Better value - trade paper back or comics?

Discussion in 'Comic Books and Graphic Novels' started by Xabungle, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Xabungle

    Xabungle Well-Known Member

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    They hype concerning Last Stand of the Wreckers has me wanting to read Transformers comics and graphic novels again. But which is better to purchase: the collected trade paper back, or the individual comics?
    I guess the question is cost vs resale value. I'm not going to sell these things off any time soon... but it would be nice to get some cash back if I ever do. So what would retain more value?
     
  2. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    I used to be single issue only on all comics but now I definitely lean towards TPBs.

    Retaining value-wise, single issue is probably still the way to go. But in this day and age, comics don't really appreciate rapidly enough to merit thinking about reselling on a later date.

    That's why I try to go TPB as much as I can now.
     
  3. Scantron

    Scantron Well-Known Member

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    In terms of the cost to you, it's almost always better to go with the TPBs. To use LSotW as an example, each issue was $4 and it was a 5 issue miniseries, so buying the floppies will set you back ~$20 (not counting tax). While the TPB does have an MSRP of ~$20, it's available on Amazon for ~$13.50 ($30 at BBTS). If you're a Borders Rewards member, you could probably pick the trade up in store for a comparable price as well, with their coupons, and I think other bookstores probably have similar offers.

    Resale value is tougher to guess at, though. Individual comics, you'll probably have to sit on a long time before they get to be worth anything; almost any single issue released from ~1990 - present is damn near worthless. Not sure about the secondary market demand for trades. I've heard the argument that trades have a better resale value because they contain the whole story, as opposed to either bundling a full story in singles or trying to find a buyer who needs a couple of specific issues.
     
  4. Wreckgar

    Wreckgar Anthony Stark Veteran

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    comics aren't meant to be sold later at a higher cost. You will not send your kids to college on your collection. It just depends on how you want to read them.

    If you get singles, you get to read each book every month. With trades, you have to wait until the story concludes and then whatever the printing time after that is. So say you get a 6 issue story, you wait 6 months plus at least an extra month for it to be collected. Or you get singles and read a little each month
     
  5. jourdo

    jourdo TFW2005 Supporter

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    I go with trades myself. It is overall cheaper and you get the whole story in one book. The only downside is having to wait for them to come out after the story arc is long done.

    Resale is not a concern for me, as I buy the books to read and enjoy them. You won't get rich off of comics anymore.
     
  6. Magnus' Mate

    Magnus' Mate Well-Known Member

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    Comics are like cars - the second you buy 'em, they start to lose value.

    It's laughable really that anyone would think comics have a good resale value these days. Even Retailer Incentive don't retain any real resale value, unless in bulk.

    My advice - forget issues of value and resale, and go for what format you WANT. I've always liked TPBs - the stories produced these days read much better as a trade (that's basically the way they're written) and they're tidier on the shelf. Make it a hardback and it's even better.
     
  7. Gen. Magnus

    Gen. Magnus Everything is Awesome

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    Anymore, I go TPB or .cbr on my iPad.
     
  8. shunquan

    shunquan ACID STORMER

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    I use to be a singles man, but Im slowly switching to trades, the mark millar ultimates, grant morrison batman stuff and fables are my only must have singles.

    for the rest, I feel that Marvel has this big events every single year, creative team doesnt stay on the titles for long, and the number of tie-ins for the events will kill your wallet. So for me, I get my marvel stuff in tpb now, its cheaper and it comes out 2-3? weeks after the event is over. Look at Seige, tpb out as soon as the singles were done
     
  9. Sangron

    Sangron Well-Known Member

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    always go with Tpbs
     
  10. Boo

    Boo Addicted to candy canes.

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    I keep thinking and rethinking my stance. On one hand, TPBs are nice as they give you the complete storyline (usually) in one volume and they do look nice on the bookshelf. On the other hand, I've grown to like going to the comic shop every month/couple weeks to pick up the issues. And I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty damn cool to see a whole run of books in a shortbox...

    Monetary value doesn't mean much anymore, really. Not since the whole thing in the '90s. Very rarely is an individual issue worth more than cover price, and most often it is really like the new car syndrome - it's worth less the moment you pick it up off a rack. Trades are generally a better value in terms of what you pay, though. So I guess it just depends on which definition of value you consider. Bang for your buck? Resale price?
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  11. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

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    My comic store offers discounts of 15% so an individual issue is only $3.40. Only a few bucks difference between the issues & TPB. I'd rather be able to read the story ASAP instead of waiting 6+ months.
     
  12. tentagil

    tentagil Well-Known Member

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    With the sheer number of issues that are printed these days and the sheer number of series out there single issues aren't going to go up in value for decades if ever. Even older comics took a real hit in value following the nineties because the companies started glutting the market with alternative covers, foil covers, and every other "collectable" style thing they could think of and pretty much killed the market. Unless you've got issues from the golden age, and even then only for big name characters, comics rarely are worth more then cover price.

    I personally go for the hardback collections when avaialable now. I think they look a little classier on the shelf, they will stay in better condition over the long term as I reread them, and they tend to have higher quality paper and such.

    I've also a huge fan of the DC archive editions, wish they'd put out more of those. The golden and silver ages of DC had alot of corny storylines, but its so fun to reread those classic stories and see where it all started.
     
  13. D-Unit

    D-Unit #1 Heel

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    TPBs. They are easier to take care of, usually cheaper, and as far as personal preference, I'd rather read the whole story in one sitting than 1 chapter at a time, then wait a month and have to drive to the comic store to get it.
     
  14. tusko

    tusko Well-Known Member

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    I also feel that printing, reproduction and distribution are so much easier now - especially for electronic medias that single issues are not what they were worth 15 years ago.

    I secretly hope there will be demand for my TF comic collection simply because they only print about 10,000 of each issue. However there are so many TPB and reprints that scarcity isn't really a problem anymore.
     
  15. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Man, I've been here a LONG time Veteran

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    I agree with Boo. I love trade paperbacks. It's great having an entire storyline in one volume, with no ads. And if you're catching up on back issues, trades are the way to go. But I also enjoy going to the comic shop most Wednesdays and reading the latest issue of the series that I follow. And with that, there's the advantage of being able to discuss them online with other fans rather than jumping in months late when the trade comes out.

    So some of both, really. Monthlies and trades. Definitely go for trades on older stories. I'm working my way through the JSA series, and it's a lot easier to get a trade at a time than it is to go for the individual issues in back issue boxes.
     

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