Testing the GoAntiques Waters – Buying a Comic Book Part II
Our Fighting Forces #158. A week after ordering on GoAntiques, I have my comic and am quite happy. I have my comic in hand and, to my delight, it is in the described condition. I am now going into a collector's fit, wherein I need to own all the DC Kirby war comics.
About a month ago, I wrote about browsing through GoAntiques, looking at some Bronze-age Jack Kirby war comic (read Testing the GoAntiques Waters – Buying a Comic Book Part I). I had not, at the time, purchased anything from a GoAntiques vendor, but I found several Our Fighting Forces comics and was smitten. I was even more so when I discovered an issue of Our Fighting Forces #158. At the time, I wrote that I was going to knuckle under and order it, and I promised I’d let you know how the whole process with GoAntiques went. Well, I’m here to report.
A week after ordering, I have my comic and am quite happy. Payment was easy and ran a little differently than other auction/shopping sites I have experienced. I agreed to purchase the comic, at which point an e-mail is sent to the seller to make sure the item is in stock. It’s not until the seller responds saying the comic is available that the buyer is asked to pay for the item, which I did using PayPal. There were credit card options offered as well. Shipping is decided by the seller, and most shipping rates can be found in the descriptions of the items. Six days later I had my comic and, to my delight, it was in the described condition, which has now sent me into a collector’s fit, wherein I need to own all the DC Kirby war comics. It’s a condition I’ll have to live with for the time being but one I’ll be satiating with the new hardcover collection of Kirby’s The Losers.
All-in-all, I found my GoAntiques experience to be a good one, with good communication from seller and a product that was represented very well. My criticisms come not with the site, but that some of the sellers are listing items for ridiculous prices. Now, of course, their will always be the school of thought amongst retailers and collectors both that the Overstreet Guide should be used as the bible of comic pricing, not just a “guide” to pricing comics. A theory that, in my opinion, only makes sense for the seller. It would be nice if we could all get top-dollar for our comics, but the truth of the matter is there is a real-world market out there that doesn’t pay much attention to the price guides. It seems that sites like eBay have become the ultimate nullifier to the comic price guide by showing what actual people are paying for comics new and old. Just because your price guide says a comic is worth $200 doesn’t mean you will be able to find a buyer willing to pay that price.
I would argue that GoAntiques could do a better job suggesting prices for sellers, or perhaps allow sellers to list similar books along side each other to allow buyers to pick their price along with their condition. Also, a feedback or reputation score for each seller would help with buyer’s confidence. In recent months, sites like eBay have tightened restrictions on their feedback policies watering down their meaning even more and perhaps GoAntiques would run into similar problems in the future. However, I did find it a little nerve-racking clicking the buy button not knowing how the seller I was buying from grades their comics. As I said earlier, I was happy, but the experience could’ve been even scarier had I been purchasing a $100 comic with no real knowledge of the seller.
Matt Baum is a Worthologist who specializes in comic books.
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