How Much Does Comic Book Grading Cost?
Comic book grading is the process of having a professional inspecting a comic book thoroughly for any defects or markings. If you are a comic book collector, this is the only way to see what your comic books are really worth. Although there is information what a certain comic book would be worth in mint condition, more older comic books are going to have some type of defect. After being graded, the comic books will be given a number on a scale of .5 (poor) to 10 (gem mint). The lower the number, the more flaws that have been noted on the comic book. For example, a tear on the second page or a dent on the eighth page could bring down the number significantly. The grade that you comic books gets will determine its price and worth.
How much is it?
- To grade a comic book, the prices can depend on a few things. This can include the age of the comic book, the company performing the grade, and if you have to send the comic book through the mail. On average, grading can vary anywhere from $10 to as much as $100. Another thing that will be taken into account when determining the price is the rarity of the comic book; if it is very rare and worth a lot if in mint condition, the grading will be done more meticulously and will therefore cost more.
- For instance, the extremely credible service CGCComics.com charges anywhere from $12 to as much as $95 per book. Basically, a book that is worth less than $150 can cost $25 per book, with a minimum of 15 books that are submitted. On the other hand, a book that is worth more than $1,000 can cost $60 per book, with a turnaround of 15 days. The longer that you can wait, the less the cost will be.
- PGXComics.com charges anywhere from $10 to $38. Again, the price will depend on the value of the comic book and the turnaround time. A 1978 to now comic book worth less than $250 will be $10, while a book older than 1955 can cost $20.
Factors that influence the price:
- The value of the comic book
- The age of the book
- What kind of service do you want? How fast do you want it back?
- The number of books that have to be graded
- Do you have to mail it in?
What are the extra costs?
- If the comic book is deemed to be in bad condition, the grading company can often perform a restoration service. This is a service that can help bring the comic book back to a non-original, assumed state. Repairing can include touching up colors, repairing seals and tears, cleaning and re-glossing. The prices will widely vary according to what kind of job needs to be done.
- Some companies can charge a handling fee that ranges from $5 to $10.
- If you have to ship the book, you are going to have to pay for insurance and the shipping. Budget $10 to $20 to ship the comic book properly. This insurance is to protect your comic book from getting lost or damaged while being shipped; if something does happen, the insurance would reimburse you the value of the comic book.
What is going to be included?
- As mentioned above, the book will be graded on a scale from 1 to 10. ComicsPriceGuide has a great list of scores as well as reasons that your comic book may receive that number. Before you even send a comic book in, you may already know what kind of number you are going to get based on their research.
Tips to know:
- CGC tends to be the cream of the crop when it comes to grading. They will either grade your comic book at conventions or if you choose, you can mail it to their corporate offices. CGC is generally the brand that most people look for when purchasing a comic.
- If you have a comic book worth more than $500 and you plan on selling it, you can ask a lot more money for it if it is graded well. Just keep in mind that if that number is low, you can risk losing out on a lot of money!
How can I save money?
- Some comics will not be worth the grading cost! Be sure to research the price of a mint conditioned comic book before sending yours in. What you may find is that you are better off selling or keeping it as-is.
- Grading a comic book is not that hard. While you will not get an official seal from a company, there are many guides that can help you with the process. eBay also has a guide that actually shows you how to do the whole procedure.
- If you can wait, try to head to a convention such as Comic Con. Here, you can find companies that will grade your books on the spot for a small fee.
- If you are not in a rush to get your books back, consider a turnaround that is longer. The longer you wait, the less you will probably have to pay.
- Unless you are planning to sell your comic books, this grading is unnecessary, especially since you can do the grading yourself with use of sources on the internet.