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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

More Investing In Comics Buying Strategies Part 5



This is the last Part to this series on Investing In Comics Buying Strategies. As always, these strategies or methods are just tips that you can use to help you on your hunt. If you missed Part 4, click the blue link to read up on that.



THE HAGGLE

Ah, The Haggle is pretty much an age old tactic used to barter most everything, but it's recommended you do this in any situation that you can concerning buying comics as investments.

You can haggle at your local comic shop, comic conventions, and even on eBay with their "Best Offer" option. Even eBay knows the importance of haggling. However, some sellers on eBay don't give much leeway in haggling a price down from their "Buy It Now" price.

The best places to use The Haggle strategy is at a local comic convention. Remember, these dealers get their comics super cheap from desperate collectors, or those who just don't know any better, that bring their valuable comics to them to get royally ripped off.

I've seen it countless times in comic shops. Somebody inherited their father's or grandfather's comic collection and brings in an entire stack or collection of valuable key issue silver age and bronze age comics to sell.

"What would you pay for these?" is usually what spews out their mouths. It's music to a comic dealer's ears when they hear that.

I usually think to myself, You should know their worth, and if you did, the last place you'd bring them to is a comic shop to sell!

But, I usually keep my mouth shut, and let the comic dealer do business. After all, it's not my comics and not my money. 

The comic dealer will offer a ridiculously low price, and most times the person will just take the first price offered. Seeing this happen several times has made me wary of ever letting any of my kids, if I have them someday, inherit my comic investments.  

If the dealers can profit off their desperation or ignorance, why can't you share in that and haggle a cheaper price for an investment comic? Of course, you can.

At comic conventions, you can play the same tricks they use in getting comics cheap and nitpick the grade or make it seem the comic price or condition isn't to your standard. Sometimes, a comic dealer will straight out let you know that they are quite open to haggling a good deal with you. 

Should you really haggle at a comic shop sale where the comic is already 30 to 50% off? Well, there are no rules against that, but if you really want to be the local douche, then go for it.



POSITIVES:

There are so many positives to haggling that I could write a book on it. You really don't have much to lose. The most they can say is no, but usually you'll get a counter offer.

Never take the first counter offer. Always offer another price in-between your first offer and the counter offer. The most they can say is no, but don't forget that you can use the power of no as well.

The great thing is that you can really do this anywhere where comics are being sold. It's extremely flexible. Like I mentioned you can even haggle on eBay.

Another great thing is that this strategy is not limited to only one type of comic. You can do this with CGC graded comics and unslabbed comics as well.  


NEGATIVES:

One: The worst they can say is no.

Two: Takes a bit of know-how and finesse to haggle, especially about the comic in question. Do your research on the comic and know what it's selling for on eBay.



HIGH GRADE SNIPER

No, this doesn't have much to do with sniping on eBay. It has everything to do with those who invest in comics who only gun for high grade investment comics using this strategy. Their purchases are totally focused on a particular grade for each key issue comic investment in their sights, and they do not settle for anything less than high grade copies.

Sometimes, those who employ this method will only snag the highest graded copy of whatever key issue on their want list. The actor Nicolas Cage was a High Grade Sniper and once owned the highest graded Action Comics #1 in existence. He had many really rare high grade comics in his collection that he ended up selling in an auction through Heritage. 

I still think that was a mistake to sell in bulk like that. Then again, he has millions of bucks to invest in comics how he pleases.

I'm more flexible when it comes to using this strategy. I'll buy certain key issues at a particular high grade, but definitely not all since this is not the only strategy I utilize.

The High Grade Sniper knows that high grade comics produce more drastic investment returns on important comics and faster as well. They know that older golden age, silver age, and bronze age comics are more rare in high grades.



POSITIVES:

More return on investment! Comics go up in value quicker! Is there really anything more to say? 

Sure there is! You can obtain an extremely valuable collection using this comic buying strategy, especially if you prefer CGC. It's not limited to just buying CGC graded comics either.

You can hunt for unslabbed high grade copies as well. At one time, there were only two Avengers #1 CGC 9.6s. Now, there are three. Someone took a gamble and bought a high grade unslabbed copy and it paid off when he or she submitted it to CGC.

With this method you don't have to worry about your timeline factor as much. Actually, your timeline factor could be greatly reduced depending on your investment return goals for comics. In about 10 years, you should see a nice return on most of your comics if you're a High Grade Sniper that only guns for the highest graded copies of key issues.

You can use the Double Dip strategy with the High Grade Sniper strategy, as well as the Comic Lot Snag, The Haggle, and even in some cases, Instant Return, if you snag an unslabbed, unrestored copy and later CGC it.



NEGATIVES:

One: Because you're finicky, you'll most likely pay top dollar for each comic investment you purchase. This means you'll need a larger budget.

Two: If you do not have a larger budget, you'll be limited to buying an extremely small amount of comics each year. In order to get more comics, you'll  most likely be digging in mostly the Copper and Modern Age comics for gold, where CGC 9.8s are more than plentiful.

Three: Extremely limiting. You'll most likely pass up really good deals on comics that aren't in your grade standards. Haggling may also be limited as well, depending on the key issue type. 

Usually higher grade super keys are a little more difficult to haggle since the key issue comic has been in high demand for such a long time, but it is possible. Also, high grade CGC Comic Lot Snags may be limiting for most major key issues as well, since it's pretty dumb to sell those in comic lots when you can get so much more for them by selling each comic individually. Then again, there still are those who don't know any better, and you can capitalize on their ignorance on the matter.

Four: Extremely time consuming to hunt down comics at particular high grades, especially for much older comics. One that meets your price or budget, even more of a task.



GRADE THRESHOLDS
 

In terms of comic investing, many have used Grade Thresholds at one point or another. A grade threshold is just a certain grade that must be met or exceeded for one to consider buying it as a comic investment. Pretty simple.

For example, with most Copper Age or Modern Age comics, unless it's a super key issue, the grade threshold is usually a 9.8 by those who invest in comics a lot wiser. Like the High Grade Sniper, some take it to the extreme and only buy comics at a high grade threshold. And there's nothing wrong with that at all.

As I've said before, I do have grade thresholds for certain comics, but I'm not that extreme. I do take into consideration the type of key issue demand, as well as my budget, the kind of deal I can get or potential investment return or timeline.

I used a grade threshold on my Incredible Hulk #181 and Amazing Spider-Man #129 purchases. I really didn't want to go lower than a CGC VF 8.0, and unfortunately, those two grades were all my budget allowed at the time of purchase.

You can incorporate virtually any of the strategies like the Double Dip strategy with grade thresholds, though some strategies like the Comic Lot Snag may be a lot more limiting than others. 

BULK LOT BUYS

This can be the same as Comic Lot Snags, but Bulk Lot Buys are on a big scale. Comic dealers use this strategy to buy huge collections. Some even travel all over the U.S. to seek out valuable collections to buy on the cheap, of course.

Ever seen those ads in Overstreet Price Guide? You know, the ones that say some load of crap like, "We pay the most for valuable pre-1975 comics." Those are the guys, and they spend a lot of money buying comics in bulk.

Who says you can't do the same if you got the dough? There's a lot places that people buy in bulk. eBay is one, estate sales, garage sales, craigslist, comic shops, even comic conventions. Oh yes, if you got the dough, you can haggle the price on an entire box of comics at a comic convention, despite whether it's a box with a mix of silver, bronze, copper, and modern comics. 


POSITIVES:

Like Comic Lot Snags, you can get comics in Bulk Lot Buys for pretty cheap. Especially if it's a collection from a person who just wants to get rid of the stuff and didn't really put in anytime to research his entire collection's value.

As for comic dealers, remember that they get their comics for super cheap, often times way below 50% off. With this method, you will almost always use The Haggle strategy unless it's an auction at an estate sale or eBay auction.

You can get instant return on many of the comics within a Bulk Lot Buy if you hone in on a lot that has valuable comics. This is a good short-term strategy to buy comics and then flip just like comic dealers do. 

Sometimes, though, you'll find key issues you'll want to put into your own vault.


NEGATIVES: 

One: Talk about a time consuming strategy. Hunting down comics to buy in large bulk is truly a hunt, especially for a bulk of comics that are worth buying up.

Two: It's not a very focused way to get high grade comics. More often than not, you will get a lot more junk than actual valuable comics. You may find yourself having to liquidate many of the left overs after you pick through all the good stuff.

Three: You need quite a bit of dough for this strategy. Most comic dealers have banks backing them up for these kinds of purchases.

Four: You need an extensive knowledge of comics. You need this in order to know what comics are in demand, what key issues are selling for what, and what price to haggle for the bulk lot of comics.


This concludes this series on Investing In Comics Buying Strategies. I've used all of them, and chances are you probably have also. If not, you have some strategies to add to your arsenal and hope the tips in here help you out. 

Visit the links below to see the previous parts if you haven't already. If you have, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more comic goodness. 


<< PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4 | PART 5 |
 

17 comments:

  1. Oh Man! "local douche"....we go to all the local (and not so local) shows. There's always this guy there we commonly refer to as "the douche". The seller is very giving and will negotiate very fairly, leaving you feeling like you got a great value.....the douche will try to continuously knock whatever price the dealer gives him lower and lower. It has gotten so bad that the dealer now waits until that guy leaves and will offer it cheaper to us! Also anything that you show the slightest bit of interest in, "the douche" will try to snipe you. I won't talk comics unless he's a mile away...we need a "Comic Restraining Order" like Sheldon got from Stan Lee & Leonard Nimoy. Now as for your bulk lot buys, my brother and I found this junk dealer who had 1200 comics and wanted $1200 for the pile. After digging through tons of silver age and bronze, as well as toilet paper and Archie BS (70's), we outlaid the $$$. We each kept 2 high grades(I kept Xmen 94 NM & New Mutants 98 M) and sold the bulk of it for $6,000 profit......yeah, Joe Shmo, you're right...there's NO money in comics! ;) Everytime i go on the boards and people hammer that phrase into the ground, I can hear my rich collector friend's immortal words......"BULLSHIT!!"
    Well, thanks for answering my question in a very thorough manner and keeping mine and others passions for comic investing alive!!! THIS IS THE BEST COMIC INVESTING PAGE ON THE NET!!
    Until Next Time, Make Mine....MAYHEM !!! lk

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    1. Thanks LK. Wow, I have yet to encounter a douche that bad, but he does seem to fit the description quite well. Can't believe there are some out there like that. "Comic Restraining Order" haha!

      Nice, you found a bulk lot that seemed to nothing but good for you and your brother! Awesome! A great example to help prove that I'm not just pulling these things outta my ass, and that they can and do work if ya know how to work it. Love it, especially the two snags you got from that bulk lot - X-Men #94 and New Mutants #98. AWESOME!!!!

      As for all the Joe Shmos who keep trying to discourage others from investing in comics or that it's a bad idea, I've always said that they think that because they just don't know how. Or, they don't wanna put the work in, or they don't wanna put the dough in. Either way, it's their loss, not ours.

      And we do laugh at them, or at least I do whenever I read their silly comments on forums. Sometimes...sometimes I actually do feel bad for them, but I really feel bad for the one who's asking the question about comic investing and gets lame comments like that back. The dude just wants to learn, and then you got these jackasses popping up with "Comic Investing is a bad idea! Don't do it!"

      Which totally deflates the guy, and what really irks me is that the advice are from guys who don't know the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad. I don't mean to be arrogant. Really not my intention at all, but I wouldn't say "Stock market investing sucks, it's a bad idea! Don't do it" if I knew absolutely nothing about investing in the stock market.

      Oh well, some learn the easy way, some learn the hard way, and some just don't learn at all. Always great hearing from you LK. Keep rockin' n rollin' and I'll keep the mayhem going! As always, thanks for reading and commenting!

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  2. man I love your investing stratagies that you have and your articles are awesome!

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    1. Heya Gabriel, thanks a lot man! I'm glad you enjoyed and I really hope these strategies help you get more snags at some great deals.

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  3. im trying to decide if I should save up to be some key issues in a 9.2 cgc and was wondering if buying a couple of key 8.5's would be a better choice or not

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    1. Hey thanks for the question, but it's a bit vague. What are the exact key issues in question? Bronze, Silver Age, Copper Age?

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    2. iron man 1 and iron man 55 in his own series. thought of iron man 1 9.2 or both in a 8.5 cgc. they are both getting expensive and 55 keeps going up the way its selling it seems its going to be right up there with #1. thanks love this web sight starting collecting about a year and a half ago and didn't know much about comics until I saw your sight. most of my purchases come from your suggestions even thinking of opening up a shop in a couple years. thanks

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    3. Personally, I'd actually get the Iron Man #55 in 9.2 and the Iron Man #1 in 8.5. Iron Man #55 still has more room for growth potential. Thanos' role hasn't really been revealed in the cinematic universe just yet. We just know he's there, meaning that they're setting him up for something big.

      Iron Man #55 also has more first appearances, such as Drax the Destroyer, as well, which is why that issue took a double hit in demand and the demand is still strong. I'd save up for the highest grade possible for Iron Man #55.

      But it depends on what you're comfortable doing. You definitely won't lose out buying two CGC 8.5s of either of those comics either. Trust me, two 8.5s of those issues would still be great snags. I'd have no problem added those two key issues at 8.5 in my vault. Investment wise, though, I cannot lie...9.2s would be better choices in the long run and short run as well, for they will go up faster and have a bigger return. I'd concentrate on the 9.2 Iron man #55.

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    4. thank you for the advice nuff said that's what im going too do thank you ive been going back and forth on this for awhile now

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    5. You're more than welcome. Thanks for the question and glad I could assist.

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  4. A very good piece. I just wish we had good comic book lots in england instead of beano lots. we have the oldest comic book shop in england in birmingham and the wall is utter pants completely over priced.
    I would say the best approach would be to use all three methods and become a hybid investor thats what i try to do. the only problem is sending 4 unslabbed comics for cgc grading costs $180!!!!!. so thats why i tend to buy cgc comics only now.
    .Could your do a intermediate level investment piece?? one last thing do you think investing in runs( i.e ff 1-100, asm 1-150 jla 1-80) is a good business plan vs just key comics only ??

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    1. There's more parts to this series that explains more strategies than just the three on this post. This post is Part 5. There are Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. Not sure what you mean by intermediate investment piece. The strategies in this series aren't advanced.

      I've explained my thoughts on investing in comic runs in this post:

      http://www.totalcomicmayhem.com/2014/03/investing-in-comic-runs.html

      Basically, I don't do comic runs anymore and only gun for key issues.

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    2. what i meant was by "intermediate investment" was comics betwwen 100-200. you done a brilliant investment article on " entry level " i was just wondering if you could do a mid ranged one??

      I had a look at that article and it helped but.. let's say if you invested in a story arch would that be a good idea i.e ff 44-51 ?

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    3. Ah, gotcha. That's no problem doing a key issue list of investment comics within that price range, but I do have to change the title. I am uneasy about labeling what's entry level and mid-level and advanced due to the nature that it can become confusing and that it's highly debatable to nestle a price range in those kinds of categories.

      So I'll just title it based on price range. I also notice that those kinds of lists become obsolete as comics do move up in value, and some rather quickly are no longer in that price range any longer.

      So from now on, when I expand on investment comics below $100, I'll have to cut out the "Entry Level" part and just title it like "Investment Comics At or Below $100". I know, it's not quite as catchy.

      As for the second question, I will invest in short runs concerning popular story arcs, but not large runs like 1-100. Reasons are because I'd rather spend dough on the highest graded key issue I can buy instead of some common issue that's not really in demand. Just my preference, and you certainly do not have to follow it. A lot of comic investors still gun for high grade large complete runs. My budget doesn't really call for it, but maybe yours does.

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    4. I ave had a look at that article. thanks a lot for doing it.

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  5. Just wanted to say that I've been enjoying your articles and perspective on comics buying and investing. Can't wait to read more.

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    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed them and hope it helps.

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