How to get near mint comics
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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to know how to get almost perfect copies of modern comic books? Do you normally go to your retailer and go through his books and look for the one with the least flaws? Kind of difficult for me as an European due to the lack of comic book culture here.

Is it wise to order online from the publisher directly? Then you would have to order like 10 copies to sort out the ones with flaws?

And my last question is, if I am looking for a variant or retailer incentive cover, the only way I could get one is going to my local shop and ask him or go online (where again I can not inspect for flaws so no guarantee for mint/near mint 9.5-9.8 condition)

I appreciate your help.

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What flaws are you worried about? Does a spine tick destroy your desire for the book? An oh so slightly blunted corner ruin your day?

For me, I buy to enjoy the books. I know there are differences but for the most part a book in 9.2 looks as good as one in 9.8. Obviously there are some minor flaws but not enough to make me care either way. If I buy a new book and the cover looks clean, the back looks good and the spine looks fine, I am happy. Do I waste my time going over every inch to find every minor imperfection? No because 90% of the books are not worth doing that for. I mean, If I get a book with a rip or tear or major fold, okay, that I dont like. 

If you are trying to get the best copy because you only want 9.8 caliber books, I fear you will be wasting more time and money than you would be enjoying collecting. I would find a couple shops that ship overseas and have a good reputation. Maybe try three and upon getting three similar shipments, determine which one sends you the nicest books. However, I would advise against annoying the shop owner to go through and select the best possible copy for you. If you cannot get to a store yourself and are going to be that picky about new comics, they will likely just politely decline doing business with ya. 

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Did not think in that way. You are right, I shouldn‘t worry about minor flaws if it is the book that makes me happy, not the perfection of it. I‘ll start focusing on collecting rather than the grading. I just got caught up reading all the CGC posts about grading and what to look for that I began focusing on that myself.

Thanks man!

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if you want to get into the grading part of the hobby spend time in the Hey buddy spare a grade part of the forum and check out the modern section of the forum to get more of a idea with grading and slabbing books, there is a ton of info... 

but also like comicginger said it will be hard to focus on 9.8's and trying to spot them on the racks or from shops and takes a bit of experience, skill, trial and error and will be harder for you if you can't get to a local shop and comic culture isn't very popular where you are. 

if you want to pick up 9.8's of books and have the cash you can always buy already slabbed books off eBay, Comic auctions, Heritage Auctions and on these boards, lots of great sellers.

Welcome to the boards and the hobby. 

:tink:

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20 hours ago, ThePedestrian said:

Do you normally go to your retailer and go through his books and look for the one with the least flaws?

This. It's the best way. This is what hygraders do.

IF... we assume that the stack of 10 copies averages NM 9.4, you will be immediately able to train your eye as to what is better than 9.4. No small corner flecks that appear on 1/2 the books, less normal white spine break than other copies, no small NCB creases that appear on 1/3 of the books, oh and be sure to check the back cover (no fingerprints or light scuffing). 

It gives you the ability to learn and recognize what might be a 'normal manufacturing defect' for that issue (and hence what CGC allows and you might accept as high grade). 

IF... you can't do that, then you have to consider going online. Currently, I am using Things from Another World. They hold my books until it's a months worth and then ship them at once. They recently switched to DHL shipping, so that may be a good? thing given you're overseas? Not sure... but I have been pleased with the condition my copies (ave NM+ 9.6) even if I have to wait.

 

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As a collector, I do care about condition and grading. Just not at the level the original post was suggesting. Like, if I am picking up a new comic and there are multiple copies, I might flip through a few to see if any stand out as being nicer but I wouldn't say I am spending a lot of time to do it (I also don't buy new comics so there is that). I get wanting the nicest one, I do. Just for me personally, it is challenging to discern a 9.4 from a 9.6 and a 9.8 and I don't personally have a point or purpose because a 9.4 is as good as a 9.8 for me. 

If the front copy has a big ding or crease then yeah sure, I will flip through the multiples and find the nice one. But to scour a handful of three nice copies to really decide which one might be a 9.8 over a 9.6 or a 9.6 over a 9.4 just isn't fun for me. 

 

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Just one thing to remember...

If you are buying the books to read as they are/were intended then they will probably sustain some sort of damage (although it may be minute) just from opening the book and turning the pages, a spine tick/crease here, a dimple there, etc.

I have numerous books I bought new off the newsstand in the early 80's and they were read, these books were given to my Son when he became interested in collecting in the late 90's, now he is parting with his collection and I graded these books so he can sell them, even though I bought these new and they were stored in Mylites W/Acid Free Boards in Comic Storage Boxes in the Proper Environmental Conditions the majority of the books fell in the VF 8.0 - NM- 9.2 because they were read a few times.

If you are doing this for fun and enjoyment...

"Buy what you like and enjoy what you buy".

Edited by marvelmaniac

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its is also still possible to read the books and not damage them I read a book and was super careful and it came back 9.8 without a press or clean mind you it was a modern book Batman New 52 #1 came back 9.8 but Annual 0 Came back 9.6 so its also still always a roll of the dice and a bit of luck and watching for things as best as you can.. 

I say enjoy the books and the hobby as #1 priority... 

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The hunt for books is always the fun part, but if you have no comic book stores were you are, there are a few good eBay sellers based in the UK who sell moderns which are well packed and in mint condition (thumbsu

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There are some people that you can subscribe to, who will sell you Cgc 9.8 copies and variants with advance notice.  Obviously there’s a premium to be paid

 

but it is an option

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If I am going to pay full rack retail for a new comic I inspect the heck out of it and try to get it in a bag and board as soon as possible afterward. I wonder if there is a beachbum type service for raw books? Like they only charge $1 or $2 extra for a new comic that they think is a 9.8.

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3 hours ago, the blob said:

If I am going to pay full rack retail for a new comic I inspect the heck out of it and try to get it in a bag and board as soon as possible afterward. I wonder if there is a beachbum type service for raw books? Like they only charge $1 or $2 extra for a new comic that they think is a 9.8.

one of my LCS's prescreens them and charges a few bucks more for the extra high grades, but I think only for popular titles.  I'm a fan of the service if a subscriber arranges ahead of time to do it, but not so much if they just grade high and put them out on the shelf at extra cost.  There are times when ON NEW COMIC WEDNESDAY they have more 'high grade high price' copies on the shelf than the cover price issues.

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17 hours ago, the blob said:

If I am going to pay full rack retail for a new comic I inspect the heck out of it and try to get it in a bag and board as soon as possible afterward. I wonder if there is a beachbum type service for raw books? Like they only charge $1 or $2 extra for a new comic that they think is a 9.8.

that sounds ok I dont mind paying a extra 2$ for the best copies the store gets, but would have to see how good their eye is but if they are really good and you do land quite a bit of 9.8 and your in the modern 9.8 game that could be very beneficial... 

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On 1/16/2020 at 6:32 AM, Krismusic said:

that sounds ok I dont mind paying a extra 2$ for the best copies the store gets, but would have to see how good their eye is but if they are really good and you do land quite a bit of 9.8 and your in the modern 9.8 game that could be very beneficial... 

The skill, time and experience necessary to get "9.8" copies of new books is worth a lot more than an additional $1-$2 per book.

It's a skill you develop over years and looking at tens of thousands of books. It's quite a valuable skill.

I considered doing a 9.8 pre-screen service, but realized it's simply not worth it, because people aren't willing to pay something close to what the skill is actually worth.

CGC pre-screeners can get away with it, because they don't have to answer to anyone why a particular book didn't grade a 9.8 if it's rejected.

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On 1/14/2020 at 10:12 AM, ThePedestrian said:

Kind of difficult for me as an European due to the lack of comic book culture here.

It might be fun to set up a picklist at some comic shop in the US.  Let it sit for a year and then take a vacation to the US and pick up your books.  I realize not everybody can afford that but if you ever come to the US plan ahead and have a stack of books waiting.

I'm a reader more than a collector but I still enjoy holding a mint book in my hands.  Just about every book I get from my picklists is as perfect as a book gets in a comic shop.  Probably because it goes straight from the incoming shipment into my stack of books.

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21 hours ago, JollyComics said:

<iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/zw88xpPSTGKaY" width="480" height="449" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/shark-gorilla-eats-zw88xpPSTGKaY">via GIPHY</a></p>

Can I quote you on this? :wink:

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2 hours ago, Joe Ankenbauer said:

Can I quote you on this? :wink:

Sorry. I picked this thread to test gif animation and forgot to remove it.  Please don't quote this.  :blush:

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On 1/18/2020 at 7:01 PM, RockMyAmadeus said:

The skill, time and experience necessary to get "9.8" copies of new books is worth a lot more than an additional $1-$2 per book.

It's a skill you develop over years and looking at tens of thousands of books. It's quite a valuable skill.

I considered doing a 9.8 pre-screen service, but realized it's simply not worth it, because people aren't willing to pay something close to what the skill is actually worth.

CGC pre-screeners can get away with it, because they don't have to answer to anyone why a particular book didn't grade a 9.8 if it's rejected.

well what would you quantify is a good price for someone to preform this task for their regulars?

Also what would a shop owner charge (if they wanted to do something like this) for offering this non-guarantee service, but still a bit of a service to have the best possible chance? 

Just curious as you have a bit of familiarity with this. 

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