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How to Sell A Comic Book Collection

Updated on May 1, 2012

You paid hard earned cash for these comics. You went and hunted these comics down with determination, sweat, blood and tears. Now, after you've held onto them for a while, you're ready to part with them.

However, how do you sell a comic book collection? What are your options? Selling a comic book collection isn't as easy as it seems, and that's why this article, which will be Part One, will teach you some basics you need to know about how to sell a comic book collection.

So before you make any mistakes, take the advice written here into consideration first. You'll need to be armed with the knowledge in this article so you don't waste your time, energy, and potentially lose major value and profits on your collection.

Know What You Have In Your Collection

The 1st to be aware of is knowing what you have. This is critical to know in selling a comic collection and for how much.

What do you have in your collection? Do you have old comic books like Golden and Silver Age comics? Do you have rare comic books like high demand key issues? The first mistake most people make is thinking comics from the 80s and 90s and up are old nor rare. They aren't.

Many of these comics aren't in demand. More people are trying to get rid of them than buy them. If you're collection consists of newer comics, also known as Modern Age Comics, you'll have very limited options in trying to sell them. You'll have a hard time trying to sell them at what you paid for them. There's a reason why they call them "Junk Comics."

Most comic auction sites won't touch comics after 1975. Some are even more selective and only let you auction Golden or Silver Age comics. Ebay is an option, but you wont get anywhere near guide value for your collection. You can try craigslist, but if you try to sell them over the market's demand, you'll be wasting a lot of time.

Truly, it's best to either hang onto them for a long time or donate them to charity. You can try a garage sale, but remember, you'll have to sell them off pretty cheap. If your collection consists mainly of Golden, Silver, or key Bronze Age comics you're going to have a lot more options when it comes to selling your collection.

What you also need to know is what grade the comics are in your collection are. I've seen people who don't know anything about grading comics try to sell a collection and get royally hosed. You will need to know the grade of your comic books in order to get the most money out of them. Miss grading your comic books can be the difference of $5 to hundreds of dollars.

It's also very important that you keep records of the comics in your collection. There's plenty of software to keep track of your comics. You'll need this list in selling your collection. Comic Collector is a very easy to use software program to keep track of your collection. You can click the link to check out what Comic Collector can do for you.

You don't need fancy software. I have my entire comic collection on an excel spreadsheet. Comic Collector and other software like it is just an option to simplify your life a tad.

Know The Comic Book Market

Okay, now we know the importance of knowing what you have in your comic collection it's also important to know the market.

Did you get the Overstreet Price Guide? You'll need it to sell a comic collection, so you can know the value of what your comics are worth. However, knowing the comic market and the trends and demands for certain books is important as well.

Why is that? It's because many of certain comic books that are currently in high demand right now are going well over guide prices. Some of these comics are:

  1. The first appearance of Thor in Journey into Mystery #83
  2. Iron Man first appearance in in Tales of Suspense #39
  3. The Avengers #4 (Captain America joins the team)
  4. Avengers #1 (1st issue of Avengers team)
  5. Iron Man #1

Many of these key issues are in extreme demand because of the movies, which give demand for certain comics a huge push, and The Overstreet Comic Book Guide can't keep up with the values of these books.

What's equally important to know about the comic market is how dealers operate. If you choose to sell to a dealer, you should know that most will buy your comics at only 30% of it's guide value. If you're selling your collection to these guys outright, you could lose a lot of money for your collection.

Also, many of the auction sites like Comiclink and Comic Connect take a percentage out of each sale, which is about 10%. It's the same concept as ebay, but with lower final value fees. Also these sites do not deal with comics after 1975. They only deal with the rare and good stuff. Not "Junk Comics."

However, you can auction off your entire comic collection at these sites, just like you can on ebay. However, ebay will give you the least amount of money back for your collection.

Know Your Goal

A key thing to realize about how to sell your comic collection is knowing what your goal is in selling them. Are you hard up for cash or do you just want to get rid of them?

If you're hard up for cash and just need the money now, you'll need to sell to a comic dealer and get completely reamed. You must realize that you will not get anywhere near the full value of your collection, but then again...beggars can't be choosers, which is how comic dealers have survived and prospered for so many years.

Or, you can try ebay as well. Remember, some in-demand comics are going well over guide even on ebay. If you have these, sell them off one at a time. Don't do a comic lot and try to sell it on ebay. You'll end up selling them well under guide.

If you just want to get rid of them, you're best bet is to seek out a comic dealer and get reamed. That's only if you don't want to spend too much time dealing with preparing to sell your collection to get the maximum value out of it.

However, if you're serious about getting the most money back when you sell a comic collection, you'll need to spend time to get the collection prepared for selling, as well as finding out the best place to sell them. I've listed some auction sites like Comiclink and Comic Connect already. There are more sites that are advertised in the Overstreet Price Guide.

You can try posting an ad on craigslist and hope a comic collector (not a dealer...anyone who buys and sells comics are in my definition: A comic dealer) will see it and contact you. However, with my experience, it's almost always blood-sucking comic dealers.

Yes, it will take a bit of time and effort, but those who are lazy or don't want to put in the time or effort in selling a collection to get the most money out of your investment, will lose big time. Anything worth of value doesn't come easy, and selling anything of value should take research and time to get the best possible price.


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