Have you wanted to start a comic collection? Or maybe you want to help your child build their stacks up. With comic books it doesn’t matter how old you are. What matters is that you enjoy them and know this is your hobby. People collect comics for multiple reasons, whether it’s a hobby just for fun or they hope that the value will rise and some profit can be made. Either way, there are a lot of ways to start collecting comic books.
Most first-time comic book collectors start out by visiting their local comic book shops, which is a great idea. When you go to the shop, make sure you know what you are wanting to spend and what you want to start buying. It can be daunting to a new collector to enter a shop with thousands of titles to choose from. I tend to stick to DC Comics. I love Batman and have collected these issues since I was a child. I am now 29 and frequent multiple shops weekly.
If you are going to start here, don’t let the clerks bamboozle you into buying issues that are going to be “hot.” Collecting for yourself means you want to hold onto the comics you paid for and cherish these issues. If you are going to buy for yourself, maybe start with a superhero that you like. The newest, most popular comics have a price range of $2.99 to $4.99. So if price is an issue, maybe start with just a couple of titles. If you are collecting to resale issues for a profit, the shop is probably not the first place to start unless you are buying variant covers, but then you want to be one of the first people in line on Wednesday at the store.
Flea markets and antique shops.Antique shops are great for silver and golden age comics, generally issues priced between $3 and $500, but they are likely to come down on their prices a little bit.
Sure, flea markets are filled with tons of stuff that no one wants, even the person selling it. But sometimes you can find great deals on hard to find back issues of comics. Most comic shops offer discounts on back issues, except for issues that have first appearances or something major that happened. Though at flea markets you have to pick through crap to find the gold, the same goes for buying new comics. And at most of these outdoor flea markets the most you are going to pay is a dollar per issue. I once talked a gentleman down from a buck an issue to .50 cents an issue and bought all of his comics. When I got home, I found that I had bought several comics that were worth way more than what I had paid total. Flea markets are a great opportunity for a beginning collector to spend very little money and get a bunch of comics to start their collection. If you are concerned whether or not they are first printings of the issues, the barcode will have certain numbers in it to identify this. With buying comics this way, more than likely they are going to be third or higher printings, but you can find first prints.
This next idea can cause you to spend more than what you want to pay, but if you are looking for a special issue or a specific issue then try Amazon or Ebay. People resale comics that come out that week very fast on these sites. You might pay a dollar or two more but you’ll get what you want. Also, there are tons of online comic book stores that actually give you a synopsis of the comic book before you order it.
Buying online is one thing that I do not like about collecting comic books. I rarely buy them online because I don’t trust my mail carrier. Not that they would steal them, I just have a tiny mailbox and don’t want my comic book bent or torn. But if you have a good size mailbox then this is a great idea for you.
I have been collecting comic books for over twenty years now, and practically all of my comics are in near mint condition. I do resale issues and will write an article on that topic to help as well, but if you are just beginning to collect, give it some time, and try these different methods. You’ll be a nerd with a bedroom full of comic books in no time.