Not only do I like buying comics every week from my local comic shop, I also like selling them! Sure, you can go on Craigslist and put up your books and meet someone in a designated spot, OR you can get more bang for your buck by selling books on eBay. I’ve had my fair share of success on the popular auction site and now I want to share my tips to help you get some cash in your PayPal account.
Step 1: Set Up Your eBay and PayPal Accounts
We can have lots of fun with this. This should go without saying, but in order to safely get money after selling books, you’ll need a Paypal account. Don’t trust customers who want to send you a check or money order. Paypal is really the only secure way these days to make sure you get paid on ebay. In your listing, make sure you put “Paypal only.”
Step 2: Taking Pictures
There’s so much we can do with these photos. If you are selling just a single issue, take nice photos of the front cover, the first page of the book and the back cover. If it’s a lot of books, take a group photo of all the books you plan on selling together, then take smaller group photos. Make sure the photos are not blurry and the book looks neat. Presentation is key here. If the photos are blurry then it will indicate to the potential buyer that you are sloppy and the books are sloppy, which shouldn’t be the case.
Step 3: Describing the Book(s)
Just between you and me, this is really important because it will show that you have some knowledge of the product and aren’t just trying to make quick buck. First, tell the potential buyers what they are auctioning on. Give just a little back info on the book, like this:
“You are bidding on ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ issue 300 by David Micheline and artist Todd McFarlane. This is the landmark issue where the classic villain Venom made his debut.”
Then, tell the auctioneers the condition of the book while being COMPLETELY HONEST. Nobody likes to get swindled. Tell them what you think the condition of the book is and if there are any dents or tears on the cover, let them know. You don’t want to leave something out in the description and a couple weeks later get a negative review because of it. And again, don’t forget to put “Paypal only” in the description.
Step 4: Setting the Price
I can give you more info on price setting, but I’ll keep it simple. If it is a recent book, make the starting price a dollar or two more than cover price. You don’t want to set the price too high or it won’t attract potential buyers. At the same time, you don’t want to lowball yourself and start at 99 cents thinking it’ll attract a ton of bidders. Otherwise you could wind up giving away a book worth $20 for just $5. Basically, stick to what you think someone will honestly pay for the book because it will increase your chances of selling the comic.
For older books, consult the Overstreet Comic Price Guide, then set the price accordingly. If it’s a group of books, make it $10 to $15 less than the combined price of the books. I’ve found that you won’t get full price back on group sales unless the run or story is in high demand.
Step 5) Packaging and Mailing the Book(s)
The time has arrived! You sold the books and it is time to mail them out. If it is a single book or up to five, put them in clear bags with a backing board. Then, tape two pieces of cardboard around them to protect it during shipping. You can find packing cardboard online or cut them out of boxes at home.
If you are mailing one to five books, use a flat-rate envelope. If it’s a lot of books you are selling, do all the steps I just told you, but also pack them in newspaper so it reduces any damage possible during shipping and use a medium or large flatmate box.
Want to know the best thing about the flat rate envelopes and boxes? THEY ARE ALL FREE AT THE U.S. POST OFFICE! They seriously just have them lying in piles or on shelves just waiting to be taken. You can walk out with 15 of each and nobody will bat an eye.
As you can probably tell by now, there’s more than meets the eye to selling comic books on eBay and I hope my tips help you out. Have any more tips for us? Feel free to share!