Price Guide: How to Know the Value of Your Comic Books

Do you have boxes of comics in your attic that you’re planning to retire on? Well, don’t quit your job until you look into what’s in those comics. It’s true that old comic books can be worth a lot of money, but once people realized this they started buying a lot of comics. The more comics that are made and sold, the lower the collector’s value becomes. Sure, there are glamorous stories of people finding comics worth thousands of dollars, but these cases are very rare.

Here are a few tips on how to determine whether those comic books are worth anything.

*The first thing you can do is take them to a professional at a comic book or collectibles store. Some will give you quick estimates for free.

*Keep in mind that a few but certainly not all dealers may give you a low value in hopes to buy the product from you and make a big profit. To avoid this try to find someone with recommendations or a store that is not purchasing used comics. You can also express that you are not selling, or get more than one estimate.

Another option is to get an appraisal, a professional who is paid does this and the fee often depends on the amount of books. It may not be the best option if you do not have the finances, particularly if the comics end up to be near worthless.

*Remember, if you do chose to sell to a dealer they are going to pay you less than what they will sell the book for. They are a business trying to make a profit and they deserve it for helping you. It would take a lot of time to find a buyer for each individual comic book, especially if they are not in demand.

*The second thing you can do is purchase or borrow a price guide. They can be found at comic book stores, as well as some bookstores and libraries.

*Be sure to get the current year, because prices will change annually.

*There is a chart in the front of the guide that will explain a grading system. Comic book prices are judged by the quality. Things such as missing covers or pages, bent corners, creases, markings or writing, among other things, can lower the value of the comic.

*The chart for grading has a descriptive guideline but when deciding which category a book’s quality falls in, it is better to underestimate rather than overestimate. It can help you avoid disappointment when a potential buyer grades the comic more harshly.

*Another thing to consider when using the price guide is that those who are unfamiliar with comics may be fooled. Companies make reprints of classic comics, variant covers, or second printings and there are often special series that confuse the guide user. Things such as these are not easily recognizable if you don’t know what to look for and are usually unmarked. It can cause someone to think a worthless comic book is highly valuable, or sell a valuable comic for a low price.

*If a book has authentic signatures of its writer or artist, its value is most likely increased. A professional should evaluate the signature before assuming it has raised the value. If it is a fake the book value will be decreased.

*To keep your comic books and their value in the best condition they should be stored in collectible bags and backed with cardboard to prevent bending. These items can be found at any store that sells comic books. They should also be stored in boxes to prevent damage and in a low humidity area.

Once you know the value of your comics, whether they are worth a little or a lot, whether you are selling now or later, to a dealer or individuals, an important thing to remember is that anything is only worth what someone will pay for it. If you can’t find the right buyer to pay what you feel appropriate or the product is not in demand at the time, it may be hard to get anything near the estimated price. Like most markets, comic books go up and down.

If your comics are worth little or no money, and you can’t find a buyer, you can always donate them. If age appropriate, places such as children’s hospitals, places that help underprivileged children, literacy agencies, art programs and libraries would appreciate the donation. They also make great wrapping paper. Otherwise, you can help out the environment and take them to your local recycling center.

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