Saturday, July 22, 2006

are comic books an investment?

I recently reignited my interest in comic books / graphic novels. Every few years I would buy a few series until I had a complete story arc to read (dislike reading them in installments).

I've entered most of my books into which actually tells you the market value of the comic books as well. I don't have that many, but seems the overall collection is worth about $2400 - more than i imagined.

What truely got me back into it was visiting a comic store liquidation - I was able to buy a few hundred comics for $0.10 each. The vast variety, quality of art and interesting stores pulled me back in.

Now I've signed up for a pull box (the store puts comics into your box each month - like a subscription) and will probably buy 10-20 comics a month. For an overall spend of about $32.50 - $70.00 per month. Honestly, I feel a bit bad about spending that kind of money, but I do get much joy from reading them and saving them for my children (who will be able to enjoy them in the far future). The again, other people do have much more expensive hobbies and I am saving aggressively.

According to, most of the comics seem to retain their value and increase in value at a fairly constant rate; i.e. most older books seem to appreciate in value up to the price of new comic books; e.g. what once cost $1.50 is now worth about $3.00, which is market price for new books.

I'm curious, has anyone tried to sell individual comics or a comic book collection? Can you really get "market price" or do you have to discount it tremendously? What's the most efficient way to sell a comic book (or collection)?

Thanks for your advice,
Have a great weekend,


Blaine Moore said...

First, I would not consider buying new comic books an investment at all. You are not going to make any money (in most cases) by paying cover prices for new books; too many of each issue get printed for it to really become a collector's item.

As for purchasing books for a dime a piece, you can certainly make more than that by reselling them.

The biggest problem I would think with getting an appraisal on your comic book collection is being sure that you have accurately graded each book (if priced individually). Many people probably just put every book in as near mint since it looks all right to them, but a book can look all right at first glance and still be in poor condition over all.

My guess is that if you sold your $2400 collection as a lot then you'd probably be lucky to get $1500 unless you have a good number of mags that are highly desirable and in good condition.

Obviously, your mileage may vary.

makingourway said...


Excellent comments. Very inciteful and thought provoking.

I agree with your point at heavily discounting the collection, especially in light of market inefficiencies and my own inexperience at liquidation $1500 sounds fair, maybe a little more or less.

I'll put up a post describing my comic collection to incent further comments.