Can someone explain the pricing on Marvel Masterworks Amazing Spider-man?

This isn't a loaded question. I honestly am looking for opinions and hopefully some solid background.

But can someone explain to me why the hardback version of Marvel Masterworks Amazing Spiderman-man Vol. 11 (reprinting issues 100-109) is valued/priced at $350. Most of these hardbound archive editions go for their original cover price or below. What is it about this particular book that makes it this price.

And I guess the same question could be posted for Vol 10, 12, and 13 seem to sell for $150 to $200. I can kind see why with the drug issues and the death of Green Goblin and Gwen..... maybe.... but they're still reprints.

I don't think I got $300-$500 for the floppies of the issues included in Vol 11 when I sold my collection. HaHa.

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to provide some insight.



  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,627
    Are the books actually selling at that price? If so, it has to be because the book is out of print and had a small print run. Maybe it only very recently went out of print, and the going price is still finding its level.
  • CaptShazamCaptShazam Posts: 1,178
    edited January 26
    My random guess is that these editions are out of print. Also if there was a low print run of the edition - which at times occurs with later volumes of a series as sales/demand start to diminish - the price will go up when it goes out of print.

    When the book goes out of print and the only source to obtain the volume is third party sellers (like on Amazon), then there is no rhyme or reason to pricing. The book is out of print which can inflate the price to some degree. Then a seller puts a random high price on it. Anyone else who has a copy to sell and posts it on a site sees that first high price and places the same high price or higher on the copy they are selling. The hope is that the buyer is desperate to complete their collections of the series or that someone assumes that since there is such a high price that it is actually valuable and rare.

    In most cases, if the person just wants the stories, it is best for the buyer just to wait. With Spider Man, all of that material in the HC masters works has been reprinted several times over (Omnibus, Epic Collection, Essentials, etc). Unless a person just has to get all the editions of a particular series, there is no reason to pay ridiculous prices.

    In the past on the forums, there was a thread about large to read piles. A person did not understand why a few of us bought so much stuff that just sat on a to be read pile for months or years. For me, this is a main reason. If I know I want something and that eventually I will read it, the easiest thing to do is preorder it when it has a discount - especially for things that I am unsure if they will ever get collected again. Waiting to buy later and hoping that it is still available and that third party sellers have not overly inflated the price is too risky.
  • hauberkhauberk Posts: 1,288
    I've run into the same issue with a couple of the the DC Legion of Superhero Archives. I'm not sure about the second of them, but volume 4 is, I believe where the Jim Shooter stories started.
  • CaptShazamCaptShazam Posts: 1,178
    @nweathington concisely says in one paragraph what I ramble on for in 4 paragraphs. :smile:
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,627

    @nweathington concisely says in one paragraph what I ramble on for in 4 paragraphs. :smile:

    What can I say? Ernest Hemingway is my writing role model.
  • Also, at some point the cover price increased from $50-55 to $70 so I am sure that reduced the print run/ sales.
  • phansfordphansford Posts: 215
    So... based on the comments from everyone... I took a look at books in my run of this title.

    I would be of the opinion that the pricing of the books is based on print run. But that gets complicated by the two editions. The Direct Edition has the silver background dust jacket with the black spine. These printings do not seem to be limited in number. These volumes are numbers 1 thru 19 at the present time.

    Then you have the variant covers with the original Masterwork covers. A gold embossed frame around the cover art. These seem to have limited runs. These volumes are numbers as if part of complete set of Marvel Masterworks of all Marvel comics. ie: Volume 1 is Amazing Spider-man reprinting AF #15 and ASM #1 -10. Volume 2 is Fantastic Four. Volume 3 is X-men and so on. For this conversation, I'll call these Masterworks Complete.

    Looking at my copies.... of Masterworks ASM where the print run is identified.

    Volume # for Masterworks Complete (Vol # for ASM )

    182 (ASM Vol. 14) Print Run = 1,045 copies
    192 (ASM Vol. 15) Print Run = 885 copies
    ASM Vol. 16 - my copy is a Direct Edition.
    226 (ASM Vol. 17) Print Run = 975 copies
    239 (ASM Vol. 18) Print Run = 911 copies
    245 (ASM Vol. 19) Print Run = 845 copies

    I should note that my earlier volumes of Masterworks Complete do not indicate a print run. So did this become the standard later? Is this due to the collections becoming more of the bronze and modern era books.... where collectors might not be interested in the hardcovers?

    I know I originally purchased the Masterworks books so that I could read early stories without reading my original copies. And to put together early books that I could not afford to purchase (Such as Early Early FF.... I had purchased all the ASM books from #1 to 149 before I graduated High School in 1979..... I started buying ASM new off spinner racks with issue #150.) Now that my collection is gone... I've decided to put together the ASM Masterworks for my reading pleasure. Just need Volumes 11, 12, 13.

    So..... the question might be limited runs of the variant editions could see a push for higher pricing. However, if the Direct Editions are not such small print runs, then people are gouging the market.

    At this point.... I am waiting and hoping for additional printings and for the market to adjust.
  • phansfordphansford Posts: 215
    Little more research... and there does seem to be different pricing for the variant editions vs. the Direct Editions
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,629
    A: It's magic. We don't have to explain it!
  • ToneboneTonebone Posts: 756
    If it's from a listing on Amazon, it could be due to the automatic algorithms the third party sellers use. Sometimes, if you search for something, the algorithm will automatically factor that as increased interest and, when factored with how many they have in stock and the print run, etc, the algorithm thinks the book is ultra rare and in high demand... artificially. If you can contact the seller, you may be able to negotiate a more realistic price... maybe even the cover price.
  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,455
    There was another book I was looking where algorithms made crazy high prices recently. Odd things happen when you automate everything.
Sign In or Register to comment.