I reached a point recently where I filled up over 10 long boxes with variants and new modern stuff and made a decision to start slimming down what I have. I love variants but they're getting in the way of my collecting goals of completing runs. The thought was flipped around in my head in so many ways and would leave me walking back and forth on sorting my books. Do I keep it because it can spike later because of spec? Should I keep this double because it's a newsstand and I already have a direct edition? Since it's a variant of the main title I collect, does it mean I still keep it? These and so many more questions make it so hard to let go of an issue. So I posed the question to a FB group I'm in and these were some of the answers I got.
- Keep first and cover appearances. I would also say major events like a wedding, birth or death.
- Keep the A Cover. I learned this the hard way with SIKTC. Always the A Cover as a good default.
- If you look at it and you're on the fence about it, put it up for sale. That way if it sells or not you will be cool with it either way.
- Doesn't really matter, you'll just buy it back later.
- It's tough but I have my favorite character which I hold on to and several books I like but would sell if I had to. I would say prioritize and also consider how hard they will be to get again. I don' think my favorite Silver Surfer will go down so if I sell them I might not be able to get them again or want to spend FMV for them.
- I try and hold on to the stuff that would be most difficult to replace or is sentimental. If it's easily replaceable and can help me fund another book or project I'm excited about, then I can let it go, comfotable in the knowledge that I can always get another one.
- I'm also getting rid of stuff for the first time. I set up a table at a small local con and I was worried I wouldn't be able to pick enough stuff to sell. My approach was:
1. If it currently seems overpriced or reaching it's pinnacle, sell it.
2. Categorize pt1. Is it part of a run I love? Not just a good run but a personal favorite or iconic run. If not, maybe it can go.
3. Categorize pt2. Did one of my favorite creators work on it? Probably keep it.
4. Categorize pt3. Is there another compelling reason to keep it? Spec? 1st app? Super cool cover? Probably keep it.
5. Everything else can go. Good luck, even with my new "rules" it was super hard - I love all my comics.
- I have like 250 slabs and I constantly convince myself to keep like 200 of them one way or another and it's not conducive to making this a profitable hobby. Super tough to let go but maybe just give yourself a percentage of your collection that you want to sell, say 10% and then keep your favorite 90%.
- I like to factor in the fact that I may not get many chances to own certain books. Especially if I got a steal of a deal. Just my logic.
- Def a tough call. Recently my PC hit 20 long boxes and I'm trying to cut down. I am working on a full run of ASM and Spawn. I finished Ghost Rider from MS5 to current, keeping those. Keeping first appearances of favorite characters. Definitely a lot of bloat that I've been cutting out, like titles I'd buy to read but don't really care to hold long term.
- First to sell or get rid of is anything hot due to a movie/show or new story arc, even if it's a PC item you should be able to buy it back cheaper, especially since we are past the mega boom/hype that happened in the last 6 months.
Second thing to get rid of is anything that has very little potential to explode, meaning 1st appearances or a great cover of an unused character. The last thing you want to get rid of is any 1st appearance, especially from popular Marvel titlesand also characters that have not been great but have had repeated appearances throughout the years, like Paladin, Thundra, Medusa, Starjammers, Thunderbolts, Beta Ray Bill, Hellcat, Red Wolf, Sunfire, Power Pack, Alpha Flight, Fantomex. Oh, and also sell Darkhawk, he will never amount to anything...haha.
- What matters is why they are important to you. How do you figure that out? Here's how...
Take a piece of paper.
Write down the top 5/10 reasons why you buy a comic.
Put them in order from most important to least important
A sample list might look like this:
1. First appearances (5 points)
2. Favorite character (4 points)
3. Favorite artist
4. Coming to theaters in next 2 years
5. Speculate/you never know
Go through your books...Every book you brought for your most important reason, gets a five.
Second most important reason, add a 4 = 9.
After you have ranked all your books based upon why they are important to you/you're most important reasons...You will have a list of books that don't check the majority of your boxes. These will have a low score, sell those.
- Find the ones you love. Then sell lower grade copies and upgrade to high grade. Trims it down and helps the value of the overall collection.
- If I can replace it, I'll sell it. If I am not in love with it, I'll sell it. If it is sentimental in any way, I'll keep it. If I'm being a jerk and don't want anyone else to have it, I'll keep it. If I know someone else will love it more than me, I'll sell it. If I have 2 then, I'll sell one of them. That's usually all it takes for me to trim my PC.
That's just some of the different viewpoints and pieces of advice I got from other collectors. In the end what I did was focus back to the original goals of my PC, which was to fill specific runs. This enabled me to look through my boxes and easily take out the randoms and various variants I only bought because they were a good deal at the time. Variants that weren't from the specific titles I collect I got rid of along with low grade stuff.
As a seller I determined a price point for books that I'm on the fence about keeping. I'll check eBay sold, a few different price guides and determine a price that will make me happy if it's sold. It's been a great way for me to part with some really pricey awesome variants with the logic that I'll put that money towards books for my PC. Hope this little post helps you in trimming down your collection if you ever get to that point.