In 2022, brothers Thomas and David Wilson launched Collectors Comics, a new online comic book marketplace and auction site. I talked with Thomas Wilson about Collectors Comics and his hopes and ambitions to make Collectors Comics into a safe place for the comic community to buy and sell.
About Collectors Comics
Thomas and David Wilson have lofty goals for Collectors Comics, starting first with the auctions held on the site, and then its buying and selling marketplace. While it may be new on the scene, Collectors Comics is already making waves within the comic-collecting community. First and foremost is the fact that the Wilson brothers charge no fees to buyers or sellers. They’re also working hard to make their already robust auctions even bigger and better.
“We believe the functionality of our auctions is head and shoulders above the rest of the competition,” said Thomas. “We still have a lot more features to implement and fine-tuning to do, but the interface for people who consign to our auctions is also above and beyond the competition. We have consigned through all of our competitors throughout the years and know exactly how they all stack up against us. We will continue to improve our auctions to make them better.”
A History in Comics
Thomas Wilson has a long history in comic book dealing. His father, Mark Wilson, was one of the largest back issue dealers in the 1980s and 1990s. In fact, his dad was the one to discover and eventually sell the entire Rockford Pedigree Collection. While Thomas and his brothers helped their dad out by mailing catalogs around the world, they didn’t have much interest in dad’s business at the time.
It was when he was in his twenties that Thomas rediscovered a box of comics given to him by his father. He decided to sell that box of comics on eBay and before he knew it, he had caught the comic dealing bug. Thomas told his dad what he was doing, and his dad offered to teach him more about the business. Learning from the master, Thomas then asked his brother, David, if he wanted to join him and start a comic selling business. In 2010, they were off and running with their Collectors Comics eBay business.
As Thomas and David learned the ins and outs of the back issue comic business, they began to notice a disturbing trend: eBay had more than its fair share of scammers. The brothers were scammed out of a number of comics over the years by unscrupulous buyers, but also noticed the sellers who weren’t exactly on the up-and-up.
The catalyst that led them to look beyond eBay and realize “there has to be a better way,” was when they lost a nice-looking copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 to a scammer. While it was a blow to the business, it led Thomas and David to really look hard at everything eBay was doing. Not only that, but they also began to study and critique all the platforms that were selling comics. They quickly took note of the positives and negatives of each platform.
“We started to come up with solutions for each of the problems that we encountered. In doing so, we decided it was up to us to make these changes that we wanted to see in the industry for ourselves and for everyone else who felt like we did.”
Birth of the Collectors Comics Site
“We set out to create a platform that did not beat sellers down with extremely high fees,” said Thomas. “When you have high selling fees and you are starting out as a comic book seller, it is nearly impossible to get any momentum when all of your profits are eaten up by fees. We wanted to make it easier for others to build and grow their comic businesses than it was for us when we started. We felt this would help the comic industry/community as a whole. We also wanted to remove all of the scamming that was going on for both collectors and sellers. As a collector, being scammed out of a big-ticket item that you purchase is devastating and can completely turn you off from collecting (especially if you are new to it). And for sellers, being scammed out of big sales from buyers who abuse eBay’s claim system can have that same affect.”
To achieve this, Thomas and David vet each and every one of the sellers on the site’s marketplace and in their auctions. To give new sellers a leg up, they offer a no-fee selling environment, a tool that also attracts buyers as the sellers are more willing to make deals and don’t have to jack up prices to pay for fees. As Thomas sees it, it’s a win-win proposition for buyers and sellers.
Collectors Comics holds quarterly auctions. Among the big-ticket sales in their Winter Featured Auction were a 2.5 graded copy of X-Men #1 selling for $7,700, a 9.8 graded copy of Special Marvel Edition #15 going for $5,455, and an 8.5 graded copy of Amazing Spider-Man #129 selling for $2,600. The Collectors Comics marketplace boasts an impressive array of high to mid-grade Golden and Silver Age comics, including a 9.6 graded Adventure Comics #40 (the first appearance of the Golden Age Sandman) and a 6.5 graded Fantastic Four #4, among many others.
While Thomas wouldn’t drop any hints regarding books that would be included in the Spring Featured Auction, he did say,
“we are continually working on improving the auction platform in between each auction, making changes and updates with each auction that we host. Our goal is to have the work we are doing on our quarterly Featured Auctions finished by the end of 2023, although we will continually make improvements to them throughout the years. Once the quarterly auctions are completed, we are moving our focus to our upcoming weekly auctions.”
Collectors Comics Marketplace
Thomas and David take the same no-fees approach to the site’s marketplace. While this portion of the site is still in ‘beta’ mode, the brothers want to create a platform that will enable sellers to grow their business and attract collectors.
“The goal with the Marketplace is to provide collectors with a place where they will always be able to find great comics and where they can rest easy knowing that we are vetting all of the sellers who sell on the platform. This helps collectors to have that peace of mind knowing that the comics they are buying are being sold be reputable members of the comic community. A nice bonus is that they can generally find comics at better prices because the sellers are not paying any fees to sell the comics. This allows the seller to pass some savings on to the buyers.”
One of the questions I always ask anyone I meet for the first time in the comic book community is, “What was the first comic you remember reading or purchasing?” For Thomas, the answer was easy.
“Amazing Spider-Man #129 featuring the first appearance of The Punisher! This was the very first vintage comic book that I ever bought. I just love the yellow cover and the dynamic image! It also features the first appearance of the Jackal… who doesn’t love that guy?”
Spoken like a true collector, and it’s that collector’s mindset that is helping Thomas and his brother David strive to create a safer and better marketplace for the comic book community.
*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.
I think what Thomas and David are doing is great. I’ve been watching David’s videos on YouTube for quite a while now. They are very informative about the comic market. I decided to take the plunge and send 75 of my own CGC graded comics for the upcoming Spring auction. As a seller I don’t know how you can beat it honestly. No fees. NONE. You ship your comics to them. They list them and after they sell they ship them to the buyers. You get paid what you sell the books for. Pretty darn nice if you ask me. I think it’s great if you are a buyer too. No buyer’s premium or anything like that. $20 shipping for 1 book then $5 for each additional book so the more you buy the better the cost per book from a shipping standpoint.
This is my second time sending books to Thomas and David for their upcoming auction. Those guys are the best, and I wish them nothing but good fortune.