Grading and General FAQs

What grading expertise does Hero Grader have?

Hero Grader’s founder, Jeff, has been in the hobby for over 40 years. not only as a collector and
enthusiast, but also a successful retail comic store owner, and most recently a comic convention promoter and operator.

Jeff and the rest of the Hero Grader staff, all of whom have significant experience grading, cleaning, pressing, buying, and selling comics, have a track record of providing accurate, fair, and comprehensive grade assessments.

Hero Grader came into being in no small part because many of Jeff’s customers would ask him and his staff to grade their books prior to submitting to the big grading companies.

Customers always received an opinion that was consistent with the grades they got back. In many cases, customers preferred Jeff and crew’s grading, given their honesty and transparency. Encouraged by the support, they decided to start Hero Grader, whereby that same dependable service can be offered to a larger audience.

What grading scale do you use?

Hero Grader uses a twenty-seven (27) point grading scale, similar to scales adopted by other industry
participants and generally based upon standards found in The Overstreet Guide to Grading Comics. While we try to adhere as closely as possible to Overstreet guidelines our scale does deviate slightly. Please refer to the “Grading Standards” link in the footer for more information.

Do you use blue, purple, green, or other colored labels to differentiate categories?

Hero Grader’s approach is to keep things simple, and we therefore use only two grading categories:
“Standard” (general) and “Altered.” Standard graded books do not contain any qualifying attributes, while Altered books may contain restoration, conservation, or other modifications. Please refer to the “Grading Standards” link in the footer for more information.

Why is there a $5,000 maximum declared value on each book?

Handling any collectible is not without risk, especially vintage comics and magazines. While damage is rare, it can happen, and we want to set realistic risk limits for both ourselves and our customers. Although our current limit is $5,000 per book, additional declared value tiers may be added in the future.

Are all books the same cost to grade?

Yes! All books of the same grading tier are the same cost to grade, regardless of age or declared value.

Is your envelopement tamper-proof?

Our archival safe Mylar envelopment is tamper evident, not tamper proof. We have designed our packaging to help detect if someone has attempted to remove the comic from the Mylar after it has been graded and sealed by Hero Grader.

Are my books better preserved in Mylar rather than hard plastic slabs?

There is very strong evidence that they are. Paper conservators believe that the moisture
contained within paper contributes to acid hydrolysis and paper deterioration. In a closed, airtight environment, the paper retains the acidic degradation products, which accelerate aging.

Deterioration cannot be prevented by simply encasing a book in an air-tight plastic shell, without proper deacidification and environmental storage steps to go along with it. This is something the slab companies will not tell you. Encasement may actually be detrimental to the book’s health, as it may be difficult to determine the rate of deterioration within the casing, thereby delaying the intervention of conservation steps to mitigate.

Are scans of the book included for free?

Yes. We capture front and back cover scans of every book we grade. These scans are available to
anyone and can be accessed by searching the book’s serial number on our website.

Do you check for restoration?

Yes. We carefully examine each book and note signs of restoration or alteration. Please refer to the “Grading Standards” link in the footer for more information on how we note restoration, conservation, and other qualifications.

How is restoration noted?

Restoration is captured under the "Altered" category and is noted on out label. The label will also show one or more abbreviations that specify which alterations we identified.

Can I drop off and pick up my books in person at Hero Grader?

Yes. We accommodate drop-off’s and pickups at our Fort Myers, Florida location, by appointment only. Please give us a call or send us an email to schedule an appointment

Do you verify signatures?

No. Hero Grader can only verify
signatures physically witnessed by Hero Grader. This includes books
carrying certificates of authenticity and books graded by other companies.

Do you grade treasury edition books?

Yes. We grade Treasury sized books up to 11" X 14 1/2".

How do I submit books to Hero Grader?

Simply fill out the Submission Form on our website and follow the instructions. Add pressing services to any book if needed. You MUST include a printed copy of the completed Submission Form with your books.

Are dealer accounts available?

Yes. Please refer to the "Dealer info" link on the page footer.

Will you remove books from CGC, CBCS and other plastic cases?

No. Comics and magazines must be removed from CGC, CBCS, or other hard plastic encasements before being submitted for grading. Books received in hard plastic carriers will be returned to the customer.

How do I verify a Hero Grader book?

Verification information can be found on our website. Follow the label’s QR code to the search bar and enter the book's unique serial number.

Can comics and magazines be submitted together?

Yes. All three tiers (comics, magazines, treasuries) can be submitted on the same invoice and shipped in the same package.

Do you offer an express service?

No. We don't believe that any company should get paid more to do their job in a timely manner.

How can I find the status of my submission?

Once we receive your books, they will be entered into our tracking system. You can look up the current status of your books by clicking the "Order Status" link and entering the email address and invoice number for the shipment you're trying to find.

Payment and Shipping FAQs

How will I be billed?

You will receive an email invoice when your order is placed. We will not proceed with grading and/or pressing until the invoice has been paid in full, as per our Terms and Conditions.

What payment methods are accepted?

You can pay with most major credit cards or Paypal.

Do you ship internationally?

We currently only ship to addresses
within the United States. We expect to offer international shipping
in early 2024.

Will my books be insured during shipping?

Shipping insurance is not required but strongly encouraged. Any shipping insurance fees are the sole responsibility of the customer.