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 Post subject: Comics as an investment idea
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:11 am 
Squire

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Hi All,

i wondering if i could get your opinions regarding comic buying as a form of investment.

this is my idea. i buy No1 and No2 of new issues that come out, i also buy variants. i store these in Mylar bags so that my kid can have an inheritance, this would be a 50year plan.

now the idea of buying 1st issues is a bit hit and miss, you never know how comics will end up and such.

for this example, Chew issue 1 costs about $300 now, in 10 years will it be worth $300K or $3, that i don't know.

is this a ridiculous idea?

Regards,


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:09 pm 
Squire

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I have often thought about investing in comics too and have spent a considerable time building up a complete collection of 2000Ads (I’m about 89 issues short of owning them all) but I found that since I have been reading the collection for over 25 years I am hardly going to want to sell them on Ebay or at http://www.cgccomics.com/. Therefore, make sure that when you seriously go into the idea of investing in comics, that they are going to be items that you don’t become too emotionally attached to.
I would say that now is a very good time to consider investing in comics, they are, culturally, quite a dominant force at the moment what with TV, Cinema and comics being very popular at the moment. This shows that even if they decline in a few years that they are bound to make a strong return at another point in the future: the stories and characters work across a broad social spectrum and will always have appeal – especially those companies that have enough money and stock to persevere through financial crises such as Marvel and DC.

You obviously already know that the most common factors for anything that you’re going to invest in are: rarity, condition and popularity. This means that you’re going to need the money to invest and ensure proper protection (mylar bags is great and perhaps some cardboard backing too – you’ll want to store them in a temperature controlled room such as a study or office but perhaps not the attic) and storage but you would also have to learn to follow the market and track (even on Ebay!) the popularity and prices of the comics you are investing in.

You’ll also need to know what kind of investor you are yourself. Are you an ‘Obsessive Collector’ like me? (which is the worst type as I try hard to collect every issue of a favourite series) or a true Investor who is in it for the money only. You might also be someone who buys and sells very quickly in order to resell at an inflated price a few months later or the Graphic Novel collector (which wouldn’t make as much as individual comics and perhaps less expensive).

You should also track how much your comics are worth now and how well they are doing value-wise in the open market. This can take up a lot of time but it would give you a really good understanding of worth and which comics seem best to invest in. Do this in Excel or use specific tools and websites that are out there such as http://www.lyriacomicexchange.com/ .

Unless it wasn’t going to cost you much, I wouldn’t bother going out and buying every first and second issue of every comic out there as they tend to come out thick and fast these days although I would definitely consider doing this with very popular titles (I bought a fair amount of the New 52 issues and bagged them a.s.a.p. because I know that DC (and Marvel) are probably going to be high-end comic suppilers for a long time and therefore very popular. I could turn these in now for a quick profit but want to hold onto them for a longer time. I would spend time exploring various sites that sell comics such as Ebay, Heritage Comics and Mile High Comics.

In terms of what types of comics to buy, I did a little bit of research and found the following information:

• Variant Covers – Variant covers are typically a hot item and can be a great way to get a higher price than the normal comic book.

• First Issues – The first comic book in a series will often be the most sought after comic book in a series. Watch out for those comics that are highly pushed by publishers as they will publish too many for the comic book to truly rise in value. X-Men #1 was a good example, as you can still easily get the comic book for around ten dollars.
• The Hot Comic –Sleeper hits such as Mouse Guard can quickly gain in value. The trick is to be on top of what is coming out and anticipate what will be worth something later on. This can be tricky, but if you watch for new comics by hot artists and writers, or for new and unique series, then you have a shot.
• CGC Comics – One of the latest trends in the comic book industry is the Comics Guaranty Company. They will grade comics for you and place a grade on them, from zero to ten. Naturally, higher graded comics will sell for a much higher price. This is also very true for new comics. A Civil War #2 Variant recently went for $450 dollars.

If you decide to sell your comics online then spend time browsing auctions of the same comic or comic type to assess the price that other competitors are putting up. I would see the investment as something to take slowly, have fun to play with at the start whilst being cautious with your money.

I should add that I have never done this before and these opinions are my own and based on no expertise!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:26 pm 
Knight
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just came across this thread...

I'm just gonna say it... investing in comics is a bad idea. In the early 90's, mint issues of Action comics #1 started selling at auction for, at the time, record prices. I believe in the $500,000-$750,000 range. People took notice and thought they could buy comics like stock and be guaranteed a huge return on their investment. Add in Image comics forming with the Marvel defectors and there was a hot situation with a lot of new characters that really fueled the fire in this idea. People often bought multiple copies of a #1 book.

The problem with this idea is that there is no way to guarantee which, if any of the books would become that iconic book of the moment that would go on to earn huge dividends. The market saw multiple printings and large print runs. Just now looking at eBay, probably the biggest book of the Image era, Spawn #1, looks to be selling in great condition anywhere from 50 cents to $14. That's a 20 year old book that's arguably the most important of its generation.

#1's have great value but if you are looking to invest, #2's are a good place to look as well. #2's often see a high after-market price because their print runs are often far lower than the first issue... but you'd want to make sure its an important issue in the run. If nothing big happens, no new character introduced, then it's not likely to do anything.

In the mid-90's, when all these people who flocked to comics as an investment saw little to no return within a few years they bailed out of comics and stopped buying which led to a pretty big industry crash. The market was flooded with more titles than it could handle along with inflated print runs to match the previous amount of buyers who just weren't there anymore. It's one of the reasons Marvel went into bankruptcy and almost got sold to DC.
I highly suggest reading the book Comic Book Wars to learn more about how Marvel was sent into bankruptcy and how it came out of it stronger than ever... it's a great read however it can be rather dry as it's retelling of a lot of the court filings and motions, etc... a lot of courtroom stuff that, honestly, if it were about any other industry I would have found the book boring but since it's comics... I found it fascinating. :-)

but, yeah... long story short... people tried investing before, didn't turn out so well. I'm not saying don't do it... I'm just saying be super careful and be ready to sit on it a long, long time.


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