Tales from the Comic Box - Rookie Adventures in Buying/Selling/Cons
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...Now that my "con season" is basically "done" until the early fall...What to do now?

Well, I know I have to and I have started to ramp up my eBay store and auctions.

I have some outstanding customer orders/requests to get to as well. I have one customer who has been pretty persistent so I need to do that.  One thing I don't think that people who don't do this who fully appreciate is the time involved...I have a 9 - 5, a wife and family, I do a few little conventions, I have a life outside of comics...I am always on time with my orders and actual dealings just sometimes getting to it is not always on their timetable lol

In terms of other conventions as a guest, I *might* try to go to Fan Expo in Toronto as a guest but that is the last weekend of the summer and usually like to be on the water instead of a convention hall. I'd love to go to a Toronto Comic Book Show but they are always on a Sunday, so to go I would basically have to take a day off work, so...Not ideal.

I am *really* hoping that I am able to find a decent collection or a few quality books somewhere over the remainder of the summer...This (so far) has been my SLOWEST year since I started doing this for finding anything new :(

Given that finding any new collections has been difficult this year, one thing I am "dabbling" in a bit is using funds from sales (mostly from commons of my stock that has long since been paid off) to buy some keys to "hold onto for later".  Given any keys I buy will be funded through mostly the sale of "common stock" that has long since been paid for, I am perfectly fine to "hold" for awhile if need be. I have purchased two keys this way (nothing "major") that I feel that I got a fair deal on with no immediate plans to resell.  I might continue to pick a few here and there but not something I want to get too heavy into at this point.

I have heard the discussions of margins a lot. As I am not putting myself in any kind of real loss situation, but for the bigger sellers out there, are there any "general rules" what are "decent" margins when buying a key to resell later? Keep in mind, I can "hold" for awhile if need be.  I know it depends on the book, but just asking for advice and generalities should anyone feel like sharing.

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Margins on keys are tough.  If you buy a collection that contains some keys and lots of bulk you may get the keys at a decent margin because the seller doesn't want to do the work to sell the commons.  But there's a new generation of 'collectors' who are buying keys as speculation or as an investment and many of them don't have runs of books.  They can easily sell their keys on facebook or ebay or walk them around a convention offering them to dealers.

I've been paying 90% of market for strong keys.  If it's a book I don't mind keeping for my collection I might even pay 100%.  Watch for other dealers who've had a bad show and might be receptive to a 75% of market offer on a key or keys.  

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23 hours ago, thehumantorch said:

Margins on keys are tough.  If you buy a collection that contains some keys and lots of bulk you may get the keys at a decent margin because the seller doesn't want to do the work to sell the commons.  But there's a new generation of 'collectors' who are buying keys as speculation or as an investment and many of them don't have runs of books.  They can easily sell their keys on facebook or ebay or walk them around a convention offering them to dealers.

I've been paying 90% of market for strong keys.  If it's a book I don't mind keeping for my collection I might even pay 100%.  Watch for other dealers who've had a bad show and might be receptive to a 75% of market offer on a key or keys.  

I had a guy this past show who brought a decent selection of books (well, of the 10 only 4 were really worth anything) but wanted the moon, the sun and the International Space Station for them...He fished them to all 5 dealers. All 5 refused or they couldn't come to an agreement. He came back and even though he said I offered the most, asked if I would come up more. I said my last offer was my best. He left.  The kicker...He said he picked them up at a garage sale the week before...

With regards to high % buys, this is kind of how I feel too...As these keys are basically being paid for from other comic sales, I don't care if I pay a high % if it is something I actually like and don't care if I really end up selling it quickly or not but I am not going "all in" with this approach either.

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19 minutes ago, Wall-Crawler said:

I had a guy this past show who brought a decent selection of books (well, of the 10 only 4 were really worth anything) but wanted the moon, the sun and the International Space Station for them...He fished them to all 5 dealers. All 5 refused or they couldn't come to an agreement. He came back and even though he said I offered the most, asked if I would come up more. I said my last offer was my best. He left.  The kicker...He said he picked them up at a garage sale the week before...

With regards to high % buys, this is kind of how I feel too...As these keys are basically being paid for from other comic sales, I don't care if I pay a high % if it is something I actually like and don't care if I really end up selling it quickly or not but I am not going "all in" with this approach either.

Yah I get wanting 'top dollar', but when you're trying to sell something to someone who is CLEARLY GOING TO RESELL, you obviously need to leave room on the bone, or at least you'd think it'd be obvious. 

 

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1 hour ago, revat said:
1 hour ago, Wall-Crawler said:

I had a guy this past show who brought a decent selection of books (well, of the 10 only 4 were really worth anything) but wanted the moon, the sun and the International Space Station for them...He fished them to all 5 dealers. All 5 refused or they couldn't come to an agreement. He came back and even though he said I offered the most, asked if I would come up more. I said my last offer was my best. He left.  The kicker...He said he picked them up at a garage sale the week before...

With regards to high % buys, this is kind of how I feel too...As these keys are basically being paid for from other comic sales, I don't care if I pay a high % if it is something I actually like and don't care if I really end up selling it quickly or not but I am not going "all in" with this approach either.

Yah I get wanting 'top dollar', but when you're trying to sell something to someone who is CLEARLY GOING TO RESELL, you obviously need to leave room on the bone, or at least you'd think it'd be obvious. 

It should be obvious, I don't understand how someone can be so clueless that they don't get that.  But this is the same mentality as many ebay sellers who list a key or hot item on ebay as a BIN at twice market value: maybe they'll find someone willing to pay the price or make an offer well above market and if they don't maybe next month.....

A lot of this comes down to the internet and our wired world.  Anyone can sell to anyone and the cost to find that person you need to find to make a deal is almost nothing.  That eliminates the middle man.

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3 hours ago, Wall-Crawler said:

I had a guy this past show who brought a decent selection of books (well, of the 10 only 4 were really worth anything) but wanted the moon, the sun and the International Space Station for them...He fished them to all 5 dealers. All 5 refused or they couldn't come to an agreement. He came back and even though he said I offered the most, asked if I would come up more. I said my last offer was my best. He left.  The kicker...He said he picked them up at a garage sale the week before...

With regards to high % buys, this is kind of how I feel too...As these keys are basically being paid for from other comic sales, I don't care if I pay a high % if it is something I actually like and don't care if I really end up selling it quickly or not but I am not going "all in" with this approach either.

I would have reached down to my lowest-dollar-denominated box and added a comic to the offer - 'here you go'!  lollol

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1 hour ago, thehumantorch said:

It should be obvious, I don't understand how someone can be so clueless that they don't get that.  But this is the same mentality as many ebay sellers who list a key or hot item on ebay as a BIN at twice market value: maybe they'll find someone willing to pay the price or make an offer well above market and if they don't maybe next month.....

A lot of this comes down to the internet and our wired world.  Anyone can sell to anyone and the cost to find that person you need to find to make a deal is almost nothing.  That eliminates the middle man.

One of the big out of town dealers is quite vocal - but honest and polite - about this.  I can't offer you this, because I have these costs: X,Y,Z.  It probably won't help you purchase the item but it will add some sense to these type of sellers....more often than not, these guys will be back shopping the books....

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15 hours ago, spreads said:

One of the big out of town dealers is quite vocal - but honest and polite - about this.  I can't offer you this, because I have these costs: X,Y,Z.  It probably won't help you purchase the item but it will add some sense to these type of sellers....more often than not, these guys will be back shopping the books....

I tried this or some variation thereof with the customer who was being a total d-bag with me.  At the end of the day, there are a lot of buyers and sellers, who really don't care...They want their "deals" and everything else be damned.

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One minor thing I forgot to mention, I picked up a Square for contactless and chip reader...Can do single "flash" transactions ups to $100 and still have the magstripe reader too. I don't advertise that I have it, just use it when asked if I take debit or credit. I used it for three transactions ($75, $85 and $55) and it worked great! Money was in the bank account by Monday. Wonder if I should "advertise" that I have it more, to let customers know I have different payment options up front.

Regardless, it was super easy to use and set up, so I would recommend it.

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2 hours ago, Wall-Crawler said:

One minor thing I forgot to mention, I picked up a Square for contactless and chip reader...Can do single "flash" transactions ups to $100 and still have the magstripe reader too. I don't advertise that I have it, just use it when asked if I take debit or credit. I used it for three transactions ($75, $85 and $55) and it worked great! Money was in the bank account by Monday. Wonder if I should "advertise" that I have it more, to let customers know I have different payment options up front.

Regardless, it was super easy to use and set up, so I would recommend it.

I would advertise.  I only used it a few times, but it was responsible for the largest sale - I offered a slight bulk deal on a customer that spent over $500 on a batch of stuff with it.  It's pretty awesome....

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19 minutes ago, spreads said:

I would advertise.  I only used it a few times, but it was responsible for the largest sale - I offered a slight bulk deal on a customer that spent over $500 on a batch of stuff with it.  It's pretty awesome....

For sure they are awesome...The previous show I also did a large sale but as they take a %, I don't want to use it for like  $5 books...

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I love making deals for full GPA on a few keys and then having the guy throw in a handful of minor keys to get the deal done.  Worked well in Heroes last weekend when i paid full price for a IM 55 CGC 7.0, Locke & Key 1 CGC 9.8 and a Saga 1 CGC 9.6 and he threw in a handful of NM Punisher Limited Series 1s, MSW 8 and a nice set of Wolverine Limited Series 1 - 4 for free.  I do very well on the extras and he got full value for his wall books. 

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15 hours ago, Wall-Crawler said:

I tried this or some variation thereof with the customer who was being a total d-bag with me.  At the end of the day, there are a lot of buyers and sellers, who really don't care...They want their "deals" and everything else be damned.

When logic doesn't work and they refuse to consider my point of view I politely tell them I'm not interested and I refuse to discuss it anymore.  

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15 hours ago, Wall-Crawler said:

One minor thing I forgot to mention, I picked up a Square for contactless and chip reader...Can do single "flash" transactions ups to $100 and still have the magstripe reader too. I don't advertise that I have it, just use it when asked if I take debit or credit. I used it for three transactions ($75, $85 and $55) and it worked great! Money was in the bank account by Monday. Wonder if I should "advertise" that I have it more, to let customers know I have different payment options up front.

Regardless, it was super easy to use and set up, so I would recommend it.

Square is great.  We put up signs saying we take it and I believe that helps us make sales.  

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13 hours ago, Wall-Crawler said:

For sure they are awesome...The previous show I also did a large sale but as they take a %, I don't want to use it for like  $5 books...

I'm happy to use square for small purchases as I almost always have lots of margin on cheap stuff.  If someone wants to buy a key book and my margin is very small how they're gonna pay may affect the deal.  I've also had guys pay through paypal or bank email transfer.  

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On 6/20/2018 at 1:41 PM, spreads said:

One of the big out of town dealers is quite vocal - but honest and polite - about this.  I can't offer you this, because I have these costs: X,Y,Z.  It probably won't help you purchase the item but it will add some sense to these type of sellers....more often than not, these guys will be back shopping the books....

I have tried this method for several years. I finally learned it is a waste of my time. Now I just make my offer and if the seller doesn't take it: oh well, another seller will come along and I will spend my money with that guy.

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10 hours ago, thehumantorch said:

When logic doesn't work and they refuse to consider my point of view I politely tell them I'm not interested and I refuse to discuss it anymore.  

And then when this happens, you immediately offer 10% less than previously!   :D

 

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On 6/21/2018 at 1:42 PM, 1Cool said:

I love making deals for full GPA on a few keys and then having the guy throw in a handful of minor keys to get the deal done.  Worked well in Heroes last weekend when i paid full price for a IM 55 CGC 7.0, Locke & Key 1 CGC 9.8 and a Saga 1 CGC 9.6 and he threw in a handful of NM Punisher Limited Series 1s, MSW 8 and a nice set of Wolverine Limited Series 1 - 4 for free.  I do very well on the extras and he got full value for his wall books. 

That WOULD be nice! I'm just kind of finding a book here and there that I *personally* like and don't mind holding onto, especially if just paid for by selling "common stuff".

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...So, sounding like I may have dodged a bullet by not setting up at the 2 Day Cottage Country Con...At least from what I am reading on Facebook...

I had a feeling this show moving to early summer and going from one day to two days may not have been that great of an idea (despite having some cool guests)...I heard the show shut down 2 hours early today...Still trying to dig on actual comic vendors but by the sounds of Facebook rumblings, several unhappy customers/con goers and definitely some of the artists from artists alley are not happy...So, is this a vocal minority or a larger issue? 

Regardless, glad I passed...I was worried I may have "missed" an opportunity.

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Cottage country con just sounds wrong - I think I'd like to spend time at the cottage then be in a big hall!  

I picked-up a lot of TPBs off a guy; the good thing is I got them for pennies on the dollar, the downside is a bunch of them smell like cigs - so a lot of them are priced heavily from their retail.  I think they'll still move since it's a little more than a long-box of just Marvel TPBs and Hardcovers.  I haven't had a lot of free time to go through my books, I took today off to devote to bagging/boarding....I'll probably be sprinkling other days off from work when it's not too busy to do make headway on this.

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