Purge tips?

I plan on purging portions of my collection this summer. I usually attempt to do this every couple years but end up with a lot of false starts for various reasons. I think a good place to begin is having a clearly defined PC collection, a spec collection and everything else.

Any tips as I go through the purge, especially any tips on how to offload stuff from the “everything else” pile. Yes, I’ve read about the “If you have time, patience and space, consider taking the time to list and sell but if you don’t then Half Price books or donate.” Any related stories or alternatives (anybody have success with listing blind bags?) is greatly appreciated.

Happy weekend CHU community!

Unfortunately, I think you’ll find that On-Line Comic selling can be a tough nut to crack … it seems to me, and I’ve been in business for over 40 years, that, unless you happen to have the Hot Book of the Moment or other, what would be considered “Keys”, your chances of success are drastically diminished, mainly due to the plethora of material already listed and available at rock bottom prices …

For me, sometimes having a run that I’ve acquired in a Collection and don’t need for the shop, can do OK … although shipping costs can sometimes be prohibitive (I stick by USPS rules that classify Comics as Non-Media Mail) …

Grab bag type material might be OK, but you’re probably looking at dirt money and would have to offer a good quantity of books per Grab Bag …

Myself, I won’t bother with listing anything that I don’t feel comfortable bringing at least $20.00 … otherwise, it’s just not worth my time …

Overstock that does not end up in the Dollar Bins goes to a Local Children’s Home as a donation …

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Sell doubles, sell store variant cover A’s for whatever you can get, sell runs that don’t contain first appearances or pull the 1sts and sell incomplete runs like 1-20 no 17 and 18. Sell on multiple platforms Hipcomic, Mercari, Amazon, let go, Mycomicshop, Craigslist and eBay. I had a stack of store variant covers A and was able to unload them for double eBay prices on Mercari because not as much selection and people get stuck with there Mercari dollars without a bank account and can only spend them on Mercari. Don’t think you’re stuck dealing online get a table at a small convention or swapmeet, sell comics from your garage on saturdays advertise locally on Craigslist and Facebook. In extra bulk of back issues that don’t sell take to a newer comic shop who’s back issues start at 2015 when the store opened. Remember it will take a lot of time to sell some stuff, like years, don’t be in a rush but don’t be afraid to get rid of junk at $1.

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Yep, it’s work … :vulcan_salute: … unless you’ve got the “Right Stuff” …

A garage sale seems like a good idea for getting rid of bulk that wouldn’t sell on ebay. You could just create big bundles for a cheap price and parents or curious people may impulse buy them. That way you you wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of listing and shipping them.

To OP, figuring out what to get rid of can be tricky, but since comic collection grow like Tetsuo, a purge has to happen every now and then. Start by figuring out what your main collections are. For me it was Batman and Grant Morrison. If my stuff was just reading material that didn’t fit in those categories and was not valuable, I got ride of it and reinvested the money in a single key issue. If you want to read it again, you can always check out the trade from the library or download it–its better to have the key issue. I recently sold a bunch of my random Vertigo stuff and bough NYX #3–I’m not missing out on anything because I’ve already read that stuff, and there were not any 1st appearance in it. I would recommend you sell all of your read reading material and use that money to buy a big key.

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If it makes you happy to have, keep it. If it doesn’t, toss it. That’s the easiest way I’ve ever heard.

So if you enjoy having key books, by all means keep them; but if you get no enjoyment out of owning something, sell it and move on, spec be damned.

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That’s the approach I take, keep what you like, purge everything else. It’s like taking the hoarders approach when getting rid of things. If you have to spend time thinking about it, toss it, you likely don’t need it.

I’ve dumped a lot of books off to Half Price. It’s books I read, I got my entertainment from and if years from now they heat up due to some small appearance or an indie book gets optioned, oh well…

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Here’s some tips I’ve gleaned from selling online:

  • For all those random books, sell in lots with a specific character or theme on eBay: i.e. Random Batman, 90s Indies, etc.

  • Don’t bother with Mercari, HipComic, etc. the amount of users is nil compared to eBay.

  • Set up auctions with the starting bid as your lowest price you’d take.

  • Keep in mind fees: eBay takes 10% and Paypal takes 3%.

  • Shipping: 1-2 books (under 1 lb) use first class shipping ~$5. 3-10 books use a Flat Rate (Legal) envelope ~$8 and 11-30 books use Flat Rate Medium Box ~$12

  • Get Priority shipping supplies sent to you from usps.com (they’re free)

  • Save time and money by buying Gemini Mailers unless you like spending lots of time acquiring and cutting cardboard to sandwich books between.

  • Instagram is a great place to sell single issues and dollar books, there are a lot of knowledgable, passionate, and reasonable collectors. You’ll make friends if you’re a good seller. Only downside is that it takes a lot of hustle to gain followers.

Many LCSs will buy boxes of books (pennies on the dollar) or give you store credit. If you’re not worried about getting the most out of your collection, that is quick and (usually) an easy way to go.

I use cardboard from amazon deliveries and USPS large flat rate boxes. It’s literally zero time to cut up from a template board I use for sandwiching. Get a stack of cardboard, spend 10-15 minutes to prepare a hundred or more template cardboard for shipping comics.

The only thing I have to buy is tape to ship comics. I reuse mailers from midtown and other shipments I receive as well.

I do the same thing. I get my boxes free from BJs (the wholesale club, not BJ who owns a
Comic shop who regularly posts on CHU). I can usually find some very thick robust boxes.

I cut them with an exacto knife of which I replace the blade every so often. I need to invest in a paper cutter or something to speed up the pace.

I prefer a minimum of 4 sheets to reinforce. I use Trader Joe’s paper bags to wrap them up. Their bags are heavy duty and I can wrap two shipments per bag. Adds extra protection.

Depending on the weight of a single comic, it usually weighs out at 12-14oz.

Just pick up a regular utility blade, retractable. Something like this is what I use. I buy the 100 blade packs. I think I bought my current 100 blade replacement pack 4 years ago, still have more than half left. I use this for general stuff around the house as well, not just shipping so I don’t count it towards shipping supplies.

Yeah, two comics with extra cardboard I can usually get right at 16 ounces, if it’s one comic, it’s usually 12-13 ounces. 1 book gets 3 pieces of cardboard on each side while 2 books get 2 pieces of cardboard on both sides.

Sometimes I’ll wrap multiple comies in the USPS flat rate envelopes, not the rigid mailers but the fabric type mailers they have with the self seal. These are almost waterproof too, water just beads up and rolls right off of them.

Another Tip from the “Cut Your Own Cardboard School” … the inner ribs of the cardboard sheets should be alternated … thusly, making the “sandwich” much less prone to being bent in transit …

I took it to the next level. I have a jig set up in my garage and I use a skil saw. I can cut 100 pieces of cardboard in about 5 minutes.
I have found that you can collect some thick guage cardboard from your LCS. They have a ton of Diamond boxes every week. Buy your books, and grab the cardboard to ship them in. One stop comic shopping.

I definitely try to alternate the “ribbing” or currogation (is that a word?) when possible. Sometimes in order to minimize waist it’s not, but always try as it definitely adds to the rigidity without extra layers.

Those things are great for ripping boxes up, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist and like the precision of the exacto. It has the word “exact” in it!

That is top notch! Although has a heightened danger level to it! Don’t try this at home, kids!

Any issues with the blade ripping the cardboard to shreds, or does a nice fine blade cut through them like butter? Or does the jig take care of that?

Really? I buy blades that are just as sharp or sharper than exacto blades… Much cheaper than exacto blades too. I guess it depends on who’s handling the blade…

I also learned that the cut doesn’t need to be perfectly straight… you’ll just be wasting time on something that’s gonna get thrown away anyways. As long as it protects the comics, fits in the package, that’s all that matters to me. I don’t even use a straight edge to cut it straight… I do my cuts free hand and I can usually cut 4 to 5 pieces with one cut since the utility blade has a much nicer handle than the exacto knives do.

A good, retractable blade cutter with an easy change blade feature is just a good investment for the Tool Stash, anyway …

And, yes, a pack off 100 universal blades goes a long way and is cheap …

I have a thin plywood template I use with which to cut cardboard to size … I don’t really like the Diamond Boxes, as they have folds and fold lines that can effect the integrity of the “Sandwich” … at least, IMO … I have an account with both UPS and USPS which allows me to order boxes and other shipping supplies for free … the USPS Large Priority Board Game Box provides plenty enough alternating ribbed cardboard to do about 2 Comic Shipments with each box … and / or the UPS box used to ship rolled material … all shipped to your Front Door for free …

Yes, I know that’s technically against the USPS / UPS rules as it relates to supply usage, however, my yearly shipping fees deserve some sort of free compensation … :vulcan_salute: … (I’ve been doing Mail Order since 1992)

Welp. Sorry to start a firestorm of conversation about cardboard and blades. I send out anywhere from 10-50 orders per week, so unless I want to make a full-time job of cutting cardboard for shipping comics, I go for the quick and easy route…

Hopefully the tips I posted help. If not, at least you know everything you need to know about razor blades.


I’m with you on that. Yes they claim their boxes and supplies are for USPS priority mail only but if one were to abide by such rules, you theoretically could not throw them away after you receive them. Everyone should return the beat up boxes and envelopes to USPS since they own them right? :stuck_out_tongue: