Comic book grading services - Worth it?

I have a couple long boxes full of comics, pretty much all from the mid-90’s (mostly the bad girl types that were popular at the time). I know they printed a shit-ton of books during that time and from what I can tell, not many of them hold much value (though a few do).

I’ve been looking at how to go about selling these books off and thinking about spending a few bucks to get a few of the better books professionally graded. I found one service, PGC, that charges $10 apiece, which doesn’t seem like a bad deal if you have something good.

I know there are a lot of comic book collectors here. Do any of you use the grading services? Are you inclined to pay a premium purchase a book that’s been graded vs one that hasn’t been? How difficult would it be to use my laymen’s eye to judge the condition of the book before I send it in, so that I’m not wasting my time. All of the books are in boards/bags and some are even in hard sleeves.

For examples of what I have, it’s a lot of Gen13, Dawn, Lady Death, Witchblade, etc. Also a ton of Wizard 1/2 issues including some rare ones that seem to have some good value (a Boba Fett one seems to sell well on eBay anyway). A lot of #1’s, #0’s, alternate covers, limited editions, etc. Best are probably Witchblade #1 and some of the more popular Gen13 alternate covers (Janet Jackson, Lingerie).

Anyway, would love any insight or advice you might have. Do I have any chance of selling this stuff? Should I get the better ones graded?

IMO grading services are not worth it unless you have something stellar. It doesn’t sound like you do.

I appreciate the advice, I think you’re right.

Yep. If it is mint or near mint, and a valuable title, get it graded. But the price difference between mint and fine is usually at least half the price. Even books with moderate collector value, the appraisal will eat up much of the value of the book. I wouldn’t get anything professionally graded unless I was certain I could get $100+ for it.

The first bit of advice I give anyone who has a comic collection and wants to know what to do with it/get rid of it: Invest in a copy of Overstreet Price Guide. This will give you an idea of how much your comics are worth. Of course, what the comic is worth and how much someone will pay for it are often two different things.

Grading as a layman is harder than one might think, and the grade a layman gives a book is almost always too high. Keep in mind the grading system used by “slabbing” companies is based on a number system, going by increments of .5 until you get to 9.0. Then it goes by .2, until 9.8, then it goes 9.9 and 10.0. If you really want to get something slabbed, don’t go with PGC; while CGC is more expensive, based on the age of your books, it shouldn’t be too much more, and the market recognizes CGC as the leader in grading. While it seems to be obvious that the higher the grade, the more money you’ll get for the book, but also try and find out how many other grades of that particular book there is. I mean, if you think your Witchblade #1 is a 9.6, try and find out how many CGC has given that grade to. It will determine the market demand. Some people, when receiving a 9.6 back from CGC, will often crack it open and send it back, hoping to get a 9.8, not only to put the book in rarer company, but the monetary value between a 9.6 and a 9.8 can often be hundreds of dollars.

All that being said, based on the short list you mentioned, I’m afraid to say I can’t image you’ll get much for your collection, and your best bet might be to sell it in chunks as a run, if you have any (Witchblade #1-10, for instance). Or sell all your #0s as a collection; all your Wizard 1/2 issues together, etc.