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One Man Comic Business

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ft88

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You too can start a comic business!

Basic Journal to note my experiences buying and selling comics. Your mileage may vary if you replicate or emulate any of my experiences. But the enjoyment I've gotten out of this hobby and how I've approached it is something I thought I'd share.

First, a little background. I collected back issues in the mid 1980s mostly in the Boston area spending my paper route money on 1960s Spidermans and 1970s Xmen. I won't bore you with those details but formative years are formative years. Kept my books through college and an 8 year stint in the Army and then went to grad school. I now work in finance making a comfortable living supporting a wife and 4 young girls.

While in business school I wanted to apply what I was learning to buying and selling comics. I did do this with comics and baseball cards in the 1980s by renting a flea market table and setting up my wares. Fun stuff but I remember it being more work than profit. So basically I put the word out that I was buying collections and received a couple of calls. Indeed, bought a couple of nice collections - mostly 1970s. Date was around 2001 to give you an idea of where the market was. CGC was still new but basically established. Ebay was all guns blazing and I had a year or two of ebay experience buying and selling.

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what happened?  Some sorta new feature that's not backwards compatible with the old journal format?  At least it's still readable, hate to lose it- Ed's is the only journal I follow.

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The link works and will likely work for as long as the boards are around.  Kind of loses some of the umph if it's in two places.  I may spend the time to post the pages here so there's continuity.  It's not too much work just a pain.  

May need to save on my personal computer too. Thank you for the props MNL.

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Here's a fun little call I received.  Retired lady called and her mother is moving out of her house, downsizing.  They came across her fathers comics and toys from the 40s and 50s.  She knows little about them and the house is well out of town, so not in front of her.  Her mother is going to go their Nov 15 and she is going there the 19th.  She asked if her grandmother should take pictures of the books to text or email me.  In a perfect world I would love that but no.  Do not have your 80 year old mother manhandle 1940s original owner raw books.  I also stated, that when she get there, the less handling the better.  I don't really need pictures just let me know the titles and issue numbers.  

She said there are two stacks about 40-50 in total.  She thinks there was an Archie.  So it really may not be much at all.  Even with Archie,if ti's mostly Disney and other Kiddie books in VG - maybe $1000 total.  She said that they aren't in the best shape, pages yellowing stuff like that.  I always love when an original owner critiques their own books.  It's often a sign that the books are in stellar condition.   

The toys are probably cap guns and train sets.  Sucks to have to wait a few weeks which introduces about 8 different ways I can lose a deal.  But these are great calls to get.

Ed

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Forgot to update.  This was mostly cartoon books with a few very low grade super hero books.  Toys were decent too.  Two train sets, and some other laboratory type items that sold pretty well.  It was fun. 

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I put in ad in for comics and punk rock items and got a call on the later.  Great guy around 70 years old who was into alternative stuff from the late 60s to the late 70s.  Extensive album collection mostly focused on british alternative.   Clash, Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello.  Also Ramones, and things like that.  Lots of buttons and concert shirts too. I picked up these concert shirts which are pretty valuable and cool.

 

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General update.

I've definitely slowed down of late.  At lease as far as number of trips to buy collections and sales threads.  I think the sales threads on the boards are slower too but so is ebay for anything other than key books.  

Got a new job with better pay and a little worse hours, so time spent to make comic income is not as important.  Plus other than some of the very best runs, I really don't read modern books and the longer that goes on, the less excited I get about the goings on in comicbook land.  Still, a good read like SAGA and others are a ton of fun.  I'll admit to being a little jaded about the comic book movies.  At least Marvel and DC.  Decent entertainment but only about an inch deep for my tastes.  Deadpool and the original Ironman being the exceptions.  TV on the otherhand: (Umbrella Academy, The Boys) is pretty awesome.  

And I still have a large collection to organize and have sales threads - about 20 short boxes..  But I am getting to where I'm happy to sell in bulk even on $3-$10 books 

Ed

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Selling. They weren’t cheap. And I paid pre cv-19 prices.  Still discounted though. 

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gotcha (thumbsu

Ive never been big into GA, in fact ive actually bought just one myself, but that Action 108 is classic!

What do you do with the inventory that you aren't able to move here Ed? Do you do shows? 

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On ‎3‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 6:55 PM, ft88 said:

Collection in today. Maybe not the best time to buy high end books but I don’t come across books like this too often. 
 

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Seems like a great time to buy books like these...just not at January 2020 prices?

 

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On 3/23/2020 at 7:31 PM, arexcrooke said:

gotcha (thumbsu

Ive never been big into GA, in fact ive actually bought just one myself, but that Action 108 is classic!

What do you do with the inventory that you aren't able to move here Ed? Do you do shows? 

A boardie or two buy my bulk pretty much at my cost. I don’t have time to do shows. I just list here and eBay. That sells 2/3 if I priced and graded accurately. The remaining I discount or lot sell. 
 

it is funny tho. I still have books from 10 years ago here and there. But comics have been red hot for the past 10 years to forever so everything sells. 
 

 

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Makes sense. I’ve done one show since I got back into comics. I think they have a place in my model but ebay and here are the model I’ve adopted. 

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I finally got off my butt and developed a real website - paying for ads and all the rest.  

Check it out and feel free to bruise my sensitive ego with constructive criticism.  

xcollectibles.com

Here's my thoughts and experiences with this project. 

I basically know nothing about HTML or other web design language.  I know you can DIY these days but I simply don't have the time or patience to futz around with constructing and maintaining a website.  Just like I don't have time or inclination to do comic shows on weekends.  If you have the skills all the better.  So I budgeted about $5k for design, word ad management and google ad costs for 3 months.  Ongoing will be about $500 a month, I can increase or decrease depending on how much to budget for Google Ads. 

I did attempt to create and run a marketplace website (most similar to discogs but without the community)  but could not put the time into it to make it happen.  But I did keep the website and the hosting alive - I think that was $100 for 5 years or something.  And as that renewal came up, it triggered me to get going on this. 

I did not go through GoDaddy or any other large hosting as I wanted it completely outsourced and to have a person I could talk to as they did it.  If interested send me a PM and I can give you her contact info.  

No SEO or anything as it will be a long way away from organic searches.  Again, I don't really want to post a blog or get into that, at least for now.  Simply pay for Google Ads.  

So far I have two collections that I bought.  About 100 low grade Late 60s early 70s which did have an Irom Man 55 and Thor 168 169.and a few non key Spiderman.  

Then I did get a 35 Long box collection of Late 1970s to 1990s that I'm posting now.  It's kind of a grind but, some success selling and haven't hit ebay yet.  Nor have I put up any of the key books and they are pretty much all there.  NM 87 98, Harbinger 1, Crow 1-4, Predator 1, X-men 266, to name a few.  No Amazing Spiderman keys like 361 or 300.  OO just wasn't a Spiderman fan, he kind of outright didn't like him, thought he was whiny - which is sort of true.  

Not counting the work involved (which is a lot) that should pay for the 3 months.  It's not a slam dunk but fun anyway.  I'm holding out for the nice early 60s colleciton.  

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On 11/11/2020 at 12:59 PM, ft88 said:

I finally got off my butt and developed a real website - paying for ads and all the rest.  

Check it out and feel free to bruise my sensitive ego with constructive criticism.  

xcollectibles.com

Here's my thoughts and experiences with this project. 

I basically know nothing about HTML or other web design language.  I know you can DIY these days but I simply don't have the time or patience to futz around with constructing and maintaining a website.  Just like I don't have time or inclination to do comic shows on weekends.  If you have the skills all the better.  So I budgeted about $5k for design, word ad management and google ad costs for 3 months.  Ongoing will be about $500 a month, I can increase or decrease depending on how much to budget for Google Ads. 

I did attempt to create a......

Very nice website!

Best of Luck. I recently started my new website also after listing on eBay for 2 years.

I did the complete opposite of you..lol. I use shopify which was real easy to set up using one of their free templates and pay the $30 a month. I also did a google feed (free), a facebook shop (free), a blog, and a social media app which posts 2 products per day on FB and IG for free. My initial investment is my time + $30 a month. Granted I only have one sale lol as I am still relying on my ebay business, but hopefully plan to organically build this up.

Their is a lot to say about google ads, and I know a lot of success stories, but at least for now Im going to try the organic route.

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Bought a wonderful original owner collection. He bought Marvel only starting in 1972 and then stayed with Spider-Man until present day. 
 

he kept all the Amazings but sold me all else, about 1000 Spider-Man’s of Web, PPSS, Reprints etc. 

But then there was a full long box of super nice books nearly all 1972. A great year for keys. 
 

fun to bag and board. 
 

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I definitely had him keep my number, his ASM collection was 2 on up and while I didn't see it, I imagine the 15-25 cent on up books were stunning.

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