What a weird experience! As I mentioned before, I am selling off a portion of my collection (stuff I am not totally in love with), to get some bash together for a ‘You had our baby’ gift for Kat. I still can’t make sense of how or why things sell or don’t sell. The one thing that seems to always attract attention is pre-Code horror. I am not talking EC or Timely here – even the second and third tier publishers. Last week I put a handful of Ace books – titles like Hand of Fate and The Beyond – good stuff with lots of Sekowsky art, but nothing spectacular. Overall, I’d say I got 70% of Guide on those books. That’s about as well as I can expect to do. I try to grade very conservatively, and that has helped bring back some repeat business. I’ve notice that once a buyer gets a feel for your grading and service – they are happy to come back for more. I know that’s how I’ve always made my online purchase. I had a repeat buyer pick of all 8 of the Ace horror books I had up, as well as a couple of other cheap Golden Age books.
On the negative side, Silver Age books do not attract the same level of aggressive bidding as the older stuff. I’d say most Silver Age books tend to go for 30-40% of Guide or so. In addition the gap between what you can get for a Fine book and a VF book is much smaller than is reflect in the Guide. It seems that people are happy with mid grade and aren’t willing to pay the premium for the high grade stuff. That’s cool – as that’s the approach I take.
Another strange thing I can’t quite explain is why something won’t attract any business one week and then sell like crazy the next. For example, I had a very nice issue of Our Army at War languish at $5.99 a few weeks ago, I re-listed it and it ended up selling for $11. The same for an old Terry and the Pirates book – no action at $5.99 and sold for $16 two weeks later. I can’t really explain that – just a timing issue, I guess. I have also been able to take a profit on some recent acquisitions. I sold some 50s war book for 3 to 4 times what I paid for them. I can’t explain that either – must just be good timing.
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