Once you have the comic book title, issue number and grade you are ready to find the price or value. But where should you look? Most people start with the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. It’s a good place to start, but there are a few major issues with it.
Let’s start with the positive aspects of “the guide”.
The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is amazingly complete, and it should be since it is the longest running guide in the industry. It is a storehouse of information and truly a must have resource. There may be some issues with the actual price data, but for character, author, artist, first appearance, and more items than I can list, it is the place to go. They don’t call it the “bible” of the comic book hobby for nothing.
Unfortunately, for comic book values, there are some issues. For the most part, it will get you in the ballpark of the value, but for several reasons it can seriously lag the market. Because of this lag, I recommend a few other resources to supplement the guide. Since it is a print guide, the time it takes to publish combined with the dynamic nature of the market can put it behind the pricing trends. Add to this the fact that a lot of the data is dealer driven, and you can see a conflict of interest.
Also, a lot of books are overpriced in the guide versus what that are actually selling for every day on E-bay and other sites. You rarely see a book go down in price in the guide, but I can honestly say I see comics retreat all the time in the marketplace.
The Overstreet Guide is great for finding comics that stand out from the crowd and common issues with less value. Because of the information it contains, you can quickly assess which of your books have a chance at making some decent money versus those that are destined for the quarter or dollar box.
I recommend you use the guide as a starting point in your value research. Find out what books you have that are key issues or may be valuable, get a ballpark idea of value from the guide, and then check the real time values in a couple of resources I will mention in the next comic book value post.