PGX vs CGC - background info

Discussion of all "slabbed comics" whether Valiant or not

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DawgPhan
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Post by DawgPhan »

greg wrote:A CGC graded book has three separate grades for the whole book.
A "final grader" determines who is correct, or if a completely different grade should be assigned.

If there is a big discrepancy between grades, then the notes will tell the final grader
what one grader saw that another one missed... or he can go ask them directly.

In the end, there's still going to be error. But how much error is too much?

If you're looking for perfection, comic grading won't provide any.

If you're comparing frequency to volume, you'll make a bad comparison.

Here's why... suppose PGX has graded 10,000 books and 25% of them are incorrect.
Also suppose CGC has graded 800,000 books and 1.6% of them are incorrect.

What does that give us for volumes?
PGX = 2,500 incorrect, CGC = 12,800 incorrect.

So, if you're buying a professionally graded book and you want to avoid the incorrect ones,
you might conclude that you should buy a PGX books since there are fewer errors.

That's a bad assumption... because if you want to buy a correct slab,
we should compare how many are correct.
PGX = 7,500 correct, CGC = 787,200 correct.

Now, which one should you buy?

Imagine a bag with 4 marbles, 3 of them are black and 1 is red. (The PGX bag)
Imagine a second bag with 100 marbles, 98 of them are black and 2 are red. (The CGC bag)

If you want to be "more sure" that you can pull out a black marble,
which bag should you reach into?
If you only count the red ones, then there are fewer red marbles in the first bag. 1 for PGX vs. 2 for CGC.

But it's the 98 black vs. 3 black that is much, much more important.

It really comes down to this:
If industry professionals are willing to put millions of dollars of their own inventory
into CGC slabs, while none of them will do so for PGX (despite PGX's lower prices and better slab),
then why do I need to wonder who should slab my $50 books?

It seems like the answer should be obvious...
but everyone loves an underdog... even the ones that bite.
you keep saying the same thing over and over again. I get it. I know that CGC offers the better product. I know that they are more consistent with their grading. I am just asking questions. I get the bag of marbles, or the roulette wheel that has hit red 50 times in a row. I know the differences and understand probability..

but just yesterday you pointed to pgx's census and showed something that shouldnt be happening according to probability and pointed to the number of occurances as an idication of a problem....I dont understand why the same cant be done with cgc.

so does the final grader actually grade the book for a 4th time? Do all books get the same treatment? do all graders do the resto check?

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Post by DawgPhan »

and this has nothing to do with the underdog or anything like that....you know me...I like a good conspiracy and I like to ask questions....I dont owna slabber book currently and have no plans to get one. If I did get one I would certianly be going with cgc for all my slabbing needs...

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Post by greg »

DawgPhan wrote:you keep saying the same thing over and over again. I get it. I know that CGC offers the better product. I know that they are more consistent with their grading. I am just asking questions. I get the bag of marbles, or the roulette wheel that has hit red 50 times in a row. I know the differences and understand probability..
Sorry, that previous post was more for the people who may still be wondering what the difference is. I believe some on the previous page said "thanks" for a similar post.
DawgPhan wrote:but just yesterday you pointed to pgx's census and showed something that shouldnt be happening according to probability and pointed to the number of occurances as an idication of a problem....I dont understand why the same cant be done with cgc.
It can, but the end result is still the same ratios.
Let's talk about CGC's roughly 12,800 slabs that have an error.
(But ignoring the 787,200 that are just fine would be a disservice.)
DawgPhan wrote:so does the final grader actually grade the book for a 4th time? Do all books get the same treatment? do all graders do the resto check?
The final grader is supposedly the fourth grader. I wonder if there aren't actually
two graders and the final grader is third. In my calculations, I just used three graders
because that's all I'm sure of.

At CGC, all books are received and placed into mylars with a barcode,
and then put into plain white boxes (10 at a time).
The graders get a plain white box, grade the books inside one at a time,
and send the box on down the line. After the final grader has made
the "final grade" decision, the books are put into the holders and slabs
that correspond to the barcodes. The shipping team will mail the books
from the same invoice back to the owners.

Except for the reception team that gives the books a barcode,
and the shipping team that mails the books back,
no one else knows whose book is in front of them.

(Unless it's a particularly famous book.)

At PGX, there is only one verified employee, so I would imagine he knows all about whose book is in front of him.

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Post by greg »

DawgPhan wrote:and this has nothing to do with the underdog or anything like that....you know me...I like a good conspiracy and I like to ask questions....I dont owna slabber book currently and have no plans to get one. If I did get one I would certianly be going with cgc for all my slabbing needs...
If we're looking for "good conspiracy theories" for CGC, I'll give you a few. :wink:

The only people who need to know comic books at CGC are the graders
(and restoration checkers, etc.) in the middle of the process.

The people who receive the books may just be "handling" and data entry people... it's what they do.
The people who slab the books may just be "machine operators"... it's what they do.

So, if your book is returned with the incorrect label, it's probably got nothing
to do with the people who know comic books and has everything to do
with the employees who don't know comics that well.

If your book looks like it was damaged in the slabbing process, it might have been.
The machine operators don't necessarily handle every book perfectly,
so after the grade is assigned the book could still be damaged.

If your book looks like it was damaged during shipping because it shifted inside
the holder, it probably was. Books are damaged during shipping all the time,
so unless those slabs are "anti-gravity chambers", that's always a possibility.

Plus, there's the fact that grading is subjective, and if I had to look at the same book twice two months apart,
I might not notice the exact same things, and I might not assign the exact same grade.

This is the main reason I like VALIANT books in CGC 9.6 holders. They're much cheaper,
and they "have a shot" at being just as good as a CGC 9.8 version.
(They also "have a shot" at being just as good as a CGC 9.4, but if they're cheap enough, I don't care.) :thumb:

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Post by DawgPhan »

greg wrote:
DawgPhan wrote:you keep saying the same thing over and over again. I get it. I know that CGC offers the better product. I know that they are more consistent with their grading. I am just asking questions. I get the bag of marbles, or the roulette wheel that has hit red 50 times in a row. I know the differences and understand probability..
Sorry, that previous post was more for the people who may still be wondering what the difference is. I believe some on the previous page said "thanks" for a similar post.
DawgPhan wrote:but just yesterday you pointed to pgx's census and showed something that shouldnt be happening according to probability and pointed to the number of occurances as an idication of a problem....I dont understand why the same cant be done with cgc.
It can, but the end result is still the same ratios.
Let's talk about CGC's roughly 12,800 slabs that have an error.
(But ignoring the 787,200 that are just fine would be a disservice.)
DawgPhan wrote:so does the final grader actually grade the book for a 4th time? Do all books get the same treatment? do all graders do the resto check?
The final grader is supposedly the fourth grader. I wonder if there aren't actually
two graders and the final grader is third. In my calculations, I just used three graders
because that's all I'm sure of.

At CGC, all books are received and placed into mylars with a barcode,
and then put into plain white boxes (10 at a time).
The graders get a plain white box, grade the books inside one at a time,
and send the box on down the line. After the final grader has made
the "final grade" decision, the books are put into the holders and slabs
that correspond to the barcodes. The shipping team will mail the books
from the same invoice back to the owners.

Except for the reception team that gives the books a barcode,
and the shipping team that mails the books back,
no one else knows whose book is in front of them.

(Unless it's a particularly famous book.)


At PGX, there is only one verified employee, so I would imagine he knows all about whose book is in front of him.

never seen it laid out like that before. I knew that the graders didnt know who owned which book, reportedly, but didnt know about the white boxes, mylars, and barcodes...thanks. and of course there is nothing you can do to hide the ID of some of the famous books. :thumb:

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Post by greg »

DawgPhan wrote:never seen it laid out like that before. I knew that the graders didnt know who owned which book, reportedly, but didnt know about the white boxes, mylars, and barcodes...thanks. and of course there is nothing you can do to hide the ID of some of the famous books. :thumb:
For the sake of full disclosure, there's a possibility that those boxes are actually brown.
I can't remember which color I saw them using. :oops:

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Post by DawgPhan »

greg wrote:
DawgPhan wrote:never seen it laid out like that before. I knew that the graders didnt know who owned which book, reportedly, but didnt know about the white boxes, mylars, and barcodes...thanks. and of course there is nothing you can do to hide the ID of some of the famous books. :thumb:
For the sake of full disclosure, there's a possibility that those boxes are actually brown.
I can't remember which color I saw them using. :oops:
so now it all stars to unwind...

this is just like an onion...the more you unwrap the more it stinks...

or is it like the string you tug on that unravels the sweater... :thumb:

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Post by greg »

Mmmmmkay. :hm:

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Post by Chiclo »

DawgPhan wrote:
greg wrote:
DawgPhan wrote:never seen it laid out like that before. I knew that the graders didnt know who owned which book, reportedly, but didnt know about the white boxes, mylars, and barcodes...thanks. and of course there is nothing you can do to hide the ID of some of the famous books. :thumb:
For the sake of full disclosure, there's a possibility that those boxes are actually brown.
I can't remember which color I saw them using. :oops:
so now it all stars to unwind...

this is just like an onion...the more you unwrap the more it stinks...

or is it like the string you tug on that unravels the sweater... :thumb:
AAAH! TED! My tank top has turned into some kind of woman's bra!

Image

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Post by greg »

Chiclo wrote:AAAH! TED! My tank top has turned into some kind of woman's bra!

Image
:hm: Wow, that was obscure.

Congrats! :thumb:

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Post by Chiclo »

I had to screen cap my own DVD to get that shot.

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Post by greg »

Chiclo wrote:I had to screen cap my own DVD to get that shot.
Ahhh, ok... let's brighten it up a bit.

Image




On second thought, maybe it was better when it was much darker. :P

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Post by cjmiller2213 »

greg wrote: Plus, there's the fact that grading is subjective, and if I had to look at the same book twice two months apart,
I might not notice the exact same things, and I might not assign the exact same grade.

This is the main reason I like VALIANT books in CGC 9.6 holders. They're much cheaper,
and they "have a shot" at being just as good as a CGC 9.8 version.
(They also "have a shot" at being just as good as a CGC 9.4, but if they're cheap enough, I don't care.) :thumb:
Since the start of this post (yes, I was one of the jack@sses that voted for pgx), I have learned a whole bunch of interesting factoids about grading, grading companies, and people's opinions about the entire matter. I thank you all for the lessons. The above quote pretty much sums up why I am going to keep collecting raw books. 9.8 is a statisticly generated dream developed by CGC (or PGX or CNN or whatever) that DOESN'T MATTER. I totally agree with greg - buy up the 9.6's, take one or two of them out of the case, and send them back in and try your luck. If it comes back lower, you can at least, from my understanding, send back the original 9.6 label and get it re-packaged.

Pretty sure we can all go about our business until the next noob brings this up :)

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Post by greg »

cjmiller2213 wrote:The above quote pretty much sums up why I am going to keep collecting raw books.
Sounds like a good plan, especially if you have access to books you can grade in person.

Sadly, the "raw books" on Ebay run the whole gamut of condition grades,
so it's either roll the 24-sided-dice (raw books) or the 3-sided-dice (CGC books).

I think most CGC books fit their purported grades +/- one increment.
Raw books can be almost anything, despite what the seller says.

My order of preference would be:
1) Buy in person, inspect the raw book myself
2) Buy a CGC book and know the +/- 1 increment possibility
3) Buy a raw book with a great scan and a seller with a history of accurate grading

Since the first option is rare for me, I often find myself in the "backup plan".

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Post by Dr. Solar »

At Wondercon a month ago I had 10 books I wanted to get professionally graded (my first ever slabs).

I checked out CGC and PGX. They both had booths.

After reading this thread, I am really glad I went with CGC. Now I am just anxious to get them back and see how they came out.

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Post by siren3-4 »

I wonder what the profit figures are for CGC as a company . . .

How much do you think cost is for them material wise ???

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Post by greg »

This topic has been pinned to the top of the category (April 9, 2008)

The bottom line is that I am convinced that PGX is a scam.
It's not 100% scam. If you send in your comics, they will grade
them to the best of their ability and send them back to you.
That's fine. That's what a grading company should do.

However, PGX is also working with certain sellers to overgrade many comics.
It is likely that they are receiving at least a portion of the profits
from the sale of overgraded books. Otherwise, they would eliminate
any connection they have to the sellers of those books.
http://www.justafanboy.com/PGX/

PGX provides 9.9 and 10 grades far more often than mathematically possible.
As a result, sellers of PGX 9.9 and PGX 10 books get to "claim" these top grades
while the books themselves are not likely to be in such immaculate condition,
though the sellers would have you believe a PGX 9.9 = a CGC 9.9.

A Google-search of PGX will result in many examples of suspicious activity.

The leading supporter of PGX was the StlComics website,
often allowing PGX equal voice in interviews and support on the website.
In April 2006, StlComics.com eliminated any connection to PGX.
http://forum.stlcomics.com/viewtopic.php?t=2970

None of the major auction houses for collectibles deal in PGX comics.
Major comic book dealers do not stock PGX graded books.
If the people whose life depends on the sale of comics will not accept PGX,
then it is clear that a casual comparison between PGX and CGC isn't enough.

Yes, PGX is putting your comics in a nice holder and assigning a grade.
That's a legitimate service and PGX offers that service.
However, they are also putting comics in nice holders and faking the grades
or restoration certification for their friends and/or business partners.
PGX is not 100% scam, but what percent is ok?
How many times does a crook need to commit a crime to be a crook?
The most successful scammers in the world will smile and shake your hand.
They won't announce they're scamming you.
Actions speak louder than words.

Please do not overlook this warning. Please do some research.
CGC isn't perfect either. This isn't a "pro-CGC" post.
Your comics don't have to be professionally graded at all.
Nice comic holders are available from many supply companies.

PGX won't scam you directly. They'll just keep grading books fraudulently,
and those sellers (who know exactly what they're doing) will keep selling
those PGX fraudulent books on eBay and other auction sites.
Smiling and pointing to the "professional grading".
Ensuring you they're legit sellers with legit books. They're not.
"Comic laundering" may not be a crime on the books,
but that doesn't mean it's not a crime.

Please be careful.

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Post by tarheelmarine »

greg wrote: My order of preference would be:
1) Buy in person, inspect the raw book myself
2) Buy a CGC book and know the +/- 1 increment possibility
3) Buy a raw book with a great scan and a seller with a history of accurate grading

Since the first option is rare for me, I often find myself in the "backup plan".
I think you hit on the head for CGC's existence with this preference. At least you know what you are getting with CGC.

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Post by greg »

If there was still any doubt about PGX being a scam...
http://boards.collectors-society.com/ub ... er=2379537

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Post by ZephyrWasHOT!! »

There are still sellers defending PGX to the death.

Oh well.

Look up Unity #1 Platinum 9.6.

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Post by Dr. Solar »

greg wrote:If there was still any doubt about PGX being a scam...
http://boards.collectors-society.com/ub ... er=2379537
I saw that over on the CGC board. That's crazy.

Simply crazy.
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Post by greg »

ZephyrWasHOT!! wrote:There are still sellers defending PGX to the death.

Oh well.

Look up Unity #1 Platinum 9.6.
Either:

A) They're in cahoots with PGX to "fake" the grades.

or

B) They've got legitimate books legitimately graded, but they "invested" in the slab of the scam-company.

I say it's a toss-up, flip a coin and if it's heads, don't buy the PGX book...
but if it's tails buy ice cream.

:thumb:

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Post by ZephyrWasHOT!! »

greg wrote:
ZephyrWasHOT!! wrote:There are still sellers defending PGX to the death.

Oh well.

Look up Unity #1 Platinum 9.6.
Either:

A) They're in cahoots with PGX to "fake" the grades.

or

B) They've got legitimate books legitimately graded, but they "invested" in the slab of the scam-company.

I say it's a toss-up, flip a coin and if it's heads, don't buy the PGX book...
but if it's tails buy ice cream.

:thumb:
That's exactly what I told them....and yet, I still got the "you're obsessed with CGC" accusation..... :?

Besides....GPA for 9.8 is $50....they're trying to get $89 for a PGX 9.6.

:hm:

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Post by terreth »

Thanks for rehashing all this guys and keeping the whole board up to date on this stuff.

I am not a big scale collector; I want what I want and that is it.

I own a PGX book and just bought another. I have a few more CGC'd and was about to buy another but got bought out.

All I want is the comic I'm after in good shape in a good case graded by a third party.

I am not after anything really valuable and I am not concerned with resale.

PGX does not bother me because I doubt anything I got from them is really worth corrupting. However the examples of apparent corruption in PGX past practices makes me not want to support them. I also do not like CGC having the corner on the market either.

Thanks again guys.

:D

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Post by greg »

As far as Valiant books go, PGX is probably "pretty close" on their grades,
because it "not worth it" (as you said) EXCEPT when they give Valiant books 9.9 and 10 grades.

Those PGX 9.9 and PGX 10 are probably CGC 9.8 at best, and CGC 9.4 at worst.

The 9.9 and 10's that PGX gives occur far too often,
and legitimate copies of books in those grades would
be sent to CGC if the seller really believed in the grade.

PGX 9.9 and PGX 10 are a joke... a "boost" for the submitter
to keep submitting to PGX instead of CGC.

Just be aware that PGX 9.9 and 10 are probably somewhere
between CGC 9.4 and CGC 9.8, and that it would cost to get
it reslabbed by CGC (assuming you want to) and bid accordingly.

:thumb:


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