Finding Comic Gold at Flea Markets

by Tim Cheatwood

download-95-300x157 Finding Comic Gold at Flea MarketsWhen going to a Flea Market or Trade Day, how do you narrow down what you are searching for?  Will you be looking for specific keys? In addition to that, are you looking for HOT books? Because if so, there is always the chance of only finding run-fillers for your collection.

Searching through the Vendor hidden Treasures

First off, every vendor at a flea market or trade day has a variety of items for sale. Secondly, making sure you utilize time spent looking and browsing efficiently is key. In addition to that, make sure you have enough time to scope out those rare vendors who have long boxes. While you’re going through the rows and aisles of hopeful sellers, be on the lookout for key things. Lastly, have fun doing it!!!!

Don’t Just Look for Long Boxes

Vendors selling comics at Flea Markets and trade days use a variety of methods to transport them and display them. For example, some vendors use comic long boxes and short boxes. Others utilize milk crates, and storage totes. Keep an eye out for these. In addition to this, some vendors will even just pile them up on a table for people to flip through.download-58 Finding Comic Gold at Flea Markets

You will want to make sure to keep an eye out for the vendors with comic boxes. Why is that? Simple. There could be an Amazing Spider-Man #300 in that box. Could there be a Hulk 181? The possibilities are endless as you begin the search.

Use Your Tools

Make use of tools at your disposal.  This is where GoCollect’s price guide will help you. Above all, it could set apart those who know and those who don’t.images-21 Finding Comic Gold at Flea Markets That Thundercats #1 you just pulled is a hot book right now.

Utilizing GoCollect’s FMV system could be essential in providing you with the tools needed. For example, did a book shoot up in value from a year ago? Perhaps not everyone knows it.  GoCollect can help you pick up those hot books for your collection. Or, if you’re a flipper, it can help you make some cash to put towards that next vacation.

One Man’s Trash is Another’s Treasure

Are you looking for run fillers in those boxes for your collection? Perhaps you are looking for a key you just found out about that morning. Lastly, did you make a list of the comics you need to fill out that run of Silver Surfer Vol.2?

Immersing yourself in a deluge of long boxes can become quite cumbersome. Therefore, remember why you are here and what you are looking for. You are here for the thrill of the hunt! Remember,  you are a treasure hunter seeking your claim to fortune or making a complete run seem close at hand.
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What is behind the next book you thumb through? What is in the box beside you that you have yet to search through? It is exciting finding a gem in the wild for a low price.

Personal Experience

Heading to the Flea Market on Sunday, I went in with zero expectations. First, there is a certain vendor at our local market who sells comics. Second, he used to own a comic shop back in the ’80s and ’90s. Third, his booth is a comic collector’s dream. And lastly, he has rows of long boxes and short boxes sitting on table after table. Every time I visit his booth I know I’m in for a treat.

This past weekend, I found several comics from the ’80s that I had as a child and lost growing up. Finding these childhood memories was such a thrilling experience. All I could think of was Saturday mornings watching my favorite cartoons like Thundercats, Transformers, and Visionaries. That feeling is something a lot of collectors long to have, no matter what they collect.download-61 Finding Comic Gold at Flea Markets

 What were your favorite comics as a child? Remembering getting them for the first time is a great memory. Strolling down memory lane in that way is exciting and can be soul-pleasing.

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Being able to find a Thundercats #1, Visionaries #1 and Dino Riders #1-3 for $1.00 each was an awesome experience. I was in awe at these finds due to the market explosion on books like Thundercats and Transformers.

Finding gems like these was a blessing for me, having grown up in the ’80s. At one time, I had these comics. They may not be an Amazing Spider-Man #129, but they hold a special place in my heart.

Not every search at a flea market ends with “grails” like key Spider-Man books or Batman books. Because of this, sometimes finding treasure means unlocking great memories like remembering going to the drug store with your dad and seeing Thundercats on a spinner rack in 1985.

The 1980s Live On

As you may be aware, there is a tremendous spike in ’80s nostalgia right now. Comic book prices are soaring for those beloved characters born out of the ’80s. And yes, keeping up with what is going on with this surge in ’80s characters and comics can be overwhelming. However, finding a solution is easy.

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Use GoCollect to check the current FMV for that Thundercats #1 or Transformers #1.  First, next time you go to your local flea market and wonder, “so what’s this Silver Hawks #1 worth”? Second, get out your phone and go to GoCollect.com.  Third, look up that issue by utilizing the search bar at the top of the page. Lastly, type in the comic in question and BAM…. current FMV is easily pulled up.

Transformers #1 was a low-cost book for years. Because of rising interest in 80’s culture, those days are over. Therefore, you must be willing to hand over a hundo for that comic in today’s market. Thundercats #1 is a $125-$200 raw book now.  Graded, it’s a high-dollar book.

Be Vigilant; Be Patient

Because you may or may not find gold at the flea market, don’t get discouraged.  I don’t strike it big every time I go. Sometimes I just find a few run-fillers I need for my collection. Without the thrill of the hunt, well, simply put, there would be no hunt.

Sometimes not having expectations can lead to even the smallest find being something great. Just finding a few Amazing Spider-Mans, or Spawn issues needed for a run may seem like a win. download-56 Finding Comic Gold at Flea Markets

Will the surge of 1980s popularity ever die down? Probably not. It was the decade of music, toys, cartoons, and some of the best comics out there (Amazing Spider-Man #300, anyone? Moon Knight #1, anyone?). Because of this, to some collectors it may seem crazy. To others, it’s a trip down nostalgia lane that they have yet to let go of. And I mean, seriously, can you blame them?

Do yourself a favor, free up a Saturday or Sunday. Head to your local flea market to explore the possibilities that await your collecting itch. You may find out that this may have been the piece of the pie missing from your collecting niche.

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1 comment

Kenloi . October 5, 2021 - 7:43 am

Comic hunting is great isnt it. You usually always find something.

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