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sugarman



Joined: 04-23-2017 14:11:40
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hey, anyone out there have a feel for what's going on in the comic book market? Sales slowing down? Have prices risen far too high, and are out of wack with reality? i know it's always hard to pin things down, and one can point out to examples that are rising , or dropping to make a point. But is there a way to figure out in general how sales/prices are doing?
starman


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Joined: 04-22-2008 18:56:00
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Hey sugarman - good topic! Sales are certainly not slowing down. A lot of it is being driven by the success and popularity of comic book-based movies. Have you examined the sales history charts in the Pricing section for books like Marvel Preview 7 (1st Rocket Raccoon) and The Batman Adventures 12 (1st Harley Quinn) ?

Go take a peek. I can post images here too if needed. Point being, you see books floundering around doing much of nothing forever, then bam, a movie comes along and the sales data goes insane. This seems to fuel further demand as people start collecting other appearances, or speculating as to what other obscure characters will end up appearing onscreen somewhere.

Are prices too high and out of whack with reality? I think so. I do believe we are in a bubble for certain books. I think books like Amazing Spider-Man 300 are a good example of this. I'm not knocking the book, or the character of course. I'm just saying print runs were so high, this book will never, ever be scarce do don't drop hundreds of dollars on a copy.

You probably saw already, but another good indicator of trends is the Nosto Gain/Loss percentages, and the Nosto Top 100 lists. Have you checked those out?
sugarman



Joined: 04-23-2017 14:11:40
Messages: 29
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starman, i was talking to an Overstreet advisor this week. we had dinner. We usually don't talk about comics but as it happens, this time we did. I do know that certain issues will do well. you're right, some just sit there for a long time and bam, explode .. you have to be on top of that sort of stuff.

i was interested to hear two things from him that he brought up.

1. he recently bought an AF15 cgc 7.5 for ~70K usd. and was telling me how this book is just going insane. it's now trading at well over $100K with an 8.0 that sold well over $200 k, all recently in the last few months. very out of what with Nostomania's prices in this case. and,

2. he does a lot of subscription/mail order sales. those have fallen from $16,000/month to $9,000/month.
this is for NEW issue books. readers have left Marvel and DC in droves. and people are just not buying story lines.

I found this discussion really interesting. Maybe prices on the AF15 are what they are. limited copies, and people just want to buy them. dont' know. but readership falling away, that's a bad sign.

i'm curious what other retailers are seeing in their sales data.

as for ASM 300... man. i remember those on the news stand.... prices are not realistic. i will definitely look into the Nosto top 100 lists. and i love the quarterly reports. and now we're getting a monthly newsletter to book. great!!

sugarman



Joined: 04-23-2017 14:11:40
Messages: 29
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I would add, maybe you guys at Nosto might want to create sort of an SP500 price index for comics. or DOW 30? not sure how it would work but maybe at each category, Gold, Silver Bronze, you pick out the standout "investment" books, and treat them as a price weighted index. i'm sure there are at least 30 good comics in each category. don't use the 9.8 prices. but say, 9.2's ... and maybe a secondary index of 6.0's
you already have the back data historically.

so, let's say, KEY Bronze age books, ... Marvel Spotlight 5, Green Lantern 76, Hulk 181, Hero for Hire 1, X-Men 94, Werewolf 32, House of Secrets 92, Cerebus 1, ASM 129.... etc etc.. i am certain there are at least 30-50 books. with these, you can create an index. price weighted like the DOW rather than SP. since we are talking total dollars.

i think it would be a brilliant idea and not too hard to construct or maintain. something to think about.
that way one can see much more clearly the "investment" value of comics or coins or mags.. i think it would be revolutionary in the comic world to construct an index like that.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 06-17-2017 13:56:02

starman


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Joined: 04-22-2008 18:56:00
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sugarman wrote:starman, i was talking to an Overstreet advisor this week. we had dinner. We usually don't talk about comics but as it happens, this time we did. I do know that certain issues will do well. you're right, some just sit there for a long time and bam, explode .. you have to be on top of that sort of stuff.

i was interested to hear two things from him that he brought up.

1. he recently bought an AF15 cgc 7.5 for ~70K usd. and was telling me how this book is just going insane. it's now trading at well over $100K with an 8.0 that sold well over $200 k, all recently in the last few months. very out of what with Nostomania's prices in this case. and,

2. he does a lot of subscription/mail order sales. those have fallen from $16,000/month to $9,000/month.
this is for NEW issue books. readers have left Marvel and DC in droves. and people are just not buying story lines.

I found this discussion really interesting. Maybe prices on the AF15 are what they are. limited copies, and people just want to buy them. dont' know. but readership falling away, that's a bad sign.

i'm curious what other retailers are seeing in their sales data.

as for ASM 300... man. i remember those on the news stand.... prices are not realistic. i will definitely look into the Nosto top 100 lists. and i love the quarterly reports. and now we're getting a monthly newsletter to book. great!!



Sugarman - now that I realize you clearly are not an amateur

Let me start with the current state of the retail market. Yes, it is definitely in decline. And yeah, you cap'd it, I realize we are talking about new books here. Once you get the hang of our old-school forum here, just click the "B" button, type your bold text, then click the "B" button once more. Sorry folks, but we are not CBCS and can't afford to take the easy road and outsource 500 bucks a month for Ninja-Post, at least not now.

ANYWAY... a good source for current market info can be at at my old friend Milton Griepp's site, IcV2.com, where he posts commentary on new comic sales. In his Top 300 list:

https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/1850/icv2s-top-300-comics-top-300-gns-index

...scroll down just a bit and you see the discouraging but not surprising trends...
Comic Sales Decline For 5th Consecutive Month, etc. That picture is not bright, but not surprising. How do retail stores keep customers spending $50 a month average to maintain their pull lists? It's basically addicts. I don't mean that in a bad way. These are good people, good friends of mine. But many used to have... other issues. Alcoholism, you name it. Comics provide some grounding but are still rooted in addiction. The model was designed that way from the outset. The serial. Put out a compelling story, a small fragment of a story with a good hook that makes them want to come back each month, just like a good TV show. Problem is this has become prohibitively expensive for most average Joes. When I was a kid I could tag along with my mom on her weekly drug store trip, bring a dollar, and come home with 5 comics. Score! And one of them was a cherry Hulk 181 that I sold in college for 20 bucks. C'est la vie.

Long story short your buddy is spot on regarding point #2. Point #1, not so much. More on that tomorrow.

PS, I know the Nosto forums have lots of cobwebs, but watch the view count grow when people realize Sugarman started a quality thread. I would not be surprised to see Shrewbeer chime in at some point.
starman


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sugarman wrote:I would add, maybe you guys at Nosto might want to create sort of an SP500 price index for comics. or DOW 30? not sure how it would work but maybe at each category, Gold, Silver Bronze, you pick out the standout "investment" books, and treat them as a price weighted index. i'm sure there are at least 30 good comics in each category. don't use the 9.8 prices. but say, 9.2's ... and maybe a secondary index of 6.0's
you already have the back data historically.

so, let's say, KEY Bronze age books, ... Marvel Spotlight 5, Green Lantern 76, Hulk 181, Hero for Hire 1, X-Men 94, Werewolf 32, House of Secrets 92, Cerebus 1, ASM 129.... etc etc.. i am certain there are at least 30-50 books. with these, you can create an index. price weighted like the DOW rather than SP. since we are talking total dollars.

i think it would be a brilliant idea and not too hard to construct or maintain. something to think about.
that way one can see much more clearly the "investment" value of comics or coins or mags.. i think it would be revolutionary in the comic world to construct an index like that.


This is a great idea Sugarman. Now that I realize you are a Premium Subscriber (based on you commenting you got the newsletter, which only goes out to Premium Subscribers), let's hammer this out. You guys drive the bus as I said in the newsletter and I like this idea a lot and like your initial pitch - your off-the-cuff list is a great start. I'll talk to Jim about this very soon...
sugarman



Joined: 04-23-2017 14:11:40
Messages: 29
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starman, thanks. i'm full of great ideas that my wife won't listen to .. lol. i'm very curious to hear your take on the AF15. i'm wondering too about the state of the back issue market. i'm starting to see things calm down there too except in certain cases like you mentioned earlier. anyway...

i really like the site. i told Tommy that for a paid subscription, which is peanuts, it's great value. i still have things to figure out like listing books for sale etc etc. hopefully i will get around to it soon.
starman


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sugarman wrote:starman, thanks. i'm full of great ideas that my wife won't listen to .. lol. i'm very curious to hear your take on the AF15. i'm wondering too about the state of the back issue market. i'm starting to see things calm down there too except in certain cases like you mentioned earlier. anyway...

i really like the site. i told Tommy that for a paid subscription, which is peanuts, it's great value. i still have things to figure out like listing books for sale etc etc. hopefully i will get around to it soon.


sugarman - on the AF 15 - I hate to say it but I'm just not seeing it. Meaning your advisor buddy's claim the book is going insane. If he paid $70K for a CGC 7.5, that's all fine and good and below the current Nosto value in that grade/cert, but think of it from his point of view - since he just invested $70K in one book, he wants very badly for this book to be white hot, but despite the movie looming the overall data is just not showing it (go check the Nosto trends, both on the AF 15 page and the Nosto Top 100 list:https://www.nostomania.com/servlets/com.nostomania.CatPage?name=Top100ComicsMain)

I know the "sellmycomicbooks" guys are hyping the shit out of this book too, but again, their motivation is to get people to buy one from them at a high price. They point out that the CGC 9.6 copy is one of only three books to sell for over $1 million U.S., ever. I just don't see the relevance of that argument. Watch what happens if a Hulk 1 ever shows up CGC 9.6, it will blow that price out of the water.

I don't know... check the Nosto Twitter feed and compare with the insane percentage gains seen for key Wonder Woman books leading up to the movie. I'm seeing nothing even close to that so far with AF 15 or early ASM. Not to say it's not a hot book with high demand, just not in the same league as the All-Star 8 or Wonder Woman 98 gains. You have to look at the net gain over fixed periods, not point to single sale.

That said, if you have a link to proof of an AF 15 8.0 going for over $200K, please post it, that would be a pretty big deal. If this is just "anonymous private seller to anonymous private buyer" though, I don't count those, that's just dealers trading stock to artificially hype the market.
sugarman



Joined: 04-23-2017 14:11:40
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starman, he's looking at GPA which show the last sale (may 2017) of AF 15 @ 7.5 at $102,001, which is a huge jump from last years sale of $82,500. A 6.5 sold this may also for $61,000 .. there don't seem to be any other sales that they show. I don't know about the 8.0 sale he mentioned. i don't think it was a private sale. but i'm not sure.

i tend to agree with you ... i don't see it either. i KNOW he's not trying to sell it to ME... that's for sure. lol personally, i think people are nuts to buy comics at these prices. it seems to be a buy and flip mentality. hoping to get a higher and higher price for these books. no different to me than the housing bubble and now that interest rates are going to climb, i think you're going to see a big collapse in comic prices.

Shrewbeer


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Joined: 08-28-2016 13:33:22
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starman wrote:

This is a great idea Sugarman. Now that I realize you are a Premium Subscriber (based on you commenting you got the newsletter, which only goes out to Premium Subscribers), let's hammer this out. You guys drive the bus as I said in the newsletter and I like this idea a lot and like your initial pitch - your off-the-cuff list is a great start. I'll talk to Jim about this very soon...


Something like this was mentioned on CBCS forum just today, that someone should have a ticker of sorts. I think its a great idea!
Shrewbeer


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Joined: 08-28-2016 13:33:22
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sugarman wrote: i think people are nuts to buy comics at these prices. it seems to be a buy and flip mentality. hoping to get a higher and higher price for these books. no different to me than the housing bubble and now that interest rates are going to climb, i think you're going to see a big collapse in comic prices.



Your theory sounds like the "Greater fool theory", and I'm not sure that I can disagree.

(in case you need a refresher to the reference) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory

There are a LOT of new collectors jumping in the boat, many of them spurred by the current comic market outperforming stocks in many areas. Hell, even comiclink is offering "investment advice". If something significant happens to make these people jump off the boat, prices will TANK!
Shrewbeer


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Joined: 08-28-2016 13:33:22
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starman wrote: I would not be surprised to see Shrewbeer chime in at some point.


A bit late, but I got to it eventually

I should check the forums more often here. There's enough people to clear out these cobs but its those like me that don't keep trying and thus just contribute to more webs lol
sugarman



Joined: 04-23-2017 14:11:40
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That said, if you have a link to proof of an AF 15 8.0 going for over $200K, please post it, that would be a pretty big deal.


starman, there is an AF 15 http://www.comiclink.com/auctions/item.asp?back=%2Fauctions%2Fpreview%2Easp%3Fcode%3D2017july%23Item_1189631&id=1189631 right now on the Comic Link auction at $200K . it's an 8.0

sugarman



Joined: 04-23-2017 14:11:40
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our theory sounds like the "Greater fool theory", and I'm not sure that I can disagree.


i'm going to be very interested to see what happens to the comic market over the next few years.
that ComicLink auction of a CGC 8.0 AF15 now at $200K... is crazy. i don't think it can be a good thing for the collecting community as a whole. outrageous prices lead to outrageous declines.

i still think the cost of money being basically for free is the cause of this. but we'll see.
sugarman



Joined: 04-23-2017 14:11:40
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so, the comiclink auction finished at $235,000 for an AF 15 @ cgc 8.0

quite a shocking result. and what leads me to believe the comic market is in a bubble.
 
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