If you’ve spent any time parked in front of the boob tube, you have to wonder how anyone would ever want to try one of the many medicines being hawked. The lists of possible side effects sound more threatening than the ailments they are supposed to help treat. Typically, more time in the commercial is spent listing these negatives than spent on the potential benefits. My understanding is that it’s a “CYA” on the part of the manufacturers, ie, Big Pharma. But, to be fair, you’ve been warned. However, does one really need to be told to “not take medicine ‘X’ if you’re allergic to it”? Come on, folks, are we that dumb? Huh? What? Oh yeah, I forgot–we just had an election. Never mind.
Back to comics!! It seems that record sales are being reported on an almost weekly basis. People are investing in high grade material, but as I’ve pointed out before, it seems to be affecting the desirability and sales of low grade keys. As noted before, a CGC graded 1.0 copy of Fantastic Four #1 recently sold on eBay for more than the guide price of a 2.0. Last week, eBay seller Blissard sold a 1.8 graded copy of All American #89 (the 1st appearance of Harlequin) for $547. Overstreet lists a 2.0 as being worth $174. In the same auction, a copy of Captain Marvel Adventures #18, a CGC copy graded 4.0 and featuring the first appearance of Mary Marvel sold for $3,315, over 5 times the guide price of $580!
And I don’t seem to be the only “dealer” noticing. At the recent First State Comic Con, my day started out super as another vendor scooped in before the crowd was allowed access and bought an Avengers #1 and a copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1 from me. Both were lower grade examples – the Avengers book had some water stains and wear and the ASM was missing a non-story page and having a rough spine with a long split. I had them priced above “guide” (a practice that I plan on doing for low grade keys, although my pattern of asking guide or less for the rest will continue). Of course, I probably could have made more if I waited for the crowd to come in, but it was a guaranteed sale, cash in hand. He got a discount as we ‘bundled’ a group of issues. Still, I made a few quick bucks, and I’m sure he figures they won’t last too long in his inventory either. Besides this sale, the day was great! I went home with four fewer boxes than I came with!
By the way, looking for an “affordable” copy of ASM #1? I have another copy now, but it is missing the cover $#%^@!. The previous owner stapled a nice color copy of the cover to it. There happens to be a completely coverless copy on eBay with a Buy It Now asking price of $1,150. Mine is $950 and definitely has better quality pages from what I see on the site.
While I have not picked up any decent sized collections lately, I have scored a few other individual keys. I’ve listed a 4.0 slabbed copy of Hulk #5. I know, I know, I’m not a fan of encapsulating comics, unless you’re planning on selling over the internet. BTW, that ASM #1 sold above was ‘freed’ by me before I sold it. The Hulk has minor amateur restoration and I have it up for only $250. Also, on eBay is a CBCS 9.2 copy of Marvel Premiere #47, the first appearance of the new Ant-Man by Newark’s favorite son, David Michelinie. Overstreet lists a ‘raw’ 9.2 at $160. Mine is up for grabs at $140! Check out what others are asking!
Again, no sizable collections surfaced before the holiday season. That used to be the case as many a collection was sacrificed to finance gifts for others. Not this year. Is that a good sign that the economy is up or a sign that people are viewing back issue comics as a good thing to hang on to? Anyway, I’m always out there searching.
Examples of recent sales that I witnessed at a live auction:
Green Lantern #2 (Golden Age) with tape all along the spine – $950 but had to add 13% Buyer’s premium and 6% sales tax
Hulk #181 – looked pretty decent but definitely need a pressing due to curl – $1,900 plus buyer’s Premium and tax
Amazing Spider-Man #129 – same shape as the Hulk 181 above – #1,100 plus buyer’s premium and tax
The last two were offered at the 12/28 Sellersville mega end-of-the-year sale, where they also advertised some sweet door prizes – $50 and $100 AMEX gift cards and a large flat screen TV! Nice! Although the two results shown were good for the consignor (remember, the seller does not see any part of the buyer’s premium and pays the auction house a fee), there were many other sales that had to be disappointing. For instance, an 8.0 copy of New Mutants #87 (1st Cable) sold for $55. Okay, guide price is $49 in that grade. Not bad, right? But, consider this: the auction house gets 25% on a sale this ‘low’. The owner paid for the grading and I’m sure figured better than an 8.0 was going to be assigned. So, what did he/she recoup? Less than $10!! I’d rather have a raw copy in the showcase and ask a reasonable price. Auctions and grading services are a risk. There were worst outcomes, like the CGC 9.6 copy of World’s Finest #300 that sold for only $15! There were quite a few other graded comics that were either non-key or received grades less than 9.2 whose final bids did not cover the cost of the grading.
This large sale started at noon with a posted time of 5:00 PM for the door prize drawings. Not five minutes before the 5 o’clock hour, two ladies I hadn’t seen before that sat down right in front of me with their bidder numbers in hand. The drawing were held and “exit, stage right” for those two ladies. I mentioned what I observed to the clerk when I settled up and she noticed the same thing.
Though there has been somewhat of a drought of collections coming in, I am set-up to inspect a group of silver age DCs next week. It includes nice runs of Green Lanterns and Justice Leagues from #1 up. More later!
Still with me, faithful blog readers? So, here it is: prove that you have read this by saying “MILE ZERO” WHEN PAUL IS ON DUTY (Sundays, Mondays, & Thursdays) and you may buy any and all individual comics and sets in the shop at 50% OFF!! No limit, nothing held back. Yes, that includes the showcase books! (sorry, the ASM #1 is not in the shop). This sale will NOT be mentioned in the store and again is only on when Paul is present! Now through Super-Bowl Sunday!