Our Annual Labor Day Flea Market & Collectibles Show is a GO!!
Join us on Monday, September 7th, as we “celebrate” Labor Day (here’s hoping that COVID-19 didn’t affect your employment status!) with our annual outdoor Flea Market & Collectibles Show.
Due to CDC guidelines and wishing to practice social distancing, this year’s event will be scaled down some. We are restricting the number of vendors to 12 with a parking spot between each set-up. ALL attendees are expected to wear masks that cover their mouth AND NOSE! PLUS this will be a shortened event - only 9 AM to Noon! Captain Blue Hen Comics, if open at all, will have limited access.
The decision to hold this was bolstered by the shop’s involvement in the recent NJCC Tri-State Travel Con held on 8/2 that also only ran from 9:00 - 12:00. A multi-location event, collectors were given a list of sites around the area that each promised to have about 3 or 4 sellers. Besides the shop, Brian from Long Play Café, and Serena C. our local artist and cosplay accessory maker, I came out of my cave and set up also. The crowd wasn’t overwhelming, but those who did venture out must have been ‘jonesing’ to buy some back issues as it was worth setting up! And…And… everyone wore a mask!
My goal was to hopefully move a bunch of some quality “dollar” books that was filling up my garage. Having already committed to renting a U-Haul truck to carry the 40 plus long boxes, I got an email from a comic book dealer who had read my Craigslist post about the event, that I planned on bringing about 15,000 comics, and was going to deep discount them. He asked if I was willing to wholesale some of those boxes. Sure! And I gave him two options: cherry pick the boxes for one price per long box or, take’em all for another. He drove over from New Jersey, took at peek at just two of the boxes, was satisfied with what he saw, and shelled out our agreed upon figure! 20 minutes later and all of my “dollar books” were gone! But I still had a U-Haul to pick-up in an hour.
Plan B now had to be set in motion. The dealer said that since the pandemic hit, he hadn’t been able to purchase anything and needed some new inventory. I had experienced the same thing until the last two weeks during which I made three buys. These did NOT go with him.
Back in February, one of our members mentioned that he was thinking about selling his whole collection. It was impressive, but then the shop had to close, being non-essential, and then my role in the shop was put on hold. Joe offered to buy out my comics in the store at the time and we struck a deal. Yep, all of those green-tagged issues in the shop are not mine anymore! Missing that income from selling my comics on consignment, I contacted the member a couple of weeks ago and he allowed me to buy his early Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four issues. I just didn’t have any avenues other than eBay to move a large quantity of books. eBay is a lot of work, especially when listing minor issues.
Within the same week, another retailer allowed me to purchase part of a consignment he just got in and I added another group of early FFs to my stock. I labored a bunch of hours and listed the better issues from these two purchases on eBay and got myself out of the “red” much faster than expected. I always price my eBay items like what our members were used to with their discount so that I maintain my 100% satisfaction feedback rating.
Then, just last week, a former member, who stopped collecting years ago, read my blog and contacted me about selling her collection. It turned out that she had 6 long boxes and 6 short boxes of comics. There was good and bad news. The bad news: the vast majority of the books were Image Comics from the 90s. Yes, there was a run of the first 29 issues of Spawn, but the other titles from this era are s l o w! The good news: many of the titles were decent, complete or near complete runs and ALL of them were in great shape. Then there was a big surprise. The lady was a true Poison Elves fan. Except for the one issue (which I have already bought), she 79 of the 80 issue run from Sirius plus a number of the miniseries. I know what some of you are thinking – Poison Elves? What’s that? It was a fantasy comic by creator Drew Hayes, who unfortunately passed away just prior to its completion. I sort of dismissed these when looking through the boxes. What I wasn’t aware of was that the original run, first titled “I Lusiphur” which became Poison Elves, was a 20 issue run done by Mulehide Graphics. In fact, the first ten issues were magazine sized. Checking out the Overstreet, I was surprised to discover that these actually had some serious numbers. Not convinced, I checked the “sold” section of eBay and saw that this exact set had sold for more than guide just one week prior! Quickly, I listed them as a set, for less than the previous sale, even though these copies were incredible and three had been signed by Hayes, and they were in a priority box the next morning! Ya never know. I had recouped half my cost in that sale alone. I put the longer runs, like Witchblade, Darkness, Nightwing, Teen Titans, and CrossGen titles on eBay. If interested, check out those listings by going to my site under the ID: coastalcandc.
Now before you start, I did not take advantage of the seller. I am not “whole” on this collection, yet. The remaining 99% of the collection that I spent many, many hours processing did not find takers at the NJCC Travel Con. I was offering the sets at 50% off my already discounted price and only sold one for $4.00. Plus, the seller knew that most of these were slow movers, they hadn’t been read in years, were taking up needed space, and she had gotten her enjoyment out of them – it was time for them to go. She didn’t hesitate at my offer, even though I told her it was a low ball one because of the material. These and the ASMs and FFs I haven’t put up on eBay will be there on the 7th!
Phillies fans – I’ll have a table-full of stadium give-a-ways – loads of bobble heads, statues, etc.
Again, I was encouraged by our customers doing the right thing regarding taking this pandemic seriously, but I didn’t find the same to be true at the RT. 40 Farmers’ Market this past Saturday. Most people were wearing masks, but many were not covering their nose. And a number of sellers were not wearing a mask at all – including one guy set-up with many boxes of comics. I didn’t even bother to check out his stock!
STAY SAFE and hope to see ya on the 7th!! and don't forget - Labor Day is the deadline for turning in your Scavenger Hunt entry. I'll accept them up until Noon!