Want to Be a Better Comic Book Collector? Stop Buying Runs Backwards!

Every comic book collector wants to own the big key issues. But ironically, they spend thousands of Dollars buying non-key issues.

Most never get to own the mega-keys they aspire to, because they tie up $$$s in common books instead of taking the plunge right away.

THIS or THAT presents a guide on how the math breaks down when you buy a run of Amazing Spider-Man from #1 FORWARDS.

If you prefer to read the article, skip below the video.

The Amazing Spider-Math: Why It Makes Sense to Buy Mega-Keys First

If you're a collector of Amazing Spider-Man comic books, chances are you don't have issue #1... yet. Probably you've dreamed of owning one for a long time.

I have never been to your house. But I suspect if I did, I would find several long boxes filled with ASM comics.

Some of them might have cost a few hundred bucks. Others will only have cost $10 or $20 or $30.

Congratulations. You have made the same mistake that almost every comic book collector makes: buying runs backwards.

Did you ever stop to think about how the money in those long boxes could have been invested differently? Like, maybe in a decent copy of #1?

Then you could go about the "fun" part of assembling the rest of the run. Meanwhile, your copy of #1 would be appreciating year after year!

The Economics of a Comic Book Collector Buying a Run of Amazing Spider-Man from #1 and Forwards

What do you mean, you can't afford a Spidey #1?

The truth is, you can't afford to WAIT.

To demonstrate why, I priced an entire run of Amazing Spider-Man, most recent sale price, from #1 to #129, in CGC 4.0 (VG).

Presumptions:

  • Minimum purchase price of a book before ASM #60 is $50
  • Minimum purchase price is $25 from ASM #61 and up
  • Shipping costs have not been considered

The numbers are compelling.

ASM #1: $5,500

ASM #1:
$5,500

ASM #2-10: $4,100

 ASM #2-10:
$4,100

ASM #11-#129: $6,220

ASM #11-#129:
$6,220

Total cost of the run from #1-#129: $15,820

Let's break this down a bit more, and show you why buying the later issues first costs you so much in the long run.

ASM #1-#3: Cost $7,700
In other words, almost exactly HALF the cost of the run is taken up by the first three issues. If you throw in ASM 4 ($500), then you reach the tipping point where more than half the investment goes into the four issues.

ASM #1-#10: Cost $9,600
Almost two thirds of the investment is contained in #1-10. Throw in #11-14 and you get to $10,950.

ASM #15-#129: Cost $4,870
That still means you have to spend $4,870 to obtain #15-#129. That is ALMOST the cost of #1.

In other words:

Buy the #1 instead of buying #15-#129, and THEN start working on issues #2-14.

Investing the Price of a #1 into #15-#129 is Back-Asswards

Think of all the effort it takes to chase down 114 issues of ASM.

Think of all the shipping cost.

Not to mention the almost $5,000 it will take in purchase costs to buy all those issues. You still have to store them, etc.

BUY #1 FIRST

This book is the most likely in the run to appreciate. Let’s say you buy #1 tomorrow, and focus on building up cash to buy #2-14 over the next 12 months.

Then your plan is to fill in the run over the following 12 months.

Total time to build your run: two years.

What’s happened to prices of ASM #1 in the past two years?

Amazing Spider-Man CGC 4.0 Selling Prices since 2015

2015 Average in CGC 4.0: $4,256  2016 Average in CGC 4.0: $4,728  2017 Average in CGC 4.0: $4,992  Last Sale in CGC 4.0: $5,500

2015 Average in CGC 4.0: $4,256

2016 Average in CGC 4.0: $4,728

2017 Average in CGC 4.0: $4,992

Last Sale in CGC 4.0: $5,500

It looks as if your ASM #1 will appreciate about $500 per year.

That means… if you buy #1 FIRST, you will have GAINED $1,000 before you finish the run at the end of two years.

BUYING THE RUN BACKWARDS

Reverse that math. Starting tomorrow, you buy #129 first and work backwards.

Again, it takes you two years.

But when you come to buy #1, now the price of entry is $6,500.

You need $1,000 MORE to get the mega key issue.

Not to mention many of the early keys (#2-#16, #20, #28, #39-#41, #50) will also have increased in price by the time you 'get to them' from working back from #129.

The run could very well cost you $2,000 MORE to put together if you build it in reverse!

You'll be a richer and smarter comic book collector if you follow our advice.

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