Doug: On to business. A couple of days ago I promised an update on the selling of my collection and I was able to find some time Thursday evening to pen this. What a wonderful ride on something that turned on a whim. As our regular readers know, I've been selling my collection since July. My Avengers collection is just about completely gone, and was a fantastic kick-start to this whole thing. You may remember that my G+ copy of Avengers #1 was purchased for $889.50, while the VG #4 left my home for $510. To say that the first several weeks were a bittersweet but lucrative experience would be an understatement. Eventually, I got bored with the tediousness of packaging the comics, so decided that I'd mix it up and part with my collection of 17 Megos. Those all eventually sold, giving me $725.05 (Kid Flash was the grand champion at $103.27). Around a month ago I was checking the sold prices for John Buscema art -- preferably of the Bronze Age variety. Seeing two pages from Fantastic Four #175 and what the seller made, I decided to test the waters for myself.
Doug: As we returned to new posting on February 1st, I told you that I had begun to list some art. Did I ever... My wife is still incredulous at what has transpired over the past two weeks. I told my economics class what I was doing, and pulled my auctions up on screen so they could see what I was talking about. One young lady exclaimed, "Someone is going to pay you that... for a piece of paper?!?" Why yes, dear child, they are. When last I reported, the Avengers #76, page 3 page was at $3650; it sold for $4000. Man, I'm still pinching myself. But then there's the rest of the story. If any of you dabble in selling on eBay, you know one of the knocks on them are the fees. I use PayPal exclusively for payments. When the buyer paid, I checked the deposit because I wanted to see that lovely number in my account. But what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a deposit minus a 3% service charge! Yep -- only $3880 went in. And knowing that tomorrow is the end of the eBay billing period, I'm going to get dinged for an additional 10%. If you're playing at home, my net will drop another $400. But wait -- there's more. I wasn't sure I wanted to let the USPS handle such a pricey treasure. Instead, I took the heavily reinforced package to UPS. What a fiasco. I was told that something of that value had to have 2-3 inches of padding on both sides; the package I'd crafted was maybe 1 1/4" thick. OK, well I appreciate the care. Then, again because of the value, I had to open the package to confirm that I was indeed shipping what I said I was shipping. So the clerk gave me an exacto knife to slit the side of the package. I was able to pull the page out about an inch, and he said that was good enough. So while I'm doing this, he's figuring my cost (rounding it, we're talking the Chicago area to the Los Angeles area). He comes back with a number around $180. Three days guaranteed, plus they'll repackage it in a crush-proof box. You watch Spongebob? You know when Patrick just stands there with his mouth agape and a little drool in the corner... "Uhhhhhhhhhhh..." Yeah, that was me. But I'm there, I do have the money, and I say "go ahead". Ouch. So my $4000 gross will net me around $3300. Now, as I stated in the earlier post, I thought the page was worth $2000; obviously I came out way ahead of that. But c'mon -- $700 in shipping and misc. fees?
Doug: I think one of the things we love about eBay is the sense of competition. That's great when you're the seller; can be a little frustrating when you're buying. It was really neat to see my lots jump right toward the end. Notably, a Conan page by Buscema and Joe Sinnott (the only time Sinnott inked Big John on the Conan the Barbarian mag) doubled in the last few minutes, as did a partially-inked Conan sketch (talk about an after-thought. It was hanging on my wall and I wasn't going to sell it until the Conan comic page went so high). So what I'm going to do is just give you a look at what I sold and the prices folks paid to relieve me of these extremely cool collectibles. I'll talk once more about the collection at the end.
|Avengers #76, page 3 >>> $4000.00|
|Avengers #265, page 7 pencil rough >>>> $105.27|
|Avengers 265, page 7 pencil rough -- back of page|
|Conan the Barbarian #46, page 15 (inks by Joe Sinnott) >>>> $935.00|
|Barbarian illustration in pencil >>>> $87.89|
|Photograph of back of Barbarian illustration -- Hulk study?|
|Conan study in pencil and partially inked by Buscema >>>> $544.00|
|Conan pencil study; prelim for cover of Norwegian Comic Book Convention cover >>>> $114.27|
|Marvel Heroes and Legends #1, page ? >>>> $56.85|
|Thor vs. the Silver Surfer unpublished story, page 3 -- pencil and ink rough >>>> $330.00|
|Man with a gun pencil rough on vellum >>>> $20.00|
Doug: Lastly, I also sold the Flintstones illustration by Scott Shaw! Here's the photo of it again (the scan wasn't very good):
|Blue line pencil and ink >>>> $35.03|
Doug: Not a bad take, huh? If you don't happen to have a calculator, those sales grossed at $6228.31. Needless to say, things like a downpayment on a new car and making an impact on the parents' portion of our sons' student loans took big steps forward over the past two weeks.
Doug: I am hanging on to two pieces (well, I actually have two pages by Jeff Moy from the Legionnaires series that I'll be selling in the coming week), largely because they've been professionally matted and framed. I think you can tell by looking at them that I could probably get somewhere in the neighborhood of $4000-5000 for the duo. But I think I'll wait.