Comic Book Selling
Mark Zaid (Owner of Esquire Comics) gives expert video advice on: What are the pros and cons of selling my comic books individually?; What are the pros and cons of selling my comics as a collection?; Who should I sell my comic books to? and more...
When should I sell my comic books?
You should sell your comic books when you're good and ready to sell your comic books. It all depends on why you're collecting them in the first place. Are you collecting them to collect and enjoy, or to sell? Do you want to just put your comic books in your will so someone sells them once you're dead, or does your wife want the books out of the closet because she needs to hang up her clothes? All of these factors will go into whether or not you will sell your comic books. This is an individual decision. When you have a new Fantastic Four movie come out, maybe that's a good time for you to try and sell your Fantastic Four comic books. Otherwise, you sell your comic books when you're ready. When the enjoyment has either left, or you just want to gain some extra cash.
What are the steps to selling a comic book?
Selling a comic book today is a lot easier than it used to be because of the advent of the internet. Anybody with a scanner or a digital camera can just take a picture, put it up on eBay, and voila; you're a dealer to some extent. Or, you can certainly go to conventions and buy a table and sell, there you can sell to dealers. In the Overstreet Price Guide, there are advertisements for numerous dealers that you can contact to sell your book. You can go to your local comic book store and try and sell it, you can put a classified ad, you can even go on Craigslist. In today's modern technological world, there are numerous ways in which you can sell your comic books, and now you're not restrained geographically. You put your comic book up on eBay when you're here in New Jersey, and you can sell the comic book to someone in Australia.
What are the pros and cons of selling my comic books individually?
If you decide to sell your comic books, then how you sell them and in what manner will be a major factor in determining price. If you're talking about older comic books from the platinum, golden atom and early silver age, these are the comic books, especially in high grade, that you can sell individually because they'll command a significant enough price where you can do that. If you start talking about comic books in the bronze age, copper and modern day, books in the 70s 80s and the 90s that are plentiful and everyone has retained it, these are comic books that individually you are not going to going to be able to sell, they're not going to be worth more than 25, 50 cents. The comic books might not be worth what you paid for them back in 1985. So that's when you need to group them together and sell them more in a group, as a collection.
What are the pros and cons of selling my comics as a collection?
When you determine what is the best way to sell your comic books, whether individually or as a collection, certain other factors will come into play. Obviously, if you sell your comic book collection as a collection, as an entire lot, oftentimes that means the individual comic books will be priced less than what you would sell them individually, because you are trying to gain, in a massive sale, more money coming in than trying to waste the time selling the books individually. Indeed which is the better way to go will depend on your collection and will depend on the era of the comic book collection. It will also depend on the grade of your collection and on how quickly you need the money in order to sell the comic book collection. These are all factors you need to consider, and you can do your research, or reading or talking to other dealers to get a sense of what would work best for you.
Who should I sell my comic books to?
When you decide to sell your comic books, who you sell it to is going to be an important factor in obviously the amount of money you are able to achieve for your sale. The best way to do it, of course, is to sell it yourself. That means at least you'll probably gain the most amount of money because you're cutting out the middle man. You might not be able to do that, and sometimes it's actually not the best way for you to achieve your best price. So you can certainly sell your comic book yourself or you can sell it to other dealers, you can sell it to collectors, or you can consign the comic book.
Where can I go to sell my comic books?
Nowadays, you can go to sell a comic book almost anywhere. You can sell your comic book online, on eBay, on Craig's list. Or you can go put it on an online classifieds. You can use the old traditional method of putting in a classified ad in the local newspaper. You can go to a convention and bring your comic books, you can go to your local comic book store or you can even set up a stand on your street corner if you want. You can do what I used to do in elementary school and bring your books in a knapsack and sell your comic books to the other kids. Obviously, the world is your stage in this sense of where you want to sell your comic books. And the world is interested in your comic books, and there are collectors all over the world. So you want to focus on how to best maximize your opportunities, where to sell, how to sell and when to sell your comic book.
What are the pitfalls of selling comic books?
As with any investment collectible, there is fraud within the hobby of selling comic books, whether it's perpetrated by known dealers, or just the anonymous seller on EBay. The key is understanding and educating yourself to be able to detect and identify the types of frauds, and the means by which the fraudulent activity is carried out, whether it's the sale of a restored comic book as not restored, or a second print as a first print comic book, or taking advantage of you because you don't know the true value of the comic book. It always comes down to education. Prepare yourself when you're buying or selling comic books, so that you can avoid feeling cheated at the end of the day. That's the worst part of participating in any hobby, is feeling cheated at the end of the day.
Should I sell my comic books at a convention?
One way to sell your comic books is at a convention. Now, the difficulty in doing so is in bringing your comic book to the convention. How many comic books can you bring, obviously, to the conventions, and whether or not you're going to sell to a dealer. There's two facets: Are you bringing your comic books to the show to sell to a dealer, who will pay you less than you would if you sold it yourself to another collector, or another way is you can get your own table. The costs of whatever that might be, several hundred dollars, a couple thousand dollars for the show, and then you set up a table and you sell your comic books as the dealer to those that are interested. That obviously is one way to maximize the sales.
How do I sell comic books at a convention?
There are essentially two ways in which you can sell your comic books at a convention. You can either go as just a regular patron and bring your comic books with you and try and sell them to a dealer or a collector that might be attending the show, or you can purchase a table and sell as a dealer. I mean there is no dealer community that you need an identification card to be a member of, you can just purchase a table, set it up, set your prices for your comic books and for that day you're a dealer.
What is a comic book 'consignment' sale?
A comic book consignment sale means you still retain ownership of that book. You will consign the comic book to a dealer to sell for you. There will be a percentage of that sale that the dealer will retain, anywhere from typically 7% (for myself), to as much as 25% most often. It will range, usually an auction house will be a 10-20% premium that they will assess from that comic book consignment sale.