If you're a comic book collector, it's getting harder and harder to find those key issues for your collection in the local comic shop. The last time we went to our neighborhood store, we couldn't find a single NM+ issue of G.i.Joe or Transformers. In fact, most of the comics looked like they had been there for years - showing the battle damage of all the geeks (we are cool because we only collect slabbed issues of 1980's toy related comics) who had handled the once pristine copies of Amazing Spiderman. Then there are the weirdos to deal with - guys looking for mint copies of the Batpenis Issue 'for a friend'.
So while we like to throw the local comic shop guy a bone every now and then and pick up some new releases, we faced facts and started ordering our comics online. Online comic stores give you a better chance of finding what you want at the price you can afford since there is more variety when it comes to grades. Comic conventions are cool, but unless it's a huge one, sellers tend to bring what is hot at the moment and some high dollar books that take up your whole budget. Here are the 5 best online comic retailers we have found for filling in our collection and locating graded copies our of favorite comics.
Amazon got its start by selling books, and even though they might be the worlds biggest retailer they have not forgotten their roots. You're not going to find a ton of individual comics on the site, though some sellers will sell them, but you will find a huge selection of special edition hard bound copies and trade paperbacks like the Marvel Masterworks series at prices usually below list price. If you want a reading copy to save fingerprints on your more expensive comics, Amazon is the way to go. If you just can't wait, Amazon Prime gets those TPB's to your door quick.
Sure, Ebay can be a swing and miss junk shop, but it is a viable source in your comic hunt. Sometimes a real gem will turn up that you couldn't find anywhere else, and if you're lucky no one else finds it and bids. Admittedly, we have ordered plenty of books that showed up looking nothing like what was described in the listing, but every now and then we find a really primo deal that keeps us coming back. There are a lot of sellers who over grade their books, but if you seek out graded stuff you'll be pretty assured of getting what you expected. We like to shop EBAy for comic lots to assemble mid grade runs and reading copies. When it comes to high dollar stuff, we stick to tried and true retailers like the ones below.
Mile High Comics
This online comic shop claims to be the largest one in America with over ten million comics and 300 thousand trade paperback's in stock which makes us believe their claim is true. Mile High Comics got its start when 13 year old Chuck Rozanski started selling comics out of his parents basement. He then opened his first store in Boulder, Colorado in 1974 with $800 cash and 10,000 comics which has grown into a multi million dollar comic empire catering to the collector. According to Wikipedia Mile High Comics were the purchasers of the Edgar Church Collection, "the largest and highest-quality Golden Age comics collection ever discovered." The collection consisted of 16,000 comic books dating from 1937 to 1955, including the first Superman comic and the first Marvel Comic. It had been nearly perfectly preserved in a 60-degree temperature controlled environment with minimal humidity. MHC are innovators as well: they are credited with revolutionizing and even creating the back issue market. Back in the 1980's they were known for taking out multi page ads to sell back issues. If you don't mind their old school, AOL era website they are a dependable source of correctly graded comics at fair market prices. They also offer free shipping on domestic orders over $60. Though they recently closed one of their brick and mortar stores, their website seems to be going strong. Visit Mile High Comics by clicking here.
Strictly an online retailer, MyComicShop offers a big range of comics from all eras in whatever grade you are looking for. They also offer options to trade if you are looking to swing a deal for your dream comic, and cosign books for sale if your looking to raise cash for other hobbies. You can create a wish list when you create an account in case they don't have what you are looking for. Some guys have reported on comic collecting forums of grading issues where stuff you sell them is graded down, but what they sell is graded up. Grading is subjective and like we mentioned with Ebay, some people over estimate comic condition. We would still give MyComicShop a try, but recommend starting out with a small order to see if you agree with their grading policies. Visit MyComicShop by clicking here.
Metropolis Comics and Collectibles is a New York based store with an online presence and a lot of collector credibility. According to Wikipedia, Metropolis founder Stephen Fishler created the 10 point grading scale that is used industry wide for valuing comic books. He organized what was once a 42-point system into the 10 point grading scale which he convinced Overstreet Price Guide to adopt, and it was later adopted by 3rd party grading services like the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) - which is known for creating the graded and 'slabbed' phenomena we see today in comics. Metropolis also made news in collecting circles in August, 2014 when the company purchased a near-mint copy of Action Comics #1 (CGC 9.0) for $3.2 million in an auction on eBay. See Ebay isn't all bad. Seriously though, Metropolis Comics and Collectibles is our favorite online comic seller because they offer great prices and a range of grades. They also offer an auction service for collectors meant as an alternative Ebay. Check out their website by clicking here.
Need the latest Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide to see what your comic are worth? Get it here.
Do you know any great online comic sellers that we missed? Share them below.