Comic Book Pricing
Comic Book Pricing
Mark Zaid (Owner of Esquire Comics) gives expert video advice on: Should I expect to get paid Guide prices for my comic books?; How do I set a price for my comic books?; How do I get the best sale price for my comic books? and more...
Who sets the pricing for collectible comic books?
Comic books like any hobby have prices determined by the market and by the deal to some extent. But at the end of the day what the market will bare, that will vary from day to day, week to week and month to month. Comic book characters can gain in popularity or they drop in popularity. But you can use the price guide as a guide to get the sense of general value of your comic book. You can go on to entities like EBay to gain sense in searching through comic book issues that were previously sold comic books, to whether or not to achieve the 5 dollar bill or 50 dollar bill. There is a website called gpanalysis.com which tracks sales of books that are sold by CGC through auction and private sales to give you a sense of where a particular comic book might be in the particular time frame. You can go to auction and look online at what past sales have been. At the end of the day the comics are collectible and that means it could be a volatile market. It is an industry that has not seen the down turn that has been featured in all other hobbies like stamps for example, but it is still in the history that can switch and move and get tied as time goes by. Understand where market will be on that day when deciding what price you command on that day. The price you command on day one need not be as same as day two. Because as a buyer you weren't around on that day you first offered it for sale. So again this is also influenced on how quickly as an investor you get your return. You can buy a comic book and hold it for one to three years to command a higher price, or you look to buy and sell within a weeks time . That will be influenced by where you sell, how much you buy and how much you sell and price falls back. It's on all these factors that you need to educate yourselves on to find out how to best maximize your potential in selling your comic books.
Should I expect to get paid Guide prices for my comic books?
The Overstreet Pricing Guide is just that, a guide. That doesnt mean that if you open it and it says the comic book is worth this price and this grade that that's what youre going to get. In some cases it's going to be less. For example, Silver Age comic books, especially in the mid-grade range usually will not command anywhere close to guide. It may be twenty-five to seventy-five percent of the guide price. But if youre talking about Golden Age comic books in high grade, which means there's not that many of them, theyre usually going to be selling above guide. So it all depends. The key is understanding a guide is a guide. Here's a starting price, here's a book that you can use for determining insurance value, to help you ascertain a particular value. But just use it as a means by which to initially price your comic book, but then you have to look to see, again what is the market bearing for that particular comic book, or books, or collection.
What is a comic book's 'fair market value'?
Fair market value of a comic book is also something that will vary from day to day, month to month. You can look in the Overstreet price guide to at least get a sense, but thats not necessarily the fair market value. Fair market value will be what that comic book is selling for at that particular time, and that will be influenced by who's looking in the market at that time. It will change, so you need to be able to be on top of and educate yourself to see what that fair market value is, so as to make sure you dont cheat yourself by having too low a price when the fair market value has jumped up because that particular character has now appeared in a new hit movie. But, at the same time it always ends up being what are you trying to get out of it. Are you enjoying the hobby? Do you want to see others enjoy it? You dont need to make as much money. Or are you in it only for the investment, and youre trying to maximize your potential? All of those, your interests, your desires, and your intentions will influence obviously what you set the fair market value of your comic book to be.