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Where should you go to sell your comics? How do you get the best price for them? And how do you ensure they’re going to a good home?

Going through a comic book separation is tough. Really tough. You have absorbed every page, every panel, every line. But circumstances change. Maybe your collection has got out of hand, or you can’t keep up the habit, or perhaps your better half is questioning your first love. If so, it may just be time to rehabilitate your collection into the comic-reading community.

However, you don’t want to just give them away. You need to make sure your collection fetches the right money. Here are just a few tips for successfully selling your beloved comic collection.

1. Know Where to Go

Comics on boxes

You have quite a few options, both online and in the real world. Life’s going to be easier if you can find somewhere to sell them offline: that way, people can see what condition the comic are in, you don’t need to risk a dodgy postal service, and it generally bypasses some of the fuss you have to go through otherwise.

Try your local comic store: many stock back issues, and might be interested in your collection to top up their sales. Comics are popular right now (and hopefully will continue to be for a long time), so you can get them in more shops than ever before: it’s worth giving a second-hand bookshop a go. But bear in mind these are dealers; they won’t give you amazing prices because they need to make a profit. The opportunity is there, however, for you to get good money if, for instance, the dealer wants a particular issue for their own or customers’ collections.

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And if you really want to make sure your comics go to a good home – and if you have a sizable collection – you could consider getting a stall at a convention! They can be pretty costly, so you really need to think about whether it’s worth it. As an added bonus, dealers generally get further incentives like skipping virtual queues for autographs.

Otherwise, you can turn to bidding sites like eBay (although you do risk some disappointment here), or more specialist online stores like Stanley Gibbons, best known for stamps, but dabbling in other collectibles. Webuycomics.com has an expansive Want List, so say they’ll buy all your comics, and pre-pay postage; and Sellmycomicbooks.com will not only appraise your collection, but also offer a wealth of articles and price guides so you can fully educate yourself in the process.

2. Face Facts: Price Decreases

Let’s get this out of the way early: in terms of price, comic books are a little like cars. The second you buy them, they devalue – generally at least. There are exceptions. First appearances and early adventures nearly always demand big bucks. Action Comics #01, the first appearance of Superman, from 1938, sold for a record $3.2 million last year.

The chances of you having that, Amazing Fantasy#15, or Marvel Comics #01 are pretty remote. You might have The Walking Dead #01, Iron Man #281 (War Machine’s debut), or Ultimate Spider-Man#01 though. They’re not worth millions, but they could get you a few hundred dollars apiece.

Nonetheless, your common-or-garden comic book is priced either $2.99 or (more likely) $3.99, and they plummet once you rush home to read them.

This sad fact led Crave Online to call comic collections “worthless”, but that’s unfair.

3. Know Your Conditions

Comic Piles

If you treasure your collection, it’s likely you keep them in good nick, and that makes them more valuable. Any little creases, page yellowing, and marks affect price. Telling people exactly what their conditions are will help sales; grading them, however, is difficult.

Far too many plump for “mint.” Even more list great quantities as NM (“Near Mint”). Proper grading is in numbers, with mint being classed only as 9.8 or above. A NM starts at 9.0. Most are Fine. Here’s a really handy guide to grading your issues.

Most buyers don’t expect such thorough grading, though. As long as you accurately say whether it’s Fine, NM, or Fair, you should be alright.

If it’s a particularly valuable comic, though, it’s worth checking out CGC Comics, who professionally grade and seal your comics into certified holders. But with prices starting at $18, I’d advise only taking signed or rare issues in for examination.

4. Bag and Board

Bagged and Boarded

Buyers need to know you’re serious about condition: that you’re not just looking after them now you’re selling them, but that you’ve cared for them since you bought them yourself. You can generally pick bags and boards up cheaply. In fact, many stores like Forbidden Planet offer a supplementary service when you initially pick up your Standing Orders.

What’s more, this will attract serious collectors who will look after them as much as you have.

And don’t just use horrible old bags that are covered in decades-old Sellotape. The boards should be acid-free so they don’t affect your comic; that should give you an idea about how outside forces affect pages. Normal Sellotape is absolutely horrible to get off, so consider investing in some frosted or satin finish tape.

5. Take Your Own Photos

Dealers generally turn to Google for pictures, and it’s tempting with a large collection, but if you want buyers to trust you, especially when selling online, be sure to take your own photos. It means they can see the condition for themselves. Here are some further tips for selling on bidding sites like eBay 11 Critical Tips On How To Sell More On eBay 11 Critical Tips On How To Sell More On eBay eBay is one of the top 10 most trafficked sites on the entire Internet, so it's no wonder that when that pang of consumerist desire hits us, we head straight to eBay. Auctions can be... Read More .

If they’re bagged and boarded, try to shield them from reflections.

6. Give Proper Descriptions

Moon Knight incorrect listing 2

Listing them correctly isn’t solely about condition. Proper descriptions let buyers know they’ve found the right issue, if it’s one of their favourite creators (I’ll collect anything by John Romita Jr.), and that you’re actually invested in them, not just buying and selling in bulk.

If you’re using a bidding site, you only get a certain number of characters in the heading to describe the comic, so narrow down exactly what’s needed to attract people. The title and issue number, obviously, but what about volume number, publisher (especially either Marvel or DC), and story arc? One little spelling mistake can mean your comic is ignored by a search engine.

7. Separate the Valuable Ones

Do your research and make two piles of comics: one with your everyday $1 issues, and another for the more costly ones. Your collection might surprise you. I was shocked last year that a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic I was selling was worth about $45. To file that with all the others would have obviously been a big mistake.

8. Consider Grab Bags

Comics in piles

Having two piles make grab bags possible. These are generally cheaper comics thrown into one bag together and sold at a set sum – a bit like a goody bag. After repeated attempts to get rid of a troublesome issue, you’ll be glad to hide it amongst others that might attract attention.

Grab bags typically contain three or four issues, but try not to go above five.

9. Sell Storylines Together

Comic Storylines

If you have corresponding issue numbers, pile them together and sell as one lot.

It will attract more bidders if there’s a complete run because they feel like they’re getting a better bargain. And they know that these are part of a cherished collection. Even a storyline with a missing issue or two is better collected together than forcing buyers to fish for them across numerous listings.

Knowing you’re a collector might also mean a buyer will explore your other items.

10. Wait for the Perfect Opportunity

Marvel heroes

Iron Man comics are more sought after since Robert Downey Jr. became Tony Stark. Popular media boosts sales, so much so that it’s worth grabbing some comics starring Ant-Man before that movie is released.

Sell your comics at an opportune time. The Avengers: Age of Ultron has been released, so if you have any iterations of the team – especially ones with the artificial intelligence What Artificial Intelligence Isn't What Artificial Intelligence Isn't Are intelligent, sentient robots going to take over the world? Not today -- and maybe not ever. Read More , Ultron! – now’s the time to sell them. In the next few years, we’ll have films starring Black Panther, Dr. Strange, the Suicide Squad, and the X-Men, so if you can, it’s worth waiting before you shift them.

11. Consider a Job Lot

Comics in boxes

This isn’t an ideal situation, but if you’re looking for a quick fix (for reasons of space or money), or just want to keep your collection together, a job lot might be the way to go.

This could mean selling a complete run of one title together, or maybe every issue you’ve ever bought. If the latter, include the comic boxes!

You might get $50 for a complete title, or $300 for everything: it really could go either way, especially if you’re open to haggling.

12. Look on Social Media

Spider-Verse

Concerned your comics aren’t going to a good home? Turn to Facebook. When you move in those circles, it’s probable that a friend will take at least some of what you’re selling off your hands.

Try Facebook Groups too: plenty celebrate characters or publishers, but there are also some set up specifically to buy and sell items. Comic Book Collecting is a particularly popular one.

If you go this route, just beware of that terrifying phrase, “mates’ rates?”

Have You Got Any Tips to Share?

So, you have had to sell your comic collection, but at least you’ll now be able to get the most money you possibly can for it. And of course, all is not lost. If circumstances change, you can start conglomerating comics again 8 Places To Buy Comics Online, Whether You Like It On Paper Or Digital 8 Places To Buy Comics Online, Whether You Like It On Paper Or Digital I am presuming here that you the reader are now an adult or at least in your late teens who is probably reading at least a Dan Brown or the latest bestseller on political philosophy.... Read More . You could swap them all up for graphic novels, or even go digital Do You Love Comics? This Online Guide Is For You! Do You Love Comics? This Online Guide Is For You! This guide explains how to download comic books for free and legally, where to buy comic books that aren't free and even how to scan backups of comic books you already own. Read More .

Have you had to part with your comic collection? Or chosen to in order to make some extra cash? What did you do? And have you got any other tips for people looking to do the same? Please let us know in the comments below.

  1. Shephena
    July 17, 2016 at 12:20 am

    I have a huge collection I was willed. All recently bagged and backed. I have inventoried them all. I was thinking of selling them in lots - Westerns, Marvel by Superhero, DC by Superhero and then some one-offs. I have also considered sending the .pdf inventory to some sites. Any suggestions? They are stored in comic boxes (20 of them). Thanks!

  2. Brett George
    June 15, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Another thing to consider . . . if you have runs of a specific title, sell it as a lot. Do NOT let someone pick out key issues and leave you with the rest. You will find those nearly impossible to sell even if a popular title.

  3. SpiderFan
    February 24, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    If you plan on selling to a comic book store, expect to get about 25% of value for your better issues. Only if a book is very hot and the store seriously wants it will you get 40%+ of guide. They have to make a profit. Don't be offended if you are offered $100 for what you believe to be a $1,000 collection. Most comic book stores do no want books with a guide value of $10 or less. If they buy these books you will likely get a quarter or less per book. Most of the inexpensive books end up in their dollar box which is already overloaded so they only pay pennies for low value books.

  4. Nick
    January 27, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    I've been selling my Comics on eBay for some time now and it's really a toss up. One particular issue or lot might not sell after listing for two or three times but the fourth time I'll get more than I'm asking for. It's always wise to list them at the absolute lowest price you are willing to accept, because that's what they will most likely go for.
    As a very important tip, listing the SAME series will sell if you mix them up (unless they are all Key books).

  5. Liam
    November 20, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Yeah pretty helpful have a little collection of comics at home just started collecting them at the weekend I'm gonna go to my local comic store as I can get some comic books from there but Im only 12 years of age so in the next few years I'm gonna get my comics sorted

  6. clarice ledoux
    September 28, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    These are awesome tips. I had the coolest comic book collection when I was younger. I finally ended up selling it a little while back to make a bit of extra money. Finding someone to buy it was actually a lot harder than I had expected. I really like tip about knowing you conditions. When you've worked so hard on a collection, you definitely don't want to settle when it comes time to get rid of it!

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