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Buying Mint Comics -- The #1 Secret 
For Comic Book Investing

The simple rule for investing comic books is this...Buy comics in the best shape possible so when youíre ready to sell them, you have only one thing to argue over....PRICE!

Quality is better than quantity when you're thinking about buying comics for investing.  Cheap comics in bulk batches have made profits for lucky "investors" who held them until their prices rose significantly.  

But most dealers who buy comics want the top quality comics or scarce comics -- and what dealers want, smart collectors/investors should want also.


This means that you should buy one nice comic for $100 rather than 100 mediocre ones for $1 each. The $100 item will be much easier to dispose of when you decide to sell.  Sometimes Iíve made money, sometimes Iíve lost money in my comic collectible deals, but.....

Iíve never regretted buying an expensive comic in Mint condition.

If youíve ever been involved in real estate, youíve heard the broker explain the three most important aspects of a given propertyís worth: location, location, location. 

In comics, there is a similar saying: condition, condition, condition. Low-grade comics do not increase in value at the same rate as top-quality comics.

Similarly, low-grade comics do not sell as well or as quickly as top-quality comics. In a deep recession they may not sell at all. If you expect to resell, do not buy anything (except extremely rare items) unless it is in near mint or mint condition.

By now you should have read Wizard's or Overstreetís summaries of grading, ranging from poor, fair, good, very good, fine, very fine, near mint, mint. If life in this business were simple, the gods would automatically confer one of these eight grades on every comic ever printed. But itís not. Grading a comic is a subjective thing, and over the years the eight categories have stretched to a dozen or more.

In ads, youíll see vague abbreviation that say NR MT+ or VG/FN- or some such combination that illustrates all kinds of hedging on the part of the seller. The more the description looks like these examples the more wary you should be.   

As a exercise for this report, I researched the price differences among Amazing SpiderMan #9 (Origin & 1st Appearance of Electro). Here are the conditions and selling prices gleaned from ads, dealer price lists and Chicago area shows within the last 6 months that this information was being written:

Amazing SpiderMan #9

(Origin & First Appearance: Electro) 

Near Mint/Mint




Near Mint+


Excellent (cover nick)


Near Mint+




Near Mint- (cover chip)


Very Good+


Near Mint/Mint


Near Mint


Very Fine/Near Mint






Poor (very ugly)

$ 28

Very Good/Fine


Fine (bent cover)


Very Good


The above prices will undoubtedly be outdated by the time you're reading this, but that is not what matters. 

The table above is important because it gives a wide sense of asking price as well as condition among 17 different specimens of the same comic....and indicates that you should buy comics in the best condition possible. 


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