Estimating date-of-grading from CGC Serial Numbers
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22 posts in this topic

In another thread there was a discussion about how CGC assigns a two-part serial number to the label of every comic where the last three digits are a counter assigned to every comic submitted in a single invoice, and the rest of the digits are a serially assigned unique identifier for each invoice.

 

Has anybody received a set of comic back from CGC recently? If so, can you tell me what your invoice number was? I ask because I've been thinking a lot about the overgraded/undergraded copies I own, and I want to try to figure out from the serial number approximately when each was graded.

 

For example, if Gorgo tells me his invoice number was 00072043 on his recent submission, and I look at what I think is an undergraded comic and it has an invoice of 00023132. Doing some math:

* 23,132 divided by 72, 043 is approximately 0.321

 

* CGC has been in operation about 2.75 years

 

* 2.75 multiplied by 0.321 is approximately 0.88 years

 

* So a very rough estimate of when my copy was graded is 0.88 years after CGC started, which places it in late 2000.

Does anyone think this way of estimating when a slab was graded by CGC is flawed somehow? And can anyone give me a very recent invoice #? If you don't want to post it publicly, please send me a private message and I'll keep it confidential. I will likely post here the results of anything I learn, if anything interesting turns up.

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A recent serial number that I got back this month is 0110986010. It was entered through Heritage in May 2002 and received back this month.

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A recent serial number that I got back this month is 0110986010. It was entered through Heritage in May 2002 and received back this month.

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James,

 

I would think this should be reasonably accurate but the one possible flaw with this method is that it does not account for spurts in submission numbers. I.e. it assumes a constant rate of submissions.

 

I think we would be best off matching known invoice #s to known dates received.

 

Dan

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Also, invoices numbers that are not submitted also skewed the numbers. I once entered the same info twice so it was entered on 2 invoices. Therefore, I only submitted one of them. frown.gif

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The issue with varying rates of submission is a real one, I think. I imagine the rate of submission is heavily skewed towards the present, which would warp your view of "cgc time."

 

There's also the difference in time between submission dates and the date the book actually gets graded. An express sub. vs. an economy sub. vs. a modern sub., etc. On one invoce created in May, the book isn't actually graded until September. On another it's graded the next week...

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This should be a fairly frequent occurrence and would only significantly skew estimates based directly upon the serial number if there were a large amount of skipped or spurty numbers during a small span of time. It's more likely that these types of things happen year-round with invoices than all at once. As a programmer, I can surmise that this is more likely to be a problem due to changes or glitches in CGC's database or software than from customer-biased submissions. Matching dates to a few serial numbers would help to verify whether computing date-of-grading from the serial number is at all accurate.

 

The date doesn't have to be exact; as long as it's accurate to within a few months, it would still tell you something about the grade.

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The other problem you may encounter is a dealer who has a stack of submission forms, who doesn't use them in numerical order or doesn't send in books frequently.

 

He could send in an invoice numbered 17511 in February, but not send Invoice# 17512 until December. Or worse yet, he may have an old invoice from a couple years ago that he decides to send in.

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Out of 100,000+ invoices, a few strays shouldn't thow off the calculations much, especially if those strays occur fairly frequently throughout the history of CGC. It would only bias my formula if that happened with thousands of invoices within a few short months.

 

I'm entering all my CGC serial numbers into my database, sorting them, looking at which ones I thought were misgraded, and seeing if any pattern emerges from that. It'll take a week or so though.

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Welp, you can't tell jack from the serial number. I just remembered that I got something back from CGC about a month ago, and it had a serial number of 0044743001, which is lower than half of the approximately 100 slabs I own.

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Was it sent economy? The invoice # will correspond more readily to the date of submission/ invoice generation than the date of final receipt by the customer.

 

If it was sent economy than the invoice # could have been generated a fair while ago.

 

We should still potentially be able to see some macro trends, though. I have a book that was graded in the first thousand invoices currently in for regrading (express). I'll let you guys know what happens with the regrade.

 

Dan

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Declared value of the comic was $700, so no, it wasn't economy. Besides, the submittal was in June or July; with that invoice #, it would've had to have been submitted over a year and a half ago to get inserted before more than half of the invoice numbers greater than ~44,000

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wtf. That's very strange. I wonder if your book was on an invoice # that was previously voided and is now being used??

 

After all, I have to believe that the invoice #s are sequential! It would just be too assinine in regards to their internal record keeping to have non-sequential #s. smile.gif

 

 

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Not really all that weird...lots of software is coded to automatically reuse unique identifiers if older ones get taken out of circulation. Most systems aren't, but some are.

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Fair enough, and that's probably what's happening. This should make your book and others like it an exception rather than the rule.

 

I guess I just found it surprising, being an accountant, from an internal record-keeping point of view that CGC has chosen to do that. But then accountants don't design systems do they? wink.gif

 

Are you still planning on going through your slabbed books and checking anyway? My slabbed books probably aren't worth considering as I don't own that many and they wouldn't therefore make for much of a representative sample; however, I understand you own quite a few slabs?

 

Dan

 

 

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I entered them into my database on Saturday to overload an insurance company with info if that ever became necessary. I sorted them just now and noticed that by and large, the serial numbers sorted in the order that I bought them. Which would make sense assuming that the majority of comics are slabbed, sold soon thereafter, and not resold for a while. So you could be right about the reuse of serial numbers being an exception.

 

I'll put some thought into it over the next day or so to see if the misgraded ones lump together at all. I need to evaluate them each again to make sure I still think they're misgraded.

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15 hours ago, BigLeagueCHEW said:

Since Kav is on one, hello from the oldest post, page 2449 :hi:

I haven't thought about serial numbers in well over a decade.  Where's the new thread discussing them you're referring to?

And how on earth did you find this one--was it from a Google search?  The forum's search function only finds stuff within the last five years doesn't it?

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18 minutes ago, fantastic_four said:

I haven't thought about serial numbers in well over a decade.  Where's the new thread discussing them you're referring to?

And how on earth did you find this one--was it from a Google search?  The forum's search function only finds stuff within the last five years doesn't it?

I just went to the oldest post in Comics General that exists and replied :hi:

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