Symbiote Spiderman 4 2nd Print FOMO Overdrive

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?


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.

Very good read!

Spec’n is a strange thing. Fun but strange. I remember years back when I first realized Justice League Europe #33 had the Sonic promo in it and a little before that news went mainstream I bought the max from Milehigh allowed on their site and the next day called to see if they could add more. I forget how much I wound up buying but they were around a buck fifty each. I think I wound up with around twelve or so. I figured I could sell them for about $15 each. Right after that Milehigh raised the price on their internet store to something crazy like $150 which made some waves on social media and collector sites. For a short time people started clamoring for them until they realized there were other DC comics that had the promo in it.

It was that MH price increase that made a whole FOMO situation for a short while. I did pretty good during those couple of weeks of hotness before everything settled down. From what I recall I sold a few for roughly $20 to $25 each then a bunch more for the $15 or so I initially wanted. I’m sure I wasn’t the only who bought that issue from Milehigh during that short window but talk abut the perfect storm for something to cause a bit of a frenzy.

A lot of the time hype can be flat out wrong. Tread lightly. Far too often something is hot and by the time you get your extra issues in the mail no one wants them anymore. Try to think ahead of the game and if the book truly will be a long term payoff if a short term one doesn’t work out. If you have doubts, maybe wait for the next hot item. There will always be one or two in just a few days.

It’s very sick comic world we live in. Similar story for the X-men war cover variant selling copies last month for $2, a copy went for $1200 last week. Because some idiot wrote an article on war covers for Memorial Day saying it was rare and hard to find he was probably the guy buying them all up for $2 last month to make no copies left on ebay. Got to feel bad for the guys reader that unloaded $1200 on something that came out of a dollar box. Beware you could be preyed upon just by reading spec on the internet by the author/predator that weaponizes the information to make sales to you the readers after he’s the only one with the product. Unlike cgc who’s employees can’t sell comics comic spec authors for the most do sell the stuff they talk about, you can take solace in knowing I’ve sold one comic book (TWD #1) in the last 3 years.


That is one of the biggest things with speculating. Is something naturally hot where a books price inflates due to a first appearance of a character that will be introduced in a movie or is the hotness inflated by something per-meditated as the potential example Alana gave. I think most spec sites don’t have it in for their readers but I’m sure a few authors out there have written articles along the way that may have artificially inflated a books hotness and therefor price to profit off of their readers. Something to watch out for (and something CHU does not do or encourage).

That is why if one is new to collecting/spec’n it is always best to play it safe until you get a bit more seasoned. If you miss out on a few hot comics, no worries, there are more out there and more will show their dollar box heads before long. Eventually you will that “gut feeling” up to a level where you can trust it and go from there. It won’t take too long before you will be making far more good choices than bad.

What was the war comic that sold for $1200?

Just another thing that I really tend to notice and makes me laugh…
The whole “spec” thing is so cyclical after awhile. For the most part, books that suddenly become popular/specced/“hot”…have already been declared that quite some time ago. Anyone who has been paying attention already has jumped on certain things and they sure aren’t present in dollar bins (there can be exceptions of course in the event new stock is brought into placed, etc).

Some that just recently come to mind: Web of Spidey #99, all the Jackpot hype, Prophet hype, the majority of books that suddenly have new “movie news”.

Saw some youtube video just yesterday with a huge banner—“get this book now…before you are too late…blah.blah…blah”. I did quickly watch it and he was bantering on about Youngblood #2 lol…Really…lame book to begin with…but talk on that and spec initially happened a year ago.

Books likes:Body Bags, Animosity, Gideon Falls, etc, etc…we’ve already talked about and bought up…but just wait…they will come back around again. It’s fun to watch the behaviors.


Just as a side note, Marvel is again doing a big dump clearance of various Variants … which they do periodically … 80% off cover or more discount … it’s a very long list, numbers in the hundreds …

I think some people might see this is as dishonest and taking advantage of the covid situation. It is essentially a pump n dump executed under the guise of a ‘perfect storm’.
I know this will be an unpopular opinion here, but this appears, as described, as a coy pump n dump.

  1. You buy out all available stock.
  2. Put some meaningless thing on the internet to draw peoples eyes.
  3. Gouge the sheep who want a book who’s print run is no lower than a lot of other books.
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Goes on with Wall Street regularly …

Don’t blame the Players, blame the Game …

If folks get in a frenzy over something, it’s their own fault … no ones forcing anyone to spend a dime on the Flavor of the Week/Day …

Not my cup of tea, but it is what it is …

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Funny thing, I actually took a trip to Walmart About 30 minutes ago to see if any 3-packs had this book (if you know what you’re looking for And look closely you can tell if a particular book is buried inside a 3 pack by the Colors exposed along the spine).

First checked eBay to see if the nonsense had subsided…nope. Still selling for $30+.

What stopped me though was the long line outside the doors to get into the store. F that! Not worth it.

Now that I hear this story I have a moral dilemma to contend with in my head that I didn’t have to before, knowing it truly is fake demand. Thanks, CHU!

On the flip side, can’t find Yellow Hulk anywhere. Although I’m not actually walking into shops (just calling…and not really going out of my way distance wise either).

I use to care about people being taken advantage of as well in these situations. But over the years, I stopped caring for these people who spend money they might not even have. People should educate themselves before any and all purchases. If people overspend for something, it’s the buyers fault, not the sellers. If you make $500 a week and live in poverty but feel that you need to spend $300 a week on comics, that’s your fault if you find yourself not being able to pay your bills or climb out of poverty. If you can’t manage your money, that’s your own fault, nobody is forcing people to buy anything (outside of the necessities).

I’m not concerned with what others spend their money on, but amoral sellers do not sit well with me. I think the actions of promoting the book, in the way that is described in the OP, is amoral and manipulative. The amorality of the initiator(s) is the crux of the pump n dump, for me.

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That $300 a week is an investment to get out of poverty😂. Who needs cable TV when you have a 1st appearance of Cable, or who needs a doctor I got Doctor Doom, Strange, and Ock on call at all times.

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That Symbiote Spider-man 4 2nd book is not a Walmart book. It was offered through Diamond like all comics are. Comic shops could buy it. It’s a normal comic, not an exclusive. And the order number that people are clamoring is wrong. That is the reorder number for the 1st print. Nobody knows the order number because Comichron does not post new Marvel book numbers under 5k.

False Info + Buying Up All Copies Before Hyping The Book You Now Have = PnD

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What did you end up getting ? I was late getting the email, so most of the 1:100 and 1:200 variants were sold out.

It was straight up a pump and dump and that’s why I posted his story. To show people what can happen and how easily it can happen. We know it’s not a Walmart exclusive. The original writer said he got his first copies out of the Walmart bags but ended up ordering more from other shops.

Did he pump and dump? Absolutely. He admitted it. But what he is saying is he is just a regular guy with out a website or app that was able to drive up interest on a book.

I agree but this is where I still tell people, educate yourself about every purchase. Don’t just take the sellers word for it, even if they’re a reputable business or company. Do your due diligence in educating yourself before the purchase.

It’s called “Caveat emptor” … and, it holds true with most all things …

It’s kind of hypocritical to read about this manipulation here on a spec site … after all, I’d tend to think a good portion of CHU members would take advantage if they themselves had the book …

Or, maybe I’m wrong … perhaps 100% of you would take the moral high ground …

You are looking at this in the wrong context, I think, Willie.
Selling somebody something they want, and being deceptive and manipulative in your marketing are two wholly different things.
The initiator was deceptive and manipulative in his approach to market the book. That is amoral at best, immoral at worst, but manipulative and deceitful in either instance.
Any seller who did not participate in the deceitful and manipulative promotion campaign, imo, does not have a moral obligation to not flip that book. I believe that obligation is credited to the buyer to do his or her own research. But, that does not take away from the fact that the initial action of taking a nothing book and spreading disinformation on it in order to manipulate the market is deceitful and manipulative.
Did you pull your copies, Willie, and raise the price on them? Because if you didn’t, it would be hypocritical of you to assume most everyone else on CHU would do that, while you didn’t.

Yes, this does happen all the time on Wall Street, and that is irrelevant to this. That is classic ‘what aboutism’ and two wrongs don’t make a right. Plus, there are laws against what happens on Wall St… If one is caught manipulating stock prices, they go to jail. Just saying…:v: