Buying Comics Some Words of Warning

One of the big reasons for owning a comic book store is to have the opportunity to buy great comics at low prices.  But as with any business, there are honest sellers and dishonest sellers.  You need to keep this in mind when you are buying comics from people.  Here are a few cases that I had to deal with, so it may help you out.

*First thing to remember is that if a loyal customer is selling you comics, you should pay a little more.  This is when they are selling you a few comics.  I generally paid close to 50% for good books from loyal customers.  If it was a person off the street that I did not know, I would pay considerably less, closer to 30%.  Why is this?  It was my little way of saying thanks for being a loyal customer and hoping they remain a loyal customer.  Now if that person was selling their whole collection, then it was different.  I found that 95% of the time if a customer sold his whole collection or most of it, that was the last time you would see them. 

*When buying a huge collection, only factor in the books that you really want.  Look at the books that you know you can sell in a reasonable amount of time (within six months or less) and base the price you offer on that.  That way if you get the books, you can sell those and make your money back and a profit.   The rest will be gravy for you. 

*If someone uses the following line "These are some of my books, I have my better books at home.  Buy these and I will bring you the better ones.", ask them to either bring the good books or forget it.  Trust me, you will almost never see these "better books".  It is a ploy to get you to buy their junk.  I learned this the hard way in the early days.  I bought a few average collections in hopes of getting the "good stuff" and it never showed up.

*If someone brings up a collection of books to sell and then decides to shop around, you can do two things.  First is to let them know that the price goes down once the books leave the store.   Second is to take one last look and do a visual check of all the best books.  I found out that many times they will sell the best books to another store (also known as cherry picking) and bring back the rest to sell to you for the same price.  I have had this happen many times early on, so I would quote them two prices, the price I would pay now and the price I would pay if they came back, which was considerably less.  It helped to insure that I got the good books the first time.  Plus the more that other dealers looked at them, the more of a chance they went down a grade in condition.

*It sounds like common sense but always look at every expensive book and I do mean look.  I have found many books to be missing pages, have coupons cut out or even a few where they had the covers of expensive books with some worthless book inside.  Only a few times have I had a seller let me know of the flaws in advance.  Most acted surprised by it.



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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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