CGC Grading Guide
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5 hours ago, s-dali said:

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.

^^

Although they give you the old song and dance about proprietary knowledge and all that hog wash, don't believe it for a second.  :gossip:

The real reason is to protect their own legal backside over and above the stated qualifier that they already have in place that their grade is only an "opinion" and nothing more and nothing less than that.  This lack of full disclosure also allows them to freely swing between strict grading and loose grading as they are prone to do at times, which in turn encourages resubs that helps both their top and bottom line.  :frown:

You certainly can't blame them since this is a business after all.  hm

Edited by lou_fine

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9 hours ago, lou_fine said:

You certainly can't blame them since this is a business after all.  hm

Well, actually I can. LOL!!! Any other company in any kind of grading business (coins, stamps, etc) will give you some sort of idea of their grading guidelines. They are usually parallel to accepted standards withing that community. This is not "propriety information". What they use to grade, the materials they use, their process of encapsulation, security features, etc, those are all propriety information items. Grading guidelines were established LONG before CGC came on the scene, they just converted it to a numerical scale.

Honestly, I just see this as a slap in the face to the comic collecting community. No longer are they saying that they are grading by generally accepted standards. Now, they are basically saying that they are able to call the shots and decide what effect defects have on a book. They get to decide what a minor or a major defect is. Hell, they don't even mention cover, spine, paper ... NOTHING comic book related in the new grading scale!!! You could take this grading scale and use it for Funko Pops!!!! If you love this hobby, you should feel insulted by this!!! 

Edited by s-dali

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I don't think there is any easy way to make a grading scale for a comic. For one the defects themselves are all too vague. A graders note might say minor soiling. What exactly is minor and at what size or proportion does it become more than minor? Or take small (or minor) stress lines breaking color. Is there a defined length that a stress line can be  before it is no longer a minor stress line? What about small corner crease? Is an 1/8th inch a small corner crease? What about a 1/4 inch? An inch? When is it no longer a small corner crease? Do graders use rulers to measure some defects to account for final grade? Soiling on back cover could mean something the size of a dime or much larger. You would have to define all the defects by size or severity and take pictures of examples and include them in the grading guidelines. Lets face it. Its all the grader/graders opinion or assessment of the book that day. Another day might bring the same book a different grade. With terms in our hobby like "book has several defects but it presents well" how is anyone supposed to get a grasp of grading? What does presents well even mean? What if one person says their book presents well but someone else says it doesn't? I think we put too much on all these terms and numbers. They were all based on opinion decades ago and they still do.

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34 minutes ago, Ride the Tiger said:

I don't think there is any easy way to make a grading scale for a comic.

There isn't. Yet, the other two companies and Overstreet are able to accomplish it.

This is an example from another site : "9.6 NEAR MINT+ (NM+):
Nearly perfect with a minor additional virtue or virtues that raise it from Near Mint. Only subtle bindery or printing defects are allowed. No bindery tears are allowed, although on Golden Age books bindery tears of up to 1/8″ have been noted. Cover is flat with no surface wear. Inks are bright with high reflectivity and a minimum of fading. One corner may be almost imperceptibly blunted, but still almost sharp and cut square. Almost imperceptible indentations are permissible, but no creases, bends, or color break. Small, inconspicuous, lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable as long as they are in an unobtrusive location. Spine is tight and flat. Staples must be original, generally centered, with only the slightest discoloration. Paper is off-white, supple and fresh. Only the slightest interior tears are allowed."

Compare that to the new CGC Grading Scale: "NM+ 9.6 A very well-preserved collectible with several minor manufacturing or handling defects."

If you don't see a difference in that, I'm not sure how to explain my complaint to you. Like I said, this scale is so generic it could be applied to ANY collectible word for word!!! It almost makes me think that CGC is going to branch out and start encapsulating other forms of collectibles. Why else would you word it so generically? 

 

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Again I don't put much confidence in words that also combine with an opinion. Maybe its simple for a book that's close to NM but how do you honestly sum up the amount of defects to describe the difference between 1.0, 1.5, 1.8 and 2.0 ??????

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On ‎1‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 4:40 PM, revat said:

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..

 

And they may not tell you this at first, but you may have the opportunity to grade even more than 40 hours a week if they fall behind on turnaround times...:tonofbricks:

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20 minutes ago, s-dali said:

There isn't. Yet, the other two companies and Overstreet are able to accomplish it.

This is an example from another site : "9.6 NEAR MINT+ (NM+):
Nearly perfect with a minor additional virtue or virtues that raise it from Near Mint. Only subtle bindery or printing defects are allowed. No bindery tears are allowed, although on Golden Age books bindery tears of up to 1/8″ have been noted. Cover is flat with no surface wear. Inks are bright with high reflectivity and a minimum of fading. One corner may be almost imperceptibly blunted, but still almost sharp and cut square. Almost imperceptible indentations are permissible, but no creases, bends, or color break. Small, inconspicuous, lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable as long as they are in an unobtrusive location. Spine is tight and flat. Staples must be original, generally centered, with only the slightest discoloration. Paper is off-white, supple and fresh. Only the slightest interior tears are allowed."

Compare that to the new CGC Grading Scale: "NM+ 9.6 A very well-preserved collectible with several minor manufacturing or handling defects."

If you don't see a difference in that, I'm not sure how to explain my complaint to you. Like I said, this scale is so generic it could be applied to ANY collectible word for word!!! It almost makes me think that CGC is going to branch out and start encapsulating other forms of collectibles. Why else would you word it so generically? 

 

Interesting point, since CGC actually does grade other forms of collectibles like lobby cards and concert posters. I prefer the Overstreet description, which is much more detailed and comic book oriented. Unfortunately, since the collectible world keeps changing and evolving, the emphasis seems to be more generic and volume driven...  :eek:

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52 minutes ago, Ride the Tiger said:

how do you honestly sum up the amount of defects to describe the difference between 1.0, 1.5, 1.8 and 2.0 ??????

2.0 GOOD (GD):
Shows substantial wear; often considered a “reading copy.” Cover shows significant wear and may even be detached. Cover reflectivity is low and in some cases completely absent. Book-length creases and dimples may be present. Rounded corners are more common. Moderate soiling, staining, discoloration and foxing may be present. The largest piece allowed missing from the front or back cover is usually a 1/2″ triangle or a 1/4″ square, although some Silver Age books such as 1960s Marvels have had the price corner box clipped from the top left front cover and may be considered Good if they would otherwise have graded higher. Tape and other forms of amateur repair are common in Silver Age and older books. Spine roll is likely. May have up to a 2″ spine split. Staples may be degraded, replaced or missing. Moderate staple tears and stress lines may be present, as well as rust migration. Paper is brown but not brittle. Centerfold may be loose or detached. Moderate interior tears may be present.

1.8 GOOD- (GD-):
Fits the criteria for Good but with an additional defect or small accumulation of defects that detracts from the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.

1.5 FAIR/GOOD (FR/GD):
Shows substantial to heavy wear. Books in this grade are commonly creased, scuffed, abraded, soiled, and possibly unattractive, but still generally readable. Cover shows considerable wear and may be detached. Almost no cover reflectivity remaining. Book-length creases, tears and folds may be present. Rounded corners are increasingly common. Soiling, staining, discoloration and foxing is generally present. Up to 1/10 of the back cover may be missing. Tape and other forms of amateur repair are increasingly common in Silver Age and older books. Spine roll is common. May have a spine split between 2″ and 2/3 the length of the book. Staples may be degraded, replaced or missing. Staple tears and stress lines are common, as well as rust migration. Paper is brown and may show brittleness around the edges. Acidic odor may be present. Centerfold may be loose or detached. Interior tears are common.

1.0 FAIR (FR):
Shows heavy wear. Some collectors consider this the lowest collectible grade because comic books in lesser condition are usually incomplete and/or brittle. Cover may be detached, and inks have lost all reflectivity. Creases, tears and/or folds are prevalent. Corners are commonly rounded or absent. Soiling and staining is present. Books in this condition generally have all pages and most of the covers, although there may be up to 1/4 of the front cover missing or no back cover, but not both. Tape and other forms of amateur repair are more common. Spine roll is more common; spine split can extend up to 2/3 the length of the book. Staples may be missing or show rust and discoloration. An accumulation of staple tears and stress lines may be present, as well as rust migration. Paper is brown and may show brittleness around the edges but not in the central portion of the pages. Acidic odor may be present. Accumulation of interior tears. Chunks may be missing. The centerfold may be missing if readability is generally preserved. Coupons may be cut.

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Or you can use the new CGC scale: G2.0

 
A collectible that shows extensive evidence of handling with numerous moderate-to-major defects.
G-1.8
 
A collectible that shows extensive evidence of handling with numerous major defects.
Fa/G1.5
 
A collectible that shows extensive evidence of handling with a heavy accumulation of major defects.
Fa1.0
 
A very poorly handled collectible with a heavy accumulation of major defects.

 

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I'll take CGCs its easier to read and less confusing. This is why i'm not a professional grader although I play one on ebay.

 

 

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8 hours ago, s-dali said:

Now, they are basically saying that they are able to call the shots and decide what effect defects have on a book. They get to decide what a minor or a major defect is.

So, you are basically saying that CGC has successfully managed to achieve their goal with respect to intentionally developing an imperfect grading system that is just detailed enough to meet their shifting business agenda over time, satisfy their ownership at the same time, and yet somehow been accepted by the collecting base whereby nobody would ever think of trying to sell a vintage collectible comic book without having it graded first.  O.o

Bingo, sounds like a winning combination from a pure business point of view.  hm

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6 minutes ago, lou_fine said:

So, you are basically saying that CGC has successfully managed to achieve their goal with respect to intentionally developing an imperfect grading system that is just detailed enough to meet their shifting business agenda over time, satisfy their ownership at the same time, and yet somehow been accepted by the collecting base whereby nobody would ever think of trying to sell a vintage collectible comic book without having it graded first.  O.o

Bingo, sounds like a winning combination from a pure business point of view.  hm

Lou_fine, you are a bad man:preach:

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On 1/9/2019 at 4:05 PM, 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.

CGC has one new location in England.  CGC needs an expansion here to reduce the overload work. If they choose the new location up here in Chicago. You and I can apply for the new jobs at CGC.

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The long and short of it is that no grading company is going to publish a detailed grading guide with examples. Because they do not wish to spend all their time debating and lawyering grades with those that are not happy with the grades received. It may seem unfair, but if they did what some people are suggesting they ought to do turn around times would be much longer and customer support impossible to get through to as everyone unhappy with their grades called to argue their book and the grading guidelines. 

It's the very same reason grades are NOT AVAILABLE until after the books have shipped. Because if if the grades appear before shipping, they get swamped with calls that say "my book(s) are way to low, someone needs to look at them again!!!!"  

The longer and more books I send in, the more firmly my opinion has changed on a few things I believed early on.  Grading notes are almost useless except for the legally blind. A detailed CGC grading guide would be a disaster. For CGC and customers.  

Edited by Tony S

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@Tony S I appreciate your comments!! I agree that a detailed description of each grade is unrealistic. However, the complete opposite (total vagueness) is not doing the community any good either. I'm saying that they could, and IMO should, give the public a minimal idea of where they can expect their comic to grade at. For instance, if a comic cannot grade higher than a 9.6 with a digital code removed, state it. If paper can be brown, but not brittle at a 4.0, say it. I realize that CGC does not need to do this, but the scale they have now is more useless than a wooden frying pan.

I realize that the more experienced a person gets, the less they need a guide. But what about the newcomer? Is it too much to ask that the current leading comic book grading company give a useful grading scale for reference? I'm beginning to think it is. Is that what they have become? Screw the newcomer?? Let him go elsewhere for answers??? 

Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I have respect for other collectors and our hobby. I want this hobby that has brought me so much joy over the years to bring joy to people for generations to come. Nowadays, part of that joy, for better or worse, is to possess a graded copy of a comic in your collection. The easier it is for people to access guidelines and scales, the better it is for the community. That's my two cents.

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2 hours ago, GreatCaesarsGhost said:
2 hours ago, lou_fine said:

So, you are basically saying that CGC has successfully managed to achieve their goal with respect to intentionally developing an imperfect grading system that is just detailed enough to meet their shifting business agenda over time, satisfy their ownership at the same time, and yet somehow been accepted by the collecting base whereby nobody would ever think of trying to sell a vintage collectible comic book without having it graded first.  O.o

Bingo, sounds like a winning combination from a pure business point of view.  hm

Lou_fine, you are a bad man:preach:

+1

Unfortunately, I would have to most definitely agree with you here.  :facepalm:   lol

Just put yourself in the shoes of a businessman who already has partial ownership in a company that not only grades collectibles in various fields, but also has partial ownership in the major auction house that auctions off these various collectibles.  Now, if you was planning to establish a grading company for comic books, which of the following 2 approaches would you take:

1)  Have full written disclosure in terms of your grading standards so that it's a simple one-step, one-time process to grade your books and it's relatively easier to determine if it was graded accurately or not; or

2) Have a proprietary grading system with vague and generic descriptions which facilitates the exact same book undergoing multiple associated services on multiple occasions, with the customers beating down your doors to get these services done.

Bottom-line:  As a businessman, why would you want to generate money from a book only one time, when you can generate it multiple times on an almost endless basis through such initiatives as loose grading, tight grading, pre-screens, restoration, restoration removal, maximization of potential, resubs, reholders, etc. and repeat it all over again by introducing Conservation category, new labels, new slabs, etc. for all those OCD collectors who just need to have everything exactly the same in their collection.  hm   :flipbait:

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1 hour ago, s-dali said:

@Tony S I appreciate your comments!! I agree that a detailed description of each grade is unrealistic. However, the complete opposite (total vagueness) is not doing the community any good either. I'm saying that they could, and IMO should, give the public a minimal idea of where they can expect their comic to grade at. For instance, if a comic cannot grade higher than a 9.6 with a digital code removed, state it. If paper can be brown, but not brittle at a 4.0, say it. I realize that CGC does not need to do this, but the scale they have now is more useless than a wooden frying pan.

I realize that the more experienced a person gets, the less they need a guide. But what about the newcomer? Is it too much to ask that the current leading comic book grading company give a useful grading scale for reference? I'm beginning to think it is. Is that what they have become? Screw the newcomer?? Let him go elsewhere for answers??? 

Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I have respect for other collectors and our hobby. I want this hobby that has brought me so much joy over the years to bring joy to people for generations to come. Nowadays, part of that joy, for better or worse, is to possess a graded copy of a comic in your collection. The easier it is for people to access guidelines and scales, the better it is for the community. That's my two cents.

You make good points and I agree with many. But the grading companies are not going to do a guide with much detail because the don't want to be caught up in endless arguing with their customers about the grades assigned.  That's it. That is the overriding reason, the elephant in the room.  Overstreet publishes a grading guide with detailed pictures and examples (which I don't believe anyone has mentioned) But they can do that because Overstreet isn't grading books as service they make money on. They are only offering guidance on HOW TO grade. What's the adage? Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. 

I'd also point out that people on these boards forget how SMALL a part of the hobby graded books are. There are three comic book stores in my town. Only one has any graded books. They have maybe 100. And probably 30,000 raw comics. Walk around any convention. What's the ratio of graded books for sale vs raw? The vast, overwhelming majority of collectors own no graded comics. The very best, most expensive books in the hobby have not been graded-  the Church copies of Action 1 and Detective 27. 

CGC and graded books are important to us here. But in the scheme of things the hobby existed and was healthy long before 3rd Party graded and encapsulated books. And it would still be here if the grading companies closed tomorrow.  I'm not running down professionally graded and encapsulated books. I own a bunch and I send in a lot. I love the way books look slabbed, I love the extra protection and the professional restoration check. I appreciation the near universal acceptance of grade.  I'm just saying we need to keep in mind that while the people here are very knowledgeable and passionate, it's a very small part of the hobby. We don't have to have a detailed grading guide from CGC for the hobby to thrive and be here 50 years from now. 

Edited by Tony S

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7 hours ago, Tony S said:

I'd also point out that people on these boards forget how SMALL a part of the hobby graded books are.

 

7 hours ago, Tony S said:

I'm just saying we need to keep in mind that while the people here are very knowledgeable and passionate, it's a very small part of the hobby. We don't have to have a detailed grading guide from CGC for the hobby to thrive and be here 50 years from now. 

Both of these are very great points and ones that I lost sight of. Thank you for the reminder!!!!

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12 hours ago, Tony S said:

The long and short of it is that no grading company is going to publish a detailed grading guide with examples. Because they do not wish to spend all their time debating and lawyering grades with those that are not happy with the grades received. It may seem unfair, but if they did what some people are suggesting they ought to do turn around times would be much longer and customer support impossible to get through to as everyone unhappy with their grades called to argue their book and the grading guidelines. 

It's the very same reason grades are NOT AVAILABLE until after the books have shipped. Because if if the grades appear before shipping, they get swamped with calls that say "my book(s) are way to low, someone needs to look at them again!!!!"  

The longer and more books I send in, the more firmly my opinion has changed on a few things I believed early on.  Grading notes are almost useless except for the legally blind. A detailed CGC grading guide would be a disaster. For CGC and customers.  

For the record, I think your comments above are spot on. I agree with you. However, since you are looking at the big picture, I suspect most will disagree you as they are only concerned with their personal submissions. 

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On ‎1‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 9:31 PM, ThothAmon said:

Now that’s my kind of retirement plan.  Drug testing?

Not that I know of. 

But keep in mind that most CGC employees (if not all) are salaried. 40 hours a week @ 8 hours per day? A bit unlikely...

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