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Why buy graded?

November 2020

We often get the questions "why should I buy a graded comic or card" and "is it worth having a comic or card graded?" There is no "right" answer as there are many different perspectives on both of these issues, however in general if you are concerned about ensuring the condition of a collectible then purchasing a graded comic or card can ensure that you know what you are getting. Often times pictures and descriptions can miss dents, dings, scratches, folds, or other items that may reduce the grade of the collectible. Also since grading can be somewhat subjective one persons "Mint" may be someone elses "Near Mint". Grading companies like CGC and CBCS for comics and SGC, PSA, and BGS for cards all provide a standard grading framework that usually ensures that a buyer knows what they are getting. Does this mean that all equivalent grades are created equal? Well "No" would be the short answer. A small interior defect may be less noticeable and less of a detractor than something to the cover of a comic but both may be similarly graded, so even with identical grades there still is an aspect of it being in the "eye of the beholder". In general though purchasing a graded collectible ensures that it has been examined by a professional and that the grade will be viewed in the same manner by everyone.

As to whether having your comics and cards graded is "worth it", that is a more complex question. It depends on your intention for the collectible and what your preference for collectibles are. Are you collecting them for investments, to resell, or just for a personal collection. Each of these may impact your decision. We would suggest honestly evaluating the condition of the collectible and then looking at recent sales prices for an equivalent collectible in a graded condition. If the net gain is positive then having your collectible graded would be "beneficial" while if it costs more to grade than the increase in value then it likely doesn't make sense. Be hyper-critical and look to see what value there would be if it your card or comic comes back graded a notch or two below what you expect. If it significantly impacts the value it may not be worth the risk, but if you have a fair degree of comfort based on a range of grades then you are probably in good shape. For comics on the "edge" a good pressing can often increase the grade and may be worth having done prior to grading.

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