The market is at all-time highs, but I want to look deeper into the numbers. I want to determine if there were signs that the market was turning because I do not want to be buying high when everyone else is going to be getting out. Is now the time to sell comics?
Let other people pay premiums for books when I can sell mine high and buy it later at a lower price and higher grade. Here is a small sample of what I found.
Most comic book sites give you recommendations based upon the writer’s intuition or personal observations. GoCollect never allows writers to be that simplistic with our readers. That is why we MUST base our reviews using data. Comic book collecting and investing is a science. Data, variables, and other factors are all influencing the hobby. Knowing numbers helps you navigate the hobby. This is but a small sample of the data as a writer I use to see if, when, and how a book should be sold.
Time Period Reviewed:
The time period reviewed was April 12, 2021, to May 12, 2021. I wanted to get a quick snapshot of the market in a one-month window.
Issues were selected based upon the degree of popularity in the GoCollect data hotlists as well as being mentioned in our articles. I wanted to select books trending down for a month back from when I wrote this article. The volume of sales was also an important variable. I eliminated the Golden Age because those books tend to not come to market with great frequency. I needed enough volume of sales to let me see patterns. This is how I wanted to assess the strength of the market and individual books.
Quick Observation: The number of issues sold in general declined the further you went down the grading scale.
This is indicative that if you are going to sell this issue and want a lot of interest you better have a higher grade book.
Ultimate Fallout #4
|9.6||4.3%||2,800||Price Difference of +/- $300 approx. days apart in auctions|
|9.4||21.9%||1,597||Prices all over map with Auctions and Fixed sales|
|9.2||10.1%||1,052||Fixed price Bumps after Auctions|
Roller Coaster Up-Down Auctions
Analysis: Across the board, trending declines in all grades for the month. I am not sure if this is a too big supply and not enough demand for Ultimate Fallout #4. I also see possible micro FOMO in some grades. If buyers miss at an auction, they then gravitate to fixed sales at inflated prices that effects the FMV. If you were selling some books, that could be a perfect way to increase your profits. Wait for Auctions to complete and then offer a book at the same grade for a moderate price increase.
Quick Observation: The number of issues sold, in general, declined the further you went down the grading scale.
This is indicative that if you are going to sell this issue and want a lot of interest you better have a higher grade book. Same pattern as the Modern Age.
||Grade:||Trending:||CGC Census||Personal Notes:
|Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #1||9.8||2.3%||1,093||Range of price differences in just a few days (+/- approx. $220) Volatile|
|9.6||18.8%||956||Prices generally trending down|
|9.4||29.9%||541||One very out of norm sales price on high side|
|8.5||20.9%||161||Two sales days apart. Same number of bids, but price dropped|
Analysis. I expected more interest in this book than actually appeared. Plenty of listings, but not a lot of sales. Some auctions had fewer than five bids total, which was kind of shocking for a book regularly in Hot 100 for the Bronze Age. I like Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #1 in the long run, but not all the red that is trending.
General Observation: I went through the top 50 Silver Age books and could not find any that flashed all red with enough sales numbers to generate a downward trend. Those with high sales numbers had either upward trends or mixed trends throughout the grading scale that indicated price adjustments for grades, rather than possible downward trending book.
Silver Age books, by their nature, are more immune to vast price fluctuations because of the age of the books. I tried, then, to sample various books at random beyond the top 50 selected that had no MCU or DCEU ties and again found it difficult to find an example of a book that had significant sales and a downward trend.
Analysis: I expected fewer sales for the Silver Age because older books are fewer in number. What was interesting was that there were so few books being sold in this age. Those books that were selling seemed to see upward trends that could warrant selling books now in anticipation of a dip that could allow them to return to those books at a much smaller price. I am continuing to monitor to see if the downward trend impacting other ages will soon hit the Silver Age books.
I wanted to look even deeper into the Silver Age because this was the one age that had no downward trending repeat hot books. To find a good book, I reviewed books that had lost several position spots in the hot Silver Age books for a possible candidate for sale, and still could not locate a book. Those books were also seeing a mixed degree of upward or downward trending based upon grade. I can only hypothesize that these books are a safer play and that if we are seeing a market correction it has not affected the Silver Age books yet.
Time Frame Variable:
I chose a small window of time to review data to see a possible trend at its start. Specifically, I will keep reviewing it to determine if the trend continues at later dates. Knowing when a trend happens and selling a book before it loses value allows you to protect your investment. Doing this also enables you to sell a book high and then possibly buy it low if you still believe in the book’s long-term potential.
The time frame I selected is occurring when more pandemic restrictions are being lifted. So many variables that could impact the market are hard to isolate. The one thing I could do was control time. My fear is that we are starting to see people spend less time with comics because of other opportunities long since ignored. If this trend continues with more books in the Modern and Bronze Age and then starts in the Silver Age, we could be seeing a change in the market.
I want to keep looking at these sales data numbers. It is important to determine if books that appear regularly in our hot Age lists start to experience downward trends in greater numbers. I was surprised by the downward trend of Ultimate Fallout #4. That book is looked upon by many as a very key issue. I was not as surprised with Secret Wars #1 because it was not an important key issue, but I wondered if it could be the start of a downward trend in the Bronze Age. The need to review a downward trend in more key books is something I must then focus on in the future for my own buying and selling choices.
I was not surprised that these trends did not appear in the Silver Age, where volatility is much less common. I did expect to find at least one book that was losing favor in all grades during this time frame. My assumption is that a downward correction could eventually appear in the Silver Age, but it will happen far more slowly depending on the significance of the issue.
It is very important to note that in using this method you must not focus on books that may have other factors influencing price. I chose one book for examples in the Modern and Bronze Ages, but there were others down the road I could have selected. I did not want to choose books that were strongly involved with the MCU or DCEU because those ties could greatly impact the sales data.
As always, it is better to sell a book one day too early than one day too late. Articles on buying books are important, but we must also remember that selling is just as important. Using data rather than mere observations is the tool that will differentiate investors who lose money from those that make money, as well as from collectors that find great deals.