Longterm history of comic prices?
1 1

25 posts in this topic

First, I'm sure this has come up over and over, but I couldn't find any threads using search terms of "longterm" "appreciation" or "prices" hence this post.  Sorry to the old timers that have seen this before.

 

Anyways, just wondering what the longest period of general decline or stagnation in comic prices overall has been.  Do average prices for comics mirror inflation overall?  Is there such a thing as "average" prices? Does it follow some other trend?  Does any site have data going back multiple decades?

 

Thanks to any that take time to answer.

Edited by Joe Peck
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seems like comics were priced at 10 cents for a quite a while before the price increased to 12 cents.  After 12 cents became 15 cents , Prices rose pretty quickly every two or three years I think for several years. 
You comic guru's please correct me if I'm wrong on any of this. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2021 at 6:44 AM, musicmeta said:

Seems like comics were priced at 10 cents for a quite a while before the price increased to 12 cents.  After 12 cents became 15 cents , Prices rose pretty quickly every two or three years I think for several years. 
You comic guru's please correct me if I'm wrong on any of this. 

The ten cent cover price lasted well over twenty years, but the page count was halved over that period. Most comics were 64 pages in the forties and were down to 32 when the price increased in the early 1960s.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2021 at 7:06 AM, Joe Peck said:

First, I'm sure this has come up over and over, but I couldn't find any threads using search terms of "longterm" "appreciation" or "prices" hence this post.  Sorry to the old timers that have seen this before.

Are you asking about cover price of comics, or back issue prices?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a good question from many angles. I don't think data has been collected all in one place before, but nowadays, with the internet there are many data sources which the perceptive can interpret and draw some projections from. Along with the many reasons that comic prices for some are on the increase. Scarcity for GA, demand for SA keys and more recently very high demand for BA keys due in part to Netflix series which capture the imagination of many collectors with a decent income. Never have so many people with a good income been chasing down the same comics! Boom!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2021 at 3:49 PM, 500Club said:

Are you asking about cover price of comics, or back issue prices?

I intended to ask about back issue pricing in general, but as always it's difficult to convey the proper meaning online.

On 11/5/2021 at 5:38 PM, LowGradeBronze said:

It is a good question from many angles. I don't think data has been collected all in one place before, but nowadays, with the internet there are many data sources which the perceptive can interpret and draw some projections from. Along with the many reasons that comic prices for some are on the increase. Scarcity for GA, demand for SA keys and more recently very high demand for BA keys due in part to Netflix series which capture the imagination of many collectors with a decent income. Never have so many people with a good income been chasing down the same comics! Boom!

I've been perusing data on GoCollect only because I am not subscribed yet to GPA which I understand has more data.  The problem with the data on GoCollect is that it's not granular enough to see smaller trends.  Covrprice has decent data as well, but no graphs to easily see trend lines.  Also, the graphs that GoCollect makes are not logarithmic so the jumps become exaggerated over time and the old trends disappear.  The data is there individually, but I haven't gotten around to trying to pick out individual points yet.  Would be good to find the top 10 all time most traded names of books pre-1980 and then graph the recorded trades on a logarithmic scale.

 

Has anyone ever produced such a graph for an individual name?

clorox.jpg

Edited by Joe Peck
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2021 at 4:41 PM, Joe Peck said:
On 11/5/2021 at 1:49 PM, 500Club said:

Are you asking about cover price of comics, or back issue prices?

I intended to ask about back issue pricing in general, but as always it's difficult to convey the proper meaning online.

No worries.  Your best bet is old Overstreet Price Guides.  It’ll give you some idea of the history of values, and the market reports will be helpful to capture the zeitgeist of the moment.

The caveats I’d give you are this:  pre-2000, Overstreet was really slow to adjust pricing on books that blew up.  It took them several years to catch up on pricing McFarlane Amazing Spider-Man’s, for example.  The problem continues post-2000, now magnified by the fact that books blow up and cool down much faster in the internet age.

Second best options may be old Comic Buyer’s Guide issues and ads, and other old ads, like the Mile High ads that ran in comics in the 80’s and 90’s. 2c

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a graph of AMS 129 CGC 8.0.  My suspicion is that if we could get a logarithmic graph that had sales data going back to 1980 it would look a lot like the Clorox graph, slow steady price progression when examined over a long time.  The drive behind my question is whether or not comics in general present a good investment/inflation hedge, not taking into account the "flash in the pan" episodes, but good solid names like AMS, etc.

ams129.jpg

Edited by Joe Peck
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Generally (90 some percent of books) they never declined. If you bought some hot drek in the 80s or 90s that declined. If you buy some lame character after a rumor or announcement then you lost money. If you thought comics were undervalued and got caught up in the low census you lost money. The only time comics didn't go up or not much was between the 90s boom and avengers movie. Since then it has been up up up. I don't have many books that haven't doubled tripled or more from pre avengers prices.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been investing in low grade SA Marvels for about 20 years.  Without bragging, I'm pretty sure I have a good feel for the market and put out a lot of fairly low bids that don't pan out, but SA books I paid under $10 for now routinely sell for $30-$50.  A few books turned into homeruns but almost all were solid doubles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2021 at 6:58 PM, Joe Peck said:

Here's a graph of AMS 129 CGC 8.0.  My suspicion is that if we could get a logarithmic graph that had sales data going back to 1980 it would look a lot like the Clorox graph, slow steady price progression when examined over a long time.  The drive behind my question is whether or not comics in general present a good investment/inflation hedge, not taking into account the "flash in the pan" episodes, but good solid names like AMS, etc.

ams129.jpg

I bought a lot of those this century. I pretty much paid the same price from early 2000s until the show rumors started. At best it kept up with inflation. People are paying more for a lot of things right now, but not comics. I am paying tje same prices I did 6 months ago. A year ago so sellers are losing money. However during the 2008 recession people kept buying comics. So far comics are recession proof but haven't shown to be inflation proof. My guess if anything people will choose food and gas over comics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2021 at 7:15 PM, Thisisrequired said:

I bought a lot of those this century. I pretty much paid the same price from early 2000s until the show rumors started. At best it kept up with inflation. People are paying more for a lot of things right now, but not comics. I am paying tje same prices I did 6 months ago. A year ago so sellers are losing money. However during the 2008 recession people kept buying comics. So far comics are recession proof but haven't shown to be inflation proof. My guess if anything people will choose food and gas over comics.

Here's the thing.  If a book goes from $1 to $5 thats 500%.  In the world of longterm investing that is huge, and I have a feeling that that is happening in the comic world since the beginning.  I'm starting to see comics as an amazing longterm investment.  The real question is whether or not the game has turned to only CGC 9.8's or is it all comics still.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2021 at 9:06 PM, Joe Peck said:

Here's the thing.  If a book goes from $1 to $5 thats 500%.  In the world of longterm investing that is huge, and I have a feeling that that is happening in the comic world since the beginning.  I'm starting to see comics as an amazing longterm investment.  The real question is whether or not the game has turned to only CGC 9.8's or is it all comics still.

I think there will always be a market for the VF or better books. Not everyone can afford 9.8. I'm perfectly happy with a 9.0 in my collection and have seen nice to significant returns on books that I have bought over the years. You can say the same for lower grade golden age up through early silver as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2021 at 9:06 PM, Joe Peck said:

Here's the thing.  If a book goes from $1 to $5 thats 500%.  In the world of longterm investing that is huge, and I have a feeling that that is happening in the comic world since the beginning.  I'm starting to see comics as an amazing longterm investment.  The real question is whether or not the game has turned to only CGC 9.8's or is it all comics still.

Sounds excellent. Get a truck or trailer and 50 grand and I have at least 40 or 50 thousand comics for you. And your are in luck. Some are already worth $5. You might even get $7 or even $10 for some. Sure you will find a lot of 9.8s that you can slab and sell for $30 or $40. Gets even better. Give me 4 or 5 years and I will have another 20 to 40 thousand for you. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/6/2021 at 12:22 AM, Thisisrequired said:

Sounds excellent. Get a truck or trailer and 50 grand and I have at least 40 or 50 thousand comics for you. And your are in luck. Some are already worth $5. You might even get $7 or even $10 for some. Sure you will find a lot of 9.8s that you can slab and sell for $30 or $40. Gets even better. Give me 4 or 5 years and I will have another 20 to 40 thousand for you. 

 

Sarcasm aside, your point is well taken.  There is a large supply.  Conversely there is a large demand.  I'm not suggesting buying wholesale comics in general, what I am suggesting and wanting to learn more about is whether or not some comics can be like more classic forms of art collectibles.  I am fairly certain the answer is, yes; it's just that I tend towards data driven analysis of most all aspects of my financial life, be it cars, paintings, corals, or comics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Despite the people who have been calling for a crash for the last year (5 years? 10 years? 20 years? time immemorial??), *key* comics have reliably appreciated over time, not unlike the S&P.  I bought an H181 9.4 for 9k last year, which was an all time high, and people thought it was crazy.  It's at least double that now.  Anything can happen in the short term, but on a long enough timeline comics have been remarkably solid. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/6/2021 at 11:12 AM, NoReserve said:

Corals? Like you put in a fish tank?

Yes.  I grow and sell coral as another hobby.  In the last 20 years corals had a similar change in marketing as CGC 9.8 syndrome.  Corals used to be generic in name like Acropora Tenuis.  Now they slap a fancy name on it like The Walt Disney coral and suddenly its worth triple the price.

 

2011.Zenith.jpg

IceFire.jpg

TyreePurpleMonster.jpg

Edited by Joe Peck
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/6/2021 at 8:19 AM, Joe Peck said:

Sarcasm aside, your point is well taken.  There is a large supply.  Conversely there is a large demand.  I'm not suggesting buying wholesale comics in general, what I am suggesting and wanting to learn more about is whether or not some comics can be like more classic forms of art collectibles.  I am fairly certain the answer is, yes; it's just that I tend towards data driven analysis of most all aspects of my financial life, be it cars, paintings, corals, or comics.

Maybe a lil sarcasm but I and a lot of collectors dealers will happily sell you truck loads of comics at $1. Heck 50 cents. I have comics that were worth a $1 30 40 years ago, worth a $1 10 years ago, worth a $1 now and inflation would have to get pretty bad for them to be worth $2 in 10 years. And so what if they become $5 $10 $20? What am I going to do with them? I don't have a store, not going to drive them around to conventions and not going to ship them.  

I don't know about classic form of art collectibles. I mean most books have hundreds or thousands of copies. But financially sure. I mean anyone on this forum who has been actively acquiring keys for 20 years or more has made millions of dollars on comics or will when they sell. Things that were once hundreds or thousands are now thousands and tens of thousands or more if you bought high grade. If you are just starting now good luck. I love making money as much as the next. Each year in the past 3 or 4 years I buy less and less. I don't even think about comics for investment unless I have nothing else to do. Not that they aren't an investment, just not that good of one. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2021 at 7:06 AM, Joe Peck said:

First, I'm sure this has come up over and over, but I couldn't find any threads using search terms of "longterm" "appreciation" or "prices" hence this post.  Sorry to the old timers that have seen this before.

 

Anyways, just wondering what the longest period of general decline or stagnation in comic prices overall has been.  Do average prices for comics mirror inflation overall?  Is there such a thing as "average" prices? Does it follow some other trend?  Does any site have data going back multiple decades?

 

Thanks to any that take time to answer.

To be honest, I can't recall any long period of decline or stagnation in comic prices.  Sure they've spiked and then plateaued or dropped a bit but that was just a pause before they started going up again.  I can remember seeing back issues for the first time in the mid 1970s at a local book store.  The guy had the gall to ask $1 for one book.  Times have changed and the books just keep increasing in value.

Do prices and increase in prices mirror inflation?  I have no idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
1 1