Every once in a while, a major seller will activate a bunch of comics by putting them for sale on a marketplace all at once. Whether from a flood of consignment sales, new inventory from a major buy and grade, or just getting back in the routine of selling after a lull, this can potentially cause a pricing phase-shift for certain books. How do you compete to grow your collection on a flooded market and what lessons can we learn from a seller’s perspective?
I am always for more availability of comics on the market. In trying to make your collection best, the more opportunities, the better. However, the truth of the matter is I don’t need 1 copy of X-Force #2 in a 9.8 grade, let alone the 7 you just posted in the past 20 minutes. Every once in a while, there will be the unlikely case where something rare and valuable slips through the screen between all the rest of the crap, but more often than not, we are looking at multiple copies of X-Force #2 situations. To make things a bit more complicated, a few sellers have the gall to list each of the 7 copies of the book at different prices.
There is a lesson in economics, and basic business, to be learned from these examples. First, always look for an opportune time to post a comic for sale. If there are others on the market that are under-priced or if there is a flooding of inventory, you may want to wait. Making your sales offerings the only available copies on the market is best if you can achieve it. Why a seller would consciously choose to compete against themselves on a competitive market is beyond me, and a topic to be investigated.
Pricing can be tricky. Buyers will throw out terms like “GPA” and “Recent Sales” but a good seller knows that is just a buyer trying to talk a discount into the desired book knowing that the data they are using is irrelevant at the moment. The price of a book is the price it can, and will, sell for. In this day of announcements, conjecture, and plain speculation (*ahem), prices can go wild at the drop of a rumor (have you heard about the Rocket Racer solo movie?). The open market determines price, and the comic market is wild and unpredictable. If a book has not been sold in a while or is extremely rare or desirable, you may want to test pricing at a higher level to factor for the unknown. In the case of a more common book, like X-Force #2, you are probably going to settle near market price.
Closely watching a seller who is prevalent on the market can help you locate and snag up any comics that may be diamonds in the rough, or mis-priced compared to its counterparts. Perhaps a Newsstand copy could be listed for the same price as a Direct Edition copy, making it a value play. Older comics can be priced to sell and not updated for recent market action when a mass sell occurs. Keep your eyes open. Know what to search for.
Do you hate when a seller drops the market on a comic with inventory? How many copies of X-Force #2 are you holding in your collection? Drop your comments and join the speculation!
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