Flashback Friday Saturday – One Year Later

One year ago, we spec’d on new books hitting the shelves on May 2nd, 2018. Now it’s time to see how those specs and picks are doing now.

Also it’s not much of a Flashback Friday since I’m just now finishing this up. So sorry about that.

Happy FCBD as well, so May the 4th be with you while standing in the crowded lines for your free books. TFAW has free shipping today as well on orders $25 or more if you don’t find what you’re looking for at your local shops.

This gives us a look at what we hit, what we missed and what the status of last years new releases. Last year this week seemed big but not a whole lot going on a year later.

DC Books

DC Nation #0 Clay Mann Variant. Jokerized Catwoman and Batman getting married made this the one that was sought after.

This was a 1:250 ratio for the 25 cents book so not terribly hard to find but not as easy either as these were gobbled up by most quickly. Most retailers would try to sell this at the $50 or so mark.

What’s this doing a year later? A recent sold for $15. A few others in the $26 to $30 range and a CBCS Signed by Mann at grade 9.8 sold for a whopping $26.

I know several local shops that are still trying to dump their regular covers for this book.

The Jimenez Variant is still available at Midtown. It was the 1:500 ratio variant. You can find these for a bargain on the secondary compared to their original retail price. Most recent sold listings have made this one a $20 to $30 on average  book. Midtown will never sell this for it’s listed $76 if they’re going for half that price.

Marvel Books

Venomized #5 Sandoval Variant was the big book out of Marvel.

This was the 1:25 ratio variant.

Not a lot of sold listings within the past 90 days but it’s still a solid $50 book or higher raw. Seems a majority of the listings are graded slabs with asking prices of $100 or more. A signed 9.8 by McFarlane went for a nice $250.

Indie and Small Publisher Books

Coda #1 from BOOM! Studios sold out pretty quickly and not much going on a year later with sales ranging anywhere from 99 cents to $10 on a good day.

The ratio Jeff Stokely Virgin Variant incentive wasn’t a bad flip if you got it for cover price. Reaching around the $20 to $25 range initially.

A recent sold of the Stokely went for $35 but with free shipping. So if you can find’em for cheap, there’s still money to be made.

Alient Toilet Monsters #1 was another book I think most of us picked to check out. Small press book, just sounded hilarious. It sold out quickly initially at most online retailers but is once again available at some shops, Midtown has them listed as available.

Not much love on the secondary market, most are below cover price.

Death or Glory #1 was a great read. Don’t let the slumping secondary market sales fool you on this one. Remender now has Deadly Class as a hit show so I’m sure he’s shopping his other titles around.

For me, this is a sleeper book and if and when it ever gets a media deal or option, it’s going to explode. But that’s my speculation on this book. If I find these out in the wild, I’ve been secretly buying copies to stash away for the long term gamble. I sure hope it pays off though, I really hate dumping loser books to Half Price for a fraction of what I paid for.

The drek pick from last year was The Walking Dead #179 which is the Bill Sienkiewicz cover depicting Carl with the hole in his face. Carl looks like a tween girl on this cover as well.

What’s it doing a year later? Well, you can still buy them at Midtown and other online shops from the looks of things. The most recent single sold listing went for a whopping 99 cents.

Don’t get me wrong, I dig most of Sienkiewicz artwork but these Walking Dead covers were just awful if you ask me.


That’s your one year later report and review. Happy FCBD and May the 4th be with you!

If you can’t make it out to the shops today, remember, TFAW has free shipping today on orders $25 or more!

17 thoughts on “Flashback Friday Saturday – One Year Later”

  1. Good call on death or glory. i have been hunting in the wild and picking these up as well. Good choice!!

    1. I picked up a few D&G #1s from BAM! When they were clearing out all their comics around x-mad for $1 each. Grabbed about 20 comics…already made $20 investment back and hoping more obscure titles Get picked up that snagged for $1!

  2. “Midtown will never sell this for it’s listed $76 if they’re going for half that price.”

    I will point out that any price will usually get a sale for an item if you’re patient enough to wait for the right buyer. They may not sell stacks of them at that price but it may be factored into their costs for ordering the title which I skipped last year since it didn’t seem ground breaking. There’s lots of people who don’t cross check E-bay and other places, especially on an impulse purchase item. I just spent an hour with a group of once or twice a year event shoppers when one guy said he had Naomi #1 laying in a pile unbagged he’d never read. He was unbelieving of recent prices having it cross the triple digits sales range repeatedly. He totally scoffed at spending $100 to CGC it so I pulled up an E-bay listing showing a $587 CGC sale last week. Many people just do not check elsewhere or have any plans on selling anything so cost of purchase versus profit potential of resale doesn’t come into play.

    This years DC quarter book I got 5,000 of myself. That’s in the range of a $650 investment plus a shipping freight charge next week of $274 which some of that would have been other items in the delivery this week. but that still works out to an $850 or more investment in a title.

    I presold 5 variant packs at $75 and a 6th after FOC at $100. That means in terms of just breaking even there’s another $400 plus in sales needed just to accomplish that. That may take a lot of quarters over years to get there if the extra variants don’t kick in some sales.

    If they’re in the same boat last year with a less desirable Variant selection they may have it parked for a while until they cover their costs and feel free to start dumping.

    You’ll never get a price you’re scared to ask for.

    1. Maybe when they have a 75% off sale.. but for retailers, buying 5000 copies to sell at your shop is a completely different world for us who are buying a few books to flip on the secondary.

      Sure Midtown can continue to list this book at their initial ratio set price but one would think they could also look at ongoing trends of what books are valued at. If the market has decided this book is worth $35, by lowering their price they could make a more likely sale. If the market set the price for this book at $500, I’m sure Midtown would happily raise it to $500. To me, it’s just kind of a slap in the face for them to keep a book at double the price of the current market. This is also why I point this out, to let others know if they really want the book to not buy from Midtown but find the book at the other sources to save themselves a buck or two.. 😉

      1. “If the market has decided this book is worth $35”

        That’s not THE Market, that’s A Market.

        THE Market is ALL sales potentials from ALL potential sources of retail you dabble in. Prices at E-Bay go up today, back down tomorrow. Two Saturdays from now I’ll have maybe 1,000 or more people out front for the towns yearly street festival and it only takes 1 person willing to pay $75 if that’s what the actual cost should have been to be better than dumping it now to two people for $35 if it was my book that I felt I had to get $75 for and probably expected too sooner. People come to stores for the most part expecting to find stuff in stock. It’s part of being a store is making sure you have inventory on hand and part of that is making sure you aren’t selling so cheap it sells out to others too fast. That’s E-Bay’s job is to give you a chance to snatch something with a low bid nobody was paying attention to. Once that happens others that have no other frame of reference or viable alternative for selling it start to copycat thinking that’s the actual cost the book should be selling at which isn’t always the case, especially if you have alternative sources of retail at your disposal.

        That Firestorm set I mentioned elsewhere sat in the display case for over 4 years after the TV show jumped the price of several books in the set. The person who got it is happy even if the price of the set has cooled back down some.

        Should the person who paid $122.50 plus shipping on E-bay for a Naomi #1 sell his at a loss today because the current market has the book selling in the $90’s? Sometimes you just hold your price and wait it out to see what happens. Patience is a virtue they say. The way the market is now they could announce something now or in 5 years from now that makes it take off.

        If you can’t get your price now just wait it out. You never will if you give up trying. What you consider a big deal difference is less than some people tip if they have it or blow on a movie and a meal so it’s not beyond them to drop a few dollars just to get instant gratification from a first seller never out the door copy. Some people will never order off E-bay no matter the savings for many reasons.

        I was about ready to say I’d never get full price for the Bob Ross Chia Pet but then suddenly a drive thru from out of State walked that and a Slimer Chia Pet out the door at full price. Imagine if I’d panicked and decided to dump it just because the last 5 sold on E-bay at less than what I paid Diamond for it not even factoring in shipping.

        Just today I sold a Catwoman figure for $15 I’d gotten a great deal on from Diamond’s clearance. No sooner than they’d clearance it out than it seems they brought it right back into stock again at full price. I didn’t raise my price then just because Diamond was charging other stores twice what I was trying to sell it for. Sometimes you just have to hold steady to what you know is fair based on what you paid for an item. If you’re a consumer and the price is too high, move on down the road and leave it for the next person who may not hesitate.

        If you see what is a great deal grab it but don’t waste time trying to talk someone down further. You risk having them find out what it should be priced at. I just had that happen today as well when one guy wanted me to come down $20 on a price at 4 in the morning and when I checked mycomicshop has it $25 higher than me for same grade. End result, I raised my price $20. It’s a consignment item which I feel obligated to get the highest amount possible for the consignee and in this case technically it’s still a better value than the “other” guys.

        I had a guy on E-bay try to get me to take Half my list price for an item since it had a hole in it (which was identified and reflected in the pricing point) Later that same day someone else bought it at full list price.

        I could make example after example from first hand experience but we don’t get to say with certainty what others will get for something or not get. They have to make those decisions themselves based on their own costs and market options you may not even be aware of.

        1. I never said they have to list at current market price. Try to sell at whatever price you want as a retailer. All I’m saying is, why is it a one way street for some? If a comic heats up and a shop raises its price to the current “market” price…. When the price drops after demand decreases, is it okay for them to keep the high price tag mark? Sure. But its also perfectly right for us collectors to not buy either. Its funny though, when someone on eBay asks for a ridiculous amount for a book thats nowhere near the current tend, its frowned upon…. But if a retailer does it… Its “A Market” and its okay…. Thats what your implying to me. And that’s okay, if I walk in a shop and they are trying to sell books for X amount of dollars when “the other market” are selling them cheaper at Y amount…. It’s probably a good assumption that shop wont be in business for much longer.

        2. But that’s what CHU is all about, buy low, sell high and educate people on market trends for the comic industry. List your DC Nation for $75 if you think you can sell it for that much. I will hopefully save someone who knows how to look up and educate themselves they can find that $75 book for much less elsewhere. 😉

  3. You totally missed the point.

    “I never said they have to list at current market price.”

    You implied it.

    “Midtown will never sell this for it’s listed $76 if they’re going for half that price.”

    You can’t know that.

    “When the price drops after demand decreases, is it okay for them to keep the high price tag mark?”

    It’s not their price that dropped and it’s not for us to know what their costs for the item was. Demand may decrease but it never really runs out. It’s up to them to decide if they can afford to settle for less or whether to ride it out and wait. I don’t have a $75 copy or any copy for that matter of that book but if I did and I feel it needs to be priced at $75 to keep it available for the customer who will want it in the future it’ll stay there.

    “I will hopefully save someone who knows how to look up and educate themselves they can find that $75 book for much less elsewhere.”

    And that’s great and has nothing to do with the main topic of you thinking you know what they will or will not ever get. There are people out there that will never come here. There are people out there that refuse to deal with E-bay sellers for a lot of reasons. There are people out there who are willing to pay for a book at a fair price that’s never been sold to secondary sellers that may or may not deliver on what’s promised thru a secondary site or even a primary site. $75 for a 1/500 Variant isn’t robbing anyone. That sounds like what it should have been selling for all along and may again once the dumpers and undercutters copies disappear into collections not to be seen for years if ever again online. If you see someone dumping $20 to $30 copies desperate to move theirs then it sounds like a decent long term investment. Not a quick flip obviously.

    1. Actually it was their price they set initially based on their own ratio price point, so they did try to set the initial market value based on buying more books than they likely will sell to cover the cost. The price they paid was likely less than 25 cents the cover price it carries. If they bought 500 just to get that one variant and cant move most of the others purchased or that variant, they should to rethink their business model.

      Its just like the Walking Dead #115 one per store variant they originally listed at $500+ and they still have it listed. At that price they will likely never sell it when the going market price is far below that price. I was lucky enough to sell the one I obtained a year ago for only $100.

      Again, thats why CHU exists. I hope it educates people (buyers, collectors) so they dont walk into a shop and get ripped off cause a shop can’t change their prices on current trending prices of the market. While the other goal is to inform those selling books that are now heating up.

    2. If I were a shop, I would never order X amount of books to get a ratio variant unless I already knew I had a buyer to make up for the costs of all the books I had to order to qualify in case I cant move those books. To me, that could lead to bad business and likelh out of business if you start buying product you cant move and hope someone eventually walks in and buys the book at the price you tagged it at, despite the market selling it for far less.

      1. DC Nation had a print run of over a million. How far we don’t know. How much over production we don’t know. But not all comic shops ordering that million would have ordered 500 so there should be maybe a max of 2,000 copies in existence on a planet of 7.5 Billion and still growing!!!!!

        DC’s Year of the Villain #1 500 QTY Variant using “A” market, this time E-Bay has already had sales of 12 copies higher than $75 outside of Variant bundles.

        Comparing apples to apples seems like once again they’re right in the ball park of what they should have been asking.

        “If I were a shop, I would never order X amount of books to get a ratio variant unless I already knew I had a buyer to make up for the costs of all the books I had to order to qualify in case I cant move those books.”

        That’s an important point to emphasis over in the Immortal Hulk #2 5th printing Ratio Variant and Major X discussion. $75 dollars to cover costs of the books and shipping sounds about right and coincidently is about what I expect they paid for 500 copies of DC Nation counting shipping to get it. 12.5 cent or less times 500 plus shipping freight weight. They may even have been a bit under at the higher 11 cent discount rate number. Still right there in $75 land counting shipping.

        “To me, that could lead to bad business and likelh out of business”

        To them doing things their own way has had them in business for 22 years and counting (1997)

        “If they bought 500 just to get that one variant and cant move most of the others purchased or that variant, they should to rethink their business model.”

        Once again we don’t have any way of knowing what their motivation was. It’s close to FCBD on purpose so maybe they gave them away on FCBD or at least a lot of them. Maybe they did custom covers and sent them out for free as advertising like I’m doing expecting to eventually break even on the variant sales for the cost of the advertising campaign with this years cheap book offering from DC. I don’t expect to sell 5,000 copies but that was never the motivation for ordering them in the first place and having the variants to offset the costs was a major factor in making that choice. Without that I’m either not ordering since I’d already committed what I felt I should to the Free Comic Book day event and don’t have the counter space for stacks of quarter books to sell or if I do I’m buying no more than 25 copies like the other DC FCBD books.

        “Its just like the Walking Dead #115 one per store variant they originally listed at $500+ and they still have it listed. At that price they will likely never sell it when the going market price is far below that price. I was lucky enough to sell the one I obtained a year ago for only $100.”

        I’ve got a One Per Store 150 Walking Dead Variant on the wall behind the counter right now with a (How did Anthony put it last week?) “make me sell it too you price” on it. I’m perfectly happy if it never sells since I like seeing it there.

        “Again, thats why CHU exists. I hope it educates people (buyers, collectors) so they dont walk into a shop and get ripped off cause a shop can’t change their prices on current trending prices of the market. While the other goal is to inform those selling books that are now heating up.”

        I agree that CHU’s helping people or I wouldn’t waste tons of my time trying to assist in that but once again, it’s not ripping people off. Many, many, many people will never hear of this place. A great many wouldn’t care if they did. E-Bay trends are just that, E-bay’s Trends and not the only source of sales. Many people will not shop there. There’s Amazon, Facebook, Craig’s List, conventions, yard sales, flea markets and more other “Markets” out there and No Previous owner impulse purchases at a walk-in retail store copy are a valid choice for many people who will never ever come to e-Bay no matter how much effort we put here. you’re talking a difference in price of a good meal and a movie at the worst case. Not break the bank or call the cops level. They have a right to exist and seek whatever they ask. 20 years from now if it’s still there, then maybe it tells them something. Maybe 10 years from now the majority of the other 2,000 or less copies are gone and it’s now pushing $200 on E-bay. it’s their right to hang onto it as long as they want and not chase trends.

        If Diamond dumps the leftovers later this year for cover price minus discount, which they tend to do, and I buy 100 copies and start listing them 1 at a time on E-bay does that make the copy you want $20 for now a quarter book because I just had 20 sales over a 30 day period at 25 cent each plus shipping?? Of course not!!!! What you paid is still a valid reason for asking for what you feel your copy is worth long term. My getting a deal or wanting to dump something on E-bay has no bearing at all on what your copy is worth down the road and realistically even now. If you feel you can get $20 for it at a convention does that make you a crook robbing people because you didn’t drop your price to a quarter?

        1. I initially had about 15 of the DC Nation #0 Mann variants, and about 7-8 Jimenezs. I have sold a bunch of both for good profit, and this book actual saw heat about 6 months ago as it is the the 1st appearance of Robinson Goode, who later becomes ‘Red Cloud’. I currently have my Manns listed for $35/shipped. Its been a few months since I sold one.

  4. I can’t speak for anyone else with a Shop, but my motto has always been “If the cash don’t flow, the bills don’t go .. ”

    Most anything, including Comics, are worth what a willing buyer is willing to pay ..

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