It’s one of those rainy Saturday afternoons and you’re straightening out the attic when you come upon some old comic books. After a quick trip down memory lane, you start to wonder: could these really be worth something?
You’re not alone. In fact, you’re one of countless comic book enthusiasts who at one point or another wonder whether that Batman #145 or Superboy # 23 could actually bring in some cash. Here are 4 simple steps to help you figure it out:
- Is It In Good Condition? The condition of a comic book affects its value. Obviously, a comic in mint condition is the most valuable, but you could get a good payout even if there are signs of wear and tear, if for example it’s a rare book. The cover is important—the value goes down is it’s got tears or creases, or if it’s no longer attached to the rest of the book. The inside should be free of fading or yellowing. If the book had coupons, let’s hope no one cut them out, because that drops the value.
- Price It Online: Once you’ve determined the condition of your comic book, consult several online price guides. Some of these have handy search features for your convenience. Don’t be surprised if each of these gives you a different price, because this is a somewhat subjective determination. Some guides will give you a range of prices for your book based on its condition, while others will give a single price. You can also buy printed price guides on sites like Amazon or at your local comic book store.The most trusted guide in the industry is the Overstreet Price Guide, which is updated every year in July. Remember that these price guides are just that—guides. They’re not necessarily the final word on the subject because when it comes down to price, your comic book is worth as much as someone wants to pay for it. Your best bet is to work with a company that has some real expertise in this area.
- Check out Some Auction Sites: Ebay auctions can give you a good idea of what a similar book is selling for. It is more accurate to check the “sold” auctions to see what someone actually paid, because some sellers’ asking prices are not realistic. These sites will help you determine the value of your book by showing you what people are currently willing to pay for it.
- Type the Name of Your Comic Book into Google: Let’s say you have an Amazing Fantasy #15—just type the name of the book directly into Google or another search engine. You’ll see a number of listings for it, and in some cases, images and prices right at the top of the first page. This is a good method to use if you can’t find your book in a price guide or on an auction site.
Keep in mind that even though comic books seem to be in a class of their own, the rules which govern their value aren’t that different from other valuables and collectibles. When something is rare, it has more value (in other words, “old” doesn’t necessarily equal “valuable”). If it’s rare and in good condition, the price goes up. If it’s rare, in good condition and popular (maybe your book features a character that was recently featured in the latest Marvel movie), that’s worth even more.
This Avengers #2 is in VF/NM condition. Nice and sharp and shiny with very little wear. It sells for $2000.
This Catman #3 is in VG- condition with general wear and has some tape inside (very bad), but it is a very rare book, so it sells for $675.