Are Your Spidey Comics Worthless?

1030_comics_630x420A new article in Business Week is suggesting that your massive comic collection could be worth a lot less than you think.  Many comic shops have a lot of stock of comics that are post 1980s and they’re selling below cover price. What are your thoughts on the article? 


Kevin J. Maroney, 47, of Yonkers, N.Y., decided to sell 10,000 comics, roughly a third of his collection, on consignment with various comic book stores in Manhattan. Thus far, fewer than 300 have sold for a total of about $800. He’s not surprised by the lack of interest. “A lot of people my age, who grew up collecting comics, are trying to sell their collections now,” says Maroney, who works in IT support for Piper Jaffray. “But there just aren’t any buyers anymore.”

(12) Comments

  1. Josh (Venom65437)

    As someone who has been working on selling basically their whole collection I can attest to the fact that they are generally worthless. A few issues go for some decent money, but other than that it isn't much. Some of my newer runs of comics have gone for some ok money but I don't know that I've made back what I pay for on any of them. Buy them to enjoy them but they aren't worth anything. :(

  2. JGC

    I know my Spidey collection is probably worthless to investors, but to me - it's worth millions! And I would never sell it. :)

  3. Barrel Jumper

    Buy comics to read and enjoy. If you buy comics as an investment...then better be sure it is a very key issue in really good condition. I have 10,000+ books and probably 100 are actually worth any real money. The rest I enjoy but realize beyond my enjoyment they hold little monetary value.

  4. campbelldropout

    #5 good point on the collectors that will always want the original but do you think there are enough young collectors that want it that way. For example there are three options I can take to read a comic buy a hardcopy, get a digital copy or wait for trade.

  5. Eddie deAngelini

    #7: I never seen variants increase. They have a short shelf life for collectors. Very few retain their hype long after they've come out because the interest for specific ones dies down in time.

  6. Danbbqman

    #5- Sorry, it's me again!! Riddle me this; will variant covers of current issues increase in value? Probably not the 1:25's, but how about the 1:50 or 1:100 Variant covers? Maybe the vendor only covers like those from Hastings or Midtown comics will increase in value? What do you think?

  7. Danbbqman

    #5 I think you are spot on. I buy digital golden & silver age comics to read that I cannot afford or because I can then read my coveted Spidey 39 without having to touch it! #1- I agree it can be difficult to get kids interested. Many comics are not appropriate for children. But I have introduced my kids to the Bone series, Owly, etc and they love them. Hopefully they wil find an interest in other comics when they get older. Another thing is that I believe the quality of comics is the best it's ever been. Saga, Lazarus, all New X-Men, and yes, Superior Spider-Man, are all so entertaining. One thing that might be missing is a front man, a champion of comics. I know there are a lot of people out there that do not care for Stan Lee, but he worked hard to improve the image of comics. There are still many people I know who think comics are stupid, silly or worse. They would NEVER let their kids near a comic. Of course, they don't read them so what do they know. Mr. Lee tried to educate the general public about the issues that comics addressed. Including race relations, drug abuse, and other social issues. I ate this stuff up when I was a kid in the 1970's. Sorry for the long post - but I really enjoy comics and hope they are around for many moons!

  8. Eddie deAngelini

    Working on the retail end of the industry, this isn't anything new. The shop I work at buys comics from the 1970 and earlier, but we only pay pennies for anything newer than that, if we even buy them. I've burst so many peoples' bubbles when they walk in the shop to sell their comics from the 90s and I tell them they worth nothing. #4: The article got it half right. Comics from the 1980s and up will never be valuable, but the Spidey issues you mention along with many other gold and silver age books bring in good money. The collector market is a tricky one. Gone are the days when you could buy an issue at cover price when it first comes out and sit on it until it shoots up in value. Buying books as a collector now means investing more money in older books and letting them appreciate over years. Buying a Hulk #181 or an Amazing Spider-Man #129 for a few hundred dollars or more is always a safe investment because they are books that always go up. The article says nothing about investing in these older books and that's where they got it wrong. However, most people have their childhood collection of 80s and 90s books in the closet, so the writer was speaking specifically to them. #3: The digital market will never affect the collector market. Collectors don't sink hundreds or thousands of dollars to own an older book to read it. It's for investment and the thrill of owning o coveted first issue/first appearance. The digital market will affect monthly books but will never kill it. The digital market is even bringing people into the shops and helping to keep our hobby alive.

  9. Danbbqman

    I disagree. Maybe it's my age ( I'm in my 50's), but I think there will always be those folks out there that will want to own an original Spidey 50, 121, or 90. The key issues are an important part of any collection. Besides digital copies are fun, but it is not the same as owning the wonderful & original works!

  10. campbelldropout

    Hopefully people buy the comics because they like/love them and for their entertainment value not because they think they will be worth money. The funniest line in the article is the guy who blames illegal downloads for the drop in prices and basically states that if you wanted to read a specific comic back in the day you had to find and buy it. Yeah I'm going to spend several thousand dollars on ASM #1 when I can spend $20 on a trade or $1.99 on a digital copy. I think print comics may end up disappearing but that could be years from now or it may never happen. I think digital comics will probably keep the industry going forward.

  11. Daddypool

    It's sad but true. I tried to instill a love of comics in my kids, but failed. I think that this is a dying industry. People who collect baseball cards are in the very same boat.

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