OK, so you have read my ranting so far with what slabbing is, and how it can kind of help with the increase of value to a comic collection, but how it also removes the raw comics from the field, and makes it harder for “old school” collectors to fill in the blanks on the runs that they have.
Here is the finalized view that I have.
Slabbing in my honest opinion is little more than a way of inflating the value of comics for the secondary market.
It further gives a false sense of value to those that wish to cash in on old comics that they have in their closets, basements, and attics.
In my years of working in the comics retail side of the industry, it was not uncommon for people to come into the shop, and attempt to sell their comics for the prices that they saw listed in Wizard, or in Overstreet… all the while not realizing that they would never be able to sell the comic for the price that was listed.
The list price is what the retailer should be charging for that copy, not what you should be paid for it if selling it to a shop.
Slabbing, unfortunately leads to some would be sellers to thinking that the comics that they would sell, should sometimes cash out for hundreds of dollars… even though most retailers find themselves in a position that would not allow them to purchase comics from the public very often, let alone have the ability and extra cash to purchase something that would end up being high ticket.
This leads to 2 possible outcomes:
1. Your shop gets the reputation of not buying comics, while this is not that big of a deal, if your shop advertises that you do buy comics… people will claim that you are false advertising.
2, The prospective seller might just simply throw a fit, and raise a ruckus in the shop over how you are cheating them on the price, and you are a comics dealer that is not to be trusted.
So either way, you lose.
Slabbing has led to more instances of this than I can personally account. And to add further insult to injury, many of the comics that are graded this way, are not hardly worth the price as there are not many collectors.
For example, copies of Marvel Team Up #137, featuring Franklin Richards and Aunt May taking on Galactus (that is not a typo) has the cover price of $.60, and for the most part can be found in the $1 comics bin at most shops and/or conventions.
Where this takes a sick turn is where a copy of this comic graded at a 9.8 from CGC, has fetched up to $50.00
That is nearly 900% increase of the value.
For a book, where the main heroes are Spiderman’s Aunt and Mr. Fantastic’s Kid going up against the Consumer of Worlds… $50.
Now, $1.8M for Action Comics #1 or even Detective Comics #27, is understandable because of the characters that came about from those issues… but $50 for a comic that has been considered the biggest joke in comics history?
Not that I am judging… well… ok… I’m judging.
Given all of this, I will admit. I do own a copy of Marvel Team Up # 137.
No matter, though, I got it for $2 about 13 years ago… and I still have not slabbed it. Because I actually read it.
Slabbing to me is a racket. A way for one company to inflate the price of something that most in the mainstream of society would not bat an eye over, because comics are still considered to be for kids.
So who would care if we jack up the prices on something that if everyone wanted enough of? The will still buy it.
I mean hey… it works for the oil companies.