The value of a particular comic depends upon what series it is, the issue and edition of the comic, and the condition or grade of the comic. In this article I’ll discuss different approaches to appraising a comic book and the advantages and disadvantages of each, allowing you to judge which approach is best for you.
The issue number of your comic should be on the cover. If you don’t see it, it will also be in the publishing information somewhere within the comic, usually on the inside cover or first page. In that information you will also find the edition of your comics, which is the year your comic was printed.
Determining the grade of your comic is more difficult. One method is to submit your comic to a comic book grading company, such as the CGC. Grading companies provide the most reliable grading of a comic, but you must pay them a fee. While some people submit their comics out of curiosity, for most people it isn’t worth the cost. If you’re going to sell a comic, then it may be worthwhile submitting it because professionally graded comics tend to sell at higher prices. However, even in this situation, the higher selling price may still not justify the cost of grading. Checking an auction website such as eBay to compare the selling prices of professionally and non-professionally graded comics can help you determine whether professional grading is worth it for you.
Another method to grade your comics is to take them to your local comic shop or dealer. In many cases they will grade comics for free, but their opinion should be taken with a pinch of salt. They may try to suggest that your comic is in worse condition than it actually is in order to buy it from you cheaply. Not all dealers will do this, but it’s still important not to make decisions based on their advice alone to protect yourself.
My final method is to grade your comics yourself. Without experience of grading, it is difficult to accurately grade comics. It’s very easy to grade your comics higher than they actually are. That said, this method is relatively easy. You can search the Internet for grading guides, and as a starting point, your own grading will probably do.
Once you have the series, issue, edition, and grade of your comic, you can determine the value of your comic. I personally recommend using a price guide, and then searching auction websites and other comic websites that give prices (you can easily find them by searching the Internet). There is no guarantee that your comic will sell at the price you find, for comics are only worth what someone will pay for them, but you should have a fairly reliable idea of its value.