#5644507 - 05/01/1207:11 PMQuality vs. Quantity posted by bagofleas
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Just got here
Which way do I go George? Which way do I go?
Over the last few years of CGC collecting I moved up in the overall registry point rankings pretty fast. I got all the way up to number 143 before I ran face first into the rankings wall.
There are far more registered collectors out there now than there were when I first got started so now it has become a constant struggle just to keep myself in the top 200. I generally stay in the 160 to 180 range.
I always had a desire to start getting Harvey issues but there were so many other things I was far more focused on. Once I got down to having most of the issues I wanted that were immediately available I finally got going on my Harvey collection.
What is so funny about this is that before collecting Harveys I was moving up the rankings like lightning. But since getting into the Harveys its been one step forward and two steps back. And Harveys are generally worth far more registry points in the higher grades than most of the other stuff I was collecting up to that point. Sheeesh...
With that in mind I bring up the subject of quality versus quantity. With the more modern comics it is easier to find the higher grades so the choice is easy. But with comics from the mid 60s and earlier you eventually come down to whether you want to spend more for the quality or less to get the quantity.
I will of course use Harvey sets as an example. Most of the top Harvey collectors out there seem to be willing to buy lesser grades in bulk in order to simply have larger or more complete sets and more easily acquired first place rankings. They have chosen quantity over quality in most instances.
Thats cool. I understand. Many of these 50s and 60s Harveys dont show up that often in 9.8 or even in 9.6 in a lot of cases. I can see why some would choose to collect them in this fashion.
I tend to be a die hard 9.8 kinda guy with most of what I collect. However I make exceptions down to 9.6 for a lot of the Harvey sets. I wont get them if they dont reach it no matter what the price. I have chosen to go with quality over quantity.
Collecting them the way I do takes a BOATLOAD of patience. I see numerous Harveys at slightly lower grades that I drool over but I MAKE myself wait until at least a 9.6 copy shows up before I even consider putting up bids on them. The only reason I might go for a 9.4 is for a copy of number 1 or maybe number two.
One way gets you to the top quickly. The other takes a lot longer to get there but when you do achieve that top ranking you will have far more quality in your set that you can be proud of.
Dont get me wrong. Im not saying that you cant be proud of a set that doesnt reach the top rank. ANY significant set of Harvey comics is an astounding feat of CGC collecting IMHO.
Im sure for most collectors the decision to go for quality or quantity comes down to available finances. I have had to pass up on some Harvey issues I really wanted because of price. Everyone has their comfort level when it comes to the amount you pay for a top graded beauty.
As for me I have finally achieved my first number one ranking in a Harvey set. I picked up three 9.6 copies of Caspers Ghostland recently including a number 3 and a number 5 which is pictured below. I dont know if I will remain in the top spot for any huge length of time but it feels good to get there.
Are there any older comic sets that you collect? Do you go for quality or quantity and why? Do you draw the line at a certain grade in any particular set or even at a certain number or earlier within the set?
#5644912 - 05/01/1209:43 PMRe: Quality vs. Quantity posted by bagofleas
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Loc: New York State of Mind
As I am looking at my collection and how it ranks I am looking at one question. Can I justify the money I spent on the book.
Are there 9.8's and 9.6? out there for some the silver Spider-mans I collect? The answer is yet but I would rather get a 3-4 9.0's than a single 9.6 for the same money. Some books I want to upgrade due to their importance but I am happy with my 8.5's and 9.0-9.4's.
Some books I aim for what I consider the most I want to put into the book. Recently I picked up Amazing Spider-man 11 and 12. The 11 I was satisfied with the 7.5 and the 12 I obtained my personal goal of not buying anything less than a 8.0.
I am leaning towards quality over quantity myself. I recently sold some slabs on eBay to get rid of some of the clutter and hopefully start raising enough cash to purchase another Amazing Fantasy 15 in the 5.0-5.5 range.
After ASM 1-100 I am moving on to Marvel Keys and my purchases will be fewer and further between. I still have Tales of Suspense 39 and Fantastic Four 1 on my radar.
"Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul, You've got to run like an antelope, out of control." - Phish
"My occupational hazard is my occupation's just not around." - Jimmy Buffett
#5646251 - 05/02/1212:56 PMRe: Quality vs. Quantity posted by bagofleas
Up 20 words per minute since I signed up
Loc: Chandler, AZ
I'm with you on the ranking thing- crazy how I can't even stay in the top 500 any more. Hopefully this means more and more collectors are realizing the value in CGC.
Congrats on your first (of many) number one Harvey rankings! I used to love watching those cartoons as a kid.
As far as the quality vs. quantity thing, I've gone back and forth. When I first started collecting CGC books I only wanted 8.0 and above, then that changed to 8.0 and above for keys only and all others would be strictly 9.6. Well, now as I start to collect Silver Age books in addition to Bronze Age I realize that even the cost of an 8.0 can be outside my comfort level. For instance, do I want to pay $400 for an 8.0 copy of FF# 28, or do I want to pay $200 for a 7.0 copy? My thinking is, if I see a lower graded copy that's priced right and has great eye appeal, I'm getting it...then, if a higher graded copy comes along down the road for the right price, I'll buy it and sell the lower graded copy. It's either that, or like you said I play the waiting game for that higher grade copy to come along at the right price, which may not happen for years. I'm patient, but not that patient! Owning the slightly lower graded copy allows me to enjoy the book I really want now without breaking the bank.
I'm also getting more adventureous and submitting my own books to CGC lately. Am I going to get a better grade than I hoped? A worse grade? Will it have a universal blue label? This is definitely more risky than I like to be, but it also adds a certain level of excitement so for now I'm having fun with it.
Loc: The Nexus in Texas
I'm definitely for quality over quantity, but will not hesitate to buy lower grade books when found at great prices to sell later. This is how I have funded some of my larger purchases.
I'll admit that when I first started collecting slabbed books I was caught up in the whole competitive ranking/point system and unfortunately it caused me to chase the CGC labels rather than the books themselves.
Fast forward to several years later and I find that I don't really care for the whole ranking aspect of the registry anymore as it will never be an accurate representation of how a persons books/collection stack up with he rest of the collecting world. There are just too many variables that make the rankings pointless IMHO. Many folks with CGC books simply do not use the registry (I know of plenty) and many collections are comprised of amazing raw books that may never even make it to CGC. I feel it is safe to say that most (not all) top ranking sets in the registry are only top ranking due to people being uninterested in adding their books to the registry or getting their books graded by CGC to begin with.
I view the registry as a great tool for organizing and sharing my slabbed collection online, but I wouldn't really mind if they threw the point/ranking system out entirely. I know they won't and I understand why from a fundamental business standpoint. I can't blame CGC for developing an environment that feeds the basic and natural need for most people to be competitive. Fostering competitiveness via meaningless points/ranking will drive sales and interest of CGC books up once people are hooked after picking up their first slab and adding it to the registry. I have seen several journal entries posted about how someone only wanted one particular book, but after they saw how close that one book placed them at the top of that given set they were compelled to buy more books from that set for the sake of being ranked numero uno. I have also seen people post about price to registry point ratios being a factor when making decisions on some of the books they buy. The registry is influencing some peoples buying habits and usually causing them to spend more than they intended. Good plan CGC.
I prefer my silver age minor keys (Hulk 102, Sub-Mariner 1, Batman 200, etc.) in 9.4 or better and my silver age major keys (X-Men 1, Daredevil 1 and 7, etc.) in the best grade I can afford that presents well. My motivation to collect this way is not based on how my rankings will be affected. These are just the books I love at the grades I want. To me, collecting comics is just that simple.
I agree with you. It shouldn't be just about the competitive nature that CGC has fostered through its rankings system. But I happen to be a very competitive minded guy when it comes to the things that I'm interested in so I will admit to being one of those people you referred to as sometimes getting things just to be the number one rank in a particular set.
Cant help myself.
But I'm also very careful about WHAT I get and WHEN I get it and HOW much I pay for it. I have passed up on graded comics many times due to price concerns even though it would get me closer to the top in a particular set. I may wish I could just get em all as they show up but I have to be reasonable. It urks me to no end to lose a #1 ranking on a set (like my New Mutants set) but does it really matter all that much in the long term?
That's where patience comes in. There are a few sets I'm number two or three on in the rankings that I would LOVE to get those few more issues to push me to the top, but I won't pay ridiculous prices for issues that show up just to get there.
There are many collectors on the registry with ASTONISHING sets of comics that don't have all 9.8s or 9.6s. I applaud those who do! Their love of this CGC hobby is the main reason why it has grown by leaps and bounds over the last ten years or so.
You guys make it possible for all of us CGC comic loving collectors out there to realize our dreams of top notch sets or runs of the comics we love and/or grew up with.