A Fisherman’s Tale: eBay Gambling

I come today with another Fisherman's Tale to share my latest case of eBay gambling. Most avid eBay watchers begin to accrue a set of sellers they follow, because they sell books at fair prices, let good stuff slip bye, or just do a great job packaging. Well one seller I watch because I’ve gotten some good deals before, had started to list the occasional lot. They would only show one picture from different angles, but there would be a box full of books not shown. I had watched a few of these boxes go bye at decent prices always wondering if I could have gotten them for a dollar more.

 

This particular lot intrigued me because I have decided to spec hard on Secret Invasion. My goal is to collect every variant of the short series. I have mentioned before the great covers within the set. The variants are done by Yu another unsung favorite of mine. I had a price point in my head and began to bid a day before the close. The auction said a 100 plus books. I could see two different Secret Invasion 4 variants. Each variant had 3 copies. There was a set of Before Watchmen Dr. Manhattan variants two covers I could see and a third. Shazam 2 and OMAC 1, two great bronze age books. After a quick tally, in decent condition these books could be worth $65-80. So $80 was my number, but  of course as fate would have it. $80 wasn’t enough, but I wasn’t going to let someone get it for a dollar more so I slowly went up a dollar until was the winning bid. I thought surely with a day left in the auction someone would outbid me. I awoke the next morning to You had the winning bid! message. $91 was the winning bid plus $20 shipping. Damn you shipping!!! I regrettably paid and waited to see what the rest of the books were. Paying a $111 for a 100 plus books is not a bad deal, but it leaves little margin for a profit.

The package finally arrived. There were close to 200 books, about half would qualify for the bottom of a bird cage. The other half peaked my interest; 30 -100 of 100 Bullets, 6 – 20 of Scalped, 1-16 of 52 Countdown, and some random issues to read and take for trade credit.

The next few pictures are where the fun is found. Early Goon easily $5-10 a piece, Shazam 2 and OMAC 1 could easily be 9.0. The Secret Invasion Variants are 1:25 and 1:75, a Civil War 7 variant, a Justice League of America variant, and Invincible 44 a $20 book.

The Dr. Manhattans are issue 1-3 all 1:25 ratio variants, Infinite Crisis 1-7 some are B covers which seem to be a little harder to find, Agent Venom!!, a cool Clayton Crain cover, and Batwoman.

Two Issues had signatures on them, I’m a big Spider-man fan so getting a Dan Slott signature is nice.

Identity Crisis 7 is signed by the inker right alongside Turner’s signature.


After assessing my gamble, I will trade the junk hoping for $20-$25 in trade and I will try a sell the Batwoman, Gotham City Siren, and Goons hoping for $30. I will hold the Dr. Manhattan until the HBO show comes out, hoping for $50. Infinite Crisis set I will hopefully sell for $30. OMAC and Shazam could get me $40. So I gambled $111 on books and best case scenario I might make a small profit of $50 – $60 with sets of Secret Invasion for long term spec, Agent Venom, a Dan Slott Signature and Invincible 44 for my PC. Today was not a Fishing Story, today was the reality of a comic book grinder.

 

2 comments

  • Ben C

    Great tale as always Chris, hope the gamble pays off for you!!

  • Bill

    I do the same with seller that use poor pictures and use an anonymous description of “good” condition (i.e. not knowing what “good” really means).
    Poor pictures combined with non-understanding of comics has netted me sweet deals.
    For the failures, I just turn around and sell them for a marginal loss/gain/equal.

    Gambling is good often on the ‘Bay

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