Selling Comics on ebay
Pretty much everyone has heard of ebay.  It is the place to sell everything from antiques to cars to food that resembles people.  Comic books are one area that really is popular on ebay.  There are tens of thousands of listings for comics at any given time.  From the very valuable to the affordable. from single issues to hundreds of thousands at once.  But you also see the same comic selling for various prices.  Besides condition, you may wonder why the fluctuation in price.  Why does one dealer get more for his comics than another?  Well, I am here to give you some tips on selling comics and how to get more for your books.  And these tips will cost you nothing.  Yes, people on ebay also sell you information like this for a price.

The biggest thing you can do to improve you chances of getting more for your comics is the picture of your comic book.  Nothing will make a bigger impact on your sale than this.  The first thing you need to do is get a big picture of the comic book up there.  I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a picture so small, you cannot tell the condition of the book.  Make sure you have a big picture.  One way to do this is get yourself a website.  There are many free sites out there.  You can store the picture there and then put the address to the picture.  That way you are not limited by the size of the ebay picture that comes with the listing.  This is especially true with vintage comics.  Collectors want to know what they are getting and some picture that is a few inches big does nothing. 

When you are getting the picture of your comic, use a scanner.  Don't waste your time with a digital camera.  While digital cameras are great for many items, especially ones that are too big for a scanner, they do not get the quality that a scanner can.  Put the comic on your scanner (if you have a printer/scanner combo that you have to feed the comic through, then do not use a scanner) and get a nice picture.  You can then use the provided software to crop, shrink and improve the picture.  This also is a great way to avoid the spots of light that show up on many pictures.  You know that big spot in the middle of the comic. 

The next thing to consider is shipping.  Many people selling on the internet charge too much for shipping.  I have seen as much as $10.00 being charged to ship one comic book.  I have a rule, if someone is overcharging for shipping or does not list their shipping fees, I do not bid.  I do not care how much I want a comic book, if they are overcharging me for shipping, I will pass.  If you can offer the buyer different shipping options, you will do even better.  I would offer one fee for cheaper shipping that involved a large envelope with some protection that would ship at a slower rate or priority mail that would come in a sturdy box.  This way they could choose how fast and how well protected they wanted the comic.  Also, make sure to either include international shipping rates or ask them to inquire.  I have had people from countries outside the US assume the shipping charges were the same as the US.  Make sure to state that in your auction.

One area that will improve your sales is what forms of payment you accept.  If you only accept checks or money orders, you will lose out on alot of business.  Many people, especially overseas bidders do not want to pay with those forms of payment and may not bid.  Accepting credit cards is the best way to increase your bids.  Paypal is a great place to start as it is the currency of ebay.  There are other credit card options.  Also keep in mind that most overseas checks cannot be cashed in the US and if they can, there is usually some very high fees associated.  Same with money orders.  Not all money orders can be cashed in a US bank.  The best way to improve your chances is to tell them to get International Postal Money Orders and they have to be made out in US funds.  Or you can get money orders that are drawn on a US bank in US funds.  Both will improve your chances of actually getting your funds.  You may want to speak with your bank to find out what their restrictions and fees are.  Each bank is different.

Keywords are an area that can make or break a listing.  What keywords are is words that will determine who sees your listing on ebay.  The use of keywords, especially in the title is an art form and if done right will increase the traffic to your listing.  We will use Amazing Spiderman #300 as an example.  This issue was one that featured Venom and was done by Todd McFarlane, one of the most popular Spiderman artists.  Here is a typical title on an ebay auction:

"Amazing Spiderman #300 comic book.  Near Mint Shape!"

While this tells you what it is, it only has the keywords "amazing", "spiderman", "comic" and "book".  Now look at this listing and see how many more keywords it has.

"Marvel Amazing Spiderman Spider-Man #300 comic McFarlane "

It is only 7 letters more but it tells so much more.  First off, it has the name of the company which is Marvel.  When this is combined with comic, you have everyone looking for Marvel Comics having your listing show up.  Second, it lists both ways that people spell Spiderman on ebay.  This will increase the number of people looking for his comics to find your listing.  Third, it lists the name McFarlane which will help with people on ebay who are only looking for McFarlane Spiderman comics.  And considering that McFarlane has done quite a few other popular comic books including Spawn and the Incredible Hulk, it may bring in other potential bidders.    And he even has his own line of action figures.  One other word you could add to this is Venom.  He is a popular villain and this would help.  I did not as I was trying to keep the letter count close but if you have room, add as much as possible.  So put some thought into what you put in your heading as this is what will or will not bring in bidders.  Most ebay bidders use searches to find what they are looking for, due to the insane amount of items on ebay.

But keywords are not just for the heading, but also for the description.  This is an area that will not have as much an impact but can still increase the traffic to your listing.  We will use the same Amazing Spiderman #300.  Here is where you can talk more about Venom as well as the artwork by Todd McFarlane and some of the other books he worked on.  You may want to list the writer as well.  Always use this space to increase the keywords but be relevant.  There is a fine line from adding relevant material and just adding keywords.  Here is an example:

"Amazing Spiderman #300 from Marvel Comics.  Marvel also creates the Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-Men, Iron Man, Avengers, etc..."

This is a blatant attempt at adding keywords and ebay frowns on this.  But here is a more relevant way to do the same thing but not be so obvious.

"Amazing Spiderman #300 from Marvel Comics which features artwork by Todd McFarlane who was also the artist for the Incredible Hulk and his own Spawn from Image comics."

See you add in three keywords and it is very relevant to the item you are selling.

The next thing to consider is where you are selling your comics to.  If you limit your sales to the US only, you are taking a chance of missing some big sales.  There are comic collectors all over the world and many of these comics were not available at all or in short supply in their countries.  But ebay has given them an opportunity to increase their collections and this increases the number of bidders.  Sure it can be more hassle to sell to other countries, but if you do some work first, it can be very rewarding.  I found that a third of my bidders were from other countries and many of my biggest bids were the result of overseas bidders.

The last thing to take into consideration with your listing is the time of day to list.  One thing that many bidders do not think about is time zones.  I live in the Eastern time zone and it is one hour different than the central and four hours different from the west coast.  What this means is that if I list an item at 8:00 AM EST, it is 4:00 AM in California.  How many bidders from California do you think will be up to bid on my item when it ends?  And remember that most of the bids happen in the last hour of your listing.  So keep in mind the different time zones so that you can have all three time zones awake when your auction ends.  The best is if you can have it at night, when everyone is home from work.  But do not have it too late as college students are among the biggest bidders and they have classes the next day.  And while more people are online on Sundays, it also means there are more items ending too, so your item can be lost in the crowd.  I personally have had more luck with items that end during the week than on the weekends, but that may just be me.

I hope these tips help you and hopefully it will increase the number and the size of the bids on your auctions.  Here are some links for you and a donation link in case you do well and feel a little generous.

       


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