How to Buy and Sell Comic Books

Buying and selling comic books can be a fun hobby, a lucrative business or both for comic book enthusiasts. Those in the comic book trade buy and sell comic books and related collectibles at trade shows, comic conventions, in stores or online. Knowing the types of comic books, the condition classifications and ways to buy and sell comic books will help you get the most out of this nostalgic business.


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    Know the types of comics to buy and sell.
    • Buy nostalgic “old school” comic books either as collectible investments or as merchandise for a comic book selling business. Characters considered classics date back to the early 1930s Action Comics, the Marvel Comics of the early 1970s and run the gamut from superheroes (Superman, Batman, The Green Hornet and Stan Lee’s Spiderman) to more cartoonish characters like the Archives or Hi-Jinx.
    • Opt for graphic novels that became popular in the early 1960s.
    • Invest in the more unusual underground comics. First popular in the 1960s and 1970s, these comics included profanity, drug culture, counter culture and even pornography. These were more often found in youth-oriented “head shops” than in comic shops.
    • Find newer options, like alternative comics that started in the 1970s into the 1990s that not only include superheroes, but also detective and science fiction stories.
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    Learn about the currently popular Japanese manga or anime’ featuring avatars, martial arts, monsters and such.
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    Understand the condition classifications dealers and collectors use in rating comic books.
    • Mint refers to a near perfect comic showing no signs of cover wear, only slight printing imperfections, a tight and flat spine, clean staples and bright, clear ink colors.
    • Near Mint refers to a comic that has only minor imperfections, no corner or impact creases, tiny bindery tears (if any) and clear, bright ink colors.
    • Very Fine comics possess top eye appeal with sharp, clean surfaces, a relatively flat cover, little if any edge wear, and good cover ink with only slight imperfections.
    • Fine conditioned comics are above-average with minor wear, slight surface defects and small stress marks.
    • Very Good refers to an average comic book that shows some wear, has a slight crease, not enough defects to reduce eye appeal and having some minor fading or discoloration.
    • Good refers to a comic book that isn’t missing any pages or cover with only small pieces missing on the inside of the book, scuffed, soiled but fully readable.
    • Fair condition grading refers to a comic that has all its inside pages with most covers, as long as the story isn’t affected with prevalent creasing.
    • Poor condition comic books are worn to the point that there is basically no collectible value with pages or sections of the cover missing, stained pages, mildew and inks that aren’t clear or clean.
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    Make a list of all the comic books you are interested in trading or selling. This will help you show a buyer exactly what you have and allow for a quicker assessment.
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    Choose online classified services such as, or Craigslist is of course widely-used for all types of products, while comics classifieds allow users a very specialized and controlled marketplace for your comic books.
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    Find a local comics and collectible store where you can buy, sell or trade comic books while interacting with other local enthusiasts.


  • When you decide how to buy and sell comic books, make sure to ask the comic dealers for full disclosure of prices they’ll pay or prices you’ll pay, shipping costs and expected timeframe for turnaround on your dealings with them.
  • When dealing with large numbers of comic books, buyers and sellers may not look at each individual book, but rather at the collection as a whole.
  • Some comics you are buying and selling could have significant value, so check out the comic dealer’s reputation and the amount of time they have been in the business.
  • Ask dealers with whom you are trading whether they grade each book in your collection or the bunch you are buying or selling.

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Categories: Buying & Forming a Business