Comic book collection recommendations

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SWtrilogy
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Comic book collection recommendations

Post by SWtrilogy » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:51 am

Hi all! First time poster but long term lurker!

I am trying to help a nephew who inherited a rather large comic book collection (~30,000) several months ago.

Their dilemma: he used to live in New Jersey but moved to Salem, MS several months ago. They were not able to haul the collection (approx 100 comic book size cartons) at the time he moved and asked me for recommendations on what to do.

He doesn’t have a inventory of collection but there is probably a good number of decades worth of comics. I should mention that these are not insured.

Several alternatives that we discussed:

1) hire a moving company in NYC to go to storage units (2) to unload boxes and haul to MS. This could be fraught with all sorts of issues with trust being main issue. Not sure what would stop anyone with all/partial missing boxes. Not sure how to go about this aspect.

2) sell them without knowing what he has to comic book store, collector, etc. again this would be transactional in that what ever is decided would be over the phone.

Not sure if there are other alternatives. We would really appreciate any thoughts, insights, recommendations.

Thanks again.

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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:00 am

This topic is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum. -- mod oldcomputerguy
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mhalley
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by mhalley » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:08 am

First thing, is the storage unit climate controlled? Heat and humidity could vastly decrease their value. Are they in insect and vermin proof containers? Having a mover get them is asking to be ripped off imho.
You might be able to get a collector to come to the unit and give a bid. Selling them without an inventory you will lose 90% of their value. You could have one comic that is worth the rest of the collection. Getting top dollar would be a lot of work. I would hire a u haul and go pick them up and bring them home. Get a comic book inventory app and inventory them, and take the valuable ones and have them professionally graded. 80% of the value is in 20% of the comics. He has a lot of work ahead of him.
https://www.sellmycomicbooks.com/comic-collection.html
Hopefully it is a collection like this one;
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lthenderson
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by lthenderson » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:17 am

SWtrilogy wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:51 am
We would really appreciate any thoughts, insights, recommendations.
I would schedule the move so that I or someone I trusted could be there as the movers arrived. Each box would be numbered and sealed with tape as it was loaded on the truck. I would then insure it. When it got to new home, I would check off each box as it came off and make sure the tape wasn't tampered with.

I've had movers move me several times over the years including packing everything up before they loaded it on the trucks. I've never had any issues with theft.

runner3081
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by runner3081 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:21 am

mhalley wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:08 am
You might be able to get a collector to come to the unit and give a bid.
This is exactly true. My good friend deal in sports collectibles, if someone sends him a few pictures if items, he will jump on a plane and fly across the country to view and offer on a collection.

As mentioned, you will never get top dollar selling to a dealer. At the end of they day, they need to pay their bills.

However, you also have to consider your time and the value of it. If it was me, I would do some quick research on what the most valuable comics are (decades, characters, etc) and do a quick inventory check to see if any of those are there.

If not, he may be sitting on a worthless pile of paper that would not make sense to spends hundreds of hours cataloging.

Also, keep in mind that someone should only grade the more valuable ones. Grading can be expensive.

psteinx
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by psteinx » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:25 am

What's the long term plan - sell all/most/none?

30K comics is a LOT. If one wanted to read the comics, and they're unique, and they take 30 minutes apiece to read, that's 15,000 hours, or likely many years to read.

I would lean towards trying to realize value for most of these comics. Just hauling them around from place to place will have significant costs. Particularly if the nephew is young (i.e. under 21ish), the value of cash is likely to be far higher than a hundred boxes of comic books in a couple storage lockers.

So, if at least most of the comics are to be sold, it probably makes more sense to sell them roughly where they are, then to haul them to a new location and sell them. Salem, MS - that's Mississippi, not Mass., right? (I know of a Salem, Mass, which is close to Boston, but I assume if there's a Salem, MS, it's more remote from big cities.) New Jersey is close to NYC and Philly, and is likely a better locale for selling such a large collection.

I would likely contact as many possible buyers as possible, and arrange to meet the more promising ones on-site, over a short time span - a day or two, and sell to the highest bidder, then let that buyer arrange prompt transportation out of there (so as to be able to close out the storage locker, assuming there's nothing else worth keeping in there.)

psteinx
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by psteinx » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:28 am

SWtrilogy wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:51 am
He doesn’t have a inventory of collection but there is probably a good number of decades worth of comics. I should mention that these are not insured.
Calling this out.

I'm not a comic book guy, but my understanding is that 1960s and earlier comics are likely the most valuable. If by "decades", you mean 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, then the value might not be so high. If they're much older, then maybe. Cataloging all 30K comics would be super time-consuming. But getting a general sense of the main eras represented, and perhaps looking to see if one or two of the boxes are dedicated to particularly prized (valuable) issues, might be worthwhile.

psteinx
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by psteinx » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:35 am

Another thought:

It's unlikely, but not impossible, that there are true gems hidden in the collection. If it seems this is a real possibility, then MAYBE:

1) Familiarize yourselves with what kind of comics are likely to have value (first in a series, from a particular era, particular characters or themes)
2) Go through all the comics, on a quick "flip through them" look. Could probably do a box of 300 in maybe 10 minutes, and all 30K comics in perhaps a long day or two (easier if you do it with your nephew - 2 people faster than one). Pull out the ~1% of the comics that seem most promising to have the highest value.
3) Research that 1% - probably sell the remaining 99% in bulk, and evaluate options for the 1% separately - a lot easier to manage ~300 comics of relatively high value than 30K comics of mostly low value.

Also, the nephew could perhaps pull out another ~1-2% of the comics that, while not likely to have high value, appeal to him personally to read at a later date. Reading 30K comics is intimidating and unlikely. But a few hundred comics of particular interest to your nephew is a possibility.

psteinx
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by psteinx » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:37 am

There was a well known comic book store in New Jersey owned (apparently) by Kevin Smith (movie director). That store has been the setting for a sort of reality show about comics and comic-related stuff, and also maybe a podcast or radio show or something. There might be an interesting media angle to this, if you/your nephew are interested.

Another possible TV angle is the show "Strange Inheritance".
Last edited by psteinx on Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

mhalley
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by mhalley » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:03 pm

That’s a good idea, I think it’s called Jay and Silent Bobs Secret Stash. The show was called comic book men, but is now off the air.
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This co says they will come to you and evaluate/buy. No personal experience. Probably won’t get top dollar this way.
https://www.sparklecitycomics.com/#pl-220
. Vintage Comic Books

We’ve spent over $10 million in the past two years buying everything from rare single comics to entire collections. We will travel to you and buy your entire collection, cash on the spot!

barnaclebob
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:24 pm

How about finding a local comic book enthusiast via forums, clubs, etc who has experience buying and selling but is not a business and offering them a good % of what he sells them for?

ladycat
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by ladycat » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:41 pm

You could visit the CGC comics chat board. There are a lot of collectors and dealers there who can give good advice and give you a general idea of value. https://www.cgccomics.com/boards/ You'll need to have general information about what's in the boxes (how old, and a sampling of the titles) when you post there. Then if you go to a dealer, you'll have a starting point for discussion. In general, pre 1970 books tend have more value than post 1970s books.

fognyc
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by fognyc » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:51 pm

From a friend who is a comic book authority:

there’s a great comic shop in Salem called Harrison’s that specializes in vintage comics and may be willing to help out, if selling is the ultimate goal. He’s actually not clear in what he’s looking for — seems the nephew moved to Salem but left the collection behind and...?? Is he looking to transport it? Then sell it?

I’d mention Harrison’s to him, give them a call and go from there. (I just bought a 1956 issue of Strange Adventures & 1959 Adventure Comics there last month while in Mass.) If anything, the shop will probably have good advice on the best way to transport long distance. These stores often buy collections from the far reaches.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/harrisons-comi ... rce=ishare

PoppyA
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by PoppyA » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:24 am

Auction

Coburn
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by Coburn » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:57 am

Depending on how much effort, time and energy your nephew has and to realize the most $$$ back from this collection, the first step in to inventory and catalog all the boxes of comics...ie. transporting them to a facility (storage/lodging/etc) close to him and doing the work.

Yes, this means some money outlay at the beginning. There's no telling what they could be worth without this info.

Speaking as a comic collector and a reader, keep us posted.

gwe67
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by gwe67 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:13 pm

For a collection this extensive and well cared for, there may be an inventory, perhaps even with values. Maybe someone could check the deceased's computer files?

The valuable ones are likely already professionally graded and sealed up.
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SrGrumpy
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by SrGrumpy » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:33 pm

What's the provenance of these comic books? Any idea whether the deceased was a well-known collector? Surely he must have made notes, or shared details of some of his big catches?

Most importantly, don't handle them directly. Invest in proper gloves and ensure the comics are properly bagged and stored. Dividing into decades, as mentioned above, is a great idea - and you can focus on the oldies.

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SWtrilogy
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by SWtrilogy » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:39 pm

Thank you all so much for your responses!!

It is Salem, Massachusetts. Sorry about that.

My nephew thought that there may be a collection list but could not find it. I would bet it may be stashed in on of the boxes.

I like the thought of having him come down for a long weekend and he and I plow through the roughly 100 boxes to do a quick inventory of collection. I believe the family member who collected these started back in the 60’s or so but can’t say for sure.

I will let him know all the options.

Glad to be a member of this Forum.

God bless to all!

Liquidate
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by Liquidate » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:16 pm

So ~30k books would mean around 120 long boxes of comics. I would know since I sold 115 boxes earlier in the year and also buy books. The suggestions from most of the people who replied is correct.

The biggest thing is what does your nephew want to do with them? Keep them or sell them?

I doubt the person who had the collection originally was like a buyer I had who bought duplicates for investment purposes so most likely there's 1 copy of each book. With that many books I'm sure the collector started around the 70's or 60's. So depending on the condition they could be quite valuable.

Then again I bought a collection that had some old books but then again there was numerous boxes that contained underground books that has never been seen before and that was about a quarter of 90 long boxes...lol

Ultimately it depends on what he wants to do. Sell them or keep them for investments. If he wants to sell them then there's plenty of comic shops that could help determine a value to either purchase the collection outright or they can sell them over time and make payments to him. If he wants to keep them for investment have him learn all about collecting books and what is value and whatnot and continue to add to the collection if it's something he's interested in.

decapod10
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by decapod10 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:23 pm

SWtrilogy wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:51 am
Hi all! First time poster but long term lurker!

I am trying to help a nephew who inherited a rather large comic book collection (~30,000) several months ago.

Their dilemma: he used to live in New Jersey but moved to Salem, MS several months ago. They were not able to haul the collection (approx 100 comic book size cartons) at the time he moved and asked me for recommendations on what to do.

He doesn’t have a inventory of collection but there is probably a good number of decades worth of comics. I should mention that these are not insured.

Several alternatives that we discussed:

1) hire a moving company in NYC to go to storage units (2) to unload boxes and haul to MS. This could be fraught with all sorts of issues with trust being main issue. Not sure what would stop anyone with all/partial missing boxes. Not sure how to go about this aspect.

2) sell them without knowing what he has to comic book store, collector, etc. again this would be transactional in that what ever is decided would be over the phone.

Not sure if there are other alternatives. We would really appreciate any thoughts, insights, recommendations.

Thanks again.
I assume he has no interest in collecting comic books and just wants to sell them?

I don't have any experience in comic books specifically, but I have collected bought/sold other collectibles which have similar issues (collectible cards). I've sold to dealer, bought/sold on eBay, bought/sold on Facebook, and also bought/sold on websites which specifically cater towards collectible cards.

Basically, when you sell stuff like this, you basically have to decide how much you care about maximizing profit vs how much work you are willing to put into it. The more work you put in / patience you have, the more profit you will get (but of course at the cost of more work).

Ranked from least effort/least profit to most effort/most profit

1. Sell the entire lot to a dealer without looking through it yourself - This is by far the easiest thing to do, but it is possible you could get ripped off depending on how valuable the collection is.

2. Sort through the comic books and make an inventory, sell entire lot to dealer - Less likely to get massively ripped off, but the dealer will probably only pay you half of what the collection is worth because they need to make a profit.

3. Inventory the comic books then sell the high priced items yourself on eBay/Facebook/etc, sell the rest of the stuff as "bulk" to a dealer - This takes some knowledge as to how to sell things online, how to ship them, what postage will cost, understanding fees etc. It will also take longer since collectibles (especially expensive stuff) often take awhile to sell at full value. I don't know how easy it is to sell bulk comic books to a dealer though.

I think if it were me, I would try to inventory everything and do plenty of research online as to what these books are worth and try to sell expensive stuff myself, though it's easy for me to say because I would be interested in doing that sort of thing. Just remember that you can't really value stuff based on how much the ask prices is on eBay or whatever since people often ask for ridiculous prices, it's best to look and see what items have actually sold for to get a better understanding of what the market value for things are.

You may be able to find comic book focused forums or subreddits that could help you figure out what types of books you are looking for, so you don't have to individually look up every one of the 30,000 comic books you find.

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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by ladycat » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:43 pm

SWtrilogy wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:51 am
Hi all! First time poster but long term lurker!

I am trying to help a nephew who inherited a rather large comic book collection (~30,000) several months ago.

Sent you a PM

harvestbook
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Re: Comic book collection recommendations

Post by harvestbook » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:55 pm

Condition is most of the value of paper collectibles. Assuming they have been bagged and boarded and date to the 1960s, in my head I would be thinking "This is worth at least a dollar a comic on average," which means $30,000. At that value, then it would be worth my while to both learn more about the value and invest money in securing, insuring, and moving the collection.

As a former dealer (mostly in cards, with comics as a sideline), I bought plenty of mixed random long boxes for $40 or $50 a pop. I've even bought long boxes on eBay for those prices, although shipping is a big cost. If the condition is good and they date back to the 60s and 70s, then it's worth cataloging everything. Even newer issues can have decent value, too. But most comics are not worth their original cover price. It's easy to look on eBay and confirm this, since many comics are sold in lots and bundles. Right now I have a dozen such boxes up in the attic, popular superhero titles from the last three decades in near mint condition, and they're not even worth the hassle of putting on eBay to me.

If it were mine, I'd be onsite with the movers and have them crated up and shipped as freight if possible. That's a lot of weight. I'd then spend the time to go through them, because it's fun if you enjoy and appreciate comics. Most serious dealers are ethical and will be as fair as they can, but aside from true rare classics, comics aren't so easy to sell.
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