Recently, software company Collectorz added an automatic valuing system to their Comic Collector software. This is something that had been requested by users of the software since waaaay back in 2000(ish) when the software first appeared in the market.
Personally, I’ve been using Collectorz software since 2006. It’s by far the single best comic collection cataloging software out there, and the most affordable. The desktop app in particular is hugely flexible and lets you organised and arrange your DB in any way you wish. Collectorz has their own on-line DB, the information within submitted by users, so you can simply download all the info of your comics without having to put it in manually, which is a Godsend if you’ve a large collection. Also, you can back it all up to the Collectorz cloud, so if anything happens to your files your data is still safe. It’s incredibly easy to use, intuitive and the Collectorz people are pretty snappy in replying to any feedback/ comments/ support that you need.
In short, the software is wonderful!
The reason it’s taken this long to add an auto value system (you could previously add values manually if you wished) is because Collectorz couldn’t find a partner that would allow them to share their data. I recall reading on the (now defunct) Collectorz forums that the company – rather rightly – didn’t want to spend the money or effort to maintain their own value database. Instead, they wanted to take the value info from a third party and have it feed into the Comic software. On the forum there were posts from Collectorz saying they approached a few on-line valuing sites but no arrangement could be made between the two to share data. Thus, the idea languished.
Now, website GoCollect.com has come to Collectorz and fan’s rescue. How it works is that GoCollect feeds their values into Collectorz online comic database. When you add a condition grade to your comics in your own DB and then ask the software to pull the value for you, it looks up the online database, finds a copy of your comic at the same value, and feeds that info into the value filed. All done, with just a few clicks!
It’s a wonderful, elegant solution to something that users have been wanting for literally years. However, there is a catch…
Sadly, GoCollect only reports prices for professionally graded, or “slabbed,” comics. Although I’ve been collecting for 20 odd years, I have a total of ONE slabbed comic. Of the people I’ve met through the hobby only a small handful have any slabbed comics and none actively go out of their way to collect slabbed comics superficially. Traditionally, people buy slabbed copies of their favorite or key issues, not whole runs. So even those that do collect slabbed books may not have a great deal of them. In short, I don’t know how many people this valuing system is going to work for.
To be fair to Collectorz, I’m sure they did their market research and thought that going slabbed-only was worth the effort. After all, if a whole website is dedicated to the pricing of just slabbed comics there must be a decent number of folks interested. Just in my personal experience I’ve not met any slabbed collectors.
This means that if, like me, the vast majority of your collection is not slabbed/ professionally graded, or “raw” as some refer to un-slabbed books, the values Collectorz pulls down aren’t very useful. There really isn’t even a relationship between slabbed and unslabbed values so you can’t get an idea of what a raw comics would be worth based on the slabbed value and the values vary wildly.
It’s a huge shame, because Collectorz could have enticed many more people in if their system also valued raw comics as it would be useful to so many more people. Their software is absolutely the best comic database solution available right now, so even with this caveat it’s still well worth investing in their software!
Also, it’s made me wonder what comics in my collection it might be worth slabbing… 😉