Hey everyone, it’s Jason here and I’m back again with another financial update. I didn’t get a chance to do an update for June because I just didn’t have the time (what with a day job, a wife & 3 kids and summer vacation madness). Because of that I’m combing June and July into one mega-update, so let’s get right to it and check out the expenses incurred and the overall profitability of the Certified Comic Shop!
JUNE/JULY 2017 INCOME
If you haven’t seen any of my previous financial updates for the shop, the income I generated to use for building out my online comic book shop comes from comic book sales on eBay and Instagram along with money I earned doing some marketing consulting gigs for friends and family.
|May 2017 Balance||$412.19|
|Comic Book Sales Net Profit||$241.16|
The past two months weren’t all that spectacular in terms of comic book sales. On eBay I just had auction after auction expire with no action. On Instagram I made a handful of sales which was nice, but overall I was bummed out over the lack of sales.
On a brighter note, I finally managed to get this very website setup to take orders which I’m super excited about. Thanks to the help of some of my #igcomicfamily I was able to iron out the kinks in the ordering system and deliver some comics directly from my website!
ONLINE COMIC BOOK SALES
Here is a detailed look at the comics I sold via my eBay store, Instagram and my online comic shop.
|Item||Order Total||Fees||Net Profit|
|G.I. Joe #2 - #5||$15.11||-$5.37||$9.74|
|FF: Secret Invastion #1 - #3 & X-Men #203||$15.56||-$5.43||$4.13|
|Spawn / Batman||$8.64||-$5.01||$3.63|
|G.I. Joe #1 CGC 8.5||$51.25||-$19.68||$31.57|
|G.I. Joe #6 - #9||$28.11||-$7.05||$21.06|
|X-Men #10 CGC 9.8||$31.61||-$7.50||$24.11|
|Captain America #25 CGC 9.8||$50.00||-$16.74||$33.26|
|Harbinger TPB / Spawn #9||$10.64||-$4.79||$5.85|
|G.I. Joe #21 VF||$22.49||-$5.83||$16.66|
|G.I. Joe #21 FINE||$12.35||-$4.52||$7.83|
|Marvel 1985 #1 - #6||$7.60||-$4.40||$3.20|
|GI Joe - 8 Comic Lot||$35.00||-$6.83||$23.36|
|Detective Comics #435||$5.49||-$3.64||$1.85|
|Cyberforce #1 - # 3||$4.99||-$4.06||$0.93|
|Batman Spawn: War Devil||$6.99||-$3.83||$3.16|
|Spawn #9 x 6||$30.00||-$18.48||$11.58|
|Avengers Annual #7||$15.50||-$6.04||$9.46|
|Thunderbolts #127 Venom Variant||$28.00||-$7.65||$20.35|
|She Hulk / Dark Wolverine - 7 issue lot||$17.00||-$5.61||$11.39|
*total fees includes charges from eBay, PayPal and USPS shipping.
With each new update I do for the shop, I like to add additional context to some of the sales that I made. Here’s what stands out most to me for June & July
As I mentioned, I finally got my website setup to take direct orders. To stress test the system, I posted on Instagram that I was looking for a few volunteers to help me out. I happened to have 6 copies of Spawn #9 (1st appearance of Angela) lying around and offered to sell them for $5 each to anyone willing to help me test the system out.
Luckily for me, there are some good people on Instagram who were willing to help me without even knowing me. Talk about an awesome community!
G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero
One of the hardest things about starting this shop is parting ways with some of the comics that I’ve owned for 25-30 years. I have to constantly remind myself that if I truly want this venture to be successful in the future, I can’t hang on to the past.
To this end, I
have had a near full run of G.I. Joe and started selling it off piece by piece. In the past two months I’ve sold my G.I. Joe #1 CGC 8.5, issues #2 through #9 and eight more random issues to Instagrammer Haaammy who is currently trying to put together his own full run of the series.
So while parting with these particular issues isn’t easy, knowing that I’m helping people like Haaammy achieve their own comic collecting goals makes me feel a little bit better.
Thunderbolts #127 Venom Variant
I wanted to take a second and highlight this particular issue because it’s currently selling for prices above current price guide values. This awesome Venom variant featuring the art of Jock, was valued at $10 in near-mint condition according to comicspriceguide.com. But with the recent announcement from Sony that Venom was going to get his own movie in the near future, prices for Venom related comics started to go up. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised when it sold for $28.
So if you have a nice copy of this Thunderbolts #127 Venom variant, now would be a good time to get it up for sale!
JUNE/JULY 2017 EXPENSES
I was just rereading my update from May. When it came to expenses I felt like I over spent in a couple of areas and vowed to learn my lesson and be a bit more frugal. But dammit, wouldn’t you know I didn’t take my own advice. Below is the breakdown…
|CloudFlare Plus||$14.95||Website protection|
|GoCollect Subscription||$11.98||2 month sub.|
|GPA for Comics||$21.90||2 month sub.|
|50 Gemini Comic Shippers||$47.45||Love these shippers!|
|Comic Book Inventory||$228.23||See below|
|Comics to CGC||$121.45||See below|
|Comic Raffles||$20.00||No luck here|
|Comiclink CGC||$37.51||2 awesome slabs!|
|Facebook Page Promo||$51.65||See below|
|200 Bags/Boards||$35.00||Needed supplies!|
|Shipping Charges||$14.40||Self explanitory|
|Google Storage||$39.96||Google Drive|
|Banking Fee||$15.00||I need a new bank|
|TOTAL||$688.48||Not as bad as last month|
I keep reminding myself that these are two months worth of expenses, but still I feel I could have shaved a couple hundred bucks of the total here. Let’s take a look at some of these items one at a time…
Comic Book Inventory
I spent quite a bit of money on acquiring some raw comics for the shop, which I’ve since shipped off to CGC. Comics like Darth Vader #1 (Mark Brooks Variant), Amazing Spider-Man #361 (1st Carnage) and New Avengers #8 (1st Black Order). All in all it will be worth it, but maybe I could have spread these purchases out at bit. But like they say, you got to spend money to make money.
Comics to CGC
As I mentioned I shipped off quite a few books to CGC the past two months. I did end up saving some money here because back in May I upgraded to a Premium CGC Membership which gave me a $150 credit to use towards the cost of grading.
The highlight was finding out that my Sandman #1 Purple Variant Cover came back graded in 9.2 NM- condition which totally exceeded my expectations. If you don’t know, this is a pretty rare comic that was Jack Kirby and Joe Simon’s last collaborative work together. In fact according to the CGC Census, there are only 21 copies of this variant graded 9.2 or higher. How awesome is that?!
Facebook Page Promotion
Since I started my online comic book shop, I’ve invested a lot of effort into building my Instagram account. But back in June I thought I should shift some of my focus to my Facebook Page. If you don’t know, it’s much harder to build a community on Facebook than it is on Instagram these days. To that end, I ran a paid promotion to try to gain some more likes. In the end, it really wasn’t worth it and it cost me over $50 that could have been better spent elsewhere.
When you do all the math I started the month of August with a surplus of $159.87 which isn’t too bad. Remember, my goal at this point isn’t to be paying myself as I’m reinvesting every dollar I make back into the website, infrastructure, inventory and CGC submissions. Eventually I’ll get to the point where I’ll be able to pocket some of the profits, but right now the name of the game is cash flow.
I hope you find these financial updates useful and informative. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to share them in the comments section below!