Welcome to the Risk Analysis!!!

riskA little background behind the author. I graduated with a degree in Economics in 2008. I use it every day at work. I started getting back into comics books about a year ago. I have an obsession on finding the best deals.

With that said, I always encourage people to ask me or any others in the community for advice when making purchase. A purchase $10 or anything higher could be small in the grand scheme but losses could add up quickly. (If you are unsure about a purchase, DO NOT BUY.) My own disclaimer: My advice is that of a stock broker, it is only my advice. A proper investment is done with time and research.

I want to start this column out with definitions and example so that everyone understands the terms I use:

Total Cost – Total cost refers to the total expense incurred in buying a comic book (Yes this is even the shipping cost)
Ex. If you buy a comic on Ebay and it costs $4 and shipping is $6. The total cost of a comic is $10

Total Price – Pricing factors are manufacturing cost, market place, competition, market condition, brand, and quality of product.
Ex. Preacher 1 – 9.8 CGC – Average $700 on (Ebay) in sold listings. If you list your comic on Ebay for $800 with shipping and packaging; this is the final price that will take in to account the cost of the book and shipping (w/ markup) that you are willing to sell at.

Profit – A financial benefit that is realized when the amount of revenue gained from a business activity exceeds the expenses, costs and taxes needed to sustain the activity.
Ex: When you buy a book for $3 from your LCS and you sell it for $10 bucks locally you made a profit of $7

Maximization – This goes hand in hand with profit. This is when a seller determines a price that will return the greatest amount of profit without losing a sale.
Ex: Preacher 1 – 9.8 CGC – Average $700 on (Ebay) in sold listings. If you are a seller and bought a Preacher 1 Raw $200 ungraded and had it graded which would cost around $50. So you now have $250 invested into a comic book. Any dollar amount above $250 will create profit. It is the sellers’ responsibility to maximize this number without hurting their chances of a sell.

Risk – Risk includes the possibility of losing some or all of the original investment.
Ex. If you take a gamble on a comic say New Mutants 98 and buy it at market value ($350 when it's worth $350) when the market is at the highest you could actually lose money when attempting to sell it.

Now with all this said let's continue with why everyone is here and talk comics:

Silver Age

The Avengers 4


Mostly overlooked because of Avengers #1, but still a solid piece of Silver Age history due to the fact of it featuring the return of Captain America (1st Silver Age Appearance). The market is solid where graded books above 4.0 – 6.0 go anywhere between $765 and $1500 with an exception of someone stealing a 9.0 at only $1,051.00

The way to maximize profit on this book is to find the market in a lull like this person did. From statistics course, this is what is known as a outlier. An outlier is an observation point that is distant from other observations. The single dot in the graph below would be that person who bought a 9.0 at $1,051.


The raw value of this book to be invested into is around $200 and grading to be around $50. All this together would leave you invested for a total cost of $250, if you can turn around and grade your comics to be at 2.5 or 3.0 and then you maximize your profit by doubling your money. My Golden rule is if I cannot double my money then it's not worth the risk.

Copper Age

Uncanny X-Men 266

Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_1_266With all the hype of Channing Tatum taking Gambit into the big screen, this movie is bringing Uncanny X-Men 266 into a solid key category. Raw copies are going for around $70.00. I would say the total cost of a VF/NM grade would be at $50 for it to be worthwhile. If you can get this graded at a 9.4 which is achievable, then maximize your profit to be at $60. All profits margins will not be 50% anything over 20% is a victory when it comes to Copper / Modern sales in my opinion. This could be one worth holding until the movie drops but that maximizes your risk if the movie is a complete flop.

Silver Age

Showcase 30

SHOWCASE #30In 1961, the writer Jack Miller came up with the idea to tryout a superhero named Aquaman. Even though, Aquaman would get his very own series. This is proven to be a key worth holding on to. A decent Raw copy can go for $250. I see the true value in this comic book in the pressing market. With pressing a comic before grading, this inherently increases the value of the comic to its' maximum. The preferred amount for this comic would be at $225. Maybe you can get a good person to press your comic. (aka Trey Kenyon). This is where you can maximize your profit. If you do not see any movement on the total cost and the price is static aka not moving. You need to look at the nuances of every copy of this book and get the one best represented that can but almost benefit the most on a press. If you can get 4.0 to 4.5 and get the comic pressed and CGC at a 5.0 then you can get a great profit margin of around $500. This would be your best bet on this book with it comes to maximizing your profit and being close to Risk of spending close to market value.

Bronze Age

Giant Size X-Men 1

Giant-Size X-Men #1

This is one of the most popular comics of all time. But with the price of popularity becomes the old economic theory of supply and demand. Even though in 1975, comics were on their rise in the industry. This book is the one to remember with the main appearance of Wolverine joining the X-Men. This book is getting more impossible to find raw because everyone ends up sending it to the graders the raw prices are just as much as the graded prices. This would be a great model of buying a graded book before the raw version. Raw versions are going from anywhere to $800 to $1200. I would say avoid the raw market unless you can get one around $400 to $500 in a 8.0 and above. The graded market has taken this book into the stratosphere and I hate to say that Batman Adventures 12 will be the same way as well. A comfortable 7.0 to7.5 CGC will run around $720 to $750. This would be a long term investment hold because this is a corner stone of marvel comics and the value will continue to rise. Your Total Cost will might be even more than market value but with time your total price will increase in value the longer you hold this key. A year or two down the line the value of this comic could speculatively be $1000 bringing your profit Margin to 25%

I always like feedback from the community send me your questions and books you like to see on the Risk Analysis.

Be sure to come to check out more the Risk Analysis.


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