A Fisherman’s Tale : BEATER BE AWARE
I am not a perfectionist when it comes to my collecting. For me it has always been about owning a copy over owning a high quality one. I know each collector is different, this one guy I collect with wants every Amazing Spider-man, but they have to be 8.0 or better. He is willing to pay Fair Market Value for them, but not eBay prices, so he is slowly amassing his collection (nice to be independently wealthy). Another guy I run into, has never met a book that wasn’t a “9.8 All Day” with a press (doesn’t matter if it has been sitting in a box without a bag for awhile). For me I am a completionist and flipper, so of course I want the best condition copy, but if I can get a beat ASM 50 for under a $100, it means I am closer to finishing my run and can put my money toward those last few ASM I need.
For flipping purposes quality does matter, because I have had a few eBay sales returned because I have put words in my description like “great” and “good” and didn’t realize someone would open the book flipping to each page until they found a speck of dirt. Even when I have flipped beat copies with clear wording that they were readers, I’ve had buyers want refunds or discounts.
I have started a little collection of cover-less, beat and torn comics. These comics are important keys which I hope to have a complete copy of eventually, but I can wait until I complete my ASM run. I have 2 cover-less comics that I am very proud of, they were throw-ins on a couple of eBay lots. The first cover-less is ASM Annual 1 which came in a lot full of Marvel Super Heroes 13, Neal Adams Superman 233, and Marvel Tales 1. I did not buy the lot for the book, but I am happy to have it. The next cover-less book came with my copy of Golden Records Avengers 4. The seller threw in a few cover less books as filler in the box, one of which was Captain America 117 first Falcon.
I got lucky one day and my LCS was putting out some Silver Age books he had just got in. He knows I am looking for Spider-man so he shows me this beat torn copy of ASM 4 (first Sandman) the corners were chewed, but you could still tell what book it was. I was hooked, especially, when he sold me that along with Fantastic Four 9 for $5 each. I can now claim to own ASM 4, without paying hundreds of dollars.
My favorite beater I have found happened a few months ago. My collector fishermen and I were diving through the latest batch of quarter comics, when I did a double take, there was a batch of old 20 cent and 25 cent comics. These were pretty worn and without bags. They put stickers directly on the comic so it is always a challenge to pull off the sticker without further damage. I flipped through a few and they were some old Marvel Western comics, but then I saw it a few Tomb of Dracula comics, in fact the two biggest issues you would want, issue 10 and issue 12. This was the type of find you want to hide in your stack because you think the shop will cite you for shoplifting. I have found beater comics before that eventually become keys (Marvel Premiere 48), but I have never seen a well known key end up in the box before. The Squirrel Girl was $12 and Gambit was $50, so the shop usually prices under market, but not stupid. They can recognize Squirrel Girl first appearance but miss Blade!!!
Until Next Tale