Having had my energy sapped by the recent illness and hospital stay, I found myself in front of the boob tube more than usual lately. This means little to report on the “picking” scene, but I believe I may have found a new way to increase the bottom line–hire myself out to screen commercials!
If you recall, I blasted JC Penney for the nothing but screaming ads they put out there just before the Super Bowl. They were pulled almost immediately after my blog. Coincidence? I think not! Now, let me give Geico a little help…The “Wee Wee all the way home pig”! Geico, you missed the point on why the first ad featuring him (remember the Mom and son giving him a ride home?) worked. It wasn’t the pig–he was annoying, still is–it was the expressions on the Mom and son that made it humorous and entertaining! The luge and skyline ads are NOT entertaining. They are annoying. That’s all of the free advice I’m giving out. Ad companies, you’re going to have to pay for any more.
The downtime I endured also gave me a chance to catch some of the “Comic Book Men” episodes. While still on the topic of commercials, I saw the episode where they created their own. If the idea is to get you to remember the product or store, no matter what the impression, it probably works. It was corny and hokey, kind of like a “Crazy Eddie” ad. It was so bad that one would probably watch until the end.
Naturally, I find the dealings with customers bringing in their treasures for sale to be the most interesting. The back and forth “shots” between the staff might become more entertaining as I grow more familiar with the guys; however, the time spent watching them play street hockey was a complete waste for me. Now, seeing other comic retailers wheel and deal with sellers, that’s good TV!
I found myself agreeing and disagreeing with what the guys in the shop felt some of the items were worth. They only offered $15 for a full set of Crisis On Infinite Earths–kind of low, but nothing significant. There was a no agreement on a set of CGC graded set Secret Wars purchased at a yard sale. They did pay $200 cash for 5 of the early 70′s Fireside trades (Origins of Marvel Comics, Bring On the Bad Guys, etc.–the first trade paperback collections offered in comic books). The staff priced them out at $415 retail (never mentioned what editions–I assume they were all firsts). After hearing that, the seller said he wanted $415 for them. You see that on “Pawns Stars“, also. People think they can get full guide when selling. In the other 30 years of CBH‘s existence, I can’t remember selling anything in the shop for MORE than the price sticker! As an aside, I had JUST sold a group of 7 of the early Fireside trades for a total of $110 on eBay. I researched earlier sales and figured I was asking a reasonable price. Must have, since they went pretty fast!
A woman came in with a large bin of comics and the guys did not seem as interested in them as I would have been. Yes, there were a bunch of more recent issues that they dismissed, but they also showed an Iron Man #1, Fantastic Four #9, Justice League of America #6, Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #1, plus lots more not shown. Without knowing what else was in there, it did look promising. Over the years, when presented with a substantial collection, I have made offers without carefully going through everything, just hoping that I will find a gem or two. As long as I see enough to at least break even, I will sometimes just take a chance. They decided to do a commission arrangement on the group, which I saw as too much effort if they were to take all.
I did agree with the advise that they gave to a gentleman who came in with a box of Golden Age comics that were passed down from his grandmother. This box held a copy of World’s Best #1 (became World’s Finest later on), Superman 11, 12, & and the classic cover #14 (see a copy in our showcase at the moment!), All-Star #8 (the first appearance of Wonder Woman), and Detective Comics #38 (the first appearance of Robin). That was just the few we saw! The box looked to hold another 150 or so! To my surprise, the guys acted as if they had never dealt with or had handled books of this caliber. I guess it is just a testament to my longevity in this field, but I have had the pleasure of having bought and sold most of the key issues of our hobby – never an Action Comics #1 or Detective #27, but I have had all of those listed above. Back in the late ’70s, I picked up a collection with Detective 26 & 28, plus 29, 31, & 38 and others, like Batman #1, Submariner #1–all told, it included 8 of the top 50 most expensive comics. The owner had only happened upon one of the two boxes he remembered having when he was young. Yeah, I sold them right away and should have kept them! Just as I would have, the staff at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash advised the owner to use a major auction house such as Christie’s (where I sold one of my Superman #1s) or Heritage. Taking on a collection like this would have required a major outlay. Even as a consignment deal, would have been a big risk to the shop owners.
With my energy returning, I plan on being out there this week to try and score more treasures for the shop.