Comfortable and Furious

3 Tips for Selling Comic Books Online

If you have old comic books that are worth something, you have a number of options. You can hang onto them in anticipation that they’ll gain more value, you can keep them to pass along to your kids, or you can sell them to make some cash. If you go this latter route, the internet is the place to go.

3 Tips to Get you Top Dollar

There’s something to be said for hanging on to comic books and marinating in nostalgia. There’s also something to be said for sharing your love of comic books with the next generation. But sometimes splitting up with your collection is the only logical choice. Whether you’re running out of room in your house or you need to finance other areas of your life, the majority of collectors reach a point where they contemplate selling. 

Selling online is advantageous for a number of reasons, but it ultimately comes down to reach. If you were to put your comic books in a local collectables store, it could take weeks or months to find the right buyer. (And even then, less local demand will likely drive your price down.) By going online, the world becomes your oyster. Whether it’s an army veteran in Indiana or a young kid in Singapore, anyone and everyone becomes a potential customer. This increase in demand will be reflected in the sale price.

Another benefit to selling online is the ease with which it happens. You snap a few pictures, create a listing, process the transaction, package the comic book, stick it in a postal box, and you’re ready to go!

But the simple decision to sell online versus in a physical store doesn’t guarantee top dollar. To maximize your investment, you must proceed with purpose and intent. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Know Your Grade

For serious comic book collectors who love to buy comic book (your target customers), comic book grades are everything. If you want to command a high price, you need to understand the ins and outs of grading and how to get the right number.

“A comic book is worth more in near-mint condition (grade 9.4 and above) than it would be in good — and good commands a higher price than fair,” Quality Comix explains. “Accurately valuing a comic involves knowing the right grade. Don’t try to assess a comic book’s grade by yourself. Leave these tasks to a credible pro who can give you and the books the right grading.”

If you get a good grade, don’t settle for a low-ball offer. Stick to your guns and wait for the right buyer to come along. If you’re too eager to sell, you’ll miss out on the chance to get the value your comic book deserves.

2. Take Excellent Pictures

The right pictures on your listing can make your comic books more attractive and, as a result, command a higher price. But you don’t need to be a professional photographer. With a few simple tricks, you can take better quality pictures and get superior results.

For starters, make sure you’re paying attention to the angle of the shot. While a shot that’s straight on can look fine, it often comes across as slightly amateurish.

“Take photographs from as many different angles as you can, like you would normally,” iPhotography suggests. “The angle is vital when photographing books and you want it to be as visually exciting as possible and not just an unappealing heap of old books.”

Secondly, never photograph your comic books in artificial light. (It’ll make the pages look yellow and can create some nasty glares.) Natural light with warm sunlight is ideal.

3. Craft a Compelling Description

A good listing description is critically important. Not only does it help familiarize prospective customers with the details, but it also enhances your listing visibility by targeting specific keywords people are likely to search for. 

Adding it All Up

The comic book market is constantly evolving. What’s considered worthless today could be the next five-figure issue in a few years. It’s all about supply and demand. And if there’s one thing we know about this market, it’s that supply is constantly decreasing (at least in terms of vintage issues) and demand holds true. Naturally, this means prices will rise as time passes. The big challenge is figuring out when to sell and which approach to take.