Comic Book Ownership: Inventory Control

by Norman Robinson III

avengers-28-202x300 Comic Book Ownership: Inventory Control“The things that we own, sometimes own us.” Comic books are no exception to that rule. Every comic book collector loves the hunt for that rare copy, first print, first appearance, rare finds, great speculations, and/or essential picks to complete his collection. But what do you do when your collection is overflowing and you cannot contain it? Here is a guide to maintaining inventory control on your comics.

The hunt is really the best part of comic book collecting. The treasure hunt is fun, exciting and you just might catch something. Let’s hope it is a comic and not Covid-19. Finding that special issue you need, creates a “contact high” so to speak.

Unfortunately, after dozens of hunts, searches, and treasure troves at your LCS, garage sale, or favorite vendor; what is the end result? Yep, inventory up the whazoo! So what to do with this inventory? Do you alphabetize it, bag and board, stick them in the cupboard, throw them in the garage (Never do this last one by the way!) Think of Death Valley as the hottest spot in America and your garage as runner up. The damage heat does to paper is scary. Perhaps these comics should be shoved into your sock drawer. What to do? Perhaps by looking at the kind of collector you are it will give us a hint.

Types Of Collector

Collector-Elders-of-the-Universe-Marvel-Comics-Avengers-166x300 Comic Book Ownership: Inventory ControlWhat type of collector are you? There are four different varieties of collectors:

  1. Pure Collector- The sophisticated collector always bags and boards their books. Then they usually have some sort of inventory control. Finally, everything is stored in a climate-controlled room and can often be complete runs of things like Amazing Spider-Man.
  2. Investor- Usually a little more cut and dry, they simply secure the books and most don’t use inventory control. Their goal is to buy and hold until the book reaches max potential and then they get rid of it.
  3. Speculator- The speculator tends to have a ton of books and looks on most of it as inventory. However most speculators will not create inventory control, instead, they have a rough idea of their collection and try to stay up with the latest hot item. Their motto: Flip it! That is the key to being a speculator.
  4. Casual Reader- Someone who simply likes to read comics. More and more this person will probably graduate to digital. Occasionally, these folks are willing to sell books and could benefit from using GoCollect to get a price approximation.

Speculators and Comic Collectors

gomer-header2-300x240 Comic Book Ownership: Inventory ControlSpeculators everywhere are usually part collector, part investor, part fan, and which turns them into a whole new species: the Speculatorus-Comicus. The comic book market is vast and your average speculator is trying to supplement a paycheck off of the comics. I have only seen a few succeed. You need a very critical eye and as much knowledge as a completist collector.

Speculators do not try to improve inventory control as they are really after the quick buck. I mean they could learn inventory software, purchase storage units with climate control but they usually don’t. Typically, they simply bag and board into short boxes and flip it. Sometimes the most successful speculators have their own pressing business. You never thought this comic book collecting stuff would sound like work, did you? In the words of one motivated and slap-happy marine (Gomer Pile- TV 60s) “Surprise, surprise!”

 

Brainiac_DC_Comics-212x300 Comic Book Ownership: Inventory ControlInventory Software

Now I am a huge Excel fan having utilized it in my previous life as a corporate drone. If you want to go that route be my guest. Make sure you save everything and you will have to manually enter most of the data. However, for minimal cost, there are many alternatives for inventory control. Probably one of the best and cheapest is simply using GoCollect to record your inventory. It will give you a standard picture and the last sales for your book. This can be an unofficial price guide to help you buy and sell. I would suggest most speculators use the  GoCollect Pro-Service. Also, if your inventory is limited the investor could get a ton of information on book values utilizing GoCollect. To quote GoCollect:

“You can place a Watch on any comic in our database to be alerted here as new sales are discovered. You can choose which comics to watch, the type of grade you’re interested in (i.e. Universal, Signature Series, etc) and the range of grades you’d like to be alerted on. Simply visit the price guide page of any comic and click the Watch button to set things up. You can watch as many comics as you’d like”(GoCollect).

 

spock Comic Book Ownership: Inventory ControlAlternatives

However in the immortal words of Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), “Mr. Scott, there are always alternatives.” One such inventory alternative that I use along with GoCollect is CLZ. This cloud-based program is fairly inexpensive, you can buy a scanner and simply zap the newer comics into your database. It allows you to set whatever row criteria you need: grade, issue number, damage, etc… CLZ also comes with a full library of comic books with pictures. It is simple, backups constantly to the cloud, and will not fail if your hard drive blows up, in my humble opinion. Recently, GoCollect has partnered with CLZ to provide detailed pricing information on your books. Tryout either CLZ or GoCollect or even both you won’t be disappointed.

 

avengers-28-202x300 Comic Book Ownership: Inventory ControlAvengers #28

There is actually a villain that reminds me of the comic book collector in Marvel. He is one of the Elders of the Universe: The Collector. He first appeared in was created in 1966 by STan Lee and Jack Kirby; Giant-Man becomes Goliath and it also has the first appearance of the Collector. This is a solid minor key from the Silver Age and worthy of investment. How did it stand up YTD?

 

 

 

Title Grade Last Sale CGC Census Return
Avengers 28 9.8 $5250 2 N/A
5.5 $150 28 +42% YTD
4.5 $38 13 -19% YTD

 

collector-chick-Maverdevia-300x291 Comic Book Ownership: Inventory ControlConclusion

These Silver Age books like Avengers 28  are going to get harder and harder to find. Right now they seem a dime a dozen. But that won’t last, I predict within a couple of years, you won’t be able to pick this book up due to rarity for under a $300 in grade 5.5. I mean look at those CGC census numbers only 26 books outstanding in 5.5! Once  Disney bounces back from disaster the rarity of these Silver Age books will stand out. The 20th Century is quickly fading in the rearview mirror and just like land they ain’t making any of these Silver Age collectibles.

Speaking of rarity, The Collector had such sophisticated inventory control he had one of every living thing from throughout the Universe. He took it to the point of madness, his collection became his mania. Make sure you know what you own by getting some inventory control; and don’t let the inventory own you!

 

GoCollect is the #1 comic book price guide for tracking sales data of all graded comic books in real-time. Fair market values are now at your fingertips. Check out all the features at www.gocollect.com.

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8 comments

Brett The Comic Guy June 16, 2020 - 8:18 am

I built a “Vault “ to store my collection/ investment in. It is fireproof, temperature controlled, dust proof with full security. The Vault can hold 300,000 comics so every series has it own box and each issues is individually bagged and boarded acid free.

Reply
Norman Robinson III July 3, 2020 - 8:33 am

Post a pic on our Facebook website would love to see it, minus any address of course. Thanks for reading. Nam

Reply
Aran Rodgers June 16, 2020 - 11:27 am

Thanks Norman you’re articles are the best I can relate to what you sayin and organization and protection and foresight is the keys to having a hot comic that might be worth something. Thanks again and stay safe

Reply
Norman Robinson III July 3, 2020 - 8:32 am

thanks for reading, Nam

Reply
Josh June 16, 2020 - 4:58 pm

Man…I’m old school….everything gets bagged an boarded, everything gets entered into my excel sheet…only some get their own long boxes and put in order. Have over 8.5k now….next year everything get organized and most get the process of selling underway!! My excel started life as a Lotus 123 sheet!!!

Reply
Norman Robinson III July 3, 2020 - 8:32 am

Good Lord, Lotus! You are the man on excel with 8.5K entries, keep going. Thanks for reading, Nam

Reply
Billyjockey June 17, 2020 - 9:36 pm

I’d like to see more about Golden Age and investing.

Reply
Norman Robinson III July 3, 2020 - 8:31 am

okay, will do one for you, Billy. What is your favorite comic series from that era? Nam

Reply

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