December 22, 2017

Lavender Blue…

Dilly Dilly – not a Bud Light fan, but I do enjoy their recent commercials. And I know all you baby-boomers out there remember that Sammy Turner classic of 1959 (a revision of an earlier Burl Ives tune) Humming it to yourself? (click the link above)

I’m not displaying a Festivus pole this year at the shop. Participation in writing down our gripes and peeves has been down for several years (a good sign, eh?), but I was afraid that the current political climate with its record signs of disapproval would require too many boxes to accommodate this year’s submissions. That in mind, let’s talk about some positive things:
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My last three auctions resulted in some surprising pluses and they didn’t involve key issues.

I mentioned an estate auction in Lancaster last time. To refresh you on it, the auctioneers decided to hold an online-only auction of a huge comic book collection. Probably not being familiar with the hobby, they elected to offer them in groups ranging from roughly 150 to 300 issues per lot, with each lot shown with just a sampling of comics spread out on a table and a shot of the box (like that helps!). There were 171 numbered lots and the site posted a preview time of two hours on the Saturday before the auction was to end the following Tuesday. The post and current bids were available for view for more than a week before the end, with almost all of the lots having received only a couple of bucks as a bid. Now I really wasn’t looking for bulk, but the few pics did show a couple of interesting issues. I saw a Silver Surfer # 1 and an Amazing Spider Man # 129 partially hidden in the pictures provided. By the Friday before the day I planned to head up, several people must have had the opportunity to inspect the lots as about a half dozen of them now had bids rising to the $60, even $300 level. Again, not wanting bulk, unless it went real, real cheap, that helped me narrow my list of lots to bother going through. I went through those only, made notes as to contents and condition and waited for the Tuesday auction.
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By the time the auction started Tuesday afternoon, those aforementioned lots had more activity. The ASM 129 was only a VG copy, and the rest in its box wasn’t going to get me to bump the $800 bid already placed. It finally sold for $1500! I did win a long box that had a complete run of X-Men from 150 – 221 plus a number of the earlier Byrne issues for a decent price. I didn’t want bulk, but couldn’t turn down scoring several huge lots of Archie comics and digests – over 1,200 issues. They sat in the back of my car for a week before I finally processed them – breaking down into lots (not complete runs) by titles and listing them on eBay. Within one day, I sold two of these lots and had already made all of my money back for the entire purchase. Just the other day, I sent 7 more lots, all to the one buyer, weighing a total over over 120 pounds. Dilly Dilly!

Right after that auction, I attend one that featured loads of MY stuff. I had dropped off 10 boxes of “dollar books” ie. bulk and some decent silver age issues and a few keys, and loads of Sports Illustrated in September. Basically, I was expecting to just ‘get rid’ of the bulk at cheap prices and made some folding money on the better issues. To my surprise, the auction house had taken the time (they did have them for almost two months before the sale) to go through all 10 boxes and created stacks of related issues/titles. Instead of seeing a long box of average drek sell for $30-40 each, they managed to squeeze a lot more out of the attendees. Some of the key issues I consigned brought less than wished for prices, but overall, it was a win!! BUT… even better, I scored big on my buys at the auction! My stuff went first and there were other comics and related material from at least one other consignor. I won a couple of small lots at a nice price and then bought some BULK for two dollars and 50 cents. It was 4 boxes of The Comic Book Marketplace going back to issue #2 and complete up through issue # 105 plus the first 21 issues of Overstreet’s Comic Book Marketplace and the first 6 specials. Great articles and interviews and in really nice shape! Two dollars and 50 cents for ALL of it! I’ve sold 4 issues of the CBM for $75 so far!
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Last Friday, although the weatherman said to expect some light snow in the afternoon, I traveled 110 miles to any auction in New Jersey. Why? I had nothing special to do and the site showed what appeared to be a couple of silver age DC comics. It was taken too far away to discern the issues, but there were several stacks. I took a chance, and at least the site claimed that they would get to the section with the comics at 9:00 AM. I’d be home probably by noon.

Of course, they lied. They didn’t start that part of the auction until 11:00 AM and it was 12:30 before they finally got to the comics. Was it worth the wait? Well, there were a number of 12 cent Batmans, Green Lanterns, Detectives, and Justice Leagues in two stacks, as well as some Metal Men and Flash in another two. The other three stacks contained miscellaneous issues, like Dell movie and TV related and Mad Magazines.
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Naturally, there was another dealer there – that same guy who bought the ASM #2 out from under me recently, as noted in my last blog. We had plenty of time to BS and exchange stories as we waited. The ASM #2 came up and he hadn’t noticed the big tape snag in the center of the front cover until after he won it. I’ve made that mistake in the past – one tends to check the edges first. Our talk started to wind down when he asked, “Wanna do some collusion?” I responded that I was willing to listen. Turns out he was mostly interested in the two stacks with the Metal Men and Flash issues. That worked for me! So we agreed to not bid against each other. Well, when they finally got around to the comics, they put up all 7 stacks at the same time, with the high bidder getting his/her choice of one or as many stacks they wanted at that price. I jumped in after another customer started and was up to $80 per stack when the other dealer jumped in at $90! I stopped and he walked up, grabbed the two he said he wanted. They opened up the bidding again on the remaining 5 stacks and I won choice – at just $35 each! One for me! less than I was willing to pay for one stack! The snow had started and it took me 3 1/2 hours to get back home, but I was happy as I had my radio tuned to a baby-boomer station.

Next big opportunity – the First State Comic Con at the Millcreek Fire Hall on Sunday, January 14th!
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Looking for a sale on back issues? There will be a “BOGO” sale on all of the green-tagged back issues NOT in the showcases immediately after Christmas. BUT, my blog readers don’t have to play by those rules! BOGO, SCHMOGO! Say the magic words (you know what they are) when Paul is on duty ANY TIME FROM NOW THROUGH 1/11 and GET TWO FREE WHEN YOU BUY ONE from the non-showcase green-tagged back issues!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and New Year to all!

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