A few weeks ago, I attended a local comic convention here in Vancouver and I heard about the new company Comic Book Certification Service (CBCS). This company was started by Steve Borock, the former president of CGC so he definitely has some clout in the industry. According to the website Bleedingcool.com, they’ve also started taking submissions at comic book conventions. CBCS looks like an ambitious company as it is set to challenge the undisputed king of comic book grading services, CGC.
It looks the current market is ripe for a new challenger like CBCS. I’ve talked to collectors about “slabbing” comics and it seems there is a lot of discontent out there, directed primarily towards CGC. The complaints towards CGC include poor service, long waits to get your comics graded, poorly graded comics, and of course CGC’s prices have steadily increased over the years. Collectors grumble and many feel forced to use CGC because it is the dominant player and it seems like the “only game in town”. Sure, you can go with PGX or Vault Grading services, but no one else comes close to the prestige and recognition of a CGC-graded comic, and CGC-graded comic books sell for better prices than other grading services.
Here is a quick comparison of the current CBCS, PGX, and CGC prices:
- CBCS charges $15 to grade a modern comic book with 15 business day turn-around and $29 per book for a comic valued up to $400 (any year).
- PGX charges $13 to grade a modern comic book with 20 business days turn-around and $20 for a book published pre 1978 with 20 business days turn-around.
- CGC charges $18 to grade a modern comic book (maximum value of $200) with 20 business days turn-around and $60 for a book with a maximum value of $1000 with 15 business days turn-around.
Each company does different tiers and levels so it’s difficult to make exact price comparisons. PGX has a simplier pricing scheme. CGC and CBCS charge slightly more for modern books and also for pre 1978 books.
It’ll be interesting to see if CBCS can grow to become a big player in this field. To accomplish this, it will have to take a lot of market share away from CGC. I have never submitted any of my comics for slabbing. I have bought a few books that have been already slabbed. But I am getting to the point that I want to submit some of my Silver Age Marvels for grading, but I still can’t decide on which one to use. I might wait another year to see how CBCS develops. CBCS is now operating but their website is still in beta testing and not yet finished. Do you plan on using CBCS? Which grading company do you normally use?