Golden and Silver Aged comics are fairly easy to determine when to sell – as long as you can hold on to them. Of course, the buy-low, sell-high rules apply here. If you’re looking to purchase older comics to hold onto for future value, the Spider-Man and Batman series are probably only going to increase in price with inflation, as they’ll never be more popular than they are today. So whom should you pick up or hold onto if you already have it? Lesser-known characters. Looking back to 15 years ago, who would have thought the cheesy-looking Star-Lord would become one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Universe? Comic book stores $1 bins were likely filled with old Star-Lord comic series’ 15 years ago. Now, these issues have legitimate value to them. So when should you sell Golden/Silver Aged comics? The A-listers (Batman, Spider-Man, Hulk, etc.) will likely never see a significant drop-off in value. However, the previously mentioned Star-Lord may lose value over time. The Guardians of the Galaxy are fairly new (this group of characters), they have only become popular since 2008 during their second try at the team, and they flourished when their 2014 film was released. The novelty of the GotG may begin to wear off over time if their movies begin to diminish and they continue oversaturating the comic book market with poor storylines. These are all if’s that you have to determine on your own with the knowledge provided to you.
Now if you own less-popular characters older issues, it is definitely best to sit on them, because more than likely, they will eventually be brought to the forefront in the comic and/or movie universe. For instance, Swamp Thing has been somewhat forgotten about by DC, unless you count his occasional appearances in the unpopular Hellblazer Rebirth series. While his older issues probably aren’t in dollar bins, you can probably buy low on them now. DC has already announced a Justice League Dark, which would expectedly include Swamp Thing. If the film does well and/or Swamp Thing’s character is well received, the price for older Swamp Thing comics will expectedly rise. As you likely see the trend, so much of how well a comic increases in value is currently based heavily off a movies success. That’s another modern-day speculator characteristic.
Variant covers are typically sold best the first week they’re released. While some cling to an inflated value, they’re often most popular the week that they’re released and fall off in value once the next week’s shipment comes in. Some that have really quality covers can hold their value over time, but the demand rarely increases over time. Variant covers should be reserved more for collectors than speculators. If you don’t like the cover, don’t waste your money on it in hopes of it gaining in value. They should be displayed and not stored away in boxes in your basement.