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 some of the biggest rules about investing and collecting comics that have been going around the Internet.  Sadly, many collectors and investors mistakenly believe these advisements as absolute truths.

"Buy what you like"

Some statements should make collectors and investors cringe.  'Buy what you like' is a phrase that should make you not only cringe but gag as well.  The reason is that the statement is incomplete. Do you like Big Macs?  When you go to Mcdonald's, do you pay more than the menu price to get that burger? Collectors liking an item does not exempt them from making a bad deal.

In life, people have to make tough choices. There are many books that you can like but there should be a priority on those items.  You may like to own the first full appearance of Wolverine, but does that warrant buying the book and possibly not being able to buy any other books for a few months? In addition, liking something is not an absolute if it causes problems in other areas.  Leading with your heart is a nice mantra, but do not forget to think with your head as well. Buying a book that one day may pay off versus charging $500 of gas on a credit card charging 19% interest may not be the wisest thing to do right now.

Inflation Advice

Many items will come to market.  Collectors can buy what they like but 'BUY WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD AND IS A GOOD DEAL' is the better mantra.  Unless your name is Elon Musk, Bill Gates, or even Nicolas Cage,  most of you reading this article have a budget.  Many comics will be coming to market that you like.  Buy what is a good deal, but think ahead.  A good deal on Incredible Hulk #180 may be tempting, but being able to purchase a Green Giant #1 in any condition may be the wiser choice if you can afford it.  Collectors and investors must prioritize "like" versus the better deal. Finally, The ultimate golden rule for buying what you like is always to stay within your budget.

"The comic book market will return."

Baseball cards were once the hot collectible.  Baseball cards had large displays featured prominently in comic book stores and pawn shops.  A crash occurred and the market was never the same afterward.  Beanie Babies were a manufactured collectible once in great demand.  Everyone had to have the latest variant or newly introduced model.  Demand outraced supply. Then, one day, the market had more sellers than buyers.  People still collect Beanie Babies, but the myth that one can retire on their Beanie Baby collection is long gone.

The comic book market will be greatly affected by the global economy.  Record increases in the value of some books will be lost. Demand for books will go down as individuals are faced with more difficult choices.  Those that entered the hobby hearing of how fortunes could be made will sell their books at a loss and not return.  The market will not disappear.

The market has survived through all the issues the comic book industry has faced.  It is not going anywhere, but that does not mean it will be the same. Evolution is inevitable. The comic book market may not be more identifiable than the one that existed just a few months ago.

Inflation Advice

Be wary of books that are highly volatile or very speculative.  Those books are the most vulnerable. Something is Killing the Children #1  is a book that had a $950 value for a 9.8 copy one year ago.  The 30-day average for that same copy is now $737.  Darth Vader #3 and the first appearance of Doctor Aphra in the same grade saw the 1 year average of $433 drop to $371 for the 30-day average.  These books may still be in demand, but people should limit how much exposure books like these bring to the buyer.  They may take longer to rebound, if ever.

People's buying habits will change. Risk exposure will be re-evaluated.  The greater the possible reward, the greater the risk.  When everything was going well, people were willing to take risks because the possibility of total failure was relatively low.  The risk of loss has now increased.  The best advice is to stay with what you know now and to realize that what existed in the past may not be present in the future.

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 as much time studying the market as possible 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.