Gang, recently, well, late August, I submitted two books to CGC for pressing, grading, and slabbing. Now, I am in enough Reddit groups, that this is the preferred way to do it by many, because they say this is the fastest way to get your books done.
So I go to Wizard World in Chicago, after picking out which two books I wanted graded (Tomb of Dracula 10 and All Star Western 10), and found the CGC booth immediately. No sense carrying them around all day, and I can get easily distracted and it becomes 50/50 I come home with them.
The young man comes and helps me. I had signed up that week online for CGC, but it hadn’t gone through yet, so I signed up again. He then asked me a bevy of questions, from what I felt they were worth (millions), to if I wanted them pressed (I did) Since I could not afford the insurance on books priced in the millions, I settled on the $400 price range with them. I felt, in theory, if they graded where I thought they should, that is dead on with the TOD, and maybe a little high for the ASW, but not so much that I am committing insurance fraud. (this is how my mind works, sadly)
He also made conversations about the books, so I knew that he was a collector. Granted, they are iconic books, but not to everyone. Just the cool people. We talked story and characters between the needed information, and after about 15 minutes, I gave away my two jewels of my collection.
I knew, from reading, that the process took anywhere from a month to a year, depending on who posted. One of the worst parts, is reading these horrible tales of them getting lost in the mail on occasion. Or lost by whoever was delivering it for that matter. I am a worrier by nature, so after about ten of these stories, if I felt a comment or thread was even going to kiss that subject, I quit reading.
The first month of waiting was easy. There was no way that they would get me the books back this fast, so I didn’t expect it. In that time, I had purchased and traded a second ASW to Ol’ Kentucky, which was a little worse for wear, but not too bad. He felt it would grade at about a 2.5, but the price was cheap (for the book), the trade was good, and all was happy. (Now Overlord John wants one, so the search continues)
The second month is when I started to get antsy. I didn’t figure to get it as quickly, but you never know. I did not get it then. Eventually, I pushed it from my mind, kept my hopes high, and waited, to the point I hardly thought about it, until I started to complete my TOD run (still need a #1, the market is super high on the book currently…anyone…anyone?) Luckily, this was recently, so I kept my mind occupied with that, and then started to get emails from the pressing company that wanted paid (CGC error, I already had, very understanding)(I believe they were CCS, very happy with their work), so I knew that the books were in the pipeline, and more importantly probably together, so I wasn’t getting one one day, than have to wait for the other.
Oddly enough, the Beautiful Sara was shipping me a late Christmas gift, so I got a bunch of notifications that things were being shipped to me last week, tracking numbers, so I felt that the journey was almost over. I must say, I was pretty excited over the weekend, knowing that I was going to get some mail at some point this week. My boss liked it, because he knew I wouldn’t be leaving to run errands, because I’d be waiting for the delivery guy.
So Tuesday, I had to go into work a bit early to straighten, get stuff in order for work things, the boss was in, the insurance guy was in, the office was hopping. I had some real errands to run, a picture I made to mail, checks to cash, money to transfer, all sorts of things. In the middle of this, I had to go back to the office, figuring I’d do the second half after work.
Then the UPS man came, carrying not one, but TWO packages. I knew exactly what they were, and I was so excited!
I don’t know about you guys, but when I get stuff like this, I go through a moment where I am afraid to open the packages. I knew what the Beautiful Sara had sent (the greatest gift ever, a bobblehead of my likeness in a spiderman suit), so that wasn’t my priority. (though I couldn’t wait to see it in person)
I finally screwed up the courage, and opened the box. Well wrapped in bubble wrap, with a sleeve over the slabs, I gingerly took them out, and looked at the grades. My friend Chris who sold me the book pegged it, saying 7.0, and it was. It presented well before, and with the press, looked very nice, had white pages, I was very happy, because pessimist me was expecting 5.5. Granted, Chris is much more experienced in comics, I should have listened and relaxed, but why start now?
I then took out the All Star Western 10. First appearance of Jonah Hex. One of my favorite characters. When I bought the book, I got a really good price, and when I got it, I felt I got what I paid for. I’ve seen these books in the wild, not much better, go for 3x’s what I paid, so I was happy. When I dropped it off, in my head, I told myself that if I got a 4.5/5.0, that I would definitely have gotten my moneys worth, and more.
So when it was revealed as a 6.5, I was stunned. My first thought was that the cleaning and pressing was well worth the $25. The pages came back off white/white, and honestly it looked like a totally different book. I was just over the moon!
Then I opened up the bobble head, and it was even more amazing than I thought it could be, so it was a wonderful day.
So gang, as a whole, the CGC experience was a good one. The grades assured me that my books are probably worth 2-3x’s what I paid for them (not that I would sell them). The pressing really made them present well, removed a few creases, made the spine look nice, etc. I really feel I have a superior book to what I sent in.
Sure, the wait was a bit long (5 months), but they shipped it like champs, so overall, a positive experience. I may try a company that presses books in Oregon next, and have them send it in from there next time, and if I do, I’ll probably blog about that, so you’ll know if it takes any time off of the process.
Keep in mind, I turned mine in on the last day of Wizard World, who knows how many books they received, so I’m sure that was a monster to keep track of as well. There Is another grading company (I bought a few books graded by them), so maybe I will go that route. All I know is the process is complete, I’m happy with my results, and now on to new books and goals.
You can find pictures of the books @jaycanchu on Twitter or Instagram, or I’m sure the Overlords will ask for pictures. The bobble head pictures are there as well. (Am I really that gray?) Now share this article, spread the word about Spoiler Country, and be kind to each other…not that guy…he’s a dick.