Market Analysis: How to Find a CGC Graded Press Equity Candidate For Comic Books

Market Analysis: How to Find a CGC Graded Press Equity Candidate For Comic Books

I wanted to provide something of value for people who stumble on my page.  In today's comic book market is showing a rapid growth of people who prefer graded comics over ungraded comic books.  There are a few reasons for this such as accurate impartial grade is assigned to the book and slabbed books are a great way to protect and display comic books.  However pressing a book can improve the grade without it being restoration.   One way I like to make money is to buy previously CGC graded books then pressing them and resubmitting them for grading using what I call "press equity".    However not all books will bring the return equally with grade improvement.  So I wanted to provide a quick way to perform a market analysis using GPAnalysis to pick out "press equity" candidates to lower risk and provide a higher return on investment.  Please note grading is subjective and cracking a book, pressing it may even result in a lower grade depending on the defects so it is advised to purchase graders notes if the book that is being cracked and pressed is of significant value.  CGC published a video on what defects can be corrected here.

The example I am going to use is Amazing Spider-Man 101 at the time of this blog being published it recently saw a spike in value due to the speculation of a Morbius movie. An announcement this year has resulted in a reinvigoration of interest in the book which has caused increased demand.

The first characteristic of a press equity candidate I look for is a significant value difference in what I think the book is vs what I think I can improve it to be.  In my personal experience it is definitely in the realm of possibility to bump a 7.0 to an 8.0 - 8.5 even given the defects on the book (where the grader notes come in to help).  For this example I am going to just assume most people reading this are novice - advanced at pressing/cleaning so will stick using the lower value of 8.0.   

Below is a screen shot of GPAnalysis showing the sales history for ASM 101.

As you can see there is a significant price difference of about $330 between the two grades in the current market (red arrows).  Also both grades seem to be selling at a decent volume (underlined in green) of 10 sales of 7.0s and 18 of 8.0s (highest of all the grades).  So it is selling at around 1 book per month which is optimal for higher priced older books indicating this is a good sign there is demand in the market.  (on a side note going with a 7.5 to bump would not be a bad move at all either if you can afford a slightly higher buy in or if the candidates have more pressable defects but would cause a lower return,  its kind of like hedging your bet).

So finding the issue and title of a book you want to squeeze some press equity out of is the first half of the battle.  Finding the actual book you are going to do it with is the other half.  One of the nice feature I like with GPAnalysis is that you can drill down by clicking the down arrow next to the price.  Doing so will create a drop down that is populated with links to actual books in that grade you can purchase. (see image below)

What I do is go through each one and see if they have pictures.  If they do then I carefully inspect them to see if there are visible defects I think I can fix or to see if I think it should have even maybe been a higher grade before pressing.    Then I write down the cert numbers of the ones I think are the best candidates and pull the graders notes by going here to the CGC website and putting in the cert number.  Once the screen refreshes with the book there is a button to press to purchase graders notes from $5-$10 usually.  

As long as the notes don't have anything alarming that can't be fixed then I snag the books any candidates I think I can bump with a little bit of hard work.

That's all there is to it.  If you are good at pressing and have patience doing research then you should be able to pull it off  while there are still unpressed books out in the wild.  The pool of candidates is only going to get smaller over time.