST.... When CBCS opened their doors they clearly had an advantage on price. This area is mostly a draw now. Where CBCS is still cheaper - it's not enough cheaper for that to be the only reason to pick them. And there are few tiers where CGC is actually less expensive. A lot of clients that submit higher numbers of books make use of the CGC Value tier. $25 a book ($20 my cost which is what my clients pay)for pre 1975 books valued $200 or less. 15 minimum book submission. But what amazes me the most is CGC is actually cheaper on books valued above $4,000. Because CBCS has no dealer or member pricing for the next day (CGC calls it walk thru) tier. I hate to be the one to bring bad news, but very few collectors and virtually no dealers are going to pay MORE to have the #2 company grade their uber expensive books. Overall, cost is a draw. Any advantage is specific to books and the service selected. Cost BTW is why PGX still gets business. They are the least expensive - almost always. My clients that use them like the fact that it doesn't cost more based on the value of the book. Just the age and how fast done.

THE WEBSITE.... This is mixed. If CBCS's website worked fully as intended - or exactly as originally built - I would say CBCS had a solid win. But CBCS's website redesign over a year later still has unfinished parts. I love the online submission with CBCS. CGC says they have such but last try it was crap and it still says beta. But as someone submitting other people's books and then monitoring the process - CBCS's web portal is just a mess. I can't keep up with the status of client's books, I get no receipt or shipping notices. All things CBCS did with the old website and CGC has always done. On the other hand, CGC makes it a pain in the ass to share grading notes with my clients. Where CGC has grading notes online. OVERALL, I prefer the CGC website. However - that is heavily influenced by my submitting books for others. If you are just submitting for yourself the website would be a win for CBCS.

SIGNED BOOKS.... Clear win for CBCS here. CGC has nothing to compete with CBCS's Verified Signature Program. A service the hobby has needed for a long time. CBCS treats CGC yellow label (Signature series) books as legitimate which is also a huge plus if you want to press & get regraded or add additional signatures. Also, CBCS has adopted a model for authorizing signature witnesses that has made it easier and "more fair".

PRESCREEN....CBCS makes it easy for anyone to send in books under prescreening. I have clients all the time tell me "I need for these books to get 9.8". I tell them all the time I cannot guarantee 9.8's. THEY need to do a prescreen with the grading company so they ONLY get back 9.8's. Which is what all the big dealers do with moderns. They aren't better at identifying 9.8's and they don't get "gift grades". They prescreen. With CGC that means a 25 book minimum submission and a separate invoice ($5) for each grade screen. CBCS has no minimum, doesn't charge a nuisance fee for submitting and costs less on rejects. Major win CBCS.

SHIPPING.... Mixed. CBCS offers FedEx with insurance which is always cheaper than Registered Mail from CGC. But CBCS's Registered Mail rates are always higher than CGC's. For those with their own private shipping insurance, CGC offers much more attractive rates via FedEX or UPS than CBCS for shipments of ten books or less. One can legitimately argue CBCS's shipping is more secure. My own experience is that I've never received a slab cracked in shipping from any company or carrier. No clear winner here - depends on how many books, if you have your own insurance and what shipping service you prefer (assuming you care)

TURN AROUND TIMES... Well, that's what the OP posted up. Clearly CGC is knocking it out of the park right now. Their regular submissions are nearly as fast as CBCS's Fast Pass tiers.

THE LABELS.... I could care less. I can read both

TYPES OF BOOKS GRADED.... Obviously if you want to get magazine size books graded, or oversized books like the first four issues of TMNT, or some of the really big Golden Age books - CGC is the only choice. CGC also grades underground comics which CBCS does not. Clear win for CGC here.

BUSINESS MODEL.... CBCS win here. Anyone can submit books directly to CBCS without a membership or going through an authorized dealer. Going through an authorized dealer or signing up for membership may have advantages for many with both companies, but it isn't necessary with CBCS.

GRADING....My last area (I think) My answer might not be what some expect. It is not possible to really say one company is more accurate that the other. How do you measure? So I'm not really focused on accuracy. Someone else has set the guidelines. I just need to know where goalposts are and I'd like for them not to move. I've cross graded a lot of books and overall I have found CGC and CBCS to be very similar. Not the same but certainly similar. CBCS offers some guidance on grading books (on their website) and CGC offers none. So CBCS gets the win here in my mind. But not because they are "more accurate". Instead because they offer more guidance and that helps me anticipate grades. The better I am at anticipating the grade - the more books I feel comfortable sending in.

When looking at CBCS Vs CGC, I'm reminded of the warning on my rear view mirrors. "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear". CGC has made up ground in several key areas.
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Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
@ironMan - much appreciated for taken the time and efforts to share your insights.
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Collector TimBildhauser private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMan
THE COST.... When CBCS opened their doors they clearly had an advantage on price. This area is mostly a draw now. Where CBCS is still cheaper - it's not enough cheaper for that to be the only reason to pick them. And there are few tiers where CGC is actually less expensive. A lot of clients that submit higher numbers of books make use of the CGC Value tier. $25 a book ($20 my cost which is what my clients pay)for pre 1975 books valued $200 or less. 15 minimum book submission. But what amazes me the most is CGC is actually cheaper on books valued above $4,000. Because CBCS has no dealer or member pricing for the next day (CGC calls it walk thru) tier. I hate to be the one to bring bad news, but very few collectors and virtually no dealers are going to pay MORE to have the #2 company grade their uber expensive books. Overall, cost is a draw. Any advantage is specific to books and the service selected. Cost BTW is why PGX still gets business. They are the least expensive - almost always. My clients that use them like the fact that it doesn't cost more based on the value of the book. Just the age and how fast done.


I would like to point out that one of the advantages in this area with CBCS is that there is no continuing cost. By that I mean, once you have a book graded by CBCS you're done. Re-slabbing isn't something you have to deal with years down the road. In the fine print, CGC recommends re-slabbing books in their holders after 7-10 years, that being the time frame that the microchamber paper they use becomes ineffective. At what point said microchamber paper becomes potentially damaging to a slabbed book, who can say? Possibly never. Certified grading hasn't been around long enough to accurately make that determination. Maybe in another 10-20 years we'll have a better idea.

I'm sure there will be someone that reads this and thinks I'm stating this just because I work at CBCS. However, my perspective on this matter wouldn't be any different if I worked at CGC, was a dealer or collector. It just doesn't make sense to continuously incur the cost of slabbing a book. Combine that with slightly lower prices, no required membership fee and no $5 per invoice charge and I'd say CBCS definitely has the advantage in this category.

The less you have to spend on grading books (i.e. re-slabbing) increases the amount you have available to buy books and enjoy the hobby. At it's core, isn't that what this is all really about after all?
Post 15 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
It seems that the bottom line is that CGC is run with a "business first" mindset, and CBCS is run by comic collectors with the business end taking second priority (CGC being popularity and sales first, CBCS being product first)

@IronMan
I started skimmimg the minute you said you (and they spparently) would trade accurate grader notes for TAT. WTFH?! F that. You know what that tells me? That they are RUSHING and CUTTING CORNERS.

RIGHT THERE is the clear difference between the companies; CBCS will not skimp rush or miss things just because business calls for it, they stick to what's right for the collector no matter what.


Edit: CASES. I'll give you that one on the looks and feel. They have that slight blue tint as well that gives it a softer more expensive look. But as for function, seems @TimBildhauser knows whats up.
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Collector jrs private msg quote post Address this user
@IronMan, great post. Thanks for the insight.
Post 17 IP   flag post
Collector Resurrection private msg quote post Address this user
Guys....

Every single year, right before convention season, they say this. January and February always have the best turn around times as NYCC is finally put away. And guess what, by April they are right back to 60 days and get worse through convention season.

Staff Shmaff. They do the same thing every year, get slammed with submissions, and fall behind.

Its all hype IMO.
Post 18 IP   flag post
Collector IronMan private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Resurrection
Guys....

Every single year, right before convention season, they say this. January and February always have the best turn around times as NYCC is finally put away. And guess what, by April they are right back to 60 days and get worse through convention season.

Staff Shmaff. They do the same thing every year, get slammed with submissions, and fall behind.

Its all hype IMO.


There is truth to what you say...but I've been submitting books for maybe 14-15 years. It has been almost that long since CGC actually met their "estimated" (normal) turn around times. I can't remember the last time regular moderns were 20 business days. It's been MANY years.
Post 19 IP   flag post
Collector IronMan private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimBildhauser

I would like to point out that one of the advantages in this area with CBCS is that there is no continuing cost. By that I mean, once you have a book graded by CBCS you're done. Re-slabbing isn't something you have to deal with years down the road. In the fine print, CGC recommends re-slabbing books in their holders after 7-10 years, that being the time frame that the microchamber paper they use becomes ineffective. At what point said microchamber paper becomes potentially damaging to a slabbed book, who can say? Possibly never. Certified grading hasn't been around long enough to accurately make that determination. Maybe in another 10-20 years we'll have a better idea.

I'm sure there will be someone that reads this and thinks I'm stating this just because I work at CBCS.


Tim your opinions are most certainly valid, well thought out and respected - regardless of your current employer

I have not been able to find the recommendation - "the fine print" - that CGC encapsulated books should be reslabed every seven years or so. It appears that the recommendation to do so has been removed years ago. If you know where that recommendation still resides on the CGC website I'd love to see a link.

Micro Chamber Paper itself has always been a bit of a controversy. If you look at websites like the Northeast Document Document Conservation Center or Library of Congress, they only use MCP to absorb odors. Not for long term storage. MCP certainly does no harm and may help if books are stored in horrid climate conditions. But it isn't clear at all when and if it might need to be replaced.
Post 20 IP   flag post
Collector Resurrection private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Resurrection
Guys....

Every single year, right before convention season, they say this. January and February always have the best turn around times as NYCC is finally put away. And guess what, by April they are right back to 60 days and get worse through convention season.

Staff Shmaff. They do the same thing every year, get slammed with submissions, and fall behind.

Its all hype IMO.


There is truth to what you say...but I've been submitting books for maybe 14-15 years. It has been almost that long since CGC actually met their "estimated" (normal) turn around times. I can't remember the last time regular moderns were 20 business days. It's been MANY years.
The 20 days has been probably 6 years. But they hit 25-30 days every spring.

However, they have become very inconsistent with modern grading, which was why I left.
Post 21 IP   flag post
Collector IronMan private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
It seems that the bottom line is that CGC is run with a "business first" mindset, and CBCS is run by comic collectors with the business end taking second priority (CGC being popularity and sales first, CBCS being product first)

@IronMan
I started skimmimg the minute you said you (and they spparently) would trade accurate grader notes for TAT. WTFH?! F that. You know what that tells me? That they are RUSHING and CUTTING CORNERS.

RIGHT THERE is the clear difference between the companies; CBCS will not skimp rush or miss things just because business calls for it, they stick to what's right for the collector no matter what.

Edit: CASES. I'll give you that one on the looks and feel. They have that slight blue tint as well that gives it a softer more expensive look. But as for function, seems @TimBildhauser knows whats up.


I -- and the grader I spoke to -- did not say ACCURATE grading notes were traded for faster TAT. It was just graders notes. As in they don't take the time to write down defects they see. Especially on run of the mill books.

Lack of grading notes doesn't mean the grade isn't consistent with their grading standards. Just means the owner of the book gets less in the way of guidance as to the defects the graders considered when grading.

For some -- maybe even most -- those notes add a good amount of value. For others not so much. It's not important to me to list defects that are visible when the book is encapsulated.

I certainly agree that CBCS is has a more "run by fans" feel. CGC is part of the Certified Collectibles Group. A company that also grades coins and paper money. CBCS is just comic books. CBCS - as the smaller run by fans company also seems a lot quicker to respond to --- call them big issues --- when they come up. I don't mean regular customer service calls like "where are my books at right now" or "I need to change the shipping address". Both companies do that just fine. I mean big issues like "I think your slab is damaging my book..."
Post 22 IP   flag post
Moderator Jesse_O private msg quote post Address this user
I was going to stay out of this one, but I do have a couple things to say.

First off, @IronMan, as always, you give a very concise and rational critique of the situation from your viewpoint. For that, I appreciate and respect your views and thank you for taking the time to chime in.

But my main observation is this: the areas where CBCS may be lagging behind CGC, are areas that can be fixed. To expect a three year old company to have all the bells and whistles of a 17 year old company is a bit extreme in my mind.

I thought slabbing was a scam when CGC first started so I didn't keep up with them for their first five years, so I have to ask, did CGC start off grading undergrounds and magazines, or just comics? That's a sincere question. Was the forum launched at the same time? How long was it before they came out with a census? I've heard people basically demanding these things since day one and I wonder about CGC's early days. Any insight from anyone?

Also, I think CBCS has an advantage when it comes to foreign comics - a growing part of our hobby. Just a quick eBay search pulled up 6 CBCS Spanish comics and 5 CGC comics!!! With 14 more years, I would expected at least 30 CGC comics.

And finally, past performance is the best indicator of future expectations. Given CBCS's proven adaptability, I expect CBCS to address a number of these issues in a year or two. I'd love to revisit this discussion next February 1st and see what has changed and what has remained the same. As far as CGC, that statement doesn't bode well for them in my mind.

Peace
Post 23 IP   flag post
Collector TimBildhauser private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMan
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimBildhauser

I would like to point out that one of the advantages in this area with CBCS is that there is no continuing cost. By that I mean, once you have a book graded by CBCS you're done. Re-slabbing isn't something you have to deal with years down the road. In the fine print, CGC recommends re-slabbing books in their holders after 7-10 years, that being the time frame that the microchamber paper they use becomes ineffective. At what point said microchamber paper becomes potentially damaging to a slabbed book, who can say? Possibly never. Certified grading hasn't been around long enough to accurately make that determination. Maybe in another 10-20 years we'll have a better idea.

I'm sure there will be someone that reads this and thinks I'm stating this just because I work at CBCS.


Tim your opinions are most certainly valid, well thought out and respected - regardless of your current employer

I have not been able to find the recommendation - "the fine print" - that CGC encapsulated books should be reslabed every seven years or so. It appears that the recommendation to do so has been removed years ago. If you know where that recommendation still resides on the CGC website I'd love to see a link.

Micro Chamber Paper itself has always been a bit of a controversy. If you look at websites like the Northeast Document Document Conservation Center or Library of Congress, they only use MCP to absorb odors. Not for long term storage. MCP certainly does no harm and may help if books are stored in horrid climate conditions. But it isn't clear at all when and if it might need to be replaced.
I don't know if it was ever on their site. IIRC though it was in the fine print on the back of their labels. I don't have any handy that I can use to confirm that though. Oddly enough, even though I grade comics for a living, I don't own any slabbed books.
Post 24 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR DarthLego private msg quote post Address this user
I think it's also fair to mention why CGC had the 7-10 year reslabbing recommendation in the first place. It wasn't just that that was the effective lifespan of microchamber paper. The reason they use the microchamber paper in the first place is because their plastic off-gasses. The paper is to absorb the off-gassing so it doesn't harm the comic. CBCS from day one set out to use archival quality plastics with zero off-gassing thus eliminating the need for microchamber paper.
Post 25 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
Good point Darth, CBCS using PETG plasic was an excellent choice.

I actually prefer that a slab be a bulletproof frisbee though. I'd like to see the next generation of slabs to be rock solid (double the wall thickness) and as PETG can easily be manufactured with a UV resistant additive, ADD IT pleeeease 😁


For some reason I thought CBCS was 6yrs old. To your point @Jesse_O , they are doing damn well for only 3yrs at it!
Post 26 IP   flag post
Collector IronMan private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthLego
I think it's also fair to mention why CGC had the 7-10 year reslabbing recommendation in the first place. It wasn't just that that was the effective lifespan of microchamber paper. The reason they use the microchamber paper in the first place is because their plastic off-gasses. The paper is to absorb the off-gassing so it doesn't harm the comic. CBCS from day one set out to use archival quality plastics with zero off-gassing thus eliminating the need for microchamber paper.


Actually, it is the paper that off-gasses - not the plastic. Newsprint, cardboard, brown kraft type papers are made basically grinding up the entire tree. High quality papers made only from pure cellulose results in a usable yield of about 35%. That can be upped to 95% if lignin from the tree is used. But lignin breaks down more quickly giving off acids and various other chemicals.

The reason CBCS does not believe that they need MCP is because their inner well is made of PETG instead of Barex plastic. And PETG isn't quite as strong a gas barrier. Close though. But not as "air tight" as Barex.

However, Barex is no longer in production and CGC has also switched to PETG for their inner well. Or so I was told.

I put a bunch of time into researching MCP years ago. The tests conducted actually indicated even an open polyester (Mylar) sleeve resulted in similar results to closed. But the tests themselves - accelerated aging tests - were extreme. Paper documents/magazines/books placed in humidity chambers for a few weeks with temperatures in excess of 180 degrees and humidity at 80% or more. AND THEN they added additional pollutants. In that environment, books with MCP came out in better shape than those without. Books in unsealed polyester bags did about as well as sealed. But these are conditions no one would ever come close to storing their slabbed books in.

The point of all my rambling here is that the need for MCP is questionable regardless of if in a Mylar, PETG or Barex bag. Sealed or unsealed. When it should be replaced - if ever - is even more a guess.
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COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
@IronMan what are your thoughts on sealing a slab airtight? If possible I'd like to see someone offer a slab airtight with a specific inner humidity set. I dont know enough about offgassing and if books need to "air out" because of it though (if so why have we all been locking them in mylar folded/sealed and then all squished together?)
Post 28 IP   flag post
Collector IronMan private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
@IronMan what are your thoughts on sealing a slab airtight? If possible I'd like to see someone offer a slab airtight with a specific inner humidity set. I dont know enough about offgassing and if books need to "air out" because of it though (if so why have we all been locking them in mylar folded/sealed and then all squished together?)


One thing you ask cannot be done. Humidity is calculated as RELATIVE humidity. In your totally sealed off book, relative humidity would change based on the temperature the book was stored at. As temperature went up the relative humidity would go down. As temperature went down the relative humidity would go up.

Ultimately, the best thing collectors can do for long term storage of paper collectibles is the environmental storage conditions. And it turns out that the temperatures and humidity levels that human beings are comfortable in are a good environment for comic books as well. So if your comics - slabbed or raw - are stored in your house in the dark (like say in boxes) and you air condition the place in the summer and heat it in the winter then you are doing quite well.

Bags, boards, slabs are more designed to protect books from other external threats. Some bugs eat paper. Mice like to chew them for nesting material. Your ham fisted friends might bend or crease a book looking at it. A splash of water on raw unbagged book is a disaster. Move quickly and even a plastic bag that cost a nickel can save the day. Bags, boards and slabs are all designed to protect your valuable comics from those things.

I like the way slabbed books look, I appreciate the widespread acceptance of grade and the professional restoration check. And I am relieved that a slabbed book is stiff enough I can let a non collector friend hold it with no risk of damage to the book inside.
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COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
My thought process is this

- Foxing is actually organic ( those tan or brown speckles on a book, some very dark) there's a big misconception around this, I've even seen CBCS notes incorrectly call it " rust stains".

-That smell when you open a book is mostly organic as well ( not sure if any of that is offgassing though)

These things are directly impacted by relative humidity. They grow when it's high and die when it's low. There's also a range in which it cannot survive which overlaps the range in which paper is ideally stored.

Given that we are talking about a very small amount of space inside of a slab to begin with, it would be very easy to seal a slab tight and maintain that correct range ( they would just have to print on the label something like "Store between XX-XX temperature".


Now if we introduce offgassing into the topic, here's where I go off the rails. Will a book degrade itself due to its own gases over the course of say 50 years if it is not "aired out"? If the answer to that is yes, then we need to look at how we are storing our raw books. If the answer is no, then someone needs to step up and start sealing slabs airtight 😁

My inclination is that the answer is no, loosely based on the fact that CGC was essentially shrink-wrapping books inside cases.
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