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Archive for July, 2011

First Show!

I’m signed up for my first comic book show for selling in bulk, not a flea market, an actual show. I’m pretty excited. I’ll have more details to come, but my exuberance cannot be contained.

There are a lot of things I’d love to bring but I only have two six-foot tables for my space. The current breakdown will probably be

Six long boxes priced low or at a flat rate (Many of these will be $2-5 comics, which I may price out at $2 each to move them, with bulk discounts)

One long box of $1 or 50 cent comics, also with bulk discounts

9-12 CGC slabs for the flat area left on the table (I’ll probably bring 15-20 total, but some are going to be tough to part with… sigh)

Action figures TBD, some Marvel Universe carded, some Star Wars carded, and I’m expecting to bring my old figures to clear out in bulk at cheap prices.

The show’s admin/guru/king also told me about signage and I realized, I don’t have any kind of signs or zing or pow to make my space look nice. Then it dawned on me: I have some old marvel signage obtained by a friend of mine when he worked at Marvel, and some are mounted on foam board and would be perfect. So once I get my act together (I may have to stage all of this in my dining room so I can see what fits and what doesn’t, and then make sure it all fits in the car) I’ll post a more updated final list of what I’m doing.

But for now, I’m just happy to be a participant.

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In scanning my archived emails recently, I found a link to Heritage Auction’s comic collecting software feature. Pretty nifty, I even bought a Cuecat for it.

MEOW

Heritage allows you to scan the CGC rating bar code of your graded comics and instantly upload the data to your collection’s database. All the information with one quick scan, and it’s free.

Then it dawned on me that I was also paying a fee to ComicsPriceGuide.com to use their enhanced features and “unlimited” comic storage. The free version is only 50 books, plus access to the online price guide. Otherwise, I think I’m shelling out about $49.95 for an annual unlimited database.

Collectors Society has a great scoring feature for the sets you can build on their sites, for CGCs only, and you can take a look at how other people’s collections rank against yours, in completeness and issue quality.

http://www.GPAnalysis.com

http://www.Stashmycomics.com

http://www.Collectorz.com

http://www.comiccollectorlive.com

and many more. I can’t even keep up with hyperlinking them all.

I stopped and put on my thinking cap and thought about how to best use/abuse the system i.e. if all my CGCs are stored in database A, no need to duplicate in database B, and I started to dissect my collection into segments that could be stored online using only the free/freeware/free-trial versions of the various sites and software. Why pay? But then the thinking cap, like a SORTING HAT, slipped over my entice face and asked “why do they give it away…”

Then it dawned on me.

Data.

Like every other industry, this is all raw data. One single comic tied to one user can give you demographic info, location, distribution (“what’s a west coast indie doing on the east coast within a week of publication?”) and more. I can put in the price paid. They can push this into existing pricing models and see if I’m trading above market value, and then determine if the market value went up or if I’m an aberration.

This can feed into some pretty Wall Street Level pricing algorithms pretty quickly.

If you have a comic worth $100,000, and you know only 20 copies exists, and 2 bidders drive it up to $225,000 in a bidding war, is it worth that? Or if you have 20 bidders in the same auction pushing it up to $125,000, would that seem like a better reflection of the actual value? Why is the first appearance of Wolverine in Hulk #181 so valuable when there are clearly, CLEARLY, an abundant number of copies in near mint condition from a very high print run? As of this listing there are SIXTY SIX eBay listings for a CGC copy.

Also, as I’ve observed while chasing down comics on the secondary market, many comics are printed in different runs from month to month, year to year, as popularity and profitability drove the original print runs as well as the initial store purchase decisions. While I can understand why a #2 issue is often underprinted, it’s interesting to figure out, based on prices, that an issue from June of 1978 can be hard to find even if it’s not very valuable.

There’s a lot of data out there. The more we give, the more balanced and efficient the market becomes. I don’t really have the answers, but there’s a lot of things we should think about in how data is used, and whether or not we are using it effectively. And, more importantly, do we believe the data as it’s given to us, whether we’re arguing about the Gerber Scarcity or just the actual value we’ll pay at a convention.

So yeah, I’m signing up for every free service I can get my paws on…

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Quick! I found these stashed links from when I built a Saga kit telecaster. Started out great, looked nice but played like garbage. Anyway, for you aspiring luthiers:

http://www.bradsucks.net/archives/2006/08/01/guitar-painting-part-8-done-as-hell/

http://www.stewmac.com/tradesecrets/bridge_body/electric/tsblueguitar/blue_guitar01.html

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Files/1/Gauged_Nut_Slotting_Files/Articles.html

http://www.manchesterguitartech.co.uk/kitbuild.html

http://melodymusiconline.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4&sort=20a&page=1

This has been your low calorie blog of the day.

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