YOU THERE! BEHIND THE COUNTER! MAKE ME RICH!! by Kevin Healy

May 17, 2022 Articles

Somewhere in the last 10 years, a shift has happened in our industry.  More and more people are coming in with the hopes of instantly gratifying their desire to buy something and make money on what they’ve bought.  We get questions like:

“You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.”

“Am I going to make money buying comics and toys?”

“What’s the next hot book?”

“What’s the most expensive comic in the store?”

“Is this rare?”

“What would YOU pay for this?”

We can sort of answer some of that for you.  In this order:

“Am I going to make money buying comics and toys?”

“A quote from four incorrect Brits.”

Probably not.  Comics are paper.  Toys are plastic.  While there are commodities markets for raw versions of those items, the chances of your paper and your plastic being worth more than what you paid for them are slim.

“What’s the next hot book?”

If we could answer that, all of our stores would have a bottomless supply of copies, available at cover price for as long as we can stock them.  That would, of course, eliminate them being ‘hot’.  People tend to want what they can’t have, not what’s in front of them, in their hands, or on their shelf already.

“What’s the most expensive comic in the store?”

“Pricey doesn’t mean good.”

That doesn’t matter, but if you want to see a five with two zeroes after it written in black marker on a yellow sticker, have I got the item for YOU!  But… you aren’t going to buy it. You aren’t even interested in it.  Really.  It’s not something that you want. I’m not saying that to be mean, I’m saying it because you didn’t come in looking for that $500.00 item.  If you wanted THIS item?  THIS statue?  THIS book?  You’d be asking for it the first time you walk through the door, or asking for it to be boxed up on the way out.  Think of it this way- you don’t go into O’Reilly Auto Parts (not a sponsor) and ask what the most expensive windshield wiper blade is.  You go in because you’re looking for the ones that fit your car.

“Is this rare?”

“He’s a shadow! He’s a hawk! Relax…he’s BOTH!”

Maybe?  If it came out this week, no.  If it is older?  Maybe, but- Shadowhawk #1 came out in 1992.  That’s thirty years old. I can tell you, those thirty years between then and now have added a great deal of age to me, so I’d consider it old.  There’s also like one million of them. Literally. If everyone has something, it isn’t rare. It might be rare. Someday.  There could be a Shadowhawk movie and the speculator market would lose their collective minds and copies would sell for dozens of dollars for a few months, it would settle down in the market waiting for the movie to be released, the movie would come out and be terrible (apologies to Jim Valentino) and then its straight to the .75 bins again.

“Look upon your fate, theoretical Shadowhawk movie!  Look and despair!!!”

“What would YOU pay for this?”

“I’d pay for THIS.  Are you sure you want my opinion?”

What would I pay for this?  That?  Um…nothing?  The truth is, if I wanted it, I’d have bought it already.  That doesn’t mean it is overpriced or of no interest.  The right person is out there for almost anything, so I can assure you we thought it was cool enough to carry for when that person comes in though.

“Well, that all sounds pretty negative.  You seem like a fun guy.”

Yeah, I get that a lot.  Doesn’t mean I’m wrong though.

None of this is meant to be any sort of downer coming from this Debbie.  This is all meant to be a pathway to pure collectors’ nirvana.  Here’s your mantra, in two parts:  Buy what you love. Buy what you can afford to love.

If you own something ten years from now and can look back and think “Cool.  That’s mine.”, you’re doing it right.  Trust me, this is coming from a ‘stuff’ guy.  My stuff might not be your stuff, but the concept is universal.

P.S. –Liking different stuff is a plus.  We love that you love your stuff.

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