We Buy Comics Frequently Asked Questions
What is your mailing address and contact information?
Lone Star Comics
502 East Main St.
Arlington, TX 76010
(Arlington, new home of the Dallas Cowboys, is located between Dallas and Ft. Worth)
Phone (817) 860-7827 (Monday through Friday 9AM to 5PM Central Time)
Why trust us with your comics?
Lone Star Comics (with five stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area) has been dealing fairly and honestly with comic collectors and sellers for over 46 years (here's one of our first ads).
Buddy Saunders, the owner and president of Lone Star Comics, began collecting comics in 1961, and began trading and selling comics soon thereafter as a means of supplementing his own comics collection. Some of his first sales included Amazing Spider-Man #1 and Fantastic Four #1 at 25c each. Our dedication to providing superior service has made Lone Star Comics the largest comics retail chain in Texas and one of the largest in the nation. And it is that same determination to offer the best that has established Lone Star's mycomicshop.com as the largest comics retailer on the internet.
How do you grade the comics that you buy?
See our Grading Standards. Also, if you are not experienced with grading comics, we recommend that you read our advice for those who don't know how to grade comics.
We use the grading standards most commonly used by comics retailers and collectors. It is our policy to never buy at one grade and then sell at a higher grade. A comic bought at a given grade is always posted to our inventory database at that same grade (or a lower grade if an overlooked defect is discovered).
Most common and avoidable grading defect #1: Spine Stress
Spine stress marks most often occur in otherwise like new/NM comics and are the result of poor handling. Comics are best stored upright as this prevents spine roll, but if comics stored upright are allowed to "slump," resulting in curving of the spine, stress lines result — small creases projecting at right angles from the comic's spine. Stress marks on otherwise "new" comics are a sure sign of poor handling. Be aware that stress marks, depending on how serious and how numerous (and especially if found on comics from the past 10 years), can result in an otherwise great looking comic being graded down to Very Fine, Fine or Very Good, depending on the number of stresses and their severity.
Most common and avoidable grading defect #2: Corner Dings
Corner dings occur when the corner of a comic is impacted. Again, proper handling easily prevents this defect.
What does it mean when a comic is "not on your want list"?
If a comic is not currently on our want list, it means that we are well stocked on the comic at this time and do not need to buy any more copies. When a comic is not on our want list, you can still record it into your collection, but you will not be able to offer that comic for sale to us until it returns to our want list.
Whenever a comic is not on our want list, we will show you an estimated number of months until it is on our want list again. This estimate is based on our current stock levels and historical sales patterns for the comic in question. Please remember that the estimate is only an estimate and does not guarantee that the comic will return to our want list within the specified number of months. When a comic does return to our want list, multiple sellers/traders may be poised to provide that comic. In such cases, items will appear and then disappear from the want list very quickly.
How quickly will you grade my comics?
Please allow up to 10 business days for processing of non-Cash-in-a-Flash transactions. In the case of Cash-in-a-Flash transaction, processing occurs within two to three business days.
You will receive an email notification when your comics have been graded and a final offer (based on that grading) is ready. If you have not replied via our online system in seven days, we will send you a 2nd email notification. If after this additional seven day period, you still have not replied through our online system, your transaction will be approved for you, resulting in any payment/credit being issued. Once an automated approval occurs, no retractions or changes may be made to the transaction's status.
How soon will I be paid or my credit issued?
Following your approval of our final offer total: 1) cash payments are mailed within two business days; 2) and credit is issued to your online Mycomicshop.com account within one business day.
When and how can I use my trade credit?
When submitting an offer to us, you choose whether to trade your comics for mycomicshop store credit or to sell them for cash. If you choose to trade, your credit can be used for any purchase from mycomicshop.com except for auction items, consignment items, and Subscription Service items. Trade credit may be used only after your trade transaction is completed and you receive an e-mail notifying you that credit has been issued to your account. If you place an order before credit has been issued, you will not be able to use credit for the order and must pay for it normally.
There is no time limit for use of your credit. Any credit in your account works just like cash. For example, if you place a $50.00 order and you have $50.00 or more in your credit account, your order will show as fully paid by credit when you complete it. Any remaining credit will be available for you to use on a future order.
Credit may also be used to cover shipping costs, but domestic orders of $50.00 or more using cash or credit are shipped at no charge if basic ground shipping is selected.
What is "Cash-in-a-Flash"?
When submitting an offer to us, if you live in the United States you can choose standard payment or Cash-in-a-Flash payment. Choosing Cash-in-a-Flash means that, for a fee of $25, we will expedite the processing of your transaction and mail your payment check by Next Day Air. Because there is a processing fee for this expedited service, including sending payment by next business day air, we recommend that you select this option only if you need payment sent as quickly as possible.
How do you calculate shipping rebates?
The shipping rebate is the amount we will add to your credit or cash total to compensate for the cost of shipping your comics to us. Shipping rebates are calculated based on the value of each comic. Sellers shipping small quantities of common, inexpensive comics will be responsible for most of the shipping cost. In the case of higher value comics, the shipping cost is split between seller and mycomicshop.com.
What do I need to know about grade adjustments and your retraction option?
Of the many thousands comics we buy each week, few are retracted, but we are happy to provide a convenient and easy-to-use retraction option in cases where a seller either disagrees with our grading, or agrees but doesn't want to sell at the lower grade price.
If comics are found to be in a lesser grade than you originally indicated, a price adjustment will be made that reflects the lesser grade (the grade we will use when selling the comic). You will be notified of any grade adjustments. If you disagree with the grade change, you may retract the comic, meaning we will return the comic to you. The cost of returning grade adjusted comics will be deducted from your trade/cash total (based on the cash amount) at the rate of $4.50 for the first item returned plus $0.05 per each additional item, unless the item's shipping rebate (see table above) is greater than $0.05, in which case that amount is used instead of $0.05. This is done to cover the cost of insurance and packing in cases where a more expensive comic is returned to you.
The insurance we provide for retracted comics (comics you want returned to you) is limited to our cash grade/offer value for a given item, and not on the seller's original estimation of grade/value. Sellers requiring insurance coverage beyond what we provide will need to cover that additional insurance cost at the rate of $1.00 per $100 additional insurance requested.
In instances where it becomes necessary to return an entire lot to the seller due to the seller's rejection of commonly held grading standards and consequent pricing, it will be the seller's responsibility to cover all return shipping, insurance and delivery verification costs by remitting a postal money order made out to Lone Star Comics in the appropriate amount.
If approval is required
You will be notified, via email and under the transaction's entry in your account, if any books you have submitted have been adjusted. Please approve or deny our adjustments within seven days. (We'll send you a reminder email, if you haven't approved them by then.) If your transaction is still waiting for approval two weeks after we check it in, we will assume that you accept our modified grading and issue final payment for your transaction.
If you need us to put your transaction on hold for longer than two weeks, please call ahead of time to arrange this. We do not guarantee we will be able to return your books once we have closed out your transaction under these terms, so please stay in contact with us.
Not all adjustments are equal
Some comics have little or no value in lower grades due to one or more of the following factors:
- Low demand
- Excessive supply
The fact that we are not buying a comic at all or are offering very little indicates one or more of these factors apply. For example, if we are offering $0.60 for a NM copy, and $0.45 for a VF copy, we are not overstocked on either grade, and the only difference is that of value from grade to grade. However, if we are offering $0.60 for NM, but just $0.02 for VF, the drastically lower offer for VF indicates that we are heavily stocked on VF copies and do not want more.
We will always disclose our buying prices in lower grades when you submit your books. For books that may be on the cusp of a severe price-drop, we encourage you to take a second look at their grading when you have the opportunity to confirm that you're shipping them — declining to ship a borderline book might save you the expense of a retraction.
How do I indicate Hidden Defects?
If you submit a comic with a hidden defect (pages missing, coupon out, interior tear or marking, damage to back cover, etc.), please assign the comic the grade you think appropriate and then put a Post-It-Note on the comic explaining the hidden defect.
How do I identify Alternate Covers?
If a comic has one or more cover variants, we differentiate each variant by a letter following the issue number. In such instances, we want only the letter code variants listed on our want list. If no letter codes are listed for an issue with variant covers, we will accept any cover variant. To determine which cover variant you have, refer to the cover scans and, in cases where variant covers look the same or very nearly so, further information in the item text will assist you.
Can I offer multiple copies of the same comic?
You can submit multiple copies of the same comic, and we'll let you know how many we'll take. In some cases, if you're offering more than we need, we may offer to buy some of the extra copies at a reduced price (subject to your acceptance). For example, if you are offering us 20 copies of an issue and we only need 5, we may buy 5 at our full buying price and offer to buy the remaining 15 at half of our full buying price. You would then have the option of sending just 5 or all 20. The reason we offer less for additional copies is because a longer period of time will pass before we can begin selling those extra copies.
How should I package and ship my comics to you?
You may ship your comics to us via the service of your choice — the shipper most convenient to you. We receive hundreds of boxes weekly, so the post office, UPS and FedEx all know us very well.
Any shipper can be rough with parcels. Please pack with that in mind. In the case of smaller lots, we recommend "bricking" comics in 2-in thick bundles with a sheet of corrugated cardboard on each side, all wrapped in plastic. Place bricks so that at least an inch of padded dead space exists between the comics and the packing box. This protects against corner damage--the shipper drops your box on a corner, crumpling the corner, but not the protected comics.
Shipping in comic long or short boxes: Large quantities of comics may be shipped in conventional white comic "long boxes" and "short boxes." Again, we recommend some dead space at each end--just add a few sheets of corrugated cardboard. Do NOT tape over the box end hand holds; this can result in the shipper tearing open your box lid when he tries to use the lid ends as handles. If you have extra lids, lid both the top and bottom of the box so that all box corners receive the extra protection afforded by the thickness of the lid folds.
Strengthen any large box--comic box or otherwise--with bands of strapping tape (unbreakable plastic fiber tape). By investing in a sturdy box and just a little extra tape, you can ensure that your box won't break open on a mail facility conveyor belt by "belting" your box with bands of strapping tape.
We recommend that you take your parcel directly to your local post office or UPS office if possible. Mailing centers often charge much more and if your parcel is lost or damaged, you may experience greater difficulty getting the matter resolved.
More small boxes vs. fewer larger boxes: Generally, it is always better to ship fewer larger boxes than more small ones as doing so will reduce your total shipping cost. However, boxes weighing 30-lbs. or more should be sturdy and securely taped to ensure against breaking open in transit.
Attention residents of Canada: Please do not ship via UPS, as they may charge extra fees. If you do choose UPS, you will be responsible for any extra fees incurred.
Shipping a transaction consisting of multiple boxes
If all your comics don't fit in one box and you are shipping two or more boxes, please number each box: 1 of 5, 2 of 5, 3 of 5, etc. Multiple boxes can arrive spaced out over a week to ten days. We do not want to begin unpacking your boxes until all have arrived and been accounted for.
Should I get insurance and delivery confirmation?
However you ship your merchandise, we recommend that you insure your shipment against loss or damage. If you ship by UPS, you also have a ready means of tracking a package should it come up missing. Items shipped by UPS are automatically insured for up to $100 with additional insurance available at a reasonable cost. Items shipped via the post office may also be insured at a nominal cost.
You should also request "Delivery Confirmation" service if shipping via the post office. While it is rare that a parcel is lost in transit, we believe the wisest course is to insure and have a means of confirming delivery should it become necessary to determine what happened to a package. In the event that your parcel is lost, we will not accept responsibility unless your shipper's delivery confirmation service confirms that we did receive the package.
Quick transaction tips that will ensure your quicker processing
- It is OK to offer multiple transactions, then ship them together.
- If you have pre-1981 comics, comics 1981 and newer, graphic novels, and/or another unique category such as a run of newsprint tabloid editions, we recommend (but don't require) that you submit each type as a separate transaction (they can still all be shipped in the same box). We'll then be able to direct each lot to a Lone Star Comics grader specially trained to grade that type of material.
- When shipping your comics, be sure to include a printed copy of the shipping invoice that our site will generate for you. The invoice lists all the comics you are submitting along with your name, address, and transaction number. With our online system, you NEVER have to go through the tedious process of typing up a detailed invoice.
- Can't print your invoice? All you need send is a letter-sized sheet of paper with your transaction number and your name and address. You can see your transaction online at any time by going to My Sales & Trades, and we, likewise, have your transaction accessible online.
- Organize your comics alphanumerically as they appear on your shipping invoice. This will ensure quicker processing, and less chance of error when we're checking in your comics.
- Again, pack carefully with comics away from the corners of the shipping box. Use sturdy boxes and if the content is heavy, secure with banks of strapping tape for added strength. Shipping in short or long boxes works fine. Copier paper boxes are too flimsy.
- Use the shipper most convenient to you. We receive hundreds of boxes weekly, so the post office, UPS and FedEx all know us very well.
First printings and later printings
All comics we list are first printings unless otherwise noted. Unless specifically noted, we do not buy second printings.
Newsstand and direct editions
Newsstand editions are acceptable if the direct edition has the same cover price and the two versions are identical except for having different barcodes. In the case of true variants, we typically list them separately on both our selling and buying lists.
Comics that have been restored
Restored copies may be submitted for sale to us. Such comics will be graded by mycomicshop.com based on the original grade (before restoration) with further upgrading as appropriate based on the type and quality of the restoration.
Some common confusing titles
Classics IllustratedThe 169 different Classics Illustrated titles and related series such as Classics Illustrated Junior, CI Giants, CI Special Issues, etc. all exist in as many as 22 different printings, many of which are in most cases identical except for a minor detail. Sellers wishing to take a stab at identifying which Classics Illustrated editions they have will need to purchase an Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (available on our site). Otherwise, pick the edition that most resembles the one you have according to the cover scans available on our web site.
Dell Four Color series one and twoThese two series, the first running only a few issues, the second running to more than 1,300 individual issues, is among the most confusing for many collectors because every issue is different. For example, #1103 is Leave It to Beaver, #1104 is Yogi Bear Goes to College and #1105 is Gale Storm. However, any issue may be quickly located the comic title search on our web site.
Gold Key and Whitman EditionsFor a number of years, many Gold Key comics were simultaneously issued under the Whitman imprint for release through a different distribution network. While not reprints, Whitman editions generally sell for 25% to 40% less than their Gold Key counterparts.
Walt Disney's Comics and StoresThis title has the issue number printed on the cover for part of its early run, but later issues are not numbered on the cover, nor does the issue number appear in the indica. The volume/issue number that appears inside is not used by collectors. To find the "running" number for this series if there is no issue number on the cover, look at the bottom of the bottom panel of the first page. The small number you see there is the issue number. Note that a similar numbering system is used on a few other Dell titles.
Please understand that our graders are human. They can make grading errors. Based on the positive feedback we receive, it doesn�t happen often, but if you are concerned about how your comics were graded, we'll be glad to review the grading. What we cannot do is adjust our interpretation of the commonly held grading standards to your own interpretation of those standards.
While Lone Star Comics has a single grading standard, which springs from the owner's 40+ years experience in grading comics, Buddy Saunders cannot possibly grade the many thousands of comics processed at Lone Star Comics each and every week. Most of our grading is done by a team of experienced graders. While we strive for the greatest consistency in grading possible, we will never be perfect.
Slight variances in grading between two comparable issues are the inevitable consequence of having multiple graders, each of whom brings a slightly different perspective to their grading, despite all our efforts to train to absolute consistency. These variances occur most often in the low dollar range where limited grading time can be invested in comics that sell for a few dollars to as little as $1.10. Even CGC, which charges a minimum of $16.00 to grade a comic, admits that the same comic, if submitted to them on two different occasions, may receive two slightly different grades. If even CGC, the most respected grading service in the country, cannot guarantee absolute consistency, we aren't embarrassed to admit that we cannot guarantee 100% consistency either.
On Returned Books
Please note that the buy/trade system is not a replacement for our return policy. We do not guarantee we will purchase a book at the same grade we sold it at, only that we will sell the book at the same grade we buy it at.
Late-Arriving TransactionsTransactions, once confirmed, will be given a due date (usually three weeks from that date), and will be canceled if they have not arrived by that day, so that we can return the books to the wantlist and resume our attempts to buy them. If your transaction arrives late, we will reinstate it, but with two very important restrictions:
- For transactions less than a month late, we will reduce our offer by 20%. For transactions more than a month late, we will reduce our offer by 50%. Please understand that if your transaction is late, we've missed the sales we hoped to get from those books, and we're now trying to find those books from — and have committed to pay full price to — other sellers. The amount we can offer you for your duplicate books is reduced.
- You will not be allowed to request retractions on downgrades for late-processed comics. The first grading is final, and payment will be sent. Again, we are motivated by delay — we need to begin processing immediately.
Please note that we track the percentage of transactions that arrive late or never arrive, and sellers will be authorized in order of reliability.
Some sellers make frequent, small transactions. Depending on the nature of your transactions, on a seller-by-seller basis we will offer the ability to consolidate your transactions, allowing you to ship fewer boxes to us and allowing you to take advantage of want-list openings without having to meet the ten-dollar minimum every time.
To open a consolidated transaction, simply click the checkbox when it appears. Your books will be submitted into a transaction, but the transaction won't be closed. For the next 21 days, you'll have the ability to add books to it. Once you close the transaction, it will be submitted like normal, and you'll be given a consolidated shipping list to pack and send.
The following terms apply to consolidated transactions:
- Consolidation transactions must be closed within 21 days. If you don't explicitly close it in that time, the transaction will be deleted and the books involved will be returned to your pool.
- Consolidated transactions can only be closed after you amass $20 in trade credit. If you're not able to build such a transaction in three weeks, your transaction will be deleted and your books returned to your offer pool.
- Only credit transactions may be consolidated. You'll still be able to submit cash and consignment transactions while you have a consolidation transaction open — you'll simply create a new transaction.
- If you submit the same book twice, and the price changes in the interim, the lesser offer will be used for the full quantity.
Transaction consolidation will most benefit disciplined, medium-volume sellers. Note that, through consolidation, you're taking responsibility for a considerable portion of our online want-list — we need you to be fast and accurate, shipping all of the books, on-time, sorted correctly and requiring minimum regrading. If your consolidated transactions require significant rehabilitation, we may not be able to offer you this option in the future.