Selling your Collection – Fast Nickel

patches 2 In a previous post I wrote about getting started to sell your collection, it began with me reading 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. The post reviewed the concept of costs, market value and the potential issues with price guides.

My earlier post could be summarized in two points, your cost does not equal current market value and there are many external forces outside of our control which affect the current value of your collection.


In this post we will deal with the issue what options you have when it comes to selling your collection.

The perfect sale would involve:

  • Minimal Work or Effort
  • Shortest Time to get your Money
  • Best Price/Most Money

In the real world however you are unlikely to get more than two of these three conditions to be met at best and maybe only one.

Fast Nickel or Slow Dime?
Our former Comic collector brings up two key points:

• If you want the best price, it takes time and effort. You have to list your collectibles individually on eBay or somehow find other collectors. It’s slow going.
• If you want to sell quickly, you can — but you won’t get much money. You’ll end up selling your treasures as a group, and probably to a dealer. The dealer will pay you a fraction of what you could get if you took your time.

This is certainly the case in the world of patches too.


Take the Fast Nickel

If you read about selling collectibles you will also have encountered the 80/20 Rule. This rule basically states that 20% of your collection has 80% of the value and 80% of the items have 20% of the value.

Most dealers will take this into account, looking at the cream of your collection and deciding how quick they can turn it around and for what price. This will likely comprise the bulk of their offer to you.

They will also need to take into account their overhead, the time required to identify, scan, and write descriptions, catalog, inventory etc. they will need to determine the likely costs of selling the items.

There is also the value and availability of your own time to sell the items.

In this option you are trading your time and energy for the dealers. Since the dealer has overhead, the cost of his time results in a lower price to you. Like any of the reality shows such as American Pickers or Storage Wars the dealer needs a margin from what they can pay to what they can sell the items for to cover their expenses and make a profit.

What is the cost for your time worth? How much time are you willing to spend preparing, scanning, describing, packaging and mailing small parts of your collection to buyers?

Choosing the Fast Nickel means less work for you and relatively quick return, but at a lower price.
The next post in this series will be, Selling Your Collection the Slow Dime.

Strange though this may seem at first sight, a high rate of growth is more often than not evidence that opportunities have been neglected in the past. Thus, a high rate of growth can sometimes testify to bad policies of the past rather than good policies of the present. Friedrich Hayek