Just Newsprint #19
The Simple Comic Newsletter!

Table of Contents
01 Selling Your Comics - The Internet Way!
Crazy Cover of the Month
Classic Story of the Month
Comic Knowledge at your Fingertips!
05 Conclusion

Selling Your Comics - The Internet Way!
So you have a stack of comics you want to get rid of.  You have tried  the local comic stores and shows and no luck.  They all tell you the same lines, "The market is slow" or "I have too many back issues", yadda, yadda, yadda.  Don't despair, there are other ways to sell those hard to move books.  There is this little thing called the internet (oh wait, if you are reading this, you probably heard of it) and with it is dozens of possible avenues to selling your comic collection.

Before we go any further, you need a reality check.  Unless you are selling very desirable silver and golden age books or the hottest books, you better prepare to sell them cheap, really cheap.  If you go in thinking you will get book price for your Return of Superman issues or Spawn comics, you are a dreamer.  One thing to keep in mind is that if you sell these to a dealer, you will probably get between a dime to a quarter each, depending on how many you have, what you have and what condition.  But you can sell them for more, if you are willing to invest the time into it.  

With that out of the way, here are some of your options:

Option Pro's Con's
eBay and other Online Auctions Minimal work, large audience to sell to. Lots of competition and comics don't always sell for alot there.
Newsgroups Free and large audience to sell to.  Also easy to do. Unreliable buyers, may take weeks or months to sell anything.
Own Website Can charge what you want and can keep it up there as long as you want. Alot of work and hard to get people to the site.  
Comic Brokers (ComicFind and others) Affordable costs and alot of traffic. Again, lots of competition and a monthly cost.

Let's take a look each of these individually.  As you can see, they all have pluses and minuses.  

eBay and Auction Sites
These are probably the easiest way to sell  your comics.  The prices are quite minimal (eBay charges as low as a quarter to list and a small selling fee based on a percentage, depending on how much it sells for).  For the money, you get a huge audience that is looking at your stuff.  eBay alone gets more than 4 million hits a day!  So you will get hundreds of people looking at your comics.  But you also get thousands of other comics for sale, probably many the same books as you are selling.  So this will lead to some competition.  Also, eBay is generally a buyer's paradise, with prices going very low.  If you are selling very rare books or ones that have a big audience, then this may be the way to go.  But if you are selling your basic stuff, then you may want to pass as you will either end up selling it for less than you want or not sell it and end up paying the insertion fee.  A good tip is to do a search of both current auctions and completed auctions and see how much similar books sell for.  This way, you can get an idea of what to expect.  Remember that a picture can do wonders to increase the price.

The nice thing about newsgroups is it is free to list.  But you also can get lost in the shuffle or get a bunch of negative emails, depending on where you post and how often.  The best bet is to limit it to the Comic Marketplace and other similar newsgroups, otherwise be prepared to be flamed.  

In selling in the newsgroups, you have two options.  You can either do a basic sale, where you list the books for sale with prices or have a list that you email prospective buyers.  The best tips I can give you is to first make sure to have the prices listed, put in the shipping costs and make sure to list if you sell overseas or not.  Also, put in what forms of payment you accept.  This will save alot of email tag.  

The other option is to run a newsgroup auction.  This is where you put up a list of books for sale and have people bid on them.  While this will yield you more money for some books, it will also provide you with alot of work.  You need to track all the bids, keep posting the updates and then contacting all the winners and getting them to pay.  While most people are quite honest, there will always be some people who won't pay.  So be prepared for that.

Your Own Website
The benefits of selling on your own website is that you can charge whatever you want!  Of course, if you charge too much, you won't sell anything.  The internet is full of sites with high priced comics that just sit there.  So don't make the same mistake alot of people make and assume because there are millions of people on the net, that they will pay whatever you want.  

If you do set up your own website, you have two choices.  You can use one of the free websites like GeoCities, Xoom and others or you can rent the space.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both.  It all comes down to how serious you are and how big your collection is.

If you don't have a ton of books to sell and want to keep costs to a minimum, then you may want to use one of the free servers.  Make sure you read all their guidelines before setting up.  Many won't let you just set up a site to sell products.  So you may have to look elsewhere or be creative.  You can always do a tribute to your favorite comic book or character and then put a few pages on there of books you are selling.  If you are not blatant about the fact that you are selling comics, they probably won't notice or care.  They just don't want their space filled with sites that don't offer any content.  

If you pay for a site, you need to do some shopping.  Don't jump on the first one that you find.  Prices and size range tremendously.  I have seen sites with as little as 5 meg go for as high as $100.00 a month and sites with 500 meg go for as little as $20.00 a month, so it is in your best interest to shop around.

Depending on how elaborate you want to be, you probably won't need more than a 10-20 meg site.  You may want to look into such features as whether or not it is Front Page enabled (one of the easiest programs to use to build webpages), if it has extensions for shopping cart and secured transactions.  Some have these built in and others charge extra.  Also look to see if there is a setup fee.  

One thing to keep in mind if you are paying for a site is that you will probably need to get a domain name and that is $100.00.  So keep that in mind.  If you are in it for the short haul, then you probably don't want to go this route.  

Comic Brokers
There are a few sites on the internet that allow you to list a bunch of comics for either a per book fee or one monthly fee.  The nice thing is that these stay up as long as you want them to (as long as  you pay the monthly fee).  This allows you a chance to get more exposure than a one week auction.  They also are able to bring in more people than you probably will with your website.

The one big problem with these is they tend to get filled with a bunch of books and you may find that you are in a pricing war if you want to sell your books.  There are other people out there also selling the same book and they may decide to sell theirs for less than you are.  Think of it as Comic Limbo, how low will you go?

Here is the URL to ComicFind, one of these brokers: 


As you can see there are different options available to you.  So if you don't want to give your comics away or if none of the comic stores want them, maybe you will have better luck on the internet.  Just do a little research on what the books usually sell for and who knows, you may become the next Mile High!

(click on the picture to see a bigger version)

Crazy Cover of the Month
This is your chance to see Red Sonja battle everything under the sun!  There is a huge woman and lots of flying bug people!  Gotta love those little bee people with the matching bee striped underwear!  I haven't seen undies like those since the Killer Bees wrestlers.  

But funky bee people aren't the only silly thing on this cover.  Look at that wild woman!  I haven't seen makeup that bad since Mimi from "The Drew Carey Show".  And that hair has to go!  The medusa look never was in style.  

But the funniest to me (and this shows how pathetic my life has come) is the "Fight on, sword woman".  When I read that, I cannot help but think of the famous line "Battle on Xena!"  

(click on picture to see a larger one)

Classic Story of the Month
Back in the 1980's one of the big things to do was do fresh new approaches to old characters.  Alot of classic characters were given facelifts and saw radical changes in their storylines.  You had the Dark Knight with Batman, Daredevil saw a big change with Miller on board, Silver Surfer was freed of his imprisonment on Earth and Man of Steel saw Superman's powers reduced.  The list goes on and on.  Writer's were given free reign to tinker with existing characters and they went wild.  One of the interesting storylines was the Thor/Beta Ray Bill storyline from Walt Simonson.

One of the long standing traditions in comics was that Thor's hammer always came back to him and only he could lift it (though this was compromised a few times).  But Walt Simonson decided to really shake things up and brought in a new character, Beta Ray Bill, who not only defeated Thor, but took his hammer away and replaced him.  This was a total shock!  The nearly immortal God of Thunder was bested by an unknown alien.  

When this story came out, it was quite popular and quickly became a fairly expensive story to own.  But now, it is a forgotten story to many and the price is much cheaper.  It can even sometimes be found in the bargain bins.  So if you missed out on this great story, then check it out!  Just one more series that proves that the 1980's were the best era for comic storytelling!

Comic Knowledge at your Fingertips!
Ever want to know about a certain character from Marvel or DC?  Well, there were two series back in the 1980's to early 1990's that gave you all the info you craved and more!  Sure you could probably find anything you wanted to know on the internet now, but back then this was the way to go!  The nice thing is these are quite affordable and fairly easy to find.  They are the Marvel Universe and DC's Who's Who series.  Both are pretty much the same thing, just each is for their respective companies.

The Marvel Universe or as the full title is "The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe" began back in 1983 and went for 15 issues.  Here is a breakdown of what was in each issue:

#01-Letter A
#02-Letters B-C
#03-Letters C-D
#04-Letters D-G
#05-Letters H-J
#06-Letters K-L
#07-Letters M
#08-Letters N-P
#09-Letters Q-S
#10-Letter S
#11-Letters S-U
#12-Letters V-Z
#13-Book of the Dead and Inactive #1
#14-Book of the Dead and Inactive #2
#15-Book of Weapons, Hardware and Paraphernalia.  

This series was later followed by another more up to date series in 1985 that went 20 issues.  There was also updates that came out in 1989-1990.  There were a total of 8 of these.  

DC did a similar series called "Who's Who in the DC Universe.  It came out two years later than the Marvel series and went a total of 26 issues.  Almost each letter was given its own issue.  It featured artwork from many of the prominent artists at DC, including George Perez, Art Adams, John Byrne and Jack Kirby.

Not only did DC do the Who's Who series, but they also had a follow up, much like Marvel did.  Lastly, they did specific ones for the Legion of Superheroes and Star Trek.  

Both the Marvel and the DC series are a wealth of information about your favorite heroes.  They feature great color photos, bios, data and more!  So if you are looking for a large database of information at an affordable price, then check out the Marvel Universe and DC's Who's Who.  Now that they are fairly affordable, they make a very enjoyable read and a great bargain! 

I know that some of the regular features weren't included, but time just ran out on me.  But with the next issue being #20, look for a bigger and better issue!  I am already planning some cool features for it!  So this is your big time to contribute!  Send in those articles and we will feature them!  Check back in 30 days and have a great month!

Tom Zjaba