How Comic Book Price Guides Work

The Easy Way to Use Comic Book Price Guides
Last Updated: September 26, 2016

I think we can all agree that pricing comic books is very hard to do.

It's overwhelming, time-consuming and very easy to get wrong.

Comic price guides are hard to use, but you are not alone.

We're here to help.

Read on to find out how to make sense of all the resources available, or to get free help from our team.

What a Comic Book Price Guide is, and What It's NOT

The Overstreet comic book price guide is ONLY a guide, and it's hard to useOverstreet comic book price guide is hard to use well

Comic book price guides are just that -- a GUIDE to what a comic book is worth.

They are useful only as a starting point to valuing items in your comic book collection.

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It's important to emphasize this, because too many collectors (especially when it's time to sell their comic books) quote the "value" of the books in their collection.

They simply look up all the prices in the guide, usually blanket-grading their books as near mint minus (9.2), and multiply the number of comics by the 9.2 price.

Most Valuable Comic Books from the Silver Age (1960s)
Most Valuable Comic Books from the Bronze Age (1970s)
Most Valuable Comic Books from the Copper Age (1980s)

Most Valuable Comic
Books from the
Silver Age
(1960s)

Most Valuable Comic
Books from the
Bronze Age
(1970s)

Most Valuable Comic
Books from the
Copper Age
(1980s)

When the Price Guide is Unfair to Buyers

What sellers of comic books don't appreciate is that a comic book buyer will almost NEVER pay a blanket guide price, especially for common books that turn up in almost every collection offered for sale.

In fact, many modern comics are worth LESS THAN THEIR COVER PRICE in almost any grade.

These are the kinds of comics you find in "two for a Dollar" boxes in any comic book store you visit. The title is unpopular, or was bought in quantity during the speculation bubble of the early 1990s, and is now being dumped by collectors.

Comic book price guides, like Overstreet, have a MINIMUM price for comic books. This minimum reflects a handling fee. In other words, it takes a dealer time to sort, bag, board and price any comic book.

The minimum price is not a real reflection of market value.

When the Price Guide is Unfair to Sellers

Comic price guide

The other side of the price guide coin is that collectors who wish to sell their comic books, and use the price guide as a, well, guide(!), don't get the best of it.

Dealers have information about the market that the price guides simply can't keep up with.

Perhaps a comic book movie has been announced that features the villain, driving the price up rapidly.

Certain hot comic books can double or triple in value in a very short period of time. A dealer making an offer on your comic books is hardly likely to point this out to you!

He wants to give you the least he can get away with to buy your comics from you.

Major Comic Price Guides

There are two main comic book price guides.

The first, oldest and most famous is Overstreet. In its 46th annual edition, the Overstreet comic price guide is the market leader, with good reason.

Packed with fantastic information, this book is a fun read, even if you don't collect comics. To collectors, it's a goldmine of info.

You can now even buy an online version, allowing you to search for terms. No more riffling through to find first appearance and origin issues!

The second online comic book price guide is called GP Analysis For Comics.

This is special for two reasons. The first is that it updates live as comic books are sold. Major auction companies, and eBay, report to GPA.

The prices reported are as current as possible.

The second reason it's special is that it only focuses on graded comics. So not only do you know how much books sell for, you can also accurately calculate how much a comic book is worth in a particular grade.

GPA is not for collectors looking to sell their comic books. A copy of Overstreet is a great investment if you're going it alone.

Click to order the 45th edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide from Amazon

Why Should You Care About a New Edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide?

Is Overstreet worth buying every year? Absolutely. Here's why.

How to Make Money
from the Tips in Overstreet!

I have made SO MUCH MONEY following select advice from these pages.

I have paid for my Overstreet issues hundreds of times over.

Not sure how to do this yourself? Sign up to my newsletter and I will guide you through the process.

How to Research Prices WITHOUT Overstreet?

If you don't want to buy a copy of Overstreet, then you are limited to online resources.

TOP TIP: Don't waste hours looking through hopefully-priced eBay listings.
These will just inflate your sense of what your collection might be worth.

Instead, search for COMPLETED eBay listings. These show you what similar books to yours are actually fetching in the open market.

The green price is the FINAL PRICE THE BOOK SOLD FOR. This is a far better indication of what people might actually pay for your collection.

You can start a search like this by clicking here, then entering your search term in the eBay search bar at the top of the eBay page.

Here's what you can expect to see. Ended prices are in GREEN:

You can start a search like this by clicking here, then entering your search term in the eBay search bar at the top of the eBay page.

Let's take a closer look at one typical finished item:

You can start a search like this by clicking here, then entering your search term in the eBay search bar at the top of the eBay page.

This is way better than a published comic book price guide, because this is ACTUAL market data updated live by eBay.

How to Do This Yourself
Simply click here to begin, then add the comic book you have found in the search box on eBay. Example shown below:

You can start a search like this by clicking here, then entering your search term in the eBay search bar at the top of the eBay page.

When you see a comic similar to yours, you will have a good idea of its value.

Tight For Time?
Get a FREE Comic Book Price Guide
from Sell My Comic Books

There is another way. You can ask us to appraise your comics for FREE.

The best time to contact us is AFTER some dealer has offered you an insulting price for your collection.

We pride ourselves on beating any price for material we're interested in.

Getting started is easy. Send us details of the comic books you want to sell, and we'll be in touch.

Sell My Comic Books is the only FREE comic book price guide you need!

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