CGC Grading Guide
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I just noticed that CGC has updated their Grading Guide. It always used to be just the Overstreet guide. Does anyone know when this happened?

Also, after 19+ years, this is the best they can come up with? IMO, it is basically useless. There are no examples stated. Every criteria that they mention seems to be open for interpretation. What is the difference between a minor defect and a major one? I'm sure if you ask 6 collectors you will get 6 different answers. Thanks for helping out the community CGC!!! (being sarcastic in that last remark)

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I wonder why Coca-Cola keeps their formula locked in a vault that would sustain a nuclear strike...

hm

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CGC actually has this cool program where they teach you all about the proprietary details and intricacies of their grading system, so that you can do it at a professional level.  It doesn't cost you any money.  Actually, they pay you to learn the system.  And after you learn about it, for successful graduates they actually pay you (no state income tax!) to grade books for eight hours a day, five days a week so you can get really really good at it.  You just have to fill out an application and get a background check, possibly do an interview, and be selected..

 

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58 minutes ago, s-dali said:

I just noticed that CGC has updated their Grading Guide. It always used to be just the Overstreet guide. Does anyone know when this happened?

Also, after 19+ years, this is the best they can come up with? IMO, it is basically useless. There are no examples stated. Every criteria that they mention seems to be open for interpretation. What is the difference between a minor defect and a major one? I'm sure if you ask 6 collectors you will get 6 different answers. Thanks for helping out the community CGC!!! (being sarcastic in that last remark)

I agree with you, VERY vague and useless. Their 'standards' seem to be a moving target anyway with new employees grading with new interpretations. The Please Grade My thread has some very disconcerting examples of loose grades of late. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of CGC and think they do a great job overall. However, lately it seems like the Quality Control, encapsualtion, and overall grading have been suffering. I suspect they simply have too much work and something has to suffer.

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@newshane cults keep everything a secret also. 

@revat I'm not looking to become a grader, but now there is no reference for where CGC would grade a book with a detached cover, a 1/4 tear or even tape. They basically are setting it up so that they can decide what is what and not go by commonly accepted standards.

@Bomber-Bob I'm sure that they try to keep their in house standards consistent, but by being overly vague and noncommittal to the public, it only adds confusion for future collectors. I hate to say it, but they are hurting themselves by not at least giving some examples. Newcomers will have no reference from them what their book might grade. Plus, with nothing to refer to from CGC, this will just give credibility to some of the wilder Please Grade posts. 

I don't understand what CGC was trying to accomplish with this guide. They were better off giving the Overstreet guide and stating that they may vary from it.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, s-dali said:

@newshane cults keep everything a secret also.

 

 

Oh, I see. So the CGC is a cult now. Got it. 

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2 hours ago, newshane said:

I wonder why Coca-Cola keeps their formula locked in a vault that would sustain a nuclear strike...

hm

6 minutes ago, newshane said:

Oh, I see. So the CGC is a cult now. Got it. 

Well, they sure aren't Coca-cola!!!! 

 

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1 minute ago, s-dali said:

 

Well, they sure aren't Coca-cola!!!! 

 

They are a business protecting the very heart of their business. 

No difference. 

If you can't understand, then it's a waste of time for me to try to explain it to you. 

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Oh, I understand. I just found it hilarious that you took my comment to the extreme. I meant that cult comment as a reference to keeping things secret (like Coca-cola does with its' recipe). In no way was I inferring that CGC was a cult. I could have easily said that the Pentagon keeps secrets also. Would that make CGC a military installation?? I don't think so.

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2 hours ago, Bomber-Bob said:

I agree with you, VERY vague and useless. Their 'standards' seem to be a moving target anyway with new employees grading with new interpretations. The Please Grade My thread has some very disconcerting examples of loose grades of late. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of CGC and think they do a great job overall. However, lately it seems like the Quality Control, encapsualtion, and overall grading have been suffering. I suspect they simply have too much work and something has to suffer.

Do you think they have been too strict in the last 3 or 4 months and they softened up some?  Is it inconsistency?  Everybody here know I complained bitterly about my books for a couple of months, but it did make me a better grader and more knowledgeable about the current state of the hobby which has changed a lot over the last few decades.  My trust level for buying raw books now is at an all time low, I still need CGC, especially with online buying.

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1 minute ago, Karl Liebl said:

Is it inconsistency?  

Yes. 

Maybe not "in-house" inconsistency, but definitely inconsistent when compared across eras. 

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1 hour ago, s-dali said:

Oh, I understand. I just found it hilarious that you took my comment to the extreme. I meant that cult comment as a reference to keeping things secret (like Coca-cola does with its' recipe). In no way was I inferring that CGC was a cult. I could have easily said that the Pentagon keeps secrets also. Would that make CGC a military installation?? I don't think so.

No biggie man. :foryou:

But seriously, to publish their detailed standards would hurt their business. I just thought that was obvious enough. 

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..and I'm not certain if mirroring Overstreet word-for-word would be a good idea from a number of perspectives. Is it even legal? 

It's not like Overstreet is perfectly clear, although they did include a chart indicating the number of allowable defects in each grade. That kind of helps, but even in tandem with their written descriptions, grading is an art. If you buy a lot of slabs and pay attention, then you should be able to extrapolate what the grade on a raw would be. The problem is that a lot of modern collectors are having to suddenly relearn the definition of a 9.8, as that has DEFINITELY changed over the last 10 years. I can understand why people would be raw over "worthless" 9.6 books. 

I've also been really surprised at some of the mid-grade scores that I've gotten recently. Baffling. Some swing wildly north and some wildly south of my expectations. 

 

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@newshane Cool!!

Seriously, these are grading guidelines. Overstreet has a published set of guidelines. Voldy has a published set of guidelines. And honestly, that Seattle outfit has probably the best published guidelines that I've seen. Grading guidelines are supposed to be generally accepted community standards. I understand that there are things that cannot be quantified and I'm not asking for every scenario, but CGC doesn't even try with these guidelines!! They are vague in the extreme!!! There should be some kind of guidelines to go by. What if they decided that color touch was not restoration? Or, less extreme, that a 9.8 could have up to a 1/4" tear? I'd want to know that before submitting.

And yes, I totally agree that there have been swings in consistency and that is why this bothers me. We, as consumers, now have no way of disagreeing over a grade with CGC because they are not stating what their guidelines are.

Grading guidelines are just that - guidelines. I just want to have some idea where CGC stands on some things and now I have no clue. Are date stamps and markings now going to take a harder hit? Is a missing Marvel stamp now overlooked? What is the max grade a comic can get with the digital code used? There is nothing now to guide people as to how CGC sees these. There is less accountability on their part with these vague descriptions. It is not a good thing for us as consumers.

As for mirroring Overstreet word for word - that is what they did for over 19 years!!! They had the Overstreet guide on their website with a disclaimer that they do not follow all the guidelines. This all changed at some point in the last six months (approximately). It wasn't ideal, but it was better than what they have now!!!

 

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56 minutes ago, newshane said:

I've also been really surprised at some of the mid-grade scores that I've gotten recently. Baffling. Some swing wildly north and some wildly south of my expectations. 

 

This has been my observation. The grading in the mid grade areas have been 'baffling'. Something must be going on. It just doesn't seem like the same people are grading or finalizing. I'm making this statement after seeing some results from the PGM thread. When CGC gives a grade higher than anybody on the Boards guessed, it makes you wonder.

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1 hour ago, Karl Liebl said:

Do you think they have been too strict in the last 3 or 4 months and they softened up some?  Is it inconsistency?  Everybody here know I complained bitterly about my books for a couple of months, but it did make me a better grader and more knowledgeable about the current state of the hobby which has changed a lot over the last few decades.  My trust level for buying raw books now is at an all time low, I still need CGC, especially with online buying.

Karl, I think your disappointments were the result of your inexperience and not so much CGC's grading. However, in hindsight, I think you made a mistake by submitting your books in the higher tiers. I suspect the higher tiers get graded by more senior people, who are probably more strict. I do think you should give your present day grading skills a little more credit as I think you learned a lot. 

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42 minutes ago, Bomber-Bob said:

 However, in hindsight, I think you made a mistake by submitting your books in the higher tiers. I suspect the higher tiers get graded by more senior people, who are probably more strict.

Hmmm...interesting notion. 

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35 minutes ago, Bomber-Bob said:

Karl, I think your disappointments were the result of your inexperience and not so much CGC's grading. However, in hindsight, I think you made a mistake by submitting your books in the higher tiers. I suspect the higher tiers get graded by more senior people, who are probably more strict. I do think you should give your present day grading skills a little more credit as I think you learned a lot. 

Yeah, I have learned not to spend big money sending in junk anymore.  I use the term big money literally and junk figuratively because one man's junk is another man's treasure especially with older books.  Anything below like 1965 becomes very difficult to decide to send in and you wonder if you will ever break even after a submission.  Since I am not selling anything and have only bought 2 books in 6 months I am not really buying either.  I got my next 6 books to slab decided based on board help and no they don't have major defects.  After that who knows...

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6 minutes ago, newshane said:

Hmmm...interesting notion. 

Umm yeah, I paid top dollar...

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