When I was a lot younger, before there was a comic shop in my hometown, my main source of comics was a convenience store. My weekly visit to the spinner rack was like a chance to worship, and I’d brave any weather to get there. (And remember, I live in Canada.) But there were secondary sources for comics during my childhood – namely, used book stores and flea markets. They were wonderful and affordable means for me to add to my collection and expand the size of the fantastic universes I loved to visit.
These days, the entire world can be a flea market, thanks to the internet. And while I love the hunt for a bargain, online or in person, I also keep running into people looking to capitalize on the popularity of comics today, regardless of any knowledge about the medium and marketplace. I find these instances infuriating.
Case in point: an example of rampant greed and cluelessness on Kijiji.
There are so many things wrong with this ad (from which I’ve removed identifying information). The item for sale is a comic book that the seller admits she got for free at a comics retailer; it even has an obtrusive store sticker on the front (which I’ve blacked out). The seller wants ten bucks for a defaced comic book for which she paid nothing during a store promotional event.
And on top of that, it’s a damaged comic the seller “fixed… with tape.”
Someone familiar with comics collectability would know this is worthless. Hell, even someone with no knowledge of comics and collecting ought to know it’s worthless. I don’t know what frustrates me more: the sheer gall in asking $10 for such an item, or the complete and utter failure to recognize the futility of such an ad.
The real shame is that this comic book isn’t actually worthless. In terms of money, it has no value, but as an opportunity to spark someone’s imagination, it’s rife with potential. Why this seller took a free Iron Man comic when s/he “is not a big fan of iron man” is befuddling, but even more puzzling is why this person wouldn’t just give this away to someone who might enjoy it.