Doug: I'd mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I've been making solid (if slow) progress on the selling of my comic collection. We've discussed this several times in the past, but since it has been a few months I thought I'd give you a progress update.
As I'd said in that post, I have been able to sell the lion's share of my Marvel collection (approximately seven longboxes), with about the contents of an eighth longbox remaining. My DC collection only exists in three longboxes, and I've begun to make a dent in those. Of note is my recent parting with a 1st printing set of The Dark Knight Returns #s 1-4 for $155.00. That was beyond my expectations. I also moved the stories "A Death In the Family"/"A Lonely Place of Dying" as a lot for $100.00 and The Killing Joke for $50.00, both on Buy It Nows. I did pretty well on several of the other Batman mini-series I'd mentioned in that previous post, and have several more in my listings that either just sold (I'm typing this on Saturday, 8/15) or have been relisted.
Which brings me to another phenomenon - if eBay is the purest form of capitalism (and I think it is from a basic standpoint of supply and demand), then that conversation must also include opportunism. I say that in reflection of comics or lots that I've listed multiple times, and then all of a sudden sell. The buyer and seller truly have to be in the right place at the right time for specific markets to exist. And saying that, within that conversation are books or lots that I just scratch my head as to why they won't sell. I am particularly thinking of Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1 featuring Spider-Man, Morbius, and the Man-Wolf, with cover and interior art by Gil Kane. My copy is mid-grade but very pleasing to the eye. Yet it's sat through several weeks' worth of listings. But then a book or lot will sell on a Buy It Now and I'm left to wonder, "Jeez - why didn't you take your chances and enter the bidding process?" Surprisingly (to me at least), I've had some trouble unloading some 90s X-Men comics.
Another series of wins were my sales of the Gitcorp DVD-ROMs. I had four of them (always wanted all of those). I sold the Avengers disc for $150 through a bidding war, Iron Man for $125 on a Buy It Now, Amazing Spider-Man for $75 (guy won it on the opening bid), and Fantastic Four for $40 (again, opening bid). As several of our readers have mentioned, the discs could be copied to a hard drive. I've done that, and backed the files up in three places for safekeeping. There was no reason to keep the discs. And that being said, later on I am going to sell some of my Marvel Masterworks, such as the first two volumes of Avengers, first volume of Fantastic Four, etc.
Lastly, I'd reiterate my "formula" for setting that opening bid for those of you who haven't been involved in these conversations previously. I regrade the comics, always with a fresh and objective eye, and double check the 2014 Overstreet Guide price. I start with a Buy It Now of approximately 85% of Guide, and then set the opening bid at approximately a third of that value. So truthfully, if a buyer wins with that opening bid they are getting a heckuva "deal". At least as far as the Guide goes, and whatever that means... I said at the very beginning that I wasn't just going to flat-out give anything away. While I've lowered my prices on some relists, I've always felt like I got something in return for my trouble.
So where has the money gone? Way back when I started this journey, just over a year ago, I'd mentioned to you that repayment of our sons' college loans was about to kick in, and we also needed to get rid of a vehicle that was beginning to nickel and dime us, replacing it with a new car. We also had a wedding in our family as I've discussed earlier. To say that the proceeds from my sales have been a boon would be an understatement. With just the sale of that Avengers art page, we were able to make a nice down payment on my wife's new car. Our wedding expenses have been covered - easily. And now the money just supplements the budget, or we save it for things we couldn't now do with the loan payments occupying a large slice of our budgetary pie. And to think: I was offered $3000 for the whole collection. I've already made that five times over, and am still going. And I think I'll keep going, on into my collectibles, some of my comics history books, and so on. Of course I've treated myself to several of the IDW Artist Editions*, and that's OK by me. Paring down has not been a bad thing,
*Don't judge. Well, OK, go ahead. I have purchased all of these at nice discounts, though; in fact, I have the Herb Trimpe's Hulk and Joe Kubert's Tarzan, vol. II on pre-order, each bought for only $49.00. After those two arrive this fall, I will have -
Joe Kubert's Tarzan, volumes I and II
Herb Trimpe's Hulk
There are video reviews of these books on YouTube that will really give you an idea of how awesome these reproductions truly are.