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NYC National report from me coming....

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First of all i would like to thank CKB for the purchases, would of spent a lot more if some of the books i looked at were in a higher grade.




I would have put higher grades on the books if you had asked! 893whatthe.gifdevil.gif


If I remember correctly, you guys hit me late and I had already been hit pretty hard on my VF+ and higher stuff.

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Please remember that this is all my opinion. I am not trying to

slander anyone or make accusations, this is just my impression of

things. I try hard to be even-handed. I do not complain when I can

help it.


Background: I am not a full-time dealer. I am a collector who knows a

bit about the industry, and was presented with a couple opportunities

to buy books in quantity that I could not turn down. Earlier this

year, I purchased the "NorthHampton" collection, which I have written

about extensively in other threads. I brought much of this collection

to the show, which included about 4000 golden age books and about 6000



For the last 5 months, I have been preparing for this show. I only

take a few hours a night, and am lucky to get through 50-200 books a

night, depending upon the material. So, it was a huge build-up for me.




I arrived at the Penn Plaza at 3pm with my Honda van stuffed

with books. I practically had a box on my lap. Loading at this venue

is a hassle, and it is doubly so in the middle of a workday. You are

dodging pedestrians with dollies. Not pleasant.


NYC is, at the same time, the most amazing and terrifying place in the

world. Every time I go to the city I promise myself I will never

return, yet I break that promise as many times as I make it. This is

from a Jersey boy, who now lives in Massachusetts.


On the dealer sign-up sheet for the show, which had a "hold harmless" and

other legalese on it, and had to be signed and returned to the

promoter, it said dealers would get an 8x10 space, 4 badges, 4 chairs

and an 8' table. When filling this out, I got the impression it had

been 'borrowed' from the Wizard World web site.


Sure enough, Michael C. leads me to a woefully inadequate space on the

floor, not meeting these reqirements. When I pointed this out and

reminded him politley of the document I signed, he did not blink (like

he had been hit with this before) and directed me to his "reserve"

tables, where a perfectly adequate space was available.


I didn't want to push anything, so I didn't mention that the 3 chairs

and 3 badges we were actually alloted were short of the signed

agreement. While chairs were in short supply, backup tables were not.

I had brought my own tables anyway. I was able to make a booth as I

had planned.


The dealers and all sides on me were nice and worked with me on space

issues, and everyone around me set up the way they wanted.


There were a couple of early birds stalking books on Thurdsay. Both

guys turned out to be the two who basically made the whole show for

me. There was no buying, but I put a stack of CGCs aside for one of

them. More on them later.


The dealers would not leave me alone setting up. I had my books

packed very tightly into the boxes so they would not be damaged in

transit. It was impossible to look through them, but that did not

stop anyone. Most were in mylar, so they did not slide against each

other all the time either. One dealer had me put aside $365 worth of

books for him (including a couple high grade Hanna-Barbera Marvels

that I had priced at triple guide, and a high grade DD 168 marked

about double). He was being rough putting the books back, where

everyone else was being much more careful. I quoted him $330 and

remarked that I was completely stunned he was purchasing them. I had

planned on having them slabbed and had thought they were priced to

sit, not sell (what do I know, apparently). I got very little in the

way of a response. He said he would come back in the morning to get



Bechara came over and picked out 4 of the rarer pre-code horror books

I had to be put aside for him.


I left about 8pm and drove to NJ, where I stayed with my Mom in the

Asbury Park area. She was coming to the show the next 2 days to help

me out. I could only get spotty coverage from friends I had in the

area, and she seemed interested, despite my insistence that the days

were long and hard. I was glad to have her there.


To be continued....

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who was running the small booth, to the left as you got off the escalator with all the HG 9.2 - 9.6 JIM's???? i didn't realize there were that many out there except for Quality........... 893scratchchin-thumb.gif


I didn't make the National show, Harry (buried under a pile of work, and low on comic funds), but I suspect it WAS Quality, if you saw a run of high grade JIMs. For one thing, I don't think there are very many of them out there, at least pre-100. For another, Brent had posted on his website that he was attending the National.


If there is another source of very high grade early superhero JIMs, I'd certainly like to know who.


That was Quality thumbsup2.gif


Brent and I had the chance to talk for a bit - very nice and GENEROUS guy,





I too spoke with him as I made my way around the floor.

I spotted one of my favorite JIM covers on his wall, a JIM #101 CGC 9.4 OW asked him if I could see it.

He carefully pulled it from the wall, and as the sticker price became in view.. I nearly fainted.

It was listed for $4,400 893whatthe.gif893whatthe.gif

Was a really sweet looking book, but I thought that was a bit much.


He was a really approachable guy, and we talked for awhile.. is he not a forumite?


And what the others have already posted was close to my experience also, lots of "keys" on the wall, but priced beyond serious contemplation.

There was plenty to be had, but you had to really want it badly.So I imagine most dealers went home with a majority of their Uber stuff.

And even mid grade stuff priced insanely high.

You know when you pull out a F++/VF copy of Capt America #110.. and it has a price for $175.. you put the book back, and keep walking.

But I learned quickly, it is better for a dealer to price high, in the hopes you sell a few overprice books to people that dont know better.

And as normal, anything RAW that was close to NM, was listed at a 2x guide minimum.

Motor City comics did work with me on the price of the books I wanted.

Ted V. did also

It seems if you make a fair offer, that is not insulting they will take it.

I dont mind at all them making a buck or two on HG stuff, we all know it will move sooner or later. But when you ask a dealer if he will take 3x guide for a HG book, instead of the 5x he has it listed for, and he acts like like you just offered him 50 cents for a book, then I just say "thnx anyways"and move on.


The Con was crammed full, a mis mash of Artist, booths, toy stuff, Bootlegged DVD's, and comics.. no rhyme or reason to how it was set up.

It would make more sense to have an Artists alley, Toy Land, and Comic zones.


Is it first come first serve as to where they put you?, or do you pay more for better location?


We also should have taken a "group" CGC dinner photo. We will never have that exact same group of people together again, and I still dont know who half the people were, and I was there!!! but I know alot of the faces... just not names. offense.. I cant remember now.. but are you the guy who was sitting with Fred, and Steve?..I know you said at dinner you had bought from CKB.


I will try and make my Part Two of my Con report, post a few more photos.


All in all I was in heaven.. but then again.

I am 39 years old, love Neal Adams work, and met alot of the CGC/Forum guys.

So NY was a win win for me.




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I saw Brent there as well, and he is a VERY nice guy. The prices on the JIMs were astronomical, and at least in one case, I'm not sure how much of any kind of profit is being made, since he paid record prices for the books in the first place. That's what makes it tough. At least he's not taking a loss.


I hope he sells them but...

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Yep, I flew up from Florida for the show NY is a tough place to do a show from a dealer perspective Its a tough load in and out usually (this was actually fairly easy) and obviously all expenses are greater than most other cities. I guess I expected a larger , free spending crowd. I'm glad that a few dealers did well thanks to selling bigger ticket comics to their regulars But, from what I experienced and what I heard and witnessed from other dealers it was a slow show. Friday there couldn have been more than 500 people not counting exhibitors/artists/staff at the con Saturday was ok but the side of the room to the left of the escalators really saw little of the traffic. Sunday , I was packing by 2 pm. Considering they hold this show 5 times a year maybe its too often or maybe a lot of customers just wait for the cheaper bi-monthly show.

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I needed all the time I could muster, so I got up at 3:30am and made

the 4:30am train that put us at Penn Station at 6am. It is right across

the street from the show. Why drive and park?


I had some space issues to deal with, as I had brought too much stuff.

I made the inevitable decision and relegated the DC and Gilberton

books to the floor. I started inserting empty boxes into the mix so I

could spread out the tightly packed books. I pulled a bunch of $0.10

Dell funny animal humor books to make room for the stuff I might

actually sell.


While doing this, I came across two Marvel books that had their bottoms bent

under. It was undoubtably the person who had not been careful the day

before. I avoid this problem by only inserting books when the boxes

are standing on end. (Hint Hint).


The dealer who had done this comes back, and wants to write me a

check. I tell him he had inadvertantly damaged some books. He wants

to know how I'm sure, and I tell him. He eventually, but reluctantly

apologizes and wants to know which books. I had flattened them and

put them back, and cannot find them, but say that I don't want

anything from him anyway - I just wanted him to know it had happened.

He's not happy with me, and insists on writing the check for the full

amount of the stuff he wanted, no discount, and takes the books that

were set aside.


I put up my Valiant jacket, hanging from a pipe on the ceiling, and

put a few CGC Valiants on my display. I settled on a row of CGCs, row

of Timely/Atlas books and pre-code horror, and a row of bronze/silver

HG keys. It was a small display, and my intent was just to give a

flavor of the variety I had.


By mid morning it was clear word had spread that I had some fresh

stuff. The most notable visit was from a dealer that I probably

should not name, as my story is not a good one. We'll go with "Bob".


Bob looked things over quickly and asked me what I could do if he

spent $2k+ on golden age books. I told him I would go 20% off if he

concentrated on the Romance books, which he was most interested in. I

don't know exactly what I said about how I had priced the books, and

unfortunately this became a point of contention. My best recollection

is that I said I had priced the books based on Overstreet guide value,

and maybe a little less on some of the Romance books. (There are over

500 GA Romance there).


Bob starts feverishly throwing books on the table, not looking at the

prices on each book at all. I had them priced and grading notes on

the back. He ends up with a stack of about 125, including some

Atlas/Timely's (Millie 5 VF) and pre-code horror (Phantom Witch Doctor #1

VG), Gold Keys (Diver Dan #1) but about 3/4 romance.


While adding them up with my Mother, he notices I have grading notes

on them, and kicks out a few that have missing pieces. (I processed

this collection right up the the day I left for the show - I had not

pulled these books out yet as I had planned, I had just put them in

order). It all adds up to just under $2300, and he writes me a check

for about $1850. I pack the books in an empty Magazine box, which is

more than 3/4 full standing on end. And Bob skips away.


The two book stalkers from Thursday come back. One is a guy from the

states, Tyler. Tyler buys everything that I had aside for him and

more, including both my Marvel Spotlight 5s (both CGC 7.5) for $150

each. He's interested in all kinds of stuff, and likes some of the

40/50's war and horror covers, but concentrates on my silver/bronze.

He toyed with adding my ASM 126 CGC 9.4, but the $125 I have on it is

steep. He wants to think about it. Just a great guy - he came back

various times throughout the day and bought more stuff. I eventually

gave him the ASM 126 on Suturday for $80, when he came back armed with

a GPA report. He didn't need it, since he had spent so much I would

have given it to him for that anyway. I had forgotten to look it up.


The other stalker was Dave from the UK. My favorite guy at the show,

and not because of what he bought from me. On this first pass, he

decimates my Marvel bronze keys. IF 1, IF 14, Hulk 180, Hulk 182 and

more. Dave was back at least 4 times over the next two days, happier

each time with the stuff I had and my prices. I would not be

surprised if the total haul was 200 books and $2500. This included a

HG run of Iron Fist Marvel Premier and a near full set of HG Giant

Size. There are going to be some collectors in the UK with some nice



That's the full story of those two guys. Back to Bob. Sometime

during the day Bob comes back with two Romance books in his hand and

tells me they are priced way over guide. One is an LB Cole cover, and

the other is a book I believed was rarer than most, a #1. (I

think it was Women in Love #1, not sure). I told him that I priced

the books I thought were more desirable a bit agressively, as anyone

would. But that I was a novice, and could have goofed.


It takes me awhile to figure out what Bob wants me to do. He insists

that I told him everything was priced at guide, and says he was

mislead, and in his view mislead with malice, as he comments that I

lied to him. I try to assure him this was not my intent, and we go in

circles for too long. He wants to make a pass at the books he bought,

and return the ones he feels are overpriced, and adjust the deal

accordingly. I'm not pleased with this, but I'm busy at the table and

tell him OK. He goes away and immediately the dealers next to me come

over and say that I didn't have to do that. I hear what they are

saying, and think about it quite a bit.


I ended up going over to Bob's table about an hour later. Bob is at

the table remarking the books, crossing out my prices on the back and

adding his labels to the front. I note him putting a $60 price on a

book I had at $15. I tell him politely that I had changed my mind and

it's a all-or-none deal. I would be happy to take the box of books

back and return his check, but am unwilling to modify the deal in any

other way. He is quiet so I just walk away. I figure at this point,

that for every book I may actually have overpriced, there's at least

one underpriced. And I don't get to make a second pass and fix those



Bob comes back an hour later with the box of books, and tries to start

up the "I was lied to" discussion again. I tell him that I'm

unwilling to have that discussion and that the two resolutions (he

gets books, I get check, versus he gets check, I get books) that I

have layed out are the only possible outcomes. I note that there are

no hard feelings either way. He has a stack of books out of the big

stack segregated, and says that he wants to purchase the small stack

at my full listed price (no discount). This was mostly all the books

with big numbers on them, about half the original value.


I relay, calmly, that he is not understanding what I'm saying, since

he is offering to do this. I say that if he returns the books to me, I

am going to leave the whole box intact and not sell them to anyone for

the duration of the show. This got the point across that the two

aformementioned resolutions were the only possible outcomes. He says

it sounds like I don't want to sell him any books. I say that I do

what to sell him books, since I already have his money and he has my



Again, this discussion goes on for far too long. Eventually he asks

for his check back, and gets really annoyed. Despite his repeated

statements that I lied to him, I have kept an even demeanor. As I

give him the check back, I ask why he's so upset, given that we are

back to the way things were before it all started. I note that I

could insist the deal is done and over. He says he would stop payment

on the check. I say, "And keep the books? How nice is that".


And I get a string of curses thrown at me as he storms away. I am

flustered, and a but rattled, but secure in my actions. I apologize

to the people at my table who are actually trying to buy stuff from

me. Everyone in the area witnessed this, as it got pretty loud. My

neighbors came over and told me not to worry about it, that I was in

the right and to just let it go. So I did. And I kept the box of

books intact and did not sell any of them at the show, and still have

all of them today.


Fortunately, that was all the drama for the show. I made lots of small

sales on Friday in the Marvel area, with some TV related GK/dells

thrown in. The foot traffic on Friday was more than I had anticipated.

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Great report. But how bout a pic of yourself, so we can find you next time! And your story is the answer to why long time dealers sometimes look like they're suffering from battle fatigue!



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great story. I was by your booth, but wasn't really looking for anything this show... even though you had a great setup.


It's a good thing you held your ground. There was no need to budge at all. He's a dealer... if he doesn't know what the prices are, then he shouldn't be buying books at all. At least take out an OS and look them up.

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