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SPECULATING 101 by Terry Hoknes hoknes@hotmail.com www.HoknesComics.com

Things you must know if you are investing and/or flipping new comic books.

We will discuss facts you MUST know ! Or you will get burned

Basic things that people seem to forget or need to remember

If you are doing quick flips with modern comics there are lots of obstacles which the best of us have tried to conquer.

1 Timing ! If its going to become hot, when? Why? If it’s a massive print run book speculated by everyone the market will be saturated if everyone tries to sell at the same time (Example: Star Wars comics in December 2015 when new movie debuts) so you need to really have a feel for when is the right time

2 Research ! Those who are lazy and don’t really know enough will make bad choices guaranteed! We all have ! You need to know print runs, current market value, is it been moving lately? What are all the major comic sites that might have copies for sale including the publisher themselves? Did Diamond sell out of copies yet? Have you asked around to see if all other comic shops in other cities have sold out ? Does the book have long term potential? Why is it hot in the first place? Is it a fad? Most new books are only hot for ONE WEEK!

3 Costs of speculating. Is that book really going to triple in price? How much do you have invested? Did you buy more than 1 copy? What other books did you lose money on that you couldn’t sell? How much are ebay and paypal fees? Shipping costs? What is your time worth? Gas costs driving to the comic shop each week and the post office.

4 Buying the Wrong Books! Why do you think the book will be hot? Gut reaction? Based on any actual demand. Are the reviews good? Did you find out everything about it. I constantly people buying up at least 10-20 different comics each week - they are obviously “hoping” something pays off - this method does not work as you are spending too much as its likely only 1 of the 20 will increase.

5 Ebay prices - these change constantly but luckily there are lots of listings so checking sold listings and comparing the number of copies available will let you know what is going on.

6 Patience - possibly the most important thing - do NOT dump your books if you think you picked a dud book. If you fill the market with copies discounted cheap then you psych everyone out into thinking the book truly is worthless. It will never be worth anything this way. Better off to keep the book or trade them off for other books that might make you money. Do Not flood the market ! You need the book to appear as scarce as possible for shoppers so that they will feel the urgency to buy. Patient speculators do the best - you may have to buy a book and sit on it for 6 months or 2 years. Most books do NOT increase in value quickly - only the hottest of the hot books sell out instantly. If you want to make money overnight you better study harder and find out what type of books sell out overnight and why !

7 Resources - there are so many free chat boards, face book, speculating websites that give you all the info you need - you really should not lose in this day and age. Its easier and safer than ever to speculate wisely. Use all the sites I posted down below and read all of them once a week and stay caught up on the news. Reading a couple hours a week could make you hundreds of dollars in profit.

8 Paying too much ! If you are buying it to make money then why are you offering so much to get it - don’t be too jumpy to get a copy. If you know more copies will surface than hold out or go on the chat boards or face book and find a copy at a reasonable price. Its very common that people overpay for variants in pre-sales and even the week of release. If you are buying to flip how you are determining the price will go up that you know you can get the markup. If you are buying a book just for your own collection then wait for a deal.

9 CGC Books - this is a book one for me - all the newbies tell me that CGC books go up in value faster and better than raw ungraded books. But its just not true. A CGC 9.8 book will only go up in value if the raw copy is going up. If the raw book does not move up then the CGC 9.8 copy usually DROPS in value! As more and more copies hit the market and the CGC census fills up prices usually drop. Do your homework!

10 Holding hot books too long! If you have already made some profit and the odds of it stalling are coming do not wait - better to make some profit while the book is an easy sell rather than waiting a day too long when nobody wants it any longer and you get stuck with it.

11 Do NOT buy too many copies. It seems there is no sure thing in life. If you think a book will double in value and you buy 100 copies the question is how long will it take you to resell the 100 copies. In many cases a book heats up you sell about 20 of them for good profit and then it cools off again and you are stuck with 80. In the end you actually lost money cause you didn’t make the money back to pay the original cost for the 80 copies leftover.


1 How do I find out the print run of a new comic? You cannot ! No data is ever released ! EVER ! A month after its release Diamond will publish how many copies were ordered of all covers combined. They never publish the print run of variants EVER !! You can get a rough estimate of print run of variants by doing some basic math diving the ratio number 1:50 by the total print run.

Comics from 1996 to 2015 are listed with print runs at www.Comichron.com search for the title and issue #

Comics from 1950 to 1996 email Terry Hoknes at hoknes@hotmail.com and we will give you an estimate

2 How do I know the comic will go up in value? You don’t ! Its based simply on supply and demand. Do you have something people want ? Is your price reasonable compared to other sellers? 99.9% of all new comics regular covers and variants NEVER go up in value ! It’s just paper ! You should not be buying that comic if you need to read this question for the answer.

3 What should I buy this week? Every week in advance of release I write an article telling how many copies are left at Diamond and based on my experience the odds of a book going up in value - this is the most important resource to use to make smart picks. Keep in mind nothing is ever guaranteed ! http://hoknescomics.com/comicsgamble.htm

4 Are any comic books from the 1990’s going to be valuable? Will the 1990’s happen again?

For some reason in the 1990’s due to good marketing and a growing fan base a certain batch of superhero related comics with top notch artwork become the frenzy for collecting and even with massive print runs everybody thought these books would be good long term investments. Unfortunately the hobby shrunk and with less and less comic collectors there were too many copies of certain books on the market which makes it very hard for these books to ever become valuable cause supply is too large. This will never happen again simply because the fan base of comic collectors is too small - but we do have small mini-waves of this where some books are mass produced and flood the market and will be unlikely to ever become valuable in the future.

5 Will the print run increase if speculators want it ? Not really! Its comic store retailers who order the product - not the speculators. The only way speculators influence print runs is if they all order mass quantities in pre-sale and influence the actual print run. Otherwise all speculators are doing is guaranteeing a book does sell out when it hits shelves if a bunch of collectors buy up multiples of copies each.

6 Should I buy up copies of the lastest new #1 from Marvel? The answer is no ! While its true #1 issues have the highest chance of increasing in value as they start a new series, the point is being a #1 issue itself is no guarantee of popularity or quality. Most #1 issues heat up after time when the reviews are back and the quality is assured. This is where if you are going to buy #1’s in bulk you really need to buy in pre-sales and then be patient and sit on them for many months until the book has a chance to finally sell out in comic shops and slowly start to increase in value. Some success stories of this include: Batman #1, Saga #1, Manifest Destiny #1, Injustice Gods Among Us #1.

7 If a book has a high print run is that a guarantee that the book will never increase in value? It definitely hurts the odds but its not a guarantee. Supply and demand! If people keep hunting out back issues of a title constantly month after month it will increase and increase. Recent examples: Batman #1-10, Guardians Of The Galaxy #1-5, Deadpool #1-5, Edge Of Spider-verse #2, Enormous #1, We Can Never Go Home #1, Steven Universe #1-6, Bee And Puppy cat #1.

8 If a book is reprinted does that mean the 1st printing will go up in value? No - in most cases it means it was still overprinted and does not go up in value. If a book has 3 or more printings then that usually means demand is so constant that yes its likely the 1st printing at this point is going up in value as demand has never died off. But keep in mind the biggest factor is how common is the 1st printing. Examples: Star Wars #1 Marvel has 7 printings but the 1st printing is still so common that its actually worth less than the reprints.

9 If a character is going to be in an upcoming movie or TV show will it go up in value? If the important of the character is large and up to this point the values are low then yes the new energized demand will drive prices up on 1st appearances, origin issues and other key issues. This may be very short lived depending on how popular the character is. If the character’s key books are already expensive it will NOT likely go up in value.

10 Why do comics go up in value ? Any items that are deemed undervalued have “market corrections” when people take notice. This can be often very short lived. Sometimes books have massive jumps as much as 1000% overnight but then stall as they are no longer “undervalued”. Whether dealing with new comics or vintage comics the same rule applies. When people take notice of a book that seems to be a “deal” in comparison to other similar books of genre, or age, or importance people jump on it and this new attention finds people “cashing in” and marking it up and creating a new found market. Inhumans, Squirrel Girl, Guardians Of The Galaxy were mostly ignored characters until there was an awareness brought to them and then they all had “market corrections”.

11 Where can I see a list of all upcoming comics with release lists and cover images?


Here is an extended list for months in advance for the major publishers


12 How do I find out how much my comic is worth? Go to www.Ebay.com login and search the item and then click on SOLD ITEMS to see what people have actually paid. Only look at current listings to find out how much competition is out there for copies and what people are asking in general.