Tips for Beginning Your Collection of Vintage Comic Books

If you love to read comic books, you’re in good company. Millions of people around the United States (and the world!) love flipping through the colorful adventures of their favorite superheroes and other characters. But did you know there’s even more value to be found in vintage comic books? When you start a vintage comic book collection, not only can you collect something that you love, you can also potentially make a fortune later down the line if and when you decide to sell them. Whether you’re passionate about collecting vintage comic books or would rather sell comic books to other collectors, here are some tips for collecting vintage comic books.

Collect What You Like

The first and most important out of all the tips for collecting vintage comic books is to collect what you like! If you’re a huge Captain America fan, look for vintage Cap comics at your local comic book store, comic book estate sale, or one of our comic book and toy auctions in New Jersey

If you’d rather collect DC comics than Marvel comics, look out for your favorite vintage Spidey adventures. Love rereading a particular digital comic book? Be on the lookout for a physical copy so you can add it to your collection! Not only will you be supplementing a vintage comic book collection that may someday be worth thousands of dollars, but you’ll also be making sure the hobby is fun for you!

Build a Theme

While you may read comic books from a variety of eras and featuring a variety of characters, your vintage comic book collection will greatly benefit from a theme to tie it together. You don’t need to collect all the comic books from a single character’s appearance (that would be nearly impossible; some characters have been around for decades!), but trying to theme your collection can help you even if you don’t plan on selling your vintage comic book collection. Collecting critical moments in a character’s story arc, specifically seeking comics from the Bronze Age or Silver Age, or trying to complete a series are all examples of themes for your vintage comic book collection.

Store Comics Carefully

“Bagged and boarded” is the way to go when it comes to storing your vintage comic book collection. This means that your comics are in a plastic sleeve (bag) made from polypropylene, polyethylene, or mylar. A cardboard sheet is also inserted into the plastic sleeve with the comic to keep it from creasing or bending. Then, the bag is sealed to prevent air from degrading the comic. Comic book bag sizes are based on the age of the comic book (usually one of three dimensions: Golden Age, Silver Age, and modern-day comic books). Some people use a flap that folds over the plastic sleeve, some people use tape; it’s all up to you when it comes to your vintage comic book collection.

Condition Matters

You can’t sell or trade paperback comics solely based on what’s inside. In other words, don’t assume every vintage comic book copy is the same value. Things like (accidental and purposeful) variant covers, creases, tears, and other damage all affect the price of a comic book.

Manage Expectations — and Budget

Even if you’re the world’s biggest Spider-Man fan, chances are you aren’t going to find a pristine copy of Amazing Fantasy 15 (now valued at over 3 million dollars!). Nor will you stumble on a vintage copy of Action Comics 1 (Superman’s first appearance, worth millions in mint condition). However, just because you might not find the million-dollar issues or collect the most top-tier valuable comics doesn’t mean your vintage comic book collection doesn’t have value. You can find real gems hidden in places like comic book estate sales — for prices you can actually afford. 

The Fun’s in the Search

While going to comic book stores and visiting online auction sites is part of the search for many vintage comic book collectors, you’re not likely to find a bin that hasn’t been searched through by hundreds of people just like you who are all looking for the most valuable comics. Have fun with your hunting and focus on the thrill of the search! Enjoying the process is a huge part of the fun when it comes to buying and selling vintage comic books.

Start Collecting Today

Ready to start your vintage comic book collection? Check out Bodnar’s Auction! You never know what people are selling at estate sales or comic book auctions — it could be what you need to complete that awesome collection or get you started on your collecting journey. Visit us online or join in on an auction or estate sale today!

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