Timing the market is an investing phrase used across many different asset classes, including comic books! Let’s talk about comic book market timing and whether or not you need to be concerned about it as a new collector.
When it comes to investing in comic books or even just collecting comic books, you want to attempt to pay the best price for a given book when you make a purchase. No one wants to buy at the height of any price, but how does a new collector know if a book has hit its peak or is still on the rise? Let’s talk about that in further detail…
Comic Book Market Timing
With current prices for many books at all-time highs, it’s hard for new collectors to know whether or not a key comic book purchase is really worth it or if they are just buying into the hype at the wrong time. To be fair, even seasoned collectors are asking themselves the same questions! No one wants to but at the peak, everyone wants to get a deal, or at least break even in the long run. So, let’s look at some factors to consider when you are looking to purchase a key book.
- Is there an upcoming movie/TV show?
- Is this a modern speculative book?
- How long has this book been on the rise?
- What is driving the value of this book?
Where Does Hype Come From?
A big driver in a lot of speculative books, within the past decade, has been upcoming movie and TV show hype. If the movie or show has yet to come out, speculators are typically flooding the market with copies of a given book to buy and/or sell which typically drives the price up. If you are set on purchasing a certain key book that falls into this hyped category, consider waiting until after the movie or show has premiered. You will typically see a decrease in value at that point. Better yet, look for keys that are not associated with an upcoming movie that might be dormant at the current time.
Modern books tend to rise and fall quickly in price, while pre-1980 books tend to hold their value, in general. There are fewer of these books in high grade, so after the hype has worn off, the book typically has a sustained bump in value rather than going back down to its original price. Even lower, in some cases.
What to Look For
Are you looking to collect and invest at the same time? Consider researching silver age and golden age books. Look for those that have held their value over the course of decades, not just a year or two. Big picture investing is key if you want to hold a book for the long term and have your investment appreciate over time. Do your homework before you make your purchase, it will pay off in the long run. Look for books that have an upward trend but haven’t “apexed” or hit their high just yet.
What key aspect of this particular book you want to purchase is actually driving the value? Is it movie hype as previously mentioned or is it a first appearance of a rumored villain/supporting character? It’s hard to say what the staying power will be for villains and/or supporting characters. Are you really looking to collect and invest in books that hold their value? Consider focusing on key characters and/or key events that have held their value over the years.
Do your research, collect what you enjoy, and have fun in the process!
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