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The End of an Era.... or "You only rent comics."

Old 11-28-07, 01:58 PM
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The End of an Era.... or "You only rent comics."

Back in my heavy buying days, I had a dealer tell me "you only rent comics". That didn't make sense to me back then.

But now, I am on the verge (yes yes I've been on the verge for 3 years) of selling almost my entire 10,000 comic collection.

I think I can say I'm "that close", because I've now sold about 500 comics on ebay in the last month [that IS 5%!] (mostly American manga reprints) and have already been disappointed that a 12 issue NM+ Crisis on Infinite Earths set sold for only $6. Hope my other 9 sets do better.

I've also taken pictures of most of the comics - since if it is worth less than $10, I'm just going to sell lots. But I do have many many comics from 1940-1970 as well.

This has been a tough process, but given my age and what is happening in my life, it's time to let go. I'm rushing to try to get up another couple thousand in the next week or so for Christmas bidding.

Wish me luck.

"You only rent comics".
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Old 11-28-07, 01:59 PM
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And of course, I'm still wondering if I should slab some of these - fifty cents for Crisis #7 in NM+ condition just seems - WRONG.
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Old 11-28-07, 02:03 PM
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Comics and cards have such poor resale value as opposed to book value. I recently went through my comic collection and priced it at $7k using a popular guide. I made several posts offering it for $2k. I might have accepted $1500. I got offers ranging from well below $1k to $100. It was extremely disappointing.
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Old 11-28-07, 02:04 PM
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I think ebay has been both a blessing and a curse on comics resales: yes, you have a much wider audience to sell to, but you get crap for payment.

I have a ton I want to clear out, but there's no way I'd be happy with so little money.

$6?
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Old 11-28-07, 02:20 PM
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Book value for comics has always been overinflated. There were so many issues listed in Wizard's "hot 10" and OSPG listed for $50 + that i simply picked up at my LCS for cover.

Personally I hate the speculator market and wish it would just go away already. It has destroyed comics enough as it is.
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Old 11-28-07, 02:21 PM
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Blame it all on the late 90's boom and bust on collector items phase.

I believe that if you ever wanna see a return on these, you gotta wait a very long time untill there's a resurgence of interest in a certain era or event of comics.
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Old 11-28-07, 02:41 PM
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Well - I'm hopeful my gems sell well (Batman 10, Adventure 267, many from the 1940s and 1950s) but I'm wondering if I should slab some of the VF ones.

Batman 10 is "only" VG - F, so probably shouldn't be slabbed, based on what I read about slabbing.


... and yes - that's catering to the collector crowd, but at this point, I just want best dollar for the product, and so far, not much.
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Old 11-28-07, 02:41 PM
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It wasn't interest, it was the fact that the comics in question from the Golden/Silver age were actually rare. Modern age comics probably won't ever have any value whatsoever because there are so many copies floating around, and now everyone knows how to take care of their comics.
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Old 11-28-07, 02:41 PM
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I can buy a trade of Crisis for around $20 -- half that if I go to the used market. My trade will have better paper than your 12 issues, better printing, and better coloring. I'm not surprised you only got $6 for the series.

If you want to unload all of your comics, I would recommend making a list of everything you have and taking it around to as many shops as you can. See what they will pay for the whole collection. Then take the best offer.

If you sell piecemeal, you will be able to get a good return on a very small portion of your collection and you won't be able to move the rest. If you're willing to let people cherry-pick the good stuff, you'll be able to sell some stuff for a reasonable price on eBay, but you'll be stuck with 9,900 or so comics that nobody really wants to buy.
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Old 11-28-07, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
I can buy a trade of Crisis for around $20 -- half that if I go to the used market. My trade will have better paper than your 12 issues, better printing, and better coloring. I'm not surprised you only got $6 for the series.

If you want to unload all of your comics, I would recommend making a list of everything you have and taking it around to as many shops as you can. See what they will pay for the whole collection. Then take the best offer.

If you sell piecemeal, you will be able to get a good return on a very small portion of your collection and you won't be able to move the rest. If you're willing to let people cherry-pick the good stuff, you'll be able to sell some stuff for a reasonable price on eBay, but you'll be stuck with 9,900 or so comics that nobody really wants to buy.
I'm considering part of that idea - which is why I'm starting with lots. I got about $75 for the entire Maison Ikkoku series (80 comics) - so almost $1 each for $2.95 list price comics - and yes, I consider that GOOD. (I'm trying to be realistic.)

I have a feeling that if some of the bulk is GONE, I might actually get a BETTER offer for the collection, than one that is burdened by bulk - and get at least a small return on the bulk.
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Old 11-28-07, 03:25 PM
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I was going to ask you how you sold the manga, but it seems like you sold the original monthly issues. I've been wondering what to do with all my single issues of manga... they're all pretty much way overpriced (considering the cheap, smaller collections) AND they're flipped to read left to right, so you'll have to find a collector of such things to unload them.

I have a ton of manga and graphic novels that I want to get rid of (mostly recent stuff, and when am I ever going to go back and read Crossgen again anyway?) I'm thinking of just donating them instead of going through the hassle of listing them... do used bookstores take them?
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Old 11-28-07, 03:30 PM
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I don't think used bookstores take manga. So - are your manga "single issues" or collections?

I've done both - though admittedly the collections were Japanese language collections.

Bottom line - I just sold them as "sets" - can't say that got me best dollar, but I was at least satisfied with what I got. (sold Maison Ikkoku, Ranma, Dragonball, and Ranma in Japanese)

Now moving to Marvel, DC - probably mini-series first - seems to be no market for those either. Anyone want Aztec Ace? Bozz Chronicles? ---- didn't think so.
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Old 11-28-07, 06:44 PM
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Do you have any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Or G.I. Joe?
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Old 11-28-07, 06:55 PM
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Another option would be to offer it to a library, especially an academic library with a rare books/special collections area. Michigan State and Ohio State are two institutions that have significant comics and cartoon collections. If they decide to buy anything, you might be able to get a tax write off for it as well.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by dadaluholla
Do you have any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Or G.I. Joe?
I think I sold the GI Joe back when it was worth something. I also sold TMNT #1 back in the day (probably shouldn't have). I may have some TMNT left. Maybe some of "The Nam" as well.

I have a lot - enough that I don't even know quite all what I have anymore.
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Old 11-29-07, 01:41 AM
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I think you will find that you'll have some decent luck if you put up auctions for good chunks of certain series. Like say if you have a stretch of 89 issues of detective or something. Especially if it is a full run of a short lived series that you have the complete run of, you can get some "decent" action on eBay. Nothing spectacular, but you might get lucky.
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Old 11-29-07, 09:57 AM
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I say list everything and give us first shot!
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Old 12-05-07, 12:39 PM
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Just be sure to cherry pick the issues you want to keep for yourself.

When I was a teenager, I sold most of my entire comic collection back when you could still sell stuff for a high price at flea markets and such. I keep a minor amount but how I wish I had never done it at all...or at least only gotten rid of the stuff I didn't care about.

I still wish I could go to my closet now and pull out some of my favorite issues (of which there were hundreds) that I grew up with. Granted I am talking about comics I had since I was 5 years old and collected until 17. Those were the most special and I hate I ever got rid of them.

I got sucked into the "Dark Age" of comics in the late 80's and got burned out with all the crossovers, multiple covers, #1s, etc. and college was looming anyway.

Bah...long story short, KEEP the comics you love. Those are the ones that are worth the most.
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Old 12-05-07, 10:30 PM
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I'm looking for Miracleman and Watchmen issues... when you get your stuff together let us know. I'd be very interested in seeing what you had up for sale/trade or whatever.
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Old 12-06-07, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by True_Story1011
I'm looking for Miracleman and Watchmen issues... when you get your stuff together let us know. I'd be very interested in seeing what you had up for sale/trade or whatever.
I think I have most of both (all of at least one set of Watchmen). As always, almost everything newer than 1975 is NM - NM+ as many were read only once or not at all.

I've been slightly delayed (I wanted to get up a lot before Christmas) because we had to go to Ohio for my mother-in-laws surgery. (still in Ohio till Monday)

As for keeping some - I may keep a box or two of the one's I've had forever, but most are going to go. (Out of 30-35 longboxes)
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Old 12-06-07, 10:11 AM
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Seeker, do you have any of the Ennis/McCrea Hitman series from DC?
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Old 12-10-07, 10:58 AM
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You should definitely slap older valuable issues. While I hate what professional grading has done to the new issue market, it has its place in the older issue / eBay scene. You no longer have to argue your definition of near mint against someone else's, you have a trusted 3rd party telling you what the condition is, and I imagine that it makes things much more appealing on eBay.
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Old 12-13-07, 07:34 PM
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I agree - I've now sold two COMPLETE sets of Crisis on Infinite Earths in NM/NM+ condition - one for $ 5.99 one for $ 24.99

These are BEAUTIFUL issues probably 9.6 or 9.8 - each one - but without "grading" I get about 50 cents to $2 each for them.

Ah well, I still have 8 more sets.
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