101 Tips in Selling Your Comic Book Collection
Hello, comic book family, do you own a comic book collection? Are you looking forward to selling a comic book collection? Don’t worry, Dylan Universe Comics has got you covered with our 101 Tips for Selling Your Comic Book Collection. Don’t worry; if you own a single comic book or an entire comic book collection, this is the guide for you. It will guide you to take your best decision regarding your precious comic book or your hard-earned comic book collection.
We understand how it feels to be giving up your precious comic book collection. After all, you have most likely spent research time collecting your desired comic books. Giving them up may be an emotional separation for you. After all, you’ve probably spent countless hours absorbed in the stories of your favorite comics and assembling your favorites. But if you are here, searching for ways to sell your precious comic books or comic book collection, it means you have been thinking about or have made up your mind about selling some of them, or all. And why not? They are potential investments these days. So, if selling your comic books is important, then it is also very important to do it the right way without being scammed. Right?
Selling a comic book collection means finding a good home for it and making sure they are in good hands. For a lot of collectors, it is heartwarming to know that their comic books are being loved and cherished by other enthusiasts. Of course, but it is vitally important that you get a good price for your collection and your efforts.
To help you out to navigate the process, we will give you an overview of the best tips along with the challenges you might face when selling your collection. This guide will hold your hand every step of the way, while selling your comic books. It serves as a guide to everything you need to know. The best practice to get the most out of your comic book collection is to completely and thoroughly read and understand all the points in this guide which is divided into two parts:
Selling your comic books to a dealer
Selling your comic books by yourself
Technically, you are selling your comic books yourself to the dealer but a dealer may be involved. Without further ado, here are the 101 tips for selling your precious comics or collection, starting with the order of the material.
Selling your Comic Books to a Dealer
- Arrange all your comic books
- What is the condition of my comic books?
- Break your comics into 2 groups
- Hire a professional appraiser to grade your comic books
- Separate them by issue or volume number
- The truth about issue #1 of comic books
- Make a list
- Online spreadsheets
- Get advice
- How much?
- Think about storage and costs!
- Own an Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide
- Online price guides
- Types of buyers
- Set realistic prices
- Consider shipping fees
- Consider postage and storage fees
- Take photos
- Sell your comics all together if possible
- Sell your comic books in bulk
- Sell offline
- Sell to a physical store
- Sell to comic book dealers
- Sell at a comic convention
- When the deal is too good?
- Handling your comic books with care
- Start with a great book in your collection
- Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
- Create jobs
- Be flexible
- Have realistic expectations
Separate the comic books by publisher
- Separate by country (non-USA)
- Separate by date of publication
- Know whether your comic books are original or restored
- Separate your inventory by condition
- Distinguish comic books by value
- Group by storyline
- Hire a 3rd party grading service to grade all your comic books
- Separate your comic books by genre
- Separate the comic books by flat prices
- Research extensively
- Understand what really sells
- Where is your market?
- Understand overnight trends
- Make your prices sold list
- Research payment methods
- Have personalized discounts
- Make a deal
- Offline or online?
- Include detailed descriptions
- Sell comic books in small groups
- Sell at an auction house
- Sell at neighborhood events
- Sell at an estate sale
- Sell at a garage/yards sale
- Sell on local classified sites
- Meet up
- Sell online
- Sell on comic book channels
- Sell on Amazon (to people who read)
- Sell on eBay
- Auction sites
- Sell on online forums
- Sell using an escrow services or a broker
- Imagine hosting sites
- Delivery options
- Pack like a pro
- Know your comic books like a pro
- Make use of social media
- Tell your family and friends
- Good communication
- Develop a strong reputation
- Attend comic-related events
- Use hardcopy advertising materials
- Stellar customer service
- Cultivate relevant skills
- Golden mindset
- Check-in with your customers
- Start small
- Handling tough customers
- Seasonal selling tactics
- Who will you be?
- What’s in a name?
- Advertising methods
- Start a website?
- Identify the competitors (and burn them)
- Have a business plan
- Price strategy
- Explore new worlds
- Heirloom option
- Learning how to make money by selling comic books FAST!
Keep your precious comic books ready for their new homes. Let’s dive right it:
SELLING TO A DEALER
1. Arrange all your comic books
The first step in selling your comic books is to arrange all that you have. Find all the comic books in your collection you want to sell and start sorting them. We recommend doing it by age. So, when you plan on selling your comic book(s), gather them in one place. It’s completely fine if you don’t know their age or have them stacked in one place in no particular order. The best practice is to take some time and start arranging your comics by organizing them in groups. If you have someone about to look at the collection, do not organize it because they will likely organize it completely differently than you.
Creating a list is not always the best way to go about arranging comic books because time is money. Sellers often spend the most time typing up a list of the ones that have almost no value! Give an expert a call to check out your collection first so you don’t waste your time.
2. What’s the Condition of my Comics?
Most comic collectors take good care of their collections. However, only slight damage or creases can have an impact on price. It’s important to be clear with buyers about the condition of your comics.
Usually, sellers claim their comic books are in “mint” condition. However, a lack of knowledge plays a crucial role in these claims. In most cases, these claims are false.
Comics books are generally graded, using the 10-point scale; in simpler words, a number system. Books in near mint condition are assigned a 9.4 grade or higher. A near-mint book is in perfect condition at first glance as it will have no flaws, creases, tears, rips, or stains. There can be a few spine ticks, but that’s it. Only a comic book expert can recognize a comic book in mint or near mint condition; but for the general audience, they look as good as new.
If your comic is from the 80s or later, it has a higher chance of earning a near-mint grade compared to earlier ones. The comic book in the picture is in ROUGH shape.
Always remember that it is very unlikely that the price of your comic book is the same as the price you have found online. There are a lot of factors that determine the price of a comic book. One of the best practices is not to use the price you found online. It is very likely that your comic book is of a very low grade if it is from the early 1940s such as the one in the picture.
On average, a comic book from the 1950s or the 1960s usually has a Very Good (VG) or Fine (FN) grade, which is considered as 5.0 on a 10-point scale. These comic books usually have an FN grade due to one major defect such as Marvel chipping, subscription creasing, a piece out or tear. Here is a video that will help you understand, Subscription Crease and Marvel Chipping. Kindly Click on the video below:
What is Marvel chipping?
Marvel chipping is a bindery (trimming/cutting) defect or the result of a series of chips and tears at the upper, lower or right edges of the cover. Chipping is caused when the cutting blade of an industrial paper trimmer becomes dull. Some comic grading experts blame poor paper quality too.
What is subscription creasing?
Subscription creasing occurs when your comic book is mailed bent in half so it can fit more compactly in order to save money. Every now and then, we see comic books in their average grade for the related time frame, but it is not the final assessment. The comic book can have a much higher grader or even a much worse grade than the anticipated one.
Here are some important indications that will impact the grade of your comic book:
They are very likely to be in a good condition if they were stored in a plastic protective case or cardboard in a moderately dry environment with cool crisp air and a temperature with low to no fluctuation. In addition, they will not have been read much.
They are likely to have a rough condition if they were not stored in plastic or protective cardboard in a moderately wet environment, hot air, and in a temperature that fluctuates a lot. Something worth considering are pests (watch out for rats, termites, moths and silverfish) nearby.
It is very important to accurately grade your comic books. If you over-grade your comic books, it is very likely that they will not sell. If you under grade them, well, it is money left on the table. (In such cases, it is better to sell them to a dealer because they know how to properly grade your comic book(s) and give you a good price).
3. Break your comics in two groups.
A lot of comic book collections include loads of very cheap comics and only a few expensive comic books. Certain flea market vendors love buying long boxes of comics that they can put out retail for $1 or $2 each. Different people need different comics. Some people sell their best comics to us and then unload the rest in a bulk deal with a flea market vendor, or they have a garage sale with the remaining comics.
There is one thing we all can agree on: not all comics are made equal. There are a lot of factors that play an important role in determining your comic book’s true worth. Age, condition, first appearance, and crossovers are the key factors when it comes to pricing and demand. Generally, comic book buyers are divided into two categories: collectors and readers. Older comic books that are in a much nicer condition are more likely to be collectibles.
Dividing your comic book into two parts allows you to tackle both collectors and readers at the same time while helping you earn good profits.
4. Hire a professional appraiser for Grading
Hiring a professional grade is a good technique to determine the true worth of your collection, and sometimes getting your comic book appraised only adds value to your collection. First, you’ll have to pay the appraiser, which is not a very cost-efficient way to do it.
We recommend when you have a comic book collection that has a 5 figure or greater value, it would be best to get your collection appraised. To be honest, there is a high chance that such collections will take time. But it can be a smart move mainly because you don’t want to leave money on the table by selling at a low cost, and for insurance purposes as well.
Like all the markets in the world, the comic book market is notorious for the number of scammers roaming around. Even insurance companies insist that you get your comic book(s) appraised. Some companies even offer a significant discount if you get your comic book(s) appraised by a professional.
However, If you are planning on selling your collection, paying for a professional appraiser is actually a bad choice because the appraiser needs a vested interest in the collection.
Always remember, “A comic book is only worth what someone is willing to pay.”
Most people not affiliated with the market get their comic books appraised. There is one thing worth considering here: the comic book market is a fluctuating market. The prices are always shifting. Trends emerge, a show is released, the demand for a comic book is increased, and so does its price.
The cherry on top of this is that there are a lot of price guides on the market that have not been updated as they should after a price change. These price guides have messed up prices mainly because they aren’t usually upgraded as the teams behind them are relatively small and overwhelmed.
But what if I tell you that you can get your comic book(s) appraised for absolutely FREE by Dylan Universe Comics? Click on the link below to get your comic book(s) appraised for FREE.
Interesting? Well, you can also sell your comic books directly to us at a good price to save yourself from the hassle. It is both easy and fun.
5. Separate by issue or volume number.
You might be wondering about the difference between an issue and a volume number? A volume number is an anthology that the publication has been circulated, while an issue number is a subset of that volume.
Most newspapers make one volume each year, and the issue would be the paper that came out that day. Many collectors don’t even ask for the volume; they speak as if it was a given, which can cause a lot of problems and a major inconvenience. In most cases, it is a matter of even returns. Grouping your comics by era will save you from such problems and frustrated customers who wanted Volume 2, not Volume 1.
Most commonly, in an issue from the 1990s and later of both Marvel and DC, most issues continued upward even though they were part of the next volume. For example, Amazing Spider-Man #700 is actually part of volume #2, not #1. However, in such cases, the volume is not of note because the issue is quite findable. Therefore, the volume serves no purpose to either the buyer or the seller.
“The more information you provide the more you can maximize the price you will receive.”
6. Truth about issue #1 of comic books.
Issue #1 is the first issue of an original run of a comic book or comic book series. They are sometimes worth a lot if they are older (the 1930s-1960s) because they often feature the first appearances of a lot of famous characters such as Superman, Spiderman, and Batman, etc.
So, if you plan to sell an early first issue you own, just know that it can be worth a lot of money.
However, comic books from the 1970s to the present day as #1 are not worth a lot of money. Mainly it is because many publishers rolled out so many #1 issue of characters to fill out the collector craze. These print runs are so damn large, making them insanely common.
7. Make a List
Once you have finished sorting out your comic books, the next step is to make a list of all the books you own. Sometimes, if you own a huge collection, it becomes near impossible to look at each comic book one by one as it can waste a lot of time. It can be hard to look through a huge pile of books, but it can be compensated for with a small listicle. Despite the time put into a list, especially if you own a lot of comic books,it is a wise policy to invest your time in compiling.
If you feel like you cannot compile them or it is a lot of work, you can straight up hire a professional typist, who will compile your collection at an exceptional speed and much sooner than you can anticipate.
8. Online Spreadsheets
What we recommend while creating a list of your collection is to use online spreadsheets. These spreadsheets are much easier to send to dealers or buyers compared to manual listicles. Hard copies are much more fragile compared to soft copies. Manual lists are risky as they can be subject to wear and tear, misplacement, or even water damage.
It is always better to evolve; and with the digital channels, listing your collection in a Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheet has a lot of benefits. Listing in online media will help you in the following ways:
Easy to edit. You can easily remove the sold books out of the listing or add newer ones.
Safer than print media.
Easy to read.
Serves the online market well as they may need lists to select books they need.
Tip: Remember to always list your books in different columns to give your list a must cleaner and easy-to-read look. Always list your books like the listing shown above: in separate groups such as publisher, genre, issue number, etc.
9. Get Advice
If you are a newbie or know how to sell your comic books, it is the best practice to seek help. Sometimes the internet may not be able to answer all your questions or there is a high chance that you find false answers. So, do proper backlinking and make your research credible. Always make a few calls, send emails or messages, contact resources, and just be sure that whatever you have read is credible and reliable information.
A lot of companies offer good counseling to all those seeking it. These services can really help you get the most out of your comic books. Usually, there are a lot of grading companies, comic booksellers, and comic book stores offering such sort of services.
10. How much?
Never under or overvalue your comic books. Overvalued comic books repel customers and potential buyers because no one wants to pay extra, and there are a lot of options on the market. Besides overvaluing, it is also good not to undervalue your comic books. You don’t want to leave money on the table. Undervaluing can attract customers; but in my opinion, you are mistreating your precious comic book(s). For buyers, buying undervalued comic books is a totally unfair endeavor.
Now the question arises, how not to undervalue or overvalue your comic books? Well, the pricing of most comic books can be easily found on a lot of different websites such as Amazon, eBay, and several other comic book price guides. You can easily compare the pricing of your comic book(s) from these channels or at least get an estimate.
You can easily check the prices or get offers from other comic book companies that trade in comic books such as Dylan Universe Comics.
11. Think About Storage & Costs!
One of the most important parts of keeping your comic books is to store them under optimal conditions. You don’t want to risk losing the grade of the comic book. To store your comic books in top condition mainly depends upon how you store them. You can keep your comic books in optimal condition by storing them in plastic bags and protective cardboard boxes. These boxes and plastic bags are cheap and will likely aid a lot in preserving the condition of your comic books. They will even protect your comic books from getting damaged during transportation or from all sorts of damage if you are planning to keep your comic books for the long term.
Beware not to put your comic books in used or old bags. These yellow, sticky, and gross bags are a major turn-off for your comic books. They can literally downgrade your comic books and make them drop to a bit less. Boxes can literally impact the condition of your comic books if you leave them there for a long period of time.
The main reason behind a downgrade is that the chemicals from the plastic start to wear off as they have a smaller lifespan. These chemicals penetrate the paper, causing faded colors and holes. From the buyers’ perspective, they don’t look great either.
If you’re looking for the best way to store your comic books, special (usually white ) comic book boxes with lids are the best containers to store books. These boxes hold your comic book collection in the upright position and not flat, which prevents rolling their spines and from staple wear. Furthermore, these boxes also prevent your books from the damaging rays of sunlight that can fade and age the paper of the books.
Fading and aging affect the grade of your comics by several points. These boxes are relatively easy to store because they are in the form of a single unit that houses multiple books. You can easily stack these boxes in rows (ideally 3) and alternate the direction they go in when going up a level. Your awesome Jenga skills might have more than one use!
After you have stored your comic book in these boxes, now the question arises as to where to house them? Is it okay to store these boxes in a house or apartment? Should you give these boxes to a friend or family member who can store them for a while?
Did you know that most people choose to rent a storage unit? But beware, such storage units easily cost a couple of hundred dollars a month, easy. Usually, selling to avoid these rampant costs is your best bet. Storage units can cost a lot of money and can clearly affect your overall profits.
12. Own an Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide
The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is an annually published guide. This comic book price guide is considered the prime authority in American comic book grading and pricing within the industry. Many comic industrialists that tie the growth of the direct market distributing system to comic book specialty shops use the Overstreet Guide as the standardized pricing system.
The Overstreet guide first appeared in 1970 from Robert M. Overstreet, as a guide to serve comic book fans of both the Golden and Silver Ages. Ever since 1970, the Overstreet has grown dramatically and now virtually covers the entire history of American comics publication as far back as the Victorian Age and Platinum Age.
Now in the modern day, the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is like a bible in the comic book world. It includes a comic books’ grade, age, and all you should know about a particular item on the market. This guide now hosts the prices of most comic books on the market. For a modern-day seller, owning an Overstreet Price Guide is a must as it acts as a pricing tool. Also, this guide is published annually so don’t forget to check the publish date of your guide.
13. Online Price Guides
There are a lot of online versions of the Overstreet Comic Books Price Guide. These online platforms offer the same services as Overstreet. For example, www.comicpriceguide.com is an online price guide, where you can search comics and get details about them. Usually, they are free and have a search segment that will help you search your comic books. These search segments really help you save a lot of time because you don’t have to manually search through long listings of comic books.
14. Types of buyers
On the market are different types of buyers. We are all humans, and humans tend to differ from each other. Some comic book buyers are investors, who tend to buy comic books for the sole purpose of reselling them and earning profits. Some buyers are highly rated comic book collectors, while some collect random comic books.
It is highly important to determine what kind of buyer you are dealing with. This will help you in the best way possible to serve your buyers accordingly, by sending them their desired copies.
15. Set realistic prices
Always set realistic prices. When setting prices, make sure that you consider the condition of your comic books. Never place a higher value than realistic on a book’s worth in a certain condition. Placing a higher value on your book can create huge barriers for you and the potential buyer. Well, there are plenty of fish in the sea and plenty of books on the market. Why would one purchase nearly the same issue, in the same condition, for a higher price when he can buy it from somewhere else and save a few bucks? Setting higher prices is a literal buyer repellent.
16. Consider shipping fees
The comic book market is a widespread market. When dealing on the internet, there is a high chance that you will encounter a lot of international buyers. However, if you aim to sell your comic book(s) within your area, it may take ages to sell or find buyers while on the internet, you are catering to a large audience. This means international clients or clients from afar such as different provinces or cities even. There is nothing wrong with dealing with international clients but always make sure to consider shipping when trading.
There is no way around shipping. Shipping is inevitable and it has a price. So, it is one of the best practices to always consider shipping when dealing with international clients. Always remember to include shipping when setting the price of your comic books. You don’t want to end up losing your profits by incurring the shipping fees for the buyer. It is better to always research in advance to know the additional shipping charges for various locations while dealing.
It is always a good thing to pre-mention that you don’t incur shipping costs. It is a general rule of thumb that the buyer should incur the shipping fees and not you, the seller.
17. Consider postage and storage fees
If you do not plan to sell your comic books to an international buyer or you find one from the same country but within a different state or city, you might want to consider postal or storage charges. Postal and storage charges are nominal, but they are something you should consider when pricing your comic books.
Of course, postal fees vary by locations. It is the best and the most professionally sophisticated practice to have a list of all the possible charges for a desired location.
Storage fees for books are also important as you need to store and package the books well before delivering them to the buyer.
Storing your comic books is one of the most important things when dealing in the comic book business. A comic book is not an ordinary book; it is a potential investment. In order to preserve that investment and get the most out of it, you may need to use optimal storage conditions for your comic books. Store your comic books in the best way possible to save yourself from additional restoration costs in the future. Always store your comic books in:
- Plastic bags
- Plastic covers
- A cool dry place: temperatures should be between 18-22 degrees Celsius.
- Away from the sun as too much could cause discoloration of the comic books
- Boards: store them in non-acidic files
It is mandatory to always take care of your comic books. They are precious and a keen source of investment. If they don’t have much value right now, then eventually they will become worthy with time.
19. Take Photos of the Comic Books
Here is a pro tip: always post original photos of your comic books. To be honest, don’t look for stock pictures on the internet and post them. Take pictures of the comic books you own and post them. We have seen a lot of sellers do this and fail.
Many comic booksellers simply search online for the comic book they’re trying to sell for an image and use a stock photo. This is generally seen through collection logging apps such as Comic Book Database. The problem is that the images are hard to access and give no indication of the condition whatsoever. If you have a large collection, then it can be quite time-consuming to go through every single one and take a photo.
However, by taking individual pictures of each comic book, you can build trust and show that you are serious in front of the buyer. This is especially the case if you have opted to sell your comic book collection online.
I do not recommend taking photos of all of your books because your time is valuable. It is much better to send the pictures according to their liking after a potential buyer reaches out to you. The buyer will trust you when you will send him pictures from his desired angles. Always remember to work smart, not hard.
When selling your comic books online, you just cannot escape taking pictures. Well, taking pictures of all the listings individually is a massive headache and will require a lot of time and hard work.
Always make sure to take high-quality pictures. Take the front and back cover very clearly. It is a fact that comic book scans usually come out better than photos. The scanner is hooked up to your computer so you don’t have to deal with an image hosting site.
Most selling platforms do not allow images with poor resolution, so it is better to do a test listing before you start to take photographs of everything.
Pro Tip: Try to take high-res photos with a white background, which allows for the comic to be the main focus of the image and induces better lighting.
20. Sell Comics All Together if Possible.
If you need to sell all your comic books at once, it is better to sell all of them to the same buyer. If you have a lot of comic books and a low cost in and want them all gone as soon as possible, it is recommended that you sell them all at once. Selling your collection online or at shows may seem like a better option but, to be honest, it never works. The comics are either priced too high or too low.
Selling your comic book collection all together at the same time certainly has its benefits. The process takes way too much time and you’d be better off working at Starbucks. Your time is important, so try going for methods that require minimum time and maximum output.
If you sell complete sets and runs, it’ll be paid more than individual issues. If a story has eight or nine parts and the buyer gets all of them, he will generally pay a small premium.
21. Selling your comics books in bulk
It is always a good idea to sell your comic books in bulk. Selling them collectively will save you a lot of time and has its perks. You will get some quick money, but sometimes it is not as much value as even some high-valued books would be in the pile.
More books mean more weight, which would require you to pay more for storage, shipping, and postage. However, if you choose to sell to someone who lives nearby, you’ll most definitely enjoy a little more profit.
22. Selling offline
Online selling is a risky business. It is almost impossible to find legit people there. There are various other ways to sell comic books that are not online. If you do not want to take the risk, it is better to sell the books offline. Selling offline also allows you to negotiate. Promotion plays an important role in selling items. The more people know about your books, the more likely you will have customers and potential buyers. It is always a great idea to promote your sale by putting ads. You can even promote your sale through various websites and have a better shot of selling your books much faster.
23. Selling to a physical store
Physical stores might be a little picky at times as they are in search of books that are high in demand. But still, it is worth searching for a physical shop that accepts second-hand copies. If you have some ancient comic books, then you are in luck as they are very high in demand and therefore valuable.
Before you sell your comic books to a local seller, Remember that they will sell your comic books off to someone and make a profit. Well that what they do and earn their living. The lesser they will purchase your comic book, the more profit they are likely to make. Do settle for an extremely low price.
24. Sell to comic book dealers.
If you want to play it safe, try looking for dealers online or in your area and schedule a meeting. There is one disadvantage here. Comic book dealers often purchase books for a low price as they resell them and obviously want a profit. Selling your comic books to dealers will save you from a lot of hustle and bustle and will save you precious time as well.
25. Selling at a comic convention.
Always stay alert for comic book shows being displayed in cinemas or halls. This also includes new movie releases that are also comic books. There is no denying that people who watch comic movies love comic books as well. There is a high chance that you would find buyers among those who have watched the show.
One detail you have to take care of is asking for permission from the owner of the cinema or hall to display your books after the show. Such gatherings can literally offer a boost to your comic book collection. You can even sell your entire listing if the price is good.
26. When the deal is too good? Think twice.
There will be times when the offers made by buyers seem too good to be true. Before considering yourself lucky and making commitments you might regret, think twice.
A few platforms such as eBay give an algorithm bump for accepting offers. Their purpose is to promote sellers who sell stuff; selling items makes eBay money.
27. Handling your comic books with care.
If you own a comic book, you might know this basic rule: the better the condition, the higher the value. Handling your book with care will ensure it remains in good condition, and you will be able to sell it at a great price. Keep this in mind: handle your book with care and try to maintain its pristine condition. Be gentle with it, turn the pages swiftly, and keep it away from any kind of moisture such as oil, food, or water.
Before you touch a book, clean your hands as everybody has oily skin or even sweat, which can damage the fibers of a comic book. There is a long list of weird gross stuff that has been found on comic books, so make sure you wash your hands after as well. Wash your hands both before and after touching the comic books.
28. Start with a great book in your collection.
There might be one book in your collection that is high in demand. A book that is rare and high in demand is worth a lot. Start by selling a unique book on the market. This way you will make a great first impression on people, and they will start to follow you, believing you have a fine collection of comics.
A great book is rare & expensive.
29. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
As a beginner, the world of selling comic books can be quite unfamiliar and scary. You have a huge collection of fine comic books, and you are conflicted about what to do and what not to do. Though you have no idea how your comic books will be perceived, you hope for the best. While hoping that sales go fast and smoothly, you must also be prepared for the worst. You have to have a strong strategy on how to sell your precious books.
30. Create jobs
There is no being the Lone Ranger; after all, even Batman has Alfred and Robin. Search for a huge group of participants who will assist in reaching your goals. You may need to remember internet site developers, writers, truck drivers, delivery experts, managers, and all the folks that used to run an enterprise who owe you a favor. Then there are all the lawyers, robots, antisocial children, monkeys in the zoo, or even accountants that will help you run your enterprise. The first task for you is to discover a companion who is higher than you in a single predominant area. the enterprise will thank you for seeking help.
31. Be flexible.
Try to be adaptive to changes in technology. Do not be rigid. When you are rigid, you won’t grow. Learn from others. The easier you grow as an individual, the easier and faster your business will thrive.
Include systems such as e-payments on your website. This allows people to automatically pay through the website. Be open to giving a discount, especially if your customer is buying a lot of products. Everybody enjoys a good deal. Make your customers a part of the process, and ask them how you can be better. Seek to please, but not every single person as this will cut your margins too thin. There will always be a couple of problem people, but try being nice to everyone.
32. Have realistic expectations.
Be open-minded. Expecting an overnight sale of all your comic books at once is just gonna make you disappointed. Not that it is impossible, but choose to manage your expectations. There is a fine line between being optimistic and realistic. Selling in a straight shot is very realistic, and the only downside is price. It depends on what is there and how much money you are willing to leave on the table. If you paid thousands upon thousands for Disney’s and Westerns 30 years ago, you are not going to be happy as demand has dipped. On the contrary, if you bought Amazing Fantasy #15, you will be very pleasantly surprised!
33. Separate the comic books by publisher.
When selling your comic books, try to separate them by publisher. There are different publishing companies. Some of the most common are Marvel and DC comics. It is highly likely that buyers might have developed a preference for a specific publisher, and they can be a collector of their works. Hence categorizing books by publisher will help you serve your buyers better.
Certain collectors only collect Marvel, and vice versa for DC. Including the publisher/s of your collection in the title of the email/classified listing allows you to make your collection more palatable to them.
34. Separate by country if you are not selling in the USA
Sometimes buyers may not know the publishers by name as there are too many comic book publishers in the market. Since most of these publishers are from the US, it is best to separate any foreign-published books from the US-published books, which will assist your buyers. You’d be surprised to find an international buyer who only needs comic books published in a specific location. USA comics are generally worth more than other published books. However, certain Canadian comic books are known as Canadian Whites from the 1940s and they do have significant value on the market.
Foreign edition comics are worth a fraction of the originals, even if they came out only a year or a month later. The foreign department of the publisher would make a few changes to the content, including the language, and take different stories from different publications and merge them all together. It is great for the publishers because they did not have to pay to create a new comic book to sell.
The vast majority of buyers are in the US, so expect your foreign comics, especially if of a higher value, to be worth a fraction of the USA versions.
Currently, the most similar foreign versions are from the 1960s-1970s in the UK. They do not have many differences whatsoever. The cover price generally says 9d (9 pence, which is about 12c in today’s exchange rate) if from the early to mid-1960s. On the contrary, USA versions are, say, 12c for 12 cents. They also generally include a small offset publisher, which basically was the same publisher but in a different country. For example, Marvel often said Zenith. The interior pages are exactly the same as the USA version.
The current retail fair market value is about 75% of the USA one.
The wealth of the country (measured in GDP) definitely plays a role in the percentage of the retail fair market value proportional to the USA. This makes a lot of sense because the more GDP a country has, the more money the citizens generally have to spend on non-necessities such as comic books.
It is very rare that foreign comic books are worth more. This happens when the character’s origin is not from the US, which makes it not a reprint. For example, remember the Smurfs cartoon growing up as a kid in the 1980s or the tiny plastic figurines you played with. The Smurf actually is from Belgian comic books. Spirou #1071, the first appearance of the smurfs from 1958, is worth a huge multiple of Smurfs #1 from the 1982 Marvel Comics USA version (retail $5).
Even if you don’t have the 1st smurfs from 1958, your foreign collection can still have value, especially if it features reprints of important first appearances. The key here is to not have unrealistic expectations by looking at the market for USA versions.
35. Separate by date of publication
The date of publication helps you know the age of publication of the book. Comic books are usually divided into 6 different age groups:
These books were published between 1897 and 1933. All the comic books from this age have significant worth on the market. There are some comic books that used to have significant value such as Big Little Books, Tijuana Bibles, and Mickey Mouse Americana, but these comic books do not have much value nowadays. This loss of worth is mainly because the collector demographic has changed a lot since the 1980s.
These books were published between 1938 and 1956, and they all have value. Anything graphic, weird, or with superheroes usually has value. But cartoons such as Looney Tune or TV/Radio shows have nominal value as the collector demographic has changed a lot since the 1980s.
These books were published between 1957 and 1969. They all have value. Superhero comics are by far the best, especially if they are the first appearance of a major character. Usually the earlier, the better. Also, as a general rule, Marvel usually is worth more than DC because of the movie’s wide audience market.
These books were published between 1970 and 1983. The vast majority have a bit of value. Of note, a few special ones are valueable.
These books were published between 1984 and 1991. The vast majority of these have at least a nominal value. A few certain ones do have value, however.
These books were published after 1991. The vast majority have a nominal value. A few certain ones do have more value.
Comic Books printed between the years 1897 and 1956 are the most sought after, as they are often rare to find. They are much more costly, especially during auctions.
36. Know whether your comic books are original or restored
You must know by now that restored comic books are cheaper than original books. A comic book is restored when it is either glued, photocopied, trimmed, has marker/paint added, pieces added, has been chemically cleaned, sealed with glue, or re-glossed. Before selling it to the buyer, let them know the condition of the book.
Selling restored comic books as unrestored when in fact you know it is restored is highly frowned upon in the comic community; it’s deceptive and unethical.
Tape used to be considered as restoration but not anymore. Strangely, glue is, though. Furthermore, if the added materials do not change the condition of the collectible at all, it should be noted. It is not a restoration because nothing was restored.
37. Separate your inventory by condition
The most important factor of a comic book is its condition when it comes to pricing. In terms of condition, a comic book can either be new, old, torn, discolored, etc. When selling online, it is important to state the honest condition of the book so you do not get a bad reputation.
Don’t give it a grade if you are not an expert at comic book grading. Instead, give facts about each comic book.
For example: “It has a 3-inch spine split right near the bottom of the left leg of Spider-Man going up to half an inch over the bottom staple. The bottom staple is fully detached. The top staple is fully attached. There are no rips on the interior pages. I’m not sure how to rate page quality, so here is a pic of the first page and the centerfold under white light so you can see the color. It has 16 pages inside. There are no coupons cut out whatsoever. All the pages are firmly attached. Someone wrote a name in a green pen on the top of page one. I’ve included a picture of that here.”
It is real work!
If selling in person, just show the customer any major problems the comic book has, such as restoration, missing pages, or a detached cover.
Some sellers would much rather sell in person versus online because the standard of showing conditions is so much different. Photos are not necessary, and the time spent on each comic book is a fraction. On the flip side, selling online is much faster because you are dealing with a larger audience. Cheaper comic books ALWAYS sell better in person, comparatively speaking. The cost of shipping is so prohibitive. A customer does not want to pay $2 plus $4 shipping. Even if the cost is $1 for shipping, that is an increase of 50%, plus it is a lot of work for the seller. You can order groceries online, but you probably would not order a slice of pizza or one hot dog online for the same reasons.
At conventions, some comic book dealers capitalize on this by putting their nice copy on the display wall and then their beat-up worn copies in boxes.
Cheaper customers generally prefer to dig in the boxes and the pickier customers generally do not want to dig.
38. Distinguish Comic Books by Value
Many dealers find it useful to separate the different comic books in their collection into groups according to value. It makes no sense to file a group of comic books worth around a dollar with those worth $100. They are being sold to totally different kinds of people. One is a reader, and the other is a collector.
You might also try to sell some of the $1 comic books for a single grab bag price. This makes it easier to sell comic books that don’t grab the attention of buyers the type the market is supersaturated with). However, most grab bags should not contain more than 50 comic books. Always make sure to theme them to achieve the best price. It is also better to price them much lower at the beginning to start growing your following. You have less profits but a higher yield. It is better to sell 50 comics at smaller profits than sell a single comic at a good profit.
You will be dealing with a large audience and will start to gain more followers. People then know it is good and will tell their friends. This is why so many collectors look to dealers when they want to sell an entire collection: they don’t have the customer contacts or the following.
If setting up at a convention, it is good to have your expensive comics set apart, ideally behind the table. Theft is a real problem at these gatherings. Comic book dealers typically have a “wall display,” which holds them up in the air sort of like a display case. This achieves showing off the individual comic books that are worth much more while making them less susceptible to theft or shady characters taking an entire box to look at.
I also recommend making your boxes of “stuff” on tables at a flat price point vs individually priced. This has a few benefits. First, it saves a lot of time. Second, customers enjoy buying comics that are all $1, 2, $3, or $5. It is just so much easier. Don’t advertise discounts because buyers are very aggressive and will try to chisel you down. Make a posted price with a sign you can print off a word doc and stick to it. Don’t be an asshole, though. Nobody likes them.
Make sure to discount something for the customers. I like rounding down a little. So 52 $2 books @ $104 is 100 bucks. I also happen to have really good comics in my $2 bins. I did not always, and on those days, I am more motivated to discount more. This is extremely common, and there are a limited number of shows. Consequently, there is a lot of value in selling the common ones at shows because there is no second-place alternative.
If you are considering tagging them at $2 for the same type of stuff, know that we bring a LOT and your competition. If you want to tag them at $3, consider purchasing wholesale from us as we have certain packages we build for stores worldwide. If you want to tag them $1, consider not even going to the show, paying rent, pricing, or doing any work, etc. We’ll make you a strong offer on the whole group.
39. Group by Storyline
When you have a group of comic books with corresponding issue numbers, you can sell them as a bunch. Comic book collectors are always looking to build their collections; they may be interested in buying complete sets to collect at a faster rate. Important short stories, such as Infinity Gauntlet, are collector favorites. Although they don’t have a ton of value and are not worth as much as a couple of years ago, they are still worth more generally when sold as a set.
This also makes it easier to sell more comics at once. Even if there is an issue missing from the storyline, trying to sell comics in bulk vs one by one has many advantages. You can have a better cash flow while investing comparatively less time.
40. Hire a 3rd party grading service to grade all of your comic books.
If you are new to the selling market and not sure about the grades of the books, instead of overstating or understating them, consider seeking help from a comic book grading company like CGC and CBCS. They are professional grading companies that verify grades and check for problems such as restoration. But they do not advise on pricing and the best places to sell.
Most comic books typically cost, with shipping and fees, approximately $50 each. If you make a poor choice, it quickly becomes a money pit. I seldom recommend to a collector or someone new comic books to get them officially certified, as it’s rarely cost-effective. The other problem with these companies is that they are “consistently inconsistent”. What if they messed up? There are many examples where these companies have given improper grades to their customers. When it is too low, about half the time, we take a look and are correct. The biggest problem is the person grading your comic books is probably only getting paid 50 cents to do it versus the large dealer doing a proper job paying themselves much more.
At first, try to sell your collection raw, and if it does not sell with some price dropping, then get a few (the best ones) graded, but not all.
41. Separate your comic books by genre.
Comic books have genres just like any other publications. Some of the common genres of comic books are Action, Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi, War, Cartoons, Sports, Superheroes, and Romance.
Everybody has their preference when it comes to comic book genres; hence separating by genre/ storyline will help the buyer find what he/she needs easily.
Certain genres also sell well together. Sci-Fi & Horror, for example, overlap well.
War & Action understandably have crossover in the customer base. Romance collectors generally collect romance-themed standalone issues that are found in other genres as well.
The cover art is a great indicator as to what genre each comic book is. A guy and gal kissing would most likely be romance; a comic with spaceships and aliens would be categorized as Sci-Fi. Everybody knows that skeletons are Horror.
42. Separate the comic books by flat prices
Keep your books organized. When looking for new books, buyers at times already have a fixed budget. It is better if you have them organized according to their prices; this way the buyer will only look under the label that does not exceed his budget. Separating for buyers in terms of price groups will give them an easy time and happy shopping.
Separate in groups of $1, $2, $3, $5, & $10 each, under $100, and expensive.
It saves you tons of time because you do not have to put price stickers on them.
You can also use catchphrases like blowing them out as worth $5 but we sell for $2. There is just too much bulk in the marketplace, and everyone has a low investment in. It is STILL hard to sell a decent amount.
43. Research extensively
Once you are done with the sorting and listing, then research is where you need to invest your time. Going in blindly will make you incur losses. Therefore it is important that before selling your comic books, you research the market, pricing, and selling means.
Always compare and contrast with the other sellers of comic books. Familiarize yourself with the market beforehand, and you’ll be good to go.
44. Understand what really sells
As a seller, you should know what kind of books people like. This helps you know what to display on the market. Spend some time researching.
For instance, there might be a season when people are buying Marvel comic books; hence displaying others might not receive as much of an audience. Some of the highly-demanded comic books are Marvel, Spiderman, and Hulk, just to mention a few.
45. Where is your market?
Knowing where your market is located will help you know the best means to sell comic books.
For instance, if you are based in the UK and comic books are in high demand in the US, you should consider shipping services. Knowing your market’s location is part of the strategy of selling.
46. Understand overnight trends
Stay updated and know what is trending. Most times, comic books are in high demand when either the creator of the comic book dies or when the book becomes a major motion picture. Be on the lookout for such times as then your books will sell.
Here is a pretty decent guide to help you out:
It is important to know whether a movie is in process for one of the comic books you possess so you can sell it once the film is released. Movies and TV shows often increase the demand for a lot of comic books, featuring the corresponding character. New characters often encourage fans to buy their books much more often.
47. Make your prices sold list
As mentioned earlier, having a list of all the comic books you wish to sell is important. It is best to keep everything documented. Having the prices for each book on a quotation list is something buyers will truly appreciate.
48. Research payment methods
As a seller, make sure you have a payment method that is convenient for both you and the buyer. When the buyer’s location is very distant from yours, payment methods such as cash may not be a good idea.
Consider a direct bank deposit or PayPal. They are a reliable source of receiving and you do not have to fear being conned.
49. Have personalized discounts
You can easily grab attention and lure in some buyers with a good deal. Having offers such as “Buy 5 get 1 free” or “Free graphic comic arts with a purchase of 3 or more books” will help you gain many buyers.
50. Make a Deal
Having discounts is a good technique for personalized selling. Having 10% discount tags on books will make people see them and buy more. The trick, however, is to set the original price slightly higher; hence, not a huge loss or even no loss at all. It is basic psychology and a good business tactic.
51. Offline or Online?
One of the first decisions any comic-book seller has to make is whether to sell comics in the offline or online market.
The advantages of offline sales are that buyers can experience the comics themselves before they purchase. They can check conditions and have a visual hands-on experience of the comic book.
Examining a comic book in hand is super important for many collectors because comics have many moving parts that affect their condition. It is not like a baseball card where you just have a front and back. You also don’t have to worry about the failure of the postal service to deliver your comics to buyer/s or deal with the potential headaches of returns, packing and shipping.
Because of this, you could try selling your comics at a local comic store or to a local back issue buyer. Most stores like to keep strong stocks of older issues. However, always remember that brick-and-mortar stores are dealers. Therefore, you’re unlikely to get the absolute highest prices there. Dealers need to resell. It all depends on how much time you are willing to put in.
If you have a large and impressive collection of comic books, you may consider purchasing a booth at a convention. This really depends upon the extent of your collection because a booth can be quite costly. Booths can cost hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars.
If you’re looking to make use of online sites, your first stop should probably be eBay. You might get a little bit more money, but on the flip side, you have to deal with shipping, returns, annoying buyers, and pricing everything absolutely correctly.
If you choose to sell online to retail customers (eBay), you will discourage some buyers because there are customers who will not buy online at all. On the flip side, the internet provides an unmatched reach. The only reason inventory does not sell online whether to a dealer or to retail customers is price.
The biggest mistake people make is thinking they can achieve similar prices to major power sellers on eBay, which simply is not true. A strong following takes years, even decades to build. People don’t know or at a minimum remember John’s shoes, but they do know Nike, Adidas, and Puma (thanks to Pele).
If you’re not successful on eBay, you do not know much about comics, don’t want to start another job, or just don’t have a strong eBay following, so you might want to try out Dylan Universe Comics.
52. Include Detailed Descriptions
It’s important that you accurately and extensively describe the condition and contents of each comic book product, especially when attempting a retail sale with no experience whatsoever (which is very very challenging). Always be honest; it’s your book after all.
Many buyers are quite sure what they’re looking for. By providing detailed information about the comic book, you make it easier for buyers to find you and make their decisions, respectively.
Some online sites require a minimum number of words or characters. If this is the case, you need to make use of the space by only including essential information. This usually includes the title, the issue number, the volume number, and the publisher, as well as the general story.
Hashtags for the issue # along with a major appearance or event that happens in that issue are both good pieces of information to include. Don’t include nonsense in the titles, such as dashes, commas, quotes, GREAT, AWESOME, or NICE CONDITION. They only make your results go DOWN in the search results. You want to have as little information as possible. Most online sites, (including Craigslist), are search engines. Google does not like dashes because people don’t search for dashes! Who would you put higher up and thus more relevant?
You also need to avoid typos so do a final run-through before you publish. People will think you are a moron if you spell “Batman” wrong. Also, make sure to upload the proper images of the listing correctly. If you make a spelling mistake, the search engine might not pick it up. Improper images make a buyer go right past you.
Sometimes including the province or story behind the collection can command a small premium. It will make your collection stand out. People love a good story.
Some of the things that should never be missed in a description are
- Issue number
- Volume number
If the site you are using to sell restricts the number of words in the description box, eg. eBay, you should avoid using unnecessary words and use relevant keywords/words you know will likely appear on the search engine.
As a general rule:
“Always make your titles shorter and descriptions longer.”
53. Sell the comic books in small groups.
Selling your comic books can be a good option as a lot of buyers appreciate having a whole collection of a certain publisher all to themselves. For example, it is better to have all the Marvel comics in order than having a single one from different publishers.
54. Sell at an auction house
An auction house is a building where auctions are conducted. You should be on the lookout for auction houses that accept comic books. This once again takes us back to the most important thing about owning a business, RESEARCH! The only disadvantage of auction houses is that they mostly prefer highly demanded, good quality, and unique things. It is no harm asking, though, if you are lucky enough to be let in. It is best to take your collection to an auction house. Sometimes, they can get you prices even higher than the actual market.
55. Selling at neighborhood events
Where there is a gathering of people, there is a comic book lover. A few might even own a comic collection. Certain events such as flea markets, school shows, and trade shows are good opportunities to sell comic books as all kinds of people gather around.
Why a school show, you might ask. Studies show that the majority of comic book readers are aged between 11 and 17. If you can find a boys’ school event, you are in luck.
56. Sell at an estate sale
Estate sales tend to be advertised widely. When you decide to sell at an estate sale, you are guaranteed a large number of potential buyers coming to check out the books.
The majority of the comic book lovers are children, so try looking for a homey estate.
57. Sell at a garage/yards sale
Unlike estate sales, garage sales – also known as yard sales – aren’t advertised the way they should be. Only a few people know about them. They are only advertised locally to the residents in the vicinity. Even though the number of potential buyers may not be as much, you may find one or two people who are interested in many of your comic books who may turn into loyal customers. There is no harm in giving it a shot, so try your luck!
58. Selling on local classified sites and apps
A local classified site or app such as Craigslist in America allows one to post the items or services they are selling on the site or app. You can also sell your comic book on the site with only one picture.
The only disadvantage of selling on local classifieds is the fact that you have a limited geolocation of buyers who will want them. You might not find some genuine buyers here, and they can be really cheap and generally scummy people.
59. Meet up
Do not blindly trust your buyer. There are some thin you should take into consideration before meeting a new buyer:
Ensure it is a public place– set a meet-up at a public place, preferably coffee shops, cafes, malls, restaurants, and busy streets. If it is a large transaction, vet your buyer. People are not always who they say they are. Stay safe!
If you sold your book on eBay make sure to select local pickup as a second option. This can potentially save shipping and dealing with any post office headaches. Your time is important, save it.
60. Selling online
Many online websites buy comic books. You should be careful, however. Not all of these sites are legit. When a buyer online seems to have many conditions and your instincts are telling you there is something fishy, please think twice before proceeding.
Look for a trustworthy means of selling your comic books and stick to it if possible.
61. Selling on comic book channels
Many online sites specialize in only buying comic books, for example, My Comic Book Shop. You will have to be careful here too. Check for reviews of a certain online store before selling so as not to get scammed.
62. Selling on amazon(to people who read)
You can sell comic books on Amazon by adding the product to the comic section of the book category. However, this isn’t the best option for a beginner as you are most likely to incur lots of fees. Amazon is a good selling platform for professional comic book sellers. Gain some experience, grow your business, and then come back to this platform.
63. Selling on eBay
eBay is a very convenient online platform that allows anyone to sell. You can sell your comic book on eBay just by following simple steps: open an account, post some photos of your collection, and write descriptions. People will bid, and then it is sold!
However, nothing is perfect, and it can have a few disadvantages as well. It is time-consuming, and there are a lot of procedures involved. Moreover, there are fees involved such as shipping, which must be done within usually 24-72 hrs, and possible PayPal fees.
Also, eBay allows refunds and returns which might not be an enjoyable experience for a seller, especially where distance is involved.
64. Auction sites
Online auction sites are similar to physical auctions. These auctions charge premium fees of often 20% and higher than the amount the comic books are sold for. This may be a huge loss if your item wasn’t bid at a high price. Auction sites also charge the buyer a buyer’s premium and aggressive shipping, which means the buyer would have to pay less for the item (known as the hammer price).
If you own highly rare books, it is guaranteed that they will be sold at a really high price. Auction houses generally prefer books that are super rare and crazy expensive.
Note: BEWARE of auctions lotting up your prized comic books into a few groups. Many auction houses are notorious for being super wholesale-oriented. This can be worse than selling to a reputable dealer because your results are not guaranteed whatsoever, and there are lots of fees that weill prohibit a strong profit. With no fees on both the buyer and seller end, this would be the selling method of choice. Unfortunately, there can be a significant fee.
65. Selling on online forums
There are many online forums where comic book lovers usually meet virtually, such as the CGC boards or CBCS boards. These forums have a lot of fiascos going on with comic book buying and selling. There are topic discussions; however, usually, there is a huge mob mentality where buyers gang up on people often spreading hate, fake news, and insults. It’s worse than Reddit. However, you can try these forums.
This is a system from the past – the 1990s – when the internet was small, and the market was different. Craigslist is the modern version, but even this is obsolete.
66. Selling using escrow services or a broker
Make sure that you have payment methods favorable to both you and the buyer. To avoid cases of shipping and not receiving payment, which is a big disadvantage for the seller, or receiving payment and not shipping, which disadvantages the buyer, services such as escrow/brokers can be of great help. For your business to grow, there should be mutual trust in the relationship between you and the buyer, and the problems that come with unprofessional shipping can really mess up that trust.
Brokers/escrow come into play with mega six-figure transactions when each side wants to be very protected because that is a lot of money. Escrow services are expensive, so think twice before using this selling comic book collection tip.
67. Image hosting sites
There is a service that is faster than sending your photos via email. It helps you save tons of hours. Another reason you should consider image hosting sites is that they have unlimited space for the storage of images, and sometimes they are even for free. If you dig deep, you might find some good ones you can use for free.
Once you are done uploading the image on the site, you can retrieve it whenever you want. The sites also allow for direct uploads. An example of such an image hosting site is google photos. First, take a picture on your phone, then upload it to the image host.
Online businesses are full of scams and fake people. Everyone is doing anything to survive, literally. To avoid being prey to such circumstances, seek help when you feel you are in a fishy situation. Wisdom is necessary. Listen to your instincts and that gut feeling! If something is too good to be true, it PROBABLY is.
A few common scams include:
- The mail bait and switch I did not get it routine
- The “complain and get money back” routine
- The “send it to me, I’ll pay you for it after” routine.
*These all come from shady people who are not even from the US.
Dealing with a known comic book buyer/seller is very different because of their strong ethics, reputation, and the power of the press.
An unknown party with no community ties is always much worse than a known verified trusted party.
69. Delivery options
Once you have made the deal and sold the comic, the next step is a properly organized delivery. Presentation and preserving the condition of your comic are important.
Some sites may have their own transport means, but others may not. You should make a pros and cons list before settling for the delivery means you will use. You could choose to use a delivery company, delivery person, or even be the one to deliver. Choose what is convenient, but if you choose a company, then look for a legit one. USPS, FedEx, UPS, & DHL are some of the biggest and best.
70. Pack like a pro
Have a look at your packing from the buyer’s perspective. No one would want an item that isn’t well packaged and looks mishandled.
Ensure to pack your items for your buyers neatly. Ideally, the comic book is in a bag and board. If not, this video shows you how to make ya substitute at home:
To ensure that it does not get bent by sloppy post office people, make a cardboard sandwich when packing your comic shipping to the buyer. Pack it for a warzone.
Selling and buying comics is a business. You should be able to show buyers the value of your product. Convince them as to why they should prefer yours over others. What special provenance or story does it have? Is it signed? Is it in nice condition? Is the price reasonable?
Always remember that negotiating correctly involves honesty. Don’t lie because it is wrong and will hurt you later. This is a tough business. Make sure you avoid lying. No good comes out of lying during negotiations, and it is only going to hurt you in the end.
72. Know your comic books like a pro.
It does not matter if you are a comic book lover or a comic book investor or collector. It is important to have complete knowledge of the books you own.
Imagine a buyer asks you a question about a book you have had in your possession for a long time, and you do not know the answer.
A few things you should know about include the history, page counts, publishers, creators, genres, and storylines.
73. Make Use of Social Media
Social media usage is very common nowadays and when it comes to selling comic books, social media can help a lot. Every day, more people are looking to social media sites such as Craigslist, LetGo, and Facebook to sell and buy stuff.
If you go online, you will find plenty of Facebook groups selling comic books and Twitter profiles to follow. However, you often need to apply to be accepted into these social groups. You may also find out that you have a friend who likes comic books who is interested in buying a bunch from your collection.
But beware as some of these social groups can be quite toxic. There are lots of low offers and wannabe purchasers who have no intention of paying and are involved in shaming, teasing, and annoying people. Only opt for this route if you have insane patience, but not the patience of someone who is insane!
I would recommend LetGo because it is by far the simplest to use and has no toxic annoying subcultures. LetGo usually works best for the usual 90s in a small quantity.
You just have to put yourself out there more than once if you want people to recognize you.
The best way to put yourself out there as a seller is to mention on your social media accounts that you are a seller. To buyers, you do not exist. Get the word out as much as possible. Then buyers will see you.
74. Tell your family & friends.
Everybody knows somebody who loves comics. .Share your comic book selling expedition with your circle of friends, colleagues, and family. Doing this may bring you many buyers. Build yourself a community.
They will ask their friends and hence develop connections for you. In no time, you will have many buyers who you never thought would be there. Ask them for advice on how to run your operation better.
Friends and family is your best, free marketing team. Do offer them something for their service; a few comics, some money, or good food can possibly do the job.
75. Good Communication
Buyers always have questions, sometimes a lot of them. Therefore having good communication skills is essential. Since you are the one giving the answers, you need to be good at explaining. You should know how to elaborate things about prices, deliveries, and so much more.
Sometimes it is better if you answer questions you think the buyer must have beforehand. Read their minds. Tell them what they need to know without them even having to ask.
Yes, you need to know math to run a business. FEAR NOT! You don’t need to be an expert in algebra or geometry; all you need is basic math skills that involve monetary transactions such as percentages and the normal middle school math.
Be grateful that calculators have been invented. However, it shouldn’t be an excuse not to know math as you might meet a buyer who will try to play math tricks on you. Be sharp or keep your calculator in your hand.
77. Develop a strong reputation
No matter what the business is, building a strong reputation is important. Try to be known as the seller who delivers on time! Reply to people’s inquiries so quickly that they are surprised.
This way you will always have people coming back for more. A strong reputation will help new buyers trust you. You will have a community all to yourself. People will subscribe to your accounts and will buy your listings in an instant.
78. Attend comic related events
You would love to attend the comic events to sell, but sometimes it may be good for your business to attend these events as just an attendee.
By attending these events and interacting with people, they will know that you are a seller, and you might meet some buyers interested in your collection.
Yes, yes, it is understandable that you want to avoid such awkward interactions, but seriously, go out there. You won’t regret it.
Don’t forget to write down their contact info.
79. Use hardcopy advertising methods
Advertising means business cards or flyers that are important as the buyer could forget your name. It may be inconvenient to have a hard copy. However, in hard copy advertisements, consider the following points:
- Make sure they are eye-catching and have a brief and well-structured description of what you have.
- Make it short; nobody has time to read long posters.
- Don’t forget to include your contacts.
- Spread the word about you.
80. Stellar Customer Service
Not everyone is on the same level of computer literacy and need a little help. Buyers might need support and guidance through the process of purchasing books. Be there for them. Respond to their texts or emails. Be helpful to everyone.
BEWARE: Some of the platforms restrict external communication. You can hire a graphic designer for less than $50 to make a logo, using your phone number so you can message buyers with ease!
81. Cultivate relevant skills
Sure, qualities such as honesty and fairness are important as a person, but it is very important to be honest as a seller. It will make you a happy person.
Don’t lie when asked about the condition of your books. Try to make a fair choice when multiple buyers want the same book. Favoritism will leave all buyers feeling excluded. Carve up the pie in a way that everyone can have some.
Sometimes, the stuff you don’t want is exactly what someone else is looking for. Isn’t it ironic? It is like something you don’t really need that someone else wants desperately, while something another doesn’t want is what you have been looking for, for days.
Look for opportunities to trade. For instance, you might need a new bag or tennis racket and probably that was the reason you wanted to sell the comic books. Although it may be hard to find a meeting of the minds, if you find someone looking for what you are offering who has what you want, then grab the opportunity!
Trading with friends is always great because they are interested in being fair on both sides, and they do not have any evil intentions.
83. The golden mindset
Experiences are important for your growth. Always be ready to learn.
If you wanna move forward in this business, be sure to grasp every opportunity to learn and gain more knowledge as a seller. Even being scammed and overcoming failures can bring experience and wisdom. Keep your mindset steady, and learn from your mistakes. These are minor setbacks and they will teach you in the long run.
84. Check in with your customers.
Your job isn’t just to sell the book but also to check up on customers. Don’t just sit there and count the money, ask them how they found the book(s). Are they enjoying the book? Do they know any other people who might want to buy one? If yes, keep a spreadsheet of the books they want. While talking to the buyer, don’t get too friendly; keep your professionalism.
85. Start small
When you are a start-up business, you want to start small and set lower prices. This will help you earn a good name in the market as the “affordable comic bookseller”. Then steadily increase your prices.
People might doubt the quality of your books if you lower the price too much, so make sure it is reasonable.
86. Handling tough customers
It is never wise as a seller to return rudeness with rudeness. Always do what’s best for the comfort of your buyer. At first, try to understand what they are mad about. They might not always be right, but talk to them as if they are. Try to understand them and be co-operative. But if they are being extremely unreasonable, just show them the door. Only do this when things get too extreme.
Customers adore sellers willing to work with them and solve any problems. If it is something you can cheaply fix, just do it.
Nothing worth having comes easy. It might take days, weeks, or even months to get all your comic books sold. Once you have decided to be a part of this business, you need to learn to be patient. There will be a delay in delivery, and sometimes buyers fail to send money, but don’t lose your temper. Just be patient.
There is very little luck out there, but if you work hard and are patient, you will do well.
88. Seasonal Selling Tactics
Determining the best time to sell your comics is just as important as the rest of the details outlined here.
Selling comics during summers can be a big disadvantage as many people are enjoying their vacations on a beachside while during the winter, all they want is a cozy bed, coffee, and a nice book to keep them company.
However, in the end, it all boils down to personal preference, so if you want to sell your comic books, start NOW!
89. Who will you be?
Before you move forward. decide if you want to be an individual or a professional wheeling and dealing firm? Is it just going to be you or are you gonna involve your family? Maybe friends? Or are you planning to get some partners?
Whether you want to venture into this as an individual entrepreneur or professionally with a team, both will work pretty well.
If, however, you have a huge collection and less time on your hands, you should preferably consider it as a professional business that may run even beyond your collection.
For tips on selling comics as a professional business, read on.
90. What's in a name?
To sell your comic books professionally, decide on a good name for your business. If you are looking for something online, you mostly will search for the keyphrase, which in this case is “comic”. So make sure when you choose a name for your business that it has the word “comic” in it.
The name of the business should be super creative and a trigger for people so they don’t think twice before choosing you.
Comic books are not just a hobby; they can be a good investment, especially as a business. When you sell a comic book, you can also choose to buy it for a future resell. If you choose to buy, go for comic books that are rare and have historical permanence. These types of comics have the biggest chance of bringing you strong returns when you decide to sell.
I generally see the following mistake:
“Yeah, I overpaid. Whatever, I’ll just hold on to it for investment until I make money on it.”
First things first, overpaying has absolutely nothing to do with investing except that you made a mistake. So just stop acting like a big baby. Secondly, if you were planning to buy it for resale, it means you were not planning to hold it for investment. They are two completely separate ventures.
There is one common mistake that I see some major comic book dealers do: I paid, let’s suppose $X, and it is worth $X+ $200. I’ll sell it as soon as it gains sufficient value that I am willing to sell it. Unfortunately, what goes up must come down.
This buy-and-hold strategy has worked for years because of an upshifting market, but in 2017, investors were scared when DCs nearly dropped to half of their previous sky-high value.
The only reason you should buy a book is that you love it. If you are also buying it as an investment, create rules for when you will sell it so you do not become too emotional. If you don’t wanna sell it, then don’t. There is nothing wrong with this; just don’t label it as an investment if you are not willing to sell. Create some strict parameters like a day trader who works on Wall Street.
92. Advertising methods
Make sure to expand your business as much as possible. Let the world know of your business. Use methods you know will reach a wide “buyer,” audience. For instance bulletin boards, Craigslist, and newspapers are ways you can get people to know you and your business.
They are tons of other advertisement vehicles a buyer has to choose from. Why would someone pick you? Make sure to have an eye-catching description of you and your business in your advertisements.
93. Start a website?
Customers always prefer a website that is easy-going and not at all complicated. Make sure your website is well-structured and not complex. Build it in a way that the user goes in, does what you want them to do, and leaves.
Educate people on all matters comic books. Teach your fans about the creators, the publishers, and the several genres of comic books. Promote other’s artwork related to comics on the site. Engage people! Would you rather visit a website that is fun, engaging, and serves a higher purpose OTHER than just selling you something? Of course, you would. Why do you think celebrities can sell the exact same product for a huge multiple? It’s about the following they have created over time.
Also, try to find a good host whose response time is fast regardless of geographical location, especially if you live in mountain terrain such as Colorado or Upstate New York. You do not want your website to say, “loading…loading” because that is just annoying.
94. Identify the competitors (and burn them)
This is just a metaphor; you do not actually have to burn them. Do your research and identify comic book sellers’ and buyers’ websites, and try to learn from them. Follow their footsteps and try out the things they are doing, but also get some wisdom from their failed experiences. Avoid plagiarism and copying their content, as it is illegal. Take something they do and turn it into something even better. Have a domain that shows it is a comic book business.
95. Have a business plan
Always be prepared for what is coming next by having a plan ready – not just for the next week or month but for the whole year. Be sure of what you want to be at the end of the year and have a strategy ready to get there. Without a proper plan, your business growth will be stunted.
96. Price Strategy
There are two things you could do if your comic book isn’t selling: drop the price or keep it. You do not have to get angry or frustrated over why some of your books aren’t selling as fast compared to the others. For example, in the late 1930s, some comic books weren’t selling because of poor economic spending due to the Great Depression. Ironically, they are the ones in high demand the most these days as they are so rare. Don’t give up so soon; you will eventually be able to sell them at a reasonable price.
Commonly, the reason a comic does not sell is the price is set too high. If it sells immediately, you probably should have priced it a little more. What should you do now? Well, there is a middle ground, and finding it is the goal.
Even most retailers have trouble with this, especially if they are not familiar with the comics they receive. Doing a little research on the real prices of what has been sold and being willing to leave a little bit of money on the table will definitely take you a long way toward success.
You get some great recommendations once you make connections. You should form connections with other comic book sellers, creators, buyers, and even publishers by joining online forums and events. You don’t have to spend a penny in this process – no ads in the paper or billboards. You want a free customer network that you might not have considered. You can charge a higher price per comic once you have more types of customers.
98. Explore new worlds.
Try to find diversity and do not restrict yourself to only the big countries like the US or the UK. Let everyone know of your business and offer shipping all over the world. People love comic books and are willing to incur the shipping fees. There was a dealer who loved comics so much that he bought comics at shows in the US and shipped them down to Mexico. Such shipping is no doubt crazy expensive but don’t worry, the prices – especially on cheaper comics – can sometimes be higher overseas because they do not have nearly as many. The demand for comic books overseas is still pretty strong; however, the supply is low.
When you have reached the end and have tried everything but still are not able to get the real price, it might be time to donate the books. It is better if you donate them to schools, children’s homes, or even to resource centers. They’ll surely appreciate this act of kindness and besides, you will have impacted the community.
My friend Carl does a great charity where he donates comics to Veterans, hospitals, and to the needy. I highly recommend him!
100. Heirloom option
Be generous to the next generation and save some heirlooms for your children and grandchildren. Leave the best for them. Instead of leaving your granddaughters a piece of jewelry, hand down your comic books. Show them what you love. You might be surprised to know that love for comic books runs in families. If there is a low monetary value, this is a no-brainer. This is usually true of small collections from the 70s to the present, although there CAN be value if you are lucky.
101. Follow the above 100 and you will be good to go!
All the above are all with regards to selling your comic book collection. Be positive. Enjoy selling.
Selling Your Comic Book Collection?
Now you’re ready to sell your comic books. With these extensive and hopefully helpful 101 tips, you can confidently go off and sell your comic books like a pro. Now with all this knowledge, it’s your time to shine. Get in the market today; you have got this.
With this new knowledge in mind, get in touch with us to get the ball rolling and sell your comic book collection today.