25th Oct2019

eBuying Comics: Week 29

by Ian Wells

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For a while now I have toyed with the idea of purposefully buying comics on eBay with the goal of reselling them for a profit. A lot of items have been selling or should I say listing and not selling since the inception of this blog have all been from my own collection. My listings have fallen into very specific categories. Most of the trade paperbacks I sell are because I have upgraded to a newer edition of the story or I have multiples. Sometimes it is just a case of liking the single issues more and wanting to keep them over a collected edition. So some sales have been made purely to make space for more stuff! A lot of the single issues I have listed are ones I have picked up for free or dirt cheap so I haven’t really been bothered about the amount of profit involved. I have read them, enjoyed them and now someone else can do the same. I have had some previous success selling cheap back issue pick ups. (No I’m not going to sell my New Mutants #98 story again). I picked up some £1 comics at a car boot sale and sold them on for some profit. an X-Force #1 for £1.50, a Teen Titans #42 for £1.20 and lastly a Infinity Gauntlet #1 for £9. My biggest regret is that he had two copies each of X-Force #1 and Infinity Gauntlet #1 , I could have made more profit! He also had some nice Sandman Mystery Theatre issues, but my knowledge of them at the time wasn’t up to scratch. If anyone is interested I still have a Teen Titans #39 from that day!

There are many approaches I could take in my step to becoming a buyer/seller of comics. To begin with it was a case of weighing up the pros and cons of each approach and deciding which one would work best for me. The first option was to go online and look for a certain issue that has a level of buzz around it. There are two major cons of going down this route. Firstly getting a supposed hot book for a good enough price to turn around a profit is not an easy task in itself. Pair this with my recent track record of losing auctions it was a match made in hell. For now I am leaving this approach way, way behind. Then there is the option of me myself picking an issue I believe has or will have potential for a decent profit. Again this idea has more cons than pros. Starting with the same as the previous, but also what makes an issue desirable and thus profitable is completely subjective. Plus it would put my knowledge right out there for everyone to cross examine. Perhaps I need to build myself up with some lesser issues till I’m ready for that. The best option left was to buy a random lot of mixed comics. Even the listings for these vary from seller to seller. There are the types of listings where the seller actually tells you what is in the lot. These are only good if there a any decent comics in there for a decent price. The bonus right away is that with the seller confirming what is in the lot you can tell the money from the crap. More often than not the crap outweighs the money! Lastly there are random lots/grab bags. They can range in price from £3.99 like the one I brought right up to £15. Some of the more expensive grab bags come with the promise of a key issue… Apparently.

I have thought about buying one of these before, with the hope of landing a Incredible Hulk #181 (No I wouldn’t have resold that)! On reading the reviews of these dearer grab bags they were positive, even people saying they got key issues such as Giant-Size X-Men#1, Incredible Hulk #181 and Amazing Spider-Man #129. Like I mentioned I settled for a mystery grab bag of three Marvel comics for £3.99. The seller stated all comics were from their own collection going from 1970’s to 2017 and all comics were self graded between VG and VF. My first assumption was that only one of the three would be 70’s/80’s, with the other two being newer back issues. At first the three comics I received left me a little underwhelmed. But to be honest I don’t know what I was really expecting. The oldest comic I got was The Defenders #85 from 1980. The two newer issues were International Iron Man #6 and Hyperion #6 both from 2016. M next task was to find some positives in these issues that would form my sales pitch and here my underwhelming feeling started to fade a bit. All the comics condition was as described by the seller so that was a real bonus. Working in favour of Hyperion #6 is that it guest stars Iron Man. I don’t know if you know but after the events of Endgame he is a pretty big deal. It is the final issue of a mini series written by Chuck Wendig, who has some following as a writer. Obviously Iron Man International #6 also starts Iron Man! I could also play up the angle of it being a key issue for Tony Stark’s origins. His true parents were revealed in the previous issue, so this one is dealing with the aftermath of that. The Defenders #85 being the oldest offered the most promise. It has strong representation from popular MCU characters. The Defenders line up for this era was Dr. Strange, Hulk and Valkyrie. It also features everyones favourite Namor. The cool thing about this issue is that it is set in Wakanda and guest stars Black Panther. I felt this was a point worth pushing what with his popularity in the MCU. Lastly what I noted was that it is a UK priced edition, this may be of desire to some collectors. Oh and Rich Buckler cover for all those Buckler completists out there! I looked up the issue on eBay to size up the competition. But eBay prices aren’t a good business model. One seller was starting at the 99p in an auction. Then there were a few between £6.99 and £9.95. Which is why I started mine at £10 but with a best offer option. I listed all three comics with a best offer option which is why they may seem a little over priced. I am very willing to come down from that price though, I haven’t added an automatic rejection. Doing some simple maths I would have to sell all three comics for more than £1.33 to be in profit. Now if I was running a business I would also have to factor the postage and the packaging into my profit margin. At this stage I’m not too concerned about this area as it is just a bit of fun. I have an abundance of bags and boards so I don’t need to make money back on them at this stage. Next year through the blog I think it will be more fun to source cheap bags, boards and envelopes and keeping an eye on things as though I was running it as a business.

Below are the Headlines and Item descriptions for my three comics:

The Defenders #85 7 F/VF – Marvel Comics Featuring Black Panther

The Defenders #85 Marvel Comics

  • Writer: Ed Hannigan
  • Artists: Don Perlin and Jim Mooney
  • Colours: G. Roussos
  • Cover: Rich Buckler

Featuring The Defenders (Hulk, Dr Strange, Namor and Valkyrie) Guest starring Black Panther and a story set in Wakanda.
In my opinion the cover is a good condition with 2 minor creases in each of the top corners. Good bright colours still, with no wear and tear and minimal spine roll and wear. The interiors are off white pages with small marks from printing process which is common for Marvel comics of this era. No fading, or wwear and tera to interiors otherwise.

£10 or Best Offer + £1.80 P+P

Hyperion #6 Marvel Comics 2016 8 VF Featuring Iron Man

Hyperion #6 Marvel Comics 2016

  • Writer: Chuck Wendig
  • Artists: Nik Virella and Marc Laming
  • Colours: Romulo Fajardo jr

Last issue in Hyperion mini series guest starring Iron Man. It has a great front cover with minimal spine wear and tear. No major defects. The interiors are excellent.

£2.50 or Best Offer + £1.80 P+P

Iron Man International #6 Marvel Comics 8 VF+ Iron Man

Iron Man International #6 Marvel Comics 2016

  • Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Artist: Alex Maleev
  • Colours: Paul Mounts

Penultimate issue in this mini series. Key to Tony Starks origins/true parents! Great front cover. Minimal spine wear and tear. No spine roll. No major defects. Excellent interiors. As close to NM you can get after a few reads.

£5.00 or Best Offer + £1.80 P+P

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