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Seeking advice on selling my collection

I have a fairly large collection (by my standards) of modern comics that I've acquired over the last couple of decades. About 5000 books so far. My issue is that not only am I running out of room, but I've recently discovered that I have a collector's mentality such that the only reason I'm keeping these books is because they're part of my collection. A collection that I'm not likely to ever read again. So I've come to the decision to sell most of my books on eBay.

Here's where I could use some advice. I've never sold comics before and I'm not sure how to bundle them, price them, or ship them.

Bundling: any suggestions on which books to bundle into a lot? By character? Title? Storyline? And what's the max number of books to bundle without making shipping a chore or overly expensive?

Pricing: I don't have any exaggerated expectations on what my books are worth. Nothing rare, old or overly unique. But I also don't want to just give them away. So, what should I go on for a pricing strategy? Some fraction of cover price? And would you recommend a reserve price or no?

Shipping: I've noticed that most comic sellers on eBay use the USPS Book or Media rates for shipping the books. This confuses me as the USPS website states that the material must be educational material only. In any case, I'm looking for any recommendations on shipping methods. Also, how should the books be packaged to best avoid damage?

I really appreciate any and all advice. Thanks so much!


  • Do a quick search of the forum and you will see at least a couple of threads on this topic. As far as shipping, Media Mail rates are for print publication that do not contain advertising. So, a trade paperback collection would qualify, as it has no ads, but the original issues of that series would not qualify, as it does contain ads. You could take a chance and send them Media Mail anyway, but the USPS does on occasion inspect packages, and if they find the wrong type of material they will return the package, and you'll have to eat the postage.
  • gavigavi Posts: 41
    I'm more on the buying side so I can share my personal preferences and see how that relates to your goals.

    Bundling: Since I don't plan to resell the comics I buy but rather bind/read them, when it comes to bundling I definitely want the lot to make sense. What I mean by that is don't sell me "Lot of Random 200 comics from 90s Marvel" but rather sell me "150 Uncanny X-Men titles from '80s-90s" or even "Uncanny X-Men #200-300". I am willing to pay more for the latter two because I'm getting what I want, while with the former I'm taking a risk.

    Pricing: I normally try to purchase off people looking to liquidate to make more room, so I see myself as helping you out by giving you not only money but also free space (I know that sounds ridiculous but I'm just giving my true thoughts). My price is normally 10-20 cents per book, up to 25-50 cents if I'm certain I want every title in the lot.

    Shipping: I know some people have had issues with Media Mail and won't ship comics using that service. I personally have never had an issue, on both the sending and receiving end. The financial savings of shipping a large lot of comics using Media Mail cannot be beat. For packaging, if the comics are not in bags/boards, take about 20-30 titles and place them between two boards. Then cover in plastic wrap, and tape the whole bundle up.

    All this being said, feel free to message me if you're looking to sell any runs of Uncanny X-Men and/or Avengers from the '80s and early '90s.
  • Great advice from all the previous posters. It might not hurt to post your list on the forums before you go the Ebay route. I have bought and sold books through these forums, and never once had a problem. It would certainly save you the cost of Ebay's auction fees.

    If you have a list of books for sale, I would be happy to take a look. I've been buying up some runs of stuff I missed over the years.

  • I wrote about selling my entire collection... here

    My quick recommendations -

    Bundling - By Title..... storylines as best as best as possible.
    (Reality - you'll be selling most titles by the short box for $15-$20 at best)

    Pricing - You can check websites like Newkadia and mycomicshop to see the going rates.... then try for 50% of that. Newkadia actually lists the the amount of time a particular copy has been in their store. THAT will tell you if the book is hot or not.

    Shipping - I used Priority Flat Rate when possible. Its a fix amount and you can track it and insure it. If the buyer wants something else, then tell them its at cost. I did a lot through UPS. (Truth be told.... most people want free shipping)

    Other points -

    a. Do Not pull the keys out. Keep them in the runs... otherwise you'll be left with a lot of unwanted books. If you have Ultimate Spider-man #1, then sell it as part of a lot.

    b. Take good scans of the Keys to attract buyers.

    c. Post things in the ebay/for sale thread. There are good people on the forum and they will buy from you.

    Now the negative - modern books are a dime a dozen. Forget what the price guides tell you. If Fearless Readers is selling them for $1..... then you can't expect to get $3 for the title that guides at $5. I sold nearly all of my moderns to Fearless Readers. I got GOOD prices with the Keys included.

    Good Luck.

  • Floyd_LawtonFloyd_Lawton Posts: 26
    edited February 2013
    As far as media mail containing no ads, I've been told that ads over ten years old are no longer ads and therefore any magazine or comic from the 20th century can be shipped media mail with no concerns. Not from a person who works at the post office, but the owner of my former LCS who buys and sells an assload of comics over the Internet.

    When I moved from Colorado back to the east coast several years ago I shipped my whole collection (about ten short boxes at the time) media mail with no problems. I found shipping boxes about an inch bigger than short boxes and filled the space with packing material to prevent an extreme crush incident. Probably a little over the top but it was my personal collection.
  • Floyd_Lawton said: I found shipping boxes about an inch bigger than short boxes and filled the space with packing material to prevent an extreme crush incident.

    That's pretty much how I shipped books. I would actually use priority boxes and cut them to size. I would create a "library box" and tightly box the books. I could typically put 25 -30 comics in a priority box. Then I would place those inside a large box surrounded with minty fresh green peanuts. :)) (Typically a 14 x 12 x 12 shipping box). I bought my shipping supplies from Staples. I could pack 3 priority boxes in a shipping box. Being anal about how you pack things is acceptable. :))
  • Thanks for all the great advice everyone! Very helpful and appreciated.
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