4 Steps to Finding Comic Book Values

What is My Comic Worth?

Young man reading comic in comic book store
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It can be difficult to know the value of a comic book. Is that old comic you found in the attic worth something? Are you holding a rare gem in your collection that will bring top dollar? Have you been over valuing a Spiderman issue that, in reality, has no value?

These are common questions that collectors have and finding the true value of any comic requires four basic steps. It is also important to remember that the true value of anything - comic books and beyond - is the price that someone is willing to pay for it.

4 Basic Steps to Determining a Comic's Value

Knowing what your comics are worth can be a tricky business. There are many things to consider and many different ideas of the actual value of a particular comic book.

There are four simple steps you will need to take before you get any answers:

  1. Grade Your Comic
  2. Check a Price Guide
  3. Compare Against Current Sales
  4. Set Realistic Goals

With these simple guidelines, you should easily be able to figure out how much your comic book is truly worth.

Step #1: Grade Your Comic:

The 'grade' of a comic is the condition that it is in. This is determined by many different factors.

  • The condition of the comic's cover. Is it creased, torn, or even attached?
  • The inside of the comic is also very important. Is the color faded or yellowed? Did a kid scribble on the pages decades ago?
  • Is there anything missing? Even coupons that have been cut out will drastically decrease the value.

    Don’t worry too much. Even if a comic book is relatively worn, if it is rare, has the first appearance of a character, is very old, or is highly sought after, then it very well could still be worth a good deal of money.

    You must be careful, however, rating a comic can be very subjective.

    Step #2: Check A Price Guide

    Once you know the condition of your comic, it may be time to check a price guide.

    • Price guides will list the comic book name and its value based on the condition.
    • Some price guides will give a price range for the comic. Others will give just one price.

    There are a few different price guides to choose from, some such as The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, are printed books while others like ComicsPriceGuide.com are online guides.

    While these guides are nice tools and will give you a general idea, they are by no means set in stone. The true measure of a comic book's worth is how much someone is willing to pay for it.

    Step #3: Compare Against Current Sales

    Knowing the price guide's value for a book does no good if there's no one willing to pay that kind of cash for it. A more realistic test for valuing a comic book is to look for what it has sold for in the past.

    Auction sites. Auctions, such as Ebay, are a great way to see how much people are willing to pay for a comic book. As with most collectibles, there are some auction websites that are better than others. You will even find a few auction sites dedicated to the comic book market.

    Sometimes the amount is great, but other times it isn’t. This can be because of many different things. There may be too many of the same comic available or there just isn’t a buyer willing to pay what you want.

    There also may be a better-graded version of the comic available.

    Either way, checking auctions sites will give you a good idea of what the comic book is going for right now.

    Look online. Finding information about a comic book is a good way to get an idea of a comics value, especially if you can’t find it in a price guide or on an auction site. You may have an unusual or rare item on your hands that is currently not on the market.

    • Simply use a search engine and type in the title of the comic book. That will typically lead you to more information about the comic.
    • You can also check and see what online retailers are selling their comics for to get an idea for the competition.

    Step #4: Be Realistic

    The last thing to keep in mind is that you need to be realistic about your comic book value. You might think your comic book is worth thousands of dollars, but that doesn’t mean someone will pay it.

    Here are some good things to keep in mind when trying to determine the value of your comic book:

    • Just because your comic book is old doesn’t mean it is worth anything. What truly makes a comic book worth something is its rarity, popularity, and condition.
    • A comic book store will not pay you top value for a comic book. They need to make a profit. Try to set up a consignment instead of selling it to them outright.
    • If you want to sell fast, set your sights lower. Trying to get top dollar for your comic is a great idea, but if it needs to go, then it needs to go.
    • Sometimes the market won't bear what you want. Check auction sites or comic book stores to see what your comic book is selling for right now. It may be less than it is "worth," but you never know, it may be worth more.
    • It is extremely important to be honest about the condition of your comic when selling it. This will ensure no repercussions on your part.

    A Final Reminder

    If you keep these things in mind when trying to determine your comic book's value, then you will be on the right track. Be patient when you're ready to sell and you should eventually be able to get what it is worth.