Comic Market Manipulation: Impact on Investors & Collectors

by Joseph Overaitis

042822A-1-1024x536 Comic Market Manipulation: Impact on Investors & CollectorsComic market manipulation is talked about only in passing among investors and collectors.  I would like to think that all comic book deals are non-problematic, but I am an attorney and know better.  I know that comic market manipulation can occur on a large scale or on a micro-level.  One has to be wary not to fall victim to this real problem in the market.

If You are Not Cheating, You are Not Trying

Regulated vs Unregulated 041922A-300x157 Comic Market Manipulation: Impact on Investors & Collectors

If you buy regulated investments, you must follow the rules set forth for those assets. Individuals that violate those conditions face either fines, incarceration, or both.  Recently I wrote about Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase. In studying his purchase, you must also realize there were some questionable dealings that will probably be investigated.  He weighed the penalties and looked at the outcomes to evaluate if it was worth him to make the purchase even if he faces possible sanctions. That is part of the game investors understand.

Comic book manipulators never really consider market manipulation as wrong because there are no real penalties involved with those that engage in that practice. We either accept it as part of the hobby or ignore it as fiction created by journalists.

Comic book market manipulation is real and it is about time we face it.

Penalties as Deterrence?Screenshot-2022-04-28-093546-300x189 Comic Market Manipulation: Impact on Investors & Collectors

Penalties matter in our world.  In college football, defensive players are instructed by coaches that if they are beaten in pass coverage they should commit pass interference if the play would result in a touchdown or large gain. The rationale is that pass interference in college is only a 15-yard penalty.  In pro football, the ball will be placed at the spot of the foul.  Pro players are much more reluctant to commit pass interference because of this difference.  In comic book investing, there are no penalties. That should make you all the more observant when it comes to comic book market movements.

Type of Manipulation #1 – Innocent Reports or Mind Control

Innocent Prodding or Nefarious Plan?

We all see it on television.  Investors recommend a hot stock pick that is going to appreciate in value.  There are disclaimers on the screen, but you still see those picks.  Many investors will buy or sell those assets based upon those recommendations.  These “hot picks” also happen in the comic book marketplace.  We make recommendations or highlight books and the market responds.  The question you have to always ask is did the author benefit from the pick and was the pick based upon sound research?

evil-superman-2-e1651153347235-300x183 Comic Market Manipulation: Impact on Investors & Collectors

Example

In my Bronze Age report, I mentioned  Marvel Premier #28.   The book was one I saw moving, so I mentioned it as a possible player in the future.  That issue picked up steam and rose on the charts because demand increased.  I was only reporting on the numbers.

I did not benefit but the result was still evident. The sales numbers were there for all to see and I only brought it to the attention of readers.  I did not base it upon an internet rumor or casual observation.  You can report sales, but suggesting a book is hot should require more than those characteristics.

Trick

Read the disclosures.  Does the author back up recommendations with sales data or outside information?  Did the author then take the sale data and dig deeper?  It is also important if they reveal if they own the book or are looking for it.  I am always amazed at how casual observations of one store or location can make a book hot or not.  This is a global market and we must treat it as such. Finally, if the report comes from a comic book site or store owner, look to see if they are selling or buying that book.  You will be amazed at how many times that hot book they are suggesting is a book they are also trying to sell.

Type of Manipulation #2… The Covert Investor Best-comics-watchmen-e1651158619390-300x290 Comic Market Manipulation: Impact on Investors & Collectors

GoCollect tracks the sale of graded books on eBay, Heritage Auctions, and other sites.  Those sales are then reported to you.  The data is there for all to see.  We provide the reader with knowledge, and knowledge is power.  The one thing a covert investor does not want to do is to give you that power.

Elon Musk bought his shares without possibly notifying the SEC, nor did he want to join the Twitter Board because it would have restricted the number of shares he could own. He used the rules of the game to his advantage.  He is willing to pay a price to meet his goals.

Sadly, so many comic book investors miss the tricks of the trade among “covert collectors”.  You may even be one and not even know it!

Example

I have actually been tracking sales that do not appear on the GoCollect site.  I cannot do this for all books, so I conduct it for those books whose data warrants further inspection.  These issues can be seen moving in raw grades with an uptick/downtick in frequency.  Prices will also increase/decrease in a way that contradicts the reported sales in GoCollect.  Like Moon Knight, these individuals are doing their best not to leave a footprint in the sand that can be traced. eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6ImMwYzU3MGQ5LWM1YjYtNDQ5Mi04Yjg2LTVlZGY1NzA3OTI2Yi5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-190x300 Comic Market Manipulation: Impact on Investors & Collectors

Battlestar Galactica #1 was a book I saw movement in a few months ago in the raw market. This book was usually sold with other issues of the series run or by itself for very low sales prices.  This book could be found in the wild easily, so prices were down. Recently, I started to see these issues moving at higher prices.  The next thing I saw were graded books starting to move.  This issue is now one of the books that appeared on the Bronze Age Top #100 list in position number  #15.

The reason I mention this is because of what an investor told me if I promised not to mention their name or location.  This individual indicated that they purchase raw books first because once they buy the graded books they will be caught by the GoCollect tool and their “hot” picks will be known.  They want to suppress the data to take advantage of their information before others do so they can maximize their return on investment.

Trick

Follow an auction and note the sales price.  Later look for the feedback on the item.  I have found that some sites will report the first and last digit of the screen name when the auction is revealed.  You will get to know that buyer even if you do not “know” them.  I did that for the buyer mentioned above.  I knew one book they bought that was kind of rare and then saw the initials again in another auction because this person targets a particular type of book.  Finally, I made a comment about their bids and when they asked how I knew it was them I told them my secret.  The person said they will not leave feedback anymore because it leaves a footprint for people like me to track. af0979f5d225110262f3805ec441c6d0-800-e1651159437369-300x221 Comic Market Manipulation: Impact on Investors & Collectors

You should also check raw books to see how those markets are moving.  I saw He-Man keys moving raw long before you started to see slabbed copies move. You may not want to buy raw, but use that data to see if a book is suddenly moving and if the price is impacted.

Type of Manipulation #3…Shill Bidding

Abnormal bids are interesting. These bids stick out and are easy to identify.  The problem is that sometimes these bids may be from new or uneducated buyers looking to purchase an item.  Other times, it may be a book that someone really wants and has to have.   These may be innocent “mistakes” but that does not mean it impacts the market.  The FMV of items will increase, so it is a benefit to sellers.  The concern I always have is when these appear at auctions.  I always look at auctions with abnormal bids carefully.

Example

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6ImMzMTY0M2UzLTVlMGQtNDM1Ni05MzE2LWQ1OTM2NTdjOTc1OC5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-195x300 Comic Market Manipulation: Impact on Investors & CollectorsSpawn #1 is a very common book; eBay has numerous copies available in every condition. On April 16, 2022, a 9.8 copy sold at an eBay auction for $232.50.  What makes this sale stand out is that a copy sold a day before for the fixed price of $150 in the same condition. A day later, you had a best offer accepted that was less than the $194.99 asking price as well as an auction for $161.  Maybe it was because of shipping prices or the buyer’s rating, but sales like this always make me wonder if you have a very innocent buyer or something at play.

It would be extremely different to manipulate Spawn #1 with only one sale, but that does not mean it cannot be done. An author writes about Spawn #1 selling for over $230 and it may create a buzz that takes hold.  eBay buyers react and the needle starts to move upwards.  FOMO is a powerful motivator.

Trick

Buyers should always check the individual sales to see what the range of prices are in order to make an informed decision.  eBay bidders should also be wary of second chance offers. Years ago, I received a second chance offer because the buyer changed their mind.  The offer was for my last bid.  The problem was that if that person was bidding me up, my take was that my second chance offer should have been the last bid before the winner started bidding.  My counteroffer was refused.  The book sold for well below my counteroffer at a later date.  I believe the person used someone to bid up the item and then wanted me to pay the artificially raised price because their bidder won by accident.  This happens on Facebook a lot, where there are even less protections.

Conclusion market-manipulation-concept-vector-7316635-e1651159882275-300x300 Comic Market Manipulation: Impact on Investors & Collectors

Market manipulation exists.  You may find it in the ways I described or other ways out there in the comic book marketplace.  You can defeat the impact of market manipulation by admitting it exists and then perform your research on comic issues and people.

If you are conducting a Facebook auction, maybe vet each bidder to see that they are going to pay for the book if they win and buyers, look to see who is bidding against you.  Identify bad actors who have developed a reputation for less than honorable conduct.

You should also research prices and auctions and compare them to other sales to see if the “big sale” was an abnormality.  Finally, research all these “hot picks” to see if the information is sound and the person providing it is trustworthy.

The little time you may spend doing these things may save you in the long run.

What advice do you have to combat market manipulation? Share in the comments!

00080221C_Green-Footer Comic Market Manipulation: Impact on Investors & Collectors*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent investment advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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37 comments

Jay Pele May 1, 2022 - 12:57 pm

Figure out the grade range you want and what you want to pay for a comic, and then wait. Eventually you’ll get what you want for the price you want, as long as your price is within the ballpark of what’s reasonable. Maybe I’m weird, but I like to play that game, I enjoy waiting and postponing gratification, to me it makes getting that book all the more satisfying.

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Joseph Overaitis May 2, 2022 - 10:38 am

Jay

Sound advice as always. Your advice is the perfect FOMO defense!!!

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Curt M May 1, 2022 - 2:39 pm

What a great article, thanks for sharing your ideas
I just got back into the hobby and starting my slab collection and sending raw comics that I had for 30 plus years off to be slabbed. The idea of looking at this as a business instead of a hobby is a mature viewpoint. Once again thanks for the modern direction of comic book collecting.

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Joseph Overaitis May 2, 2022 - 10:37 am

Curt

Thanks for the comments. We can look at this from a collecting or investing viewpoint. The one area we all have to agree is that they both involve spending money. Collectors all the time say they are not worried about the investing aspect but those sales influence the price collectors pay for their items.

The books you purchased years ago may now be worth more than some other “legitimate” investments you possess. I had case where an elderly woman was said to be low income. She had only a small house, no assets, oh and a collection of comic books and other collectibles that sold for over $450000 at auction. Have to take those books serious now LOL

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Frank Lopiccolo May 1, 2022 - 3:40 pm

Very good article for the new collectors & dealers that are out there. For the rest of us, this kind of manipulation has been going on for MANY years. And not just in Comic Books. PWCC had been selling Sports Cards for awhile on E-bay. Did millions of dollars in sales a year. Until they were accused of Shill Bidding, then E-bay removed their account. PWCC then went and sent up their own auction website. Who knows if the sale prices on there are legit…….As far as #2: The Covert Investor, while it’s technically manipulation, it’s NOT unethical or nefarious. Like #1 & #3 are. And glad to see you “realize there were some questionable dealings that will probably be investigated,” regarding Elon’s buying of Twitter.

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Joseph Overaitis May 2, 2022 - 10:16 am

Frank

I calls them as I sees them. Elon played the game and will pay the price. Drive 45 in a 40 and you know there is a chance you will get caught and if you do you will pay the price. Comic books do not have that price. The card business was awful for that practice. I have also been at some other auction houses were I believe the practice was present. I am always wary of those places that have their own platforms. You bid on items and it amazes me that you can win on your final number LOL. What are the odds LOL. The #2 Covert investor is unique in that they are manipulating the timing and price of the asset in much the same way Elon did. It was a brilliant (ignore ideology) move on his part to buy so low and put himself in that position to be able to make the offer. The covert investors are doing the same. Those sales rarely track because it is hard to do with the lack of firm condition grading. Not unethical because as I have been told.. no rules in comic buying or selling LOL.

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Grog Funa May 1, 2022 - 4:38 pm

Excellent advice on a serious topic. I sometimes question the “hot” books that are mentioned by the professional comic vloggers. Some of them come across as used car sales men hyping-up books instead of being knowledgable leaders in our hobby. That’s why I enjoy following “Bronze and Modern Gods”. I trust their info because they are always very transparent on their connection to the books that they talk about. I just hope that the majority of comic buyers are in it for the long game and not just in it for the quick buck. Credibility can make or break a hobby/investment.

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Kwasi Jenkins May 1, 2022 - 5:26 pm

If you just buy what you actually like & read you can avoid this. The problem with you “investors” is that you are trying to put a round peg in a square hole.

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Joseph Overaitis May 1, 2022 - 7:07 pm

Kwasi

This article also applies to collectors. In fact collectors are the most vulnerable. Collectors want items sometimes regardless of price and are willing to pay for it. Years ago I went to a comic book store that told collectors of Alpha Flight that issue 109 was almost sold out but that they had a “one” book they could let me have for an inflated price even though I was a regular customer who bought AF. I needed it to keep my run intact and this shop owner took advantage of my need to collect and exploited it. If you like you read you can avoid this only applies if you are willing to NOT buy an issue when it is being manipulated.

Think of it this way. Pick a title you like and want to read. Imagine now something happened and your LCS says they can get it to you but now you have to pay $35 for the book that maybe costs $5. Again you are not buying as an investor so would you pay that price if it was something you liked to read? Curious if there is a price where buying what you like has a price limit

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Homeboy May 1, 2022 - 9:11 pm

Honestly, a book is worth what someone is willing to pay. I don’t agree the shop owner exploited and took advantage of you. You chose to buy the book. You had every right to walk away. If there was absolutely no other choice of where to buy the book, then “yes”, the shop owner took advantage. But you could’ve shopped elsewhere. Nobody forced you to buy that specific book. The shop owner is not obligated to sell you the book at a price that suits you.

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Joseph Overaitis May 2, 2022 - 10:07 am

Homeboy

Great comments. I agree with you that no LCS has a duty to charge me what I think is a fair price. The problem was that there were a few comic book shops who did this in the area. If they colluded and all agree to restrict supply so prices went up and they all benefitted. That is what happened in my case. I found out from other fans what was happening because everyone experienced the same thing. I also found a comic book shop near me with a very reputable owner. Never again did I have my books I pulled from Previews disappear only to be sold by owners for inflated prices (was common practice at the closed store if book got hot). Many of those comic book shops who sought to gouge fans like this closed their doors.

PS Good comments. Keep them coming!!!

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silverbooks May 1, 2022 - 5:57 pm

Thank you for the article

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Joseph Overaitis May 1, 2022 - 7:01 pm

Silver

No need to thank me. I want to thank you though for the comment. It guides me on what I write. I want to hear your voices because they make up the comic book community so keep them coming.

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Edward May 1, 2022 - 7:26 pm

A red flag is raised for me whenever there’s an outlier — something sells for far more or far less than surrounding sales.

Sometimes these sales cluster — multiple different copies of a book, or multiple sales of the exact same book — and that signals FMV manipulation.

Have seen this on a few obscure independents, where raws generally sell for $5 but a few graded 9.8s sell for $500+. All to the same buyers.

Sets up a presumption of value, which isn’t remotely accurate — but someone will see $5 raws and buy ’em all up, thinking they’ll turn to gold after a CGC pre-screen …

Who knows, maybe they’ll get lucky and some other chum will swipe the 9.8s for $300 as a seeming markdown from the $500 precedent.

I’ve reported data like this — because seriously, who honestly wants that many copies of Adolescent Radioactive Blackbelt Hamsters? — but there’s no way to definitively prove manipulation, so the data sits on record.

Always DYOR.

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Joseph Overaitis May 1, 2022 - 8:44 pm

Edward

Thank you for the comment. I see the same data and wonder the same things. There has to be more to it than something innocent. The biggest area I think this is possible is in the Variant market where the numbers are small and easier to manipulate.

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Homeboy May 1, 2022 - 9:17 pm

I watched a Wolverine Limited Series #2 sell for +$1200 on ComicLink in January. No idea how that happened. I just assumed it was 2 ego driven bidders not wanting to stand down. Book is about $500 FMV. If it’s someone trying to manipulate the price, don’t they run the risk of actually winning the auction and owning the book?

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Joseph Overaitis May 2, 2022 - 10:02 am

Homeboy

They do but now you have people who report the sale. Next you have people believing that this book is now in play and going up in value, so all issues become valuable. You would have to own quite a few copies of the book to make it but Wolverine #2 is a book that is quite common so it can be done. What though if the buyer and seller are in on it? No money changes hands except the commission fee paid to the auction house…You now have FOMO that this book is in play and if you are owning the book you can make some money. that is what scares me and why I study my numbers!!!

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John Thompson May 2, 2022 - 3:04 am

What a bizarrely written article. And you talk about comic book market manipulation and don’t mention “wash sales” even once.

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Joseph Overaitis May 2, 2022 - 9:56 am

John

I follow investments and wash sales. The problem was that they are much much harder to find in comic books. I see them but again they are harder to prove then the opposite. I have seen people dump books but wash sales can be a little more sophisticated. That said I am seeing the first appearances of the Wonder Twins getting offered for low prices than before in greater numbers on boards.

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Kenloi May 2, 2022 - 4:31 am

In this mad day and age any mention of any book now creates a FOMO. If innocent there isnt anything wrong with that. Eagerness to share a thought is fine. Just another form of communication. The problem at the moment is so many people buying and selling immediately for profit. Nothing wrong with that as long as taxes are declared if necessary.Comic books have become the new form of monetary value. For how long who knows? 1990s comics are now being pushed at all of us on media sites to encourage us to buy. Ok nothing wrong with business. Collectors know 1990s books were highly printed and sometimes with poor art. Usually that poor art was enough to discourage anyone to properly read the story. Maybe many 1990s comics did actually have reasonable storylines.I hasten to add there are many copper age classic comics to find. In this media age the movieverse can promote these stories sometimes and encourage people to buy then sell. Many people are worrying about a comic burst in the near future.Quality and in genuine demand comics of all eras will be fine if this happens. Artificial promotion which is happening to many below par comics at present will always ride the rocky road. Speculators will move elsewhere if this happens.To collectors building a collection this doesnt matter so much as they will only sell when they deem the time is right. Everything is manipulated in this day and age, sometimes we spot it sometimes we don’t. Unfortuneatly money has spoken for so long we do not know anything else…..

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Joseph Overaitis May 2, 2022 - 9:53 am

Kenloi

Spot on as always. We tend to ignore them and yet we all see it.

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Alex May 2, 2022 - 7:53 am

I’m confused. Why would someone hide their purchase price? Wouldn’t they want the thing they’re buying to become hot and increase in value? Is it because they plan to continue buying more of the same issue, and only then start trying to raise the market value after they have a huge amount of it?

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Joseph Overaitis May 2, 2022 - 9:52 am

Alex

You hit in on the head. This done in the stock market by wealthy individuals who want to make their move before others see what is happening. It is very hard to do on the stock market. Here you can buy all these raw copies and then start to make Graded purchases that raise the price and you have all those raw copies in your possession to sell.

Great first comment.. Keep them coming because it is insight like your first comment that makes these boards a better place!

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Rick May 3, 2022 - 10:37 am

I believe your last example is the most dangerous and evil. Shill bidding is not playing by the rules at all. Talking up a book seems shady, but falls more in the camp of caveat emptor. Or know and trust your news source. Buying ungraded books is just a strategy. I wouldn’t call that manipulation in any way.

On the shill bidding, in hindsight I was definitely a victim of this many times when I first started buying on eBay years ago. I was caught by both the second chance offer scheme as well as bidding against a shill (and getting an over-graded raw comic to boot!) Frankly, Ebay needs to police this better. The market/auction house that does this best tends to get more of my buying, especially expensive items.

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Joseph Overaitis May 3, 2022 - 10:58 am

Rick

Thanks for the comments. Sharing our experiences helps everyone. Those second chance offers are bad but it gets even worst if the person tells you to go outside of the eBay paypal system too. I rather pay more to an auction house I trust rather than take my chances to score a deal.

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Bryan May 3, 2022 - 11:29 pm

Joe – another spot on article, TY. One aspect of the market manipulation of comics I think also needs attention is the “Shill Listing”. While you discussed the “Shill Bidder” the “Shill Listing” is becoming far too prominent on ebay. When I begin my research on a book I would like to own and see a few listing outliers for exorbitant prices of the book, I start to see red flags immediately. Just like the shill bidder, those sellers are trying to pump up the FOMO on specific books and I resign myself to waiting for a better time to buy. I really wish ebay would let its bidders block/hide/remove individual sellers from search results. That would be a great start to the consequences of being a market manipulator!

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Joseph Overaitis May 4, 2022 - 4:07 pm

Bryan

I never thought of shill listings. I then realized you are correct because of all the people who think a book is worth that much because it is listed as such. I thought about a person “buying” a book for a high figure and paying eBay the fees. That is small price but it could pump up the figure that others think the book is worth Shill listings could also do that. Nice catch…Keep on posting because that is one we all need to look out for now.

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Frank Lopiccolo May 4, 2022 - 6:32 pm

Shill Listings on E-bay have been around for many years, and not just with Comic Books. There are SO MANY items listed with a “Buy It Now” price that are RIDICULOUSLY high! And some of these same listings are up on E-bay for years! In some cases, it doesn’t cost the seller a penny to keep the listing up indefinitely. They hope that a novice collector will eventually see it and buy it. Or it could be a non-collector who doesn’t know any better, and buys it as a gift for an actual collector. But before it sells, other novices and / or non-collectors see these listing and say to themselves: “Hey i got that same item, it’s worth that much!?!” So they end up putting their item up for sale at a similar price. Then you wind up with a bunch of listings for the same item at these ridiculously high prices. And when more and more people see the same item listed at these high prices, they think this is what the item actually goes for. What they should be doing is looking at the date the item was listed or last revised. You’ll see a lot of these items have been up on E-bay for a LONG time. That should tell you that NOBODY has been willing to pay that price the item is listed at.

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Joseph Overaitis May 4, 2022 - 10:19 pm

Frank

Do you think this practice makes other sellers’ prices higher as a result? I remember when I was listing items that it took in consideration other prices.

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Frank Lopiccolo May 5, 2022 - 12:26 pm

ABSOLUTELY Joseph! If you were looking to sell something and went on E-bay to see what it “sells” for, and let’s say you saw 5 listings for it at around $500 each, would you put your same item up for $50? You need to look at the completed sales for an item to see what it ACTUALLY sells for. (But of course those aren’t always accurate, because 2 people could have been in collusion with each other to create a phony sale to artificially inflate the price of an item) Anybody could list any item at ANY price, but that doesn’t mean that’s what it’s worth! It could have been on E-bay for years with nobody buying it.

Jay Pele May 4, 2022 - 11:25 pm

That’s why I keep asking Ebay for a “Ignore Seller” filter. I just want to block those guys from all searches and while browsing and forget them.

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Bryan May 4, 2022 - 11:39 pm

You want a good laugh? Search ebay for “UNCANNY X-MEN #141 CGC 9.3” You’ll see by the price you immediately have the right listing. Read the description, seriously funny 🙂

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GQGuyforComics May 7, 2022 - 12:04 am

again so informative and really help us especially those new collectors for knowledge, great stuff im always looking forward to your next content. id like to add one thing that also make it seems or this is prone to manipulation once a book is deem to get attention or become hot due to disney / news/ speculation etc. only then we see a lot of this books being put out or available on the market , such as exiles 3 , when the leak came out this book on ebay was a rare treat now you can have couple of pages when you search. look further you can find a book at a ridiculous price then you see a batch of being auction and you see books that are being put up way below those crazy prices. for international buyers such as me its truly disadvantage since we have limited reach of buying avenues to go to. maybe the uptick you see could be from international buyers , when i got back to this hobby 2 years ago, i started collected there was no cgc then no slab no grading ( yes im old ) , the first thing i want to know is to how to determine the market price , IG community mention this site, GPanalysis and of course the sold prices on ebay. there are all critical but the real time for me was ebay. anyways more power to you , again love this and cheers

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richbryant14 May 24, 2022 - 12:34 pm

Great Article! I was recently caught in the Conundrum of books on the Rise etc. What I didn’t see mentioned was folks using different sites to come to price. Let me Explain as this just happened 1 month ago and perhaps will serve others as a cautionary tale.

I decide to sell 5 books of Spawn all signed and 9.8 CGC. They were Spawn #1 and N.E. Spawn 300/ the Silver foil out of 1500 and Variant J and Regular 300. I went to five dealers; 2 looked at Go Collect, 1 looked at Ebay “bid only” as he said Buy it now was a hoax and could be shilled etc. The other guy looked at a site called GPA the other at 130pt as it is EBAY and my Slabs combined. You can imagine my frustration and then they all wanted at least 30% ROI. Factoring all this in (notwithstanding EBAY fees) of course they all had different values?!

The highest was 2400.00 for all five books minus 20% Ebay. Knowing what we know… Spawn has 2 million copies or so as it has been said. Based on GoCollect 23,000 graded of Spawn #1 3,833 are signed and even fewer for the N.E. edition.
My assumption is that the most value would be N.E. edition and the the Silver due to population? However, I was supposedly corrected or screwed that population is only factored in for the more vintage of comics? Bronze Silver Gold because less print etc I argued that if there is 1500 printed and 50 are signed then it doesn’t matter etc.

Anyway, I went in thinking the N.E was at least worth 2k to 3k and the Silver 300/1500 was at least 1k. I was surprised to find out that 3 out of the five thought that the value was much much less for the five books. 1 guy thought there was at least 4k there but alas he unfortunately could not pay that due to an order that he had three years ago that finally arrived and just dropped exactly 4k. Go figure.

I wound up selling for a paltry 1700.00 as I had to help out a family member immediately and felt I perhaps got the run around even when we saw that the N.E. was sold for 1800 AND 1900 respectively from 130pt as “real” sales. I was backed into a corner because the only guy that had the dough gave me the lowest offer in my estimation.

The moral of this is if you are going to sell make sure you have all the sites and their sales at your disposal at least 90 days worth otherwise you’re going in blind. I have found Go collect and GPA to be the best at the true value.

The funny thing is, I saw that he had Amazing Spiderman #129 CGC 3 and was priced at 8k and he simply replied very low print. A friend of mine went in to his shop a week ago and saw that he had my N.E. Spawn at 2k. He’s lucky I’m not a violent person.

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Joseph Overaitis May 24, 2022 - 10:37 pm

Welcome to the boards.

You have it perfectly with the 90 day averages. Look though at some of the transactions too. I recently wrote an article where some of the sales numbers are still off in regards to sales prices. These abnormal figures are impacting the markets. I am not talking a few buck but rather around $150 for a book that sell for around $500. That is a major swing LOL. Your story though rings true in that many of us have gone through that and sadly the only person who usually has the money is the lowest offer…best thing to do is maybe walk away though

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richbryant14 May 26, 2022 - 10:57 am

I hear ya an appreciate your reply… I just want to know and its obviously a moot point at this juncture but perhaps I try to find the book again; Is the Spawn #1 N.E. signed 9.8 low pop. And what is “fair” value? It is the hottest “copper” book I would surmise?

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Max June 22, 2022 - 5:25 pm

Thank you for this article! Love it
Also do not forget the cheap and plain manipulation of the authors (!!!!) of the comic cover variants. I had one recently. Had a conversation in the messenger of facebook where the guy wanted to sell comics for 200$ And with the additional sognature and art on the cover for 300$. From his words he did not have the first issue, but had only the last one. It appeared that recently he had a sales auction on whatnot and there i see first issues for 25$ signed (!!!!) and the last issue for 75$

Something is weong with people, i swear

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