The Internet is full of comic book investing and collecting advice.  Many sites have a "HOT PICK" or heard a rumor that makes buying into the next MCU characters a can't-miss proposition. Rarely is the advice backed up by data or an identifiable source.  The rising cost of goods has reduced the amount of disposable income many collectors and investors have to spend on collectibles.  You have to be smart.  Here are more of the biggest rules about investing and collecting comics that have been going around the Internet.  Sadly, many collectors and investors mistakingly believe these sayings as absolute truths.

"Premium books will always maintain their value"

Collectibles increase in value.  They also decrease in value.  There are no absolute rules that every book will go up in value.  Supply may remain the same but the pool of people able to target certain books may go down.  Batman #1 buyers may lose millions in their stock portfolios, but they can weather the storm.  The number of buyers interested in buying this book may decrease.  The declining population probably will not impact the price people would be willing to pay for these types of books. Buyers of more common keys may not see the same effect on prices buyers are willing to pay for some books.

Dealers who believe they can hold on to their pedigree books and sell their more common items may see those sales dry up.  What is scarier is that if they hold on to those wall books, they too may have a harder time selling them for a good price when money is needed.  The key is to constantly monitor books.  Weathering out the storm may be a strategy but when the storm ends what will be the result?  Worst yet is if people do not realize the storm happened or that it ended.

Inflation Advice

If you are a collector looking to add books, now may be the right time to buy those books that were previously too expensive for you.  Prices are dropping even for premium books. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 was a significant book to collectors and investors long before the most recent Spider-Man MCU film.  An 8.0 copy has lost over $1,000 from its 1-year to 30-day average.  The MCU can have an impact because the movie has passed but if you look toward the future MCU films the same type of effect can be seen.

A 7.5 copy of Avengers #8 had a 1-year average of $4,215, which dropped to $2,641 for the 90-day average. All but the 1.8 grade have seen a decrease in value. This book has the first appearance of Kang, the future MCU big bad, yet even that attribute is not enough to keep it above water.  Some books are dropping in value and this hurts short-term investors.  If you are playing the long game or are a collector, then now is your time to get some of these books at a discount.  Realize, though, that the price you pay may never come back to where the book was selling a few months ago.

Just another "the sky is falling" comic book investing article.

Comic book investors and speculators hate articles that assess the health of the comic book market.  The reason is that any review of the market could impact their bottom line.   No one wants to hurt their business so they try to brush over the topic.  GoCollect readers should not ever fall victim to this diversionary tactic.  When times are good, you look at the market.  When times are bad, you look at the market even more closely.

Be wary of people who want you to ignore warning signs.  You would not ignore the smoke coming from a car's engine, so why ignore possible negative signs of a comic book? Also, remember everyone is different. No two people are exactly the same.  An LCS that makes most of its money from weekly sales is different from an eBay dealer selling Bronze and Silver Age books.

Remember, though, that everything is interconnected. A dealer may still see great demand in their books, but if the lower grade segment is hurting, it could impact the ability of those hobbyists looking to trade up. Rather than yelling at the messenger, one should read the message and see how it impacts you.  Finally, be respectful of others.  Stating your belief that others are being hysterical about the possible downturn in the comic book marketplace may not sit well with your LCS owner who has not collected a paycheck for several months because they are trying to make payroll.

Inflation Advice

CNBC's Jim Cramer says on his show that you cannot make money in the stock market if you can't understand it.  Read articles on what is happening in comic book segments.  A downturn in lower grade segments may slowly start to shift upwards.  Affordable books may still be available but are unknown to most.  Knowledge is power and at this time when the market can turn on a dime, you need to have as much information as possible.

GoCollect readers should also maximize the site.  Use the 30-day and 10-day selections to see if something has changed that is important to your books.  Spend time reviewing the sales data to eliminate outlier sales that could influence the picture as well.

Readers should also learn to differentiate what is making a book "hot".  In the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" there was a scene of a run on the Bailey Savings and Loan.  People were not putting their money in, but rather taking their money out.  Review the hot and cold books to see why they are hot and cold.  If you do not have all the data, you may only have half the answer; that is not good at all.

So now what?

Comic books have general rules when it comes to the hobby.  Rules are not carved in stone.  Every collector and investor is different.  The key is to realize those differences and be able to adapt.  This ability is especially important during this time when the global economy is changing.  People's priorities are changing and that influences the buying habits of hobbyists.

Spend much time studying the comic book investing market because it is better to spend time doing your comic book homework rather than money you could have used to feed your family or pay for a tank of gas.  If you love the hobby it will be time well spent and worth it in the end.

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