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  1. #1
    Incredible Member NZ_InFerno's Avatar
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    Default Buying Damaged Comic Books

    What is up gang? It's been a while since I've been on here. Happy New Year haha

    I don't think I posted about this before but we had a nice earthquake here in NZ in November and my bookcase, and a bunch of my comics, reacted the same way I did and threw themselves across the room. My bookcase broke apart and quite a few of my books were damaged.

    I have insurance, and they were only books, but it sure sucked to open the door to the spare room that night(the quake was just after midnight here).

    Anyway here in NZ we have EQC which deals with earthquake insurance and I've had a loss adjuster here to look at the damage and get an idea of why the value of "comic books" is higher than the purchase price. I gave him a comics collecting 101 and now he wants a list of the current Market Value(which I'm just going to use Ebay completed listings) and what the value of a damaged book would be. They haven't really had this kind of claim before so he is looking for a benchmark to say, these values are representative of the cost of purchasing the book right now/its value to a collector and this is how much the damage affects it. As most of my collection is OOP, that is a bit tricky.

    So after all that preamble, my question is what would you pay for a damaged Omnibus/Absolute/Colossal Conan :sniff:? Is there a price guide for Omnibuses etc?

    Assume the books are in read once or twice, excellent condition for their Market value. Basically what you would be getting buying an OOP book on ebay. A damaged book could have spine damage, cover damage, scuffs/marks, gouges, slipcase ripped but most are still readable.

    Would you pay a percentage of what you normally would for a book? Would you buy a damaged book at all? Does rarity matter, I know I would probably consider buying a rare book if it wasn't that badly damaged?

    Example books of mine to think about: Colossal Conan, Hickman FF Omnibus, Big Damn Sin City, Ex Machina Deluxes, Marvel Omnibuses, DH Library Editions, DC Absolutes

    Hope you guys can help me out, cheers

    edit: updated with pics, literally the opposite of shelf porn



    Last edited by NZ_InFerno; 02-14-2017 at 06:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member Vilynne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZ_InFerno View Post
    What is up gang? It's been a while since I've been on here. Happy New Year haha

    I don't think I posted about this before but we had a nice earthquake here in NZ in November and my bookcase, and a bunch of my comics, reacted the same way I did and threw themselves across the room. My bookcase broke apart and quite a few of my books were damaged.

    I have insurance, and they were only books, but it sure sucked to open the door to the spare room that night(the quake was just after midnight here).

    Anyway here in NZ we have EQC which deals with earthquake insurance and I've had a loss adjuster here to look at the damage and get an idea of why the value of "comic books" is higher than the purchase price. I gave him a comics collecting 101 and now he wants a list of the current Market Value(which I'm just going to use Ebay completed listings) and what the value of a damaged book would be. They haven't really had this kind of claim before so he is looking for a benchmark to say, these values are representative of the cost of purchasing the book right now/its value to a collector and this is how much the damage affects it. As most of my collection is OOP, that is a bit tricky.

    So after all that preamble, my question is what would you pay for a damaged Omnibus/Absolute/Colossal Conan(:sniff? Is there a price guide for Omnibuses etc?

    Assume the books are in read once or twice, excellent condition for their Market value. Basically what you would be getting buying an OOP book on ebay. A damaged book could have spine damage, cover damage, scuffs/marks, gouges, slipcase ripped but most are still readable.

    Would you pay a percentage of what you normally would for a book? Would you buy a damaged book at all? Does rarity matter, I know I would probably consider buying a rare book if it wasn't that badly damaged?

    Example books of mine to think about: Colossal Conan, Hickman FF Omnibus, Big Damn Sin City, Ex Machina Deluxes, Marvel Omnibuses, DH Library Editions, DC Absolutes

    Hope you guys can help me out, cheers
    Pictures would really help. I know that is a lot to ask. But its difficult to imagine the extent of the damage.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Thor2014's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZ_InFerno View Post
    What is up gang? It's been a while since I've been on here. Happy New Year haha

    I don't think I posted about this before but we had a nice earthquake here in NZ in November and my bookcase, and a bunch of my comics, reacted the same way I did and threw themselves across the room. My bookcase broke apart and quite a few of my books were damaged.

    I have insurance, and they were only books, but it sure sucked to open the door to the spare room that night(the quake was just after midnight here).

    Anyway here in NZ we have EQC which deals with earthquake insurance and I've had a loss adjuster here to look at the damage and get an idea of why the value of "comic books" is higher than the purchase price. I gave him a comics collecting 101 and now he wants a list of the current Market Value(which I'm just going to use Ebay completed listings) and what the value of a damaged book would be. They haven't really had this kind of claim before so he is looking for a benchmark to say, these values are representative of the cost of purchasing the book right now/its value to a collector and this is how much the damage affects it. As most of my collection is OOP, that is a bit tricky.

    So after all that preamble, my question is what would you pay for a damaged Omnibus/Absolute/Colossal Conan(:sniff? Is there a price guide for Omnibuses etc?

    Assume the books are in read once or twice, excellent condition for their Market value. Basically what you would be getting buying an OOP book on ebay. A damaged book could have spine damage, cover damage, scuffs/marks, gouges, slipcase ripped but most are still readable.

    Would you pay a percentage of what you normally would for a book? Would you buy a damaged book at all? Does rarity matter, I know I would probably consider buying a rare book if it wasn't that badly damaged?

    Example books of mine to think about: Colossal Conan, Hickman FF Omnibus, Big Damn Sin City, Ex Machina Deluxes, Marvel Omnibuses, DH Library Editions, DC Absolutes

    Hope you guys can help me out, cheers
    I guess for me it would depend on the extent of the damage and if its cosmetic. For example I think i'd be okay with some dents as long as the content is all there.

  4. #4
    Incredible Member NZ_InFerno's Avatar
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    Here are some more pics:




  5. #5
    spit and hades! Andru's Avatar
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    Really sorry to hear about your collection! That is awful. Hopefully everything works out with the insurance.

    Personally, I have OCD when it comes to my books. I have a few with very minor internal tears & rips that aren't all that noticeable, but it drives me nuts. I would say I am the exception to the norm, but I know a lot of people on these boards cherish their collections as they put a lot of money into them.

    However, I would still try to sell them at a reasonable percentage. I have no way to estimate, but I would think maybe 20-25% off retail would be a good start.

  6. #6
    Mighty Member Vilynne's Avatar
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    A lot of those aren't too bad. For Me, its a matter how they look on a shelf. The spines are more important than the cover, because its what others will see, as opposed to only me seeing the cover or back. Obviously everyone is different, but I'm sure there are some out there who would be Interested regardless of some scuffs and cuts. Especially when some money can just replace the book covers.

    Also wanted to add, that's a frightening story about what's going on down there. I hope you and everyone is safe. I'm from Los Angeles, so the Earthquake paranoia is strong with me. Hope your books were the only things damaged.

  7. #7
    Spectacular Member seusilva's Avatar
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    I bought some years ago an Absolute sized edition from Watchmen with similar damage as your Sin City - and I did it because it was half the price. Books that are not OOP i think this is the route... but rare damaged books I really have no idea how to price!

  8. #8
    Incredible Member Hawkgirl_70's Avatar
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    Hey Vilynne and NZ_inferno can I join the earthquake paranoia club?
    I live on the New Madrid Fault in Missouri.
    I worry about my books too, and other collections, as well as my house and our lives in the big one ever happens.
    Reliving my second childhood.... Making my TPB's take a back seat.....I'm now a new DC Omnibus and Hard Bound Book Collector: Batman: The Golden Age Omni V1 / Legends of the Dark Knight: Jim Aparo Vol. 2 / Gotham Central Omni / Justice League of America Silver Age Omni's V1 & V2 / Superman: The Golden Age Omni V1/ Green Lantern Omni V1
    with many more purchases soon to come.....

  9. #9
    Incredible Member NZ_InFerno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vilynne View Post
    A lot of those aren't too bad. For Me, its a matter how they look on a shelf. The spines are more important than the cover, because its what others will see, as opposed to only me seeing the cover or back. Obviously everyone is different, but I'm sure there are some out there who would be Interested regardless of some scuffs and cuts. Especially when some money can just replace the book covers.

    Also wanted to add, that's a frightening story about what's going on down there. I hope you and everyone is safe. I'm from Los Angeles, so the Earthquake paranoia is strong with me. Hope your books were the only things damaged.
    Yeah, that is just a general selection of the books. Like the corner of Big Damn Sin City, the whole cover has a white scrape down it as well as that corner/spine damage. Most of the books have spine damage, there is a visibility thing with being on the shelf that it is pretty obvious for those ones. Because they all damn fell out on their spines.

    We are all good, it was more of the South Island that took the brunt of the building damage. Mostly stuff falling off shelves here. Near the epicentre the town of Kaikoura was red stickered, I think every building was damaged there. We are pretty used to it here now.

    Quote Originally Posted by seusilva View Post
    I bought some years ago an Absolute sized edition from Watchmen with similar damage as your Sin City - and I did it because it was half the price. Books that are not OOP i think this is the route... but rare damaged books I really have no idea how to price!
    Yeah, I was thinking that when I typed it out if you had a white whale you had been searching years for(guilty) you would probably pay good money for even a damaged copy. I do have a damaged book I bought years ago just to read, a proto-Omnibus Ultimate Spiderman that was made for Barnes & Noble. Cost me $20US, which I was happy to pay.

  10. #10
    Mighty Member Vilynne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkgirl70 View Post
    Hey Vilynne and NZ_inferno can I join the earthquake paranoia club?
    I live on the New Madrid Fault in Missouri.
    I worry about my books too, and other collections, as well as my house and our lives in the big one ever happens.
    Maybe you should take a page from NZ Inferno and get insurance for them?

  11. #11
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    This is very unfortunate. Chalk up one more in earthquake country who needs to come up with a plan to mitigate this in his collection. I am glad it was only some property damage and not injury.

    On topic, it is really hard to just throw a value out there for damaged books because so much of the collector market value is based on condition. I have bought a few books with bumped corners or noticeable shelf wear on the bottom and corners of the jacket, but from what I can see the only one I might bid on in an eBay setting would be the Absolute, if that's the extent of the damage, and I would top out at probably 60% of NM+ price in a whale scenario. I am much more likely to pay a higher premium for NM OOP books than try and save a buck or two and have what I consider severe damage. If it were me I wouldn't settle for less than 70% of Fair Market Value on the heavily damaged items if you can't get full replacement. Unfortunately you won't know what you could get for them unless you try to sell them and that can vary wildly depending on who is looking at the time, but I don't think it's unreasonable to estimate 30% value even on a damaged whale, like was said there most likely is at least one person who is willing to live with rough condition for price point. I hope you can get it squared smoothly with your insurance. Best wishes.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vilynne View Post
    Maybe you should take a page from NZ Inferno and get insurance for them?
    Most of my shelves have doors I just need to secure them to the wall and put a latch on the doors. I don't think the magnets would hold during the big one. I have all my whales in one shelf that at I minimum I need to do this to.
    I brew the beer you drink. What's your super power?

  13. #13
    Fantastic Member The Flicker Fade's Avatar
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    There is no easy answer, as I'm sure you have discovered.

    I can tell you that I've watched listings sell on ebay of books with damage to the extent of the photos you've shared, and they all sell for 50% or under of the going price of undamaged copies. This is in the US of A, though, where copies of these books are more easy to come by. General scarcity in NZ might bump that up some.

    The degree of the damage matters. Blunted corners isn't so bad. Spine damage and splits or tears to cover material are really bad for resale-ability prospects. Damage to the binding is unsellable. Your Colossal Conan is probably completely fucked, for example, but I'd be surprised if your Absolute Planetary wouldn't fetch about the full market price since that's just some very minor slipcase damage.

    Good luck, and don't let that adjustor cheat you. But remember, it's really just stuff, and most of those books would still read perfectly anyway. That means they still serve their function!

  14. #14
    Relaunched, not rebooted! SJNeal's Avatar
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    First of all, welcome back NZ!!! I'm sorry your return isn't under better circumstances...

    Personally, I've paid above cover price for damaged copies of OOP books in the past. I've had to really want it, and the material has to be unavailable otherwise; so there's still a possibility you could get some return on investment. You'll probably need a lot of patience, and do a lot of relisting until the right buyer stumbles in.

    And just because something's OOP doesn't necessarily mean it's selling for waaay above cover; you might still be able to find some good deals on replacement copies.
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  15. #15
    Mighty Member Vilynne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewman View Post
    Most of my shelves have doors I just need to secure them to the wall and put a latch on the doors. I don't think the magnets would hold during the big one. I have all my whales in one shelf that at I minimum I need to do this to.
    That sounds like what all the schools I went to in LA had. They kept all their books in these massive metal boxes for earthquakes. Our libraries also had a sort of tight latch around each shelf for that reason too.

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