In honor of just posted Market Trends report this week’s auction highlights will try to find out what kind of jumps in price are accompanying incremental jumps in grade. We chose some relatively easy comics to get so all of us can relate.
Star Wars #1 (1977) is a great book to start out with since 3 different high grades just recently ended on ebay. A CGC graded 9.8 sold for $474.99 on Oct. 2nd, 2 CGC graded 9.6 copies sold for $150.00 and $154.75 both on Oct. 3rd and a CGC graded 9.4 sold for $83.89, all had White Pages. The Overstreet price guide value for this comic at 9.2 is $95.00. The CGC census shows 100 Universal 9.8s, 442 9.6s and 435 9.4s at time of posting. Interesting that the 9.4s are not even getting the 9.2 guide price while the 9.8s (with 100 available) are getting 5 times the 9.2 guide price.
Uncanny X-Men #114 (1978) had 2 copies sell on ebay on Oct. 7th. A CGC graded 9.8 sold for a staggering $1,761.28 while a CGC graded 9.6 sold for $196.50. Both comics had White Pages. The Overstreet price guide value for this comic at 9.2 is $80.00. The CGC census shows only 16 graded at 9.8 and 58 graded at 9.6. The relative scarcity of this issue graded at 9.8 earned it 22 times the 9.2 guide. This price seems high when compared to the example below.
Uncanny X-Men #115 (1978) also had 2 copies sell on ebay and they also closed on Oct. 7th. A CGC graded 9.8 sold for $512.56 while a CGC graded 9.6 sold for $128.49. Both comics had White Pages. The Overstreet price guide value for this comic at 9.2 is $80.00. The CGC census shows only 15 graded at 9.8 and 79 graded at 9.6. Puzzling that this issue which is scarcer by 1 in the 9.8 grade sells for much less than the issue #114 listed above.
Batman #251 (1973) saw 2 high grade copies close on ebay recently. A CGC graded 9.2 sold for $167.50 while a CGC graded 9.0 sold for $104.49. The Overstreet price guide value at 9.2 for this comic is $135.00. The CGC census shows 36 copies graded at 9.2 and 38 copies graded at 9.0. There are only 63 graded 9.4 or better. There is not much of a price jump for the grade jump from 9.0 to 9.2. The price does start jumping disproportionately starting at the 9.4 grades ($400 realized for a 9.4 this past summer).
A quick review shows that the massive price increases only happen at the grade where the comic becomes truly scarce (relative to demand). In other words if there are enough 9.4 and 9.6 copies you won’t see a huge price jump between the 9.0 and the 9.2 grades.
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Price Guide Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.