Most of our writers read and respond to comments.  Many of the writers even base articles on those comments.  We try to meet the needs of our readers.  Over and over, though, the comments on this site seem to share one mistaken belief... That this site and most of the articles are written only for investors.  This fallacy will ultimately lead to comic book collectors making big mistakes and costing them the opportunity to maximize their collection.

Mistake #1 Ignoring Articles Supposedly Written for Investors

Misidentified Target Audience

Every article written on this site is for comic book hobbyists.  Articles are written for investors and collectors! Collectors and investors co-exist in the same market and their interactions impact each other.  Last year an article was published informing hobbyists that they may want to target Avengers #9 because it contained the first appearance of Wonder Man.  Recently Disney announced a new project that will feature the character.  Investors took the advice to maximize their return on investment opportunity.  The problem is, what did this article mean to collectors?

What Investors Know Can Hurt You

Articles that are presumed to be written advising investors of possible guidance should be carefully scrutinized by collectors and vice versa.  The article may present a good reason for why buying a book now may be better than buying it later to add to the collection.   Funds are limited and adding a book at a discount is always advisable. You may have more desirable books on your list, but if a collector wants to ever add a book, the time to do it may have a short shelf-life.

Demand was low for the first appearance of Wonder Man, so collectors should have been all-in on that book sooner than later. The article's review of the data demonstrated that raw books should have been targeted in the 6.0-8.0 range as the best targets for investors because they were undervalued.  If a comic book is undervalued by investors, then it should be of great interest to collectors who want a book in the highest condition they can afford.

Collectors' Take

Collectors have specific targets to add to their haul. That does not mean collectors can ignore investors and investment articles. If a collector wants to add a book, they should have a plan.  Buying what is emotionally enriching is nice but the purchase may be even better if it comes at a bargain.

Collectors who focus on first appearances have to understand where the buying opportunities exist.  Avengers #9 was a great opportunity for a collector to add a book on the cheap then if they ever hoped to add it. Now, that addition will cost a lot more because investors and collectors are flocking to the book.  In addition, look for articles about books dropping in price.  Remember, you may be paying an investor to add the book to a collection. Would it not be better to add it at a discount?

Mistake #2 The Market Report is for Investors

Market Report Not Only for Sellers

The GoCollect market report is one of the greatest collector's tools that is ignored by the majority of collectors. Collectors wrongly assume that this list is like a stock ticker.  This list is thus ignored because collectors are not concerned about "investment news".  The Market report is probably one of the greatest tools that a collector could have in their arsenal and yet many go into battle without it.

Devil in the Details

The Market Report is a tool that can be modified to present the data in a format the user needs.  Collectors do not use it because it is perceived to be an investment tool, but they should learn to use it to their advantage.  Books that are on the move may be so for all the wrong reasons.  Investors talk of buying on the dip to increase the potential for a good return on investment.  That should also be the goal of collectors.  Books that are dropping in FMV may thus present good targets for the collector with finite funds.  You may not buy at the lowest FMV but every bit saved helps you add more books to your collection.

If there is more than one book on your list you have to be very resourceful. You can say you don't mind paying over the FMV for a book, but if you do that long enough it will impact the number of books you can add to your collection. The Market Report assists collectors in knowing what is happening in the hobby.  Finally, those cover price books you always think of adding "one day" may skyrocket in price the next.  Seeing these books on the uptick may influence your decision to get them at the cover price or dollar bins at your LCS before investors scoop them up.

Collectors' Take

The Market Report presents you every day with books that may be highly volatile because investors bet on the wrong book.  Brian Michael Bendis and MCU fans may have wanted to add New Avengers #7, but the book was out of their reach.  Now, collectors can add a 9.2 copy for only $54 dollars.  That is half the price that the same copy could be purchased only a year ago.

Buying opportunities are displayed for collectors so they can add target books at a discount. Sadly, most collectors ignore these opportunities.  Remember, being a collector does not mean you have to pay more for target books.

Mistake #3 Collectors buy what they like so they don't need to know the data

Sentimental Value not Included

Social media is full of hobbyists stating one should buy what people like and can afford.  This statement then absolves the buyer in most cases from making mistakes.  Most frown upon overpaying for books but justify it if the book is desired by the collector.  Collectors have the burden of emotions.  Collectors think with their hearts when they make a purchase. Sadly, the rush of buying a book may overwhelm a buyer's ability to exercise some financial restraint.  Investors know this and use it to their advantage.

Populations Matter

GoCollect census population should be the second tool used by collectors to prevent them from overpaying for a book.  Collectors should know how common a book is when they search for it because that could influence the price you pay, as well as when one should buy the book.

One can not go to any show or on eBay and not see an early Amazing Spider-Man issue for sale.  Now look for a Lev Gleason Publications Daredevil Battles Hitler #1, published in 1941. There is one eBay sale listing this book for sale.  That copy is graded at 1.5 and is listed for $5,800.  A 9.2 copy of Amazing Spider-Man #129 can be purchased roughly for that price.

A collector who loves both war comics and first appearances would know where their money should go based upon the numbers alone. Sellers use the population and Market reports to assist them in selling books.  Buyers have access to the same numbers and should use them to add to their collection in the most efficient method possible.  A good collector should know more about a book than a good investor because of their passion, but sadly, many believe passion will overcome a lack of knowledge.  Sellers take advantage of that flaw.

Collectors' Take

Collectors should always check the GoCollect census to see how rare the book is in the wild, but also how many times it comes to market.  Daredevil Battles Hitler #1 is not only a rare book but highly sought after by collectors because of the date it was published and the Hitler photo cover.

Collectors should realize that they are not alone and review how often these books come to market.  Investors know this information and will take advantage of it and yet collectors will search for books but not know this basic information.  How often a book comes to market will dictate when one pays above or below the FMV. Leave emotions at home until after the deal is done.


I see this all the time. Collectors are not investors.  Most collectors are not interested in selling their books for profit so that makes them different from an investor. Collectors buy from their hearts.  They are passionate about their books.  Each book is a prized asset that sits in their collection as if it was their child.

Collectors make an investment with every purchase, yet very few collectors realize the actual cost of their investment. Both collectors and investors purchase from the same pool of books in the market, but somehow the reasons for the purchase differ from how collectors and investors look at the cost of their purchases.

Investment Means More than Money

Collectors will chase books and sometimes overpay when they find their targets.  Collectors will also spend great amounts of time adding to their collections.  This may be a great hobby for some, but for others, it may take away from time they can spend with family and friends.  The Angry Girlfriend copy of Amazing Spider-Man #14 is a legend among collectors.  This book demonstrates one collector's priorities and how they impacted their life.

Divorce attorneys hear many cases where a collector's obsession with their hobby is mentioned as a contributing factor to the breakdown of the marriage.  This is usually caused because collectors are always collecting and never liquidating their collections.

Car collectors have whole garages built with hydraulic lifts on their property to display their acquisitions.  Comic book collectors can have rooms dedicated to holding books.  This is an investment of space and financial resources.  Collectors must always evaluate the size of their collections and if what they have warrants the price of that space. Sometimes that price is only the cost of heating, cooling, and maintaining the humidity of the room. Others will pay a price in a relationship that will cost them even more than money.

Sad Truth

The hobby is an investment no matter how one looks at it. There will come a time when the size of a collection becomes unattainable. Collectors will be forced to liquidate some parts of their collections.  Congratulations, because now the investment side of the hobby is apparent.  Hard choices will have to be made.  Make them with your heart, but do not ignore the brain.  Treating each treasured comic book like a child is nice, but never let it come in the way of what is truly important.

Collectors' Take #1

There is always a price to do something.  Collectors tend to ignore the price they pay because of the emotional attachment they have to their books.  Ignoring a problem does not mean it does not exist. Many collectors pay a large price for their collections.  Collectors become obsessed with their collections and ignore the prices they pay for their hobby.  Sadly, sometimes the realization of the true price comic book collectors have paid comes too late. Collectors may be forced to look at some books as investments and liquidate them to preserve the balance of their collection.  Lose the battle to win the war.

Collectors' Take #2

No matter how hard collectors fight it, one day their collections will be sold.  This is inevitable. The collection may finance the purchase of a new house, help a collector during retirement, or pay for a child's marriage. Ultimately, the collection will either be liquidated because of the death of the collector or passed down to their heirs.  The books will be looked upon as only an investment either way.

The reason I mention this is because of a case where a collector's family member lived in a state of poverty in order to preserve and maintain the collection of a deceased relative.  The collection was ultimately sold, but the price paid by that family member to preserve the collection of the deceased family member was high.  Instead of viewing it as just objects that brought the person enjoyment, the collection took a life on to its own. The emotions associated with a collection caused this family member to suffer in real life.  Collectors should realize this and make sure that their family members know what truly is important in their lives.

Final thought

Collectors are important members of the comic book community. The site's name is GoCollect, not GoInvest.  Collectors buy and maintain their books with a passion.  Surgeons keep emotionally detached from patients because they do not want to make choices based on the heart and not the head.  Collectors need to detach themselves from the process to make better decisions. Collectors should be shrewd and buy like an investor and leave the emotions at the door.

Sellers prey upon the weak buyers. Shill bidding is a common problem online because certain bidders give away how far they are willing to go to get books.  The first and last initial is included when one is the highest bidder.  Buyers who use the same site then become identifiable as the easiest marks, the passionate collector.  Collectors leave themselves open because of the emotional attachment they have to their books.

GoCollect is a site for collectors and investors.  Data and information are provided to equip readers so that they can make informed decisions on the hobby.  Collectors and investors travel in the same world and deal in the same books.  Ignoring information used by sellers only comes to the detriment of collectors.

This blind spot will only prevent collectors from making their collections the best they can be if done correctly. Finally, remember - being a collector does not mean overpaying for the collection.  Passion has a price.

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*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.