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Why is comic book storage so expensive?


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My little collection is coming along nicely so I decided it was time to get it organised and stored correctly. Most of them don't have bags and boards because I've bought them straight from the comic store, only the ones I've bought from conventions have the proper storage.

 

But everywhere I've looked the boxes, bags and boards are so expensive :eek:

 

What have you guys done? Splurged on them or made your own makeshift storage?

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I don't collect comic books but like anything, If it's labelled correctly they can slap another 50% of the price tag. Go to Argos and buy a flat pack 'shelving unit' for your games collection, It'll cost you about 50 notes, If I change the label of it to 'Gaming Shelving Unit' I can make it £100 and it'll sell, Sad but true :( Just make your own pal, Bound to be an easy way to do it :)

Edited by JMeeks
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Yep, they are expensive, especially if you want to properly store your stuff with a good quality bags and boards. I have to admit, with some books I care more than with others... so a chunk of my collection is just out there in book cases, while other books are fully bagged and boarded and boxed.

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Yep, they are expensive, especially if you want to properly store your stuff with a good quality bags and boards. I have to admit, with some books I care more than with others... so a chunk of my collection is just out there in book cases, while other books are fully bagged and boarded and boxed.

 

See that's what I'm thinking, I wanna do it right... I have a couple of signed books and have got a collectors set coming soon so want to have some kind of system set up by then. Plus I'm moving in the near future so don't want anything to get damaged during the move...may just bite the bullet and get the proper kit. All the mention of "acid-free" stuff has me worried! At the moment half of them are still in the carriers bags from my local comic shop!

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It's like that for almost all collectible storage. I pay $2.50 a piece for on the card storage packs for my G.I. Joe figures if I buy in bulk. Displays for loose figures get even worse at up to $50 a piece.

 

Comic storage has a pretty simple fix though. I get the plastic bags from a mom and pop hardware store for 8 cents a piece and you can get empty cardboard boxes to cut up from almost any retail store.

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My little collection is coming along nicely so I decided it was time to get it organised and stored correctly. Most of them don't have bags and boards because I've bought them straight from the comic store, only the ones I've bought from conventions have the proper storage.

 

But everywhere I've looked the boxes, bags and boards are so expensive :eek:

 

What have you guys done? Splurged on them or made your own makeshift storage?

 

Have to admit quite bad you're buying direct from a store and they don't even come bagged and boarded I'd change shop if I were you.

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Have to admit quite bad you're buying direct from a store and they don't even come bagged and boarded I'd change shop if I were you.

 

Not really, they're straight off the shelf. If every new issue was bagged and boarded it would drive the price up.

 

EDIT: They're actually pretty good, they have exclusive issues and stuff and always have signings from different artists. For a town my size that's pretty impressive.

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I'm pretty bad with comic book storage, I just stand them up like books. :whistle:

 

Not really, they're straight off the shelf. If every new issue was bagged and boarded it would drive the price up.

 

EDIT: They're actually pretty good, they have exclusive issues and stuff and always have signings from different artists. For a town my size that's pretty impressive.

 

Also being from the UK we're not exactly spoilt for choice with comic book shops, they're is only one in my city.

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Not really, they're straight off the shelf. If every new issue was bagged and boarded it would drive the price up.

 

EDIT: They're actually pretty good, they have exclusive issues and stuff and always have signings from different artists. For a town my size that's pretty impressive.

 

How much is say Batman or Hawkeye because I can get them standard variant for £2.70 and £2.25 respectively just curious is all. That is have a small shop in Lincoln but just do standard covers no special variants.

 

I'm pretty bad with comic book storage, I just stand them up like books. :whistle:

 

 

 

Also being from the UK we're not exactly spoilt for choice with comic book shops, they're is only one in my city.

 

Check out this eBay shop called a place in space tomorrow (new comic book day) and see how they impress you. Been using them for a couple of months fantastic.

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If you're a true hardcore comic book collector then you're using bags and boards regardless of anything.

 

Not to sound like an elitist but other wise you might as well buy trade paper backs.

 

The whole point of them is for people who can't afford to buy monthly single issues. I consider proper storage to be factored in the monthly costs.

 

Trying to be creative can be worse. You can't use regular cardboard as the backing for your comic books. They need to be acid free. Specially for older books with the older style newspaper.

 

I buy my books online now on midtown comics and they bag and board all new release comics.

 

I bought a 100 pack of bags and boards for $8 each bag. So $16 bucks to bag and board 100 comic books.

 

The only storage I'm not using is comic books boxes. I don't have a big enough collection to even fill a short box. I'm almost there. Once I have enough to fill a box I'll get one. I just been lazy about it.

Edited by spartan267
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Christ, all mine are in file boxes (banker boxes) and I haven't seen them in prolly 15 years if not longer. They were all stored in either plastic bags/with board inserts or the all hard plastic sleeve that didn't require a board.

 

Have to have at least 400 in total, mostly Spider-man. Not a huge collection mind you. Can't recall them being expensive to buy back then (time and money was still relevant then). Nice part is I'll hand them over to my boys in another 20 yrs from now.

 

I should check in on them to ensure they're not disintegrated clumps of dust.

Edited by Cyanide Breath Mint
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My little collection is coming along nicely so I decided it was time to get it organised and stored correctly. Most of them don't have bags and boards because I've bought them straight from the comic store, only the ones I've bought from conventions have the proper storage.

 

But everywhere I've looked the boxes, bags and boards are so expensive :eek:

 

What have you guys done? Splurged on them or made your own makeshift storage?

 

Well mainly because they are not just ordinary storage materials. What you saw were probably "pro" versions that are "acid free". I've collected comic books as a teenager with "Newstand version" (low resale/collector value), then went back when I was in Uni going "proper pro" using the materials you have mentioned.

 

Image Comics got me back because unlike the old "3-tone" Marvel/DC comics, Image revolutionised the comic book industry with "glossy C2S white paper" in FULL COLOUR separation prints. They were so popular because their books were so beautiful using computer/digital colouring works... THEY did cost a lot more compared to the newstand editions (barcoded ones)...

 

Since everyone collected "pricey" comics, not to mention limited edition/convention variants with alternate covers (yeah they were the scam of the century) - collectors opted for "professional" archival materials... the same ones used by the US Library for old and important documents...

 

I treat my collection special THOUGH I have stopped since my "third wave" of collecting. I probably spend a couple hundred quid for them - thick backing boards, acid-free bags, the very rare ones in Mylar hard plastic etc... But having a collection that cost me a couple of "thousands" (imported rare ones from the US), I think it's justified.

 

It's not just about reading and collecting. It's about preserving the investment for future auction/sale. Though personally, modern day comics won't end up as much as Superman's Action Comics, Batman's Detective Comics or Spiderman's Amazing Fantasy #15...

 

Reason why the Golden/Silver Age cost so much is the guaranteed rarity, since austerity measures during WWI and WWII made sure all types of paper (including comics) are recycled... Nowadays, a lot of people have kept multiple copies of modern day comics, which means there surely are going to be near mint copies somewhere. To which in effect makes them more common that ultra-rare, thus not having high value as the super-old ones.

 

This one sells at around £10,000! Amazing Fantasy #15 CGC 4.5 VG+ Universal on eBay!

 

I am a fan of Alex Ross, Michael Turner (and most former Image artists EXCEPT Rob Liefield :eek:)... and now Stjepan Šejić who does amazing artwork! See below..

 

http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/0/40/710728-_2.jpg

 

Someone here mentioned A Place In Space... yeah these guys are pros! I got quite a lot from them - until I stopped since having kids and having no more space... the missus is complaining!

Edited by Naps
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  • 3 weeks later...

It's a valid point that you made and storage facilities if brought for ourselves can cost us an expensive amount. As for document storage special care need to be taken as paper is subjected to various climatic changes and termite attack. Mini storage facilities are a good option for storing your comic books rather than buying all the storage stuff.

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I ended up buying the proper bags and boards because I don't want to keep them like new. It was expensive at first (about £15) but I got enough stuff that I shouldn't have to buy any again for a couple of years! So it's not actually too bad. They're not in proper boxes though, they currently bagged and boarded in a shoebox. I'm going to a comicon in November so might see if I can pick up a proper storage box whilst I'm there :)

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I ended up buying the proper bags and boards because I don't want to keep them like new. It was expensive at first (about £15) but I got enough stuff that I shouldn't have to buy any again for a couple of years! So it's not actually too bad. They're not in proper boxes though, they currently bagged and boarded in a shoebox. I'm going to a comicon in November so might see if I can pick up a proper storage box whilst I'm there :)

 

What comic con you going to?? Was annoyed to find out that the writer and artist I would love to sign some of my issues of Batman where in Dublin last weekend. Mate of mine made me jealous with what he got signed.

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  • 2 months later...

I have been collecting comics since 1991.

 

I will just give a run down of how I run my operation.

 

I have my long boxes where I store all my issues. Issue do not get added till I have read the issued, then bagged and board them.

 

I have a box where I put the issue I have read, but I have not bagged and board. I place every issue opposite of each other one by one. (spine on the left, spine on the right, spine on the left...) If you have them lay down with spines on the same side you will get what I like to call "Bubble Spine".

 

I then have another box with issues I have to read still.

 

Most all comics I get are at least bagged. So it saves some money.

 

I am in the US and bags and boards cost me $13.25 for the pair. That is 100 comics I can get done at a time.

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  • 7 years later...
On 9/10/2013 at 12:33 PM, Moosh said:

What have you guys done? Splurged on them or made your own makeshift storage?

I always put them in acid-free bags and boards before storing them in a proper storage box. For rare collectibles like variant covers, special convention editions and the first copies of the mini-series - I put them first in an Ultra-Pro STOR hard archival plastic (now discontinued but I had bought two boxes back in 2008 from the US and still have them), put a board as extra support and bag them again with Golden age size acid free bags... and finally properly seal the opening with surgical tape. Helps protect them from damp and reduces the risk of water damage in the long run.

 

At the moment I'm taking them off the basement for fear that our property might fall victim to flooding - something that has been happening lately in London and around the UK. Just discovered that the corrugated cardboard boxes have now become a bit flimsy and I'm about to replace them. Going to use the plastic versions now instead of cardboard because they're more sturdier. The only downside for using plastic boxes is moisture, if it accumulates then it gets collected at the bottom and you got yourself a pocket of water that can't go anywhere... whereas with paper/cardboard it seeps through and just ends up being damp - less damage. So I'm in the middle... still gonna try them though. They cost £9.99 each then add half of that for shipping, so around £15.00 for everything - rip off innit? It's a shame that A Place In Space here in the London don't sell them anymore... I wonder why? They weren't as costly back then if I remember correctly.  EDIT: Had a look at Amazon and it's even worse over there, £20-50 for just one cardboard storage box... now that's a rip-off.

 

Back in the late 90s I would arrange them in a special drawer like how we keep books in a library. They're harder to move arround when like this though.  Just realised I made a reply on September 2013. My bad... migh as well make the most of it.

 

  

On 9/10/2013 at 1:51 PM, aka dave said:

Try these peel and seal bags.... your local stationary/craft shop should sell something similar. As for boxes and card, I'm sure supermarkets give away boxes if you ask nicely.

 

On 9/10/2013 at 4:37 PM, Keyser Soze said:

Comic storage has a pretty simple fix though. I get the plastic bags from a mom and pop hardware store for 8 cents a piece and you can get empty cardboard boxes to cut up from almost any retail store.

 

If you're thinking of collecting comic books as an investment then this would be the wrong way to store them. Regular plastic have acid in them and that rubs off onto the comic book after some time. It may lead to the covers fading its colours and the paper getting crumbly, powdery a fragile. It will most certainly damage the comic book and you may not have anything left to auction or resell to a collector in the long run.  That's why there are boards and bags that are acid-free, made specifically for the purpose of archiving print medium.

 

As what I've mentioned in my previous post, state libraries use them and that says a lot on how important and effective they are.

 

 

Edited by Naps
v1.3 because my Spidey sense tells me so...
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