Wednesday, March 09, 2011

I Hate Comiclink

Comiclink is an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of comic books and original comic book artwork. It sounds benign enough, doesn't it? What's not to like about that?

Well, I'm about to tell you. I hate Comiclink. For two reasons.

First of all, they more or less require that the comics listed on their site be CGC-graded. Maybe those are colloquially known as "slabbed" comics because they are dead and will never be read again and they may as well be lying on a slab in a morgue. Does anybody ever break the CGC seal to read the comic? Accumulating slabbed comics for the express purpose of investment is what I will dub anti-collecting. I have never owned and will never own a slabbed comic.

My second beef with Comiclink I feel even more strongly about than my first. Buyers and sellers there are anonymous to each other with Comiclink serving as the enabling intermediary. I despise that because those buyers and sellers are missing out on something wonderful. Many of you know that I sell a few comics over on ebay. Transactors on ebay are not anonymous to each other. It has been my utter pleasure to meet many fine collectors through my ebay selling, and I wouldn't enjoy the experience as much any other way. Phooey and ptooey to Comiclink.

In next week's Hayfamzone Blog post, one of my ebay acquaintances will share a story with you that I found very interesting when he told it to me. Hooray for ebay being non-anonymous or you and I would never have heard his fun story!

P.S. You might also like to read "Everybody Hates Comiclink?" right over here.

23 Comments:

At 10:54 AM, Blogger BeerbohmRL@gmail.com said...

Hi Brian, I liked your column this week. The fanzine rememberances, am going to get a copy of Dave M's GN, the CGC comments are poignant as i feel strongly CGC & ilk are damaging are fine hobby

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger nunyamfb said...

Things to dislike about Comiclink:
1) You can't contact the seller to inquire about the condition of the CGC case. Would be nice to know if the book needs to be reslabbed. Case condition should be added to pre-filled info.
2) The Comiclink sticker they put on the back of the CGC case is ridiculous! I can't believe they put a sticker on a CGC book that never belonged to them in the first place. I already know I am buying the book from ComicLink and they still feel the need to advertise, to me, on my item.
I work for a plumbing company and wonder what the reaction would be from a customer if they paid me to install a brand new kitchen faucet and when I was done I slapped a company sticker on it.
The stupid sticker doesn't come off easily so if you're having problems try this. Use a hair dryer to heat up the stupid sticker, slowly peal it off then any residue left from the stupid sticker can be taken off with a Goo Gone Pen.

 
At 5:05 PM, Blogger nunyamfb said...

Things to dislike about Comiclink:
1) You can't contact the seller to inquire about the condition of the CGC case. Would be nice to know if the book needs to be reslabbed. Case condition should be added to pre-filled info.
2) The Comiclink sticker they put on the back of the CGC case is ridiculous! I can't believe they put a sticker on a CGC book that never belonged to them in the first place. I already know I am buying the book from ComicLink and they still feel the need to advertise, to me, on my item.
I work for a plumbing company and wonder what the reaction would be from a customer if they paid me to install a brand new kitchen faucet and when I was done I slapped a company sticker on it.
The stupid sticker doesn't come off easily so if you're having problems try this. Use a hair dryer to heat up the stupid sticker, slowly peal it off then any residue left from the stupid sticker can be taken off with a Goo Gone Pen.

 
At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes, dissing CGC with the old what i collect is awesome and what you collect sucks technique. Classy.

FYI people do crack the books out. And most who leave them in are not doing it for investment reasons. A comic does not have to be read to be loved and appreciated. It can be a memory it sparks or a deep appreciation for the cover art.

I wont even go into how much CGC protects buyers from would be scammers who trim and color touch expensive comics.

Next time you break out that broad brush, paint a clue.

 
At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS. I also do not like comiclink. lol

 
At 6:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been on both sides of this issue, and came to a simple solution for me at least. Comic books or any item that have survived in remarkable condition should be preserved if it has value to someone...the best of everything is always showcased one way or the other " even human beings.. so if a comic must be " slabbed" for that sake so be it there are tons of low grade copies for any one who wants one that bad..and oh ya..there is some crazy money being tossed around for those should be in the morgue " slabbed beauties...the marvel man.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Silverstorm said...

There is no real perfect solution. Buying the unslabbed higher cost issues is risky. That is why I only buy high grade books slabbed or from dealers I have used for many years. Sorry but repairs and clolor touch can be hard to find and trimming worse. I don't carry black lights and magnifiers on me and EBay books are not a good solution. I have tons of bad experience there on over graded poorly scanned items.

 
At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll jump on the CGC bandwagon but get behind the author. I buy trade paperbacks to read the stories so I don't damage the comics books. I use CGC not for investment but for protection. The original comic encased for display and storage is ideal for preservation! Would you want somebody walking into your house with muddy shoes? But houses were meant to be walked in? See where this argument is going?

 
At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I AGREE COMPLETELY.

COMIC LINK SUCKS!

MOST OF THE CGC BOOKS I HAVE PURCHASED FROM THEM COME WITH SCRATCHED UP COVERS (TO THE CGC CASES) CRACKS AND CHIPS.

OF COURSE, NONE OF THIS IS EVER MENTIONED IN THE DESSCRIPTIONS.

THEIR "CUSTOMER SERVICE" IS PRACTICALLY NON-EXISTENT.

LOOK ELSEWHERE.

 
At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I opened up a slapped unrestored 9.6 Hulk 181, and guess what? It had restoration work. CGC refused to do anything about it, because I could not prove the comic I removed from the slab was the actual comic inside the slab. I lost about $4,000, so my advice is to never remove a comic from a slab, because you never know what you may find inside.

 
At 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree!!!! Comics should be read and cherished. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation remains that they are a fantastic investment. With only 77 known graded CGC universal copies of Batman #1 in the world, it makes for an investment to keep . Its a part of history preserved! Another point, I bought a "raw" showcase #30 in a 7.0 which turned out to be a CGC 4.5. I was taken to the cleaners by a very reputable ebay "liar" comic dealer.

 
At 8:22 PM, Blogger Steve M said...

ComicLink is no different from other dedicated comic auction houses in reference to selling only "slabbed" books. The buyer who is investing a lot of money should get the grade they desire and make sure there is no restoration. Buying a slabbed book ensures this is the case. This is a good thing. In the past NM could mean NM or fine depending on the sellers opinion of what NM was. The other issue the blogger listed shouldn't be a negative either. Customers having no contact with each other means no shill bidding or other fraudulent activities seen on eBay. This blogger is complaining about things that most people would consider positives rather than negatives. If you don't want slabbed, buy raw on eBay for a discount.Just hope the listed grade is accurate & that it isn't restored.

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't buy things off of Ebay to form a relationship with the seller. Kudos to you for having done so, but all I care about is getting what I want to buy. The relationship we have extends to the point that they take my money, I get my merchandise and we leave one another feedback.

Like others, I've gotten screwed buying "raw" books that turn out to be less than actually claimed value. I simply will not buy an older ungraded book any longer. I have never had any issues with Comiclink in the 2 years I've been buying from them,

But to each their own. And yeah, cracking a slabbed book out and then getting mad at CGC is just asinine....they're correct: Once it's out of the slab they have NO way to prove the book is the one you say you took out.

 
At 7:04 PM, Blogger Peter George said...

In my humble opinion I believe , Mr anonymous missed the point of Hayfamzone's Blog totally, Let me try to make it a bit Clearer.
First, Locking up and Comic in a bullet proof Plastic armored case . Is just sad. You look at the comic through this plastic and sigh to the Gods, As you cannot read it touch it. Admire it, the way A great Comic should be.

But you can make money on it... sure, you can. Why not buy and sell, things like plumbing to make money... leave the comics, be free to be enjoyed... I agree with Brian Hayes on so many levels... Nuff said.

 
At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

comic link are a bunch of crooks

 
At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter george...you must eat a lot of granola, hug trees, and use a bong. Cgc provides a service to collectors. It does not provide a service to people who I want to read comics for the aesthetic. Thats like someone getting mad at a stamp collector for saving them rather than mailing them ...like getting mad at a card collector because they put them in plexi glass. Getting mad at grandpa for not wanting to take you on a ride in the nice cadi...getting mad at grandma for putting plastic covers on her furniture...get the idea? They are sealed because of crooks and frauds who scheme to take advantage of people. Get over it.

 
At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CGCs name says it all. Certified Guarranty Company. As long as you leave the comic in the case, they stand by the grading. Slabbed comics in comparison to plastic bag cardboard backing... no comparison. Grading has come along way. The trend of plastic covers and backings is for modern age books. If you're looking to read silver age or golden age comics, buy volumes of the reprints. If you need the feel, touch and smell, then get a few beaters and get your fill. I personally would NEVER buy anything online that someone claims is 7.0 grade or higher That's not slabbed because most people want to think and wish what they have is better than what they actually got. I don't even pay full price for a comic from a comic book shop because there's no guarrantee they grade good. Slabbing is the future for silver age sms older.... adapt or get a new hobby. Or don't collect for resell sakes. Nuff said! :)

 
At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CGC is not the bad guy. Like others have said on this thread there are many ways to read the issues you love: reprints, low grade copies, and even digital now! I interviewed Axel Alonso about digital evolution and he said there are books he will want the originals , books he'll want the omnibuses of, ones he will have the trades and comics he'll read digitally. I foresee a day where comics aren't printed anymore and are all digital making physical comics a genuine antique.

Now, as for CGC, all I can say is I wish they were around when I was buying comics as a kid in the 80's. Instead of blowing my money I earned on my paper route I invested in my passion. Old comics. How was I to know I would be swindled by don artist dealers who never disclosed restoration. Years later I find that most of my keys I purchased as a 12-13 year old and I'm talking all the keys) and the ones my dad bought me as a gift are almost all restored in some way or other. Color touch, glue, pieces added, new staples, even married covers! Now I'm not fully without blame. Buyer beware. But I thought I was educated enough in grading. I was to trusting in people but that dead slabbed comic has more honesty than a scumbag comic book dealer - which is most of the industry.

 
At 8:57 AM, Anonymous al kapustar said...

I just got screwed on one of their auctions.I had a high bid and in my auction center it said I won the book.The next day I go back to the site and it informs me I lost the book and they had me listed for a lower bid then my winning bid and gave the book to someone else.So beware,don't trust their auctions.

 
At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think most of the comment bashing Comic Link is full of baloney. I have dealt with them buying slabbed books for years building up my Timely Marvel Collection. I have never had an issue with them and they have always been honorable in their dealings with me.

What I like about Comiclink is you have the ability to bid and win WITHOUT someone clicking buttons to BUILD UP the price like COMIC CONNECT does with extension after extension simply to drive up the price to ridiculous levels that
normally would not be reached.

I would rather buy a slabbed book knowing someone checked it for restoration (cover cleaning, added pieces, trimming, tear seals etc) than pay big prices and get screwed keeping the book for years and never knowing until you get ready to part with it.

The bottom line is no one has to use Comic Link, Heritage, Comic Connect or any other site. And by the way, I have bought some NON-CGC issues off of Comic Link many times. It is what one is comfortable with.

A Comic Collector of 50 years,

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger Kim Holder said...

I buy low grade comic books to read.. I rather have a slab cgc high grade comic book in my collection. It's the buying and selling that's changing how we look at comics today. I seen a lot of retored books.. right now the price on retored books are going up... people will buy Amazing Fantasy 15 restored or not. Sellers will grade their book high.. What you thing maybe a 7.0 may be a 4.5 to a buyer..Don't bash Comiklink because you dont agree with their not accepting your non cgc comic books. Just go some where else...

 
At 4:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, I love collecting comic books slabbed or unslabbed. I've been buying comic books since 1975. The thing I hate about collecting is the same thing I hated in 1975. Grading!! CGC isn't completely consistent either. I often wonder who graded this book vs. that book. One thing for sure though CGC is far more consistent than sellers of unslabbed books. I've met dealers that buy a book at 6.5 and sell it as an 8.0 The entire industry is crazy. I don't blame any online auction site for only dealing with CGC slabbed books. It's the only way they can sell a lot of books, make their commissions and not deal with all the freaks in the comic industry. I'm a fantastic grader, the best I've ever seen. lol and I'm not alone in feeling this way. I love my fellow collectors and feel they all need to be treated fairly with an unbiased opinion of their comics. Fortunately for all of us CGC came along and provided that service. Unfortunately not all of CGC graders are as good and unbiased as I am. I really feel their big clients (dealers who provide many comics for grading) get a better grade on average if they own them. In other words CGC isn't as unbiased as they say for a third party grader. I really wish it were different out there but it's a crazy industry with a lot of crazy people in it. I wish I could trust everyone who pretends to be a professional but I can't. My fellow collectors are insane!! My favorite dealers are insane!! You're all insane!! I only feel this way because I've been collecting since 1975 and I know the industry inside and out.

 
At 3:19 AM, Blogger Matthew Langley said...

Brian your a dufus...

 

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