There used to be a time when I was such a purist regarding incomplete books, restored books, conserved books, even signed books. But times change and so have I, Blue is not the only colour I’m willing to see on a label anymore, these days I also see potential in Yellow, Purple and Green labels. I am now Rainbow Man. The marketplace has been my teacher. I remember 20 years ago selling coupon cut Hulk #181s for $75 because that was the price most old-timers were selling them for, then someone told me “Walt I’m getting $400 for coupon cut copies”, soon enough so was I.
I really started looking at restored books when I was getting into the Golden Age keys, I’ve tried restored copies of Batman #1 twice and did well each time. I sold a Superman #1 Green Label incomplete for more than I thought I would and I traded a Conserved More Fun #52 for two Blue Labe Golden Age keys.
All the above examples including the Hulk #181 are mega key issues where prices for Blue label complete copies made restored, qualifies and conserved the only real options if I wanted to buy and sell copies.
Fast forward to today and those high prices have filtered down way farther into the general population of comics than I’d have ever expected. Today it doesn’t have to be an Action #7, an All-Star Comics #8 or an X-Men #1 for high prices to be realized. Today there are thousands of books that have priced themselves out of most collectors’ budgets. Now because of these high prices I find myself revisiting the rainbow of colours on the CGC grading label, I’m looking at books that even a few short years ago I would never have considered unless it was a Universal Blue label.
Will we get to a day where we are buying restored copies of Star Wars #1 and Amazing Spider-Man #300 because unrestored copies have priced themselves out. My Spidey sense says no because there are plenty of copies to go around if you are willing to go down into the lower grades. This is rational thinking though and my Spidey sense also tells me that my rational thinking is antiquated at best.
I don’t know how deep down the list of comics we’ll have to go with Purple and Green labels but I do know its way deeper than I thought it would be just a few short years ago and I’m sure it will go down deeper than most of you thought possible as well.
Do we start buying up cheap, restored copies of She-Hulk #1 that are sure to surface now and again? General trends tend to play out over long periods of time, just look at the last 15 years and think what the next 15 will look like.
Last night on our internationalcollectiblesexchange eBay auction we sold a CGC 6.0 Restored copy of Detective Comics #67 featuring the first Penguin cover. The book sold for $2,247 after 41 bids. Looking back to recent sales a CGC 4.0 Blue Label got $3,000 back in November and a CGC 3.5 Restored got $1,950 last August so our copy got good bucks. Advantage buyer, there are only 75 graded copies, 60 of which are Blue label unrestored. This book is an example of the above argument, the last 6.0 Restored sold in 2013 for $420, that’s a nice return.