Did I say the above piece would sell for a fat pile of cash?
Just last month?
Okay, well, $81,000 is a lot of money. It's only when you realize that the same Amazing Spider-Man 317 cover sold in Heritage's July 2012 auction, for 143,400 does it seem like a not-so-fat pile. Considering ComicLink takes 10% off the top (by default, it may have been negotiated down) that's approaching a 50% loss for the seller.
I'm focusing on this cover for a couple of reasons. The first is that I'm a cheerleader for comics and original art and with the way the market for both has gone over the past few years I haven't had a lot of opportunity to discuss the way that this hobby can bite you in the ass. This certainly qualifies for that kind of discussion. For many years I had the JP the Mint books to refer to when talking about unfortunate losses. Those were slightly larger losses, but they were also a long time ago.
So, basically, I'd be a jerk if I only talked about the successes and didn't give equal time to the losses where applicable. This is definitely applicable.
Secondly, just last month there was some discussion on the CGC forum that centered around the idea that original art was somehow immune to losses. I'm not comfortable with that kind of thinking. If someone assumes that comics or original art can only ever go up, it's a small step to putting their entire life savings into the hobby. I'm not saying that's what happened here, but I do hope pointing out this loss might serve as a sobering reminder for people who think there's no risk in these collectibles. Comics and original art are actually extremely risky. If your primary interest in the hobby is making money then you need to recognize the risk and pay prices that take that risk into account.
In other words, if you're looking to ensure you get out with as much money as possible don't spend like I am while I'm chasing the final 10-15 books for my Daredevil set.
Comic Connect in March
In other news Comic Connect is in Event Auction mode right now and there are three books that deserve a look while they're still live. These three speak to three different aspects of the hobby in interesting ways. One is a test for prices at the very top of the hobby, another is a fascinating auction featuring the new CGC Conserved label and the third puts the CBCS brand to an important pricing challenge.
Unless something really interesting comes up later this year, this is a pretty good bet to be the most expensive book of the year. I'll be really interested to see where this book ends up. Does the 9.0 sale last year juice sales of mid-grade copies beyond the $400,000-500,000 range? We'll see. My guess is that it will handily break $500,000. I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see it hit $600,000.
As an aside, does anyone know if this copy is one of the books that previously sold at Comic Connect? They've sold two 5.0s. One in 2010 and one in 2013. I've got those recorded as separate books. Is this one of those two or am I correct that it's the third 5.0?
Is this the best test for the new "conserved" label? This book would be worth a quarter of a million dollars if it were in a blue label holder. What does it sell for in this state?
I have no clue. None!
Just because of the uncertainty, I'm really interested in seeing how this one turns out.
Personally, I'd like to see books like this start to gain some ground as I think the concept of the conservation label is a good one. It's not going to sell for full price, but just how close will it get?
Conserved or not, by the way, this is probably the best available copy of this book.
I'm behind with adding one CBCS sale to the $100,000 club database (the Philip Weiss Batman #1 CBCS 7.5 sale.) Will this one be another? It should be, based on the trends, but will CBCS be able to carry the load? I think there's still some hesitancy in the market surrounding CBCS (for whatever reason.) Does that hesitancy extend to a book like this? We shall see.
That's going to do for now. Until next month!