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It can be tricky to know which grade one should invest in when buying a comic book. Most folks used their budget as the yardstick but an alternative is to use what i called the Grade-Price Inflection Point (GPIP). This is the point where there is a sudden jump in the value of the comic book
Applying the GPIP to CGC 9.6
There have been some talks in the community saying how 9.6s are undervalued. They are actually talking about the grade-price inflection point. The reason for this conversation is that 9.8s seems to be running too far ahead in term of prices when compared to the 9.6s. In the past, the usual price difference between a 9.6 and 9.8 (especially for a modern) is two times. Now, it can be 3-4 times. If the gap keeps on increasing, some collectors will shift towards the 9.6 as they feel it is more value for money. This is when we will see an increase in the price for the 9.6s.
This opportunity is greatest for the Bronze age books. In this era, especially the pre 1974s, 9.8s books are hard to come by, leading to sky high prices when they are in demand. This is where the inflection point will manifest as the gap between the 9.8 and 9.6 grew to a wide margin. A recent example is Ms Marvel 1. in 2016, A 9.8 condition of that book costs between $1200 to $1400, while a 9.6 can be had for $260. To me, the gap felt too wide. This is when I start to buy in 9.6s. Currently, they are trading closer to the $400 mark as most folks are buying into this grade rather than the uber expensive 9.8s. In contrast, the 9.8s have flat lined in terms of growth.
Which grade to invest for Fantastic Four #48
Now I will apply the above to a particular book: Fantastic Four #48. I still don’t have this book and I am using my own strategy to see which grade to invest in. Below is a table listing the values of the different grades of Fantastic Four #48.
- 3.0: $230 ($70 per cgc point)
- 4.0: $340 ($80+ per cgc point)
- 5.0: $370 ($80+ per cgc point)
- 6.0: $650 ($100+ per cgc point)
- 7.0: $800 ($100+ per cgc point)
- 8.0: $1200 ($150 per cgc point)
- 9.0: $2000 (220 per cgc point)
From the above, we can see the GPIP is around the 7.0 and 8.0 range. If I am going to invest in this book, I would pay attention to 7.0 grades. When the 8.0s get out of reach, this will be the next in line to experience the jump.
Another interesting point is between 4.0 and 5.0. Between the two, I would focus on the 5.0s as the values are too close. Eventually, 5.0 will pull away as 6.0s gets more expensive.
Hope this brief note can help you when you are deciding on which grade to go for. This exercise will be especially when you are buying silver age books where the top grades are already out of sight.