Blown the dust off that box of old comics? Wondering if any of those oldies are worth a mint now? Brace yourself--the answer is "probably not." Comics generally increase in value only if there are a limited quantity printed, or few in excellent condition. Here's how to find out just how much your old comic books are worth today.
Things You'll Need
- Internet connection
- Phone book
Four-color Gold? Pricing your old comic books for cash.
Search pricing guides and the Internet. Just because a comic book is "old" does not automatically mean it is valuable. Look for Wizard Magazine or Gemstone Publishing's guides. These are available at or through your local comic shop, or online. Remember, though, that such guides are only that: guides. The value of your comic or collection is exactly the amount another person is willing to pay for it.
Get your grades. Having your comic book professionally graded provides an expert assessment of condition and quality. Professional comic book grading consists of a scale of .5 (poor) to 10.0 (gem mint). The Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) can, for a fee, grade your comics and seal them in protective cases. CGC does not, however, provide a value for your comics. You may well spend more on the grading and sealing process than the comic book is worth, so your best bet is usually to get a local appraisal.
Ask the experts down the street. The guys and gals of your local comic book shop are the best source of comic information. They can give you an idea of the value of your your comics. These folks live and breathe the comics world, and often have at least one member on staff who can tell you approximately what your comics are worth just by looking at the cover. If you have just a few titles, you can call the shop and make a brief inquiry. If you have a box full of comics, it is best to simply stop by the shop and chat up the resident expert. Comic fans are happy to talk about their passion, and are usually more than happy to give you an idea of your comics' worth. Just provide them a basic list of titles and general condition of each book.
Be realistic. Unless you have near-mint issues of popular Issue #1 titles, chances are very good your comics are only worth a little more--sometimes a lot less--than the original cover price. Comic books, like any collectors item, can fluctuate wildly in their value. For example, a mid-grade Issue #1 of The Incredible Hulk was recently valued at as much as several thousand dollars. However, most comics, regardless of age, are not necessarily an investment option.
Offer your collection for auction. Even if your comic collection isn't worth much, it might be worth auctioning off the entire lot. Be prepared to enter every title, issue number, and approximate grade. You never know--even a collection with no special value to the comic book world might appeal greatly to one person who is willing to pay handsomely for your collection. Just be sure you've gotten a professional opinion on the comics first so you don't inadvertently auction off a valuable comic for pennies.
Tips & Warnings
- Your first, best source for pricing comic books is your local comic shop. Stop by when you have time to talk with the people who work there and get their opinions.
- A basic Internet search can reveal a lot about the value of any comic book.
- Torn pages, creases, fading and other damage usually reduces the value of your comic book. Take good care of any comics you have, because their value may increase over time.
- Double-check the value of your comics every few months or so, especially if you have titles corresponding to new Hollywood movies or other events that get comic book titles known to a wider audience. The values of such comics can rise and fall rapidly.