Sales To Astonish #11 - July 2023

 July was definitely a DC month! Aside from a few Marvel key issues the large majority of back issues sold online during July were from the Distinguished Competition. Flash, Superman, Batman, Detective Comics and other core DC titles all sold well during the month as people looked to fill gaps in their collections from our available stock, which was largely from the 90’s and 00’s. Long before I started The Unreality Store I had thought that my core best sellers would be Spider-man, X-Men and Batman titles and that has largely been the case, but Flash and Star Wars comics are also great sellers as are titles like Punisher, Superman and Defenders.

Although I sold a large amount of DC comics in July the stand out sales largely belonged to Marvel. I’d had a few keys on offer that hadn’t shifted for months/years so I decided that I would progressively reduce their prices until someone picked them up.  Like many comic sellers and buyers I keep a weather eye on eBay sales and also the Key Collector App to keep abreast of trends and pricing. I was surprised by the amount I had to reduce these issues until a willing buyer was found. It kind of leads me to believe that either I’m not getting the right exposure through social media such as Instagram or Twitter (and I don’t think I’ve managed to start a Thread on Thread yet 😂) or that the speculative market in the UK isn’t interested per-se in the same comics as that of the US market. It’s probably a combination of both. Key issue sales included:

Amazing Spider-man #300 in VFN- @£295

Avengers #48 in VG @£95

Bloodstone #1 in FN- @£35

Iron Man #282 in VFN @ £25

Darth Vader #3 in NM- @ £45

Following on from the success of having stock available for sale at Vintage Guru in Northampton, early in July I opened up a unit at Brackley Antiques Cellar. This is a huge antiques and collectibles outlet on the western edge of Northamptonshire which has everything from furniture, militaria, toys, vinyl, clothes, jewellery and other antiques. And now it has stock from The Unreality Store - we kitted out the unit with comics, graphic novels, Star Trek and TV Zone magazines, RPG miniature sets, board games and more. I’ll report next time on how successful the first month has been and what has been selling there.

On July 16th I attended Hemel Hempstead Comic Con and Toy Fair run by Striking Events. Their cons are always well run and attended and Hemel Hempstead was no exception. However once again I found that the majority of attendees were not there for comics and whilst I covered my costs for the day I didn’t really make any great profit. I had acquired a collection of graphic novels prior to the Con and put two long boxes of these up for sale at £7.50 each or three for £20. I sold three during the day and only 5 £1 comics whereas I had expected sales to be brisk with these items. On reflection on the way home up the M1 I decided that after attending Northampton, Peterborough and Market Harborough Comic Cons in August and September I would call it a day for 2023. Whilst I enjoy attending them I’m just not connecting with enough comic fans at the moment at these events, there are never any post-convention website sales, and managing just to cover my costs on most occasions means that I still have to recover the stock I have sold at some point in the future.

One regular monthly occurrence is a slow down in traffic and trade around the third week of each month. This is undoubtedly due to monthly salaries being paid from 25th of the month onwards, but the downturn in July was particularly acute as it coincided with the start of school summer holidays.

Although July kind of fizzled out (and when I looked at the comparison to June almost all metrics including number of orders and overall order value were down by 20%) I did manage to acquire a number of small collections late in the month that I’ll be processing and dropping into the store during August. There’s some great books in these collections so keep your eyes out every Thursday in August! Oh and don’t forget to check out and subscribe to the Retro Comic Review channel on YouTube and if you have any family or friends who collect comics or play vintage RPGs then please send them my way. Every little really helps 👍

See you in the back issue bins next month 👍😎