My Online Journey – Entry #3 – Investing in Comic Books (Part 1)

Comic Books

Comics

Are you a comic book investor or considering buying some comics for investment purposes?

Comic books have been around long enough to make an impression on millions of individuals and they define certain statements, styles, traditions, concepts and characters in a short script picture based format. They mainly entertain, make us laugh, frown or cry and sometimes we are drawn in by the art work or the stories. This is what inspired me to invest not only in comic books but in artists and writers as well.

Now days Hollywood is producing more and more super hero movies, series and events. This creates a bigger comic fan base and intrigues more comic book investors each year.

Based on almost 10 years experience of trading comic books off and online, I would like to share some helpful tips and suggestions that you might find useful starting out or incorporate into your current comic investing strategies.

Fanboys, please “stay calm” and please don’t hate me for being a speculator! 😀

List of content in this article (Part 1 only):

(Part 1)

  • Where to start
  • Trading strategies
  • Those beginner mistakes

(Part 2)

  • Timing can be everything
  • Make a stock list
  • Do research and learn how to use price guides

Where to start


To keep on the safe side, stick to the top publishers that are more reliable and have a bigger readership audience and most importantly have a HISTORY. In this case it would be Marvel and DC with Image not that far behind. You can’t really go wrong with titles like Superman, Spider-Man, Batman… or The Walking Dead ^^,

Do your homework first. It is always good to be well informed before deciding what you should start buying as an investment. You also have to consider your budget and what strategies to apply based on your expectations on returns.

Jay Katz is a great source for keeping track of the latest modern investment issues. The guy clearly does his homework, goes to events and has even interviewed Stan Lee. I have made some great purchases in the past thanks to his advice.

You can visit his website here:

Invest Comics

Stan Lee and Jay Katz

Comics signed by Stan Lee

Find a mentor if you not sure what you doing! Someone who can help you start or develop a portfolio and advise what you should buy based on your budget and returns expectations.

Be your own mentor and ask yourself these questions:

  1. How much money do I want to invest, once off or over a period of time?
  2. Which publisher and title do I want to invest in?
  3. How many books should I buy, are they going to be raw copies or graded and ‘slabbed’ by CGC?
  4. Should I put all my eggs in one basket or buy variety?

Trading Strategies


The faster strategy:

If you have some speculating experience in the industry and want to make quicker profits then flipping is recommended and what worked for me when I did it full time, I even wrote an eBook about how to make $1000+ pm selling comic books on eBay. You can request a free PDF copy at the end of this article.

The downside to this is staying informed daily and keeping track of the market, it is time and energy consuming and only those who are dedicated and have a true passion for this industry, will make good money from trading comics.

 

The patient strategy:

If you don’t have a lot of money to buy the old reliable investment issues from the golden and silver age then you going to have to be patient and smart. Don’t buy impulsively for the sake of investing because you perceive that something might turn out to be valuable and then get discouraged when your comics don’t gain value. Do a bit of research, see what fans are talking about and anticipating (social media or forums), what movies are coming out in a year or two, who are the main or key characters that are drawing attention etc.

I tend to buy every single first appearance that is released. Sure, they don’t all gain value, not immediately anyway and some never at all. It is a low risk investment approach because even if just one of those characters makes it big, it will probably cover all your expenses and you will most likely still make a good profit.

This reminds me of The Walking Dead released in 2003, who would have thought a zombie killing sheriff (Rick Grimes) would become one of the most popular comic characters. The TV series also has a big influence here, especially with the high ratings it’s constantly getting. Every single Walking Dead issue ever published, is sold out!

Walking Dead #1 (2003) Cover Price – $2.95 is not worth $1500 if you have a 9.4 copy and $4286 for a CGC 9.8

Here is a great source for you to keep track of the publishing statistics:

Comichron

EPN (eBay Partner Network) strategy:

You can read this additional article on How to earn extra income using the internet (Part 3). This is an affiliate strategy for those who have websites or social media accounts. You can direct people to buy comics on eBay and earn a commission through your unique referral id. You don’t have to buy inventory, you don’t have to deal with customers or pack a single order. This is much less time consuming and very profitable as you have access to promoting thousands of comics and CGC’s.

 

The CGC strategy:

If you are based in the US you can take advantage (depending which state you live in) buy raw comics and get them graded by CGC (Certified Guarantee Company).

I would not recommend this in countries outside the US unless you do it in bulk or have a good contact, once again a bit of effort, networking or experience might be required here. If you do try this strategy make sure your contact is 100{87e56780531fb49397975d6ccdf5fd583fe12882c640bab7ecd9d9198b593911} trustworthy. I provide some credible and personal contacts in my free eBook below.

 

“Double or more fishing” strategy:

This is by far the most fun strategy in my opinion because it helps you become orientated what is currently popular and fishing for $4 comics that are worth $8+ becomes quite exciting! Once a comic gains value on CPG the chances of it dropping again is extremely unlikely.

This is a very effective trading strategy if you selling comics at price value.

I’m going to show you a personal strategy I use step by step (live example below) to find comics from My Comic Shop that are currently worth double their cover price or more. Although I have been out of the game for quite some time, with other projects keeping me busy, this still works even after all that time being away.

Please consider that when comic books on My Comic Shop are shown as ‘sold out’, this could potentially be an indicator that these issues are going to rise in value.

You should check each individual issue, systematically from #1 to #end if you have the time. Sometimes an issue will be in stock but the value will already be twice or three times the cover price.


Deadpool 33 - 2014

STEP 1

Open a new URL tab and go to www.comicspriceguide.com or click the link.

Open another new URL tab and go to www.mycomicshop.com or click the link. You can use any other platform you feel comfortable with but this site is a good indicator of what issues have recently sold out.

STEP 2

You can either use the “New Releases” menus which always reveal the last 8 weeks of all titles that were published or you can enter titles like Superman, Spider-Man or Batman, find the series you looking for. I’m going to use Deadpool 3rd Series as an example.

Here is a list of all the 3rd Series Deadpool issues that are currently worth double their cover price or more (18th March 2017).

Issues #1 – #26 are all worth cover price @ $3 a piece.

Issue #27 is a special wedding issue for $10 and then the cover price changes to $4 in issue #28.

Even though Deadpool #28 (3rd series) is worth $4, My Comic Shop is currently selling it for $1.70! This is yet another benefit when checking price values you will always find deals in between. Issue #29 is worth $4 but selling for $2.70.

Let’s carry on…

Issues #30 – #32 are worth cover price.

Issue #33 is worth $8 and currently selling for $5.

This is just one strategy on how to look for valuable issues or comics you can potentially sell right away and make a small profit. The further back you go towards the golden age era, the higher the values become.

This is currently the most valuable comic in the industry:

Action Comics #1 (1938).

Action Comics 1 - 1938

Find Action Comics on eBay

STEP 3

Obtain the issues you find through your local comic store that will most likely be selling all their issues at cover price. This is a very competitive activity as lots of other collectors and investors are doing the same thing. Best to know the date of when your comic store gets their stock and shelves it so you can get first pick if possible.

In this case it’s not always the best idea to have a call order because many issues will not become valuable. Rather hunt down individual copies and have a good strategy in place.

Those beginner mistakes


Amazing Spider-ManPlease don’t ever go on a #1 issue Indie shopping spree like I did at the start lol :p

Most people who start tend to make this mistake, they might not necessarily buy Indies but they think any #1 issue with Spider-Man or Superman will gain value if they just hang onto it long enough… NOT TRUE.

Huge risk involved and most of them turn out to be $1 bin issues or never go above cover price.

If you have the money don’t play around with $1 comics, it is time consuming so go big if you can. If you don’t have the money, don’t worry, I started with very little money, this is a great way to learn and become orientated.and you will make money if you selling comics at value. Most comic stores are generous when they drop prices to $1, mostly to make space for new inventory. Take advantage when and where possible.

Don’t waste your time filtering through the same batches at the same comic stores, move on! If there is nothing it means they have been vulture’d already by people who beat you to it. ^^

Don’t assume you know the grade of a comic if you not 100{87e56780531fb49397975d6ccdf5fd583fe12882c640bab7ecd9d9198b593911} sure, serious collectors will be upset if they receive a lower graded comic then they paid for.

Learn about the comic ages and grading.

These are mostly all the mistakes I made when starting out, you don’t have to repeat them if you reading this.

Free Gift

As mentioned this is my eBook, I am giving it out for free or you can support us by ordering a copy on eBay.

Pages: 12 / PDF format, sent via email.

Content: More tips and strategies on selling comic books online and also contains contacts for credible comic dealers in the US and South Africa

Please write “Free eBook” in the subject line when requesting a free copy.

eBook Title

Request a free copyPersonal Guide eBook by Kamil Basinski

READ PART 2


Please feel free to comment bellow if you have questions, any feedback, if you would like to share any investing strategies or mention something I have missed in the article.

I will be happy to assist you in any way possible ?

Best regards,

Kamil

4 Comments

  1. Ronnie Jordan

    I use to see these stores all around a few years back. I haven’t noticed very many lately where I live. I wish I would have kept all those Marvel ones from the 60’s. My brother and I use to buy them like adults bought newspapers. Do you think the internet hurt the little stores I use to see that sold comic books or is it just the area I’m in?

    Reply
    1. Kamil (Post author)

      Hi Ronnie
      Can you imagine if you have one of those first action comics from 1938?

      That’s an excellent question! I do think the internet has hurt the little comic stores, not just in your area or the US but the whole world.
      Recently a shop near us that was open for over 20 years closed down because they complained about how little customers they had… why? Well, its much easier to browse at home and add comics to your digital basket than wasting time dirtying your hands scrounging through tight packed boxes that become frustrating for comic hunters.

      The little stores did it for passion more than profit and now they simply loosing all their traffic to competent online stores. If they go online their business can survive and even THRIVE, they can use this as a opportunity to drive more traffic to their store, if they don’t do this… they will close sooner or later.

      Sure it’s still fun to walk into a comic store for the atmosphere! I love going to well set up comic stores and just enjoy the ambiance but the harsh reality remains.

      Bill Gates said “If your business is not online, soon you might not have a business”. So there we go 🙂

      Best regards,
      Kamil

      Reply
  2. Linda Watson

    Hi Kamil! Great post! I have a daughter who loves comics and has boxes of Betty and Veronica. Deadpool now and The Walking Dead. She’s not collecting for investment, but it’s nice to know there is an active market for some things. I also loved the tip about purchasing at a lower price on certain sites. Do you have any recommendations for how to store these?

    Reply
    1. Kamil (Post author)

      Hi Linda

      Thought that Walking Dead would be a bit scary or grim for a young girl or? ^^

      It depends how long you planning to store them for.
      I found that the normal cheaper sleeves won’t last as long as the good quality bags like Mylar, you can find good comic book protection here http://www.bcemylar.com
      I would only recommend Mylar bags for long term storage of valuable or high graded books.
      You can then buy a short or long cardboard box with a slide lid.
      Keep them away from moist areas like damp walls etc.

      Glad you brought this up, think I will write a article on comic protection soon 🙂

      I hope this info helps.

      Regards,
      Kamil

      Reply

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