I have been building up my collection with what I thought was slowly but surely lol. I really did lie to myself! And I thought by the numbers that I could make lots of money selling slabs from a collection...enough to completely pay for the collection and remodel the office to the ultimate nerd display room. So far here is what has really happened....
As I went through finding books to have graded it occurred to me that I could press my own books and save a TON of money. So I put about $250 into the pressing setup and saved TONS of money. But the counter to that has been the time it takes to prep and press.
In a group I follow in Discord they discussed cold pressing books. So I figured hey I can do this! I can save time and money! So I spent another $250 and built a cold press to kick out 6 books at a time. Again saving TONS of money, and kicking up the output. But now instead of going in and spending 5 minutes to heat up the press and spot check all the sheets before inserting them into the book then the press....now I'm in my office for a little over an hour to get 6 books out at once.
I get excited about learning new things. Well that is when a friend asked if I could press a book or two for him. I pressed and slabbed them at my cost. And bumped the grade significantly on both books. And that couple went up and up. And another friend heard I was pressing, then another, and another....at one point I had to tell them "no more for the next month" so I could try to kick out 75 of my own books. At this point my shipments to CGC are shifting from mostly my books...to mostly other peoples books.
Now this has seemingly taken on a life of its own. I'm not making any money off this at all. And now its turning from a fun thing to challenge myself with, to a choir. Had one person yesterday ask from one of my groups if they could send me 25 books. A guy another town over drove the hour and a half last week to my house and dropped off 10 books to be pressed and slabbed. He saw the results on that and let me know he was setting aside more for me to press and send. Another sent me a Tomb of Dracula 10 to press and clean, that one I'm excited about. And my first friend that I pressed books for dropped off 50 books on my doorstep last night
I don't feel like i should really price myself out of oblivion. I added an extra $2 on to my modern pressing prices to at least put a few dollars in my own pocket. And added a few extra bucks to older books only because I will spend WAY more time cleaning them carefully. Kind of feeling like i need to be real up front with these people that I'm not making anything compared to the time spent and to softly encourage tips past the press and slab costs. Not sure if people will do that or not. For something like slabbing that already costs a bit to do I don't how people would perceive that. Everyone always says "$4 for shipping...per book?" not realizing that there is a ton of packaging and shipping costs associated with sending packages to literally the other side of the country. I'm peeking right now at close to 100 books graded a month. The sticker shock is not there for me anymore. I like to help people out, and I love seeing all these amazing books. But I don't want to burn myself out doing something that has helped me in paying for the hobby.
Seems that it is time to really sit down and figure out what time I'm willing to commit to pressing my books...and doing those for others. To boot I just started up my last Semester of College to finish up my bachelors. Time to make time for me.
Thanks for reading my rant....oh and in the last 3 months I almost finished my Daredevil full run...just have the issue 1 to go!