I recently launched this new blog called Town’s End Comics, and its supporting social media accounts, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. My goal is to set up my large comic book collection to sell on eBay.
I’ve collected about 10,000 comic books the past four decades. Most are early 80’s, with a good mix of issues from the late 60’s, 70’s, and 90’s. I stopped actively buying books when my sons were born. Now that both sons are in college, I have to sell the collection! ((College is expensive!))
The first step was to assess my collection. That’s pretty hard. I have dozens of long comic boxes.
Back in 2010, I purchased some software specially designed for comic book collectors, Comic Collector Live, and I logged every-single-comic-book.
That took a while. Months. Imagine the family room floor with box after box full of comics. While I logged them all I made sure all were properly bagged and boarded. Most were already. Just when I thought I had everything organized, I had to move to New York City. The comic books went into storage and I didn’t mess with them again for 5 years.
After moving back to the Seattle-area and the dust settled on THAT transition, I got all of the boxes together in the garage (see image above) and finally put them into alphabetical order and I numbered the boxes. In an Excel spreadsheet, I mapped the box numbers to the comic titles. Up until then I had no way of finding a particular issue among my many comic book boxes.
The next step took time, too. I bought the most recent copy of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide from Amazon. The guide gives pricing information on each and every issue. Yes, I reviewed all of my issues against that book and logged the books that had a value of $20 or more. That left me with a list of about 450 comic books.
The problem with that book is that it’s published annually. It isn’t able to track the trending or hot comic books.
(Note: the prices of comic books fluctuates based on demand and supply and can spike radically if a key issue or character is linked to a feature film or television series. First appearances, origin stories and major plot twists can factor into prices.)
I had to find ways to track these hot comic books. While you can do your own market research on eBay, by filtering your search on “sold” listings, it’s hard to get a macro view. Luckily I have been watching a YouTube channel (ComicTom101) that is recorded in the Seattle-area, and this channel features the Comicbookinvest.com (CBSI Comics) weekly Top 10 comics list. It’s been really exciting to see one of my comics pop up on this list every once in a while.
So with a few channels of market research identified, I took my list of 450 and narrowed that down to a few dozen, which I planned to have officially graded. Graded comic books reduce the risk for buyers of comic books. Ungraded books placed for sale on eBay may or may not be the quality the seller states. Sellers may also not be experienced at grading, so what they think is Near Mint, may actually be Very Good. Having a reputable grading company’s grade on a listing usually means a higher price, but guarantied quality.
I started sending my top key issues to the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) last fall. It’s not cheap and it’s not particularly easy. I hope to have more on that in a future post on Town’s End Comics. The posts and videos going up right now are capturing my excitement (and disappointment) as the many boxes of graded comics are opened. I invite you over there to follow my journey.