What follows is an unedited piece going up on CHU this weekend. It tells the torrid tale of Symbiote Spiderman 4 2nd Print. It is true, I can vouch for it. A few weeks back one of the readers hit me up asking me if I had seen the cover and that there were no copies on eBay. From there, he listed one at a crazy price… Well read on… I have screen shots of all the chats as well as Facebook group messages to support it. (Please note: the following is not mine and at no time have I had or sold copies of the book, feel free to check my eBay account.)
I’d like to detail just what the hell happened here because this whole thing kinda just blew out of proportion.
It’s not likely to happen again, as I’m pretty sure it was just the perfect storm of events that took place and got this book to the ridiculous position that it has attained.
So this wasn’t an overnight thing, rather it was given birth due to the spec of another book I stumbled upon- or rather, books.
The Walmart 3-Packs with the hype new variants, chock full of new releases and big happenings.
SSM4 just happened to be one of the reprints in one of my packs, and I thought, with all the Knull hype on reprints, maybe this one might have had some small sales.
So, what does the avid book collector/reseller do? Check eBay of course!
Lo and Behold, no sales outside of a cover price one back in March had taken place and overseas to boot.
Needing to find out whether this book was somewhat rare, or just severely underpurchased by the masses (as reprints are wont to be), I scoured the internet- Mycomicshop, Midtown, and nearly everywhere else were cleared out and out of stock, save for about three copies on some smaller sites, Graham Crackers and Atomic Empire.
So, I figure what the heck, and $30 later I have officially cleared all stock available at online retailers (shipping sucks, but at least they were cover price).
Now, everywhere the book’d be readily available, its not, leaving me to set a market price on eBay.
So, I jokingly drop the book there for around $100 or best offer. Only copy available on the bay, so I get to work.
This is where the power of suggestion and social media comes in. On one of the excessive posts about the symbiote madness, Knull, and reprints with “low print runs”, that had a lot of comments, I sheepishly drop a photo of SSM4 asking if its worth anything or if its important or some such nonsense. And then I do it again elsewhere in another group. And again, because there’s soooo many social media comic groups.
Now as this is going on I notice my view count on my listing start to rise, which doesn’t mean much considering its going slow as hell. But here’s where things start to change; another listing shows up, at $50 more than what I had mine listed at.
I figure the book is never gonna sell anyways, so I play with this random ebayer and bump mine another 50. This guy notices, and we play a game raising it back and forth until it reaches something obscene like 3-400$ for this random no-name book.
I continue seeding and eventually me and price tag guy are joined by a third party- auction guy.
Auction guy potentially ruins everything by dropping a copy for like $20 starting bid.
Now this was a dreadful week, my goofiness was starting to gain traction, but here comes this fella potentially ruining my profit! Things weren’t so bad though, because by the end of the auction it hits around 50 bucks, and that means there’s an actual sale. REAL SALES DATA.
I’m losing it, and drop my copy down to like $80 bucks OBO, and hock that mofo for around $40. In doing so I’ve effectively added sales data to ebay, and made my money back on my little pet project to boot. (remember shipping is too goddamn inconvienent, those $3 books turned to 10 quick)
Now I start seeding sales data. Things are ACTUALLY happening.
And I list my second copy higher. $100. OBO.
Someone very quickly snatched it up for $90.
I’ve made enough to cover decent dinners for my family for a week BECAUSE I WAS BORED.
At this point, I’ve landed on Key Collector’s radar amongst others, pushing more confirmed sales, leaving people scratching their heads.
Mysterio? Venom? Movie? Mysterio has Virus?
SUPER LOW MEGA PRINT RUN?!
Remember store exclusives tout low print runs at 3k in order to push their sales.
That’s not so limited.
Reprints, because everybody wants the first print, are sooo much lower ordered unless the first print is a “key”.
Anyways, things have kinda snowballed.
People are mad at others for having 52 copies.
Others are trying to justify why the book is magical (me. I’m the magic) probably because they have a copy or two.
I sold another one for $120. Electricity is covered for the month in one fell swoop.
Now, I have one left up there.
I’m considering severely undercutting everyone just to make a point.
Don’t buy into the reprint hype. There’s usually no founding for it.
Just buy what you like, not what everybody else likes.
Probably don’t try this later, as it most likely won’t work.