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Delusions of Fortune: Comic Book Browsing on CRAIGSLIST

I don’t know when it started, but one of my favorite things to do when I’m bored on the Internet is hit up Craigslist and see what comics people are trying to sell.

Keep in mind, I’m never really looking to buy comics.

I’m not much of a collector these days. Plus, what few commercial interactions I’ve conducted over Craigslist, while not outright horrible, weren’t exactly fantastic to the point of making me want to habitually use the site to make any kind of purchase.

No, when I go searching for comics via Craigslist, I’m looking to see how insane people are when it comes to valuing their crap.

Gary Busey, Selling Comics on Craiglist since 2004

Sometimes people think because some of their comics have a #1 on the cover that means it HAS to be worth something (even if it’s X-Force #1), other times there’s this impression that if a comic is older than a decade then that classifies it as “vintage.”

Other times, it’s a failure to understand how appreciation works, or depreciation as the case may be.

“I paid a total of $300 for all these comics so I think asking $275 is fair.”

“The cover price of these twenty comics is $2.99. per comic so I won’t accept anything less than $55 for the lot.

To be clear, these are almost always comics that are regular inhabitants of the quarter bins of comic shops all over the country.

Listing after listing, page after page, this same thing over and over again. At some point, I actually took to emailing some of these people. Not in a mocking way, but in a respectful, friendly way.

Here’s an example of one I sent about a year ago:

Hi! I saw your listing for that complete run of Force Works on Craigslist. I was a huge fan of that series when I was a teenager and have some fond memories of reading it during my formative years as a fan. However, as much as I loved it, I have to admit it’s not worth the $150 you’re asking. It’s not really a sought after series and it had a pretty high print run as well, making it pretty easy to find. I think you’ll find more success selling this lot if you considerably lower your asking price. Good luck and hope you find a buyer!

I felt good about that email. I felt like I’d done something good. Like I’d done someone a solid.

Force Works – A Quarter Box Staple Since 1996

Yeah, the seller didn’t think that at all. I pretty much got a response asking who the fuck I thought I was. Ouch.

But no matter! That was one person. Sure he didn’t want my input, but that didn’t mean others didn’t. So I started sending more emails to more sellers.


“.. $40 is a bit much for the first appearance of Electric Superman…”


“I think you’ll have more success asking significantly lower than $65 House of M #1…”


“…and that’s why I think charging $3,000 for 1,000 early 90s Image Comics is probably not going to yield the results you’re asking for…”

I’m not going to lie and I was doing this with zero expectation of thanks. Of course I wanted to be thanked! Because of me, these folks stood to actually make money!

So after each email, I awaited to ensuing email of thanks.

No one ever sent an email thanking me for my insight. One guy told me to lose his email address, another told me to shove my advice up my ass.

So did another guy. In fact, more than a few responded that way.

The rest? The rest just ignored me.

Death of Superman.  EXTREMELY RARE.  $2,000; Worth More.

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