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Monday, August 28, 2006

The other side of collecting

Looks like my study just was attacked by the Juggernaut...or at least Whirlwind.
Truth be told I have been hit by hurricane "lazybastard"...a common occurrence in the collecting world, it's when you get a lot of books in and can't be arsed to sort them, no matter how good, valuable or rare the books are, you just put them on a pile somewhere.

And this is exactly what's been happening to me for a while now, when I get new books in I frantically (but carefully) open the package, get the comics out, look at the covers and....toss them
You see the purpose of "the pile" is that I stack the books carefully and then take them from the pile, one by one and perform the following magical tasks

* remove the book from the bag and put the now *naked* book aside
* Throw away the old bag and give the board to my kids so they can make weird drawings on them ( doesn't apply when the book arrives in a Mylar sleeve + fullback)
* Grade the book, by looking it over, counting pages and (of course) smelling it
* remove the book from my Excel want-list
* Ad the book (+ grade + value + notes) to my "collection" Excel page
* Put the comic in a new bag + board
* Put the book in the right box in my storage unit

Sounds like fun ? Well it is, for the first year, or the first few 100 books, but after a while it takes a lot of discipline, I can do maybe 10 - 12 books per hour...and the logical thing to do would be to do the chores every time a book arrives...but then I was never logical.

So I just stack the books, and once the little nagging voice in my head becomes a loud loud jungle drum I give in and spend 4-5 hours being a notary, a pencil pusher, a book-keeper...(a comicbook-keeper hehe ba-da-bingg !).

And then people ask me why I have only read 20% of my collection.....

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The ones that got away

Well, I’m always here talking about my latest purchases and what not, but maybe a little insight I what I didn’t buy could be informative…
You see, I lose more than I win, bidding and make-an-offer wise…This isn’t really because I’m cheap (well I am, but not THAT cheap) but because I have a fixed price in my head before every purchase and I stick with it. It’s hard sometimes to uphold and live by this dogmatic system, but in the end it is what’s best for me.
Otherwise I’d spend even more, influenced by the heat of the moment (eBay-fever) and bidding like a madman. It’s not easy sometimes, it took me almost a year to get a copy of Fantastic Four #1 this way, but patience saves money…costs time but saves $$$.

And of course I sometimes bid a low price on books, knowing my bid will never win, but hey you never know…miracles do happen.

Anyway here’s a roundup of stuff I bid on or made an offer on during the last 2 weeks, and of course, didn’t win

eBay :

* Amazing spider-man 14 1st app green goblin VG-
I sniped at $202 but it went for $256.99 ….which I think is a bit much. Too bad as it’s one of the few ASM’s I still need….but there will be others
* amazing spider-man #1 cgc 9.0 vf/nm restored
Early in the game I bid $1000….which I knew would be fat less than the closing price, but hey it was a restored book and it was ending in the middle of the day in the US and during a lot of cons…final bid was $5,400.00 and the reserve was not met…


* Amazing spider-man #1 cgc 2.0 autographed by stan lee..
Starting price was $899.00…I bid and at the end of the auction I was the only bidder…thought I’d won it and then I saw the “reserve not met” blurb…I later found out that the reserve was $1199…which was kinda cheap for this book, autographed (authenticated) by Stan Lee. The seller was glad it didn’t sell and has now put the book up on eBay with a starting price of $1500…I should have bid the reserve price when I had the chance.
One that got away

Various private sellers on comic boards

* League of extraordinary gentlemen 1-6 $2 each nm +
* Planetary 1-13 $32 nm
Now I have these books already, I even have them both as single comics and as reprints in the Ultimate Editions HC sets, but this was a very low price for these find books… I was the first to spot them and contacted the seller, but he only wanted to accept paypal funded by a bank account and not through a credit card. And as I’m a foreigner I don’t have a bank account linked to my paypal, only two different credit cards…so no deal
* Batman 200 is around a f+ $35 + Batman 213 f $30
Needed both of these for my Batman run, two nice books at a very decent price. I contacted the seller and he only accepted US money orders…which I can’t get over here…otherwise they would have been mine. Geographically challenged again
* Captain America #100 in 9.0 + #110 in 9.2
This was a seller who had bought a whole bunch of Silver Age caps as CGC books and then broke them out of the holder. He now needed cash and was selling them at 60% of value.
I don’t collect Cap, but these were pristine books that used to be professionally graded and were now on the market for a much lower price than they were worth.
I offered the seller $265 for both books which he accepted, but he told me that somebody was thinking of buying his entire 75+ book set….the next day a dealer bought all of the books, and I’m sure he’s already sent them off to CGC to have them regarded. Meaning he’ll pay $25.00 per book for the service and will probably be able to make about $50.00 - $75.00 profit (on average) per book when he sells them again. Big money always wins