WHERE TO BUY COMICS ONLINE BESIDES EBAY
Reading Time: 8 minutes
There’s no arguing the fact that eBay is often seen as the main source for comic collectors to buy comic books online. As of this writing, there are over 5.7 million comic book listings on eBay. But just because eBay has the most aggregated comic book listings, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best platform to buy comics online.
Over the years I’ve bought (and sold) many comics on numerous other platforms. As a part of my mission to share as much as I can about buying and selling comics, I thought I would put a list of these sources together for anyone who wants to expand their comic buying horizons beyond the Electronic Bay.
Please note this is not a list of every single website in the world where you can buy comics. I’m simply sharing a list of websites and platforms that I have personally used to buy comics and have had positive experiences on.
JUST GOOGLE IT
In the original draft of this blog, I had Google down at the very end, almost as an afterthought. Then based on the realization that more than a few comics were selling for more money on eBay than what you could have bought the exact same comic for from my shop (or many other online shops), I bumped it all the way to the top.
Point is, if you’re about to pull the trigger on the purchase of a comic on eBay — especially if it’s a graded comic — do a quick Google Search for that same comic in the same grade and see if any other online retailers have it available for sale and at what price.
Another thing you can do before buying a graded comic on eBay is to check the seller’s user name and see if they have their own online shop. Why? Because many comic book retailers (myself included) list their inventory at a higher price on eBay to account for the ~13% final value fee that the platform will charge. So again, by taking an extra minute or to to search, you just might find yourself saving more than a few dollars.
While Google is great for pulling up relevant results for online shops that have the comic you’re looking to buy, even the all-mighty Google still may not provide you with a complete selection to choose from. So why not cut out the middle-man, and instead use a search engine that’s 100% dedicated to helping you find the comics you want to buy?
That’s where ComicQuery.com comes in. It’s the first search engine that lets you search for a specific issue and will return results for all of the shops in its database that has that issue available to purchase. As you peruse the search results, simply click the listing you want to learn more about, and Comic Query will redirect you to the product page on the shop’s website where you can buy it.
Comic Query currently crawls and indexes the available inventory of more than 20 online comic book shops (including the Certified Comic Shop) and continues to add more shops and comics to its database on an ongoing basis.
I had the chance to chat with Brendan Conrad, the founder of Comic Query on Episode 19 of Certified Comic Talk. If you’d like to learn more about how he came up with the idea to build a search engine just for comic books, I highly recommend you give it a listen!
I’ve bought and sold quite a few comics via Facebook Marketplace the past couple of years. While you probably won’t find a huge number of listings to peruse locally, it’s always worth doing the occasional search to see what comics are being offered for sale in your area. That said you can always expand your search beyond your general area as many sellers are now offering shipping in their listings.
I’ve personally managed to pick up more than a few comic collections from sellers on Facebook Marketplace that contained key issues that I was able to have graded to make available for sale here on the shop. The end result was new inventory and a positive ROI — what’s not to like about that?
For the longest time I stayed away from joining Facebook Groups that focused on the buying and selling of comics — mostly due to my general dislike of the way Facebook manipulates their algorithm (that’s a blog post for another time), and I’m really kicking myself for that. There are some amazing groups out there where I’ve been able to both buy and sell comics in a straightforward and safe way.
Here are a couple of the groups that I’m a member of and have had great experiences on:
Note that these groups are private and require you to “apply” to become a member. Don’t sweat it though, just answer the few questions that you’re asked, and usually a group admin will have you approved pretty quickly.
Once you’re in, you can certainly peruse the group feed looking to see what others have already made available. But if you’re searching for a specific comic, title or character you can create your own “in search of” post where fellow group members will comment with what they have available that meets your desires.
While I was certainly aware of Reddit in general, it just wasn’t a place where I spent any amount of time personally or professionally. However when I started the Certified Comic Shop, I created a Reddit account for the shop so I could dive into related subreddits to help keep up with industry news.
It was then that I discovered r/ComicSwap — a subreddit initially dedicated to the trading of comics between redditors, but also fully supports the buying and selling of comics.
While anyone can subscribe to the subreddit, you should know that there are quite a few rules and a certain etiquette regarding how you do business there. So before you dive in head first, take the time to read the rules and look at some recent posts so you can get a feel for how the group works.
Immortal Hulk #2 and Ultimate Fallout #4 are just two of the comics that I’ve purchased from fellow redditors in that group at more than reasonable prices.
Ask me five years ago if I thought buying comics from strangers on Instagram was a good idea, and I probably would have responded with a mighty “Oh hell no!”. But as I discovered for myself over the past few years, Instagram can be a great place to buy and sell comics.
Of course you need to take some care in determining if you’re dealing with a legit and reputable seller, but there are plenty of comic book sellers on Instagram who don’t sell on eBay and/or don’t have their own website.
I have personally have recently purchased comics from these trusted Instagram sellers:
Also, take a dive into the never ending stream of comic book posts on Instagram by following these hashtags to get an idea of what’s out there:
Back in 2018 DIGAuction.com came online and started running weekly comic book auctions. I was so impressed with their website experience and overall customer service that I even wrote a review post for them right here on the blog. Read the article to get the entire scoop, but better yet, just visit their website to see for yourself!
GuaranteedComics.com launched in December 2020 and promises to provide a better buying (and selling) experience for comic book collectors and sellers. If you’ve ever bought a comic off eBay, and it arrived in a condition less than what it was advertised in, then Guaranteed Comics is a website you’ll want to check out.
They live up to their name by guaranteeing that the comic you purchase will be in the same grade that it was listed in when you receive it. They do this by acting as the middle person between you as the buyer and their selling partner.
When you buy a comic from their website, the seller of that book will ship it to the Guaranteed Comics HQ where it will be inspected for authenticity and then hand delivered to the CBCS office to be raw graded. If the raw comic grades in the listed condition or better, then Guaranteed Comics processes the payment and ships the comic to you as the buyer. If the comic is determined to be in a lower condition than advertised, then the transaction is cancelled.
CERTIFIED COMIC SHOP
And lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that you can buy graded comics right here at the Certified Comic Shop. You’d think I wouldn’t have to state the obvious, but I know a lot of my website visitors end up here because they were researching topics like “How much does CGC grading cost?” or “Is CGC worth it?“. Once they arrive on my site, they take in the info that I publish, and don’t even realize that they’re visiting an online comic book shop.
So just in case you found this article because you were searching for a place to buy comics online besides eBay, I’m just letting you not-so subtly know that you are on a website where you can buy comics online right now…just sayin’ 😜
WHERE NOT TO BUY COMICS ONLINE
While all the places I mentioned above are safe and recommended places to buy comics online, it should be noted that there has been a rise in scammers purporting to sell graded comics that they really don’t have access to. As of March 2022, there are at least two known fraudulent websites that have stolen pictures of graded comics from this very website, and used them to create their own websites in an attempt to bilk comic collectors out of their hard earned money. Those two websites are:
Both the Key Comics UK and CardCollection online shops are 100% fraudulent. They do not possess any of the items that they claim to have. Watch the video below to see what makes these two websites untrustworthy, and illegitimate.
Also, if you’re a member of any comic collecting social media groups or online forums, please spread the word about these fraudulent shops in an effort to protect the community at large.
WHERE HAVE YOU SHOPPED FOR COMICS ONLINE?
Have you bought comics from any of the places I talked about here? Do you have personal positive experiences with other online comic book shops not mentioned? I’d love to hear about your experiences, so feel free to post them in the comments section below!