Should You Sell Your Comic Collection in Bulk or Individually?

Should You Sell Your Comic Collection in Bulk or Individually?

When you have a large comic book collection, and you want to sell it, you have a decision to make. Do you sell the books one at a time, or do you sell them all in bulk? Or is there a third option?

This is a decision that has plagued collectors of any sort of serialized or ongoing collectible for ages. In the end, it comes down to a personal decision. Which do you value more: your time or your money?

Table of Contents

The Pros and Cons of Selling Comics Individually

Going through a whole collection gives you the opportunity to identify what you have. If your collection is made up of valuable comics, key issues, and other sought-after books, selling them all individually can be a great idea.

Individual Comic Books

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It has pros and cons, of course, so it comes down to what you want to get out of your collection.

Pro: You maximize your potential money.

Probably the biggest benefit and the main reason people sell their comics individually is to get the most possible money out of them.

Maximized Potential Money

Selling comics individually means identifying each book, listing them on their own pages, and attracting interested buyers for market prices. Assuming you sell each book for the greatest possible return, you can make the most out of your collection.

Pro: You can pick your venue, buyer, and more.

Want to sell your comics exclusively through an eBay storefront or an Amazon page? Want to build your own website to sell your collection? Want to list them on vintage marketplaces? Want to auction them off through Heritage Auctions?

Selling on eBay

You're free to do so with any books that qualify for the platforms you want to use. You can also often reserve the right to pick from several interested buyers.

Pro: You pass your comics on to someone who appreciates them.

When you sell directly to other collectors, you know your comics are going to a good home rather than to someone who is just going to turn around and resell them all for their own profits.

A Comic Book Fan

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You might make someone's day by selling something they haven't been able to find elsewhere, especially if you're dealing with another local fan.

Con: It takes a lot of research and timing to sell for the best values.

The biggest drawback is just how much work goes into selling comics one by one. You have to categorize, identify, grade, photograph, and list every single book individually. You have to handle communications with potential buyers and filter out scammers and spam. You have to handle shipping.

Researching Comic Books

It's a lot of work! Not everyone has the time or luxury to be able to do the legwork.

Con: You're going to be dealing with shipping, insurance, and other issues frequently.

How often can you make a trip to the post office? Do you have the right kinds of materials to properly pack a comic for transportation to its destination safely? How much do you lose in shipping fees and insurance across your whole collection?

Shipping a Comic Book

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These can be some important considerations above and beyond handwaving "shipping costs" in your pricing.

Con: It's a lengthy process, especially for high-priced or less-desirable books.

Not all comics are hot at any given time. Sometimes they have low demand or a high enough supply that most serious collectors already have their copy. Sometimes your copy is graded worse than many others, so you have a hard time finding a buyer. Sometimes your books just aren't part of a trending series.

A Comic Book Collection

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Especially for lower-cost books, it can take months or even years of waiting for the right buyer to come along.

How to Successfully Sell Comics Individually

Start by knowing what you have. Make a complete index of your comics, including issue number, publication date, and anything noteworthy about them, like whether or not they're graded, signed, or otherwise unusual. Check for variants and even misprints, make sure elements of the books like centerfolds or posters are complete (or note that they aren't), and, if the books aren't graded, estimate a grade.

While you're at it, take photographs of the comics. All of this information and these photos will be used in your listings. 

Spend some time researching prices. Don't just go by what they're listed for online. Instead, check for recent sales to see what they're actually selling for.

Note: if your collection is extensive, complete, and in unusually excellent condition, you may qualify for a pedigree. This is exceptionally rare – there are only around 60 recognized pedigree collections – but if you meet the criteria, it can be a powerful boon.

Individual Comic Books For Sale

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Once you have all of your data recorded, decide if you want to grade any ungraded books. It costs money to get them graded, but grading (and pressing and cleaning) can improve the value of a book, so it may be worthwhile. 

Finally, you can start posting listings on local and national boards, Reddit pages, eBay, and other locations to try to find buyers for your books. After that, it's just your typical commerce. Make deals, get the books shipped with insurance and tracking, and make sure they're delivered safely.

When all is said and done, you'll have successfully sold your collection to a variety of buyers all across the country and maximized your money in doing so.

The Pros and Cons of Selling Comics in Bulk

Maybe your collection includes thousands of comics or even more. Maybe you read the above, and you don't really want to go through all of that effort. Maybe you know the bulk of your collection belongs in the dollar bin, not the display rack, and you don't want to waste your time.

A Large Collection of Comic Books

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Whatever the case may be, you might look into selling your entire collection in bulk. What are the pros and cons of this option?

Pro: It's fast, easy, and simple.

Well, relatively, at least. Selling your collection in bulk, whether it's to a flipper, a collector, a store, or another entity, means one deal, one negotiation, and one check. You don't have to deal with individually selling and shipping every book, and above everything else, you save a ton of time.

A Bulk Comic Book Collection

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This is often the way to go if you know your collection is moderately but not extremely valuable, but more importantly, you just want to get it out of your hair, such as with an inherited collection.

Pro: If you do it right, you might get more than expected.

When you know more or less what your collection is worth, you can shop around. Being able to say no and look for other offers is an important skill for selling a collection in bulk. You can list the collection online, auction it, or just call around to various resellers and shops to see what they would offer you.

Making Money Selling Comics

Note: if you want a free appraisal with no obligations and no pressure, please reach out and contact us. We'd love to give you an idea of what your collection is worth!

Pro: You only pay shipping once, at most.

When you're selling your whole collection at once, you can carefully pack it up and ship it in one box. You don't need to ship each book individually, and you only have to pay shipping and insurance once.

Packaging a Box

For that matter, if your collection is sizable enough, valuable enough, or your buyer is local, you can deliver it in person (or have them come pick it up) and avoid the shipping process entirely.

Con: You're still not getting the most money possible.

Selling a collection in bulk is never going to get you the full value of the books you have. In a lot of cases, you're looking at a general estimate for most of the lower-valued books of something like 50-70 cents each, or lower in some cases. For higher-priced books, you might get 40-60% of their value.

Person Making Money

Make no mistake; the convenience is worth it, but the money you lose can be substantial when you're looking at sufficiently valuable books.

Con: You have to do enough legwork to know not to get lowballed.

If you don't know what you have, you won't know what a fair offer is. You still need to at least do the bare minimum of going through the collection, identifying the key information for each book, and getting a rough price estimate to value the full collection.

Going Through Comic Book Collections

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In some cases, you might even want to talk to an appraiser about it, especially if you have no idea what you're doing. (You can also message us, of course.)

Con: If something goes wrong, it can be catastrophic.

Imagine you pack up all of your comics in a box and ship them off to a buyer, but they never reach their destination. What now?

Seller Handling a Shipping Error

If you bought insurance for the package, you can file a claim, but it's going to be a sour experience for everyone involved and can be very stressful in the meantime. It's very much an "all your eggs in one basket" kind of situation.

How to Successfully Sell Comics in Bulk

First, you want to identify what you have, what the general price ranges are, and if it's a good idea to sell in bulk. If you have a few books worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars, you might even want to set those aside to sell individually. Some people even set aside anything worth $10 or more. It's up to you what threshold you want to set based on how many books you have to sort through.

Identifying Valuable Comics

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Once you know what you have, you can build a list and include some photos, and start looking for offers. Check with local collectors and comic stores, reach out to online stores, and so on. You might even consider listing the full collection on eBay or another auction site to see if bids will rise beyond what your offers have reached. 

Once you've gotten offers, you can pick someone and sell your comics. Make a deal, ship or deliver the comics, and cash the check. Bing, bang, boom.

Why Not Both?

One thing we mentioned in brief is that you can kind of do both options. Go through your collection and identify anything that has sufficient value to be worth spending the time to sell individually. Set those comics aside, and put the rest in a bulk box. The bulk box can be sold all at once, and you won't need to care much about the loss you take because anything truly valuable has already been pulled out for individual sale.

Individual Comics Set Aside

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Once the bulk is gone, you can get to work following the process up above to sell the valuable comics individually. This will do a decent approximation of maximizing your value while saving you a lot of time.

Other Options

There are always a few other options available to you as well. For example, you can hire an agent to sell your collection for you. Agents cost money, often as a cut of what they sell, so they have an incentive to sell for the best price they can. At the same time, it might not be worth it once that commission is taken off the top.

Alternatively, you can sell your bulk alongside key issues by creating complete runs or themed groups and selling those. They might not appeal to everyone, but each one you sell will end up giving you more for the dollar-bin books than you would get normally.

A Comic Store

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You can also sell your comics on consignment. Consignment generally means renting space in a case at a store or vendor and using their exposure to sell your comics for more than you would be able to do individually. Sometimes it can be worthwhile.

Which Option is Right for You?

At the end of the day, it helps to get an expert opinion to make your decision easier. We encourage you to drop us a line. Simply take a few photos or write a description of your collection, and let us know what you have.

Comic Books For Sale

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We'll give you our advice, including a basic appraisal, our opinion of the best way to sell your books, and even an offer! There's no obligation and no pressure; we're just fans of comics and want to help other comic fans get the most out of their collections.

Wondering how much your comics are worth?

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