When you embark on a humongous, ambitious and downright stupid attempt to collect every single Batman comic, there are times that look at your bank balance and decide to make a list of priorities.
Or to put it another way: You never, ever stop buying a car.
So this month I'm going to have to get as much bat-for-my-pound as possible. And to do this exclusively through the internet. And especially the wondrous place of eBay.
I have bought absolutely loads of stuff from eBay over the years, and most of this stuff has been to fill the holes of other collections and to ease my whims of certain runs by certain creators. This was always done as cheaply possible.
Therefore, The Batman Quest has certain rules as to how to buy comics off eBay. I'm sure anyone who buys comics of The Bay have very similar ones. They are as follows:
1.Anybody charging more than £1.50 in extra P+P (what we quaint British call 'shipping') should be considered expensive. If it is more than £1.50, it better turn up mega quick and in packaging that ought to survive a nuclear explosion.
2.If there is a photo of the product, use it. Sometimes, there are a few things that you can notice: Whether the comic is what is listed. Or, if the comic is either a pence or cent variation. Lastly, whether the Guide Listing stands up to the photo (sometimes you can tell)
3.Yes, I operate a floor limit. There is a limit as to what I will pay for each and every book. And I will walk away when I think the price is too much, after all the book will return (eventually).
4.If I drop big cash, I might even collect the books personally and pay in cash. For obvious reasons.
5.'Buy It Now' is always more expensive than the comic is actually worth. The only time I do this is when I cannot buy the book anywhere else, and if it is only when I am totally desperate to complete a run.
6.I love 'Make An Offer'. Shame that not many sellers want to give you that option.
7.When something looks too good to be true, then chances they are. I always look at all of the small print, if there is any element of misleading
information, I walk. Any problems, I'll ask the seller for more information.
8.Always enquire that if the seller does 'combined shipping'. They usually do, and the seller usually have other goodies that I can buy!
9.If I love using a certain dealer, I tend to return, and will trust spending a lot more in the future.
10.Always eBay in the UK. I have been burnt by an American seller before. It might have been a genuinely lost in the post, but I can't guarantee that. Once bitten, twice shy and all that...
11.If a dealer has shocking feedback, then I'll walk away.
12.If a dealer is unable to string together a coherent sentence. Or cannot spell. Then this means 'kid' and then I walk away.
13.Yes, I do operate a Shitlist, If you burn me, then I will remember you, and will happily avoid you like an Australian media tycoon...
The main thing that annoys me about sellers on Ebay is simply greed. It never ceases to amaze me when you see a seller flogging a newish (say, less than three years) comic book for MORE than he actually paid for it. They don't seem to understand that they now own a Second Hand Comic that has (probably) been read, and it more than likely will never be a classic key! Idiots.
Lets see how I get on this month...