Selling A Collection – the Finale

collect1 I’ve previously written several installments with points to consider when selling you collection. This was spurred by an article by a comic book collector who decided to sell his 10,000 comic book collection as a way to reduce his level of clutter after he lost the urge to collect. While you may not be at this stage with your collection there are a number of parallels to selling a patch collection.

The previous parts included, Lets Get Started, The Fast Nickel, The Slow Dime and the Consignment Seller. Links can be found below. In each post, I wrote about some thing you need to consider when thinking about selling your collection.

What did our comic book collector do from the linked article?

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He sold his comics in basically four lots.

  • The first and biggest grouping was circa 7000 comics which was properly inventoried and represented the bulk of his collection. The meat of the collection, common and mid level flaps, odd shapes, neckerchiefs, etc.
  • The second batch was 40 or so of his best items (although they were not mint) culled from the main collection. In our terms, these were likely tougher first flaps, and tough older issues from merged lodges.
  • The third batch was graphic novels
  • And the final was about 3000 more modern books. I’d equate these last two lots to primarily 1:1 flaps with a smattering of better items. Table stock at a TOR perhaps?

So he sold most of his collection directly to dealers. The bulk of the collection sold for one price, with a better price for the cream. The balance (higher volume lower worth) went to fellow collectors who were happy to take the less commercial items off his hands for a good price.

What did he get for it all?
Now he felt he was into the collection for about $75,000, which was sunk cost. In economics “a sunk cost is a retrospective (past) cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered.” As I previously wrote just because you paid a certain amount for an item, it does not mean that is what it is worth today.

As described in the article, he cleared over $ 26.5 K for selling 10,000 comics and 100 hours of his own work.

To break it down he got about 18K for the main collection call it about $ 0.30 on the Dollar. For the best items not quite 7K probably not quite $ 0.50 on the dollar and about $1.5K for the last two lots. Unclear what his percentage was on these lots, but overall based on his costs, he cleared about a bit over a third of his estimated cost/value.

Our Comic book collector chose what I would primarily describe as a version of the Fast Nickel.

He valued his time more than the possible increase in value he may have obtained doing it himself.

However, even with this method he estimated he spent over 100 hours inventorying and preparing his collection for sale in order to maximize his return. If you don’t know what you have how do you know what to ask?

So if you were looking to sell your collection what would you do different?



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Aristotle was famous for knowing everything. He taught that the brain exists merely to cool the blood and is not involved in the process of thinking. This is true only of certain persons. Will Cuppy

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