Subject #23 The Pump and Dump AKA PnD

The phrase Pump and Dump get's thrown around a lot. So I figured it was high time to discuss it. I'm kinda tired of hearing it and being accused of it to be honest.

Here's the part where you have to put on your big girl panties and decide.

You can take the blue pill and close your browser window now…


Take the red pill, keep reading and I'll show you just how deep the PnD hole goes.

My first “realization” of the pump and dump was ads in Marvel publications months before books were released. Those ads I think helped local shops across America because kids would swarm in and buy copies thinking they would get rich one day… Honestly, how many of you as kids were reading Previews or Advanced Comics about releases 3 months in advance?

Don't lie, if anything you read Wizard. You remember Wizard, who doesn't right?!

Wizard Magazine were the kings of the pump and dump. They turned PnD into an art form and sold it without us even realizing it. I don't think anyone has ever come as close to Wizard Magazine's level of Pump'dumpery before or since… A magazine combined with a price guide. Yeah, no conflict of interest there. They had the consumer paying them to tell them what books to buy and what the books they owned were worth. It was Brilliant!

See, cornbread wasn't free in those days, you had to pay for the Pump too.

Here's what's real!

ANY discussion about comics is a PUMP by today's standards. Every comic group, forum or sewing circle, website that reports or writes about comics are pumping something.  While they may not benefit directly from the dump, someone is.

If someone talks about a book on a blog it's a pump. Since anything favorable must be… since nobody actually loves comics, they only love money.  Standing outside the LCS talking with someone, it's got to be a pump. A bunch of people in forums or on google talking about a book, it's clearly a pump. All conversation can be considered a Pump. Even an ebay alert on your phone to an email from an online retailer. From a car to a comic, it's all some sort of pump.

I'll stop being sarcastic for a minute. Any sale or transaction is obviously the Dump which comes from dumping it on the market. Then isn't every sale technically a dump? I mean if you're not hoarding it, you're selling it. Everything has a price.

Advertising = Pump

Sale = Dump

We love being advertised to. From movie trailers to Football… either one. People sit in front of the TV on Sundays for 3 or more hours. All to watch 60 minutes of football, which equates to about 2.5 hours of ads. Ad's are just a pump for products you probably don't need. That's right, commercials are the Pump side of the PnD for things other than comics… Chew on that for a minute.

Ok, so now that the idea of everything in life is little more than an endless series of PnD is sinking in. Everyone's is trying to sell you something. Nobody cares about comics because they really only care about money… It's a lot to  absorb so you might be shaken. That happens when you're abruptly woke, just ask Neo. Life is an endless series of PnD, get used to it.

This is a highly unstable market!

Just because you read an article about people investing in comics rather than the stock market doesn't mean you should too. Today's hot book can be tomorrow's discount bin filler. Get used to it. It's been that way for as long as the hobby has existed. It'll stay that way long after all the fair weather collectors/investors have gone.

Everyone wants guarantees and stability. The safety of black and white concrete can't lose investments. That's not going to happen, this market is way to volatile. It's driven by people who will tell you anything to flip a book. If there's a direct financial gain for the person telling you about it, you need to research beyond that.

I've said time and time again, flipping/selling/investing in comics is a predatory game. You want to play, it's gotta be a two-way street. You'll win as many as you lose.

Learn to think independently and separate yourself from the herd.

Fact is nobody was holding a gun to your head to buy anything in the 90's or today… So if you paid too much for a book there's no one to blame but yourself. Information and intelligent makes a market stronger. Do your own research and don't just follow the pack.

If money's your only aim, do us all a favor, just cut bait and run. This is a gamble and you need to suck it up or take a hike. Stop blaming and accusing people because you don't know how to “comic book” very well. That's nobody's fault but your own.

Remember… If you don't already own it, the Dump's ALWAYS on you! 

Disclaimer: My views don't always reflect those of CBSI. Inigo and Trey give me a lot of rope to hang myself with and I'm grateful. I only use words like “investment” “market” and “speculation” because this is a site about dealing with those exact things.

I love comics and have since childhood. Comics helped me find my love of art and teach me to read. I write this article to help educate and allow people of all ages and experience levels an opportunity to learn more. My articles are never about a single issue or comicbook. The majority of the time it's about a single character. I try to cover multiple books that may or may not interest a reader as they pertain to a character.

I write this article every week because I love talking about comics. Trust me when I say, I really do have better things to do than type 1000 word dissertations just to con you into buying books. If my article really was a PnD, it would be a hell of a lot shorter and have links to my eBay page.

Thanks to those of you that read this every week and been a part of the first 23 (actually 24) installments. Much more to come in 2017!


  • Khoi Cakes

    Well written Skot. What so many don’t realize is that many of the PnD accusers are the ones selling the books. It’s the same old hypocritical game of complaining about books being touted/reported but taking advantage of the market to sell the books for whatever they can get. You know, the same ppl who accuse CBSI of pumping a variant but will pre-sell the books at 10X the cost.
    Like you said, you write about art or stories that you like (even without any spec potential) and it’s all accused of PnD anyway. Personally, it’s tiresome so screw the haters. Bottom line is no one is forcing anyone to buy anything, and if they do chase after something, well…the dump’s on you.

    • Skot Whitman

      Exactly. When someone points a finger they have 4 more point right back at them. The accusers are mostly just mad they haven’t pre-sold a variant for 10x the buy in price. It’s easy to blame others for their failures not just as flipper but has human beings.

      I’m way over the accusations too, if it wasn’t for the podcast and our google groups I wouldn’t even know about it half the time lol

  • jason jones

    So you’re saying I need to go buy every copy of the wizard magazine issues pictured?

    I’m gonna be rich!

  • Scott Robertson

    I am always amazed at the accusations of the pump n dump, like all the cbsi guys have a secret meeting every month, at which we go through the previews, decide what books we are all going to collectively buy, then we meet weekly to decide what books to push that week… it’s crazy to think we are that organized…

    Oh yeah, Dont forget this month’s meeting is Thursday….

    • Skot Whitman

      LMAO. You’re right Scott, that seems to be how people want to paint us. Fact is, we don’t do that. If anything we’ve all been doing this collecting thing so long we act independently and find out after the market has reacted that we were all on the same page.

      Most of us have busy lives so it’s amazing we can even conversate at all much less coordinate a world wide dump and dump LOL!

    • MarkCat

      I love this subject as there is always someone accusing me of PND just because I mention a comic on the forum. One particular guy, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, will argue until he can’t even remember what his topic was just to prove that you are pumping a comic every time. The DUMPS on you kind sir. First time it was mentioned to me I was helping everyone out with info heard at the Diamond Retailers Summit on a comic I didn’t even own yet. Guess I was pre-Pumping to get em ready for the post dumping? That I still haven’t done. Keep spec’n guys. I don’t follow the flock to the slaughter house, I hold onto the dump for the Shepard.

  • Ben Steiniger

    Nice Skot. In this selfish world, people just can’t fathom giving information for free.

    • Skot Whitman

      Exactly, if someone loves something like comics and talks about them, well they must be trying to sell you something. They couldn’t do it because they actually love comics and financial gain must be driving the motivation.

      You’re right it’s selfish world we live in these days so now we have selfish people projecting their own selfishness back onto us and well, I’m done being silent about it.

  • Zack Gauthier

    Great article Skot, and if we all knew how to pump and dump most of us would have retired years ago. It’s a shame that sharing our thoughts on paper, blogs or group conversations are scrutinized for underlying reasons and we have to justify each time we are doing so. I personally ignore 90% of the negative feedback I receive, as I am too old and my time is too valuable to do so. I value everyone’s thoughts on Investment opportunities because you can miss out on some really good gains. Is this pumping or really is it just assisting others who share similar ideas and goals. Cheers!

    • Skot Whitman

      I think if anyone speaks favorably about a book it’s going to be called a pump now because we love to label things here in the states .

      I’m with you on age and time. I pretty much never bother to read what’s being said about us elsewhere on the internet, those people just don’t rate my attention.

  • Kevin Trinh

    Excellent article, Skot. What the PnD accusers don’t realize is that they do the same crap themselves without realizing it. I usually look up their post histories and see that they hyped up books that they own while criticizing others of doing it. They’re nothing but hypocrites…

  • Avatar

    Those wizard magazines are now selling for triple the price on eBay!!!!
    I am too late again…

  • Avatar

    Great Article brother..listen people love being told what to buy,its up to them to buy or not .take for example these stupid Nintendo minis ..forget the fact that the emulators and roms can be had for free ,people wanna go out and spend 200-250 bucks on a system they will play for all of 20 mins then realize at the age of 40 things just aint the same just because they were told its “the thing to have” . Alot of the people that complain about PnD are the ones that are mad and say “damn i could of spec’d on that ” or “Why didn’t I think of that “.A ton of the specs that come across CBSI are a hit some are misses with life. bottom line find a spec..research it give a good reason why its a great spec and share F The haters

    • Skot Whitman

      Exactly Mel. They fall for the pump and dump of life watching TV and buying all this crap TV tells them to buy. When it comes to comics they get mad when they back the wrong pony. It’s not like they are going to spew hate for Nintendo when the minis are dirt cheap next year and like you said, you can get the emulators for free. But if they miss out on a book, it’s our fault… it’s like selective hate or something lol (actually it’s not funny)

  • Avatar

    Nice article man. As a long term comic fan (since the mid to late 70s) but new to investing (5 months!) it’s always interesting to know what people are thinking and how they look at the market and collecting in general. It seems to me the PnD haters are the ones that hopped on a certain band wagon too late, got burned, then bitched about it.

    I have bought some comics that I thought would be a great flip, just to have them left on my hands, that’s no-ones fault but my own for getting over enthusiastic and not thinking things through first. But I have had some success, mostly off the back of articles here and CHU, some from as well. I have also picked up some stuff I think will be better for long term (ish) holds, but again, if they don’t, my fault, no one else.

    Somebody was on CHU moaning they had missed out on some Frankie’s variants, saying that it was not good for “proper” collectors, they were forced to pay inflated prices (no-one is making them pay!) But I bet he would have liked multiple copies to flip if he had the chance…

    • Skot Whitman

      Exactly. Nobody NEEDS any of this, it’s a luxury hobby. Nobody holding guns to anyones heads to buy any of this stuff. There definitely is this feeling of want and entitlement. I want it and I’m entitled to it so whine bitch and cry till you get your way.

      If people didn’t fish Micronauts #8’s outta the damn dollar bins and slap 100 bucks on them, I probably would be here writing this article every week. True story.

  • Avatar

    “I like the girls with the Pumps & the Dumps” ~MC Hammer

  • Avatar

    great article! You can’t fix stupid, i’m new back into collecting and very new to speculating and I read EVERYTHING i can. That doesn’t mean I buy every book that pops up on the G+ or any other website. What CBSI and the awesome G+ community has done for me is introduce me to a whole universe of characters I didn’t know. Screw the haters!

    • Skot Whitman

      You’re exactly right, you can’t fix stupid, nobody can. But I will tax stupid all day.

      People who are getting back into collecting is really who I write this for every week. When I got back in the game I bought a lot of dumb book because I bought into the over hyped variant BS.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Avatar

    great write up, great read
    if someones making money, someone else will complain, even if they benefit them sometimes

    • Skot Whitman

      It’s this greedy entitlement climate I think is the real problem. They expect everything handed to them and think if the complain enough they’ll get what they want. Homie don’t play that and neither do I LoL!

      Thanks for reading Chris!

  • Mugroantics

    Very good points spelled out clear and articulate and a good read.
    I for one can deal with the “pump” I like to see what others are collecting or have interest in and why. How else can one person discover all the different variants, first appearances, errors…. whatever.

    Like Steininger said, “people just can’t fathom giving information for free”. And like I’ve always said, CBSI is much more sophisticated and on another level compared to any other group I had the pleasure of dealing with.

    • Skot Whitman

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m cool with the pump as long as it’s based in something other than “I’ve got 50 copies I’m trying to dump”.

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. There’s a level of sophistication we have here… or at least strive for. It’s not just “it’s limited to 900 copies go buy it and throw it on eBay for $100”

      I try to write the article each week that I could not find. Meaning I want to know what issue things happen in pertaining to certain characters so I can buy those books and read those story and value be damned.

  • Louis-Philippe

    Everybody wants you to tell them what you think is the next big spec, but when you do, you’re accused of pumping and dumping. People need to stop complaining and make their own decisions.

  • Avatar

    You are taking this way to personal. This wasn’t about you or your articles it was about the site and perception it was giving. Obviously either it was agreed on that it would hurt business if they continued down that path or some logic prevailed and the site realized it wasn’t the right choice. Either way you shouldn’t take it personally it wasn’t your fault. Your articles are great and I’ve never seen anyone accuse you have anything.

  • dollarbinkiller

    Well put! You’ll never rid the world of whiners and complainers. I just appreciate what you guys do because I don’t know anyone else that I can pump and dump on. We’ve all been doing it since we could crawl. I know it started with sports cards and comics when I was a kid. Love what you guys do!

  • dollarbinkiller

    Free cornbread from my Grandpa when teaching me to play poker when I was 5. “If you can’t find the sucker at the table, guess what?”

  • Avatar

    What a load. There are a handful of people that write articles on here that do great spec and try to give some insight to their readers and we appreciate them very much. The only problem I have had is when I’ll see and “random spec post” on the plus page telling people “you better buy this variant it might be this generations hulk 181” then I go to ebay and 1 guy has one listed at like 500$ and I look and he has the same user name as the guy on the plus page. Then I go to your website and there’s a bright red banner at top of page advertising the same variant and I think to myself is this a joke and now to beat it all that same book lol is in your top ten and it’s not even sold out or if it is you can take that banner down. It’s all good it’s just now you guys get on here and act like people are just making this stuff up.

    • Skot Whitman

      That’s kinda the point. You should never spend money just because you read a blog, website forum post or see a banner ad.

      Research, figure it out for yourself before you buy anything. $500 buck is retarded for something like a new store variant and nobody should be paying that kinda money for stuff like that.

    • Khoi Cakes

      Jason, you know we can’t control what members do. But bring up some proof that CBSI or any of the core members are behind the PnD? The last time Inigo dressed you down and you slunk off but now you’re back again. Why do you keep coming back? For all of your numerous accusations, why do you keep requesting to be let back in as a member? You’ve tried 3 ties already and we’re not letting you back in. Please find another way to release your anger. It’s not healthy.

  • Avatar

    Shilled website

  • Avatar

    Every site with a Top 10 List will be called a pump and dump site at some point(Wizard Magazine), so just “own it” or write it off as, people are jerks on the internet always and forever. Your sarcasm is spot on, comics are dog eat dog and this is a comic book investment site so pump and dump is a lable that disappointed/foolish people will use for the site as a whole. Write what you believe in, go home and sleep well.

  • Avatar

    The 500 price on ebay is only to try to convince the idiots that there is heat to this variant and to sell copies. I’m not worried as much about 1 or 2 of you guys PnDing as I am that a website that I personally turn to for info is sold out and feeding me useless crap just to sell me some store variant that they are in cohorts with

  • Avatar

    Foolish I would say is the person that don’t see a point

  • Avatar

    And if it’s so “foolish” why do you guys get so defensive about this one subject. Do your feelings get hurt, or just guilt creeps in

  • Avatar

    I can get proof easily but why would I do that to a site I like. I just want the site like it was back in the day

    • Avatar

      I’m new to this site in the last few months Jason, so if you have the proof I would like to see it. If you can’t’ put up, however, I suggest you shut up, you’re making a monumental tool of yourself.

  • Avatar

    You had posts 6 months ago saying you were new to comics and begging for advice, now you have it all figured out huh? It’s pretty funny that you can’t lurk in peace. Between this, whining about your dog, all your deleted hater posts, your accusations of charity theft, it makes me wonder if you’ve ever had a friend? Because the people you follow around don’t like you. Go play in traffic, because then maybe the person who runs you over will be sympathetic to your mental state.

  • Avatar

    Wow Jason. Sounds like you are the one who is but hurt here. Every other comment was either positive or constructive. Why are you even posting here. Go away no one likes you.

  • Avatar

    I’ve never posted anything an I’ve never said I’m any sort if expert. I simply pay attention.

  • Avatar

    Lol I really don’t care if some shady mfers like you don’t like me. Apparently u have me mixed up this is my first posts and if this the way you treat your readers I doubt you guys do any sort of charity. All you guys do is make yourself known as what your really bout.

    • Iñigo

      Funnily enough there were some comments by a very similar username, with a very similar tone and from the very same IP address back in August and September. So either you have a very bad memory or you are just lying now. In any case, last time, you blamed us for making Rob Liefeld relevant and repeatedly told us we sold out, so I don’t really know what “back in the day” you are talking about in one of your other messages here.

      It’s not about guilt creeping in, Jason, it’s the fact that you are calling us liars, sellouts or whatever you feel like calling us repeatedly. My first choice would be to ignore you until you disappear again, but you are getting people riled up and hijacking a discussion between other people who want to have a serious conversation.

      For the record, we are not affiliated with any shops or publishers or what have you, we love comics, we love talking about comics (to which you very cleverly replied to with “So this isn’t a spec site but it’s called cbinvest not cblove and appreciation lol” unless it was your evil(er?) twin, last August), we love knowing what to sell and when, but I don’t think any of us make a living out of selling comics and most of the times we sell comics to buy more of them, as someone else pointed out in this thread. When you see ads for shops on the site it means we jumped at the chance to get you guys out there some giveaways or that we need the money to keep the server alive. If we knew how to exploit this a bit better, you would probably be right in calling us sellouts.

      Conspiracy theorists can say whatever they want, but Elvis is still dead, Paul McCartney is alive and we do what we say and say what we do. If you like it it’s cool (let us know), if you don’t and believe we are doing this honestly even cooler (we love constructive criticism and some of the comments in the past have actually made the site better), but if you really hate us and think we are doing this to get rid of our stash of Sleepwalker #1s or whatever, then there’s really no point in you telling us how evil you think we are … Let me remind you that internet is huge and you could be learning how to play the guitar or CGI animation to make that movie only you have thought about which is going to be awesome. Really, best of luck, but we are not going to try to change your mind (only because you clearly don’t care about what we have to say) and we really couldn’t give two shits about getting reminders of your hate.

  • Lunarshade

    I will just leave a quote from Peter Lynch “Invest in what you know.” I have bought comics since the 70s and will continue to. I do agree in being diverse in investment and my advice with comics is buy what you like because you may be stuck with it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.