So this is an idea I have seen done but I decided to tackle it in my own way. Basically, what I am going to do is see how far I can get by taking two books and a set amount of cash and seeing how far I can go with it through trades and purchases. To start, a couple rules:
1. I will have $500 in cash to spend. I feel like this is a modest budget that a collector would have and I want to see how long I can stretch it. The goal is a year. This money can be spent on other books to add to this 'trade tree" if you will. This money can be used on grading any books acquired as part of this challenge. Any money spent shipping out books in a trade will come from this money, herein referred to as the "pot". Any sales made from books acquired during this venture can be added to the pot.
2. Only books acquired through trade or purchased with this money can be part of the challenge with the exception of rule 3.
3. If I acquire a book that I already have, I can enter the duplicate as part of the trade challenge as I do not keep doubles of books. For example, if I buy a better copy of Book A and I have a copy of Book A, I can enter the undercopy (or higher copy if I want) as part of the trade tree. If I do this, I have to factor in what I originally acquired my copy for. Example: Two years ago I bought a book for $20. I acquired the same book in a trade during this challenge and keep this one as it is nicer. My book can enter the trade tree but it costs me $20 from the pot.
4. At no point can I spend more than the $500. If I get to a point where I have zero books to trade or money in the pot, the trade tree is over.
Along the way, I will track all trades and purchases and sales, that way we can see what I did have and part with in order to get from my starting point to my end point.
The books I am starting with are a copy of Spawn #1 Newsstand and a copy of Hulk #340 direct edition. The Spawn issue was acquired in a lot several years ago for $3. The Hulk issue is free, as it came in a collection that I made money on and this was a book I kept. I invested $45 (All values in Canadian, sorry) per book to get them graded. Both came back at 9.6 with white pages.
So if we include the cost spent on these books, plus grading fees, we are down to $407 left in the pot. I am estimating the value of the two books at the time of this at around $1000CAD ($600 for the Hulk, $400 for the Spawn). Add the cash and I am beginning with $1500 in value. Obviously, by the end I hope to have grown that amount both in terms of the comics added and maybe even through some sales.
The End Goal
I do not have a specific issue I am targeting. Maybe eventually I will do something like this with an end goal book in mind. No, the goal here is to trade and buy and sell my way to even better than what I started with. I will do monthly updates and the first update will be sometime at the end of the month. I officially began tracking this endeavour back on June 21st and I can already say a LOT has happened. This may not be the case each month...we shall see. I hope this journey is a fun one and can show people that if you work at it, you can work your way to better books and maybe even that book you never thought you would own! Granted, what makes this easier is that I don't have a huge attachment to either book (I have a direct Spawn #1 I am fine with raw and the Hulk book well...let's just say I have a plan in mind!).