Looking at a Large DC Copper Age Collection
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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, FlyingDonut said:

We can just agree to disagree. If you think quadrupling or quintupling your money on a buy like this will take a lot of effort, stay in the Golden Age end of the pool.

Sounds good. There is nothing wrong with a deal like this if you want to put in the work, but the day I need to lug around 60 boxes of $1-10 books to make a profit is the day I have to exit the resale side of the hobby. It's just too much for me to handle for too little money. Judging from the responses in this thread, a lot of people agree with me. 

Edited by october

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6 hours ago, october said:

Sounds good. There is nothing wrong with a deal like this if you want to put in the work, but the day I need to lug around 60 boxes of $1-10 books to make a profit is the day I have to exit the resale side of the hobby. It's just too much for me to handle for too little money. Judging from the responses in this thread, a lot of people agree with me. 

The profit margin on sub $10 comics is significantly higher than on more expensive books. Paying ten or twenty cents for books you can sell for a few dollars a piece makes me a lot of money at cons. I can go through at least a long box even at the speedy of shows. Those $100 and $400 books? I may have to pay 75% or more on those, especially in a very competitive area like the mid-Atlantic. 

Yes, the cheaper books are more work, but they make me good money. 

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A lot of people buy comics. Not many of them make money at it. Is it a coincidence that most of them think this is a bad deal.  The market has changed. 

This week, I sold a 2.0 Werewolf by Night for $400, and five copies of Thor 390 for $280.

Books taken from the scrapheaps.  You can buy a $1,000 book and hope it goes up to 1400 so you make a return or buy 10,000 books for a dime each and be reasonably sure a few dozen will pop. Is it work? A wise man said do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life. Lugging boxes of future cash isn't work to me.

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I put zero value on my time selling comics. I spent a half hour packing comics this morning I would’ve just been watching TV it’s a hobby

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36 minutes ago, shadroch said:

A lot of people buy comics. Not many of them make money at it. Is it a coincidence that most of them think this is a bad deal.  The market has changed. 

This week, I sold a 2.0 Werewolf by Night for $400, and five copies of Thor 390 for $280.

Books taken from the scrapheaps.  You can buy a $1,000 book and hope it goes up to 1400 so you make a return or buy 10,000 books for a dime each and be reasonably sure a few dozen will pop. Is it work? A wise man said do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life. Lugging boxes of future cash isn't work to me.

I never said, or suggested, that you couldn't make money selling lower value books. I never said, or suggested, that the margin wasn't good. I did say that it wasn't free money. The last large collection I bought was 35,000 books. At no point during the pickup, drive, sorting or disposal of the collection did I say to myself "wow, this money is free!" I worked my butt off for it. It was worth it, I'm glad I did it, but it was still work. If you like lifting longboxes, sorting dollar books, taking them to cons, etc then that's great. I don't. I am sure a lot of people would look at how I buy and sell and think it's not for them. Totally fine. The OP should hear both sides before buying the collection and thinking it won't require effort, probably a lot of effort, to dispose of.

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I picked up 11 of the 30 boxes. The seller had a hard 10am stop time so we could not make it through all of the boxes and I did not want to buy it sight unseen. There was at least 5 boxes I am not sure if I would have taken them if they were free. I payed 25 dollar a box.

I will list some of the highlights later on tonight.

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I am jealous. Would have been a gift no brainer profit to buy this all and i would have said yes inside of a few minutes. 60 organized copper longs with all the keys intact would be serious 5 times profit quick or 10 times profit slowly pieced out assuming high grade. (Is it high grade?) Plus that is small enough deal i could have taken it all in 1 trip in my cargo van. And i am in florida. 

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Here are a few of the books that might get sent in for grading.

Batman Harley Quinn 9.6

Detective Comics 850 9.8

Detective Comics 880 9.8

DC Comics Presents 26 9.4

Wonder Woman 184 9.8

Catwoman 51 9.6

Catwoman 74 9.8

All of the Hughes' Catwomans and Wonder Womans from 9.4 - 9.8 (only grade the 9.8 which is about 1/3)

 

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26 minutes ago, gcstomp said:

I am jealous. Would have been a gift no brainer profit to buy this all and i would have said yes inside of a few minutes. 60 organized copper longs with all the keys intact would be serious 5 times profit quick or 10 times profit slowly pieced out assuming high grade. (Is it high grade?) Plus that is small enough deal i could have taken it all in 1 trip in my cargo van. And i am in florida. 

A lot of the advice given in this thread rang true for me as far as space and time. I would have had to rent storage space at least for the short term to process all 60 boxes.

There are plans to meet back up in a few weeks and go through the rest of the books.  By then I will have a better idea of what I am getting my self into.

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3 hours ago, october said:

I never said, or suggested, that you couldn't make money selling lower value books. I never said, or suggested, that the margin wasn't good. I did say that it wasn't free money. The last large collection I bought was 35,000 books. At no point during the pickup, drive, sorting or disposal of the collection did I say to myself "wow, this money is free!" I worked my butt off for it. It was worth it, I'm glad I did it, but it was still work. If you like lifting longboxes, sorting dollar books, taking them to cons, etc then that's great. I don't. I am sure a lot of people would look at how I buy and sell and think it's not for them. Totally fine. The OP should hear both sides before buying the collection and thinking it won't require effort, probably a lot of effort, to dispose of.

That sounds barbaric. You have my sympathy. I suggest you update your business model.  Do what big business does- outsource.   I'm sure you know this, but for newbies, know your customers.  These books are worth a couple dollars each to them. Twenty books might only cost you $2 but would cost them $40 or more to buy.  Get unpaid workers who work for books.  They think they are making $20 an hour but it's costing you $2.  Let your books work for you. The hobby has a long tradition of unpaid labor and interns.

Many of the biggest names in the hobby started as  unpaid interns or just working for credit. Joe Koch still relies on volunteer labor to work his monstrosity of a warehouse.

I'm sure he is far from alone.

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40 minutes ago, Dormian said:

A lot of the advice given in this thread rang true for me as far as space and time. I would have had to rent storage space at least for the short term to process all 60 boxes.

There are plans to meet back up in a few weeks and go through the rest of the books.  By then I will have a better idea of what I am getting my self into.

Good! As october said, and with which I agree, these kinds of deals aren't as "no brainer", as some might suggest, but neither are they total duds, either. That was the point I was making earlier. 20 year old me would have jumped at the chance to buy longs for $25 each, but 47 year old me? Eh, maybe not so much. Besides, 1992 was a different time in comics, and few people were selling long boxes of anything for $25.

About 10 years ago, I bought out the remainder of a record store/comic store's inventory at $15 a long, about 60 long boxes total. It had been picked to within an inch of its life. I vastly overpaid for it, but it was focused on 80s stuff, it was mostly bagged and boarded, and it was what I wanted, so I did it. It was nearly literal garbage (like 10 copies of Sonic Disruptors #7), but at 6 cents a book, it was acceptable.I would never do it again, but it worked out for me at the time.

Another time, I bought 8 long boxes for $500, but I got to do the cherry picking, and ended up with things like 15 copies of Omega Men #3, 10 copies of ASM #142, 143, 20 copies of X-Men #138 (3 of which have already been transformed into 9.8 SS books), a 9.8 Next Men #21, an entire set of Dave Stevens' 80s work, a San Diego Comicon #2 9.8 (which, alone, ended up being worth more than the rest of the collection put together), and lots of other 70s, 80s, and 90s gems. 

Too many people in comics don't consider their labor as worth anything, but they should. Every minute you spend working on books like this is a minute you don't have to spend on other, perhaps more lucrative ventures. Too, too many people end up working for less than minimum wage, when all is said and done, and don't have anything to show for it.

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I accompanied Dormian today to help him peruse the collection and subsequently help evaluate some of the books purchased. This was a nice collection and he is selling himself a little short on what it includes. For example, the Catwoman run was complete, so all of the AH! Covers were present and in high grade, same with the AH! Wonder Woman's (Brian Bolland WW too) There were some Artgerm Batgirl's present, of which he generously gave me issue #12 (thanks Dormian!), 1st Professor Zoom, 1st Jason Todd, 1st Ventriloquist, 1st Ratcatcher (don't laugh, has been cast in Jame's Gunn's new Suicide Squad movie) and on and on and on...

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1 minute ago, MadMax7 said:

I accompanied Dormian today to help him peruse the collection and subsequently help evaluate some of the books purchased. This was a nice collection and he is selling himself a little short on what it includes. For example, the Catwoman run was complete, so all of the AH! Covers were present and in high grade, same with the AH! Wonder Woman's (Brian Bolland WW too) There were some Artgerm Batgirl's present, of which he generously gave me issue #12 (thanks Dormian!), 1st Professor Zoom, 1st Jason Todd, 1st Ventriloquist, 1st Ratcatcher (don't laugh, has been cast in Jame's Gunn's new Suicide Squad movie) and on and on and on...

Thanks for the help and company today!

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We all have different experiences. A few years ago i was moving a good 500 to 1000 long boxes a year. Just from being active in shows and selling at 1 buck each, cherry picking grading worthy key books, then blowing out boxes at end of a few shows and buying fresh bulk from offers made at end of shows. I have greatly slowed down but Even now, just today, i had a cl listing where i sold 4 boxes for 200. As an example of 1 outlet Every week for years i trade books in to mycomicshop for trade credit. I almost never get presented such an easy money making deal as what is described here. But if you wanted a super low stress flip, and this would be silly as you must see how you were gifted an unusual and easy profit opportunity, i will take it all and give you a 10 buck per long box profit and i can be there tomorrow. 

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31 minutes ago, shadroch said:

That sounds barbaric. You have my sympathy. I suggest you update your business model.  Do what big business does- outsource.   I'm sure you know this, but for newbies, know your customers.  These books are worth a couple dollars each to them. Twenty books might only cost you $2 but would cost them $40 or more to buy.  Get unpaid workers who work for books.  They think they are making $20 an hour but it's costing you $2.  Let your books work for you. The hobby has a long tradition of unpaid labor and interns.

Many of the biggest names in the hobby started as  unpaid interns or just working for credit. Joe Koch still relies on volunteer labor to work his monstrosity of a warehouse.

I'm sure he is far from alone.

After hearing the number of people in this thread that enjoy slinging longboxes and dealing with dollar books, you can be sure I will look for board help next time I find a 50+ box collection. Not really my style though. Buying and selling silver and gold provides more money with a fraction of the space/volume. 

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18 minutes ago, MadMax7 said:

1st Ratcatcher

Holy goosh! I've got perhaps 20-25 copies of that book! I'm RICH! :D Detective #585 is a great book, with a great Breyfogle story, and a great Bingham cover. 

Seriously, it's from that magical Bat-time "before 1989", where everything is pure magic, and the books smelled different. Don't know what I'm talking about? Open up a 1987-1988 Marvel or DC and take a deep smell. 

THAT'S the smell I'm talking about.

:cloud9:

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Posted (edited)

There is probably a regional difference at play.  Here in florida, the devils armpit, it is hot and humid.  Super cheap, super big bulk deals are available, but often there are condition issues as books in extreme heat and humidity bloom up like cauliflower with moisture wrinkles if brought out even once for a yard sale.  On top of being high grade, this deal is organized, and nicely bagged and boarded and complete runs with keys intact and take all for less than 25 a long. I would guesstimate this is a 1 in a 1000 deal from what I run across, but maybe these deals are more common outside the devils armpit?

Edited by gcstomp

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18 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

THAT'S the smell I'm talking about.

 

5 minutes ago, gcstomp said:

the devils armpit?

 

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So let me get this straight, 2 guys who know Comics have the opportunity to purchase 60 long boxes of comics for somewhere around 12-$1500, and you walk away with 11boxes of books. If the stuff is as good as it sounds you have left a seversl thousand$$$ unclaimed. This guy may be nice and willing to wait but the minute I saw Adam Hughes catwomans and Batman runs / detectives i’d Have had my wallet out and had 60 long boxes on my way home    You had two guys who know Comics. One of the 2 is setting up at 2 shows and you leave 49 boxes untouched seems a bit far fetched the comic community is smaller the you think so you should probably keep this to yourself until you have the deal completed oh wait you put it out there on a comic collector web site. Good luck

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8 minutes ago, anstettoman said:

So let me get this straight, 2 guys who know Comics have the opportunity to purchase 60 long boxes of comics for somewhere around 12-$1500, and you walk away with 11boxes of books. If the stuff is as good as it sounds you have left a seversl thousand$$$ unclaimed. This guy may be nice and willing to wait but the minute I saw Adam Hughes catwomans and Batman runs / detectives i’d Have had my wallet out and had 60 long boxes on my way home    You had two guys who know Comics. One of the 2 is setting up at 2 shows and you leave 49 boxes untouched seems a bit far fetched the comic community is smaller the you think so you should probably keep this to yourself until you have the deal completed oh wait you put it out there on a comic collector web site. Good luck

The advice I have received from this thread has been invaluable. I am mostly a bronze and earlier collector and the thought of 15,000 copper/moderns was intimidating.  I might end up with all of it or someone could buy it out from under me. I am pretty happy with what I bought today.

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