Comic Book Speculation 101
Geek Life Comics
According Dictionary.com, speculation is defined as engagement in business transactions involving considerable risk but offering the chance of large gains, especially trading in commodities, stocks, etc., in the hope of profit from changes in the market price. So, by definition, someone who participates in comic book speculation reviews trends, data, and news to purchase comic books in order to resale them for a profit. This is often a practice performed by comic book shop owners, or casual investors. There is not an exact science to speculation. So one must be aware, there is a risk in participation in this form of comic book collecting. Not every comic, not matter how much you enjoy the comic book, will garner a profit.
If one wishes to participate in comic book speculation, they must have a general knowledge of comic books, popular culture, and investing. The price of a comic shifts on supply and demand. This means, that the fewer number of a particular comic + high demand for that particular issue = a higher price per copy of the issue. One of my favorite comic books, “Spawn,” sold 1.7 million copies. So as of April 2020, a raw (ungraded) copy of Spawn #1 is worth $26.31 according to covrprice.com. A graded copy receiving a grade of 9.8 by CGC I worth $112.00, due to the limited copies that have received that grade. So, the demand for a 9.8 is higher than an ungraded or raw book.
There are some basic investment rules when it comes to the topic of comic book speculation:
- Buy What You Know – Invest in comic that you like. Chances are, that if you like them, others will too. A lot of collectors fall victim to the latest fads and end up with an overpriced book that ultimately holds little value. If you are a Batman fan, and you know a knew character is appearing because you actually keep up with the story, that would be a book to invest in.
- Buy Comics Great Investors Own – There is of course a downfall to relying solely on your own taste for selection. Always do you research and receive an experience perspective on choosing comics to make sure you're on the right track. And if you want a second opinion, you can always choose from one of the many apps and websites that fall comic book sales statistics like keycollector, covrprice, or gocollect? Also, look at media news to be aware of upcoming movies or series.
- Buy Comics for the Future, Not the Past - Avengers Endagame was the highest grossing movie of all time with a world wide box office of over 2 billion dollars in 2019. This was an excellent movie and drove prices for the Infinity Gauntlet series from 1991 higher. That would have been a great purchase for 2018, but not for 2020. The movie is now history and prices will soon fall. Look at upcoming movies or series. Rumors may also be taken with a grain of salt. If you find a key comic for a good price and there is a rumor of them appearing in a movie soon, take the risk.
- Buy Comics with a Clear Plan to Sell – We are all fans of the comic book culture. This is what brought us to this hobby. Many speculators use the profits to purchase books that may be out of their price range. Choose a particular series or group of books you want to keep in your collection and know that all the other books are for sell. No matter how cool the book may look or who signed it, remember that that book is to sell. If you don’t sell the book, you are losing money, and that is against the purpose of speculation.
Few people will find their fortunes from comic book speculation. The big mover and shakers are not purchasing comics on eBay. These comics are bought from auction houses around the world for thousands to millions of dollars. Despite that fact, an individual can make a nice profit and enjoy hunting for rare and interesting books. Take your time, do your research, and have fun.