If you’re looking to find the price of a comic book you may turn to the most common resource, the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. This is a great starting point on your price search, but there are a few “gotchas” you should know.
The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is the industry standard and highly recommended. It is the starting point to find out if your comics have any value at all. When you look in the guide you should be concentrating on three things. Look for first issues, first appearances or origins, and the first work by noted artists and writers. Comic books that fit these criteria are considered “keys” and usually stand out from the “common” issues in value. For example, X-men #1 is the first appearance and origin of the X-men, and has a higher price than say X-men #6. Get the idea?
But once you have separated the “keys” from “commons” there are a couple of insider secrets you should know.
For all of the great information you can find in the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, there are a couple of cons. First, there is a printing delay. The information presented in the guide has to be collected, organized, formatted and then sent to the printer. Once printed it has to be distributed to the stores. All of this takes time, and a lot can change in that time. There can be new comic book movies planned or released, comic book stories that increase demand for certain back issues, and other newsworthy events. All of this can have an affect on the prices of comic books and the guide can’t anticipate it.
Second, the guide strives for accuracy, but comic book dealers have a large say in the pricing, so there can be distortions. Are all the dealers honest? I don’t know. You need to check their work.
Finally, with the advent of CGC, professionally graded comic books can sell for premiums over the guide price. You need to be aware of this fact. CGC professionally grades and encapsulates comic books in a protective holder.
So with these potential problems in mind what should you do? I’m going to give you a couple of easy steps to follow to find accurate, up-to-date prices for your comic books.
First, start out with the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. You can buy the print guide, but I recommend the online version for ease of use. Follow the previous advice and look up your comics, focusing on looking for “keys” and any other comic books that are worth a lot of money. Make a list of your books by title, issue number, grade and guide price.
Once you have your list you’re ready to do an actual sales price check with one of two resources.
The first resource is E-bay. E-bay is completely free so there is no excuse for not checking for actual sales. You want to concentrate on the completed auctions. Enter the title and issue number in the search box and conduct a search. Then, look on the left sidebar and check “completed auctions.” You will need to have an account on E-bay to see the completed results, but it’s free. Once you do this you will see actual sales results. Use the prices to check the Overstreet Price Guide values.
The next resource I recommend is GPAnalysis. This service charges a fee, but if you are serious about comic books and your initial price research reveals you have very expensive books it is well worth it. You can search for any comic book that has been sold since 2002. The only caveat is they only collect data for CGC (professionally graded) comic books. This will give you even more information to check to arrive at an accurate price.
At this point you have accurate, up-to-date, actual sales price data for your comic books. Remember:
1. Do a first check with the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide
2. List your comic books with the initial value
3. Check for actual sales data on E-bay, GPAnalysis, or both
Now you have the ultimate online price guide! Good luck!