Comic Book Auctions – 3 Days in a Row!
November 7, 2016
On Monday, October 24, Sellersville Auction held an “online only” sale of 139 graded comics. The following day, they offered another 374 graded comics, and then on Wednesday, the 26th, they had a load of them as part of their ‘eclectic’ auction.
They posted the offerings for the Tuesday auction way in advance since this one had them all! Except for maybe a Tales to Astonish #27, it had basically every Silver Age key Marvel (Amazing Fantasy #15, 3 different Amazing Spider-Man #1s, Hulk #1, Avengers #1, X-Men #1, Daredevil #1, Hulk #181, Journey Into Mystery #83, Tales Of Suspense #39, ASM #129, Fantastic Four keys – you name it, it was probably there. DCs? Oh yeah, Justice League of America #1, Green Lantern #1, Batman #171, 181, 232, 234 to name just a few. Detective Comics #359 was there. Action Comics #252! In addition to “newer” comics such as several New Mutants #98, ASM #300 and a Batman Adventures #12, there were quite a few of these that were signature certified as having been signed by the likes of Stan Lee and Neal Adams. Golden Age? Yessiree, Bob! Early Batmans, Detectives, Supermans, Actions, All Stars, a copy of Famous Funnies #1 (the first ever monthly comic book!), Yellow Kid #6 from 1897, and many, many more. For a complete list, you can go to sellersvilleauction.com and see the lists of past auctions. Unfortunately, they do not give the realized prices, but I’ll share a few with you below.
This sale was an online only one whereby a bidder could place their maximum offer on Sellersville’s own site up to 11:00 AM on Tuesday. Then, at noon, an online only ‘live’ bidding would start. BUT, here was the deal: Buyer’s Premium was different. If one placed a bid prior to 11:00 on their site and won, the BP was only 13% (reduced to 10% if paid for by check or cash). However, if your winning bid was placed once the ‘live’ portion started, those figures jumped to 15 and 18%. Reason: the live online auction was being hosted by eBay, auctionzip, and another site, and I assume that they got a piece of the action – ever though you paid Sellersville, not the online auction site. Every lot had an starting bid listed, some in my opinion were well over the supposed value. One lot had a starting bid of $7,500! More on that later, also.
So, well before that 11:00 AM deadline, I placed 40 bids, not really expecting to win them all. If I did, I’d have to find a backer! Tuesday morning, I kept refreshing their site and bumped a few. I decided that I was going to stick to my guns and what I put as my maximum was it. I’m not going to succumb to auction fever and bid during the ‘live’ portion. But, I was going to watch it!
As promised, it started at noon. It ended around 6:00 PM. I sat there copying down the winning bids for every lot. I used the eBay site to view the action, only to be told later that another site was better. Why? The eBay site would bring up each lot in order, give the original opening bid amount, then showed the current (11:00 AM) bid. Then as people placed live online bids, you could see the raises. As time was running out, the site would give up to 3 warnings before it closed out the lot. What was confusing, is that it only showed that the bids were coming from “floor” and “eBay” and at least 90% of the time, it ended up saying that the lot went “unsold”! Huh? I bid higher than the last bid on one item. Did I get it? Was there some hidden reserve that had not been revealed? Although I started this section with the high bid on 19 of those 40 bids, I took home only 4 of them. I didn’t know for sure until I got the invoice via email the next morning. I thought I should have won them, but the site was confusing. On top of that, for some reason, several lots showed up on the eBay site as not being available for bidding on the site. A couple of these were biggies–like JLA #1.
Now that was Tuesday. As I mentioned above, they also had a shorter auction of graded books on Monday night. I didn’t place any bids on this one because the list wasn’t up until after I had already committed to some major cash IF I won a couple of significant books in the Tuesday auction. What was strange was that they had a few graded comics in the Monday auction that were also in Tuesday’s, but starting at just $3. Monday’s was a “slow close’ auction. You knew when the lot was to close, but if a bid was placed within the last 5 minutes, they extended bidding for 5 minutes. This continued until no one placed a bid for 5 minutes. Because of this, a lot, say #35, might not end until sometime after the later listed one, say # 62, if there was spirited bidding.
Results. There are too many to list, but a few general themes. Most of the early keys were of lower grades – 3.5s and 4.0s, but also some .5s, 1.5s, & 1.8s. And, as I have been noting, those lower grades were bringing over guide. Of course, a CGC or CBCS slabbed book does seem to command a premium, but some of these were astonishing.
What follows are actual final bids, NOT counting the buyer’s premium (10 – 18%) and possible sales tax (6%) if the buyer does not have a retailer’s license. I’ll list the Title, Issue number, Grading company followed by the grade received, Overstreet estimate in parenthesis, and Winning Bid.
Batman Adventures 12 – CBCS 8.5 (200), $325
Amazing Spider-Man 300 – CBCS 8.5 (150). $200
House of Secrets 92 – CBCS 5.5 (250), $300
Incredible Hulk 181 – CBCS 4.0 (600), $700
Marvel Spotlight 5 – CBCS 4.5 (90), $170
Silver Surfer 1 – CBCS 3.5 (140), 180
Amazing Spider-Man 121 – CBCS 5.0 (70), $160
Amazing Spider-man 129 – CBCS 9.2 (1200), $1200
Amazing Spider-Man 194 – CBCS 9.0 (125), $160
Batman 181 – CBCS 3.0 (75), $150
Detective 359 – CBCS 6.5 (500), $500
Action 252 – CBCS 3.5 (800), $1000
Avengers 1 – CBCS 3.5 (1200), $1400
Avengers 4 – CBCS 0.5 (missing a non-story page) (50), $130
Journey Into Mystery 83 CBCS 2.5 (2000), $1600
Incredible Hulk 1 CGC 3.5 (7000), $7000
Amazing Spider-Man 1 – CBCS 3.0 (2900), $1600
Famous Funnies 1 – CBCS 0.5 (no back cover) (500) $1200 (I dropped out at $850 for this piece of comic book history)*
Our Army At War 83 – CBCS 4.0 (1500), $1400
Superman 3 CBCS 0.5 (no centerfold) (300), $600
Fantastic Four 52 CBCS 6.0 (270), $400
Fantastic Four 1 CBCS 2.0 (restored, trimmed, color touch, tape) ??, $1400
Amazing Fantasy 15 CGC 2.5 (6500), $7750
Yellow Kid 6 CGC 1.0 (400), $850
and… All Star Comics #8 (1st Wonder Woman!) CGC 1.5 (9000) $24,000! Again, NOT including a 15-18% Buyer’s Premium since it sold to a bidder during the ‘live’ portion!
Wednesday, I traveled up to the auction house for the live “eclectic” auction – trains, toys, cards, comics, and other interesting ‘stuff’ and to collect my winning lots from the day before. Like most of their auctions, they took online bids up to one hour prior to the in-person, live auction. With a starting bid already, these fly at a clip of 150 – 180 lots per hour! Got a couple of lots of Big Little Books, some horror mags, a few sets & runs. A reminder to those who like sets and runs. I have many long runs up on eBay. These are too massive in some cases to bring into the shop. To find them, search for the seller “coastalcandc“. I can bring anything of interest into the store if you win them. Saves you shipping. Saves me the hassle of packing! Just be sure to let me know and your shipping fee will be returned.
*For those on a budget, but would like to own a piece of comic history, I’ve seen slabbed single pages of Batman #1 and Superman #1 offered on eBay. Depending on images, they tend to go for somewhere in the $500 – 800 range. Currently, there is a single page from Action Comics #1 being offered as a ‘Buy It Now’/OBO for $1,173.95. Why so cheap? A huge piece missing and it’s NOT a page from the Superman story. An auction, featuring 3 different pages from Amazing Fantasy #15 just ended with 2 selling for a little over $200 each, but the third one going for over $1,600. Yep, the first two weren’t from the Spider-Man story and the last one featured him prominently.