Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Collecting and spending: My Big Pile of Comic Books

Here's an interesting thought.
I now have about 7,060 comic books. Of which, 4,670 are catalogued on-line.
The on-line estimated value is $16,900 - a little bit above $3.60 each.
I have probably spent about $1890 on all of the comics ($0.20 each for the vast majority and about $50-$60 per month for the current monthly's I collect).

My gut says that if I can buy comics for $0.20 each, the liquidation value for the collection is probably not much more than $1 per book and maybe less - closer to $0.50 each.

It seems like the larger the collection the lower the liquidation value due to the smaller number of buyers able to purchase and utilize the entire collection - unless the collection is very old, with some very expensive books - then an auction house might take the time to catalogue and auction everything (or large portions).

One expense that I didn't mention was the cost of bagging an boarding. For some reason most used books require fresh bags and boards. All new books do. They can be purchased cheaply if you know a friendly dealer and can buy from him/her in large volumes. With my recent acquisitions, I'll need to do just that.

One of interesting aspects of my collection is the change in orientation. I thought I would collect mostly independent press, smaller print-run products, but as I've started buying other people's collections, I've been acquiring mainstream titles like batman, superman, etc.... Actually, these are titles that are probably more appropriate for my children than some of the more arcane independent titles.

My biggest challenges with the hobby are emerging as:

  1. Where will I put 50 short boxes full of comic books - I simply don't have room - they must be stored in an airconditioned environment.
  2. My bulk used book purchases are beginning to see duplicates. It takes hours to buy 1000 comic books. There certainly isn't enough time to cross-reference buy lists. What do I do with the duplicates? Another reason to head toward more mainstream titles.
  3. I have some increasingly complete print-runs for quite a few comic series. Do I increase my per issue spend by buying the missing issues on-line from mail order house's backlists?
  4. How do I find the time to organize, bag and board everything?
  5. I may have some issues that are modestly valuable - one actually - that might be worht $100 - do I pay to have it CGC graded?
  6. Should I start buying Disney type comics for my children? The idea is to share the collection with them. Should I let a small child reach a 50 year old Disney comic worth $20?

Questions and questions.

When we relocate - I wonder how much the comics will add to our moving cost? They are rather heavy!

Have a wonderful day,



Anonymous said...

I'm almost a little jealous of your collection, mostly because my personality would never allow me to jump in as you have. I have a terrible tendancy to throw away. I keep nothing. My version of cleaning house - less clutter, cleaner house.

The only thing wrong is I will never put such a beautiful collection together for my children. I envy the hours of family time you will receive with this choice. Very smart indeed.

It will be even greater to share this collection with your future grandchildren. I can just see the grandkids begging their parents to go play with you.

Congratulations. You have a goldmine in the collection - regardless the market value.

makingourway said...

Though I think the teenagers would be most interested - I'm certainly guilty of accumulating clutter.
I'll have to use the future treasure arguement on my wife.