Well, maybe not LOTS of Lots, but you should probably be buying more than you are. Here’s why.
If you’re an eBay hound like me, you are probably watching a few items at all times. You can’t be everywhere at once, and it always seems like the opposing bidder knows your limit. That’s okay. There’s an alternative to picking out singles, ungraded or graded and paying for shipping for each. and. every. comic.
Auction Lots are the way to go. Stay away from Buy it Now Lots because you won’t be getting as good of a deal. Primarily, you want to look for Lots that aren’t titled very well. How do you find these auctions, you say? You have to dig. Most lots are well-titled and you can see the key issues right there. But sometimes, you can’t. And that means nobody else can either.
You just have to scroll until you come across a collection that’s being sold by someone who doesn’t know/care as much about comics as we do. Maybe they found a box in the attic, maybe their friend gave them some when they moved, maybe it was a stack they collected when they were a kid. You can tell because they don’t want to price the items. A lot of these auctions start low: $.99 or a couple bucks at the most. The sellers are happy with what they get.
(Picked this up in a lot with a signed front page by Dave Cockrum!)
And we are happy with what we buy. Usually. With big lots of ten or more comics, it’s very hard to determine the grade. Is that waviness from the cover or the plastic? Is it bleached out a little or is that the camera catching odd colors? Was it used as toilet paper at one point? Will it be used as toilet paper given our current shortage?
You get a Lot because of the odds. Not all of the comics are going to be in great shape. Chances are less than half will be. But that’s okay because Lots consistently sell for less than individual comics for this very reason. Sellers don’t want to deal with scans and photos of each and every one. They’d gladly take a 20% loss on profit if it saves them hours of time. And as a seller myself, I get that.
Invest in what you collect. I’m an X-Men guy. Maybe it’s the fault of my era and playing with Starjammers action figures. I can’t help it. Fortunately for me, there are lots of X-Men Lots out there. (There are lots of other Lots out there too.) And some are garbage, some are high dollar collections, and the rest can be had at a substantially cheaper rate than if I were to buy them individually. I search “X-Men lot” on the auction houses every couple days and it usually comes up with something good. I’ll admit to stretches of drought, but it’s always worth those long-awaited pickups. My most recent: a lot of 20 80’s X books with an X-Men #221 bought for $30. Considering that’s about the going rate for an average condition #221, the rest is all icing, toppings, and profit.
To the Lots!