Graded or Ungraded:
Lets discuss collecting raw (ungraded) vs. slabbed (graded) comic books. A raw comic book is any book not encapsulated by one of the three grading companies: CGC, CBCS and PGX .This is a book you can touch, read, etc. Raw comic books are graded on their appearance as decided upon by the individual at that time. Slabbed comic books are books that have been “professionally graded” by one of the three grading companies. After being graded, they are encapsulated in an airtight plastic holder. This is also known as “impartial third party” grading. On the label located at the top, they will also list any pertinent information.
In my opinion, if you are collecting for fun, you will probably prefer raw books. If you are collecting for investment purposes, then high grade slabs will be what you want.
The upside of buying slabbed comic books is the grade never changes as long as the slab is never opened. And with a professional grade, the value is set; there is no guess work or disagreements between a seller and a buyer.
Slabbed comic books also carry a higher value so investors are more likely to purchase them over raw books. If an investor purchases a raw book, they will almost certainly send it out to be graded.
Right now I am under the impression that CBCS has not started encapsulating off-sized books like the UK Captain Britain’s from 1975. I am not here to tell you who is better, because I actually have a few of each. But there are stories you should be aware of. So make sure to do your research on all three companies before deciding which grading company to use!