One Man Comic Business
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ft88   
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Latest story. 

A gentleman had old diecast cars for sale.  The only ones I know about are Hotwheels and even then, not much. 

Basically I consider them too much work and I have too little interest.  Not quite at the level of stamp collecting but getting there.  So I wasn't too, too excited about the trip itself.

The gentleman is 80 years old and can barely walk.  Sure enough he has a box to sell me of 2002 on up Johnny Lightning and other assorted for $100.  Typical stuff bought at flea markets etc.  He has other boxes in the basement which he lets me rummage through.  Kind of fun but not much to get excited about.  Models, more 21st century cars, the usual juck.  Some old train cars (no engines).  He goes to leave and says I can go through what ever's down there.  Which is cool.

I come across a few things of interest.

Some original pen and ink drawings of 1930s sports cars - size of business cards but backed by stiff board, professionally done.  About 40 of them.  Cool but simplistic. 

Then in a lower box are folders of stuff.  Turns out they are his graduate degree projects from 1958.  He created a new version of a Taxi, an advanced tweezer handling tool, and an electric rotating sander.  Each one was 20-30 sheets (21x26) hand drawn or large photographic presentation materials.  Meticulously done and classic 60s styling and graphic design.  Plus he had all the studies and drawings along the way. 

Oh, and the sports cars cards were from a published article where he writes (and draws) about the GT cars from pre World War II. 

Really neat to meet the guy and see his work from a while back and how clean it all was.  I did buy 2 dozen cars but the art packages were really something special. 

I'll post some of them as they are fun to show off.

 

 

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ft88   
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He drew this cover which is typical of his style. I wish this OA was there.

9780879380960-us.jpg

Edited by ft88

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thehumantorch   
1 hour ago, ft88 said:

He drew this cover which is typical of his style. I wish this OA was there.

9780879380960-us.jpg

I believe the American Pickers picked a guy who had been a car design guy and there is a market for the original art and probably even printed material like this.  There are an awful lot of car buffs and car collectors who'll buy anything auto related.

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ft88   
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Here's a film negative that looks like it was etched.  Hard for my amateur eyes to tell but on one side is black marker as if filled in.  Anyway, looks like he was making prints to sell as this was in a folder from a printer/engraver with notes about cost per 1000.  There were about 10 more too.

Mercedes Benz

 

img773.thumb.jpg.42bc2413e7a548ea5b836e77e53c64c8.jpg

 

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ft88   
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Here are 3 of the Pen and inks

img774.thumb.jpg.7da47320dea9eece683754cfabc49387.jpg

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ft88   
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Here's a bus he designed and built from scratch

The model paint did not hold up well.

 

img775.thumb.jpg.eaa3704cfe38ba86da168908640d5040.jpg

img776.thumb.jpg.01dc3fbbcbb8cffe4dde2f1ce0c6342c.jpg

Edited by ft88

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1950's war comics   
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1953 Topps World on Wheels is a cool set,... mine is 80% complete....

Stock photo's shown

Image result for topps world on wheels cards Image result for topps world on wheels cardsImage result for topps world on wheels cards Image result for topps world on wheels cards

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ft88   
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Nice.  I'm always impressed by the artwork on those and the airplanes among other old cards.  But the value compared to anything pop culture or sports is just a fraction.

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AJD   
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1 hour ago, ft88 said:

Nice.  I'm always impressed by the artwork on those and the airplanes among other old cards.  But the value compared to anything pop culture or sports is just a fraction.

Yes, that's true. And there are reproduction sets kicking around that are hard to tell from the originals. I bought these for $2 at a flea market - and it turns out I overpaid! (But they are nice.)

Brooke_tea_cards_1.thumb.jpg.8a22a6e39d001ba8523fe4901b28ed74.jpgBrooke_tea_cards_2.thumb.jpg.46bd8addfd83be2e3a7dea32307a5b73.jpg

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Lucky Baru   
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13 hours ago, ft88 said:

Here's a film negative that looks like it was etched.  Hard for my amateur eyes to tell but on one side is black marker as if filled in.  Anyway, looks like he was making prints to sell as this was in a folder from a printer/engraver with notes about cost per 1000.  There were about 10 more too.

Mercedes Benz

 

img773.thumb.jpg.42bc2413e7a548ea5b836e77e53c64c8.jpg

 

Wow, wow, and more wow!

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ft88   
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Here's the Graduate Project our of Chicago Art Institute circa 1958

Everything is 12" x 16"

What's really neat is how important he makes the sliding door for folks with luggage and simply getting in and out.

The first sliding door had been invented for a sports car, but was really unused in the auto industry.  Fascinating, given how prevalent they are in vans and for that matter taxis and buses today.

55_BA2805-12_E4-42_D7-93_B9-_F8_E33_B928

97902_CA7-68_A2-4284-88_F0-71_CE140_F68_

E74821_D8-0_A19-468_E-8261-46_AFB5_F2438

E75_E568_D-5_A96-4_CD4-9_DC4-44_C1_F4_B1

A3_C94_C86-1660-44_B4-_BA5_F-_E324_B70_F

BA396_C0_F-_F9_F8-46_FA-8_FBA-6_BBC98_E9

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ft88   
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Latest adventure took me to Pittsburgh which is a 3 hour drive each way. 

I'll put this in the category of not all that great but maybe good.

Over the phone the gentleman, about 50 has 1000 comics mostly 70s but some 60s and some 80s.  He stopped buying them about 15 years ago.  Mainly these were books he got at comic stores or shows or other book shops.  All titles but not much by way of Spiderman and Xmen but he did have Batman books.  I probed over the phone about the usual: titles, cover price, condition, issue numbers it was pretty clear that this was a guy on a budget that didn't buy keys but did get some older books and decent titles.  Biggest key over the phone was a Detective 371. 

He said he wanted to keep about half the collection but would let me pick what I wanted.  That sounded good.  OK, so I asked how much 2 long boxes would be just to get an idea.  He wouldn't say as he'd have to go through the books I selected.  Hmmmm.  As I kept trying to get a range of prices he would say things like, most of these books are worth at least $10.  But then he'd say he didn't need to get all the value for them, if he only got what he paid, he'd be happy. 

So of course like a sucker I drive out to his place.  Nice guy and a Steeler fan so that helped.  Roads around Pittsburgh are pretty bad though as we just had an ice storm, but still safe. 

I pretty much knew what I was getting into and it the books were almost exactly what I thought they'd be.  Some were nice but generally mid grade of a variety of titles.  Luckily he didn't look up every book 1 by 1 and those that he did I'd say I had to put half of them back.  A really nice Green Lantern 31 about a VF but with a staple pop.  Sorry can't quite get to $20 on that one.   But the 5 Wonder Woman 12 centers for $50 I could do.  So here's what I got in general

Batman, Detective, B&B - twenty 12 to 15 centers, no real keys Batman 183 best book

Wonderman 131 145 150 and 2 more

FLash 125 and two more

Marvel Premiere 15-24 with 15 a VG/F or so

Ms Marvel 18 She Hulk 1

6 Random 10 cent books, nothing great but still,

Avengers 80 83 Defenders 3 4 17 18

Couple other random 12 cent that are good.

I generally don't comment on what I paid but here I will.  Cost on about 80 comics was $400.  Gas and tolls was about $100.  Quick assessment they are worth maybe $900.  I'm not sure in hindsight it was the best of deals.  Yeah it'll make some money but, man, a 6 hour drive is tough and I'm not done yet.  It's good to enjoy the books like I do.  If the same deal were for 80 stamps worth $900 I'm not sure I'd be so hot about them. 

I'll post some pics this evening.

 

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ft88   
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Update more on running the business end. 

Postage:

US

I try to avoid the Media Mail debate here.  I use it all the time with minimal issues at all. 

Shipping has increased a bit, but Media Mail at 1-2 lbs is about $3 and then 50 cents each additional lb. 

First class allowed up to 16 ounces, the break even vs Media is around 8-9 ounces, after that first class is marginally more expensive.  After 16 ounces it must go Priority.  So 1 lb 8 oz from east coast to west coast would be $12-13.  Media is $3.17. 

And it goes up from there at a couple dollars a pound. 

One caveat is to NOT use media mail when shipping to Hawaii.  It will most certainly go by boat which can take upwards of 3 months.  Not sure about Alaska but I think it goes by truck or plane if using Media Mail. 

 

Outside of US

I attempted to ship a large heavy box overseas via M-bag.  Unless you have some special shipping license or some such, you can forget m-bag. 

Bottom line is that overseas shipping is pretty expensive, especially over 4 lbs.

1 lb to Quebec Canada is $16

3 lbs is $25

4 lbs is $37

Flat rate 11" x 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" is $47

and you can pack in about 60-80 comics depending on bags, boards and type of comic.  This box is not very sturdy so tread lightly. 

9 lbs is $54 so I might pay the extra $7 if shipping anything of value or condition sensitive.

 and that's just Canada

1lb to the UK is $24

4 lb package to the UK is $51

9 lb is $81

 

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ft88   
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Can't remember if I posted this but one technique I use that tends to work is to tape the book to the cardboard.  I used to simply sandwich the comics between the boards but without taping it, then it can slide if it gets dropped etc. 

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ft88   
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I've given up on photobucket.  In place of photobucket I use postimage.org.  My big trouble with them is the renaming of the file and that I can't rotate the image easily.

Now I pretty much use my hard drive to upload direct.  Either here or ebay it works better than a photo site.

One technique is to list comics for sale here.  Then, if I'm away from my home computer with the photos, I can list on ebay using the photos here.

Just right click the photo, "copy image location" and then paste in the ebay setting.

So there's that.

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ft88   
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Comic collections that I've been able to buy have dried up lately.  Or more likely my method for reaching out to get bites for collections isn't as good any more.  I can still come across collections but there are two interesting aspects of late.  The comics aren't as good, but the prices in the marketplace are so high now that even an average original owner 1970s collection is going to be worth a couple hundred dollars at least. 

So I've expanded a bit into toys which is outside my expertise a bit but there are still some nice things to get.  The graphic design stuff above is an example.  I also bought a couple thousand lead miniatures.  They were cheap and sell for cheap too but a couple thousand is a couple thousand. 

Always flexible. 

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ft88   
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Part of not getting some really good comics is that I haven't used CGC grading services.  I still would but it really only works for me on high dollar or ultra high grade books.

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ft88   
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Ebay and Paypal fees are still about the same at 8-10% and 3% respectively.  Yes I use personal paypal but make it an option not a demand.  I still can't justify an ebay monthly service.  With the consistent 50 items per month and then the 100 free listings (for 4 days or so) I'd rather just use that.  I don't think the seller fees would make the $15 a month worth it. 

The new tax law really won't affect paypal and ebay sales.  the numbers are still 200 or $20,000 and then paypal will issue a 1099.  Consult your tax advisor.

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