How To Sell Your Comics

This week Chris and Walt discuss something worth a closer look, how to sell your comics. There are many ways to go about it and the boys examine some of the pros and cons of a varying number of selling options.

Please feel free to add some insights, tips you think might be helpful to people looking to sell their comics.

As always comments on the show are welcome, let us know what you thought.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

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  1. Wow – no club soda, no Seka, no Kenora Dinner Jacket – just hard as nails facts. I had to check that I clicked on the right link.

    10/10 for the facts and opinions. I don’t know how you make it as a dealer by putting your cards on the table like that. I can name a lot of dealers (but I won’t) who are of a very different persuasion.

    Some further notes:

    – In the states, eBay is also going to charge sales tax, so add that to the transaction cost.

    – Totally agree on eBay reputation issues, but not so much on eBay being a “ton” of work for solid graded books. My suggestion is to start selling cheap stuff (so the reputation discount doesn’t cost much in absolute $) and giving great service. Also buy stuff and be a good customer. You can build up some good feedback that way and then move to selling more expensive items. Avoiding negative feedback on eBay is key. In the states it is not a lot of work to sell mid-priced graded books on eBay using USPS priority mail shipping – it is cookie cutter. I think it is way more work to get your books to the auction houses, who might sit on them for months before putting them into an auction.

    – Re your books going to the dump and coming back – reminds me of the old question of how do you dispose of an unwanted trash can?

    – The advice about handling the dealers at cons was a new one for me. Definitely worth the price of admission.

    – You didn’t mention MyComicShop in your list. I see them with the same problem as you mentioned for ComicConnect – when it first goes on the site it might sell right away, but otherwise it sort of falls into a black hole. At least they list their graded books on eBay as well.

    – Re this black hole issue, ComicLink’s “Exchange” doesn’t require that you send them the book. I see many of their offerings cross-listed by the owners on eBay. So a chance at incremental exposure.

    – I liked the discussion on whether or not to grade. I think this is complicated. You pointed out the investment and turn-around time, but this seems to me maybe to be more a case of “pay me now or pay me later”. Selling raw has its own problems – in general I think people will be leery, and you will definitely have to accept returns if this is an eBay sale (generally not the case for graded books). Then what do you do if the book returned is damaged? Etc. I think if you conservatively estimate that a book will sell for more than about $200, you are probably better off having it graded (but of course you want to have about ten of these to send for grading at a time to make it worth the time and effort). Yes some hot lower grade books might even do better raw, but trying to figure this out without your finger on the pulse of the market will be very difficult.

  2. Chris M.! Yeah, I don’t know what happened. We will be sure to make up for the lack of Seka, Kenora Dinner Jackets and club sodas next time.

    Good information about ebay and the States. Thanks for adding. I tried to pull as much information out of Walt as I could, but…what’s that saying about blood from a stone? Or is it 9.9s from a dealer? Either way… hard to get.

  3. A comedian once said he crushed an old trashcan and put a sign on it, saying ‘take me!’ He said ‘they took the sign.’

    How can ComicLink sell a book they don’t actually have? What if there is a complaint re: condition and the owner and buyer staŕt a fight about it.

    How about a damaged return which doesn’t display a special hidden mark that you put on the book to identity it and you confront the buyer about the bait-and-switch, which they deny, and they threaten to destroy your reputation with a bad review unless you capitulate to their refund demand?

    Lots to think about.

  4. I was waiting for Meli to chime in as I respect his ‘business’ take on collecting as much as Walts! I did tell my family if I kicked off prematurely that expect a dealer to only go as high as 40% but to push for 60 and expect 50!
    All good information on respects to actual gains and I to was factoring in our U.S. sales tax as well in the reduction of actual cash obtained! While you gave a lot of options I still feel a bit muddled as to how to move more expensive books I might want to part with. I am planning on signing up with CGC at the middle rate within the week with an objective of moving a couple of books that would gain me reinvestment cash that don’t really fit within my regular collection. I think this is a great topic that more can be said about!
    ( p.s: while there was no bawdy innuendo this installment… the Valentines show always makes up for at least two!)

  5. Klaus, all CL requires is a photo and an agreement that you will get the book to them quickly if sold. Generally these are going to be graded so no fight there, but I think having CL in the middle makes this situation even more complicated. I have bought a few graded books off their exchange with no problems.

    I don’t think you need perfection to be trusted on eBay, and you are allowed to post your side of the story. My experience is that the eBay community is generally trustworthy, and the comic side of this even more so. But your scenario is why I say selling raw with returns allowed is problematic. I only sell graded with no return allowed. In-transit damage is another question, but cross your fingers, I haven’t had to deal with this as a seller.

    BUT, it’s worth noting that I have had to deal with it twice as a buyer with Heritage, and their service has been excellent, so a shout out to them for this.

  6. A lot of good points on the subject Meli, thanks for adding your insights.

    Because comics are serious money these days an unscrupulous dealer can really do some damage, let the seller beware and also be aware.

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