My experiences from a con last weekend. I helped a friend with his large booth and in return put some of my own stuff out.
I brought 7 short boxes of comics. Essentially all modern books that were either keys, variants, nice covers, etc. Nothing crazy but some books like Daredevil #9, SIKTC #1, WWBN #37 were in there. The bulk of the books were $5-20$ ish though. I had most in mylite2s and everything was clearly marked, organized, and I used the nice divider labels to make my stuff stand out. I priced everything below current sold listings and also put up a “buy 4 get one free” sign. I wasn’t ready to give anything though. I always would accept any offer that was given and did so throughout the weekend.
Set up was Friday and very good attendance throughout the weekend. It was in a mall which is fairly unique and resulted in ongoing traffic at all times. As with most cons these days, there was a significant mix of craft, food, comic, toy, art, and cosplay type vendors. Because I was a “helper” and not anything like a paid employee, I felt like I could do as I pleased given the amount of time and work I was doing as a friend/helper. Allowed me to check things out more than if I was a paid employee/sole booth vendor.
- Sales were “ok”-lots of lookers, but often just that. I ended up going home with 5 vs 7boxes so I was happy. I sold my SIKTC #1 (Frison) and the Daredevil #9 so that made me happy. Raw at $100 each.
- Guys with the expensive books did not do well. Nice stuff to look at it…but it was all there come Sunday night.
- Venom and TMNT were hands down the winners and sought after items.
- A significant amount of requests for Sonic stuff and Rick/Morty (I have none). Enough requests that I stored it in my memory bank to start making a more devoted search for the stuff.
- I had quite a few customers buying items for their significant others/children/etc…I liked this as it allowed me to give some information about comics and really try to help them buy something I thought their loved one would like. I wasn’t trying to up sell…it was just fun to provide info.
- Had a women whose husband in the hospital do a video chat with us so he could “pick out comics” from my boxes. I think it made his day. That was fun watching his eyes light up with a book he wanted.
- CGC did not sell well as a rule, HOWEVER…if you had graded Venom books, TMNT books, 1st Cable, ASM #252, or Hulk #340, New Mutants #98 in any graded condition—they sold. Wasn’t a vendor at the show with any of those books left. Regardless of what they had them priced at.
- Past spec type books or even newer spec type books sat unsold. We had a beautiful copy of Omega Man #3 priced crazy good and not a soul ever even asked to look at it. Folks with stuff like White Vision West Coast Avengers on their walls at silly prices still.
- We had tons of nice silver age books that folks ignored. Rarely even asked to see them. That was odd to me. We had some awesome books priced at great prices that went unsold.
- With the exception of a graded Spawn book I sold (#175 8.5) to a wife for her husband…little interest in Spawn that weekend.
- As always, bulk buys of cheap run fillers did well. Guy with the $1 boxes was always busy.
- People were overpaying ridiculously for various Venom comics. Stuff like Lethal Protector or the various Venom limited series. Later issues of ASM with Venom. It was typically younger collectors who simply liked Venom and they bought that stuff up right and left for prices far higher than they could get online. I didn’t have control over the friends prices/his process…he had boxes of Venom stuff and did crazy well because of it.
- I sold some Star Wars books but no Dark Horse stuff and no High Republic at all.
A few main take away things for me which are clearly generalizations from one show but still:
- The stuff that many of us talk about, know, look for, etc just isn’t on the radar of most people. I could not believe some of the books I was quickly finding at the end of the show. Books I rarely see at shops/other places that (imo) should have been snatched up first thing. Last day of the show and I’m pulling out Spider Man India, Dave Stevens covers, Gambit x-men annual, Quasar Hulk issue, Hypno Hustler issue etc? Yes…it’s spec and to my point above may not sell at high prices, but when you find them in $1 bins or $3 bucks…after a whole weekend of people digging. Weird to me.
- There are folks who are definitely just tired of comics, the space they take, and the scene and sometimes just want to be done with it regardless of taking a hit on value, etc. A couple of booths there with people who just wanted the stuff gone. $1 comics that were great books (Book of Doom #1, Deadpool mini series for example).
- Some of the old, expensive collectors may be coming to an understanding that modern “junk” also has its place in the convention/hobby scene as they are paying for booths and not making any money because they don’t have items folks are after.
To that point, on the final day, an older seller with an absolutely incredible display of nothing but golden/silver age books approached me. This guy had Pre code horror graded stuff, Avengers #1, etc. The real deal type books. Super nice fellow. Been a collector of the classic books his whole life. We talked here and there all weekend. He had looked over my boxes and complimented me on how nice they looked and displayed with the labels/organization. I had one of my boxes that was a BCW plastic bin with most of what I had labelled “bigger books”. Again, nothing crazy. He asked “how much for the box”. I actually thought at first he just wanted the plastic bin
He wanted the whole bin of comics and asked me come up with a price. Again, these were all modern keys, in great shape, but ultimately just all duplicates from my collection and easily replaceable.
I came up with a price, we haggled a bit and I walked away with the comics shown in the first picture as well as a decent amount of cash. He stated he wanted a nice little collection of modern stuff to bring to his shows. I’d do it again in a second. Largely books I bought at cover and that I have a copy of already. Made my weekend to be honest.
I saw a few instances where dealers would sort of ignore women, children, or what appeared to be neuro atypical customers. I’d eventually see them at my booth and they purchased stuff as I gave them the same attention and customer service I’d give anyone else. Made me sad. You never know what folks have to spend. Can’t wrap my head around being that way to fellow humans.
Last point-My priority with this con and as a rule. Look for the non comic vendors that just happen to have comics at their booth. My experience is they just want them gone and have zero interest in what they are worth. I did very well at two separate booths because of this.
Anyway, you know me and my lengthy reports. Hope it was worthwhile. I was utterly exhausted by the end of that weekend.