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What Should I Know About Comic Book Values?

Understanding comic book values involves more than just rarity; condition, demand, and historical significance all play crucial roles. A well-preserved, sought-after issue with a pivotal storyline can be worth a fortune. Whether you're a seasoned collector or new to the scene, knowing the nuances can turn pages into profits. Curious about maximizing your collection's value? Let's dive deeper.
Kris Roudebush
Kris Roudebush

If you're interested in knowing more about comic book values, you're going to need to do some research. Comic book values vary greatly from series to series and from issue to issue within the same series. Some series have different authors or artists and the comic book values are affected by this as well. Another factor on the value of your comics may be whether your copy is a first issue or a reprint. Comic book values are also greatly affected by the book’s grade. Sorting it all out will help you decide which books are valuable and which books aren't worth your time.

First, you will need to know what grade your comic book is rated. Grades usually range from 0 (poor) to 10 (mint). Price guides will give you a price for mint condition books as well poorer graded books. There are several sites available for determining your comic’s grade or you could always talk to someone at your local comic book store. Be sure not to let more than a few people handle your book and keep your book protected in a plastic or Mylar sleeve with a comic board.

Research and independent evaluations can help determine values for old comic book collections.
Research and independent evaluations can help determine values for old comic book collections.

Price guides are your first source of information. Some online price guides allow users to search for comic book values by publisher or series title. Some printed price guides will list everything by publisher, series title, and then issue number. Other information you’ll need includes publish date, author and artist. Hard to find comics may be difficult to locate in price guides, so you may need to use other sources.

It's a good idea to verify the value of your comics, or a comic you want to buy, through an auction website or two. Price guides give you a good place to start, but auction sites will tell you what people are paying for an item. These sites are good market indicators and should help you to establish a value for your comic books.

Another way to determine market prices are trade shows. Experts are readily available and will often answer any questions that you might have about collecting and comic book values. They may also help you to decide which comics appear to be the next up-and-coming series, author, or artist. These trade shows can also be a lot of fun. Most collectors are very passionate about their collections, so it’s hard not to get swept up in the enthusiasm.

If you find that your comic book values are much more than expected, you may want to contact an auction house. Reputable auction houses spend time and money verifying the authenticity of the products they auction. Collectors may be willing pay more to have the authenticity work done for them, which can drive up the price.

Most collectors will tell you that comic book values shouldn't be a priority when you've decided to start your own collection. You should focus on the comic books that you enjoy. The comics you enjoy the most and are most passionate about are the ones that will have the highest value to you. Protect your collection with plastic sleeves that are readily available to preserve their new condition and your investment. Keep your comic books in boxes designed for them to further protect them.

If you find yourself with a box of old comic books and you're ready to find some buyers, take some time to research what comics you have and what they're worth. Choosing where to sell your comics may have a huge impact on the price you're able to obtain for them. While auction sites or comic book stores may have a fast turnaround, a reputable auction house may bring you the best price.

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Discussion Comments


@Melonlity -- but how accurate are those prices? Is there a good way to get an average? After all, auction prices are affected by a lot of things. Perhaps someone is looking to raise some quick cash and isn't as interested in sticking with fair market value as a collector would be. Perhaps auction prices are driven by people looking for good values -- not exactly the types who will pay top dollar.

A comic book price guide doesn't cost much and is probably your best bet.


Online auction sites are also great tools for finding approximate values of comic books. You might not find the price you are looking for, but at least you can get a feel for the market by looking at current asking prices of various comics as well as how much those books have sold for in the past.

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    • Research and independent evaluations can help determine values for old comic book collections.
      By: Kristian Bjornard
      Research and independent evaluations can help determine values for old comic book collections.