Monday, July 20, 2009

The Geek Post: Selling Comics

My friend Brom has asked me to help him sell some of his comics on eBay, using the strength of my 900+ feedback to make some room in his condo. I am fine with helping him out, and I might as well admit now (after so many auctions) that I get a kick out of selling crap, especially other people's crap so I don't have to worry as much about how much money I make. I also kind of like to think of it as a race. How long will it take me to sell off that many comics?

I started off doing my research and seeing what was selling, so I started with some Manga stuff, and and Wolverine, because he's really popular right, and the first appearance of the Thunderbolts, that should be good, and the Infinity Gauntlet should bring in some gap. Since I had two full long boxes (which I think is around 500 books), I decided to try other methods as well, so I went to and sold some books over there (even throwing in a few of my own) and netted about 28 bucks.

Anyway, there were some underwhelming results, at first. I had to relist several of the lots and lower my prices in order to just sell them at all (I only live in a one bedroom, man.) So, as I went along, I started getting to what I considered the dregs and started going with Buy It Now auctions to see if that would work better. To my surprise, the Rocket Raccoon limited series from the mid-80's sold for 5 bucks. Six issues of Count Duckula sold for $8.50. Thirteen issues of Groo the Wanderer sold for $6.99 (Buy it Now). And the coup de grace, his ALF comics sold for $5.99 (again, Buy It Now. Kind of wish I had let the auction play out.) Seriously? ALF?

Now, I've sold a lot of weird crap on EBay over the years, but I thought I knew a few things about comics and what was worth dough. Clearly not, since the Wolverine comics totaled $12.99, which is slightly more than 6 issues of Count Duckula. I know Wolverine under-performed at the box office, but that's kind of an insult.

So, because things started to fizzle on eBay, I tried Craig's List. My logic here was simple; if I can get a comic fan into my apartment, maybe I can unload more comics. It worked. My listing of Avengers/Fantastic Four/Dr. Strange/Alpha Flight sold to a kid from Salem, who then went through the long boxes and bought some more, and I got an extra five bucks out of him. Very pleased. I think the Craig's List thing works because you don't have to rely on the very few people interested in these comics happening upon your auction for the seven days it's there.

Still, as I consider myself an eBay guy, I was shocked that I didn't quite get as much on there as I thought. Now, there is not a whole lot you can do to hype up your stuff on there. If no one wants it, then no one wants it. And this whole experience has me thinking (along with the fact that my local post office is now closed): after almost a decade of selling my old crap (and other people's old crap), I an starting to wonder where all the money has gone. I have sold hundreds of items, and yet I am still below the poverty line. I'm not sure if I should ask myself where I would be financially if I hadn't sold all that stuff, or where I would be if I had not spent so much time wandering to the post office and listing this stuff. Other than my car, I've never really made good money on anything from eBay, so maybe it's time to take a break and see what happens.

After I empty those long boxes.

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