Friday, January 22, 2010

My Life With Comic Books: Part # 37


In the mid-80’s I acquired a huge collection of Marvel Comics comic books that included almost every comic they had published from 1960-1984, and most of them were in near mint-mint condition. This collection included every issue of Spider-Man, Avengers, Daredevil, X-Men, Thor, Hulk, Sgt.Fury, Strange Tales, The Silver Surfer, and Iron Man. It also had The Defenders, Werewolf By Night, Tomb of Dracula, Warlock, Marvel Team-Up, Iron Fist, and Marvel Tales. The collection included every issue of The Fantastic Four except for issue #5. This collection was most exciting because it also had all of the less popular but very hard to find comics like Millie The Model, Patsy Walker, Night Nurse, Peter The Little Pest, Our Love Story, and many more. Every western, monster, and war comic that Marvel had published was included, even most of the ones published in the 1950’s. All of the Rawhide Kid, Kid Colt, Two Gun Kid, Tales of Suspense, Tales To Astonish, Journey Into Mystery, and more, were there. No kidding, this was a complete Marvel collection, and believe me; these comics were really in beautiful condition!

I realized that I probably would have no problem selling many of these comic books. I could process them all, price them, and sort them, and put them into my stock and they’d eventually sell. But I wanted to make this an exciting event for my customers (and for me). I decided to wait until the entire collection was put in order and priced before I would begin selling any of it. Comic books in “high grade” condition are quite rare and I couldn’t afford to price these cheaply. In general, I priced these comic books at about 150% of the current comic book price guide prices. I was concerned that my customers would resist paying these prices because they were usually accustomed to my lower than guide pricing policy. I began telling my customers to get ready for the opportunity to complete their Marvel collection. I also sent out a flyer to everyone on my mailing list to make them aware of this huge collection. Even though I planned this “event” a full month in advance, I wasn’t finished pricing the collection until the night before the collection was to be unveiled. I had to work long into the night rearranging the store so I’d have the space to display this collection all in one area. Eventually, I was so tired that I decided to go home and finish all of the details the next morning. I didn’t have to have it all ready for sale until 10:00AM so if I got back to the store by 6:00AM I should have been able to get everything done before we opened for business. I have a bad habit of underestimating the amount of time needed to complete major projects.

Next chapter: Okay. The collection is unveiled…but does anybody care?

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