How we determine offer prices
How do you determine the prices paid for comics?
The buying prices shown on our web site are offer estimates, calculated by our proprietary price analysis software which reviews our own sales, sales in other markets, and in comic book price guides. Please note that when submitting CGC, PGX, restored, or autographed comics, our final offer price will be higher or lower as a reflection of these factors.
Although our system continuously adjusts prices in response to fluctuating supply and demand, it is not possible to keep the buying prices for over 242,000 comic books completely up to date. Therefore, when you submit comics for an offer, we may in some cases offer more or less than the preliminary offer estimate shown on our web site. This usually only happens for older, more expensive issues. For comics priced under $50, the supply and demand tends to be pretty stable, so we rarely need to adjust the prices we will pay for comics in this price range.
In the case of more expensive issues (those that would be priced $500 or more), it is not possible for our automated pricing system to produce buying prices that accurately reflect the current market for that issue. No matter how sophisticated the pricing algorithm, some prices would be too high and some would be too low. The only way to determine an accurate buying price for these high end issues is for one of our comic buying experts to evaluate the market and determine an appropriate price. In these cases, our buying system will show "Best Offer" rather than a buying price. If you submit a Best Offer comic for sale, we will reply to your offer and tell you what we will pay for the issue in question.
Once we've replied with a firm offer, you may then send your comics for grade evaluation and a final offer based on that grading. If we find your comics to be in the same grade that they were offered at (using widely accepted comic grading standards), then you will be paid our original offer price. If your comics grade higher or lower than the originally listed grade, then we will pay correspondingly more or less. If your comics grade lower than originally listed, you will have the option of either accepting our offer price or having the comics returned to you.
Please note that in instances were a comic lot is submitted with grading that is atypically high for comics in the years offered, we may request that you send several front and back cover scans so that we may verify that the comics will likely grade within the grade range offered.
After we receive your comics, if the grades agree with the original grade estimates then you will be paid the amount originally offered when we approved your transaction to ship to us. If the final grades are higher or lower than what was originally estimated, you will be offered proportionally more or less.
If you choose not to accept our offer for a comic book that we graded lower than your originally estimated, you can "retract" that comic, meaning you can click an online button for that comic and it will be returned to you as per our retraction terms. The process is quick and easy and fully automated, insuring prompt returns when required.
Limits on our buying: budget and processing constraints
At times, our ability to buy may be constrained either by our budget or by our capacity to grade and process the large number of comics we've bought that are already in the pipeline. For that reason, we reserve the option of accepting sales and trade offers on a priority basis. Trades are generally approved within 24 hours. Most cash transactions are likewise approved within 24 hours with preference given to lots consisting of high grade copies.
How we reject offers: When we are under budget or processing time constraints, we reserve the right to reject an offer, reject specific items within an offer, or delay approval of an offer. In all such instances, the seller may accept these adjustments or, as desired, offer his items to another potential buyer.
Why are the lower grades of some issues priced so much lower than the higher grades?
For some older comics (especially pre-1980s), grades Very Good and lower are much more common than the higher grades. As a consequence, we are often overstocked on these common lower grades, but have little or no stock in the higher grades. In such cases, the prices we will pay for the lower grades will be steeply reduced and will be a clear indicator that we prefer not to buy more of the same.
When this happens, the listing for the issue in question will show a warning at the boundary between the two grades where the overstocked price discount kicks in. Because offer prices can drop dramatically in the lower grade range, sellers are urged to be realistic in their grading and to seek grading assistance if needed.
Issues with lower grades priced $0.00
When the lower grades of an issue have a buying price of $0.00, it means that we will not buy the issue in that grade, and you will not be able to submit that issue to us for sale in that grade. If a seller overgrades such an issue and submits it for sale, the comic will be valued at zero when we receive it and grade it at the true lower grade. In such cases, the seller may retract the zero value items as per our standard retraction terms.