Comics and the Local Fleamarket

These are little short stories of deals and not so good deals at the local flea markets. Now whether something is considered to be a good deal or not is all up to the person buying the stuff. So anything that I consider a bad deal maybe something you would have snapped up in a heartbeat. Some of these stories deal with bad customer service skills on the dealer parts than with anything have to sell.

Buried Comics

This seller had alot of old antiques along with records, newspapers and misc collectibles. As I was browsing the shop I spotted what I thought was a comic book buried under a lot of golf merchandise. I picked up the misc golf stuff and found a stack of superman comics from around 97 or 98. There were alot of doubles but what interest me was the books that were triangle number 12-18 that had Superman Red and Superman Blue on the cover. AS a fan of clones, doppelgangers and time lost doubles I considered buying the group. I asked the owner what the price was and he told me $2 each. It was a little steep for my blood so I left them where they were. A side note someone did buy this books eventually because a few weeks later the whole stack was gone.

A Good Deal Until You Looked Closer

There are people that set up on the cheap tables outside and sometimes you can find some interesting things while browsing these areas. One day browsing these tables I came upon a box full of Superman, Batman  and various misc DC comics. I ask the man what he wanted he said a $1. Knowing this to be a good find I took a closer look at the books. There was mold, water damage and tears visible on alot of the books. The ones that did not have any visible damage though the bag I suspected had some damage on the inside. Here some pics of some of the books.



Flexible Prices

One booth filled with alot of geek related products along with household items. At first I never noticed the comics because like many places in the flea market they were buried under tons of junk. When I moved the objects off top of the boxes I noticed alot of 70s and 80s Marvel comics. As I looked though the books I noticed they were in rough shape but still readable. I spotted a What if issue I didn’t had along with a JMS trade. Before I looked further I proceed to ask the owner what the prices were. He said between $1-$5. I then asked what determined the prices as there was not markings on the comics themselves. He proceed to tell me it depended on the age of the book. Which turned me off right then and I walked my happy ass out of the shop. Don’t get me wrong I understand these people are running a business to make money and I don’t expect every shop to be selling books for 50 cents. The shop not having a set price on books and  being up to the whims of what the owner felt like that day turned me off. I have a set “fun” budget and would like to know what I am getting into before I hit the counter.

A Good Deal

One lady had setup on a table with a box of comics that had the price tag of 75 cents. Which is the lowest price for comics I have seen in the area.  Everything was bagged and in good shape. the selection was alot of modern independents and a few marvels mix in. What caught my eye was Spiderwoman Origins 5 part series. The thing that most grabbed me was that unlike the other comics I have seen there were 3 comics in this one bag. I asked the lady the price and she said if there is more than one in the bag good for me as the price is still 75 cents.Well I found a second bag with the rest of the series and a sixth comic in it. When I got home I discovered the sixth issue was a variant cover for issue one. I never seen the lady again on return visits I am guessing she was just there for that day.

Bad Math

I seen a stack of five trades sitting on table. They were in pretty bad shape but readable. Most of them were warped in some way. There was a 90s Captain America, Death of Gwen Stacy, Legion of Superheros, AoA and the Death of Superman trade. I was interested in the Cap and Spidey books and maybe the Legion book if the price was right. So I asked the dealer what he wanted for them. He asked how many did I want I told him two but a possible three if the price was right. He then said I will give you all five for $10. I told him that I already owned the Death trade and was not interested in the AoA one at this time. I have no idea what was going though his mind but he sold me the Cap, Spidey and Legion books for $3. I thought I was going to have to pay more because I broke up his package deal. I also thinking he just cut his own throat unless he was planning on selling the other two for $3.50 a peace. I paid my money and walked on.

They Are How Old

Looking though this stack of books on this table I seen a lot of the Cable series from the late 90s. Most of the stack were spread across the 30s to 50s when it came to issue number. With most of them in the 40s. Also there were about 5 to 7 give away comics of Spider man comics that came with the local newspaper a few years back. I asked for the price the guy said $20 for the whole stack. Now this was not a bad price considering that there were about 25 to 30 comics on the table barring the give away comics. The problem I just didn’t have that much free cash to throw at comics at the time. I guess I had a sour look on my face and the older gentlemen proceed to say I got this stuff from a estate sell it been locked up for 30 years. Now looking around I could buy this line about the records, tools and other items laying around but to say a stack of late 90s comics are 30 years old just doesn’t work as a rebuttal to my perceived dislike for his price point.

General Thoughts

-You rarely find books for less than a $1
-Some people think the books are gold and will charge as if they are gold
-Comics are usually buried under other merchandise
-Set aside some time because the books are in no logical order
-You rarely find the books in anything but rough condition

The books end up in rough condition because of kids pawing though them or having other junk stacked on top of them. You can tell in most shops that the comics are not the bread and butter so they can give a crap about how they are displayed or what happens to them.


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