Upon Further Review: Tips for Comic Investors

by Joseph Overaitis

061121A-300x157 Upon Further Review: Tips for Comic InvestorsWe are going to try something new for this Upon Further Review article. Normally this blog will look from a reader’s perspective at a past article and if the author was correct with their advice. I wanted to do a different take this time and present the purpose of the reviews.  If you understand how I evaluate writer’s articles you can use the same methodology to evaluate your own books.  So Upon Further Review…UPON FURTHER REVIEW’s methodology! Tips for comic investors.


GoCollect prides itself on using data for investing and collecting.  UPON FURTHER REVIEW was created to evaluate writer’s reviews.  Many comic book sites can make recommendations but they never produce data to review how their choices performed.  Recommended issues may have a long or short investment potential and we try to review those issues to determine if the author’s advice was solid.

GoCollect’s DIVE DEEPER9-2-300x190 Upon Further Review: Tips for Comic Investors

Users should understand the methodology of my reviews.  GoCollect has a great feature on the “FMV and Sale History”  page called DIVE DEEPER.  This lets the user change the parameters of the review to personalize the data scrutinized.

Every article I write for this feature has a start date beginning the very day AFTER the article was written and an end date of the day the article was written.  Readers are quick to comment that some sales do come after the article was written but later in the day.  Those sales are unfortunately omitted, but I try to get as many sales as are possible to evaluate the articles. Do you think this same method could be used to evaluate your purchases?

More than FMV

I am interested in more than the FMV of a book.  I want to see the whole picture.  The book trending up and appearing in the green is always a plus.  The method of sales is also important.  Fixed Sale versus Auction is very important in revealing the best way to sell a book.  Many times I see in my work for this feature that a large fixed sale will occur the very day after an auction that had a lot of bidders.  This shows me that FOMO is present.  Readers should use this to their advantage in selling books. Finally seeing where books are selling also is important.  If Heritage is selling books for a premium compared to eBay why would I want to sell on eBay if I could make more money after all the fees are calculated?

images-3 Upon Further Review: Tips for Comic InvestorsMarket Manipulation

One component that I also see is potential market manipulation.  I love seeing green in the numbers.  The problem is if the green is not justified.  This feature has sometimes allowed me to actually see book sales that seem out of the norm.  As a result, a book that is trending positive may be doing so only because of one abnormal sale.  It is important then to determine if this is a price adjustment or someone attempting to manipulate the market by having a high sale.

Review some books and you will see that once a book has a recent sale others will try to use that sales price as the new “guide price”.  You may see one or two additional sales that could be examples of market manipulation. These prices seem out of the norm and yet the market resets with that price on an FMV basis.  Writing lets me point out those sales to the reader.  Not all hobbyists are pure and idealistic as you reading this article.  You should be aware of this and learn to avoid falling prey to these potential market manipulations.

True FMV

GoCollect requires accountability from the writers.  The reason is that people see comics as now alternative investments.  If I review a book in six months that is up +25%, it’s great unless this book was a short-term investment recommendation. Artboard-11 Upon Further Review: Tips for Comic Investors Many other sites forget that you have to pay fees for selling your books.  Those fees cut into your profits.  Next, there is overhead to pack and ship that book.  That 25% is starting now to decrease a lot.  The book has shipped, so now most readers think they are done, but did you forget something? If comic books are investments, then they are taxed as such as well.

Collectors do not have to worry about these issues.  They are outside of the market and not worried about FMV and other issues.  WRONG!  Collectors and investors are in competition with each other.  Books that were once desirable only to a collector, for whatever reason, may now see an increase in price because of the attraction of investors.  Are these the people that then buy books beyond the FMV price I mentioned before?  This column is written to help collectors see how investors are influencing the market and potential dips to exploit.  After a columnist writes about a book you will see an impact on that issue. UPON FURTHER REVIEW tries to help you collectors navigate the waters with investors and add those books at the time that is most advantageous to you through analysis.

125760_ff21a90cfef530d0234c87b72d40f644a3eb6b05 Upon Further Review: Tips for Comic InvestorsAlternate Takes

One of the best columns reviewed  Norman Robinson III’s After-Action Report: Amazing Spider-Man #135. It was a column where the original writer made a suggestion about investing in the Punisher without paying the high price for his high-grade first appearance.  Upon closer inspection, we saw that many people did, in fact, follow the advice of the author.  In return, they saw a nice increase in the FMV of the book.  GoCollect lets us dig deeper and follow the data for other trends as well.

The Hotlists for different ages are something that I use for the column to review articles.  I saw books that involved the Punisher had seen price increases.  Reviewing the data revealed that people took the author’s advice but used it in different ways.  Other books were investment-worthy and seemed to draw investors.  These books realized a nice return but were not cost-prohibitive investments.  In reviewing the article, we could find advice that was there that the author did not highlight, but was still important.  This knowledge helped many people and yet probably only a few took immediate advantage of the advice.


I hated when I was selected to write this column.  It meant dissecting other writers and evaluating their choices in a critical way.  I had to be honest because I owed it to you, the reader.  Then, I realized that was, in fact, what the original author was doing as well.  Our authors are being honest and sometimes they end up being off a little.  That is what is expected because if everyone had all the answers they would be billionaires.

What sets these authors’ articles apart from other bloggers’ is that they use the data.  This column has forced me to pay even more attention to my recommendations for my own articles. I used the numbers before, but now I study them obsessively.  I like to think that the other writers pay even more attention to the numbers as well because of this new accountability.12444766_why-marvel-had-to-pull-one-of-its-comic_5138a63e_m-1-300x175 Upon Further Review: Tips for Comic Investors

Readers First

As I always say, we do this for our readers and you deserve only the best.  Anyone can make a quick recommendation, but very few can back it up with actual sales data.  Now we review those recommendations later to see how well we performed.  You can then use these tools to help you with not only reviewing our columns but your own books as well. GoCollect demands the best from us.  That is what is owed to you, our readers.  Do you not deserve that?

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mjholthaus June 14, 2021 - 3:55 pm

Thanks, Joseph. I truly enjoy every article you write and especially enjoy each example you give of how you use GoCollect data and, in particular, “Dive Deeper.” I have recently been using it as a way to choose the grade for a book I want to invest in so I can buy the grade that I feel has the best R.O.I. (seldom a 9.8). However, I have been reading more from Jestin Davis about “the 15% investment grade” being the way to go which is often more like a 9.8 for the era of books I can afford. I am formulating my own opinions about the benefits of both methods. Could you write something about this sometime? Thanks.

Joseph Overaitis June 14, 2021 - 10:40 pm

I always looks for ideas on topics so I am curious what you are thinking LOL.

I also want to thank you for your comments. I like sharing the knowledge that others shared with me.The books I added I could never had done but for those people and their advice. Pay it forward is my goal.

mjholthaus June 14, 2021 - 3:55 pm

Thanks, again.

Marty June 15, 2021 - 9:17 am

I love that sentiment of paying it forward. As far as my idea, I think if I admire a modern book because of its short term potential, it’s ok to invest in at lower than the grade identified as the top 15% – especially if that grade seems to be the most popular in sales. If I was younger (I’m 53), I might consider the top 15% for very long-term investments. For my own PC, I would rather have a 9.8 but would settle for something lower if that is all I can afford.


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