Recently decided to set up at a small, local one day comic con in my area. I had low expectations given the location and general economic situation. I rarely sell my stuff but have accumulated a decent amount of fodder and figured “why not”. Throughout the year I try to keep my collection in an organized manner so I’m able to easily gather up stuff when it’s time to part with it.
I have slowly invested in some display type things to create some visual appeal. I really try to make my offerings “look good” and I think I achieved that. I had about $160 invested into the event as a whole (including table fee).
I’m certainly no “big time” seller. I had very little by way of anything older. In fact, I think I may have had no more than 10 books from the bronze age or older. I brought 4 boxes of books priced at $2 (6 for 10), two bins of CGC books (about 40), two bins of “keys” and about 8 boxes of just good, lesser keys, nice art, or nice filler type books. I also had a fair amount of nice toys, cards, magazines, trading cards as well. I was proud of my display and offerings. In terms of raw books I don’t think I had a single book there that was priced over $70. Most books were (90% of the offerings) under $20.
I made it a point to check prices on everything and update accordingly. I made sure everything I had was priced at or below recent sold listings. Everything was either in mylites or freshly bagged/boarded as well. Aside from the $2 books I also placed a sign up “Buy any three comics-get one free-including CGC books”. People seemed to really like that sale format.
Well, I couldn’t have had a better day. It ended up that there were only about 4 other comic vendors at the event. I was busy throughout the day. Exceeded expectations in every way possible. Aside from the sales, it was just an incredibly fun day. I met so many comic fans and people in general. Any doubts I had of this comic hobby “dying” were eliminated. The diversity of people buying stuff was incredible. One rule I’ll continue to remember—never, ever rule out someone as a potential buyer. The convention was far busier than I expected. Nonstop influx of people almost the entire day. All of the other vendors were really nice as well.
-The young girl shopping with her grandma who loves Venom. Grandma was tired so I let her sit in my chair while the kiddo looked through comics. Grandma gave her the credit card and I made $50 off random Venom comic books.
-The mother who specifically told me she wondered if I had any Blue Beetle comics because she was Mexican and her kids loved that movie and she really wanted to get them some comics. She was of course very particular…it has to be the Jamie Reyes character. She bought everything I had related to him.
-Older woman…had to be in her seventies…bought a CGC ASM #316 9.0 because she though it looked cool!
-A young, what appeared to be non verbal teen—hung around my booth all day. Nice young man who listened to my stories. He just seemed to love being there and seeing the interactions. He wasn’t irritating at all. Always smiling. As I closed, he bought some stuff.
-Neuro atypical guy at the show who was also working as a janitor. Kept stopping by…and every single time would buy something. I thought he kept asking me for “Morpheus” stuff…but he was actually looking for Morbius. He laughed at me because I told him I didn’t have any (Morpheus) and then he found a small bit of Morbius and teased me that I didn’t know comics as well as him. I bet by end of the day, one comic at a time he purchased $50 worth of stuff.
It was just such an incredible melting pot of fans. I had so much fun meeting new people of all ages and sharing our love of the comics. I’m not the pushy salesman type either…I just love talking to people. If they wanted me to point them in a direction or find something I did. Otherwise I just left them alone to search.
I was very surprised at the number of CGC books I sold. Again, I priced my stuff very aggressively. In my opinion, the buy in for 95% of my stuff was either cover price or cheap bins so it was a win- win even after grading costs. My goal was to sell…not worry about the fact that something like Vengeance #1 was selling for $1200 at one point. Doesn’t matter…I sold my 9.8 for $280 and was happy as a clam. I had a whopping $40 into it.
Heir to the Empire #1, Darth Vader #3, ASM #430, ASM #316, ASM #3 (silk), ASM #162, Thor God of Thunder #2, Xmen #266, Kanan #1, Vengeance #1 all sold. I believe a few others I can’t recall at the moment. All sold without much bartering even.
Some random smaller keys that sold: Silk Hip hop cover, 1st spider punk books/1st, Transformers the movie #1, 1st spider boy, Elvira’s House of Mystery-Dave S. cover, Giant sized chillers #1, everything I had with Thrawn on it, Ultimate spiderman #2-miles, Everything I had Spidergwen wise, All of the Marvel Milestones silver cover books I had. I had a ton of people buying up the True Believer type books, or facsimile type books. Spawn books sold well also and it was a “I love this cover” type sale more often than not on those.
The thing is, I can’t really say I saw a pattern though. People were just enjoying looking through and buying comics. The $2 books really sold like crazy of course. In my opinion, I will never sell $1 books again. No need to. If the books are presentable and not complete trash, then they are worth $2. People had their lists out, grabbing run fillers, favorite characters, art they liked, etc. My $6 for 10 paid crazy dividends. I will be making it an absolutely point from here on out to purchase comics that I see for $1 (or less) with the intent to put them in my $2 bins (or…in some cases $5 boxes). People had zero issue buying/paying those prices.
I sold a few Pokemon cards, a few old Wizard magazines, a decent amount of new Star Wars Vintage collection toys (many of which I’ve bought for cheap from Ollies).
I had purchased a ton of cheap but cool Marvel Stickers from Amazon and I always gave those out to anyone who wanted one. I was very flexible on my prices and pretty much accepted every offer I received that was even remotely fair. I can think of only one exception from a fellow I know is a vendor and thought he could get over on me. The number of times I heard “your prices are really, really fair” made me happy.
I did have quite a few people who were solely looking for older stuff. The “you have any golden age or pre-code horror” buyers with their suitcases. I was honest and told them I didn’t have that sort of stuff. The Giant Sized Chillers sold in the like the first 10 minutes lol. Even then, some of them still would look and find something they ended up buying.
I did have a couple people approach me doing the whole “want to trade” thing. I told myself before the show I would not do this. My goal was to make some money and make some space. It was sort of eye opening though as I sort of see the vendor side of that stuff now. I’ve never been one to take myself to shows to trade though as I feel like you just never come out on top. These folks wanted to unload stuff that I just didn’t care about in order to get stuff that clearly was better for them. I get that…it’s the entire point but it was sort of bothersome as I was trying to talk to other customers, work the booth, etc. I also did not feel I had the time to truly look over their books so it would be easy for them to trade me a book with a hidden flaw. I ultimately just said a flat out (but polite) no to anyone wanting to trade.
At any rate, the question everyone wants answered…so how did you do? After my expenses, I made just over $2300!!! I thought that was incredible for a one day, small con where the bulk of my inventory was modern, lower priced books. I went home with one big empty toy bin and 4 empty short boxes of comics. Just a crazy fun experience. I was tired and sore as heck though. I didn’t have any help and it was a ton of work.
Thanks for the read!