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Pricing for Signature Series Graded Comics


Jim Dreyfuss
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Several collectors have comics that are graded and signed by artists (and others) and for CGC, these have the Gold Labels. Hard to evaluate, but appears that CGC Signature Series of the same comic issue and grade are fetching 25% to 50% more and would be nice if there was a way to ID them in ComicBase and have their price reflect fair market values. Thoughts?

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You can add custom grades and percentages.  ComicBase makes valuations based on a % of their NM pricing.  For instance, CGC 9.0 is 160% of the value of a NM non-graded book.  If you want to add a SS grade, simply go to Setup/Grading, and click on the green + to add a new grade.  Example is for a 25% premium for SS over the CGC Universal grade.  You'll have to do some math, but it should give you what you want.  FYI: The percentages that CB uses for 9.8 grades can be wildly off base.  My 9.8 NM 98 shows a price of $6,800, which is 1200% of the NM price they list of $570 for the book.  I *wish* I could sell mine for that!

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I don't know that there is an accurate algorithm to apply for signatures.  Let's use a popular one as an example, Incredible Hulk #181.  Let's say you have a 7.0 signed by Len Wein and I have the same book in 7.0 signed by Herb Trimpe and Billy Bob has a 7.0 signed by Len Wein, Herb Trimpe, John Romita, Stan Lee and Hugh Jackman.  How do we determine the value on that?  Wein, Trimpe, are fairly common.  Jackman is incredibly rare but you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a half dozen Stan Lee signed books on eBay.  I would say the Wein and Trimpe signed books are fairly equal in value. 

I'm not trying to be a jerk, I've given this some thought in the past and just don't see a good way clear as the signed market is an entirely different animal from the rest of the hobby.  Books that I wouldn't touch with your wallet (New Mutants #98 signed by Stan Lee, anyone?) will bring stupid money despite Stan Lee having absolutely nothing to do with the book.  I prefer some connection to the characters, the history, or something, having Stan Lee sign anything Marvel always drove me completely nuts.  At least on Hulk #181 one could argue that he created the Hulk so it's good.  Despite the title, I don't think of Hulk #181 as a Hulk book but rather the first Wolverine book.  I've got Stan Lee on some moderns that he didn't have anything to do with but they are anniversary type books or some other "classic" tie in.  Amazing Spider-Man #657 is one that I had signed because it tied two of his creations together on the cover in a unique image.  ASM #638-C is another one but with Stan on the cover, it's an easier connection to make. 

If you've got a good algorithm, I am all ears! 

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I am by no means an expert, but I think the value of a signed cover is whatever someone will pay for it. I don't think there is any kind of system where Creator A is worth x% more while Creator B is worth Y% more.

If you are a seller, you will just have to make your best guess (and it looks like you have thought about this), set a price and see if it sells.

If you are a buyer, you have to determine if what is being asked is something you are willing to pay.

Then there are the people (like me) who consider any writing on the cover a down-grade and would only pay less because of it.

There is no easy answer and that is probably one of the reason CB doesn't have any signed issues (other than with a COA).

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