My Online Journey – Entry #4 – Investing in Comic Books (Part 2)

X-Men 200 Wrap around cover

Walking DeadIn this second part, I would like to continue discussing some more strategies for investing in comic books and provide you with a few research tips.

(Part 2)

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

You can also click on the text links and images throughout this post to find copies of relevant investment titles on eBay.

If you missed the first bit, you can READ PART 1 HERE

DOWNLOAD FREE E-BOOK 

Timing can be everything


One might wonder when is the ideal time to buy and sell comic books.

The comic industry is a funny one indeed, full of surprises and has its ups and downs. However certain trends become predictable after a while and this is where you can earn your profit if you simply keep track of what movies (including CGI’s) and TV shows are being released and what the media is promoting as “the next hot thing”. Cliché I know but it works.

After a few years of selling comic books online I noticed that whenever a movie or series was released, generally it would fuel demand for that character or title, depending on the show or movie ratings or how popular it became. Although big titles like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, X-Men, Wonder Woman or even Supergirl don’t need to rely on movies and TV shows to boost their comic sales, it certainly helps though.

For example The Walking Dead became really hot once the TV series got going. The first episode was aired on the 31st of October 2010, at this time the comic series published by Image was on issue #78 and doing fairly well on the sales charts, within the top 100 (rank 71) and sold almost 28 000 copies.

A year later in November (2011) they still held their rank at spot 68 with just over 31 800 copies sold. November 2012 issue #104, the month after the Michonne Special #1, their rank jumped to 35 and the sold over 57 400 copies. Then another year later in October 2013 this happened:

top 10 comic book sales in oct 2013

Record setting statistics but with the help of a large variety of variant covers for this particular issue #115. Nonetheless they took the number one spot with a HUGE gap away from their competitors.

This is where timing is important because you want to sell your comics at a peak point (when everyone is buying). Don’t hang onto them thinking they might become more valuable, they might or they might not so sell while they hot. Why? When something is popular and in high demand people are willing to pay a higher price than the value of the comic book, once the hype wares off the price should drop because you won’t have as many keen buyers for that certain issue anymore, with exceptions of course but this is generally how it works. Obviously not where Walking Dead is concerned but sometimes Indie hypes can last for a few days or in extreme cases only a few hours (like false flag social media alerts)!

This advice mainly goes for modern comics. Dealing with silver and gold age comics is a different matter, though timing also applies, vintage comics are considered a more secure commodity for long term investment and moderns are mainly for quick flips. I always say if you have the money don’t play around with moderns unless that is what you enjoy doing, personally I enjoy moderns as much as oldies and vintage 🙂

Another example where I experienced a high rise in demand was when the Arrow TV series launched in October 2012. People were inquiring for copies and I remember having hardly any Arrow comics at the time. I would not recommend doing it with every TV show but here is a short list of series that has and can still bring more good returns.

 

Constantine – March 2005 – Movie and October 2014 – TV Show.

Constantine 1 - May 2013

I think the movie with Keanu Reeves was much better than the series but the comic got some attention and now you can expect to find #1 NM copies for about $15.

Not sure how much potential there is, if the TV series goes under then these might drop back to cover price or less. It’s not a secure title in my opinion.

 

Gotham – September 2014 – TV Show.

Batman 21 - August 2013

Batman never fails or has never failed me since the start of comic investing. I recently sold the first twenty consecutive issues of the second series for $300. Will probably regret this move later on but it’s not a bad return on an $80 investment.

Batman 2nd Series Recommendations (NM 9.4 Values):

Issue #1 (1st Printing) – Currently valued at $100 on Comics Price Guide

Issue #1 (2nd Printing) – Currently valued at $44

Issue #1 (3rd Printing) – Currently valued at $40

Issue #7 – 1st Full Appearance of Harper Row

Issue #13 – Death of the Family Part 1

Issue #21 – Zero Year Part 1

Issue #28 – 1st Appearance of Blue Bird

Issue #37 – Currently valued at $15

Issue #40 Movie Poster Variant (Joker) – Currently valued at $15

Issue #43 – 1st Appearance of Mr. Bloom

Issue #44 – Origin of Mr Bloom

 

Flash – October 2014 – TV Show.

Flash Comics 1 - January 1940

This was a highly anticipated DC TV show with a long heads up to prepare. Only those with serious money can afford to invest in a Flash first appearance ($160 000 for a raw NM copy) so I took my chances with buying the 2011 New 52 series Flash and Flash Zero with Grant Gustin on the covers instead.

 

Outcast – August 2015 – TV Show.

Outcast 1 - June 2014

Unknown titles are a risk! As mentioned before it’s not the best idea to invest in every single comic that has a TV show or movie but in this case it paid off. Outcast #1 Cover price $2.99 but now you will be fortunate to find a NM (9.4) copy for $40 or less from a dealer who knows their worth. Over 1000{87e56780531fb49397975d6ccdf5fd583fe12882c640bab7ecd9d9198b593911} profit margin and people say “you can’t make money selling modern comic books!” lol.

 

Supergirl – October 2015 – TV Show.

Supergirl 2 - November 2005

I took a risk before the time and ordered quite a lot of random copies from several suppliers as stock already seemed to be scarce, mostly issues from the older series, a few Michael Turner variants and some modern Superman Batman issues that featured her reappearance. About 90{87e56780531fb49397975d6ccdf5fd583fe12882c640bab7ecd9d9198b593911} of my Supergirl stock sold out within a couple of weeks after the series came out even though the series wasn’t that great and received a lot of criticism.

 

Deadpool – January 2016 – Movie.

New Mutants 98 - February 1991

HUGE! I knew about this one long in advance and managed to secure some awesome copies from the 2nd series and Deadpool Corps issues which were selling rather well till Mercs for money came out.

 

Preacher – May 2016 – TV Show.

Preacher 1 - April 1995

“Money is the root of all kinds of evil” and this issue went smoking hot after the TV series was released. Preacher #1 (1995), $300+ for a raw NM copy. Should have invested $2.95?

 

Riverdale – January 2017 – TV Show.

Riverdale 1 - April 2017

Watch out for this one!

“Archie… Archie Andrews, where are you?” Not much to report here for now either than selling a Life of Archie #36 CGC 9.8 copy for about $60. This is the issue where he dies. I am wondering now if I made another mistake?! 😀

 

When to buy comics?

When they are on special? Not necessarily. Don’t always buy $1 or $2 comics! You might get stuck with them for the rest of your life! Not kidding, unless you throw them in the garbage or give them away. Obviously there are certain issues and titles worth hunting for, the list is too large to go through here but I have provided a technique and some information in the first post on how to go about it.

The best time to buy comics is when they are undervalued. It is highly unlikely that you will find comic shops with a lot of undervalued books, usually there is a handful at best and those are probably the ones staff missed when packing, shelving or storing.

Garage sales! You might find an old treasure someone is throwing away or selling for a buck, good hunting.

eBay is a great source to find deals from all over the world and sometimes people don’t know the value of what they selling or they take a chance and list a auction for $1… You never know.

 

Making a stock list


This is a very simple task that can be set up on Excel or open office. The idea is to keep track of your comic book stock, sales records, expenses and profits. Remember to include sale success fees if you using platforms like eBay to sell stock.

This is an example of what a stock list would look like on an Excel spreadsheet:

Investment Comic Book List

Do research and learn how to use price guides


By reading this article you have done a small share of research already and you have access to some leads for further study. If you go back to part one there are many links to provide you with some great investment tips and don’t forget to download my free e-book for even more strategies and credible comic book dealer contacts.

Here are some more great places to get informed and updated about the latest trends and interests:

http://www.totalcomicmayhem.com/p/comic-investing.html

http://earlyretirementdiary.com/category/comic-investing/

http://www.sellmycomicbooks.com/hot-comics.html

https://comicbookinvest.com/

This was also an interesting article found on Forbes:

Forbes Comic Article

Price Guide Tips:

A price guide is exactly that, a guide, it should not ultimately determine the selling or purchasing price but it helps dealers stay within a certain benchmark. Sometimes prices on eBay or from comic dealers in general make no sense according to the price guide so it helps to understand the comic market from different angles and the reasons why.

If you selling comics at price guide prices then it’s a good idea to read part one of this article to apply the technique I used that works.

 

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. Geek Hibrid

    I like this post because it introduces a perspective that not many people take on especially when it comes to choosing a niche to make money from. I think you are doing a great job with this blog.

    Reply
    1. Kamil (Post author)

      Thanks GH, glad you like the blog 😉

      There are certainly a lot of different ways of making money from any niche.

      Regards,
      Kamil

      Reply
  2. isaac

    Wow! Never know that you can be an investor with comic books. And those return {87e56780531fb49397975d6ccdf5fd583fe12882c640bab7ecd9d9198b593911} are so mouth watering. As someone that loves comic books, this investment is like killing two birds with one stone =)

    By the way, do you usual stock a few copies of a certain special comic book or only one copy of each book?

    Reply
    1. Kamil (Post author)

      Hi Isaac

      It really is a fun market to be involved in 🙂

      If I speculate something will be popular or is going to be profitable I try get and stock as many copies as possible. In some cases I will only buy 1 copy if uncertain about the title or issue.

      Regards,

      Kamil

      Reply

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