From 9.8 to 9.6: A Lesson in Disparity

As a fan of the bucks (dollars, not Milwaukee), it’s only natural that I like my comics as minty as possible. The better a comic’s condition, the more desirable that comic is to the general public. This, rather obviously, translates into more money for the seller.

If you’re buying comics for the purpose of re-selling or even as a long-term investment, it’s absolutely critical that you consider third party grading. This can be costly, so it’s important to know if it’s truly worth it.

I’ve noticed that with some key issues, there is an overwhelming price disparity between a NM+ (9.6) and a NM/MT (9.8). Although there are tons of examples out there, here are a few I’ve noticed along with some approximate sales figures.

Sandman #8Sandman 8 – This book is hard as hell to find in 9.8. I’ve never found a flawless raw copy online or in the wild. I only see them graded on eBay for exorbitant prices that folks are happy to pay!

CGC 9.6 – Around $100 with sales as low as $66 recently.

CGC 9.8 – Last 9.8 sold on the Bay for $355. This book is an absolute treasure in NM/MT condition!

Darkhawk #1Darkhawk 1 – This book really isn’t that cool but it can make you a few bucks in the right grade…, which is 9.8 and only 9.8.

CGC 9.6 – Last one sold for $39. After the cost of grading and shipping you just made zero or even negative bucks.

CGC 9.8 – These consistently sell for over $100 with recent sales as high as $146. You better break out your magnifying glass and make sure before sending it in for grading, however. It could cost ya!

Longshot #1Longshot 1 – I recently took a gamble with this book and it paid off. I spent a few extra bucks on a raw copy advertised as NM/MT, got it pressed, then sent it off for grading. It came back as a 9.8 Thank God!!!

CGC 9.6 – Not worth it. Last one sold for $46. If you want a 9.6, let somebody else do all the work, then buy it graded.

CGC 9.8 – These consistently sell between $180 and $200. Don’t be afraid to shell out a few extra bucks for a copy advertised as NM/MT. Make sure they offer returns in case it shows up in less than advertised condition.

Longshot #3Longshot 3 – Please bear with me as I stay on the Longshot tip just a while longer. This book is mostly overlooked and easy to find in dollar bins. It is also the 1st appearance of Mojo, a B-list villain in the Marvel Universe.

CGC 9.6 – Last one sold for $36. This is a great opportunity for the buyer, but not the seller.

CGC 9.8 – In NM/MT condition, this book consistently nets around $140. That’s a $100 bill in your pocket after grading costs!

Solar Man of the Atom #10Solar Man of the Atom 10 – Although many should be satisfied with a 9.6, this tough black cover makes a 9.8 next to impossible. If Eternal Warrior makes it to the big screen, a graded 9.8 could reach “grail” status. As this is being written, only 54 exist on the CGC Census.

CGC 9.6 – These aren’t difficult to find for under $100. This is an amazing opportunity for those in the market to buy, as long as your not prone to feelings of overwhelming inadequacy whenever you think about your buddy with the 9.8.

CGC 9.8 – Last copy sold for $400. Now that’s a lot of cheddar!

These are just a few examples that highlight the gross disparity between 9.6 and 9.8. There are several more comic books out there that can maximize your profits if found in the right condition. This is why it’s important to have a firm handle on grading comics. A smart collector/investor/flipper understands this and uses grading to their advantage.

What other books come to mind when considering this massive value gap between grades? Please feel free to share, as I’m always open to new investment opportunities. It’s also nice to know what to avoid! Thanks for reading Comic Bucks.

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