One Man Comic Business
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I'm still able to keep everything inside a 12x12 office.  2 shelves with 20 boxes of comics, desk and computer.  Then an empty table for photos and workspace. 

The extra boxes and cardboard sometimes spills over into my basement storage area so that happens.  New collections spill over too as I process them.  And by process I mean organize, grade, bag, board, scan, price, look up value, etc.

I buy bags and boards off of ebay using the Silver Age size at 500 at a time. 

Cardboard is still my local cardboard box store.  They can make boxes for me too if I need.  But I still love buying 400 flats and 200 3x9x12 boxes for $40. 

Tape is still staples in packages of 6

Envelopes buy off ebay at 200 or so.  I shifted from the paper ones at Staples to the plastic bags from China or where-ever. Cheaper and lighter.

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12 hours ago, ft88 said:

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. 

do you think social media has had an impact?  People selling on FB?  For old timers that's probably not the case, but the old timers are passing on ever so quickly, like the story above, and they don't even have the old school avenues for selling stuff- such as putting an ad in the classifieds, that's a bygone era. Even aging boomers can't go to the old newsgroup method, that's dead too. How do people over 65 advertise they have stuff to sell or clear out if they don't have a younger person helping them ,and presumably using more modern means such as FB? is Craigslist even a thing anymore?

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21 hours ago, ft88 said:

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.

I always put off getting an e-bay store but now I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner.  I had a 250 listing store for something like $15 a month for a couple years and that worked well but I also needed to do sales threads on the boards.  Late last year I bumped up my E-Bay store to a 1,000 BIN and 500 auctions each month for pretty much $50 a month and things are booming.  The huge selection has about 200 people following my store and I get weekends like last one where I sold 45 books for about $2,000.  Love being able to pretty much have a steady stream of postings and books just fly off the shelves without much work on my part compared to the old sales threads which were a ton of PMs and just more work.  The $50 a month sounds like a lot but being able to post up that much product and get constant sales has got me dropping selling at Cons and just concentrating on E-Bay sales.

I've also hit a snag in picking up new collections but I'm not as dedicated as you are (having 10 long boxes of nice books to sell has made me complacent).  It just seems like the masses have heard the cash register and now everyone and their brother is flipping books.  I'm also thinking about diversifying into other venues to help fill in when comic sales are slow.  Always be husslen.

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Maybe I'll rethink the ebay store.  One benefit is being able to simply relist over and over again.  Problem I have with that is on 100 items that don't sell, if I relist them 4 or 5 times at the same price (and these prices are generally based on past ebay sales prices) then maybe 2 or 3 sell, but that's it.  An example of this would be, say, a Wolverine 100 NM for $4.  Not a major or even minor key but not a $1 book either.  I think everyone has to strike their own methods that work.  But I've mentioned this before, any thoughts or doing  a 2-3 day con as a dealer just isn't going to happen.  But there are good things about running a con too.

 

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One of the benefits I have had with the eBay store (and I'm not certain if it's only because I have the store or if it's based on number/amount of sales each month) is the coupon I get every couple of months  to use on shipping supplies.
The first one I received was for $50 off (no minimum purchase) and the next was for $25 off.
Using these, I was able to pickup about 400 poly bubble mailers for free.

Another thing I like about the eBay store is the use of their free promotional tool. You can set them up to cover only a certain portion of your listings and time them to start and stop at a particular time (example being a weekend sale) all for free.
I've had a lot of luck moving stuff that sat stagnant by offering a Buy 1, Get 1 at ??% off promotion.

Edited by DeadOne

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2 hours ago, ft88 said:

Maybe I'll rethink the ebay store.  One benefit is being able to simply relist over and over again.  Problem I have with that is on 100 items that don't sell, if I relist them 4 or 5 times at the same price (and these prices are generally based on past ebay sales prices) then maybe 2 or 3 sell, but that's it.  An example of this would be, say, a Wolverine 100 NM for $4.  Not a major or even minor key but not a $1 book either.  I think everyone has to strike their own methods that work.  But I've mentioned this before, any thoughts or doing  a 2-3 day con as a dealer just isn't going to happen.  But there are good things about running a con too.

 

The smallest priced book I post up is $5 and most are in the $10 above price and I group a few $3 issues to get to the $10 price.  I list my books at about 10% over my want price and usually get a ton of offers for 15-20% off and usually accept 15% off on average but really that is 5% off since I did a 10% bump to begin with.  Everyone wants to haggle now on E-Bay just like at Cons.  If a book does not sell in a month I give it a 5% drop and stick it up on auction for 7 days.  Sell some more since people like auctions.  Those that don't sell get put up for another month at the reduced price and usually only take 10% off or less offers but each book is different.  I repeat this process and every book eventually sells.  Once a year I try to do a blow out sales thread where I knock a bunch off and get rid of some of the stragglers.  Books like Wolverine 100 are slow sellers by themselves but people like to grab a New Mutants 1 and a Moon Knight 1 and then throw a Wolverine 100 into the purchase for $5.  Having 100 books just doesn't give the bulk buyers very much to work with but 1,000 books gets everyone a good sampling.  Truthfully - I've only been able to keep up with 600 - 700 listings per month just because I'm lazy but even that level has been very nice and profitable.

Edited by 1Cool

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On 2/12/2018 at 2:47 PM, ft88 said:

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. 

I have been doing this as well for some time now and I find that it works very well. But please only tape on the top and bottom! I cannot believe the amount of tale some people put on the spine of the comic.

I also use media mail a lot. If it is under 16 ounces I almost always go first class even if it is a bit more expensive. I rarely have an issue (TX usually) but I did not know about the Hawai'i boat thing. (Thanks, good to know as I have someone waiting now for their media mail package to get to Hawai'i!)

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The ebay store also has another nice benefit - with the vacation settings. I travel for work - and this helps prevent getting a shipping hit when you just do not feel like packaging a bunch of books after that 6 hour plane ride...

 

I only have the 250 one, but that is due to my time limits ( ok - i'm lazy too). I see a dramatic uptic in sales if I maintain 200+ listings.

 

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Big purchase in the works.  Agreed upon just not in hand.  Picking up tomorrow.  About 30 small boxes of 60s and 70s.  About 300 GA but mostly War titles. 

Minimal big keys, lots of minor ones.  Ironman 1 and 54, 55 are missing but 2-30+ are there, that sort of thing.  X-men 40-93 various.  No Spiderman, minimal Batman.  But a good assortment of Marvel and DC.  Lots of Kirby 4th World.  Multiples of Howard the Duck and Eternals and Killraven.  All good though.

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Woo Hoo.  Just when I thought collections had dried up, my faith is restored.  Just got sixty bankers boxes of 50s to 80s.  What a load to carry up and down stairs, in and out of the car.  But this will keep me busy.  Pics after I get the boxes stacked.

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40 minutes ago, ft88 said:

Woo Hoo.  Just when I thought collections had dried up, my faith is restored.  Just got sixty bankers boxes of 50s to 80s.  What a load to carry up and down stairs, in and out of the car.  But this will keep me busy.  Pics after I get the boxes stacked.

:popcorn: - especially about the 50s books.

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2/3s are War - Atlas and DC. 

About 80 Atlas War books.  Here’s a nice group shot  

F4221F86-94C6-4472-88A4-6BCE579CFB3A.thumb.jpeg.acdb1c8fcd547f8ab5ef15985682233f.jpeg

Edited by ft88

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:golfclap:

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congrats!

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I just want to say this is a great journal, very informative. Thanks mon! B|

 

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