Comic Book Inventory: Quality Over Quantity

by Norman Robinson III

215129_65766f9fa46e9a40362cb97ac6e804554443fc90-196x300 Comic Book Inventory: Quality Over QuantitySpeculators come in all types from the occasional buyer of key comics to speculators who swap comics daily and press them into big speculative money. Most people start out speculating randomly. They buy anything and everything, resulting in the purchase of too many comics. As time goes by, a speculator’s inventory grows; eventually, the logistics and housing of the comics become an organizational nightmare. Most collectors who speculate take this in stride. But the worst thing that can happen to a speculator is to lose control of inventory.

Inventory control can be maintained through software, physical inventory lists, alpha-numerical organization of containers, and if all else fails retaining inventory control with memory in your “little grey matter.” These are all good choices to control inventory, but my answer is to prevent over expanded inventory in the first place. My solution? My solution is simple: upgrade the quality of what you buy. Think of it as quality over quantity. Many folks chase the ordinary keys, and just about everything that is hot. Can money be made going after higher-end books not currently receiving media buzz?

Marvel Super-Heroes #1

This is the first Marvel One-Shot. In addition, this book has the origin of Daredevil retold from his book Daredevil #1. Also, Marvel Super-Heroes #1 has a beautiful cover displaying the original yellow Daredevil suit. This is a Silver Age book which caught me by surprise because it has a $.25 cent cover price. Now I have come across these quite often, overlooked probably as Bronze Era and most of the time I pass on them.

The other day I attended a garage sale that was primarily for comics. In the cheapie bins, I found a copy of this book but noticed the quality of it was exceptional. The owner wanted $20 which was a great deal for me. While inspecting the book he mentioned it was in near-mint condition. He went on, “you probably made out on the deal.” Now, this is not a sought after book, just a minor key. But that is exactly the point, by keeping an eye out for exceptional quality in a book you can score some solid returns. They can make either good speculation or great long-term investments. Let’s see what the long-term returns for Marvel Super-Heroes #1 has in store for us. We are estimating the book will come back from CGC as at least a very-fine to near mint.

Daredevil001_14-284x300 Comic Book Inventory: Quality Over QuantityLong-Term

  • Grade 9.8 $3100 FMV returns positive +46.7% last sale $2500
  • Grade 9.6 $300 FMV returns negative -26.6% last sale $204
  • Grade 9.4 $180 FMV returns negative -0.9% last sale $156
  • Grade 9.2 $150 FMV returns positive +19.4% last sale $180
  • Grade 9.0 $100 FMV returns positive +24.2% last sale $125

If we figure in the cost of CGC and shipping I am looking at $24 for economy grading and another $20 for shipping. The total sub-cost is around $44 which drops significantly if at least two books are sent. But with $44 to CGC and $20 for the initial comic book purchase, my total cost was $64. If the worst happens and I get a 9.0 then the value would be around $125 and I would have doubled my money. If this is the worst-case scenario then it appears to be a satisfactory investment.

What if we look at a “pie in the sky” view for the potential speculation return? Say we get lucky with a 9.8; then you could be looking at a huge windfall. The last book sold for $2500 that represents 39 times your initial investment for Marvel Super-Heroes #1. Now the purchase of quality over quantity is a little less opaque. Speculators big and small need to keep an eye out, when they come upon high-quality minimalist keys, inspect them closely and to quote my Uncle Thomas, “Buy ’em all!”

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