Many people have cash lying around the house, in the attic or stored away in boxes in the garage. Has nostalgia had you holding on to hot comic books and collectibles? Learning how to sell comic books online is a great way to make some money! Here are some tips to get started selling and turn your comic book collection into cash.
Grade Your Comic Books
Just like sports cards and other memorabilia, knowing what you have in your collection will determine your sales potential. You’ll want to organize your comics, note all titles, issue dates and conditions.
Considering both the title of your comic and its condition will ultimately help you price your comic. This is where grading your comic book comes into play and why it’s essential information for your listing.
The grade on comics refers to the condition that it’s in. While this can be a subjective aspect there are resources you can use to determine the grade of your comic and support you conquering this step properly.
eBay forums will be your best friend when it comes to familiarizing yourself with comic book grading. The Overstreet Grading Guide is also widely used in the industry, and is considered the standard.
If you have a particular covetable comic book in excellent condition in your collection you might want to consider taking it a step further and using the Certified Guaranty Company. This will give your comic a definitive grade and your listing some extra weight in credibility.
Here is the 10-point grading scale in full:
Gem Mint (10): The highest grade assigned. The comic must have no evidence of any manufacturing or handling defects
Mint (9.9): The comic is nearly indistinguishable from at 10 but may have a very minor manufacturing defect. No handling defects are present.
NM/M (9.8): A nearly perfect comic with negligible handling or manufacturing defects.
NM+ (9.6): A very well-preserved comic with several minor manufacturing or handling defects.
NM (9.4): A very well-preserved collectible with minor wear and small manufacturing or handling defects.
NM- (9.2): A very well-preserved comic with some wear and small manufacturing or handling defects.
VF/NM (9.0): A very well-preserved collectible with good eye appeal. There will be a number of minor handling and/or manufacturing defects.
VF+ (8.5): An attractive collectible with a moderate defect or a number of small defects.
VF (8.0): An attractive collectible with a moderate defect or an accumulation of small defects.
VF- (7.5): An above-average collectible with a moderate defect or an accumulation of small defects.
FN/VF (7.0): An above-average collectible with a major defect or an accumulation of small defects.
FN+ (6.5): An above-average collectible with a major defect and some smaller defects, or a significant accumulation of small defects.
FN (6.0): A slightly above-average collectible with a major defect and some smaller defects, or a significant accumulation of small defects.
FN- (5.5): A slightly above-average collectible with several moderate defects.
VG/FN (5.0): An average collectible with several moderate defects.
VG+ (4.5): A slightly below-average collectible with multiple moderate defects.
VG (4.0): A below-average collectible with multiple moderate defects.
VG- (3.5): A below-average collectible with several major defects or an accumulation of multiple moderate defects.
G/VG (3.0): A collectible that shows significant evidence of handling with several moderate-to-major defects.
G+ (2.5): A collectible that shows extensive evidence of handling with multiple moderate-to-major defects.
G (2.0): A collectible that shows extensive evidence of handling with numerous moderate-to-major defects.
G- (1.8): A collectible that shows extensive evidence of handling with numerous major defects.
Fa/G (1.5): A collectible that shows extensive evidence of handling with a heavy accumulation of major defects.
Fa (1.0): A very poorly handled collectible with a heavy accumulation of major defects.
Poor (0.5): A heavily defaced collectible with a number of major defects. Some pieces will also be missing.
Defining Your Comic Book Price Step-by-Step
Identify desirable comics in your collection by title, issue dates and condition
Grade your comic book yourself or by an expert.
Check eBay Forums and comparable listings for that specific comic, both active and sold listings on eBay to see what the going rate is and what the same or similar comics have sold for recently.
Factor in relevant culture news. Is there a Marvel movie coming out? Is Comic Con around the corner? Sellers can usually price higher during these moments of entertainment while hype is high!
Get a second opinion. Visit your local comic book store and hear from a comic book veteran or get an appraisal. Experts in this sector will be a huge help.
When selling on eBay, determine if you want to list the item as ‘Buy it Now’ or allow bids. Read on to find out how to securely reach optimal profits if you opt for bidding!
Take Advantage of News
Some comic books will be a hit while others will not. This is why researching and timing your listing strategically around news in this category will play an important part in getting top dollar. For example, the desirability and demand for Marvel or DC characters when a new movie is being advertised or released increases and thus affects pricing and profit for online resellers.
It’s easy to be savvy here with a quick google search of movies or other current events. Note what characters will be featured and then scan your collection to see if any comic books align.
Sell What Sells
A comic book run with 10 or more issues tends to sell faster for a higher price than one with fewer issues. Consider selling these full sets together rather than selling them separately if you have one.
Having your comic book listing sell the first time is one of the keys to success on eBay. You avoid having to re-list items and pay a second round of fees. With this in mind, use your research to help guide you on what comic books in your collection are worth listing and ones you should avoid spending time on altogether.
Check out websites like CBR or icv2 to see top-selling comics by month, identify trends and get the latest news.
Set Lower Starting Bids with a Good Reserve Price
eBay allows sellers to set a starting bid and a reserve price. When it comes to comic books and ultimately selling for an optimal price, encouraging more bids is the way to go. Review other eBay comps and what’s on the market currently to find a sweet starting bid so you don’t discourage potential buyers starting off too high. Before you know it you could have a bidding war on your hands!
A reserve price helps protect you as a seller from the low starting bid and guarantees you a certain sales price.
If you’re still not quite confident on how to price your item consider using websites like Sell My Comic Books for a free appraisal.
You might also like: 10 Marketplaces Every Reseller Should Consider
Take Good Pictures
Pictures are everything, regardless of what you’re selling. A great product description will only take you so far so you’ll want to make your listing visually appealing. Even with professional grading, take pictures of any type of wear the comic book may have. For example, creasing, marks, tears, fading, etc. and highlight the cover, back of the comic book, issue date and how you’ve stored the item. Is it in a protective sleeve? All these factors contribute to making a sale.
Use a light, blank background to clearly showcase details of the comic and highlight its vibrancy
Offer potential customers some inspiration by including lifestyle images of the comic
Sell Comics on Multiple Marketplaces
eBay is the OG go-to platform for comic books, but don’t count out others such as the hottest new marketplace on the scene, WhatNot, or specialty comic platforms like HipComic and My Comic Shop. Let's take a deeper look at a few more places that bode well for comic book sellers.
Local Comic Buyers
We recommend calling a local comic book shop and discussing the details over the phone with someone before visiting a shop in person and here’s why. Most stores recognize that if you’re hauling your collection into their shop you really don’t want to leave with it so they won’t offer optimal pricing for the comics because they have a captive audience that wants to get merchandise off their hands. Speaking with someone on the phone first is a good first step to safeguarding your profits. You can also find local comic book buyers elsewhere such as Online Forums or Facebook Marketplace, both of which can be great, viable options.
There are many great apps for selling available. With the exponential rise in popularity due to its live sales format, Whatnot is one of the best apps available right now for selling your comic book collection. The app is showing momentum not only with comic book sellers but many other collectibles as well such as Funko Pops, video games, etc.
Unlike typical sales platforms like Poshmark or Mercari, Whatnot doesn’t allow just anyone to sign up to become a seller and hop on a live show that same day. In fact, you have to fill out a pretty detailed application to be considered. Your application will not only verify your identity but will ask you questions about your social media accounts, where and how often you source inventory, and will even require photos or videos of your inventory. You’ll also need to upload a photo of your driver’s license to complete the application.
Note that it also takes time to build up an audience, customer base and solid reputation on the platform so patience is key.
Check out this article Whatnot App: A Guide for Sellers and Buyers, to learn everything you need to know to get started.
For collectors, by collectors. If you’re using eBay you’ll definitely want to use HipComic. The platform is relatively new but offers a great hands-off approach system which allows sellers to link their eBay account to their account with them. This means whatever you list on eBay will automatically get listed on your HipComic storefront as well. It's a great way to crosslist your items for this niche category. Sellers also have an auction feature available to them.
MySlabs is another relatively new selling venue, but they are working hard at expanding their customer base. With minimal fees of only 1% for selling graded comic books it’s worth a try! There is no auction feature available and sellers must set a definitive price for their comic. MySlabs is also great for trading cards and can be a lucrative platform for card sellers.
Comic Book Listing Checklist
Check these details off one by one to make sure your comic book listings offer the best detail for buyers and increase your chances of making a sale.
Title and Issue Number
Publication date and print edition
Writer and illustrator names
List Condition: Folds, Fingerprints, Tears, Creasing, Fading, Spine Break, and Count the number of pages to ensure none are missing.
Comic book grade
Take pictures of front, back, interior pages, and any conditions called out
Give a brief description of the comics storyline
Mention how the comic has been stored and if it will be delivered in a case or protective sleeve
With total comics and graphic novel sales to consumers in 2021 in the U.S. and Canada being approximately $2.07 billion, there’s no denying that comic book culture is making serious headway and selling comic books can be a lucrative business. This poses a major opportunity for secondary markets and the reseller community.
Check out this article for additional Reselling Tips
What comic books are you looking to sell right now? Let us know in the comments!