A guide on how to begin a successful and profitable comic book collection.
Comic books are not only one of the most profitable items to collect, they’re also one of the most fun. For many people collecting comics can be a nostalgic experience, allowing them to relive stories from their childhood. For others it can be a fun look into the pop-culture of decades past. And in the end, if done right, a comic collection can increase in value and sell for quite a large profit.
Before you can begin any collection you need to make sure you have the proper materials. Typically comics need to be stored in a specially made bag along with an acid-free board. This protects the book from any dust or outside wear, and placing it in a bag with a board ensures that it won’t bend over and create unsightly folds. Comics should also be stored in specially made boxes that can hold 50, 100, or 150 at a time and should be placed in a moisture-free area. And then there’s probably the most important item a comic collector can have: the price guide. Get the latest edition of one or two of the most popular guides. Luckily, these materials and books are relatively inexpensive and easy to find at any comic shop.
One important thing to remember when collecting comics is that quality is more important than anything else. You could have a rare book from the 1940’s, but if the cover is worn and has damage it’s not going to be worth much. On the other hand, if it’s held up well and looks to be in great condition, you could end up getting several thousand dollars for it. Whatever books you have in your collection or are looking to purchase, remember that quality is the key.
Now, time to get to the good stuff: the comics themselves. Perhaps the easiest and quickest way to begin a collection is to purchase some popular landmark issues of well-known series (particularly issues that have recently risen in value). These would include special events such as superhero crossovers or a 20th anniversary edition. Items of this nature are usually a little pricey, but they’re safe bets for both the short and long term. Avoid buying “Collector Editions” as these are usually overpriced and readily available.
Another option for building a collection is to buy older, “classic” books. The prices here can be extremely high, but having that Incredible Hulk issue from 1964 can be a centerpiece for your collection. They’re also almost always going to go up in value. But be careful though, old doesn’t always necessarily mean valuable. Comics become worth something when they’re rare or in high demand, so make sure to find out what the value is on a book before you make your purchase.
At this point you might be wondering where on earth you’re going to find all these comics. Luckily you have a lot of options. If you’re looking to start out small, maybe just by collecting books of your favorite characters, I’d suggest you go to some of the local comic shops in your neighborhood. They may be a bit overpriced, but they’re the simplest and easiest way to begin collecting. If you’re looking for particular issues I’d suggest using an online auction service or special order through a major comic retailer. Of course the best way to find lots of comics at a huge range of prices would be to go to one of the many large conventions held all around the country.
Comic collecting is really something you have to enjoy doing. There are other types of collectibles that can be more profitable, so a comic collection really has to be a labor of love. Because even though a smart collector can double or triple his collection’s value in a few years, he’ll most likely enjoy searching and categorizing the books more than making a profit.