CGC Raised Their Price: How It Affects Graded Comic Book Collectors?
Like most comic collectors, you had probably just begun warming up to CGC’s prices circa April 2021. Nine months later, the tides shifted again. In January 2022, the comic grading giant rolled out fee updates for collectibles across the board, including comics, magazines, concert posters, and lobby cards.
Call it a curious case of déjà vu, but many people saw this coming from a mile away. With eight CGC graded comic books selling for more than $1 million in 2021, there’s been an increased demand for the company’s grading services. And, as Uncle Ben and Aunt May would agree, great power beckons great responsibility. Cue the need for new tech, better equipment, and more efficient operations.
Of course, all this comes with a higher price tag for graded comic book collectors. But what else does it entail?
In this post, we’ll dive into CGC’s new prices, the possible reasons behind the hike, and whether a CGC comic book grading is still worth the big bucks.
- What Do CGC’s New Prices Look Like?
First, let’s explore CGC’s January 2022 prices. Remember that CGC offers multiple comic book grading tiers depending on the age of your collectible. For example, if you want to qualify for the Modern Tier, your comic must be published after 1975.
Modern Tier (1975-present): $24 (up from $22 in April 2021)
Economy Tier (Pre-1975): $35 (up from $33 in April 2021)
Standard: $80 (up from $75 in April 2021)
Express Tier Grading: $130 (up from $120 in April 2021)
This recent price hike is quite tame compared to April 2021, with only the cost of each comic book grading tier increasing. In the last round, graded comic books collectors saw a higher markup for the Fast Track, Beholder, and Pre-Screen Reject services as well. Everything considered it’s not too bad!
But that’s not all. A few weeks before the CGC rolled out their latest fee update, they announced that all paid members at the Associate level and higher will get free access to Grader’s Notes on CGC graded comic books. Talk about being at an advantage!
- Why Did the Prices Have to Increase for the Graded Comic Books Collector?
The question is, why did CGC have to announce two price hikes in a row?
Isn’t their business thriving?
Well, it is. The global comic book market size, estimated at $8.49 billion in 2020, stood at $9.21 billion in 2021. At this point, it's expected to grow to $12.81 billion by 2028. But as more people seek CGC’s grading services, the company is seeing an unanticipated rise in demand.
Before the April 2021 hike, CGC announced that they had hired 70 new employees, purchased an additional 21,000 square feet of space, initiated comprehensive training programs, and worked thousands of hours overtime to boost capacity.
The reasons behind the January 2022 fee update are along the same lines. Once again, the CGC is investing millions in hiring, retention, and tech upgrades, among other things. All of this is intended to improve customer service and satisfaction.
Needless to say, these additional expenses must be accounted for, hence the fee updates. This is standard for any business that cares to make a decent profit.
- Should You Still Get Your Comics Graded by the CGC?
You’re probably wondering if the increased CGC prices are worth the pocket pinch. The short answer is yes. For anyone trying to build a saleable graded comic books collection, a CGC grade can make a world of difference. Here’s why.
For most graded comic books collectors, CGC is the gold standard in authenticity. There’s a social contract that allows buyers to trust CGC graded comic books, partly due to the organization's rigorous testing protocols. As a result, they usually sell for more than their raw counterparts.
Sure, you may love feeling the pages of your comics between your fingers. But constant handling will degrade them faster than you think. You don’t want to see bindery tears, yellow pages, and scratches on your expensive graded comic books collection.
In this regard, CGC’s hard plastic slab and inner good work wonder to keep your graded comic brand-new well into the future. Simply make sure the case is stored away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.
Most graded comic book collectors take great pride in their stash. It's only natural for you to display them for the world to see. But for this, it’s best if you get them slabbed first. Not only are encased comics easier to prop up on a shelf, but they’re also cool conversation starters!
The Bottom Line
In all likeliness, this will not be the last time CGC updates its fees. But remember that they’re doing this to scale operations. The more people and tech they have, the faster they can grade submissions. It’s as simple as that!
Are you looking for new CGC graded comic books for your collection? Dive into Wicked Monkey’s extensive inventory. We house premium graded comic books from multiple artists and genres, so there’s something for everybody. Contact us or check out our CGC graded comic book collection here!