While there is no way to estimate the long-term economic impact of COVID-19 on collector’s markets, we can take a look at our options. Let’s see if you should buy, sell, or hold tight.
Recently, Matt Tuck, a fellow GoCollect blogger provided valuable insight into the impacts of COVID-19 on the comic book market. I wanted to add a few points of my own.
These are strange, unprecedented times. That’s, to say the least. I, however, am taking a positive outlook on the whole situation. If we do our part by limiting exposure to people for a while, we should be able to break this curve. It’s going to be boring, but it’s going to be okay in the end.
If you have been heeding your city’s shelter-in-place order and haven’t been on the internet or talked to anyone in the past few weeks, listen up: markets are crashing. I assume you already knew that, but had to make sure. This means all markets. I’ve seen an uptick in cars for sale at lower prices because of the need for cash, and I’ve seen comics already going for cheaper than they had been in the previous months. People want out.
Or rather, they need to be out. As with speculators of any type, we already have the good fortune to be investing money in anything at all. It means we aren’t struggling to get from paycheck to paycheck. It means we are in a class where we can make some extra money and invest in things. It’s a privilege and we should take a moment to appreciate it.
Given numerous businesses closing their doors, people in previously stable positions (servers, small retailers, etc.) will be out of a paycheck. Even with a possible stimulus package on the way to American adults in need, that money is going to be for rent and food, not comics. This means people who have had job stability for years may be liquidating their physical assets. If they have an old collector car in the back, it’s going on Craigslist. A huge collection of key issue comic books? You guessed it. It’s coming to an eBay auction near you.
It’s no different than the drop in the stock market. A lot of businesses have been halted to a standstill and money just isn’t coming in. People need money to pay the bills and that means tapping into those previous investments. When it comes down to it, nobody can eat their share of Apple stock or the pages of their Amazing Fantasy #15. (Or could they?)
I am incredibly and undeservedly fortunate to work in a position that is unaffected by the current situation. It’s not fair, and it’s certainly not just, but merely a chance of my employment sector. If you are in a similarly fortunate position, now’s a good time to invest. I’ve been diversifying and investing in stocks, precious metals, and comic books. If you have money you won’t absolutely need in the next five to ten years, I’d say it’s a guarantee you are going to make a profit.
An Amoral Market
For better or worse, the market has no code. It’s supply and demand with restraints in place to make sure it doesn’t get out of control. In 2008, I was in no position to be investing in anything at all. I was saving every penny to pay for college and lived an almost unreasonably frugal life. So, I missed the boat on the stock market upticks over the past ten years. (I missed out on the comic book boom as well.) But now I can invest, so I will.
If you find yourself safely working from home with nothing to spend your money on, look at comics. There’s going to be more hitting the market than there has been in a long time. And don’t worry, if the people selling these books have had them for more than a couple years, they are making their fair share of profit.
Now it’s time to make ours.