I need suggestions from the posters here. This is not a solicitation, but a request as to the best forum for me to do this. I have a complete collection of Avengers (all incarnations, most mini-series, specials, etc) dating back to where it all began in April of 1963 with issue 1 (or was it November?!?). In any case, I have a need to downsize my enormous collection of comics and I'm not sure the best way to go about it. I am sure I WILL NOT go the comic book store route as the return on your investment from them is d**n near criminal!!! I'm not sure if e-Bay, Craigslist or some other source is the best way to go. In any case I'd prefer a local "meet and greet" as the time and money involved in shipping is not appealing to me.
In any case, I'd welcome any feedback or suggestions in this matter and I figured an "Avengers Message Board" would be the best place to start. Thank you in advance for any responses, suggestions, feedback and/or ideas.
I think the first step is to use a guide to see how much such a complete collection could be worth, especially if all the books are in mint or near mint conditions. Then your best bet would be Ebay, and you can edit the shipping options to "pick up only" so there would be no shipping involved (although this would decrease the number of potential buyers). In any case, I would probably put a reserve price and start the auction from 99 p, I sell on ebay from time to time and that seems to be the best way to attract buyers whilst making sure you have a good return.
As alternative, you could either break the collection down in bulks of 10/20 books or see if there is any local auction house in your area and contact them. There are also other auction websites but Ebay has by far the greatest number of users.
I would echo Shiryu's suggestion of breaking it into lots. I think you'd be best served in selling the key issues (1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 16, and 57) individually (depending on condition) and then selling 5-8 and 10 together, 11-15 and 17-20 together, and then lots of 10 through say issue 200. Since 201-250 are (in my opinion) basically junk, you might consider larger lots or selling them as one big lot. I am sure you won't get much for anything past 300 -- you might be happy if you recovered cover price.
Hope that helps -- I've been considering doing this myself, and to be honest it makes me sad... Not necessarily the parting with the books, but how little I'll recover from the initial investment I made in building the collection. Price guides really aren't worth much, are they?
I sold most of my silver age collection a while back on ebay and made some much needed money but nowhere near anything a guide would have said. Maybe they have become more realistic since but I think the guides were very reluctant to lower prices to reflect the reality of ebay.
I would say that selling in groups of 3 or 4 with a low starting price is the way to go. People will then be tempted to buy and possibly even bid higher on the grounds that they can sell the ones they dont want to cover some of their costs. This worked particularly well for me as my collection was in really varied conditions and some of the issues would never have moved for very much on their own.
you can eventually get more if you list individually with higher starting prices but the ebay listings cut into it very quickly then especially if you have to relist.
Unless you are in a big city I would charge postage rather than insisting on collection. But always say that you will come to deals on postage for buying more than one lot. This got me a lot of repeat custom.
If you release stuff in batches and ask everyone who buys from you which other issues they are after you will find you can sell quite a lot of other issues to the same buyers without ebay getting a take. I ended up selling Fantastic Four 51-100 to one guy without having to scan or list any of it.
Unless you are incredibly sure of grading always undergrade and always say that you aren't an experienced grader. List every fault. It wont put anyone off, anyone buying old comics knows what 95% of them look like after this long and the scan should show the condition anyway and you get way more repeat business if something is a pleasant surprise.
I'd also say write something about each one, just a line mentioning villains artists and so on. You don't know what words someone out there is searching for and a lot of comics from business listers dont include any details. The more personal you make it the more chance people will buy from you again and again.
and yeah even though it's thirty years ago now everything post-1980 seems very hard to sell.
Ideally I'd like to sell to an enthusiastic collector/buyer Avengers fan as a single lot, as I do not have a lot of time to invest in the whole grading/bidding war/shipping thing. We have a two year old at home...nuff said!!! I know there will be a loss (on some level) in my investment...this bewas never my intention for collecting in the first place. If I set a price (which I have in mind), there is a potential profit to gained by the buyer (even if I went "by the book" prices) and I would feel somewhat satisfied.
I think the main problem you face is: someone who doesn't have *any* (or has very few) Avengers' issues is unlikely to be interested in buying them and/or to be able to afford them, in case it's a teenager/student who only knows Avengers since volume 3.
On the other hand, someone who is a longtime fan would certainly have at least some issues and, depending on how many they are, be unwilling to end up with a lot of copies.
A potential solution is to put your ad on the international Ebay websites (if you select "ship internationally" and then select the European and Asian countries, it automatically appears on their local ebays as well). In Europe we've always had our Marvel comics imported and translated, often skipping stories which were considered below par. If you keep trying (make use of the special free Ebay weekend days, when you can ad for free) I can see a local enthusiast be willing to buy the entire lot to have in his hands the entire original American run. Of course if you do make sure to calculate shipping first (paid by the buyer) as it would indeed be a very big and heavy box.
PS: a final thought: with the Avengers' movie coming out next year and hopefully increasing the size of Avengers' fanbase, maybe you should wait a bit before selling unless you urgently need money and space.