Happy New Year. I hope 2024 brings everyone health and happiness… and a few comics off the want list.
I’m getting the feeling that the comic book collecting hobby is at some sort of crossroads, some junction that offers multiple directions forward. We’ve arrived at this junction through a combination of good governance and negligence. These options are still open to us going forward, good governance and negligence, and what happens next is up to us both as individuals and as a collective.
We need to tighten things up a bit, and what better time to do it than after a very major and very needed market correction of comic book values. Let’s start with the news of some CGC case tampering that is making headlines in our hobby: let’s get that fixed ASAP. There needs to be some urgency from CGC to close this potentially disruptive hack, and CGC has come out with a statement that they are addressing the issue.
While we’re closing the CGC loophole let’s keep going and close a few others. Let’s get GPA and eBay itself to remove or identify cancelled eBay sales data. I’m not sure if Go Collect or any other value tracking sites have a provision to negate cancelled eBay sales but the market needs to eliminate the temptation to manipulate prices that appear on sites like GPA and on the eBay Sold Items page. I recently sold a book on our ICE Collectibles eBay auction, the order ended up being cancelled, the sale still shows on GPA and if you look up Completed Sales on eBay for the books the sale appears there too in green text, it’s only when you click into the actual sale that you see that payment has been cancelled. With today’s technology this should be a quick algorithm tweak away from happening.
We need to take some responsibility ourselves: let’s get into the habit of doing a bit more research before committing to a big purchase. When tracking GPA don’t be lazy, you know the left column of values captures the price surges of 2020, take the time and click into that grade’s sales history to see where the book was in 2019, 2018 etc., and with eBay, take the time to click on that Completed Sale link, double check that the sale went through. There is more than enough data out there to arm yourself with good information, commit to learning how to gather that into.
Prices for collectible comics have dropped so much so that it has chased away many speculators and day traders, at least for now. Most of what’s left is the hard-core market that existed say a decade ago. These people are staying and these people are the path back to some sort of sustainable, heaven forbid, future growth. For all of us still in the game, and there are more than enough of us, we need tighter systems and more reliable data, we’ll take care of the rest.
I’ve been too busy socializing and lollygagging during this New Year’s weekend, and during last weekend’s Christmas festivities for that matter, to put together any kind of coherent weekly post so I’ll save that for next week.
Some good news: Chris and I just recorded a Comic Culture podcast. We should have it posted for Wednesday January 3rd.
Some more good news: I have two Undervalued Spotlight posts from Spider that I’ve been saving for the new year. You’ll see those up soon as well.