When you decide to sell a comic collection, whether it comes from your personal collection, a family member or you are helping out a friend it’s important to understand the best ways to plan the sale. Like the heroes who grace our favorite comic books, each collection is unique, telling the story of the collector and this guide will help provide tips below to get the most out of the collection. As always, you can reach out to us to discuss your comic collection; we are glad to talk through your options.
Tip #1 Organize your comic collection into titles, series & issues
When beginning to sell a collection, it’s important to have a general sense of what books are in the collection and which have value. While smaller or medium collection it’s a good idea to create a spreadsheet with every single book, that can be a challenge for larger collections with thousands of comics. In those cases, it often helps to organize the comics by title and issue number so you have a good sense of which types of books are in the collection. This also makes sure to books are stored properly – if not, we recommend getting comic bags and boards to store the ones that may have value. To better understand the value, that takes us to tip 2.
Tip #2 Get the Latest Overstreet Price Guide
Once you organize your comic books, you can start to evaluate what the values may be. The latest Overstreet Price Guide is a great place to start. Organized by title and issue number, the guide will provide values for your comics in grades ranging from GD (good) to NM- (near mint) – values are highly reliant upon condition. Overstreet also provides guidance on which are “key issues” that feature character first appearances, major storylines or classic covers. Understanding which comics are keys will help to understand which books have the most value.
Tip #3 Learn How to Evaluate the Condition of Your Comics
While you do not have to be a professional (expert) grader, it’s helpful to understand the differences between lower grade and higher-grade comics. At the low-end any comic that is missing page(s) or a large piece that affects the art or story is considered incomplete or PR (poor) which is equivalent to a 0.5 on the comic grading scale. On the other end, a comic book that has no wear, nice color and corners and looks new insider and out is considered near mint (NM) which is 9.2 to 9.4 on the grading scale. Then, knowing the difference between a GD (good) which is substantial wear, color breaks and a weaker spine binding to a VG (very good) which has more solid bindings and only moderate creases or wear to FN (fine) comics which retain good color, gloss and structure can help you evaluate your collection. Getting a general sense of your estimates is a good starting point – an expert can help you fine tune those estimates to better evaluate them.
Tip #4 Set Clear Expectations on What you want from the Collection
Many collection owners would improve their outcomes by having a clear roadmap on what a good outcome is for the collection, whether you want to sell all at once, want to sell part of the collection or are just looking to get an appraisal of the value. Setting short-term goals for the project can help anyone who is discussing the collection so everyone is aligned on a path forward. If you do decide to sell, it’s a good idea to have a general sense of how much you would like for the collection and what a successful outcome would look like. Take time to have conversations with prospective buyers in the process to ensure your expectations are being met from the beginning.
Tip #5 Consider Keeping Anything that Has Sentimental Value
Many collections tell stories of friendship, memories or loved ones over the years. As a result, most collections have a few sentimental pieces and you might want to consider keeping those to retain your memories. Set aside any parts of the collection that have special meaning to you, so you still retain a connection to those memories and feel like you are moving forward in a way that feels right to you. Whether it was your first comic, a special autograph or you have a fond memory of buying a certain issue, keeping these unique comics or art can ensure you stay connected to the stories over time.