Please recommend experienced eBay seller to help sell comic books
February 9, 2014 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Mr. Christa and I are downsizing to a smaller apartment in Seattle. Mr. Christa has admirably agreed to part with some of his comic books. He thinks selling on eBay would be best. Neither of us, unfortunately, are experienced eBay sellers. eBay USED TO have a listing of "trading assistants", who would help you sell and take a commission. Does anyone still offer this service? Can you recommend someone to help us "grade" (apparently that's a big deal) and sell the comics?

Here's the list of Comics that Mr. Christa provided:

 - complete Walking Dead collection (from #1 to current issues), first printings
(apparently this is the crown jewel of eBay value)

 - various runs of Batman: (encompassing the Knightfall story in early 90s)
 - - Batman 484-> 510
 - - Detective Comics 652-> 677
 - - Legends of the Dark Knight 1->51
 - - Shadow of the Bat 1->31
 - - Batman Adventures 1->30
 - - Catwoman 1->4 ('89)
 - - Catwoman 1->14 ('93)
 - - Robin 1->5 ('91)
 - - Robin 1->13 ('93)
 - - other Robin & Batman TPBs and singles from earlier time periods

and a variety of other series and singles:
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Seasons 8 & 9
 - Strangers in Paradise, complete (first 5 TPBs, then issues 13->89)
 - Rising Stars, complete 1-24
 - Aliens vs Predator, original series
 - Punisher #1
- and others
posted by christa to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
The market for comic books collapsed five-ten years ago. Be prepared for the fact that you're not going to get anything like as much money for these as you expect, no matter how you sell them.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:57 PM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would say DIY. Search for each title on Ebay under completed listings, and also look on Amazon and so on. Get some idea of what things are really selling for, and then list 'em. If things aren't selling individually, consider lots. When I sell books on Ebay I always note that I am not an appraiser and say I'm willing to answer any questions. Maybe I've missed out on some great sales that way, but I kinda doubt it.

It is kind of an uphill fight to sell comics on Ebay... but if it is something people want, it will sell eventually. And sometimes you get a nice bidding war going and stuff sells for a lot more than you were expecting.

I always start with an auction, in hopes of a bidding war, and if it hasn't sold after a week or two I relist it as a "buy it now" for a price comparable to some of the recent sales.

I'm not an expert seller, but my instincts say you don't have a lot of really valuable stuff there. (It's taken me forever to sell Buffy and Alien comics, for instance.) To have somebody help you sell this stuff you'd probably have to ship it to them, and that may end up costing more than you'd make. Again, I say DIY.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 8:07 PM on February 9, 2014

You might do better to talk to your friendly local comic shop. If you're already in Seattle there are tons of them. Not every shop holds much in the way of back issues but they should be able to point you to one that does, and might be willing to buy.

They should also be able to tell you what someone might actually want to buy and what they had to pulp 50 copies of that never sold.

Honestly my gut instinct is that all that modern DC stuff is barely worth the paper it's printed on, every comic shop in creation would have had multiple copies of it and it's not old enough for most of those copies to have been thrown in the recycling bin yet. The occasional tiny first printing of something that seriously took off aside, comics really aren't worth a damn thing until they're old enough to be grandparents.
posted by egypturnash at 8:51 PM on February 9, 2014

You MIGHT sell The Walking Dead collection and make a little scratch from it.
The rest? Donate or toss.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 5:41 AM on February 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As disappointing as it is, there is NO market for comics anymore. We have 20 long boxes that continue to haunt our moves because Husbunny can't bear to part with the collection without thinking that it's going to a good home. (We have Godkids, so I'm really hoping that one of them steps up to claim them!)

Search a few titles on eBay, just to see if there's even a market.

Weird story, I was able to sell some Krishna Comics for about $10 apiece on eBay, so...weird will sell.

Another anecdote. Someone dumped a lifetime's worth of gaming books at our front door one day. We held onto it for a couple of years and finally we advertised the whole thing on Craigslist. We got $200 for it.

So you might offer the whole collection for sale on Craigslist, but know this. Honestly, there is NO scarcity of these materials, therefore, there is no market.

Here's an article about it.

And another from Businessweek.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:38 AM on February 10, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for your sobering advice. Now Mr. Christa is thinking that he'll keep his comics books and re-read them. I guess we'll have to move them again!
posted by christa at 10:22 PM on February 10, 2014

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