My First CBCS Submission

I sent in a handful of books to CBCS back in September. I'm going to share my experience with that submission here.

A Surprise Victor in the Turnaround Game

Let's start with the only real negative. I sent this submission in the same day as a CGC submission. Both submissions were modern slow track. Since this was relatively early in the game for CBCS I expected that I would get their sub back weeks or months earlier than the one sent to CGC.


As you may (or may not) know CBCS had some problems with the plastic they were using for their inner wells. This absolutely blew up their turnaround times. It was so bad, CGC handily beat CBCS in getting me my books back. Both shipments arrived at their respective offices on the 9th of September. CGC got me back my books on December 7th. I got my CBCS sub back on January 15th. It didn't even go to grading until December 23rd.

Hopefully this will improve to at least parity with CGC.

Personally, I've never been one to worry too much about turnaround times. I rarely submitted for years and now that I'm doing so once again I'm doing it for my own collection (mostly) so I don't really care how long it takes. I'd rather it was quicker, but I don't have my business' working capital tied up in books so I don't really care.

On a slightly positive note, I did get a discount since my books were late. Which is nice.

Now onto some of the positives.

Communication and site features

The automated updates from CBCS on the status of the submission (even if they were spread out over months and months) and the ability to look up grader's notes for free on the site are both big positives. I've paid for grader's notes from time to time, of course, but having them available for free is huge. This is a great transparency improvement for all involved. I actually have a specific example of how this might be useful when I talk about my specific submission.


I really like the packaging. Every three books come packaged in their own individual custom, branded box. It's really nice and obviously reusing the boxes for shipping when you resell is a big bonus.




The Holders

The holders feel great. Very solid. There's also a ton of information on them. My scanner isn't great for slabs but you can see they're plastered with information.

Action Comics!


My sub

My sub went well. The one book that was a disappointment is solely my fault, so I can't even complain. It's also an excellent lesson some of the ways that CBCS' transparency can help you find interesting books.

I'm talking about the first book, the Wonder Woman. The three 1970s books are all from a pile of books I'd bought at a local shop last year. I'd already submitted the rest of the books from that purchase and for the most part they came back where I expected them to. When I put this submission together I grabbed the remainder of the books, gave them a quick once over and threw them into the sub. This means I didn't go over the Wonder Woman book as closely as I should have. Here's the (free!) grader's notes. Can you guess what I missed?

light spine wear & stress barely breaks color

tiny wear top edge front cover breaks color

light moisture waves through book

Yes, I missed the "light moisture waves through book." That issue means that the book got knocked down a bit from its apparent grade in the holder. Which means the book got a check-mark on the CBCS holder and an asterisk in the grader's notes and invoice. That check-mark indicates that the book looks better than the numerical grade.


This is cool for both collectors, who can more easily buy books that present well; and for mercenaries, who might be looking for upgrade candidates. This book, for example, would be both as it looks great in the holder and it would be a great pressing candidate.

Book Expected Grade Grade
Wonder Woman #224 9.4 9.2*
Action Comics #458 9.4+ 9.6
Action Comics #460 9.4+ 9.4
Daredevil Vol. 4 #1 9.8 9.8
Daredevil Vol. 4 #1 9.8 9.8
Daredevil Vol. 4 #1 9.8 9.8
Daredevil Vol. 4 #1 9.8 9.8

Final Thoughts

All in all my first submission was great. The turnaround time was obviously insane, but I'm used to this game taking a while at this point.

Everything else was great: the holder, label, site and free grader's notes are all competitive with (or even superior to in the case of the grader's notes) what CGC currently offers. It's really a great start for the new kids on the block and will hopefully get CGC to also improve their offerings.

Will I use them? For sure, although when and how will depend on the book and how they're doing with their turnaround times. My own collecting is tied to the CGC Registry which means I'm not going to be submitting for my own collection very often. For books that I'm looking to sell it could be a great option if their turnaround times start to beat CGC's.

One thing I'm interested in is how well CBCS books do in relation to CGC books when sold. I've got a few on eBay right now and we'll see how they do when compared to GPA results. It may make sense, for the foreseeable future, to use ComicLink, Comic Connect and Heritage where the keyword game is a little less tricky than it is on eBay.

Whatever way the sales go it's certainly a good start for the new guys and I for one am happy to see things start to get shaken up in the grading world.

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