One of the most popular questions I get is when is the best time to sell a hot comic. The answer is in the data.
“When should I sell?” That’s the big question. When to buy is a much easier question to answer. As soon as the rumors start, grab up the key issues and hold tight. Look at the Eternals. If you had taken the gamble over a year ago when the news first made the rounds that Jack Kirby’s mythological/space epic was in development, then you would be looking at major profits now. But the values keep climbing. With every new announcement about the cast and eventually plot details, the values get a bump. If you’re holding out for the peak fair market values, when will that be?
Lets start with Captain Marvel. Leading up to the debut of her self-titled movie, prices for Carol Danvers’ first appearance were skyrocketing. Once the movie rumors were confirmed, Marvel Super-Heroes #13 ascended out of the stratosphere and at one point looked like it was heading toward Incredible Hulk #181 territory. Check out this previous post from a year ago, “Captain Marvel Hysteria.” From 2017 to 2018, almost every grade of MSH #13 was experiencing record-high sales. The 9.0’s high swelled from $1,500 to nearly $4k by last summer.
The trailer debuted in September last year, and that spurred a round of huge sale numbers. From there all the way to the March premiere, prices for every graded copy were exploding. By the end of the year, the 9.4, which at one time had been about a $1,000 comic, was regularly selling for between $11-12K. On March 14, just 10 days after Captain Marvel hit American movie screens, one sold for $11,211. After that, the values plummeted. By May, it dropped to $7,600, and continued to slide until its current 90-day average of $5,000 is less than half of its previous highs. As you go down the list, you’ll find that this has been the case for virtually every grade of MSH #13 after it peaked at the time of the movie’s release.
Another example is Iron Man #55, the first appearance of Thanos. Prices for this comic had been steadily rising ever since he had a cameo appearance in the first Avengers film. Leading up to Infinity War when we got our first good look at him, the values continued to soar. It peaked at the time of Endgame, and many grades hit all-time high sales near the April movie premiere. Since then, values have gradually been coming down. In the case of the graded 9.0, it sold for as much as $1,798 at the time of Infinity War’s premiere, and it continued bringing in the $1,500 range for the next year. Following Endgame’s debut, prices have been coming back to reality, and that 9.0 is currently in the $1,200-$1,300 range.
Certainly there are plenty more examples of this fluctuation. What we see with Marvel Super-Heroes #13 and Iron Man #55 is this: movie excitement, specifically MCU news, gives the first appearances a boost. As the excitement builds, the values continue to rise. The three places where we see the biggest spikes are at casting announcements, trailers debuts, and the movies’ premieres. At any of those three points, you can capitalize on the enthusiasm to make a profit, but the interest is at its peak within the week of the movie premiere date.
To answer our question, the best time to sell a hot comic is to hold out until the movie hits theaters.