Do you own a collection of valuable comic books? Are you a new investor trying to make your way into the comic book industry? Maybe you’ve stumbled upon a collection of old comic books and are planning to sell them for money? This guide has everything you need to know if you are planning to sell your comic books.
Are my comic books a good investment?
The first thing you should know is that you made a great decision to get into this buying and selling business. Given the current vulnerability of the stock market, numerous investors have begun considering investing in alternative resources, such as real estate, gold, or cryptocurrency. For those who are looking for a fun, substantial way to expand their portfolio, comic books might be the answer. Fueled by the predominance of top-grossing movies highlighting comic book superheroes and supported by developing participation at Comic Cons around the world, interest in comic books is on the rise. Old comics are worth so much more than you think, so if you find them in your collection you are in good shape.
Investing in comic books is one of the most fun and risk-free ways to obtain valuable assets that will help boost your wealth over time. Action comic #1 featuring the first appearance of Superman was only 10 cents in 1938, but it was sold for a little over $3 million dollars at an auction a few years ago. However, the condition and the demand of a comic book play an important role in the pricing of a comic book. For example, The Action Comic #1, the same comic in the 8.5 CGC universal grade was sold for $3 Million dollars whereas the same comic in a slightly lesser grade now retails for only a few thousand dollars. Keep in mind that it’s not just the older books that are profitable. Comics from the last 20 years are becoming collectible too. Comic books are currently one of the hottest trends right now. Each day more and more fans are joining the collectible market looking to purchase their favorite books. We have seen a few have bounced in value from a couple of dollars just five years ago to $50 to $100 nowadays.
Are my comics “old comic books” actually old?
The comic book industry is one of the biggest, oldest, and most renowned in the world. Comic books are now being treated as more than child’s play but as a piece of American History and memorabilia. Comic books have been around us for quite a while now, and almost everyone has stumbled upon one featuring characters like Batman, Mickey Mouse, or Wonder Woman.
We have seen a lot of people in the market who want to sell the old comic books found in their attics, basements, garbage bags, or from their childhood toy boxes. Since most people are not comic book fanatics, they have only found comic books forgotten about for a long time. These old comics were tucked away with absolutely no care or preservation so they might have lost their shape, condition, and even pages or covers. A lot of these comic books have traveled home to home before they actually arrived in your hands. Usually, people don’t know how old a comic really is. They just estimate it from the time they were young or bought it. For you, that comic book might be old because it’s from your childhood. In terms of the collectible market, a comic book that belongs to the 80s is not considered old as it belongs to the modern age. These modern-age comic books have a lot of influx in the market which is causing them to lose value. To be honest, they were read and enjoyed, but now they are just sitting in a dark basement accumulating dust. Hence, the owners decide to sell them and make some money.
When it comes to the history of comics, the first comic book in a similar shape and size compared to the modern age was released in the early 1930s with a price tag of only 10c at the time of release – back in the time when a chocolate bar cost around a penny. Imagine a 10c comic and the number of people that actually bought it. Even with printing technology, the animations at that time were not as advanced as in the 1980s and 1990s. We all know about the 1930s, the time when the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression, an era filled with economic insecurity, riots, and the fear of another World War while recovering from the damages wrought by World War I. People suffered from the loss of loved ones, and many people struggled to get food on the table. In such circumstances, it is clear that not a lot of people thought of buying a 10 cent comic book during a crisis.
Several years later in the early 1940s, the nation suffered another blow when the United States was yet again in the midst of fighting another world war, World War II. A lot of resources were exhausted in that war. Papers were recycled along with many items for the war effort. The shortage of resources is what makes the value of early Golden Age comics weigh in gold and why it is much rarer than the comics from later eras. In the period of the Golden Age, the comic book business was not like how it is now. Back in the earlier times, there was no concept of a collectible item, and who knew that a 10 cent book can increase its worth to several thousand. We can also that comic books were like the bitcoins of the Golden Age, Just a little less volatile. Well, not everyone can predict the future; and at that time, no one knew how big the comic book industry would bloom and how comic books would become a piece of American history. Not everyone could afford comic books and very few thought of preserving them for the future. After a few decades, from forty to fifty years later, the most brand new comics cost 40 cents to a few dollars each. In a time when everyone prospered, many people bought comic books. The collectors market bloomed; many publishers printed exclusive collector’s items which led to the comic book crash of the 1990s. Tons of comic books were out there, which made them a common item. As compared to the comic books printed during the time of World War II, they were hard to find. They were scarce, and the lower the supply, the higher the demand. Thus, the Golden Age has a significantly higher value compared to the modern age.
To be honest, a comic book printed in the 1980s or 1990s might look old and modern because of the high-res printing technology as compared to the early 30s or 40s, but they don’t have a higher value. This is the general rule when it comes to the pricing of an item that your item should justify its price. In the comic book market, the price of a comic book is justified by its significance. Comic books that serve as a purpose are known as Key issues. However, there are a few key issues that offer an asset like the first appearance of a few special characters.
No matter your age, you must have stumbled upon comic books featuring Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Mickey Mouse, or at least you must have seen these characters. Comic books have been a part of American culture for almost a century now. If we dig a bit deeper, some even belong to early 18th century Japan. However, they became mainstream in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1930s. Ever since comic books have become widely popular and are being dealt with as a piece of history, the characters have their own merchandise, video games, TV shows, and movies (both animated and cinematic). From movies crossing billions on the worldwide box office, comic books are a hot topic and much more popular than they have ever been. People are rushing into the comic book market in order to collect their favorite characters in their desired storyline. So, if you are a comic book collector planning to sell their comic book collection, or selling their old collection, Follow the topic to learn about the in and out of selling your comic books in a profitable manner.
The basic step: Determine the worth of your comic books
The first and the most basic aspect of selling comic books is to determine the price. Whether you plan to sell, trade, or flip your comic book, their actual worth plays an important role because it will help you make up your mind about how much you are going to get or what your asking price should be. Well, you cannot estimate your comic book’s actual value in just one day. The market tends to fluctuate, and the worth of a comic book is always subject to change. It is also possible that the same comic book can be sold for a price far greater than its market value, or it can have no buyer at all. Always remember, “the actual value of your comic book depends on how much someone is willing to pay for it.”
The comic book price guides
The simplest and easiest way to determine the actual worth of your comic books is to use a comic book price guide. There are a lot of these guides out there that tell you the worth of a comic book in your desired grade. The best comic book price guide is the Overstreet Price Guide. The Overstreet is considered the Holy Grail and Bible of all the comic book price guides out there. It is a must-have for all comic book collectors. This guide features everything whether it is the price of comic books in your desired grades. This price guide is easy to use and understand; it even contains detailed descriptions of the grades to make it easy for raw comic book owners to grade their own books.
However, based on current market fluctuations and demand, Overstreet’s biggest disadvantage is that it is published annually and does not account for the monthly fluctuations in the pricing of different comic books. Other than that, always consider that the price of your comic book depends on how much someone is willing to pay for it. It is possible that you may get a higher price as compared to the price mentioned in the guide or you get an offer that is absolutely baseline or no one offers you to buy your comic book even at a low price/ If you are looking for a true up-to-date price guide, we recommend an Online comic price guide. These price guides are free of cost and usually up to date when it comes to the pricing of a comic book. However, Just don’t get your hopes high. These guides are there to provide you an insight into how much your comic book’s worth should be, Not how much someone is willing to pay for it.
The different comic book ages
In terms of classification, the comic book market is divided into four basic categories. Most comic books considered as history were published from the 1930s to the end of the 1970s. You can estimate if your comic book has a good price tag by simply looking at the mentioned cover price. Almost all comic books have a retail cover price. Keep in mind that the comics with 10c, 12c, 15c, 20c, or 25c on the cover are the most valuable whereas those that have 30c or higher on their cover are usually modern or a later vintage. However, there can be a few exceptions such as key issues featuring the first appearance of key characters, movie associations, or art by popular artists.
Comic books are classified into four characteristics that are
- Golden Age
- Silver Age
- Bronze Age
- Copper or Modern Age
Determining which age your comic book belongs to can really help in estimating the price. The more vintage a comic book is, the higher the price.
1. Golden Age Comic Books or 10-cent
Comic books that range from 1939 to 1956 belong to the Golden Age. Afterward, the prices of all the comic books rose to 12 cents in October 1961, which means the latter belongs to the Silver Age of Comic Books. Generally, the most sought-after comic books from the Golden Age are superhero-themed as they usually featured first appearances and origin stories. The most popular superheroes from the Golden Age are Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, Captain America, Superman, The Spectre, and many others. There are some not-so-famous comic books that feature superheroes such as Marvel Mystery, Prize, All-Select, More Fun, Speed, Daring Mystery, Amazing Man, All-Winners, and several others. However, they are still costly. Usually, the Golden age of comic books ranges from a few thousand to millions of dollars, depending upon the condition.
In terms of genre, Adventure, Science Fiction, and Fantasy are the most sought-after. For example, Planet, Funny Pages, Strange Adventures, Space Detective, Mystery in Space, Amazing Mystery Funnies, and a whole lot of other issues. The Golden Age of Comic books also featured war-themed comics that have always been popular. In terms of age, war comics are widely popular as it always reminds us how great America is. War comics have a sentimental value in the hearts of America as these comics helped boost morale and induced patriotism in the hearts of young Americans. Well, who doesn’t like to see Superman fight Nazis or Nick Fury on a covert ops mission against America’s enemies? Examples include Military, Captain Aero, Modern, Fight Comics, US Marines, Rangers Comics, Spangled War, Our Army at War, Captain Battle, GI Combat, War Comics, Navy Action, Battle, and Star, among other military-minded books.
The Golden Age comics was the great era of comic books. The Golden Age will always have the most substantial part when we talk about the history of comic books. The Golden Age of comic books also had classic horror books. The horror comic books titles that belong to the Golden Age of Comic Books have a huge value are Strange Tales, Uncanny Tales, Hamit of Fear, Vault of Horror, Tomb of Terror, Tales from the Crypt, Tales to Astonish Menace, Weird Mysteries, Mr. Mystery, Tales of Suspense, and other similar-sounding titles. These titles are the hottest horror titles out there, and fans like to pay a fine dime in order to collect these titles.
Archie Comics from the 1940s to the 1950s are also considered as highly collectible from the Golden Age. Archie comic books are so popular and beloved that they have turned themselves into an individual franchise. Recently, CW launched a tv show named Riverdale based on the characters of Archie Comics. Well, everyone loves Archie, Veronica, Betty, Dilton, and the other characters.
Disney characters also rose to fame in the Golden Age of Comics. However, the comedy animals and kid-based comics are either highly popular or have low to no value. These comic books are based on characters such as Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck, Rex the Wonder Dog, Goody, and several others. We have noticed a shift in demand for these characters as more and more collectors are looking forward to buying these characters day by day.
The Wild Wild West and the cowboy culture were also popular comic books back in the day. However, these books haven’t aged correctly and have lost their worth over time. Nevertheless, there are a few western-themed comics that are still highly popular such as the Kid Colt, Durango Kid, Rawhide Kid, Space Western, and Rawhide Kid.
Here are some of the most popular golden-age comic books along with their grade. However, before you start estimating the price of your comic books remember that small changes in the grades cause significant price differences. Moreover, the prices and the demands of comic books are always changing. So, it is very likely that your book might not get the mentioned price. It can always increase or go down just like real estate.
In terms of pricing the golden age usually feature the first appearance of a wide variety of characters. It is a general law that comic books featuring the first-ever appearances usually carry high price tags. The Golden era of comic books has a lot of comic books that are considered as key comics. For example,
- Action Comics #1, a comic book that was published in 1938. This book features the first-ever appearance of The Man of Steel – Superman.
- Batman #1, a comic book featuring the first-ever of Batman, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon outside of Detective Comics which was also a part of the golden age. It also includes the first-ever appearances of the Joker and Catwoman.
These books carry hefty price tags based on their condition and are loved by almost every comic book enthusiast out in the comic book realm. Just an insight that their price usually ranges from a few thousand dollars to few hundred thousand dollars.
2. Silver Age Comic Books
The Silver Age of Comic books began right after the Golden Age. These comic books were published between 1956 to the early 1970s. The Silver Age includes the later issues that featured a price tag of 10 cents and all the 12 cent issues that ended in mid-1969. The superheroes ruled the Silver Age of Comics. Marvel ruled with characters like Incredible Hulk, X-men, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Fantastic Four, The Amazing Spider-Man, and several other famous characters whereas, DC Comics kept its share with characters like Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Brave and Bold, Flash, and others. The Silver Age of Comics bought a lot of changes to the superhero industry. Stan Lee rose to fame, Spider-man was introduced, and The Golden Age’s Justice Society of America became the Justice League of America.
In terms of worth, comic books published prior to the 1960s are worth more than the later variants. However, several key issues are exceptions. One thing to keep in mind, unlike the Golden Age, the prices of Silver Age comic books are generally based on the character, condition, and publication date. However, the silver age also featured a lot of first-ever appearances of many famous superheroes such as the friendly neighborhood Spider-man, X-men, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and the Fantastic Four.
Some of the most popular Silver age comic books are:
- The Amazing Spider-man 15, a comic book that was initially published in 1962. This book featured the first-ever appearance and the origin of the Spider-Man.
- X-men 1 is a Silver Age comic book featuring the first-ever appearance of one of the most popular comic book superhero teams out there.
- Fantastic Four #1 features the first appearance of the Fantastic Four.
These comic books are some of the most sought-after comic books out there. Right after the success of superhero comic books in the cinema, These comic books are highly popular and usually go from several hundred to a few thousand dollars.
3. Bronze Age Comic Books
After the Silver Age of Comics, the Bronze Age of Comic Books began in the early 1970s to 1984. The Bronze Age comic book prices are 15c,20c,25,30c,35c, and 40c. However, most superhero comic books from the early 1970s that cost around 15c to 20c are collectible along with the mystery and horror comics of the mentioned era. Because the 1975s have a lot of comics floating around, it depreciates the value of the comics of that era. Well, some basic economics: lower supply means more demand.
In the 1975s, the comic book collection culture was hot, and a lot of comic book collectors began to store copies without realizing the influx and the high number of comics flooding the market. Some of the most famous comic book titles of the bronze Age are Amazing Spider-man, Incredible Hulk, Marvel Spotlight, X-Men, Green Lantern, Detective Comics, Batman, Avengers, House of Mystery, and House of Secrets.
The most expensive and most sought after comic books of the Bronze Age are
- The Incredible Hulk 181 which featured the first full appearance of Wolverine.
- Werewolf By Night #32 featured the first appearance of the Moon Knight.
- Marvel Spotlight #15, a Bronze Age comic book featuring the first-ever appearance and the origin of the Ghost Rider.
The comic books in the bronze age usually feature team-ups and very few first-ever appearances. However, these comic books are not scarce and are fluctuating in the market. Because of the high supply and less demand, these comic books usually even go from two-digit numbers to a few thousand of dollars.
4. Copper to Modern Age Comics (comics from approximately 1980 to the present)
The Copper Age of Comic Books started from 1980 and ran to 2008; then the Modern Age of comic books started from 2008 and runs to the present. In terms of the collectible market, comic books that belong to 1980 are not old. For you that might be quite vintage because they are usually passed on from predecessors, but most people even consider the Copper Age as the same as the Modern Age. These comics do not carry a substantial value because most comics from these eras are too common to create much excitement. However, a few comic books are quite desirable on the comic book market and carry some value. For example, Avengers 196, Amazing Spider-Man 252, Batman 389, Batman Adventures 12, Amazing Spider-Man 300, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (1st and 2nd printings), Albedo 2, Miracle Man 15, New Mutants 98, Walking Dead 1, Albedo 2, and Wolverine Limited Series #1.
Some of the most expensive comics from the Copper Age of Comic Books are:
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (1984), This comic book featured the origin and first appearance of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Beware: this comic book had 6 printings, and each carry a different amount.
- Albedo #2: this copper age comic book featured the origin and the first appearance of Usagi Yojimbo.
- The Amazing Spider-Man #300 featured the first appearance of Venom.
The values in the copper age of comic books usually range from a few tens to only a few thousand of dollars in the comic book market. However, these comic books don’t have a high demand in the comic book market.
What makes your comic books valuable?
A comic book’s desirability and demand play an actual role in pricing a comic book. The more desirable a comic, the more demand it will have. When a comic book is hot and in demand, it is quite obvious that the price will go high since everybody wants to have a fancy collection. If a comic book has good demand, then it will engender a fair fight for price in auctions, Hence, you will get more.
Key issues always have a higher demand and are always desirable in the comic book industry. Demand is most elevated if there are appearances of major heroes and villains, as well as for other comics with an authentic significance. The first appearance of a character can make the value of a comic book skyrocket. It can be either a popular hero character or even a loathsome villain. In either case, if there’s the first appearance or a root story of a character, that can truly make it worth more.
The first appearance of Green Lantern, for example, is worth a lot more as compared to his second appearance. This is true for almost every superhero or villain. Recently, demand has been driven by movies and TV projects. Previously-unknown first appearances suddenly catapult in value because some C-list bad guy is going to be the antagonist in a new movie or series.”
If a comic book has historical importance, it may be the foremost key factor in the comic books’ value. Knowing which issues are considered “key issues” is profoundly important when searching for comic books in the wild. For example, Old American War comics have significantly higher values, Captain America fighting Nazis or Superman challenging Muhammad Ali the Great to a boxing match is what makes a comic book key and desirable.
Rarity and scarcity
It is basic economics that a lower supply leads to higher demand and prices. One of the main reasons why a Golden Age or a Silver Age comic book is much pricier is because of their scarcity in the comic book market. The rarer a comic book, the more fans want to buy your comic. Thus, it would have more value if it is a rare issue. Rare comics mean the demand is high, and as mentioned, high demand always elevates worth. However, in some cases supply is more important than demand.
For instance, there are more than 11,000 CGC-graded copies of New Mutants #98, the first Deadpool appearance, on the market. But due to the popularity of the characters, every modern collector wants to have this comic in their collection. This is why the value of this common book is generally high, certified in many different condition grades.
Why is it important to get your comic books graded?
Grading your comic books from a third-party grading company is one of the most confusing questions for a comic bookseller. Well, grading has its own pros and cons but not every comic book is made for third-party grading.
First, lets talk about grading:
Grading comic books means sending a comic book off to a third-party grading company, where they evaluate your comic book based on its condition and give it a grade on a 10 point grading scale. After determining the grade, the comic books are later sealed in a hard plastic case. These grading cases have the mentioned grade and a label that classifies the description of your comic book. Technically, there are five labels:
- Universal Label (most common): Comic books with no qualifiers or special consideration have a blue label.
- Qualified Label (uncommon): comic books that have a significant defect that requires a specific description, or they have an unauthenticated signature and are labeled with a Green Label.
- Restored Label: Comic books that have been restored or have evidence of repairs in order to improve their condition receive a purple label.
- Signature Series Label: As the name suggests, comic books signed by someone with the significance of the collectible receive a yellow label,
- Pedigree Label: Comic books that are part of the CGC-recognized pedigree collection receive a golden label.
There are a total of five third-party grading companies out there that grade your comic books:
- Certified Guaranty Company (CGC)
- Comic Book Certification Company (CBCS)
- HALO Certification PVT LTD.
- Professional Grading Experts (PGX)
Out of all the third-party grading companies, Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) has the most value and a fair market share. Afterward, Comic Book Certification Company (CBCS), HALO, and PGX.
The pros of getting a comic book graded are that it requires less care compared to a raw graded comic book. It is easier to handle or store, has higher market value, and has a fixed price tag along with the grade.
However, not all comic books are made to be graded; if your comic book is already in rough shape, it might not even get the amount you spent to seal it in a plastic case.
Sometimes, raw and ungraded comic books are sold for a much higher amount as compared to a graded comic book. Mostly, a lot of comic book investors sell their books in ungraded condition because they have the final say on the condition. However, we recommend owning graded comic books because they are easier to handle and require less care as compared to raw comic books. Sometimes, even minor mishandles or falls cause a comic book to lose its grade.
As most comic book enthusiasts say,
“With a great RAW comic book comes great responsibility.”
If you own a RAW comic book, sell it to us at a good price by clicking the link below:
How to sell comic books successfully
MAKE SURE THE COMIC BOOKS ARE WELL ORGANISED
In order to sell you comic books and make good profits, it’s better to organize them before contacting a buyer. An organized comic-book collective always has a positive impact on the buyer. It makes your comic books easy to scroll through and access, and helps a buyer analyze better which comics he should buy. In short, it saves a lot of time.
As most comic book buyers deal with a lot of buyers on a daily basis, they often avoid rifling through unorganized comic books. It is always better if the sellers do not have to look through dozens of moldy-smelling boxes, and most won’t. This would push you in a corner, forcing you to either accept a low-ball price for the lot or be on your way.
It is a smart move to organize your comics before you go to the buyer. Make sure you divide them by title and then by issue. A well-organized comic book collection is always more effective if you want a quick sale and make the most money.
If you have a number of new or less valuable comic books, it could be a good idea to group them by arc, ensuring that people will buy the whole story.
TRY TO SELL IN PERSON
Online sites may be of great help, but negotiations and dealings are always better when done in person. It may sound a bit old school, but in-person dealing will always save you from a lot of the online scams going on in the comic book market. Whether you are selling a comic book or buying it, try to trade it in person. To be honest, a lot of new comic book investors lose their passion and trust in the market because they were scammed and someone took advantage of their lack of experience. Sometimes, online scammers trade low-grade comic books, do not pay you the price of your comic book and run away. If you are willing to be patient, working with a dealer and being able to assess a collection’s physical condition won’t do any harm; in fact, it can be a good way to get the best deal.
CONSULT YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK STORE
It is true that most comic book stores will buy your comic book at a relatively low price because they also want to make a profit from the books you sell them. There is no denying that stores usually low-ball you to extend their profits. However, consulting them can be a great way to figure out if you have anything profitable and the starting cost range. In the bitter end, at least, it might give you a raw estimate about the grade of your book and its selling price. Always remember that it’s your book and totally up to you if you want to sell it to the local comic book store. Nevertheless, you will be able to take the data to a dealer or eBay and get a little more for your buck.
MAKE A LIST OF YOUR COLLECTION
Typically the primary thing to do, in case you have an expansive comic book collection, is to list them. It is critical to know every detail of your collection before you choose to sell it off. We know that it might consume some time, but you can easily send the compiled list to the dealers in your area, or you can easily hand it over when they come to look at your collection. A list will save time on a larger scale, and the dealer will have a better insight into the books he wants. This will make yo9u look more professional and easy-going, and help you sell your comic books at a much faster rate as compared to a number of dealers manually looking at your unlisted collection by picking them one by one from a pile. All serious comic book collectors have records of the collections they possess. Once you’ve penned them down in the form of a list, you’ll know the specific versions that you have (and the ones that are lost). It will be simple to show them to potential clients without wasting time. You can even email the list of your collection to several collectors and buyers. Sideline if they are interested in buying a single comic from your collection. They will come and secure the deal without wasting time. For example, If a collector wants Journey into Mystery #83, and it is in your collection. He will come and pick it up. If you don’t have that particular comic, he will avoid wasting any time and will save himself from the trip and the hassle.
ARRANGE THE COMICS IN ORDER
Try to sort your comic books in order according to series and issue number. Organized collections are always eye candy for a dealer. This could be very effective since clients will likely go through your stack and discover your collection to be exceptionally enticing when they see everything displayed nicely and in a pleasant manner. Arranging will make your collection much presentable and much more attractive in the eyes of the collector. Arranging your comic books will show how much time and care you put into your collection and you know they are worth it as they are a piece of American History.
If you have properly arranged them in order, the dealer can straight up look into his section and save time that is usually wasted scavenging into a piled-up collection. It even helped in specifying comic books as many potential purchases are usually lost to the eye or a dealer fails to notice a potential comic book that is hidden somewhere in the pile.
PACK THEM CAREFULLY
Plastic packs and sheets can be bought in bulk from any nearby stationery store. Pack your comics in plastic packs and sheets so they are more presentable. It shows your buyers how you have cared for your comics and ups your chances of getting a higher cost. In addition, boards will make any tears clear in case you have not taken care of your comic books appropriately. Pressing sheets show buyers that your comic books are in rough shape. Properly packed comic books are also less prone to damage when shipped or handed to buyers.
WAIT TILL THE TIMING IS RIGHT
Timing is the key to selling comic books. The comic book market has its own ups and downs, and comic books are constantly shifting demand. Try to hold your comic book for the proper time before putting your collection up for sale. Hot, in-demand comic books tend to sell faster and at a higher price point. Always remember that
“Good things come to those who wait.”
For example, your comic books will be in more demand if the economy is doing well or there’s a related motion picture out. As the brilliant advertised motion pictures based on Marvel comics, consider offering your series when the film hits the theaters.
PUT IN THE EXTRA EFFORT AND Personalize YOUR SALE
When it comes to getting the consideration of potential clients, pictures unquestionably speak louder than words! Pictures are undoubtedly the first things a client encounters. Comic collections are personal. A great way to extend the chances of selling your collection at an awesome cost is by taking high-quality photographs of your collection and allowing the seller to create a bond with the comics well before they see them in person.
You may, for example, take pictures of editions on your bookshelf or after you have put them in order on a table. This shows your collection at its best and helps trigger enthusiastic responses among other comic book devotees, who need your collection for themselves. Getting high-quality, white-background pictures is always an awesome idea, particularly if you’re offering comics one by one on eBay. Always remember that extra efforts are always cherished.
SEND THEM TO A GRADING COMPANY
Before you submit your comic to a grading service such as CGC, there are many things to take into consideration. The most important things are the condition and value of the book. It is better if you do not spend tons of money to get your comic certified if the comic is in poor condition and is not of sufficient value.
One of the other things to consider before submitting your comics to a third-party grading company is knowing if your book has any kind of significance. Does it feature the first appearance of an important character? Your comic may be worth grading if it is a classic or has the desired cover. However, grading a comic book can minimize profits.
How to Value Your Comics in 3 Easy Steps
If you have a graded comic book, you can easily value its value by following these steps: :
- Go to eBay or any auction website
- Put the name of your comic book with the grade in the search bar
- Select “sold listings” to check for how much that comic book was sold for in the past.
Always remember that the actual price depends on how much someone is willing to pay for it; and it is possible that you may get a significantly higher price as compared to the sold listings. On the darker side, it is also possible that you may not even get half the price. However, the pricing of a raw comic book can be a lot more complicated than this. Remember that the prices of raw comic books are never the same, and they tend to fluctuate a lot.
How to sell your comics in one step:
If you own a collection or even a single comic book- whether graded or raw – simply click on the link below and get your precious comic books appraised for FREE from Dylan Comic book Universe. We provide free appraisals. If you want to sell your comic, we can make you a fair offer.
Save yourself the hassle of selling your comic books and avoid wasting your time dealing with timewasters, returns, shipping, and potential losses as the internet is filled with scammers. Simply click on the like above and get your comic book appraised from Dylan Universe Comics absolutely FREE of cost. Apart from appraisal, we can even offer you a good market competitive price and you can sell your collection to us absolutely safe and hassle-free.
Selling Comic Books can be Hard
One of the biggest issues is ensuring that a dealer will sell your comic books. Evaluating a comic book is easy, but finding the right buyer for your comic book can be confusing and time-consuming if not done right. An effective seller needs to have complete knowledge of all the buyers he is likely to meet, their behavior, and what they are looking for. It takes learning about all the possible places you could make a fast sale and also helps you save time. Some buyers may be interested in investing, while some just want something fancy to add to their collection. Similarly, some places may help you sell your comic books fast while others may take a while longer; yet they help you make the most money. This may sound a bit confusing and hard to digest, but to ease your decision-making process, we have distinguished the benefits and deficiencies of each strategy.
Understanding Comic Book Buyers
When it comes to selling a comic book, it is always better to know who you are dealing with. It can be helpful to understand sales from the buyer’s perspective. Once you take the buyer’s perspective, you can easily lure them to buy your comic book. You can easily trigger their motivation points that make your book more appealing. When it comes to selling, all you should care about is your buyer because he’s the one who is paying. A buyer can pay a thousand for a hundred-dollar book if he wants to, or he can lure you into bargaining. There are a wide variety of buyers with different motives. Here is a list of the different types of buyers:
Investment buyers are planning to buy your comic books for the purpose of investment and making a profit from them. Investment buyers are always aware of what they are buying, market trends, demand, and how long they should hold the comic book for its price to shoot up. These people are aware that if they buy key issues with a high grade, their value is going to increase with time. Such people spend a lot of money on high-grade comic books. These books usually have some significance, so if you have books that are high in demand, are rare, and have a great value, it is best to look for investment buyers as they truly understand the worth of books and will pay top dollar without making unreasonable offers.
High-grade collectors are some of the most enthusiastic comic book collectors out there. These people are only looking for a comic with a high grade. Once you know the value your book has, it is important to look for such buyers because they have the money and the passion for collecting high-graded books. They are most probably going to buy your comic book. In most cases, if a high-grade collector sets their eyes on your collection and happens to like it, they are going to buy it. They are ready to pay any amount but not necessarily for investment purposes. They are in it for their passion for collecting comic books. They probably just want a fancy collection of expensive and rare books.
Flippers are the buyers of comic books in order to sell them for a higher price. Such buyers are only in it for the quick buck. They try to anticipate the next book that is going to rise in fame, and they buy up quantities of things and try to sell them as quickly as possible for maximum profit. Flippers usually offer a trade-in for their comic books. They are bargainers so that they can make a higher profit. Try to understand their mechanism: if they buy your comic book for a lower price, then they can sell it for a significantly higher price. The more they bargain, the more profits they can make. Often, these flippers do not want your comic book; they only want to make a profit.
- Regular collectors
Apart from the investors and flippers, there are regular collectors who only want to enjoy the culture of comic books. These regular collectors are usually childhood comic book fans who enjoy collecting and reading comic books. There are two types:
- Patient collectors
- Impatient collectors
Patient collectors are usually those who have been in the comic book game for a long time. These comic book collectors usually play the long game; they take their time researching. They realize that even the “rare” comics have multiple copies out there andt are available in a wide variety of grades and prices. They have a whole strategy. They know what things are worth, whether or not they are willing to pay for them, and will only buy books that meet their grade and pricing criteria. The patient collectors are very professional and easy-going in terms of dealing. Patient collectors are in it for the long run. They realize that your comics do not need to be perfect to sell them.
The impatient collectors have the hobby of collecting comic books. If they want a book, they will buy it. Usually, these impatient collectors do not care about the high price of books if they want them. Usually, the impatient collector does not waste a lot of time, and they are very less likely to bargain. They will pay the price you are asking because they are driven by the mad love of adding your comic book to their collection. In fact, impatient collectors do not care about the high price; they just want to get it in their hands more quickly. However, Most of the time it does not matter if your comic books have a lower grade; however, they must have good eye appeal. When it comes to lower grades, the grading accuracy of sellers has a wide variation. Some books that are 4.0 can be passed off as a 5.0 if they have a good appeal.
There is no doubt that most collectors want a high dollar value and high-grade comics, which means prices for comics graded below 5.0 are soft, creating a buyer’s market.
But some buyers do not care what a seller claims the grade to be. They ask for pictures, front and back, as well as a detailed list of observed defects. They decide the price they are willing to pay based on what they feel the condition is and on the Overstreet guide price.
Therefore, it is very important to focus on eye appeal. If the book looks terrible, has lots of tears or creases, is really worn-looking, you will have a hard time selling it unless it’s a real key issue. On the other hand, if it has a low grade but looks decent, someone will be happy to buy it. Obviously not for the price of a high-grade book, but it will still be worth something. So do not worry if some of your books have a low grade; as long as they are in decent condition, you are good to go.
Comic-book selling tips
Selling a comic book can be hard and quite confusing. Here is a comprehensive list of tips to keep in mind. So without further ado, get the most out of your comic bookselling experience.
You should be clear about what you are looking for. How are you going to sell your comic books and who is your target audience? If you want to make a quick buck, sell your comic books at online comic book stores. It’s an easy way to make quick money. But if you want to make the most money and do not mind waiting for a little, auction houses or selling directly to collectors is the best option. Make a list of your priorities. Are you looking to sell your comic book whether a single comic book or an entire collection? The easiest way to sell your comic book is by clicking the link below; we will buy it at a good price. It is absolutely hassle-free and quick.
Be careful with eBay and peer-to-peer sites
Online business means a lot of scammers and people ready to waste your time and money. Buyers at times can be really picky and disagree with the price and grades. They also want to return books, and online sites such as eBay tend to side with the buyers; so sellers should be fairly savvy and cautious.
It is recommended not to add the specific grade for your book while listing it instead, let the buyer determine the grade. No grade means there will be no disagreement.
If you are selling comic books, it is always preferable to meet the buyer in person. But make sure to protect yourself. There are a lot of bad people and scammers out there in the world. Even in the comic book market, we have seen a lot of sellers getting robbed when meeting buyers. Always pick a busy spot or a restaurant. Avoid meeting in shady places or pick a place that suits you. In terms of transactions, always choose online mediums such as bank transfers, Paypal, etc. Choosing an online transaction will save you in many ways. Handling a huge amount will be much easier. You won’t be scammed with fake currency; plus, it will save you from having to count the amount.
Keep your investments safe
You spend a lot of money on comic books and, honestly, it can be a huge investment. You probably hate it when they get damaged or ruined. good condition is one of the most important things if you want to sell your comic books. Keep them safe from damage by protecting them in mylar or acid-free covers. It’s your comic book, and you should protect it from damage. Always remember that poor conditions mean less money. Even minor folds on the edges may cause a book to lose its grade by several points.
If you have a profoundly valuable comic book, consider getting it “slabbed” in a hard plastic case that cannot be opened. There are some proficient comic reviewing companies that offer slabbing administrations.
Have valuable comics graded
Preserve your comic books’ worth by getting them graded. There are two major companies that can review your comics: CGC and CBCS. Grading is like insuring a comic book as it helps secure its condition. Some of your comics may have a greater value than you think and should be certified by a grading company. Graded books are easy to handle and store, and are worth more than raw comic books on the market. For beginners, we always recommend buying graded comics for investment.
Consider the time investment
Time is an investment. Consider your time as the most expensive thing you have. Once it has passed, it is not coming back. Selling comic books by yourself can give you more money, but it will cost you a lot of your precious time. Selling your comic book to an online store is much easier as compared to selling it on eBay; it can help you save time. Selling on eBay can put you through a lot of stress and frustration as you have to deal with returns, waiting, and additional fees. It is also possible that you might even have a diamond lying in the basement that can give you thousands of dollars – and even millions in some cases.
Take Your Own Photos
You need buyers to trust you one hundred percent; therefore take your own photos when you put up your comics. Dealers generally use Google for pictures; at times it could be very tempting, especially with a large collection. Taking your own photos means that potential buyers can see the condition for themselves. Your pictures are your first encounter with a prospective buyer. We always recommend using a high-quality camera when taking pictures of comic books. Try to avoid glare by using proper lighting. If you cannot afford to use proper lighting, take good quality pictures in sunlight. Always show the real side of your comic books. Focus on the edges, corners, spine, and the overall quality of the cover. If you own a RAW comic book, showing the color and condition of the pages can be a plus. Real pictures are a crucial factor that helps achieve a buyer’s trust. Comic books with real pictures sell a hundred times faster as compared to Googled pictures.
Learn to Use Image Hosting
An image hosting service allows you to upload images on the internet. Try to use image hosting when dealing with comic books online. Upload all the images on an image hosting website and send the code to the people asking for pictures online. For those who have never used an image hosting website online, here’s how to get your pictures uploaded to an auction.
- Log into your imgbb account.
- In the upper right-hand corner, click on your user name, then select “Albums.”
- Find the picture you want to upload and select the checkbox for that picture
- In the upper right-hand corner will be one of two possible buttons: “Upload to Album” or “Create a new album.”
- Directly underneath, you need to click on the link “Action.”
- A drop-down list will appear with the first option being “Get embed codes.” Click on “Get embed codes,” and a window will pop up with another drop-down selection box.
- Click on the drop-down selection box and choose “Direct links.”
- Move your cursor over the text box displaying your link and click “Copy.”
- Go to the eBay listing you are editing and scroll down to the “Photos” section.
- Above the 12 slots permitted for photos will be two links “Delete all” and “Import from the web.”
- Click on “Import from the web,” and a text box with a blinking cursor will display.
- Paste your code into the provided text box and click on the “Import” button.
You can use these steps to get your images uploaded directly. These steps may seem complex, but if you follow them one by one, are easier than they seem.
Do your research
Once you are done with sorting and listing your comic books, you should invest a lot of time in extensive research. Having complete knowledge about the market, pricing, and selling options is essential before you decide to sell your comics. It is a risky business to go into it blindly and will make you incur losses; however, if you do thorough research, you can actually make some good money.
Marvel and DC have helped comic values soar. Use the following key steps to see if you have any gems.
- Look for “DC Motion picture News,” “Marvel Movie News,” and “Comic Book News.” News articles are released each day, uncovering new data on characters being included in movies or tv shows. Do some fast research on any new characters specified to determine their first or key appearances.
- Perform a Google search for “DC Movie Rumors,” “Marvel Movie Rumors,” and “Comic Book Rumors.” While these are not always a conclusive source of data, there are numerous insiders who make great arguments for potential upcoming appearances as well as spilled information that will provide you with an advantage over the competition before the data is removed.
- When you have full runs, it tends to produce more sales conversions than single comics. If you have a full set of a certain series, chances are you will have no problem selling it.
Give Proper Descriptions When Selling Online
Knowing what you are selling is important when you are selling something. First, learn about what you are selling. Give proper details on what you are selling. There are quite a few things to take care of when you get into this business. Buyers do not only want to know solely about the condition of your comic; you should also provide them with other necessary details. A detailed listing I’ll let buyers know they have found the right issue – whether or not it’s by one of their favorite creators – and that you have invested in them and are not just trying to buy and sell in bulk.
Start by listing everything you know about your comic books, including:
Title and issue number
- Cover price
- Publication date and print edition
- Writer and artist names
- Pictures of your comic book: front and back, and interior if not slabbed. If there are defects, take photos of them as well (loose centerfold, rusted staples, small cover tears, etc.)
- State anything notable: if it’s a key issue, of historical significance, and if there are any writer or artist autographs
When you are selling on a bidding site, you are given a certain limit in the heading for a little description about your comics, so make sure to write down exactly what is needed to attract potential buyers. One of the basic things that need to be added in the description is the title and the issue. Buyers would also like to know the volume number, the name of the publisher, especially if it is from the two biggest publishing companies, either Marvel or DC. Adding a line or two about the story arc would also pique the audience’s interest Check for spelling mistakes. One simple spelling error can mean your comic could be ignored by search functions. Always cross-check your ad before uploading it on the server. Always add as much detail as you can when uploading your comic books. More details allow the search engine to perform better, and it will not ignore you.
Separate Valuable Comics in a Collection
It is important to do your research and keep your collection organized. People generally avoid this, but it is better if you make two piles of comics: one for your every day $1 issues and another for the more costly ones.
Yes, famous characters like Superman and Batman key issues always perform better. The more reputable and in-demand a character is, the better it will perform and the more value it will carry. However, some not-so-famous characters also have a separate fanbase. It is not necessary that comic books by Marvel or DC sell better. Once you start doing some research, your collection may surprise you. Sometimes, a seemingly nondescript issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is worth a lot more than you think. It would be a shame if you filed it with all the others. Start to research your comic books and separate the valuable ones j so you know which ones require extra care and which ones to show to the right dealers.
Sell Complete Storylines Together
In case you have corresponding issue numbers, collect them as one lot. It will draw in more bidders if there’s a complete run because they feel like they’re getting a stronger deal. Buyers are well aware that these issues are part of a cherished collection. You may list the comics separately but do so at the same time so buyers can see you have a run of issues to offer. It is better if you own a collection of the same type of comic books and try to sell the entire storylines together. Not only does it encourage enthusiasts to buy entire collections, but it also ignites a spark in the market. Buy6ers might bid on various comics to fill a hole in their collections. Do this sparingly though. Even a storyline with a lost issue or two is widely collected together and preferred as opposed to driving buyers to fish for the comics they need over various listings. Knowing you’re a collector might also mean that buyers will explore your other items.
Wait for the Perfect Opportunity to Sell Comics
It is okay if your comics are not in high demand right now. Patience is one of the most important attributes of a good seller. The demand for a comic book rises once it has been turned into a movie. For example, Iron Man comics are more sought after since Robert Downey Jr became Tony Stark. There is no denying that popular media boost sales. Always make sure to look out for upcoming production schedules, and try to save comics related to those characters for transmission or release dates.
The popularity of some titles remains generally the same, but people get more interested when there are hero and villain debuts. The Avengers and Suicide Squad are good examples; they all have characters with a separate huge fan base, but with rolling rosters – meaning a regular turnover of the cast – they can make an audience go crazy.
A lot of independent comics are being adjusted for the screen; hold on until they air before getting rid of those issues unless you’re frantic for money.
Take time to leave feedback for buyers, so they will likely leave feedback for you. Feedback is critical in case you’re just beginning. eBay may even hold your cash until the item has been delivered if you’re beneath a certain feedback level. One way to get around this if you’re just beginning is to offer l100 items at an incredible cost, perhaps even take a slight loss so you build your feedback up rapidly. Build your profile, be nice, and be helpful to buyers. Offer them support, and it will likely boost your popularity and help you become a reputed seller. There are highly reputed sellers on eBay that sell their comic books within a few hours because people trust them and are likely to pay even more than the actual price.
Where to Sell Comic Books
Comic books can be inherited in different ways. Some books that have been really successful in the past may resurface in popularity such that people start collecting them again. When these books are paired with box office films, they become more lucrative than they have ever been. In recent years, we have seen a lot of publishers evolving themselves towards comic book adaptation. Daily new movies, TV shows, and video games based on comic books are announced, which really ignites the spark of collecting the comic books of these adaptations. Marvel scoring billions on the box office has paved the way for a lot of comic book publishers to release their adaptations. These adaptations often increase the demand for comic books by a lot. New fans rush into the market looking for comic books related to their favorite superheroes’ origin, thereby making it a hot topic.
Let’s suppose you’ve found a pile of comics hidden away in the attic or you’ve pulled some issues from your collection that are pretty high in demand. It does not matter how you found this new goldmine of yours, as deciding where to sell your books is an endeavor within itself.
At Dylan Universe Comics, we believe it is within every seller’s right to understand the different ways to sell comics.
Different audiences have different tastes. It is important to understand your target audience so you can find someone who really wants to buy your collection. There are many different ways to sell comic books. There are many online comic book stores, local brick-and-mortar comics, book stores, auction websites, and local classified sites. Before deciding where you want to sell your comic books, you should know two things: first, what kind of people would be interested in your product, and secondly, will you agree to the prices of current demand.
Here is a list of places to sell your comics
- Online comic book stores and bookstores
- Peer-to-peer selling platforms
- Local classifieds sites and apps
- Online forums and communities
- Brick-and-mortar comic and book stores
Online comic stores and bookstores
When you decide to sell your comic book at an online comic or bookstore, you will meet experts who understand the value of your comic books. Such platforms are staffed with professionals; people who know their stuff means you will sell your comics in no time, and the payment will arrive as soon as the buyer receives the items. These companies offer cash payouts, although many additionally offer consignment services and store credit (which can net more value if you’d like to buy new comic books post-sale).
Online comic stores and bookstores are generally fast and convenient, but at times they do not pay top dollar for comics. This is because they need to resell their comics for a profit on the retail side. The bright side here is that you do not need to deal with the hassle of selling your comics to collectors. You get to avoid any kind of customer service, answering customer questions, invoicing, packing and shipping, returns, missing items, complaints, and relisting unsold items. In short, you are saving a lot of time.
Yes, the dealers take away a lot of the work, but they do demand their share. Most average comic book owners don’t want to get involved in retailing comic books on eBay. It is a full-time job, and some do not consider it worth their time. At the end of the day, they consider it better to take the easy dealer money and let them do the hard work? If you are a person with such a perspective, then it is better to sell your comic books online and let the dealers do the work while you sit back and wait for your payment.
Here are some advantages of selling comic books online versus retail locations:
- When you sell your comic books through dealers, you should know that they only care about turning a profit. On the other hand, if you decide to sell online, you get to name your price and meet other like-minded buyers.
- You can even sell multiple comic books by using the Offerup listing, from where you can sell multiple comic books in bulk if you have a large collection. Sometimes, there are people who are selling their entire collections with Offerup listings because they cannot keep up with their hobby.
- It is also to be considered that retail stores only cater to a smaller audience as compared to a website hosting worldwide comic book collectors. Retail stores get a very limited number of customers per day whereas these online websites have even more than 50M, annual users. We have seen comic books take months to sell through a local retailer as compared to an online store.
- If you want to deal in classics or key issues, you can easily buy them through an online marketplace, where you can bargain and find the lowest price possible.
- You are the owner and have to decide whether you want to sell your comic book or not.
Selling your comics at an auction can have a higher sales price than selling to comic stores. There is, however, one drawback: you need to account for commissions and other selling fees. It could take a little longer for your comic books to sell at auction – if they sell at all – but if you are lucky enough, you could get a quick sale. Selling your comics by auction is easy, and you can get minimized profits as compared to selling them yourself. Several auction houses charge 20 percent of the sold amount. You receive your payments via cash, check, or a service like PayPal, but these resources also entail fees. There are multiple types of auctions; for example, traditional auction houses that typically handle the entire process for you, or you could sell your books through online auction platforms. But here, you will have to do most of the work yourself.
Before you decide to sell your comics at auction, be sure you understand all the terms and fee agreements. Read and understand the terms of service and the charges before you deal with an auction house.
The world’s best-known online auction site is also a popular place to buy and sell comic books. Both private sellers and professional sellers use eBay to run their auctions, and the site is frequented by collectors.
Like all auction sites, there is no guarantee that you’ll sell your comics on eBay, but it boasts a massive audience that increases the potential for sales. Your first 50 listings each month are free (although there are fees for upgraded listings). The eBay commission rate is 10% of the final selling price, and you’ll need to pay payment processing fees (like PayPal) if your comic book sells. In addition to a traditional auction format, you can set a “buy it now” price.
Peer-to-peer selling platforms
You can list your comic books for sale on peer-to-peer selling platforms. Some sites charge listing fees or commissions, and some do not. Be sure to carefully vet any site you’re considering, as some are unmoderated – which can present potential risks like scams.
Others are moderated and provide seller protections like an escrow service. Though selling directly to collectors and other buyers might net you the most money, it also requires the most work since you’ll need to create a detailed listing and deal directly with buyers. Selling your comic through an escrow service is the safest type of online transaction as the seller has to approve the amount to be paid. They usually have a 5-day security period for you to claim your deposit in case of a scam. However, getting paid is not as quick because of the 5-day period, which can also have a few delays.
ONLINE FORUMS AND COMMUNITIES
Comic book forums and other online communities often include buying/selling threads that allow you to post your comics for sale. Like classified sites, there typically is no moderation; however, dedicated communities can be good places to find enthusiastic collectors. You can find all sorts of dealers, enthusiasts, collectors, and even scammers through these forums. So, make sure to take all precautionary measures before dealing. Try to be very careful as these forums can be even more toxic than Reddit, and they have low to no moderation at all. However, if you are ready to bear all this, these forums are one way to go. There are a lot of comic book forums such as CGC boards, ConnectiComic, and several others. These forums are very helpful if you want to learn about comic books. You can even ask all sorts of comic-related questions. However, There are two possible outcomes: either you will get roasted, memed, or you will get your required answers.
Classified ads in the local paper are beneficial depending upon your location. What drives people to post their ads in the paper is the extensive reach. However, the cost to continuously post listings in the paper increases over time. A very few people peruse the classified ads for old comics as they prefer online ads. It is better if you turn to your computer and sell your comics online.
Events are good places to sell comic books. Some might be packed with an enthusiastic audience and comic collectors. Comic conventions, specifically, are great places to take your comics in spite of the fact that you also might want to offer them at flea markets, exchange shows, and other events. You might need to travel to attend, which brings extra costs; but the trade-off is that these occasions can be a lot of fun. Check out the Comic-Cons coming close to you and look online for other comic-related events in your area. They are an absolutely fun experience for a comic book fan. You might even find celebrities there to sign your comic books. All kinds of buyers are present at these events, from enthusiasts to dealers. However, make sure to keep your comic books in check because comic thieves do exist.
Selling your comics through the mail is a good option as it is a transparent and trustworthy process. Many sellers have begun selling their comic books via mail. This simple method begins online and ends with a fair payment. In modern times, mailing a comic book may seem a bit old school; but believe me, it is one of the most convenient methods out there. The best thing about this older way of conducting business is that you will get exactly what you see. You will be paying for the thing in your hand, and you have the right to check it. There is no room for games and gambles. When you sell comics by mail, the entire process is at your disposal. You just settle on an offer with your buyer, you mail them your comics, and in most cases, you don’t even have to worry about paying for shipping. It is secure, reliable, fast, and easy.
Some important reminders
It’s a big world out there with lots of scammers and people ready to waste your time and money. The purpose of this guide is to help you avoid such scams and make a profitable sale. Selling comic books is not easy, as you need to be completely familiar with your book. It might be too much at the beginning but do not worry as we are always here to help.
To sum everything up, there are a few key factors to always take into consideration before selling your comic book.
- Know what you have: get familiar with your collection
Going through your old comics may be difficult, yet can still be nostalgic. It is like when you walked down the street and saw the happy man who used to sell comic books to kids after a school day for a dime while making them a root beer float.
Here is a swift guide that will help to recognize old comics in a quick yet easy way.
We’ll be referring to the term cover prices. A cover price is its initial price back in the day when it was freshly introduced.
- Know the condition of your comic book
A good condition means a better grade and a good chance that you will be able to sell it at a fair price. If you are a beginner, it might be hard to judge the condition of your comic books. The condition has a significant impact on comic book value; however, it can be challenging for novices to judge the condition of a given comic book.
You might have a huge collection of comic books but the important thing is that you take care of them. Condition is very important for every collectible. A comic with mold, mildew, or stains might not attract buyers. If it has been worn due to frequent reading and is falling apart, you might have a hard time selling it.
Not every “good condition” is “mint condition”
Probably not. Just because your comic book looks like it has never been touched by anyone does not mean it does not have small defects. Mint condition means perfect condition – a book in its pristine form. This means by human hands. A grading scale is used by comic collectors to determine the grade of the book according to the condition. The condition shows how well it has been preserved. Do your comic books have any creases or spine stress, do they have any missing pages, is the color fading away, are the staples rusty or detached, does it have stains, tanning, waviness, dents, or fingerprints? All these factors play a key role in determining the condition of your comic book.
When a comic is brand new, it is rarely a 10/10. There is only a 1 in 5000 chance that your comic book would be graded 10/10. A comic in its mind condition rarely exists. As mentioned, mint means never having been read or even touched, and finding that type of book is not easy. Even if your comic book is brand new, it is not guaranteed to pass as a comic in mint condition.
Most of the comic books that people claim to be mint are from the 1980s and 1990s, which is very common as they had much larger print runs than the rarest comics in the world.
We have seen a lot of amateur comic book collectors and enthusiasts selling so many collections, where the owners simply look at the first value. They see inaccurate or un-updated online Comic Price Guides and apps. Always try to browse prices on multiple price guides and take an average, just to be sure. The first value of a comic book is the near-mint value while some have a mint value. Comic books from the Golden Age or even the Silver Age have been through the sands of time, and they tend to lose their condition.
People want to believe they have a fortune, so they assume that they do. Sometimes they really do have some gems in their collection. if a person owns the heavily desired HULK#1 in near-mint condition, they could easily make a fortune. They assume the first value they see on the price guide without clicking the actual comic to see where the condition breaks down.
What about other grades like Near Mint (9.4) or Very Good Minus (3.5)?
We use the basic grades. It is very common for a flawless comic book that collectors claim is in a “mint condition” to be graded 9.4. There are in-between grades such as Good/Very Good (3.0) or Very Good Minus(3.5). It is easy to estimate the grade of your comics using the basic grades. A Good/Very Good is in between a Good (2.0) and a Very Good (4.0). The numbers out of 10 help too.
Note: Once you get to 9.0, the scale goes by .2 instead of .5, & .1 after 9.8.
Here is a shortened version of the grading scale:
Coverless or (0.3)
In simple words, a coverless comic is a comic with no cover. Such comic books may also be missing a page or two. 0.3 is already a pretty low grade so it really can not go any lower.
Following is an example of Hulk #1 from 1962, 1st app of the Hulk. It might not be one of the rarest comics, yet there is a high demand, making it valuable.
It is coverless and missing an advertisement page. The condition of the comic book is very poor, but the seller sold it for a little over $1000.
Poor or (0.5)
These comics have lost either a front or a back cover and are in really bad shape. They have multiple creases, spine stress, and are often missing a page.
Here is another example of Hulk #1 from 1962, 1st app of the Hulk.
It is in a poor condition and missing the spine. A large part of the cover is also missing. The seller sold it at auction for just under $3000 on September 10th, 2017.
This comic is reviewed by a third-party grading service. Reviewing expenses are exceptionally costly and begin for comic books valued at over $1000 at $100. This is in addition to shipping and often waiting for a very long time to get them back.
Collectors usually prefer comics that are not missing the cover as it is the most important part of a comic. This is why this copy sold for a higher price when the coverless copy was sold for. It has a cover.
Note: These are sold prices of these comic books, not asking prices!
Fair or (1.0)
A comic in the fair category is still in pretty bad shape. It could look pretty nice but is missing the spine of the cover. It could also have a large chunk out of the cover instead of having a full-length spine split. Oftentimes, it will be a combination. A comic that has a fair grade can still be in really bad shape. In most cases, it does have good eye appeal but a lot of tiny creases and stress marks.
Here is another deal of Mass #1 from 1962, the 1st appearance of the Hulk. The past examples had two major defects. It was missing the spine and a huge portion of the cover. This copy has lots of tape and spine splitting. The dealer sold it at auction for under $4800 with the buyer’s premium on November 19th, 2017. However, the prices of these comics have increased, but these cases will help you understand.
We believe it should have fetched a little bit more: maybe $5500.
NOTE: You will find with grading that some of the values are proportional sometimes with grading…
For example, a 2.0 is around half a 4.0 in price, and so on. In the super high grades and in super low grades, this is not the case.
Auctions take months to pay, and some even charge a buyer’s premium that you do not keep. This means that the buyer is willing to give you less because they have to pay the premium on top.
Auctions are also risky; Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. Some of the rarest comics in the world have resold soon after the original sale because of auctioneer collusion.
Good or (2.0)
This would be a comic that has been well read but is still clear. There are usually no missing pages or covers. Tape is used in some cases within the comic. The cover is generally not connected to the pages in this condition. Here is an average copy of Hulk #1 from 1962, the1st app of the Hulk. This specific copy has a lot of tape and shows wear on the spine and edges. We gauge it is worth around $7000 gross.
The comic book in the picture does not look bad, but someone applied tape on the edges. As you can see, the tape and the peeled-off edges of the comic book really affect the condition in a bad way. Hence, the grade of the comic book is 2.0 or Good. Grading a comic book is a thorough process, and the books are checked with attention to detail. Hence, even small defects may cause a book to lose its grade. So, What you might think is a little crease or color breakage can make a huge difference in the grade of your comic book; hence, the lower value as compared to a comic book in a higher grade.
Note: Third-party reviewing is often not essential since most collectors and dealers know how to grade. In some cases, collectors and dealers will hypothesize a low or high technical grade, but it presents as more unfavorable or more pleasant. How did collectors and dealers execute before third-party grading existed? Most collectors lean toward raw comics since they can read them rather than being in a heat-sealed plastic “prison.” Numerous of the rarest comics are third-party graded, but a few are not; sometimes it can in fact hurt the value.
Very Good or (4.0)
This is the normal reader copy. It has been read numerous times. Now and then, exceptionally great copies are folded down the center, typically known as a subscription crease. A very good condition comic t would have an exceptionally small or no spine splitting. This is the most elevated grade, where a cover can be completely detached from the insides. If completely confined, it must present pleasantly; otherwise, amount of wear and no tape. One staple can be detached; however, a small amount of wear is permitted. When the cover is completely joined, greater wear is allowed.
This comic has a few defects keeping it from earning a higher grade; the creases along the edges and the spine wear decrease its value. if you look closely, there is also writing on the title, which hurts the eye appeal.
There is also a little chip in the bottom edge of the comic. We appraise this comic to be worth in the ballpark of around $13000 in a retail setting. The comic looks decent as if worth 4% of what the nicest copy in the world earns. There is an exponential difference between decent and nicest.
Fine or (6.0)
Comics in this grade often have a handful of defects but nothing major. Ordinarily having this grade may be from a combination of one or two little wrinkles and some spine wear. A couple of minor wrinkles are permitted. In some cases, a comic may have few or none of these defects but still be considered Fine. This sometimes happens when the color of the cover is a bit blurred, meaning the color is not as solid and is lighter than before.
Fine (6.0) copies of early 1960’s Marvel Comics are considered to be in decent condition. Fine copies were usually read once or twice and put away in some secure place a long time ago.
This nice copy of Hulk #1, sold for $24,000 net recently. Notice the numerous little creases on the right edge and the minimal amount of spine wear. There is not a lot wrong with this comic. However, the edge creases and a handful of little pieces lost from manufacturing on the right edge cap the book at a 6.0m grade. This copy is worth almost 7 percent of what the issue in its best condition was sold for.
Very Fine or (8.0)
A comic that has been touched rarely and when read, the owner has been very careful. This grade only allows for a few certain small defects, which include slight spine marks or very tiny creases.
This copy of The Incredible Hulk #1 was sold for a huge $70,000 USD at auction in March 2016. You might be wondering why the price of an 8.0 graded copy is almost the third time of a 6.0 sale. The mere reason for this is that an 8.0 is a very fine grade as compared to a fine 6.0. The higher the grade of a comic book, the more likely it is to attract enthusiasts and high-grade collectors. High grades are hot, and collectors have to compete with one another just to get their hands on a very fine copy.
Usually, the phrase “Comic has been barely touched” is mentioned on the condition description of an 8.0 Very Fair graded copy. This comic book is without a doubt the closest to an untouched new copy, and almost any comic book enthusiast will pay a fine dime and lots of money to own a MINT copy.
Do you think some or all of your comics are in Very Fine Condition? Let us know. Condition is important. Feel Free to contact us and sell your comic books to Dylan Universe Comics. Absolutely Hassle free by clicking the link below:
Near Mint Minus (9.2)
Near mint, comics are in their absolute condition. They have never been touched and retain their original glow and shine. No pages are missing, no fading of colors, no stains, creases, or stress marks; in short, there are no signs that the book has ever been read or touched.
The Very Fine Copy above has a tiny bit of tanning on the colors. Near Mint Minus does not allow any kind of tanning or fading of colors.
9.2, Near Mint Minus is a flawless comic as good as new and can cost thousands of dollars.
This copy was sold for $326,000 back in 2014.
The more pleasant the condition gets on an always in-demand comic over a certain point, the more exponential it gets in each rising grade. A 9.2 Near Mint minus is a collector’s dream, and they can go to the absolute limits of their financial status in order to buy a near-mint comic book.
But why isn’t there a mint example in this guide?
It does not exist simply.
How much are your comic books worth?
This is certainly the question we receive most regularly. In case you are a comic book amateur or a new collector, deciding a comic’s worth can feel like a lot of work, and it is! Before you ponder how to sell comic books, you have to understand what you have. Cost is decided by an assortment of variables, but the foremost and most common is the comic’s age and rarity. To distinguish your comics, consider the date and the cost they were once sold at. The more seasoned they are, the better. Considering that comics have been in circulation since the 1930s, issues from the 80s and 90s are not as important as the 40s and 50s.
Be on the lookout for these old issues since they are worth a lot. One of the finest ways to decide how much a comic book is worth is to discover your tribe! There are handfuls of prevalent Facebook posts and message sheets, where like-minded individuals talk about comics, their craft, and dish out beautiful supportive exhortations!
It has been said before that most comic books are worth their cover costs or less, but it does not mean that all comics can help you make a profit. Usually, comics at the higher-end sell at an auction near to their price-guide value while on the other hand, lower-end comic books are exceptionally troublesome to sell.
The normal value of a comic book is around 25 cents, but in case you go to a comic book store carrying boxes filled with thousands of essentially low-demand comics from the 1990s to nowadays, you will be fortunate enough if you somehow manage to get five cents each for them. Most dealers will not even touch them. Each era has its garbage. Just because your comic book is old does not mean that it is valuable.
Sell With Us
Comic books are not just a business for us. It’s in our passion and a way of life. Comic books are more than books or a way of earning money. We are a team of two members, namely a father and a son, who share a love for comics and the adrenaline spikes of marketing. When you sell with us, you haven’t just found a place to sell comic books; you’ve found a family with similar interests and ethics.
Comics are more than just stories you’ve been told; they surround the entire world in a few fine pages. They hold nostalgic value, and we treat each and every comic with the care and compassion it deserves.
What keeps us apart from big chain stores and impersonal online stores is our customer service and passion. When selling with us, you receive a fair deal and are aware of the speaker, plus free shipping!
It may be frustrating yet time-consuming when you sell comics yourself; without experience and knowledge, you could easily waste hundreds just to keep your comics in safe hands. Skip the hassle and find a professional who will give you a fair price.
If you are still unsure whether you should deal with us or have any concerns, feel free to contact us through our social media handle. Send us an email with your query, message us on Facebook or Instagram, or give us a call at 516-493-0383. We will try our best to answer your questions in the best way possible.
Selling With Dylan Universe Comics: step by step guide
You can even mail your comic books to Dylan Universe Comics; it is quick and easy. We will try our best to give you the best service and the best price out there. To get the most out of your comic bookselling experience, simply follow the steps and sell your comic books to us.
The first thing to do is take a photo of your comic book and send it to us. Make sure you also include a written list of all the comic books you want to sell. There are a few things you should mention while mailing us the photos: the comic’s title, issue number, age, quantity, and your city and state. For local collections, we’ll come to you! (We are located in Great Neck, New York.)
Once your mail is received, you’ll hear from one of us, and we can settle on a fair price. We are a team of father and son (Dylan and Paul), and you will hear from either of us.
After you’re satisfied with the price offer, you will be paid via PayPal. You will then send us your comics! Comics are sent for free via USPS, UPS, or FedEx Label.
Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the easiest way to earn money. We will send you an email as soon as we receive the comic(s).
For your convenience:
For larger collections, we understand the doubts you may have regarding a fair offer and shipping. Therefore, we will come to you and make a deal.
Simply click on the link below to sell your comic books with us.
Buying Comics 2020-Condition Equals Value
Why Condition of the Rarest Comics Matters:
Do you have the holy grail of comic books? Did you see your exact comic in the article previous article or a comic you think is valuable? If not, read the previous article, click here. Just make sure your comic is not a reprint(a comic printed many years later that looks similar to an original, but is usually not valuable). Condition is important for every collectible. A comic with mold, mildew, or that is falling apart, or is “well-read” is not worth anything close to a nice “brand new” comic. Rarest comics values widely vary depending on the condition.
But my comics look nice-They must be in Mint Condition right?
Mint Condition is a term that is thrown around that is meant to say perfect condition. This means never touched by human hands. Comic collectors use a grading scale to determine what condition a comic is in. This is based on how well the comic is preserved. Do your comic books have any creases, spine stress, missing pages, nice color, detached staples, rusty staples, stains, tanning, waviness, dents, or fingerprints?
When a comic is brand new, it is almost never a 10/10.
Here is a shortened version of the grading scale:
Coverless or (0.3)
A coverless comic is simply a comic with no cover. Sometimes coverless comics will be missing pages. The grade of the comic is already below a poor(the next highest grade), so it really can’t go any lower.
Here is an example of Hulk #1 from 1962, 1st app of the Hulk. It isn’t one of the rarest comics, yet there is a high demand making it valuable
It is coverless and is missing an advertisement page. The seller sold it for a little over $1000, missing a page and a COVER on October 10th, 2017.
A Near Mint Minus (9.2) copy Sold for $326,000 gross in 2014.
(Not Mint condition, Near Mint Minus.)
The condition does matter!
To be fair, the grades(conditions) of those two copies of Hulk #1 are polar opposites in condition.
Important: if a price guide says your comic is worth a certain amount, remember that is usually the Near Mint value, or even sometimes the Mint value, Not the Actual Value!
Click here to see the actual sale.
Let’s look at an actual sale of a copy that is “nicer”:
Poor or (0.5)
A comic in poor condition is essentially a comic that has a cover, and looks really, really, really bad. Sometimes a poor comic can be much nicer structurally but is missing one page or more. If a comic is missing a front cover or a back cover but has the other, it is poor.
Here is another example of Hulk #1 from 1962, 1st app of the Hulk.
It is missing the spine and a large part of the cover. The seller sold it at auction for just under $3000, September 10th, 2017.
This comic is graded by a third-party grading service. Grading fees are very expensive and start for comic books valued at over $1000 at $100. This is in addition to shipping and waiting a long time to get them back.
This copy sold for triple what the last copy(the coverless one) we saw above sell for.
It has a cover.
Collectors do not like comics missing covers or missing anything.
Note: These are sold prices, not asking prices!
Click here to see the actual sale.
Fair or (1.0)
A comic in the fair is still in pretty bad shape. It could look pretty nice but be missing the spine of the cover. It could also have a large chunk out of the cover instead of having a full-length spine split. Oftentimes, it will be a combination.
Here is yet another sale of Hulk #1 from 1962, 1st app of the Hulk.
The previous example had two major defects. It was missing the spine and a large part of the cover. this copy has lots of tape and spine splitting. The seller sold it at auction for just under $4800 with the buyer’s premium, on November 19th, 2017.
We believe it should have fetched a little bit more: maybe $5500.
NOTE: You will find with grading that some of the values are proportional sometimes with grading…
For Example, a 2.0 is around half a 4.0 in price, and so on. In the super high grades and in super low grades, this is not the case.
Auctions take months to get paid and some even charge a buyer’s premium that you do not keep. This means the buyer is willing to give you less because they have to pay that premium on top.
Auctions are also risky; Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Some of the rarest comics in the world have resold soon after the original sale because of auctioneer collusion.
Click here to see the actual sale.
Good or (2.0)
A comic that has been well read, but is still readable. Most of the comic is there. Tape is sometimes on the comic. The cover is generally not attached to the pages in this condition.
Here is an average copy of Hulk #1 from 1962, 1st app of the Hulk.
This particular copy has lots of tapes and wears on the spine and edges. We estimate that it is worth around $7000 gross.
This copy does not look bad, but all the tape and pieces out of the edges, greatly affect the condition of the comic and the technical grade. This is a nice 2.0 or Good.
What you might think is a “little crease”, can make a big difference in value, especially in higher grades.
Note: Third Party Grading is often not even necessary because most collectors and dealers know how to grade. Sometimes collectors and dealers will hypothesize that a comic got a low or high technical grade but it presents worse or nicer. How did collectors and dealers transact before third-party grading existed? Most collectors prefer raw comics because they can read them instead of being in a heat-sealed plastic “prisons.” Many of the Rarest Comics are Third Party Graded-but some are not; Sometimes it can even hurt the value.
Very Good or (4.0)
The average reader copy. It has been read multiple times. Sometimes Very Good Copies are folded down the middle, this is known as a subscription crease. A very good condition comic should have very little or no spine splitting. This is the highest grade that a cover can be fully detached from interior. If it is fully detached, it must present really nicely otherwise(small amount of wear) and have little or no tape. One staple can be detached, yet there is a middle amount of wear allowed. When the cover is fully attached, a larger amount of wear is allowed.
This comic presents nicer than Very Good. Although the technical grade is Very Good. But there are some defects keeping it from being higher grade.
There is spine wear and some edge creases. There is also writing on the L in HULK. The writing just hurts eye appeal.
There is also a tiny chip out of the bottom edge of the comic.
We estimate that this comic is worth in the ballpark of around $13000 in a retail setting.
This comic looks nice and is only worth 4% of what the nicest copy in the world is worth. There is an exponential difference between nice, and nicest.
An apartment is going to sell for a fraction of what a mansion would sell for. They are both places where people live; Go figure.
Fine or (6.0)
Comics in this grade often have a couple of defects but nothing major. Usually having this grade is a combination of a couple of small creases and some spine wear A few tiny creases are allowed as well. Sometimes a comic could have very few or none of these defects but still be considered Fine. This sometimes occurs, when the color of the cover is moderately faded, so the color is not as strong and is lighter.
Fine(6.0) copies of early 1960’s Marvel Comics are considered to be in nice condition. Fine copies were usually read once or twice and were put away somewhere safe a long time ago.
This Nice Copy of Hulk #1, sold for $24,000 gross recently.
Notice the multiple small creases on the right edge and the minimal amount of spine wear. There is not a lot wrong with this comic!
However, the edge creases and a couple of small pieces missing from manufacturing on the right edge, cap the book at a Fine.
This nice copy is worth about 7 percent of what the nicest copy knew to man sold for.
Do you think your comics look this nice? Contact us here to get our offer first!
Very Fine or (8.0)
The comic has barely been touched. Maybe it has been read once if the owner was careful. The only defects comics in this grade have are a couple of spine stress marks and sometimes a very tiny crease.
This copy of Hulk #1 sold for $70,000 Gross back in March of 2016.
$70,000 is almost triple the 6.0 sale. Why? Very serious collectors have to compete with one another just to own a Hulk #1 in this grade.
As stated in the condition description for an 8.0, “Comic has been barely touched.” This is essentially the closest, almost any collector with even lots of money to play around with will get to owning a MINT copy!
Do you think some or all of your comics are in Very Fine Condition? Let us know. Condition is important.
Click here to contact us.
Near Mint Minus (9.2)
The comic has not been read. Comic may have a couple of spine stress marks, but nothing else is wrong with it.
The Very Fine Copy above has a tiny bit of tanning on the colors. This is not allowed in Near Mint Minus.
9.2, Near Mint Minus is a basically flawless comic.
This copy sold for $326,000 back in 2014.
The nicer the condition gets on an always in-demand comic above a certain point, the more exponential it becomes in each ascending grade.
But why isn’t there a mint example in this guide?
It does not exist simply.
Mint Condition Misconception
Note: Mint or 10/10 almost never exists. The chances of a brand new comic book grading a 10/10 are about 1 in 5000. No Joke. Most comic books people claim to be Mint are from the 1980s & 1990s which are quite common, have so much larger print runs than the rarest comics in the world.
Important: We pass on so many collections because the owners of the comics look at the first value they see on inaccurate online Comic Price Guides and apps. The first value is the Near Mint Value, sometimes even the Mint Value. “Old Comics” are almost never in that condition as seen from the examples given. When it is a heavily desired comic like Hulk #1, and it is in NEAR MINT CONDITION, it is worth a fortune. People want to believe they have a fortune so they believe they do. They assume the first value they see on the price guide without clicking on the actual comic to see the condition breakdowns.
Hey, aren’t there other grades too like Near Mint (9.4) or Very Good Minus (3.5)?
Yes. We stuck to the basic grades. There are in-between grades such as Good/Very Good (3.0) or Very Good Minus(3.5). It is somewhat easy to estimate the grade of your comics using the basic grades. A Good/Very Good is in between a Good (2.0) and a Very Good (4.0). The numbers out of 10 help too. Note: Once you get to 9.0, the scale goes by .2 instead of .5, & .1 after 9.8.
If you would like to sell your comics or contact us click here. $
3rd Party Comic Book Grading.
Comic Book Grading:
Comic Book Grading is the process of determining the condition of the book. The comic books are given a standard grade based on their condition which influences the value of the book. The comic-book grade depends on all the factors After the grading process, the comic books are then sealed into a protective case which prevents the book directly from smudges, greasy hands, falls, and much more. Basically, comic-book grades are rated from 0.5-10. The specific grade depends on paper problems such as:
- Fading & decolorization
- Condition of the book cover
- Wear and tear
- Interaction such as drawing or markings on the book
Traditional Old School Comic book grading scale:
So basically, the comic books were originally categorized into eight major categories:
- Mint (MT)
- Near Mint (NM)
- Very Fine (VF)
- Fine (FN)
- Very Good (VG)
- Good (GD)
- Fair (FR)
- Poor (PR)
This comic book grading scale has been used for several decades but the only issue with this grading scale is that it is not as accurate and as precise as it should be. But during the decade the comic book grading has also evolved into a much precise method for the gradation of the comic books. First, it evolved into the use of using a slash such as if a comic book’s condition is in between Mint (MT) and Near Mint (NM). We use forward slash to denote the in-between condition of the book. For Example, Mint / Near Mint or MT/NM is used to denote that the book is graded between Mint and Near Mint.
After the use of the Forward Slash Method, the comic book grading method further evolved into the use of the plus (+) and the minus (-) method, the uses of these signs further improved the accuracy of determining the book’s condition. Such as, if a comic book’s condition is slightly better than the Very Good (VG) category, we use “Very Good+” or “VG+” to grade its condition. Similarly, if a comic book’s condition lies in between Good (GD) or Very Good (VG), we use positive (+) or (-) along with the grade to determine where its condition is more inclined and so forth.
After the Plus (+) and the Minus (-) method and the Forward Slash (/) method, we evolved into a prime and a much more modern comic book grading system. Later in the hobby, we shifted to using numerical terms to grade a comic book’s condition.
Here’s the newly accepted 3rd party standard grading scale:
- 10.0 Gem Mint
- 9.9 Mint
- 9.8 Near Mint / Mint
- 9.6 Near Mint+
- 9.4 Near Mint
- 9.2 Near Mint-
- 9.0 Very Fine / Near Mint
- 8.5 Very Fine+
- 8.0 Very Fine
- 7.5 Very Fine-
- 7.0 Fine / Very Fine
- 6.5 Fine+
- 6.0 Fine
- 5.5 Fine-
- 5.0 Very Good / Fine
- 4.5 Very Good+
- 4.0 Very Good
- 3.5 Very Good-
- 3.0 Good / Very Good
- 2.5 Good+
- 2.0 Good
- 1.8 Good-
- 1.5 Fair / Good
- 1.0 Fair
- 0.5 Poor
This grading scale is known as the 10-point grading scale. The 10-point grading scale is the most commonly used grading scale and is being used nowadays. You might have seen books in a protective case and graded with decimals ranging from 1-10.
How to get your comic books OFFICIALLY “graded?”
Grading your comic books is easier and more convenient than you can think. There are basically three venues from where you can get your comic book grade.
- You can drop your comic books from conventions such as comic cons, book fares, or book festivals. A lot of grading companies usually have a stall or a table that accepts books to be graded.
- You can send your precious comic books to a grading company by mail.
- You can also visit a local comic book retailer and check whether they have an account with a grading company. The retailers might be able to get your books graded by a renowned grading company at a slightly discounted rate. (often 20%)
Comic book grading companies:
One of the most common questions between comic book collectors and enthusiasts is Which comic book grading company is the best? So, In this article, I will try to give you a brief and unbiased review of which comic book grading company is the best. So, there are three pioneer third-party grading companies:
- Certified Guaranty Company (CGC)
- Comic Book Certification Service (CBCS)
- Professional Grading Experts (PGX)
- Halo Certification Comic Book Grading (HALO)
Before I give you a brief contrast, keep one thing in mind, even these pioneer grading companies admit that if the same comic book is sent for grading at the same time. It might not even receive the same grade, there will always be a plus or minus.
Certified Guaranty company is also known as CGC. Certified Guaranty Company is an independent third-party comic book grading company. This grading company was opened in the year 2000 in Sarasota, Florida. Certified Guaranty Company is also a member of the Certified Collectibles Group of companies. In fact, CGC revolutionized the entire comic book industry upon its release and it was also the world’s first third-party comic book grading company. Before the release of the comic book grading giant, all the precious comic books were usually left to retailers, dealers, or comic book collectors for grading. There was never a proper precise scale to grade all comic books in the same variations. Everyone used to grade their comics differently. Some people graded the same comic as Mint where some used to grade it to Good or Very Good. Many comic book enthusiasts used to take massive advantage by getting their comic books graded from crooked comic book dealers and sell their comic books at higher prices.
Certified Guaranty Company basically developed harmony in the comic book world by providing a proper grading mold to every comic. Currently, the Certified Guaranty company is the biggest and the best comic book grading company in the world. According to a survey conducted by Gpanalysis.com, there are currently 1 billion dollar worth of CGC-graded comics in the world. Even tho, Comic Guaranty is currently the world’s best company, there are some complaints regarding CGC. Their grading quality is the best. They have a positive reputation for a really long time but In 2016, the company suffered a massive blow in its reputation when they found a small issue with the plastic bag that actually damaged some comics. Furthermore, the company resolved these issues when it was once identified and is currently living up to its expectations. It is also important to know that many comic book collectors and buyers often pay a slightly higher price when a book is graded by the Comic’s Guaranty company.
Cost of getting your books graded by Certified Guaranty Company:
One of the best things about CGC is that they have a very reasonable pricing standard. Basically, Certified Guaranty company charges according to the market value of the comics which is quite reasonable and quite efficient.
As mentioned on the website of Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) they also charge a handling fee of $5 for all online submissions per invoice and a handling fee of $8 for all paper submissions per invoice.
Keep in mind that the turnaround times in the chart are approximate and Certified Guaranty Company does not guarantee the turnaround on the exact date.
Pros and cons of Certified Guaranty Company (CGC):
Pros of CGC Grading:
- Certified Guaranty Company uses a sturdy comic bookcase. CGC seals the graded comic book in a sturdy case that protects your comic book’s condition and protects the comic book from most. For example, if you drop your CGC graded comic book, the protective case will take all the damage and will leave your comic book unharmed. CGC will also repair and reseal the comic book for a fee of $15.
- A high value in the market and insurance. CGC graded comic books have a significantly higher value as compared to the other companies’ graded comic books. CGC graded comic books are also prone to get insured. For example, if you have your comic books in your home and you have home insurance. For some reason, you have a mishap such as a flood, fire, or theft, and your precious comic book is prone to lose. Most insurance companies don’t compensate for the loss of the comic books unless your comic books have been graded by CGC. The insurance company can easily verify the value of your precious comic books and reimburse you with a price check. You need to make sure you have insanely good proof as they will likely be bad sports without compelling evidence. Dylan Schwartz is still fighting tooth and nail for his $60k from the 2 Amazing Fantasy 15s (1st Spider-Man) and he has solid pictures & a witness.
- Certified Grading Company is more reliable than other comic book grading services out there. CGC is also considered as the premium standard for grading and is currently the most trusted and reliable grading service between all comic book enthusiasts and collectors. Certified Grading Company has been operating for more than 20 years now with very little to no negative feedback between these years. Even though there are some fluctuations in getting the precise grade but in most cases, CGC provides pinpoint accurate grades. Whereas, in comparison, if most of the comic book grading companies suffer an overwhelming response in to-be-graded books—their grading and grading quality suffers.
- CGC has established a golden standard for the comic book grading companies out there. They have an extremely skilled team that has kept its mark and has led CGC to where it is now. CGC grading team is so professional that they have established a consistent and well-rounded market standard for CGC which is wildly trusted among people and Comic book collectors.
- CGC offers expert restoration checking for your comic books. In this restoration checking, a team of skilled professionals review your comic book and perform attention detail checkup of your comic book. In this checkup, look for any signs of restoration on your comic book.
- The Holders of the comic books that have been graded by CGC are fairly easy to crack open. The holders are safe to open as they do not potentially harm your comic book when they are opened. These holders are designed in such a way that your comic book is optimally visible. However, if due to some means you crack open your comic book, you will have to get your comic books recertified at a discounted price.
- The grading cases of the CGC offer the best protection there is to your comic books. These cases are made up of hard plastic and state-of-the-art materials that are designed to keep your comic books safe without affecting their integrity or their grade over time.
- CGC is offering a series of custom labels which are in fact the coolest comic book grading labels out there. The labels are a series of custom labels based on the characters your comic book is about which are printed on the label of your comic book. The labels literally put a charm on your graded comic bookcases.
Cons of CGC Grading:
- One of the biggest flaws of getting your comic book graded is you cannot open your comic book to read it. Many vintage comic book collectors want to enjoy the aroma and read their old comic book but they are unable to because their book is sealed in a plastic case. Furthermore, you can read your graded comic books but simply purchase a digital copy or a certified copy of your precious comic book and fulfill your heart desire.
- One of the biggest disadvantages of submitting to comic books to be graded from CGC is that you must be a paid member of the grading company. In order to be a paid member, you must pay a yearly subscription of a minimum of $25 per annum. Although, you can get your comic books graded from CGC by using an authorized comic book dealer for free. But if you want to do it to include a third person and deal directly then you should consider buying a plan that starts from as low as $25 per year. Even tho, this fee isn’t much, if you don’t have a lot of comic books to submit or you have a low budget then it really adds up the price.
- Certified Guaranty Company has a very late turnaround time as usual. Sometimes their turnaround time even runs up to 4 months for less expensive comic books and for comic books that are worth over $1000, there is a high chance that you will prolly get your comic books within a week or a couple of weeks at most. And for comic books that are worth less than $400, you might have to wait for a long time. Generally, it depends on the seasons and the workflow. But, one thing is certain that the turnaround time is generally fast even for low-priced comics but sometimes, it can be as high as 4 months.
- CGC’s grading can be inconsistent sometimes. Even tho, CGC’s grading is way more consistent as compared to other grading companies and according to my personal experience, CGC is pretty good.
Comic Book Certification Company also known as CBCS, is one of the best comic book companies out there. CBCS was founded in May 2014 by Steve Borock and Alec Born. CBCS is a third party independent comic book grading company. However, CBCS was sold and is currently functioning under Beckett media. CBCS founder Steve Borock is a very popular name in the comic book industry because of his efforts at creating Certified Grading Company (CGC) along with his position as Senior Consignment Director in Heritage Auctions.
Despite it being founded later than every other grading comic, CBCS has become wildly popular and one of the best comic book grading companies in the world. CBCS also claims to have a staff with more than 250 years of comic book grading experience. In terms of comparison, if the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) deserves a gold medal at grading then CBCS deserves a silver medal. The main motive behind the development of CGC was to develop a transparent company, a company that discloses each and every detail to what’s happening behind the company walls to their valuables. Starting from turnover delays to every problem that arises, CBCS will disclose it to you. Instead of keeping a secret, CBCS will send an email to you that will disclose every problem that may have arisen during the grading process.
Cost of getting your books graded by CBCS:
In terms of pricing, CBCS is much cheaper than CGC. CBCS also offers monthly and bi-monthly price coupons and discount vouchers to its grading customers.
Signature add-on is $5 per book (Not signature)
Image add-on is $4 per book (Free Image for 1-day tier)
Video add-on is $30 per book.
Furthermore, you can also get an additional discount via an authorized dealer. Generally, Authorized Dealers get a 10% discount on all tiers, add-ons are not included.
Pros and Cons of Comic Book Certification Service (CBCS):
Pros of CBCS:
One of the best advantages of using the Comic Book Certification Service is that it is much cheaper. So, if you don’t want to spend much and get your comic book packed in a sturdy case, CBCS is where you should go.
- CBCS offers the best-looking graded cases out there. In my opinion, they offer way better and much cooler looks than CGC and boost the overall quality of your book.
- You don’t even need to pay an annual fee or subscribe to their services in order to get your comic book graded. However, they have different packages for new or non-subscription-based customers.
- CBCS offers signature verification services. At first, they used CSA comics for their signature services but CSA has now been absorbed into CBCS. You can use this service to verify and authenticate the signatures on your comic book. If you don’t have proof of the signature on your comic then CBCS might be a way to go. However, you should keep in mind that the comics that receive the verification service have a relatively different label as compared to the authentication service, but this might be the only option for the unwitnessed signatures.
- CBCS also proved free grader notes along with their graded comic books. So, basically, this comic book grading company tells you why and how your comic book got the aforementioned grade and it’s free of cost.
- CBCS provides a very fast turnaround. They don’t keep your comic books for a long period of time. They have a much faster turnaround time starting from same-day delivery. Way faster than CGC without even compromising the grading quality.
- CBCS has the best customer support of all other grading companies combined. CBCS emails you each and every detail about your comic book and where it is headed to the turnaround delays. CBCS being a transparent company tells you everything about what’s currently happening to your precious comic book behind the company’s walls.
Cons of CBCS:
- The biggest and the most universal con of getting your comic book graded is that your comic book is potentially gone forever like it destroys the essence of a comic book. You cannot even feel the texture of your comic book to read it without opening the case or potentially damaging your comic book.
- CBCS has a very good reputation as compared to its rival grading company CGC, but it’s like people want CGC. CGC has a relatively low market value as compared to CBCS. It’s just that fans and enthusiasts just trust CGC, they even pay more for CGC graded comics. For example, if a CGC graded comic book has a worth of 10 dollars whereas the same comic but with a CBCS grade will be worth 9 dollars.
Professional Grading Experts also known as PGX Comics, has one of the most notorious names in the entire comic book grading universe. PGX comics is one of the oldest grading companies out there. PGX was formerly known as CGG (Comic Grading Group) and was established in 2002. It was founded by Daniel Patterson and Terrance Leder with the mission to “meet the growing demand for independent, unbiased, third-party comic grading”. Professional Grading Experts claims to have a grading staff with over 150 decades of experience and is the most affordable growing service there is. However, there are a few things that you need to consider while choosing this grading company. Keep in mind that Professional Grading Experts have a notorious history when it comes to grading comics and has been involved in scandals because of it. Several years back, Professional Grading Experts was involved in a huge scandal of grading comic books at a higher value whereas, in reality, the books weren’t in the mentioned condition. Many comic book enthusiasts don’t trust the comic books that are graded by PGX and most avoid getting their precious books graded from this notorious grading company. There was also a rumor believed by many that PGX went bankrupt and was out of service but it’s not true.
Keeping these issues in mind, I personally bought a 9.2 (Near Mint-) graded comic book from Professional Grading Experts. Right after I received it, I removed the protective case and realized the comic book’s condition was not so good after all. So, I sent that same comic to the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC). When I received it, I was baffled that my comic book was nowhere near the 9.2 grade PGX gave the book. It was 8.5 according to CGC. Even a rookie was able to spot that the comic book’s condition was not so good as the mentioned grade. Similarly, there is a huge amount of distrust between the comic book’s collector’s community regarding Professional Grading Experts. Even most buyers don’t even accept book grades by PGX. So, keeping everything in mind, I will recommend you to either choose Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) or Comic Book Certification Service (CBCS).
Cost of getting your books graded by PGX:
If you are an avid comic book collector and you want to get your comic books graded. I’d personally suggest you to not go for PGX. However, if you just want to get your comic book protected then PGX might be a good choice. Avoid PGX if you can, they are very dishonest.
PGX has a standard estimated delivery time of around 30 business days. However, you can choose a faster turnaround by paying more.
Express Grading Service with 12 Business Days turnaround time at the cost of $6.00 per book.
Next-Day with 3 Business Days turnaround time at the cost of $40 per book.
Halo Certification Comic Book Grading is a relatively new book grading company. It was founded by Grant Audey in 2013 in Australia. Grant told in an interview that he was a book grader at CGC for more than 13 years and also owned a comic book shop. Grant was also an Overstreet comic book advisor and he left Overstreet and started his own book grading company. Now, Halo Cert. operates in Australia and in the United States simultaneously. Halo grading also has developed a strong following in Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, and in the South Pacific. Even tho, its recent release Halo has a strong potential in the grading industry. Halo operates from both countries whereas other grading companies only deal in the United States (People have to ship their comics to the United States, just to get their books graded). Whereas, Halo operates from Australia as well. So, many comic book enthusiasts prefer using halo instead of shipping their comics to the United States.
Halo comic also implements NFC chips in its graded comic. These NFC-enabled chips can be scanned by a smartphone and it provides all the details related to that specific comic book.
Cost of getting your comic books graded by Halo Cert. Comic book Grading:
Halo typically offers a turnaround time of 8 weeks. They also accept a minimum of 5 books to be graded. Halo doesn’t accept orders of less than 5 books. Their prices is listed below
Halo also charges a standard shipping rate of 48$ for 5 books and 76$ for 10 books.
Do I really need to get my Comic Book OFFICIALLY “Graded?”
If it is a prized comic book that you will keep forever and you love the presentation in the holder, then for sure it is definitely recommended. Grading not only makes your investment more liquid yet it protects it.
Furthermore, if you really want to read your graded comic book, there are a lot of ways to do that such as using a digital comic book app such as Marvel Unlimited, DC Universe, or ComiXology. Alternatively, you can buy a reprint, TPB format, or a really low-grade copy/coverless.
If you’re intent on selling it, 3rd party grading is most often not cost-effective unless it is thousands of dollars. The cost is often prohibitive and the time it takes to get it back is almost a crime.
Overall, CBCS is the best choice for customer service, and CGC is the best for current resale value. I’d recommend staying away from the others for maximum profit at least right now in 2021.