Got Them Outbid Blues

Published on December 18, 2005

Tonight I bid on 4 hard to find volumes in the Fantagraphics Prince Valiant book series: volumes 34, 35, 38, and 40. And I lost every single auction. What’s interesting is that, if I had won all of the auctions at the prices I was willing to pay, I would have spent $958.50 … for four books! That’s an average of nearly $240 per book; books which cost a mere $16.95 when they were published. It’s hard for me to justify paying such a hefty sum for a single volume, but I am simply smitten with the Prince Valiant comic. And to have come this far in completing my collection dictates that I go all the way. Perhaps I just need to become bolder in my bidding. There are clearly people out there who want them more than I. And at these prices, they must want them pretty bad.



From my experience on ebay (all of 8 transactions), auctions tend to run high just before the holidays. You might have better luck in January or February. That being said- a thousand dollars for comic strips?? To each his own I suppose, but.. wow.

I whole-heartedly agree … a thousand dollars is ridiculous for four books that (when published) would have sold for $67.80. I troll eBay pretty regularly for new auctions (I’m coming up on my 100th feedback rating), and I intend to keep an eye on them during the next few months. Hopefully I can get a much better deal.

Interestingly enough, I’ve seen some entire collections of the series go for on the order of $800. At 50 books, that’s only $16 a book (roughly what one would have paid originally). What a great opportunity for speculation! You buy the entire series all at once, break up the set, sell the individual books, and profit!

The bottom line is that, at least currently, I have the money to buy at these prices. Having no dependents (and virtually no expenses) results in lots of spending money. 🙂


Got turned off to eBay after a deal gone sour, but shortly before I did I found an excellent free sniping tool called JBid (logo is a Jaybird) or something like that – should give it a try. Cross-platform as it is a Java app. Personally I dislike sniping (auctions should be extended ‘x’ minutes after each bid), but got to the point where “can’t lick ’em, join ’em” just couldn’t be avoided (much as I HATE such mob mentalities).

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