Welcome to the second day of Ebay week at Your Comic Relief! Yesterday we covered single issue purchasing, so, the logical progression from single issue comics is finding lot issues. What is a ‘lot’? A lot is several items clumped together to be sold as a group. There are two main kinds of lots, specific lots and random ones. Each has certain pros and cons that you should take into consideration before placing your bid. Keep in mind that each bid on Ebay is final. The different lot kinds may have different names depending on who you are talking to, but I will be referring to them as random and specific.
Specific lots, such as this (which is a good example of niche comics being a great bargain) is a set of two or more comics that are sold together as a unit, and are clearly defined, set issues at set standards of quality. That is to say, there are certain issues that a person is selling, and you are aware up front of what you are purchasing. Specific lots are great if you are looking to purchase a run of comics, or just really like Daredevil. Important things to consider here include quality. If you’re getting an amazing bargain, at what cost to the comics is it? If the comic is listed as “Good Condition” that’s not necessarily a good thing. Comic grading is something you should definitely become familiar with before delving too much into the world of Ebay, don’t worry though, all that will be covered this week as well. Additionally, look to see if the comics are bagged and boarded already, or if you will have to do that yourself. Look for pictures, especially if you are not entirely sure about the comic grading system.
Random lots, as you may have guessed by now, contrast with specific lots in that they are lots in which you do not know which exact comics you will be receiving. They are usually larger; a seller is more likely to sell you a random selection of 100 comics than they are to advertise themselves as “random 5 comics.” Advantages of random lots include lower prices relative to specific lots, however, you don’t really know what you’re getting, and you could be getting 75 Star Trek comics, which are worth more as ash than as comics, or you could wind up with some great deals. If you are a collector that values the monetary worth of their comics, even if you have no intentions of selling them, one gem may make the whole purchase worth while. A few months ago I purchased 160 comics for roughly $45 US, and I got some great stuff in there, along with some complete crap.
To specifically search for lots we much delve into the realm of Advanced Search. But, dear reader, do not be afraid, the advanced search will not hurt you, it is there to aid you. If you scroll roughly half way down, you will see a section called “multiple item listings” this is what we are looking for. You can define a minimum, maximum, or exact number of comics you are looking to buy at once, or just click the lot checkbox, and it will bring up anything. This will greatly aid you in your search.
As always, make sure to check Life of a Welshman for additional examples and links! If you have any questions or comments, leave a comment and let me know. By the way, all the pictures you see posted on these articles are off issues I have personally obtained from lots, or in yesterday’s case single issue orders. You can count on this theme to continue through the rest of the week. Specifically note how terrible the Star Trek comic is…