Sunday, April 24, 2016

New eBay Most Watched Item Search App at Walkin' Willie's Comix

Just put up a new eBay Most Watched App at Walkin' Willie's Comix where it is very simple to find the most watched items for any eBay category.

Just select a category in the dropdown and click the "Search" button. Sub-category dropdowns will appear as applicable but you don't have to drill down if you don't want to - as long as one category is showing.

When results appear, you can click a "SEE SIMILAR ITEMS" link for any item to well... see similar items. So if you can't afford the $191K for a AF #15 in CGC 9.0 the app might show a CGC 2.0 for $8K.

It's a no-frills app but pretty intuitive once you try it - and NO typing required. It is also cell phone and tablet compatible as well.

This one page app defaults to the U.S. but all of the international eBay sites are available. 50 items max are returned for any category - that is the eBay Web Services limit.

Please take it for a spin. Working on some search features but wanted to get this part up first.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

New Items at Walkin' Willie's Comix

We are moving forward with our revamped Walkin' Willie's Comix site and have some pretty nice new items just put up in the last month. Some of the highlights are:
We've also some ungraded comics at FINE or better at great discount prices - more to come! Thanks for taking a look.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Walkin' Willie's Discount Site - Nice Idea At The Time...

I've been buying comic books for 50 years and selling them for 24 or so - and you never stop learning. As can be seen in the previous blog post, I had a grand idea to hopefully increase traffic - and therefore increase sales - by reducing the price every day of any book that had been in inventory for a week. The amount of price reduction depending on the current price of the book and so on.

It was a nice idea - but it failed miserably. Didn't get the traffic and the sales plummeted - my guess is that people were playing a waiting game for books that didn't have some huge demand. Most of the books on the site were commons with very few to no keys - so if you are a potential customer why not wait, what does one have to lose? So that was lesson #1 - if you are going to have some price reduction strategy like that, you need to have books that will make folks squirm and get itchy trigger fingers. I've started eBaying some of the books and most of them are going for higher prices that what I had on the discount site - that was the clincher.

Lesson #2 is that if you are going to run some sort of discount comic book website, you need at TON of inventory - and I didn't have that. Oh, I sold some books over the years it was up but nothing on a consistent basis. If you are going to have a huge inventory like Mile High Comics, My Comic Shop, New Kadia, etc., then you need a staff to run it. At my (sort of close to retirement) age, I definitely didn't want to invest the capital needed to a) get a TON of comic books and b) hire the staff necessary to scan the books, put them into inventory, fulfill orders - all that crazy stuff.

Lesson #3 - you need to market like crazy and update inventory on a consistent basis - well... I didn't do that either. Starting to see a trend here?

So where does that leave good ol' Walkin' Willie's Comix?

First of all, the Walkin' Willie's Discount Site will come down in a day or two from the date of this post - after that you will be redirected to my regular website that I have had in different incarnations for years - since 1996. If you think I'm lyin' then check out the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, type in and prepare to cringe at the early days. The site from 1996 to end of 2000 was a static POS. The next one from 2001 to early 2009 was pretty darn good for a classic ASP site and it was by far my most heavily trafficked site to date. Next was a .NET site from March 2009 to the present with a makeover happening just a few months ago. But I digress...

Now back to what I'm gonna do. The Walkin' Willie's Comix website will carry CGC & CBCS graded comic books, raw comic books in FINE grade or better at great discounts and a few hardcovers and trades as I run into them in collections. The goal is to significantly reduce inventory I have in storage while increasing quality on the website. I don't want to have 30 racks of books - I want 30 boxes instead...of good stuff!

The discount inventory - along with 20 boxes or so of stuff that never made it to the web - will be blown out on eBay during the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016. The blowout has already started.

So the discount site will most likely close early Saturday morning - 10/3/2015 - still a lot of deals left if you are so inclined...and the prices are still decreasing every day.

So the bottom line is that a leaner Walkin' Willie's Comix will emerge out of this whole deal - one with reasonable goals, great merchandise, free U.S. shipping and whatever else can happen. BTW, the website is "responsive" which means it will work in a mobile phone as well as a desktop. Will constantly evaluate pricing as well - don't want to give stuff away but also don't want it to sit for years as well.

As usual, feedback and comments are welcome and solicited.

Friday, June 5, 2015

New Walkin' Willie's Comix Discount Comic Books Pricing Structure!

Starting on Saturday, June 6, 2015, you will see a big pricing structure change at Walkin' Willie's Comix Discount Comic Books. Depending on the current price of any book on the site, we will begin decreasing the price of the book every day until it is sold or bottoms out at $0.10 - that's right, a lousy stinkin' DIME! How does this work? After a book is added to inventory, the price will drop daily if the book remains unsold after a week. So after seven days from when the book was added to inventory, the price decreases will occur according to the table below:

$0.10 $1.50 $0.01
$1.49 $3.00 $0.02
$2.99 $7.00 $0.03
$6.99 $13.00 $0.04
$12.99 $25.00 $0.05
$24.99 $50.00 $0.06
$49.99 $75.00 $0.07
$74.99 $100.00 $0.08
$99.99 $150.00 $0.09
$149.99 $200.00 $0.10
$199.99 $300.00 $0.15
$299.99 $400.00 $0.20
$399.99 $500.00 $0.25
$499.99 $1000.00 $0.50
$999.99   $1.00

There are a few reasons for this change. One is obviously to generate more business, another is to clear out inventory. Still another is if a book goes all the way down to a dime and doesn't sell within, say a month, then that book will be pulled from inventory and thrown in a box to blowout in a local auction - no sense in having books on the website that nobody wants. This new pricing structure also allows the market to drive the price.

Here is what a sample listing will look like starting tomorrow:

Note that you will see a starting price and then the current price - this will let you know how far the book has been discounted. All new inventoried books published prior to 1984 will be set at 90% of current Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide for the grade we assign to the book - and again, let the market drive the eventual selling price. Modern books are a crap shoot and we will just assign what we think would be a top dollar selling price - considering the relative demand for the book - and let things play out. If you have concerns about grading please take a look at our eBay feedback. Scroll through some of the pages and see what others think. Thanks for taking a look and hope you find something you like!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Don't Buy Anthing From My eCrater Store!

What? I am telling potential customers to NOT buy anything from my eCrater store? Grrr.... I am so angry at eCrater right now as their inventory management no longer works so my inventory is only about 80% accurate which is totally unacceptable! Not only that but I have been after them FOR YEARS to provide an alphanumeric default option seeing how comics are arranged... um... alphanumerically in the price guides, most comic book stores and most dealer booths at comic conventions. I've been at the database game for about 20 years and I can tell you that providing an alphanumeric sort option is EASY AS ALL GET OUT! It is database programming 101. I will be shutting down my eCrater store by the end of the year and moving anything salable to my discount website. If you just HAVE to buy something from Walkin' Willie (slick, huh?) then go to my two websites where the inventory is accurate 100% of the time. Walkin' Willie's Comix specializes in third party graded comics and a few special edition hardcovers and Walkin' Willie's Comix Discount Comics is the place to go for steep discounted comic books - almost everything in stock is priced WAY under guide value.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

So You Want To Sell Your Comic Collection - Part 6

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

OK, we've been through the first four ways to sell your comic collection in Part 5 of "So You Want To Sell Your Comic Collection" - got four more to go and then we'll wrap it up.

5. Selling Your Comic Collection At A Comics Convention
Or This Can Be Easy Or Hard - Your Choice

Pros: Easy if you have a small collection that you can take around to dealers.
Cons: Hard if you have a large collection - to the point that you rent a booth at the con and take offers.

The great thing about schlepping your books around a con is that you have multiple dealers to look over your books and provide you with competitive offers. We are talking about 3 to 4 small comic boxes at most and also assume that you have a cart or dolly to bring them around the convention floor. After you receive 10 to 12 offers, you know what your comics are worth to the comic book dealer community. Go back to one or two of the dealers and let them know that it is between them and a couple of other dealers. They may ask you to get their best offer and come back - that's fine but it is better if you can get their best offer. By all means though, deal honestly. Don't say that Dealer "B" has offered you $1000 for your collection when they haven't.

For small collections, this might be the best bang-for-your-buck-and-time scenario as all you are out is the admission fee to the con and a few laps around the dealer's room.

Larger collections are tougher to hoist around the dealer's room and you might have to make appointments for dealers to view your collection at your hotel room - PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU KNOW THE DEALER VERY WELL - THIS IS EXTREMELY UNSAFE.

The other way to sell your large collection is to rent a booth at one of the larger 3 or 4 day shows. Better have your calculator handy because if this isn't a local show, you are going to have travel expenses - i.e. gas, hotel, meals, etc. Regardless, you are going to have to pay booth rental and maybe someone a few bucks to help you load in your collection and set up PLUS you have to be there all three days to sell your books (remember, your time is hopefully worth something to you). You are also going to have to price the books and that takes a TON of time. At the end of the show, you will need to blow out the rest of the books that didn't sell (and the majority of them will not sell) to another dealer.

Bottom line on comic conventions is that they are great for selling small collections, not so great for selling large collections.

6. Selling Your Comic Book Collection To Another Collector
Or Very Hit Or Miss - Feast Or Famine...

Pros: Easily the best money you can make for the time spent
Cons: Very difficult to find a collector that will buy your whole collection

Selling your comic book collection to a comic book collector will make you the most money by far. Why? Simply because a collector is not buying comics for resale - they want them for their collections and they will pay a higher percentage of graded guide for your comics. If you are trying to find a "comic book collector", you obviously go where the comics are - i.e. comic book shops and comic conventions. If you have a very high-end collection with lots of key comics then you might want to check the ads section of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide as there are a number of high end collectors - not just dealers - that advertise there.

Trouble is, very few collectors want to buy a whole collection unless it is just a few books. You can forget selling a large collection to a comic book collector - almost never happens. Reason is that you might have a few books they want but you probably have a ton of books that they don't want. And the last thing you want is a collector cherry picking (i.e. picking out the good stuff) your collection and leaving you with next to unsellable merchandise.

Again, great for very small collections - impossible for large collections.

7. Selling Your Comic Book Collection At A Flea Market
Or The Most Exasperating Way To Sell Your Collection

Pros: Flea Market booth rental is usually very, very cheap.
Cons: Very few comic book buyers go to Flea Markets PLUS remember, your time has value.

*** Sigh *** I list this as a way to sell your comic book collection but it is probably the worst way to do it. Face it, most flea market attendees are looking for something other than comics. Fortunately, the booth rental fees are usually cheap so you are down to how much time you want to spend trying to sell a bunch o' stuff to a bunch of folks that don't want your stuff.

Now BUYING comics at a flea market can be great - you can usually talk the prices down to dirt cheap. Trouble is, there aren't many comics at flea markets.

8. Sell Your Comic Collection On Your Own Website
Or Now We Are Talking Major Time Expenditures

Pros: You have complete control on how your merchandise is presented and the prices you want to charge
Cons: So many that they can hardly be listed but the #1 "Con" is that you will invest huge, heaping vast amounts of your time to get it going AND maintaining the site.

Builidng a website just to sell comic books is great IF you are a comic dealer and can get an effective site done on the cheap. If you do not have website building skills you need to run in the other direction as fast as you can. This is not the place for you just selling one comic collection.

Alas, all is not lost. You might want to check out one of the online store builders like eCrater or eBay ProStores. eCrater is totally free and they host the photos so it is a great way to run your own e-commerce storefront. eBay ProStores does charge you something like 1% of the total amount of the transaction AND a monthly subscription fee depending on what store level you chose. These are just two options as there are several out there.

What you need to decide is a) how much time and money am I going to put into this thing and b) is my collection worth that time and money? At this point, who knows? You just might want to jump in with both feet and get all crazy with selling comic books as an avocation. If so, then welcome but PLEASE understand that selling comic books is an extremely detailed-oriented business. It takes years of experience to get where you can operate effectively - goodness knows I have made a ton of mistakes both in buying and selling comics. But you learn from your mistakes just like any other profession and you get better over time.

Summing It Up
You Have The Tools Now....

Hopefully, this series of blog articles will get better with time - the goal is to provide those who have comic book collections - and not a whole lot of comic book knowledge - with awareness on how to sell them. It can be a daunting task but hopefully these articles will make it a little easier.

If you read all six of the articles then you are aware of the following:

1. The tools and techniques used to assess a comic book collection's worth.
2. Different venues where you can sell your comic book collection.
3. Different types of people to whom you can sell your comic book collection.

It really comes down to this: After assessing your comic book collection's value, how much time are you willing to invest to get the most money possible from the collection OR are you more interested in getting the quick - but lesser - buck and saving a ton of time? This "time is money" concept has been belabored for sure but at the end of the day that is the bottom line.

We hope you have found some value in these articles - regardless, we would appreciate your feedback so we can make them better.