Friday, September 2, 2011

Market Spotlight: Battlefields!

Let's take a look at a few items that have grabbed my attention this week starting with...

Complete Battlefields Vol 1 HC
Dynamite/SRP $29.99
ISBN:   160690079x

This is where Garth Ennis' heart truly lies - with tales of soldiers and war.  Battlefields operates as kind of an anthology of war stories, and they've been received fairly well.  Stories included in this volume; Night Witches, Dear Billy, and Tankies.

As usual, the hardcover demands a premium because it's perceived as a superior product, and the higher price point tends to create lower orders/re-orders, and therefore less supply to soak up the niche demand.

Right now it takes about $75 to buy a copy of this book in any condition.  I picked one up on Wednesday and flipped it for $70 within 24 hours.  So demand is pretty strong, and should stay that way.  Ennis is a brand name, and it seems unlikely to me that Dynamite would go back to press on this, but I've been wrong before.

She-Hulk Vol 2:  Superhuman Law
Marvel/SRP $14.99
ISBN:    0785115706

I've actually been waiting for these to pop for some time, because Dan Slott's run on She-Hulk is regarded very warmly.  These books are in a perfect little zone where a pocket of Slott fans are always going to be digging around for material, but not so many that I think Marvel will be rushing back to press on these trades.  That is the sweet spot!

As I type this, She Hulk Vol 2 is trading for about $30 in nice shape, and around $20 for a well-loved copy.  With a SRP of $15, it's pretty tough to make money on this book right now unless you find something near perfect, but I would be very comfortable grabbing those near perfect copies at full retail.

She-Hulk Vol 4:   Laws of Attraction
Marvel/SRP  $19.99
ISBN:  0785122184

Hey, look, She-Hulk.  Laws of Attraction is in a similar boat, but the current demand is not quite as strong, and the investment is steeper, so it's slightly less attractive at the moment.  Right now Amazon has min offers of $10 for used copies, and $25+ for newer material.  Since your full retail entry is $20, that's not where you want to be.

So why mention it?  I mention it because there are many methods of grabbing these books at below retail, like auctions or Half Price books.  You may be able to squeeze some money out of these books now if you can scout out a good price.

More importantly, I've seen this kind of thing many, many times before, and I don't think we've hit the ceiling on these volumes.  This smells like a Punisher Knights Vol 6 situation, where prices cycle a little bit, but never seem to dip below $30, and often climb to $50.  If you wait to buy these She-Hulk books at the ceiling, I think the stuff at your LCS is likely to be gone.

I don't advocate this often, but I think it's a solid play to "overprice" a really nice copy at $40/$50 and let the market catch up to you.  VF or worse, deal them for what you can, when you can.

Doom Patrol Vol 2: The Painting That Ate Paris
DC/SRP $ 19.99
ISBN:  1401203426

It's really a bit odd that this is spiking over cover price, because Grant Morrison is a very known commodity, and DC is usually quite good at keeping its "evergreen" series in print.  And yet, right now on Amazon it takes $25-$30 to snag a copy, and none of the reliable sources I know of for this kind of material have anything in stock.  Weird.

Obviously there isn't much room for profit this second if you're paying full retail, but I mention it because again, it's possible to score books for less than retail, and this bears close scrutiny.  Eventually, DC will figure this out and go back to press for another edition.  But in the interim, there may be a tiny window where this thing really goes crazy.

When you've got a strong property like this, (Morrison's Doom Patrol is a genre classic) people will pay whatever it takes to land a book when the bug hits.  Pay attention to prices over the next month or two on Amazon.  There may be a copy or two laying about your LCS right now.  (Frankly, if they're serious about selling comics, there damn well ought to be) When this hits $50+, it's an insta-buy, and probably an insta-sell.  Again, you have to be careful, though, because DC will bring in more supply at some point.

Happy Hunting!

- Ryan

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Thanks for the heads up, Ryan! I think its kind of funny that DC can keep the Doom Patrol volume with the flex Mentallo appearances in stock (even though the FM mini has yet to clear copyright hassles) but this one you mention is scarce. Ive seen a few She Hulk trades floating around just dont recall which ones.

BTW, did you notice the big jump in price for Nova Vol.5? Seems to be holding in demand because of the War of Kings tie in.