CGC and CCS Timeframes
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3 minutes ago, revat said:

Imagine how many more phone calls/complaints they would get about why a book or books has stalled in any given part of the process.  Imagine how much time and money it would take to implement these procedures when they literally have a monopoly.  Imagine how many more complaints they'd get if you saw the notes in real time. 

I'm not saying the idea has no merits, but you have to consider all the sides and motivations.  If you were starting a rival company from scratch, I'd probably try to implement what you said.  But to tinker so heavily with a successful existing company...its tough. 

A system done right would be able to explain why a book is stalled at a stage. I would think that would actually reduce customer service requests. As for customer's possibly interrupting the grading process because someone doesn't like something they see and want to dispute it, then give the customer a choice, they can pull their book from the queue and return it before further grading/encapsulation, they can have just a raw grade assigned to it and returned, or they can file a dispute, which would immediately take their book to the back of the line.

There's a million scenarios one could think of, and million not thought of. The point I'm trying to make is, the way they're doing it now, keeping customers in the dark, isn't good business.

I'll give you a parallel example...

Imagine there are two shipping companies... Both have perfectly acceptable records for delivering boxes, usually within a day or two of their expected delivery. One of them has been around for decades, has the greatest market share, but doesn't allow for any sort of tracking. You get confirmation of receipt when you ship, and confirmation of delivery when it shows up. That's about it. If your item is lost or damaged, they'll do an internal audit and get back to you. You're basically in the dark beyond what the rough timeline they give you for delivery.

The newcomer shipping company provides the same level of confirmation as the first, but provides considerably more actionable data to its customers. They allow you to see where the package is in the process, they even allows you to contact the delivery driver with instructions on how you want the box delivered. You know at all times where the box is, what time it got there, where it's headed to next. You get notifications if there's a storm that delayed the package, etc. When it does finally get delivered, you get a picture of it at your door letting you know it's there to pick up. These guys charge a little bit more, than the ol' company, but in many cases, it's worth it.

Market share starts to get siphoned away from the first shipping company. They either have to charge more, or they have to develop similar features to stay competitive.

The same sort of thing will happen with CGC, eventually. Monopolies last for as long as it takes someone else to come up with better ideas, and/or a better implementation for around the same price. Just ask MySpace or Digg or Yahoo. Hugely successful, all big dogs once, until someone came along with a better way of doing it and those companies practically went bankrupt within a matter of a few years. 

 

 

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What you refer to as "whiz-bang features" are unnecessary constraints on their business and add virtually nothing to the customer experience (unlike, say, detailed grader notes of the kind the company used to produce).  Some days a grader, finalizer, restoration reviewer, quality-control, encapsulation, or shipping staff member is sick.  Sometimes for multiple days, others with multiple employees affected.  Sometimes, it's impossible to guesstimate how much business will be brought back to Sarasota from an onsite location.  Sometimes, a huge submission shows up for a fast track or even walk-through tier.  Some days, an employee works on N number of comics, other days N times 1.2 and others N times 0.8.  Sometimes, the backlog of slabs requiring reholdering varies.  Adding further to the electronic tracking burden for every submission is going to take additional attention, and so further slow the flow, and frankly most of the factors are none of the customers' business.

They're not running machines that stamp out coat-hangers.  

The registered mail return packages must bother you as well, since the USPS rarely provides any updates on their status or location once they've left Sarasota until they've arrived at your local post office.  But virtually every time they show up with your slabs inside.

Edited by namisgr

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4 minutes ago, namisgr said:

What you refer to as "whiz-bang features" are unnecessary constraints on their business.  Some days a grader, the finalizer, a quality-control, encapsulation, or shipping staff member is sick.  Sometimes for multiple days, others with multiple employees affected.  Sometimes, it's impossible to guesstimate how much business will be brought back to Sarasota from an onsite location.  Sometimes, a huge submission shows up for a fast track or even walk-through tier.  Some days, an employee works on N number of comics, other days N times 1.2 and others N times 0.8.  Sometimes, the backlog of slabs requiring reholdering varies.

They're not running machines that stamp out coat-hangers.

They almost certainly have some sort of system in place that already integrates internal tracking, auditing/grading, inventory control, shipping, ERP/CRM, etc. The database is there, the stuff I'm talking about is some extra tables, some background ladder logic and some website changes. I would feel for them if the company wasn't currently printing money with the monopoly it enjoys. They've got the time and resources to come up with a system to allow tire-kickers on ebay to get grading speculation at $10 a pop. They've got the time and resources to change their system to sell licensed vanity labels. I'm sure they can spare a few guys to develop a more transparent and informative system.

All of the situations you mention are all variables that any stage completion system would be able to take into account. Tracking the current average time for any certain type of book, to pass any certain stage, for example, would be able to account for such variables. 

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1 hour ago, ComicFan999 said:

Not sure if it's fair to compare Domino's and it's capabilities with CGC. Domino's is the world's 2nd largest pizza chain, with revenues of close to $2.5 billion, and the 'delivery' portion is actually a core competency for them. CGC is much smaller in comparison, and their core competency is focused on the grading aspect. I'm sure they could do much better tracking, but then the grading aspect would cost us all a lot more.

I don't believe for a minute that the size of CGC is an issue. Who knows what they're making, but I'd say they're doing pretty well. I've had backend ERP/CRM systems developed myself for my small business. It costs a lot less than you might think, especially if you've got an existing database to work off of. Hell, they could probably trade some key issues that were abandoned to them in exchange for the work! 

 

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Quick question. Approximately how long does it take for a submission to show up online as received, after delivery at their PO Box? I had one box marked as received pretty quickly a few weeks ago. And I've since submitted a box last week, and then a third one was delivered yesterday. I realize with the nature of this business we're pretty much talking ballpark.

I read a little bit of this thread. I don't think either of the two major grading companies are exactly rolling in the cash as far as their basic grading and encapsulation services. I wouldn't be surprised to see those prices go up. I guess this is still relatively new so it's hard to say how it's caught on/catching on. It would be nice if the buying side of the business added value to nicely encapsulated and graded book. It kind of hits the seller on the lower value books. Just like shipping. And then there's the question of adding or losing value based on what type of encapsulation is used etc. You know. This one's earlier and was only used for two months or whatever…

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2 hours ago, Wallstreet said:

Quick question. Approximately how long does it take for a submission to show up online as received, after delivery at their PO Box? I had one box marked as received pretty quickly a few weeks ago. And I've since submitted a box last week, and then a third one was delivered yesterday. I realize with the nature of this business we're pretty much talking ballpark.

I read a little bit of this thread. I don't think either of the two major grading companies are exactly rolling in the cash as far as their basic grading and encapsulation services. I wouldn't be surprised to see those prices go up. I guess this is still relatively new so it's hard to say how it's caught on/catching on. It would be nice if the buying side of the business added value to nicely encapsulated and graded book. It kind of hits the seller on the lower value books. Just like shipping. And then there's the question of adding or losing value based on what type of encapsulation is used etc. You know. This one's earlier and was only used for two months or whatever…

The one I submitted in early May took I believe a week (after showing as being delivered) to show up in their system as received.  If you are paying for a pressing, it will remain "received" for a long time.  Basically, until CCS returns it to CGC.  Hope that helps!

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Here is a quick snapshot into recent turnaround.  I submitted 5 copies of the same 1973 book that were received on 6/5/19.  Three of them I requested a press evaluation, a press (if recommended) and standard grading.  Those books were evaluated on 6/21/19, the presses were completed on 6/24/19 and were graded and shipped on 7/29/19 - less than two months, which is quite good.  The other two books I designated for value grading and three months after being submitted they remain "scheduled for grading." I just submitted another 14 books for a quick press and value grading that were received (per FedEx) on 8/30/19 but have yet to show up in the submission tracking system.  It seems that they are extremely busy.  As evidence of this, the scene at the CGC booth at SDCC was almost constant chaos (mostly created by signing events) whereas the CBCS booth one aisle over was in a sea of calm.

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That’s really helpful information! Thank you for this!  I’m a bit shocked that CBCS was dead. I’ve found their grading standards to be strong, but CGC has a lot of hype surrounding them. Not to say it isn’t earned but don’t believe their grading standards differ much from CBCS.  Now PGX,  that’s a different story

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On 9/5/2019 at 11:30 PM, Matt Ramsey said:

That’s really helpful information! Thank you for this!  I’m a bit shocked that CBCS was dead. I’ve found their grading standards to be strong, but CGC has a lot of hype surrounding them. Not to say it isn’t earned but don’t believe their grading standards differ much from CBCS.  Now PGX,  that’s a different story

Agreed.  Won't buy or use PGX.1381996455_Wolverine1982LE1-4.jpg.dd7a3572bfda5dec187ee7a95ba9b13e.jpg

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Stagnating workflow at every step of the process, Customers in charge of employees, sounds terrible! McD's won't let you make your own sandwich, no matter how good your ideas are.:preach:

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On 9/5/2019 at 11:30 PM, Matt Ramsey said:

I’m a bit shocked that CBCS was dead.

Does this mean CBCS has gone out of business? They're still soliciting on-site grading at the Dallas Fandays in mid-October.

 

Joe

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26 minutes ago, Joe Ankenbauer said:

Does this mean CBCS has gone out of business? They're still soliciting on-site grading at the Dallas Fandays in mid-October.

 

Joe

I think he’s referring to the lack of action at the CBCS booth versus the jam-packed CGC booth.

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Here's an update on my "value" submission that CGC says was "received" on 6/5/19 (they actually had it a few days earlier).  It had been in "Scheduled for Grading" status since late June.  This week it reverted to "received."  I sent a note to them today asking what is going on.  I'll update if I get a response.

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So why does the website say 15days turnaround if its actually several months?

Sent in a tmnt 1 signed to be pressed and graded in early august.. am I look at 2020 for the book to arrive?

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I think it's safe to say a couple of things here:

1) You don't have to wonder whether CGC is busy or not. The word on the street is that they're "ultra-mega" busy (one of my favorite descriptive terms). And I'm sure the pressing explosion has contributed to the overall state of crazed affairs. So don't expect things to slow down for a while, OK? 

2) Regarding the barcode issue, it's not that the books aren't capable of being individually tracked through the process, it's just that no one has the time or inclination to scan every book as it passes through the various steps of the process. The different folks involved in each area are already extremely busy just trying to keep track of all the invoices that are submitted---asking for specific information on individual books within the invoices is virtually inconceivable. Not that the idea isn't a good one, but one thing I've discovered about CGC is that money talks and...well, I'm sure you know the rest. So if you want preferential treatment, you're going to have to pay for it, and even then you may not be satisfied...  

3) At least one of CGC's competitors may know how to grade, but from what I've seen, their customer service is virtually nonexistent. I'm sure this is one of the reasons why CGC is so busy; there simply is no legitimate competition. Now, perhaps someone else wants to have a dog in this fight. Good for them. I hope they understand what they're getting into, and I wish them the best of luck...  :wishluck:

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8 hours ago, The Lions Den said:

I think it's safe to say a couple of things here:

1) You don't have to wonder whether CGC is busy or not. The word on the street is that they're "ultra-mega" busy (one of my favorite descriptive terms). And I'm sure the pressing explosion has contributed to the overall state of crazed affairs. So don't expect things to slow down for a while, OK? 

2) Regarding the barcode issue, it's not that the books aren't capable of being individually tracked through the process, it's just that no one has the time or inclination to scan every book as it passes through the various steps of the process. The different folks involved in each area are already extremely busy just trying to keep track of all the invoices that are submitted---asking for specific information on individual books within the invoices is virtually inconceivable. Not that the idea isn't a good one, but one thing I've discovered about CGC is that money talks and...well, I'm sure you know the rest. So if you want preferential treatment, you're going to have to pay for it, and even then you may not be satisfied...  

3) At least one of CGC's competitors may know how to grade, but from what I've seen, their customer service is virtually nonexistent. I'm sure this is one of the reasons why CGC is so busy; there simply is no legitimate competition. Now, perhaps someone else wants to have a dog in this fight. Good for them. I hope they understand what they're getting into, and I wish them the best of luck...  :wishluck:

My business days were way challenging (and are now past) but, no.  I'm outtie.  I could NEVER handle the organized chaos of the grading business. BUSY and ya gotta figure the margins are tight.  Nope.  Happy being a client.  My only role is to stay outta their hair and be patient when the times call for that.  Having my one order chased down because I'm pressed would just slow the whole process down.  Multiply that by maybe 100s of clients...and then everyone has a problem...  No.  I'm good with this part of the biz/hobby because, green as I am here, I do understand this part.  Due to all the work that's required and the incoming volume, 'stuff' takes time, yo. 

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43 minutes ago, Wallstreet said:

My business days were way challenging (and are now past) but, no.  I'm outtie.  I could NEVER handle the organized chaos of the grading business. BUSY and ya gotta figure the margins are tight.  Nope.  Happy being a client.  My only role is to stay outta their hair and be patient when the times call for that.  Having my one order chased down because I'm pressed would just slow the whole process down.  Multiply that by maybe 100s of clients...and then everyone has a problem...  No.  I'm good with this part of the biz/hobby because, green as I am here, I do understand this part.  Due to all the work that's required and the incoming volume, 'stuff' takes time, yo. 

I just meant that if another grading company would like to step up to the plate, the potential opportunity does exist. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of work to become a viable force in the comic certification business. It's much easier said than done, and until someone comes along that has the ambition, experience and funding to compete, things will likely remain the way they are...

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7 hours ago, The Lions Den said:

I just meant that if another grading company would like to step up to the plate, the potential opportunity does exist. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of work to become a viable force in the comic certification business. It's much easier said than done, and until someone comes along that has the ambition, experience and funding to compete, things will likely remain the way they are...

I started to count the number of ways to go about making money, and still having time for life, that would be easier than establishing a presence and building a comic certification business.  I kept losing count.  There are just so many...

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