The Tools Of InvestingIf you are starting to get serious about investing in your comics, and in reality, you already have invested the money to buy them and the time to read them, then you will need to know how to protect, track, and manage your comic book collection efficiently.
ProtectionWhen it comes to investing, protection needs to be discussed. The typical way to protect comic books is with mylar bags, comic board backings, and a special cardboard box designed to hold comic books. This type of setup will work for most comic collectors, until you get into the higher end comic books. Then you need some serious protection, which we will touch on later in this section.
As stated before if you have all the appropriate protection, then you are pretty much set, but there is something you may have overlooked and this is a key component to properly protecting your collection the storage environment. Comic books have a tendency to get stuck in weird places. Attics, garages, wet basements, sheds, and other unsavory places are a likely place for many comic books. Heat, humidity, dampness, and other extreme conditions are will greatly affect the condition and therefore the value of your comics. The best place for your comic books is a climate controlled location. A bedroom, study, office, or something else that will keep a good constant temperature is the best thing to preserving the value of your comic books.
For advanced protection there are some options out there. When you are talking about comics worth hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, a few bucks for a top notch protection device is nothing. Here are some options to consider. As with any high end investment, please do your own research. These products are being endorsed as an option, not a promise that they will keep your comics safe.
- Volstor Storage Cases - These cases act as a binder and protect them from all sides and are ready to store in a bookcase.
- USA Display - Provides three different models for higher end protection.
- Comics Guaranty - When you send your comic book to Comics Guaranty, they will not only grade your comic, but send back in a special protection holder.
One final thing to consider when looking to protect your more expensive comic books is to use cotton gloves when handling and reading those comics. The oils from your hands can greatly damage your comic books if you are not careful.
Tracking Your CollectionTracking your comic book collection consists of keeping a list of your comic books, knowing the original cost and current value of your comics, as well as what comics are doing well in value and by how much. Knowing what you have and how much it is worth can be a great consumer of your time. Fortunately there are many things available to collectors to help them with their collection. With the advancement of technology, the collector has one of the greatest tools in tracking their collection the home computer.
With your computer you can use many different things to track your comic books. You can use spreadsheet or database software such as Excel or Access. There are also computer programs and websites that are specifically designed to help the collector track their comics. These programs are a powerful addition in the constant battle of keeping track of your comics. Here are a few of the programs and websites available today.
- Comic Book Manager - Free to try and only $10 to register. This is a simple database program that will allow you to keep track of your comics. Does not appear to have a prices function. Rated 3 out of 5 by CNETs Editors.
- Comic Book Millennium 5 - $19.95 to download. This program boasts over 30 different reports, and many other features including the ability to add monthly subscriptions.
- Grand Comic Book Database A grassroots comic book database that offers a free online comic book tracker.
- Comic Book Database A great comic book database that allows you to track and see prices based on condition.
- Stash My Comics Track your comics with another online database. Allows you to search your comic collection with a search engine type feature. Shows prices and value.
- Lyria The Comic Exchange A website designed after the stock market. Offers free searching of comics for prices and soon to be offering an option to manage your portfolio. Has an index of Blue Chip comic books that tracks the most popular comic books.