This guide is intended to assist those in purchasing CGC graded comics versus ungraded comics. First of all I would like to share with ebayers my level of experience with CGC. I have submitted somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 Modern Comics and 50 Silver age comics to CGC. Over my last 200 submissions of Modern books, I have been able to identify 9.8 books at a rate of around 90%.
I have made a commitment to learning how to grade and over five years ago purchased the Overstreet GRADING Guide (not Price Guide) and its newest edition. When reviewing comics for grades, I try to focus on objective defects in the book. Whenever I hear the a term like "tremendous eye appeal" I interpret this as a marketing tactic.
While I find CGC's grading to be substantially accurate, I have seen signficant variations in their grading and in one case re-submitted a Silver Age book that was graded 8.5 after some slight pressing work that should have improved it and after resubmission, it was graded a 7.0?? If you have any questions about a book, obtain the CGC serial number and give them a call at 1-877-662-6642, give them the serial number and ask to review the grader's notes.
Most Modern books, unless they are RRPs, variants or limited runs, aren't worth much unless they achieve a grade of 9.8 from CGC. As to getting grades on Modern books of CGC 9.8, the average book on the comic store shelf, untouched and unread will probably grade out at 9.4. The average layperson would be amazed at the quality required to obtain a 9.8 grade from CGC. In the long run, I think it would be most efficient for the average collector to buy CGC graded books if your goal is to obtain certain books or runs in 9.8. When selecting books for submission I usually buy 20-50 of a title and reject more than 60% as not meeting the 9.8 criteria. Some print runs yield very few 9.8 books. An example was DC's Justice #1, many books had a horizontal crease above the lower staple. I bought 35 and NONE were gradable as they all had this defect. To get 9.8s I had to buy from a national dealer.
Modern submissions to CGC cost $12 a book, plus postage both ways, if you grade 10 or more AND go through a website that offers a 20% discount on grading, such as Matt Nelson's Classics Inc. Current turnaround time on Moderns is 15 working days at CGC.