Friday, January 09, 2009

"Post No. 599"





It occured to me in the last post when I was mentioning birthdays, that each of those I mentioned has actually had their images on the covers of various comic books.

Revolutionary Comics published the ones on Bowie, Archie Comics did the Soupy Sales, and Dell published several issues of "F Troop" back in the 1960's, some of which featured on their covers, actor Larry Storch. Interesting...

But, what I'm here to talk about today is this past year's Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (2008-38th. Edition) that I finally picked up on discount at a bookstore the other day. I don't purchase a new OPG every year. Older comics seem to not rise in value in the various grades I have much over 30% for 2 or 3 years, and I think my previous one is a 2004 edition.

But the first thing I noticed with this book (besides the increase in price) was how heavy it's become. And, for good reason, because there's at least 100 pages of nothing but advertisements in the thing. Probably more since I tend to try to ignore all of the filler. A good 75 pages of various micsellani-i and ads just before you ever get to any listings.

And then we have all of this comic book history, which I suppose is interesting to some people, but a lot of it's just repetitive of previous volumes.

Then we have to wade through many pages of listings of "victorian age","platinum age", Big Little Books, etc., before we get to the real comic books. Along the way we have these various comic strips attempting to explain even more history of comic books. I suppose this is all well and good for the comic book collecting novice, but I wonder how many actual dealers in comics read this stuff? You know, the guys that's found a bunch of comics (usually worthless ones) that get a OPG and look through it to see if their comics are worth anything?

My experience is IF they actually purchase a price guide, they ignore anything in it but the listings, and then ignore such items as grading, and put the highest possible price OPG lists for the comic.

This guide really needs a bit of slimming down. Really, anything prior to 1934 should be in some seperate guide, as well as BLB's. The next thing you know they'll start a section on pulps. And this volume is waaayyyy to heavy and awkward to carry around, say, at a convention or back issue comic shop just to see "if you're getting a deal". And besides, whatever gets paid for a comic really determines its value.

One might have a comic that's listed as a $100. book, but if no one will pay that for it, then what's it worth? (Nadda.)

Or one may have a valuable comic, but EVERYONE has a copy of it. Then what's it's value? (Nadda, again.)

And although it's interesting to see what "they think" my old comics are worth, when I personally go to purchase back issues, I never check the OPG beforehand. No. If I want the book and I think it has a reasonable price, IF I can afford it, I buy it. Case closed.

Sometimes I've even been known to pay OVER guide for a comic, IF I want it bad enuff. Constant raising of prices, speculating, slabbing, etc., to me, just takes all of the fun out of collecting comics. The best thing to me in the OPG is the reproductions of comic book covers in the rear of the book (and some of those I don't think are worth the reproduction effort).

I think it's time those in charge of "The Guide" need to rethink what they're doing.


And, since I'm on a ranting rage today, let's talk about The History Channel this week.

It's all "doom and gloom" with this t.v. channel lately. If it's not predictions of the end of the world, it's depressing things like "the seven deadly sins", "the next depression", etc. Geez. Enough already! The economy's bad, gas prices are back on the rise, we don't know how our next president's going to react to various world issues, there's more and more war in The Middle East (and, par usual, this country is sticking their nose right in the middle of it), businesses are closing their doors, whole companies are going bankrupt, and people are out-of-work with no money to buy food or pay for a place to live. There's great unstabilization currently in the world. Do they really know something WE don't? Is the Mayan Calendar running out (which I kid about occasionally telling everyone how many days until 12-21-12), and Biblical and Nostradamus predictions all coming true? Or, is this just another load of BS we have to wade through like we did with the scare the media gave everyone about pc's crashing when it became 2000?

If I want to be depressed, I think all I have to do is watch the nightly news broadcast these days. Television is supposed to entertain us, and not depress us. And the key word in "The History Channel", IS history, and NOT speculation.


And, finally...Just got a notice from eBay about some new seller's rules. By mid-March you've MUST specify return policy's and handling times, and Remove any references to checks and money orders from your listing descriptions. Starting January 15 these listings will be taken down.
So, before you HAD to list Paypal as an option. Now it's a seller's ONLY option. As a seller, I resent being told that I can't offer my buyers other options besides Paypal. Some of them simply don't use debit/credit cards or have a PP account. Neither do I personally use PP unless I have money already in it from where someone paid me that way, to purchase anything on eBay. eBay thinks they're being smart with this. They give everyone the explanation that paying this way is safer than using any other method, when in fact, all you're doing is giving eBay more of your personal information, and allowing them to get more kick-backs on both one's listing fees as well as the percentage a seller must give up when someone uses PP to pay them. They're saying that everyone buying off of eBay must be untrustworthy; that their checks will be bad. That the USPS must also be untrustworthy if they can't buy anything using a postal money order, or other sorts of money orders (including Western union)
. Don't think that Paypal's security is free. To file a claim costs money. It used to be $25.; maybe more now. So if you didn't pay some high price for an item, putting in a claim for it being "non-sent" is a mute point. To me, this will mean just less buying and selling on eBay. I grow weary of their triple kick-back system for sellers. First they get you on a listing fee, secondly a percentage of your sales, and finally (since they own PP), a percentage of that as well. Where's the seller's profit margin at all?

They previously pissed me off regarding some of their postage rules. I was trying to sell paperbacks in lots, and I always mail everything priority due to it being the quickest and safest way for a buyer to receive his merchandice. So I list a lot of 10 paperbacks IN the paperback catagory, but beforehand, I prepacked them and took them to the post office so that I could list exact postage costs. Sometimes this runs into the $10.+ range. What happens? eBay won't allow that saying that the postage is too much for that item. That $4. is for the limit on such a thing (making a loss already of at least $6. on the item).I had to wiggle around that by listing, say, "Peanuts" pbs under their "cartoon character" listings instead, and of course the result was a whole lot less exposure for the item. I can see absolutely nothing wrong with listing an exact fee for the rate. If someone bids on an item with that fee listed, they're expected to pay the fee listed.

(End of rant day.)

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