Why Do You Spec?

#1

Just curious to hear the differences in everyone’s hobby. Do you spec to make that money, extra cash to buy other books, for fun and the thrill of the hunt?

I personally only spec on older books to build out my PC for the eventual long haul flip - the satisfaction chasing down a book I could hardly imagine ever owning as a kid is awesome. It’s also great justification for buying books, and gives me the rational I need to push me over the edge to grow my PC - I didn’t need a Strange Tales #102 (1st Wizard) or Fantastic Four #8 (1st Puppet Master) but damn do they sound a lot more attractive when I convinced myself either will be the villain in the first MCU FF movie…

The grind on weekly modern spec books is just too much for me, especially being in a rural area with 2 low order stores in the whole state.

#2

For me it is the challenge, the thrill of the hunt. I rarely sell or have sold comics and when I have it has typically been graded books. I need to get over the “fear” of selling books. I’m always worried someone will think I’ve graded poorly or will try to get over on me. A bit of an irrational fear I image as I’m sure most transactions go just fine.

I love finding diamonds in the rough. Studying, listening, staying current on new stuff/trends. It is a lot of fun. What I also love about is that you don’t have to be a “big money” roller to play. If you spend enough time researching and digging through back issues…anyone can do well.

There is also never an end point. I recently came across an amazing collection of books. I took great pride in the fact that I truly think I found about 70-8-% of the varied keys in it. However, I also realized how little I know about some areas like Independents and DC. I know I missed some stuff and that is one me to improve.

I’ve also gotten to know/or be a part of great groups like this one and that has only added to my enjoyment of the hobby.

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#3

I flip to fund purchases for my PC and to pay for my readers. I love the hunt while bin digging. My goal was to invest zero money from my regular pay cheque into my comic hobby. I have achieved that, and then some. I do not shop online for the most part, and I am lucky to have a plethora of shops to pick back issues from.

#4

That is a great point. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to myself “phew, I finally got ALL of the keys I’m after” only to find my dropping some unexpected amount of cash on Action Comics XXX or Amazing Spider Man XX. There’s just so much to find/hunt for…

I often say to my buddy who shares the same addiction, “comics are for life”.

#5

because of my local market - I shop for my readers online exclusively, but it would be nice to have this as an option… It would also make my wife a lot happier if I could even out my spending balance.

#6

I usually flip to first pay for the books I want, to even it out and any profit now I throw into the vacation savings. So selling stuff allows me to go on awesome vacations.

#7

I started spec at a young age. I was buying collections from friends when they got out of comics, in the early 90’s, to pick books and sell the rest. As I got older, I helped pay for a semester of college by buying a metal trash can full of Amazing Spider-man early issues from a yard sale. I would also go to Another Universe and buy their packs of clearance variants to take to two comic shops in the town where my college was to sell to the shops for cash and trade. Later, I got back into it because I was unemployed and knew how to buy and sell, CHU started out of this partially. I was funding our household out of comic sales. I now pay for annual trips to Disney with my wife and kids, and buy stuff that I would be otherwise unable to afford. Yes, it is money, but I love comics and also buy books for myself.

#8

A metal trash can full of Amazing Spider man?!?! That’s something. How crazy was the seller? And what was your reaction when you saw what it was?

#9

I buy just to have every first appearance for the eventual sell off. I flip a few things here and there but it’s usually store variant A covers that I don’t want and was forced to buy. I’ve had good flips like that girl Boba Fett cover print run of 250. I had 30 of them I paid $18 each free shipping from the same seller, flipped them all but one I kept at $70-$100. For the most part I buy 3x of every new first appearance Marvel and DC, but I haven’t tried to sell anything in years. I have a stack of TT #12 and Thanos #13 cover A just sitting for no particular reason.

#10

You shoulda sold those Thanos 13s. CGR does not have staying power, imo.

#11

I speculate cause I want money. I started flipping cause I was trying to pay for my trip to sdcc. Now I’m a retailer and a whole new side of flipping has opened up to me. While it’s primarily to make money, I also love the thrill of it.

#12

I don’t spec much (I’m a big Indy reader) so when I do it’s helping to offset the cost of my monthly pulls. I subscribe to roughly 30 titles each/every month so it adds up quick. Especially recently with rising cover prices. If $5 ever becomes the norm across the board then I’ll likely cap my reads to about 20 titles keeping things below $100ish per month. All of my pulls are pre-ordered so I often miss a lot of spec unless something is happening in one of the books I’m already ordering.

#13

She was asking $5. It was at a yard sale in Dover Delaware in 1994, I will never forget it. They were in good condition, it was an old 70’s round metal Amazing Spiderman trash can that had a bunch of ASM’s in the 9-24 range. I gave her a $20 for the $5 purchase and skipped away.

#14

imagine years later when her son went looking for those after the first Spider-Man movie came out…boy I bet she got an ear full!!!

#15

That’s his fault for leaving them at home… :stuck_out_tongue:

#16

Yes. Not laying on guilt. It’s just the classic “mom mom gave away my comic books and now they’re worth $1000s!!!”

Fortunately my moms somewhat of a hoarder…so I have all my old toys…UNfortunately my younger sisters got into them while I was off at college and buried/painted/dismembered them…

#17

Oh I know… when I moved out, I took everything with me.

#18

Have been collecting since I was in Jr. High many moons ago. The thrill of the hunt.

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