New Comic Book Picks and Values – Testing the Price Guides

The number one topic I am asked to give my opinion about is comic book picks. This includes back issues and new issues. The problem I have with new comic book picks, and the reason I am very hesitant to give them, is selling the comic books for a decent price can be very difficult for collectors.

In a previous post I talked about “making money on the way in.” This can be done in several ways including buying at a discount, smart auction bidding, or a successful speculation on the future value of a book. But any purchase must have the selling process in mind. This includes the timing of the sale and the method of selling (E-bay, convention, store, website, etc.)  If you are purely a reader you don’t need my picks, you buy what you like.  Collectors who ask me for picks telegraph their intentions, they want to sell in the future and make a profit.

If you are a convention dealer or own a store you have an easy way to sell your new comic books at the “going rate.” But if you are a collector this can be a little more difficult. In order to prove this point I did some research on “hot” comics in the current issue of Wizard and Comics Buyer’s Guide. I actually picked these books completely at random. Here is what I found.

First pick: Thor #1

CBG (Apr 2008) says this book is selling for $7 versus a cover price of $2.99. It was difficult to find any price on E-bay for these books since almost all the completed auctions didn’t receive bids. I’m talking $0.99 auctions with $3.50 shipping folks! I did see a couple auctions with both covers (two books) sell for $5.50 plus $3.50 shipping. CGC 9.8 Coipel covers are going for $15.00 plus shipping. $15.00 doesn’t make back the money, time, trouble or grading risk of submitting!

Next Pick

X-men Messiah Complex one-shot Silvestri cover. Wizard March 2008 Value – $5.00

The results from E-bay? One bidder did buy this for $5.00 plus shipping, but another bought it for $2.25 plus $4.00 shipping. Maybe okay for the buyer, but not okay for the seller at $2.25. You could have a copy in CGC 9.6 for under $20 shipped.  There were several 99 cent auctions that did not sell.

How about another? Let’s try Halo: Uprising #1 (Wizard March 2008 Value $8)

I did see a copy sell for 99 cents plus $4 shipping on E-bay, but it was better for the sellers to go with a #1 and #2 bundle. The bundles were selling for around $7.77 + $3.95 shipping. I’ll call it a wash. With the proper packaging you could have made some money on these. Still, a lot of effort for a couple of bucks.

What is the Lesson Here?

  1. If you are going to dabble in new comic books and don’t sell at conventions or have a store, you must have a plan. It is difficult to find an outlet to sell your new comic picks for a profit. You better not pay retail! Order in bulk from someone like, they offer up to 75% off new comics.  A 75% discount allows you to sell for cover and still make a profit.
  2. A lot of the price guides, especially for new comics, are hype machines. They’re great to get you to pay the “value” at stores and conventions, but good luck to the collector to ever get that money out of them. Also, within a few months good luck to stores to even get that price (other than maybe once every six months).
  3. Don’t buy into the hype and you must have a sales plan! Plan your escape before you even enter the game.
  4. If you are a reader only, E-bay can be a great place for deals!

Until Next Time,

Buy and Sell Smart!!!

2 Responses to “New Comic Book Picks and Values – Testing the Price Guides”

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