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.

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