Wednesday 27th May 2015,
Comic Booked

The Cost of…A Grade

Comic Booked Guest Writer 02/03/2012 Features

Note. This was previously written. I figured I would have to post this to explain my desire to own a Daredevil #168 in a 9.8. Read forward my friends.

The cost of… A grade

One of the books I desire in a high grade, higher than the one I already have, is Daredevil #168. The current graded copy I have is a 9.2. This was the same back issue I bought as a teen in the eighties. However I would like a copy of this issue in a 9.8. Recently, one sold on E-bay for a little over $500.00. With annual price guides stagnant, I was looking for a better solution. A few people recommended to me; enough to make me part with my money to use the site for a month. I joined because I hoped this would give me a better understanding of how to bid and win the book of my choice, or at the very least not to bid more than what other people think it is worth.

I had to scroll down to the issue number in question. It was easy. I don’t think they could have made it simpler. The records went back quite a few years. It was more than enough to compile an average for my needs. I was able to see the highs and lows for the book each year it sold. The years available showed the most I could have paid… and the least. So let’s find out the cost of a grade.

I decided to look over the three grades above mine. They are a 9.4, a 9.6, and my ultimate desire a 9.8. I am still trying to understand and what better way to investigate the website than with a book I want, so I apologize if the following math is wrong. Any and all advice/feedback would be appreciated because this journal is long and I wanted to know if it would be better in parts. The GPA updates their information every month.

I would love to find a raw copy at a comic shop, local convention, or even at a Wizard World and send it to CGC for grading, but to be honest I don’t think I am that good at grading by CGC’s standards, whatever they may be. I might be able to find a 9.4 (pretty sure), or even a 9.6 (partially sure) but I am not confident (not yet) that I can pick out a diamond in the rough and have a guaranteed 9.8. I would have to haggle to get the price I want because I will not pay a CGC graded premium price on a raw book. So I’ll take the easy way and look for a book that is already graded. I wanted to break this down grade by grade, please be patient.

In 2002 the first recorded Universal 9.4 ( all the prices I’ll be mentioning are all universal grades, no pedigrees, no signature series, no qualified, no restored…and so on) sold June 30th for $405.00. The same day a second one sold for $251.00. That is around a 60% difference for the same grade (page color is not reported.) The high price of that year was $500. The low was $176. I believe that is a difference of 184%. There were 24 copies sold this year. This number more than doubled in 2003.

2003/ 51 Sold (High): $306.00 and (Low): $153.00
2004/ 38 Sold (High): $295.00 and (Low): $183.00
2005/ 35 Sold (High): $278.00 and (Low): $134.00
2006/ 27 Sold (High): $262.00 and (Low): $128.00

After five years the high price of this book dropped about 48% and the low price dropped about 25%. And the last four years are as follows:

2007/ 25 Sold (High): $210.00 and (Low): $119.00
2008/ 31 Sold (High): $253.00 and (Low): $120.00
2009/ 22 Sold (High): $225.00 and (Low): $87.00
2010/ 20 Sold (High): $224.00 and (Low): $115.00

So far (as of this writing) only one sold for the year (recorded) at $133.00. 284 copies sold to date. $500 is the highest price registered which sold in July of 2002. This grade has never reached higher and I don’t believe it ever will. So far the lowest price paid for this book occurred June 2009 ($87). That’s about 82.5% off the highest price paid. If I saw a comic book shop with a sign outside saying 82.5% off I would definitely stop in. I think low price matches the CMV(Current Market Value) for this book in this grade. Although if I agree that this price matches the FMV(Fair Market Value) then I have to admit my 9.2 is worth less. I have always considered an off the rack near mint should equal a 9.4. From 2003, which had the most copies sell in a 9.4 compared to 2010 when only twenty copies sold, a decrease of sixty percent.

The fist registered 9.6 also sold in 2002. Only two sold that year. The first one was at $660. And the second one was for $710. If we take the highest price recorded for a 9.4 and we already have an increase of $160, but what about the following years.

2003/ 18 Sold (High): $760.00 and (Low): $427.00
2004/ 18 Sold (High): $700.00 and (Low): $500.00
2005/ 15 Sold (High): $625.00 and (Low): $386.00
2006/ 12 Sold (High): $520.00 and (Low): $280.00

After five years the high price of a 9.6 dropped 32% and the low price dropped about 35% from the 2003 ales year. This is a much closer percentage then it was for the 9.4

2007/ 16 Sold (High): $508.00 and (Low): $285.00
2008/ 22 Sold (High): $799.00 and (Low): $225.00
2009/ 28 Sold (High): $375.00 and (Low): $202.00
2010/ 25 Sold (High): $330.00 and (Low): $150.00

So far this year only three were registered as sold. I thought it very unusual that the highest grade sold in 2008, six years after its first sale. It seemed someone really wanted that book almost as much as when I wanted the New Mutants #1 in a 9.9 a while back.

159 copies of Daredevil #168 sold in a 9.6. $799 as the high, and most recently a $150.00 low. Amazing enough that is also above the 80% range between initial sales prices and current sales prices. I would figure this book will settle at the $125 price mark. At least that is how much I can see myself purchasing the book without second thoughts.

But, if the cost of a 9.6 is going down to such acquirable prices for my budget range, has the same thing happened to this book in a 9.8 grade? And if so can I afford it, provided another one can be found? We looked over a 9.4 and a 9.6…so how about we continue with a 9.8?

Only one sold in 2004 at a whopping $3,305. There are no previous years for this book as there are from the previous two grades, and as with those let’s list them out.

2005/ 5 Sold (High): $3000.00 and (Low): $1725.00
2006/ 2 Sold (High): $1925.00 and (Low): $1525.00
2007/ 3 Sold (High): $1912.00 and (Low): $1700.00
2008/ 8 Sold (High): $1575.00 and (Low): $1016.00
2009/ 12 Sold (High): $1024.00 and (Low): $595.00
2010/ 14 Sold (High): $1250.00 and (Low): $515.00

With a significant drop between the first 9.8 selling at over $3000, and at the 2010 low price you could purchase six of them. I predict this to drop a bit more, but why are there more 9.8’s appearing recently? Are more people becoming aware of the subtle differences between the grades and only sending in what they feel is a 9.8 or is the 9.8 pre-screen allowing more 9.6’s to pass as a 9.8? Is the possibility of CGC’s grading standards becoming lax or maybe are more people hearing about astronomical prices for comic books (remember the Action comics #1 found in an attic) and what will happen to Daredevil #168 when the first 9.9 is graded (if there is).

Going back the past two years the average price for a 9.4 in 2009 was $155.00, this average increase by only a $1 to $156.00 in 2010. Although the low price of $87.00 is a great amount for this book, it seems to have stabilized well. The average in 2009 for a 9.6 was $266.00 and decreased to $237.00 in 2010. Even the average of $841.00 paid for a 9.8 dropped to $702.00 from 2009 to 2010. Between all three grades it seems the only grade retaining its value is the 9.4. I wonder how the person feels who bought the first 9.8 for over $3000.00. How much would you pay for a book and a grade of your choice? Will this year be the year the 9.8 averages at $500.00, and will I be able to own one by the end of the year? Of course if it does average $500, shouldn’t I then wait and hope in 2012 it lows at $400.00?


Now here it is a year after I wrote this post. The new low for a copy of Daredevil #168 is $450, somehow I missed the auction that was in. The two that I bid on finalized at $576 and $709. Fourteen of them sold in 2011. The low sale was $525 and the high sale was $1150. Apparently the book still shows a strong desire. I didn’t bid on the book last year at all since I was too busy buying many other CGC graded comic books. I tell you these things add up. Only 3 sold this year (so far) and 67 to date. This might be the year I get one and when I do I will let you know all about it.

Thanks for Reading.



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