Should a seller care WHO buys their books?
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31 posts in this topic

I have often read discussions on these boards with regards to whether or not a seller should concern themselves with who buys their books.

There seems to be some sellers who don’t want to sell to some dealers or to certain people.

There are many on these boards who I have heard say it does not matter; that as long as the seller receives the price he is happy with then who the book goes to is not relevant.

At first glance I understand the point of those (who I believe are in the majority) who say that it should not matter.  I mean if a seller wants to sell a book and someone is willing to buy it at a price that both seller and buyer are happy with, then why should it matter to the seller, who the buyer is?  That is what I see at first glance.  I hear stories of sellers who offer discounts to those who are “collectors” and not simply “dealers” and again, at first glance this does not seem to make sense.

Then I think of my own collection (which is NOT FOR SALE).  If I ever did decide it was time to sell, what would I want?  Would I simply want to maximize the amount of $$$$ I could receive for my collection OR would I want something more intrinsic.

To me, money is a cheap commodity, that can be replaced.  The comics I have collected, throughout the years, are more than a simple “commodity” to me; they are almost a part of me.  As such, IF and WHEN the time ever comes to liquidate, I believe that I would rather sell those treasures to another collector who would love and appreciate them, rather than to someone who would simply treat them as a way to gain a quick profit.

Given that dealing with individual collectors on a large collection might take more time than I have, it might be that I would opt to sell to a dealer, but even then, I would not be happy just selling to ANY dealer.   I would rather do business with someone I trust and perhaps have done business with in the past.

Maybe this is just me being sentimental, and maybe in today’s world the old saying that “Cash is king” is the way people should think.  I, however, am ok with being in that minority of collectors who see books as more than simple commodities to be traded like stock.

Those are my thoughts, however, I would like to hear yours……

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Not about comics, but related. I bought a house this past summer, and the sellers were a family of 3 siblings (who are in their 60s), who grew up in the house as kids. Once they grew up and moved out, their parents continued to live there. The dad passed away many years ago, but the mom had lived there for many years by herself (with a caregiver). She passed away this past year, and so the "kids" sold the house. There was a lot of interest in the house, and in the end after a few rounds of increasing our offer, it was down to us and a "builder" (who would gut renovate and then sell the house). We were at our limit, and put in our final offer. As part of the offer, our agent told our story as a young growing family (I have 2 kids, a 3yr old and at the time my wife was pregnant with our now 4month old), and they ended up accepting our offer, which was meaningfully lower than the builder's (think mid-5 digits). In the end, given what the house meant to them, they wanted to see another family grow up in it vs a builder who was out for profit. It was a really touching moment, and they all called us together to tell us that we had won and they were going to sell to us. 

Now, a couple things: 
- The money offers were "relatively close". Within some amount, the excess dollars mean less to people vs the "joy" the sharing of the sentimentality can bring. 
- Related to that, I think it helped that the sellers were older in their own right, and had lived full lives themselves. They were likely fairly comfortable financially (and didn't need the money badly). Additionally, the incremental money would be split 3 ways, so less down to each person
- So it comes down to what is the incremental dollars worth to you as a seller vs the benefit of feeling like you passed on something that brought you much joy in life? People have different "utility curves" with money, depending on how much you already have and how much you need the extra dollars. When I get older, for certain books that mean a lot to me, assuming I didn't badly need the money, I could see myself accepting less money to sell to someone I felt is a "collector" and would enjoy/love the books as much as I have. But presumably up to a point. 

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WOW! Great story.  I appreciate you taking the time to share it and for sharing your thoughts on the topic in general.  You offer some great insights.

Also, congratulations on both the new house and far more importantly, on the birth of your newest child.  :golfclap:

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As a collector, everything in my collection means something to me. Unfortunately, to the dealer it will just be a commodity to move. Whenever I sell something from my collection, I usually try to offer it to the person/dealer I bought it from first.  I'm not sure what I would do if I had to sell my whole collection. I would probably hang on to my top 50, 100 favorites and then just everything else go. I hear what you are saying about finding a fellow collector and sell it more reasonably but I suspect it is easier said then done. I like the topic, it's refreshing to know there are collectors like you out there, however it's not an easy question to answer.

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15 hours ago, Bomber-Bob said:

As a collector, everything in my collection means something to me. Unfortunately, to the dealer it will just be a commodity to move. Whenever I sell something from my collection, I usually try to offer it to the person/dealer I bought it from first.  I'm not sure what I would do if I had to sell my whole collection. I would probably hang on to my top 50, 100 favorites and then just everything else go. I hear what you are saying about finding a fellow collector and sell it more reasonably but I suspect it is easier said then done. I like the topic, it's refreshing to know there are collectors like you out there, however it's not an easy question to answer.

Thanks for your thoughts, Bob.  Your comments gave me things to think about.  For example offering books back to the people you purchased them from.  Also after reading your post, I realized that NOT all books are created equal (in my collection).  In other words, I have a large number of books that I really don't care much about.  I either acquired these many years ago when I had different interests or I acquired them as part of a deal (wanted one or two books, but had to buy the lot to get the one or two I wanted).  I suppose if I were a seller, I wouldn't really care who purchased those books (as I have no real vested interest in them).  In fact, I sometimes wish I was a seller, so I could get rid of those books (not so much for profit, but simply to "clear space").  I think when I started this thread, I really had in mind the books that I care about and consider part of my actual "collection" as opposed to books I simply own, but don't really care about.  You are correct, it is a difficult question to answer.  Thanks again, for taking the time to respond.

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On 1/18/2019 at 8:59 PM, Hudson said:

To me, money is a cheap commodity, that can be replaced.

That's where I am too.  I'm not rich, but I have what I need, and buy within my means.  Hopefully, I'll never have to sell my stuff to put food on the table, but optimistically, I think there's always more money coming.

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Yes and no. If you can afford to be picky, like me, then I always prefer to sell collectibles to someone who actually wants them. If you can't afford to be picky, then you should just be setting out to make what you consider a fair sale.

When looking to make a big buy, I always ensure the seller that I'm in it for my collection, and not to make a buck down the road. I prefer to give the seller that ease of mind if it helps them make a decision.

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To be quite honest, for the most part it doesn't matter to me. I'm not sitting on a fortune, these are books. But there is a friend of mine I will offer certain books to for what I have in them or at a discount. He loves them and I know they're going to a good home.

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10 hours ago, Buzzetta said:

At the end of the day, I am not dependent on the things I sell.  I have a decent job that pays bills and allows me to pay the mortgage all on my lonesome.  I guess I can turn people away because I can afford to and that may be a luxury for me while it may not be for others.  However, yes, there are people I will not do business with in this world. 

This pretty much sums it up for me too.

I won't sell to anyone who has rubbed me the wrong way.

Edited by Catwomancomics
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10 minutes ago, Catwomancomics said:

This pretty much sums it up for me too.

I won't sell to anyone who has rubbed me the wrong way.

I kinda feel the opposite...I like to give discounts to those who have rubbed me the right way! :banana:

 

I'll be here all week people!

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I'm on the fence.  Sales are sales.  But if you own something that you have enjoyed, you may like to 'vet' out your potential buyer. That comes down to personal choice   It always seems like a nice utopia to get the price you want, as well as sell it to somebody who would enjoy it as a collector rather than dealer.   

Obviously a collector looks at a purchase as to how they can fill their needs, in the scope of their hobby.   A dealer looks at a purchase as to how they can price, flip and liquidate, for maximum profit, that you may not have the time or resources for.   

At the end of the transaction, all that matters is both parties are satisfied.  You may sell to a collector this year, but who knows...in 5 years it may get chopped up into pieces and sold to a dealer anyways, due to whatever circumstances.

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11 hours ago, Buzzetta said:

There was a guy on the GI Joe Facebook boards who was also into some crazy stuff. We are talking about Alex Jones level - Sandy Hook was a hoax super conspiracy theory type things (I believe I can say that since Jones himself admitted that he says these things out of "a form of psychosis").  This guy was a completely distasteful person.  In the facebook group he would throw digs at various ethnicities and religious groups... the usual.  I don't block people on Facebook.  It keeps me grounded in the fact that these types of people actually exist.  When he went to claim an item, I flat out told him his money was not green with me.  I disagree with him, his beliefs, his treatment of others and the way he conducts himself and that I would not be doing business with him. 

At the end of the day, I am not dependent on the things I sell.  I have a decent job that pays bills and allows me to pay the mortgage all on my lonesome.  I guess I can turn people away because I can afford to and that may be a luxury for me while it may not be for others.  However, yes, there are people I will not do business with in this world. 

I agree, anybody who is that big a pain in the a......should be forced to work extra hard to accomplish anything.  It's a 'stupid tax' as I see it. 

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Does it matter who created your books/art? I ask in light of Armando Gil's guilty plea last week to child molestation or whatever sexual abuse charges they were. 12 year old and 14 year old female. Would you get rid of his work now or do you separate the work from the creator.

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I would separate the work from the creator.  There are other creators involved with each book. I only have one book slabbed that Gil worked on and Ron Frenz did the cover art with Gil.  I've always wanted a Frenz sig on this and someday hope to do it.

 

kazar the savage #20 cgc 9.8  0973670002   $23.00.jpg

Edited by Catwomancomics
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@Hudson - I used to feel very similarly about the books in my collection until someone pointed out that we are just the current stewards of this property. Unless you bought it new off the rack, there was a steward before you.

Our ultimate goal is to preserve this slice of Americana for the next generation of stewards. This site is a magnet for the experienced collector as well as a training ground for new initiates (maybe a Boot Camp is a better analogy for some). What I'm trying to say is that we wouldn't be posting here unless we all took our stewardship duties fairly seriously.

As far as dealers, there are many on this site that have balanced the art of "compassionate" business as they started out as collectors as well and understand that intrinsic bond. They will be the ones I contact if I want to sell off a chunk of books at once.

I recently began selling off some under-copies and non-focus books here on the boards and was very, very happy to hear the new owners excitement about picking up the book(s). It made it much more personal than putting them on feeBay or going to an auction house - this alleviated the concerns that the books weren't going to a "good" home.

Like how you used the term "sentimental" as well in your post - seeing the books re-posted here by the new owners provided me significant satisfaction. Not quite on par with raising a child or anything, but nonetheless it reinforced the fact that others can gain some new happiness from something that sat silently in my closet for many, many years.

Good luck - I think many of us are grappling with this dilemma!

-bc

 

 

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On 3/31/2019 at 1:02 AM, Buzzetta said:

There was a guy on the GI Joe Facebook boards who was also into some crazy stuff....

Thanks for weighing in, Andrew and for letting us know about your experience on the GI Joe Facebook board.

I can certainly understand you deciding that you just don't want to do business with some people (for legitimate reasons).

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21 minutes ago, bc said:

@Hudson - I used to feel very similarly about the books in my collection until someone pointed out that we are just the current stewards of this property. Unless you bought it new off the rack, there was a steward before you.

Our ultimate goal is to preserve this slice of Americana for the next generation of stewards. This site is a magnet for the experienced collector as well as a training ground for new initiates (maybe a Boot Camp is a better analogy for some). What I'm trying to say is that we wouldn't be posting here unless we all took our stewardship duties fairly seriously.

As far as dealers, there are many on this site that have balanced the art of "compassionate" business as they started out as collectors as well and understand that intrinsic bond. They will be the ones I contact if I want to sell off a chunk of books at once.

I recently began selling off some under-copies and non-focus books here on the boards and was very, very happy to hear the new owners excitement about picking up the book(s). It made it much more personal than putting them on feeBay or going to an auction house - this alleviated the concerns that the books weren't going to a "good" home.

Like how you used the term "sentimental" as well in your post - seeing the books re-posted here by the new owners provided me significant satisfaction. Not quite on par with raising a child or anything, but nonetheless it reinforced the fact that others can gain some new happiness from something that sat silently in my closet for many, many years.

Good luck - I think many of us are grappling with this dilemma!

-bc

 

 

This is perhaps one of the best and most thought out responses I have read on the boards in a while.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this.

 

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