CGC and CCS Timeframes
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19 minutes ago, Wallstreet said:

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...

The headaches are many and the rewards are few and far between...  :tonofbricks:

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On ‎8‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 3:01 PM, agamoto said:

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. 

 

 

Books are usually stalled when they have to have multiple graders make a decision on resto/conservation, etc. I had a walk-thru on an mega-key that showed Universal on day 1 and then sat for 3 days. Day 5 it was graded as conserved (cover cleaned). 

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On 8/28/2019 at 3:01 PM, agamoto said:

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. 

Here's the thing: 

When you're dealing with physical entities (like comic books) there are only so many ways you can do it. Online companies like My Space and Yahoo don't actually certify or encapsulate a physical object, do they? They basically just offer a platform for people to interact with other people---you're not sending fragile physical objects back and forth across the planet and having those objects certified by them.

So in order to come up with "a better way of doing it", it seems to me the first thing you'd need to do is find a group of experts that are both able and willing to devote the majority of their lives to certifying comic books. This is not as easy as you may think. Many comic dealers and experts in the hobby are pretty happy just doing what they're doing; they have the freedom to move at their own pace and they can come and go as they please. Being tied down to a job that can consume up to 60 hours a week (or more) of your time isn't most people's idea of fun. And if you can't find folks with expert credentials, you're simply not going to be able to compete with juggernauts like CGC.

And because they do employ folks that are recognized as leaders in the hobby, a certain element of trust has already been established (which is crucial in any business, but in this hobby it's essential). Moreover, CGC continues to develop new ideas and expand their operation into other areas (such as magazines, lobby cards and movie posters) which gives them the advantage of diversity. Add to that a certain amount of business savvy, and their close affiliation with other respected certification companies such as NGC, and you have a company that is well positioned to be the industry leader for many years. 

But don't get me wrong, I'm all for healthy competition. I encourage anyone else that's willing to stake their claim to make a go of it. Good luck... 

Edited by The Lions Den

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48 minutes ago, The Lions Den said:
On ‎8‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 12:01 PM, agamoto said:

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. 

Here's the thing: 

When you're dealing with physical entities (like comic books) there are only so many ways you can do it. Online companies like My Space and Yahoo don't actually certify or encapsulate a physical object, do they? They basically just offer a platform for people to interact with other people---you're not sending fragile physical objects back and forth across the planet and having those objects certified by them.

So in order to come up with "a better way of doing it", it seems to me the first thing you'd need to do is find a group of experts that are both able and willing to devote the majority of their lives to certifying comic books. This is not as easy as you may think. Many comic dealers and experts in the hobby are pretty happy just doing what they're doing; they have the freedom to move at their own pace and they can come and go as they please. Being tied down to a job that can consume up to 60 hours a week (or more) of your time isn't most people's idea of fun. And if you can't find folks with expert credentials, you're simply not going to be able to compete with juggernauts like CGC.

And because they do employ folks that are recognized as leaders in the hobby, a certain element of trust has already been established (which is crucial in any business, but in this hobby it's essential). Moreover, CGC continues to develop new ideas and expand their operation into other areas (such as magazines, lobby cards and movie posters) which gives them the advantage of diversity. Add to that a certain amount of business savvy, and their close affiliation with other respected certification companies such as NGC, and you have a company that is well positioned to be the industry leader for many years. 

But don't get me wrong, I'm all for healthy competition. I encourage anyone else that's willing to stake their claim to make a go of it. Good luck... 

You make good points about finding enough people who want to devote the time/resources/careers to grading comics, and even better points about NGC as a parent company with already existing infrastructure and collectible grading expertise (and reputation, which is as valuable or MORE valuable to potential employees than it is to customers).  Another issue would be that even if you could find the 'talent' for a company like CGC, you need them to be geographically all in the same place, or be able to find them and convince them to move to one location (or possibly two, as CGC has just opened in London but might get seriously boned by Brexit). 

There's just so many comparative advantages that CGC has in addition to just being first (which is already huge), that it would take A LOT for a true competitor to step up and be any kind of threat.  CBCS isn't perfect, but has already done better than I thought it would, and part of that is the reputation of the founders, and I think a large part of that is signature verification.  I don't know what their numbers look like, but I don't think anyone is getting a great profit yet (nor did they expect to yet), which is ultimately the goal, not to cater to every whim of every potential customer.  But I guess they could compete on modernization and turnaround times?

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23 minutes ago, revat said:

There's just so many comparative advantages that CGC has in addition to just being first (which is already huge), that it would take A LOT for a true competitor to step up and be any kind of threat.  CBCS isn't perfect, but has already done better than I thought it would, and part of that is the reputation of the founders, and I think a large part of that is signature verification.  I don't know what their numbers look like, but I don't think anyone is getting a great profit yet (nor did they expect to yet), which is ultimately the goal, not to cater to every whim of every potential customer.  But I guess they could compete on modernization and turnaround times?

Thank you! :foryou: 

I'd like to see CBCS become a more viable contender, but I haven't seen much from them in the way of expansion, and by all accounts they really need to overhaul their customer service department and their website. I certainly wish them luck, but the reality seems to be they're becoming the perennial "also-ran..."  (shrug)

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On 10/3/2019 at 9:42 AM, The Lions Den said:

Thank you! :foryou: 

I'd like to see CBCS become a more viable contender, but I haven't seen much from them in the way of expansion, and by all accounts they really need to overhaul their customer service department and their website. I certainly wish them luck, but the reality seems to be they're becoming the perennial "also-ran..."  (shrug)

If CBCS’s label didn’t look like trash, I’d seriously consider using them. 

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On 10/3/2019 at 12:42 PM, The Lions Den said:

Thank you! :foryou: 

I'd like to see CBCS become a more viable contender, but I haven't seen much from them in the way of expansion, and by all accounts they really need to overhaul their customer service department and their website. I certainly wish them luck, but the reality seems to be they're becoming the perennial "also-ran..."  (shrug)

I actually quite like cbcs cases for modern (take up less space lol) and of course for red label but you'll never find me putting a golden age book in one of their slabs. 

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Just an update on where my Copper-Era comic is in the grading process:  I submitted it for a pressing and encapsulation (Economy) towards the end of April.  It took 2 weeks to show up as received.  I'm relatively new to this process, so trying to interpret time frames when utilizing both pressing and grading services was pretty unclear.  I can't recall specifics but I believe the pressing time frame listed had been something like 60 business days and the grading timeframe was like 40.  This led me to come to the errant conclusion that the pressing and grading process would be completed in 60 business days- (I don't think you can get a pressing without a grade, so it made sense to me that pressing time frame would be bundled to include the grade).  Well, my conclusions were wrong.  On October 8th, my comic was updated to show as "received" by CGC.  I may be mistaken, but i believe I've been booted to the back of the line, so whatever the time frame back in April for encapsulation is now long past relevant and the time frame listed for grading as of 10/8 is where things stand.  Also, the last time I submitted for a grade, CGC charged me when they were ready to ship it back to me (I believe).  This time around, they charged me when marked as received (around 10/8), so I got pretty excited thinking that a grade was imminent.  Oh well, thankfully I'm an adult who has developed the skill of delayed gratification but from a business standpoint CGC and CCS hopefully can pick it up.  The demand is certainly there but their resources for completing orders is grossly lacking.  Maybe they should slow the train down rather than continuing to stretch their resources so thin (e.g,.being a presence at every comic-con, etc) until they pull together a workforce that can bear the demand

Edited by Matt Ramsey

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1 hour ago, Matt Ramsey said:

Just an update on where my Copper-Era comic is in the grading process:  I submitted it for a pressing and encapsulation (Economy) towards the end of April.  It took 2 weeks to show up as received.  I'm relatively new to this process, so trying to interpret time frames when utilizing both pressing and grading services was pretty unclear.  I can't recall specifics but I believe the pressing time frame listed had been something like 60 business days and the grading timeframe was like 40.  This led me to come to the errant conclusion that the pressing and grading process would be completed in 60 business days- (I don't think you can get a pressing without a grade, so it made sense to me that pressing time frame would be bundled to include the grade).  Well, my conclusions were wrong.  On October 8th, my comic was updated to show as "received" by CGC.  I may be mistaken, but i believe I've been booted to the back of the line, so whatever the time frame back in April for encapsulation is now long past relevant and the time frame listed for grading as of 10/8 is where things stand.  Also, the last time I submitted for a grade, CGC charged me when they were ready to ship it back to me (I believe).  This time around, they charged me when marked as received (around 10/8), so I got pretty excited thinking that a grade was imminent.  Oh well, thankfully I'm an adult who had developed the skill of delayed gratification but from a business standpoint CGC and CCS hopefully can pick it up.  The demand is certainly there but their resources for completing orders is grossly lacking.  Maybe they should slow the train down rather than continuing to stretch their resources so thin (e.g,.being a presence at every comic-con, etc) until they pull together a workforce that can bear the demand

You have to remember that submissions are not processed in the order received. Higher priority is processed first. Your suggestion about 'slowing the train down' would never be considered. If you submit using Economy, you get no priority.  

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On 10/20/2019 at 11:24 AM, Bomber-Bob said:

You have to remember that submissions are not processed in the order received. Higher priority is processed first. Your suggestion about 'slowing the train down' would never be considered. If you submit using Economy, you get no priority.  

I will remember now!  Kind of reminds me of Fast Pass at Disneyland.  You're standing in line with the masses and out of nowhere a hoard of people pass you in the fast-pass line.  Kind of makes little to no sense to even give a time frame for Economy.  Should be described as "whenever we can get to it...and that won't be for a long long time."

Edited by Matt Ramsey

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I’m new to this too, but I dropped my first comic off at the CGC stand at MCM London Comic Con this last weekend. Told it would take up to 35 days ... fingers crossed, but really excited to see what comes back.  Not too worried about the real world value, just want to own a graded key.  In case you’re wondering .. The Infinity Gauntlet #1, probably a high grade 9 and signed by George Pérez #happyface 

Edited by Notsotall

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