How to sell your old comic books FAST!

Below is a typical mix-and-match collection, with a little something of everything. Even figuring out what you have takes hours and hours.  Once you’ve done that, you are likely no closer to cashing in on your effort.

Organizing and appraising the value of an old comic collection can be daunting!


How are you going to get your money out of your collection?

Will you sell them all yourself, one by one?

That’s a full-time job. And it can take months to sell an old comic book collection. You have to learn how to grade comic books, take pictures, list them on eBay, collect your payments, then pack and ship and deal with returns….

YIKES! What’s Plan B?!

Luckily, we have designed a foolproof “1-2-3” way to “quicklist” your comic books.

The instructions are below, and are really easy to follow!

Once you’ve done this, get in touch and we’ll ask the questions to get you on your way to selling your old comic books.



You’ll need a large table, workbench, or other flat surface.

Begin stacking the comics by title.

Examples of the title are:

  • Amazing Spider-Man
  • Invincible Iron Man
  • Marvel Spotlight
  • Batman
  • Brave and the Bold
  • X-Men / Uncanny X-Men

(NOT “Marvel Comics Group” or “DC Comics.” This is the name of the publisher, not the title).

If you aren’t sure of the title, put the comics you are confused about to one side for sorting later. We can help you to identify any difficult ones, if you need. You can also look at the indicia of the comic, printed in small print on either the inside front cover or more commonly on the bottom of the first (or sometimes the last) page of a comic…

This comic book’s title is WORLD’S FINEST COMICS (and the issue number is 187)


Once you’re done stacking the comics, you should have lots of different piles of comic books, all arranged by title. See below…

This is how your collection looks when you’ve sorted it into piles of each title.



Now you sort the title stacks by issue number.

Marvel Comics are easier to identify, because the issue numbers are very clearly displayed.

The number is in a little box with the month underneath it or above, like this:

Marvel comic books almost always have the issue number in a square or rectangle with a white background and the month. They are very easy to see. In this example, it’s #83.

For older Marvel Comics, the issue number usually appears at the top right of the comic. But in some issues, it can appear at the top left:


Very rarely, Marvel Comics have the issue number in a random place.

Here are examples from early issues of the Fantastic Four, showing issue numbers not in boxes and randomly placed, but always on the front cover:



DC Comics are a little harder to identify, because they printed the issue numbers in very small black or white numerals.

The month of publication is almost always right above or beside the issue number.

If the comic book cover is a darker color like purple or blue, it can be hard to see them!

If you have poor eyesight, or are working in dim lighting, it can be frustrating trying to make them out. Sometimes it’s easier to look for the month and find the issue number next to it.

When DC printed issue numbers on a pale background, it is usually pretty easy to read them.


Darker backgrounds make it more difficult to identify a DC Comics issue number.


Sometimes the month did not appear in a box. This blue background is easy to read…


…but the dark purple background with black text here is a good example of some old DC issues that are hard to identify.

Next: sorting your old comic books in order

Now it’s time to sort them into the correct order. Put the lowest number at the top of the stack and the highest number at the bottom.

Example: if you have Amazing Spider-Man #14, 22, 51, 78, and 121, then #14 should be the first one you see and #121 should be at the bottom of the stack.

Here’s an example, showing issues of The Flash with the lowest number uppermost:

A pile of The Flash (the title), sorted by issue number (the small number in numerals near the top of each book) in order, with the lowest on top and the highest at the bottom.

What to Do With Annuals and Specials?

It’s easy to get confused by special editions. Marvel Comics, in particular, released lots of annuals and specials. Here are some examples of the extra words in their titles:

  • Giant-Size
  • King-Size
  • Annual (these sometimes have a year, but usually just have an issue number)

Marvel published many special editions and summer specials, or annuals for the Christmas market. Here’s Giant-Size X-Men #1.


Almost every popular Marvel series included annuals every year. Oddly, sometimes these are called King-Size without mention of “Annual”, as with Fantastic Four Annual #5.


This Journey Into Mystery Annual #1 more helpfully includes the word “Annual” at the top, next to King-Size.


DC Comics also published some annuals, though not as many as Marvel. They are usually much easier to recognize – “ANNUAL” is pretty obvious here!


Found some annuals or King-Size / Giant-Size issues?

You should stack these special issues at the bottom of the pile of the same superhero titles. See below…

Stack Annuals and over-size special editions at the bottom of the same title’s stack.


Now you’re ready to make your super-quick list. Use a Word file or spreadsheet for your list – it’s worth the extra effort!

Open a Word document or spreadsheet file.

You simply write the title name, the lowest number, a dash, and then the highest number.

Note any annuals or Giant-Size / King-Size afterwards.

For example:

  • Amazing Spider-Man 14-121, Annual 3
  • Iron Man 7-55
  • X-Men 3-181, Giant Size 1



Now click here to send us your quicklist. We’ll ask you any questions we might have about the comic books, then request some photos.

We’ll also let you know right away if the comics are NOT of interest to us.

“1-2-3” saves you HOURS of time!

Why use the quicklist method to sell old comic books?

Two reasons:

1) Most comic books don’t have a lot of value. There are key issues (important first appearances, or landmark storylines) which are worth way more than the average. If those are present, then your collection is worth more, and if not, it’s worth much less.

2) Listing every single comic takes forever. We get many lists from people who have taken days to make a detailed inventory. Usually, that’s a waste of your time.

In seconds, we can look at your quicklist and decide whether or not your collection has significant value. If we like the look of the quicklist, then we can advise you to give us more detail.

Equally, taking photos is very time-consuming.

Why take 100 photos, when we can simply ask for the few pictures we need after viewing your quicklist?


Want to sell old comic books to us?

Here’s how it works!


Once we know what you have, and have seen some pictures, we’ll make you the BASIC offer.

The BASIC offer is the MINIMUM you should get paid for your books, so you can get a sense of the least amount your collection is worth.

If you like our price, you can bring your collection in. We’ll examine the collection and make our ADJUSTED offer.

Unless there was a problem of some sort (such as a missing key issue, or a comic missing pages or defaced in some way), this is almost always more money than the BASIC offer.

Here’s an example:

  • We look at your list, request photos, and make a BASIC offer of $100.
  • You bring in the comics. We examine them, check for missing issues, pages, etc.  We notice that several of the better issues are in nicer shape than we could tell from the photos.
  • We make our ADJUSTED offer of an additional $25. If you accept, we pay you $125 in cash immediately! FYI: we pay a bit MORE if you want store credit instead of cash!
  • Congratulations – you’ve successfully sold your old comic books!


Why sell old comic books to us?

We treat you fairly and with respect at all times. We know that the decision to sell old comic books can be a tough one to make, sometimes due to a cash crunch – and that your books may have sentimental as well as financial value!

Emerald City has been in business since 1989! We have stayed in business for over 30 years and achieved 4.8 stars out of 5 on Facebook and Google by treating all of our visitors as Valued Guests!

Our longevity also means that our comic book buyers have years of experience and accumulated knowledge about the values of vintage comic books, so they can quickly and accurately determine the value of your comics!


To give you some insight on a Frequently Asked Question…

“I expected to be offered more for my collection – why was I only offered this much?”

  • If there is any odor in or on the items (besides that wonderful “old paper” smell of comics!), the value is substantially less.
  • Prices are based on an item’s condition, how complete it is, and our current inventory.
  • A retail store cannot pay full retail / guide / eBay value for any item. We can only offer you a percentage of the prices you may see in a price guide or on our shelves. Please understand that this is just the nature of a retail store: we may sit on an item for months or years before it sells, and the markup we make on an item is what pays for our Team, our building, electricity, etc. If you need to get an amount much closer to retail or guide value, your best bet is to sell directly through eBay, Craigslist, or a local convention.
  • Unfortunately, sometimes certain collectibles are just not worth what you think they might be. There are many items for which we have a high supply and/or a low demand, so we are unable to even make an offer on them! We will let you know whether you should sell them to a buyer that might need them more than we do, or if they might be better donated to friends / family / favorite charity.


Any other questions?

Please email us here, or call us at 727-398-2665 (ask for Justin or Neil).

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