buying non graded vs graded
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new to collecting and i cant stress that enough. im seeing some comics im interested in, such as johnny the homicidal maniac #1, priced at $450 slabbed and graded but seeing others non graded for only $20 and cheaper listed as new. does this necessarily mean the slab and grade added value? or am i missing some details i should know

Edited by fornholio
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Are you only looking at 1st prints when comparing copies of the Johnny #1? As I recall there are several prints, the 1st being by far the most valuable. It sounds like the graded copy is a 1st print, probably in high grade, judging by the price. I'm going to guess the $20 copy is probably a later edition.

In general uncertified "raw" books on eBay can sell for less than their graded counterparts simply because of the wildly varying grading by sellers and the inability of a buyer to see the book in person to agree to said grade. Certified books eliminate some of the unknown in online purchases and therefore command a premium on eBay (although this isn't always the case, some people like to gamble on raw books and all graded books don't carry the same eye appeal within one grade). There is also the effect of the uber high grade book. This is when a certified grade usually in the 9.6-9.8 range of an otherwise reasonably priced book commands an extreme premium. As a current example: New Mutants #14 sells at around $20-30 in NM raw and at over $200 in CGC 9.8. You can see the effect the grade has here in an extreme way. Its important to point out that these generalities don't always apply at shows where the buyer can hand pick and examine raw books in person.

These are my observations and opinions so keep that in mind. Hope they help a little and welcome to comic collecting.

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that actually does help alot. alot of what you said i have already seen but not only did you help confirm but you were able to clarify parts i wasnt clear on. i would like one more clarification though. lets say i buy one of the $20 copies and it does turn out to be a first print and then got it graded and slabbed and it happened to be lets say a 9.8 would that then confirm its worth of over $400?

 

thanks again by the way

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8 hours ago, fornholio said:

that actually does help alot. alot of what you said i have already seen but not only did you help confirm but you were able to clarify parts i wasnt clear on. i would like one more clarification though. lets say i buy one of the $20 copies and it does turn out to be a first print and then got it graded and slabbed and it happened to be lets say a 9.8 would that then confirm its worth of over $400?

 

thanks again by the way

So I had a look on eBay. I see the $400 books listed. The very important number to check isn't what sellers are asking rather what the sold prices are. I'm sure you know how to refine your search on eBay to see sold prices. These are the actual amounts people pay for books. As an example: let's say I have a book that sells for $20 consistently. I list it at $400. You check eBay and see I'm asking $400. This obviously doesn't mean the book is worth $400 only that I'm asking that price. So always quote sold prices when talking book value.

With that being said I checked the historical sold prices for Johnny 1 1st print and it looks like a 9.8 sold 4 years ago for $375. So theoretically if you buy a raw #1 for $20 and get it graded at 9.8 you have a book that previously sold for nearly $400. Doesn't mean it will sell for that again but the answer to your question is that the CGC certification can add significantly to the value of the same book uncertified.

As a note, there are at least 22 different printings of Johnny #1 so odds are 1st prints will be advertised as such. If it doesn't say, it probably isn't. 

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On 7/13/2017 at 4:07 PM, fornholio said:

that actually does help alot. alot of what you said i have already seen but not only did you help confirm but you were able to clarify parts i wasnt clear on. i would like one more clarification though. lets say i buy one of the $20 copies and it does turn out to be a first print and then got it graded and slabbed and it happened to be lets say a 9.8 would that then confirm its worth of over $400?

 

thanks again by the way

You can say that a book is "worth" what some online or paper price guide says, but that number is useless if nobody is actually willing to pay the price.  The best way to answer your question is to rephrase the word "worth".  When people use that word, they want to know "what somebody else will pay me for it."  The only way to truly know what a book is "worth", with complete certainty, is to sell it.  Of course, that may not be what you're willing to do.  

Your next best bet is to find out what people are and are not paying for an identical item.  Taking your example of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac #1 in CGC 9.8, and we're presuming it has white pages, see what you can find out about what it does and does not sell for.  If there's a copy on eBay for $400, and that copy has been sitting there for any length of time, then you know that in general, the people in the market for that book have decided it's NOT worth $400 to them.  If you look at completed sales and find that another copy sold at auction recently for, say, $250, then you have a range to start with.  You can figure your book is likely to be considered "worth" somewhere between $250 and $400.   Then you can look at GPA figures for other recent sales prices.  GPA figures aren't free, but they are worth paying for if you buy a lot of expensive books.  GPA will tell you what other slabbed copies have sold for and when.  This could help you come to a better approximation of what the book is likely to sell for.  

If the book is really hot, let's say because a movie is in the works and many other collectors have decided to hunt the same book you are chasing, then you can probably expect it will sell for more than the figure you see for recent sales.  Conversely, if the book was hot but is cooling off, because, say, a movie just came out and the movie is a dog and other people are trying to unload their "investment" copies, then your book would probably sell for less than the figure you see in recent sales.

I hope that helps.

Regards,

Steve 

 

 

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