Saturday, April 17, 2010


FORT PIERCE, Florida - Know someone who literally owns a room full of comic books? Then you probably also know someone who hasn't insured his or her room full of comics for anywhere near what they are worth. Think your homeowners or flood policy will cover your loss? Think again. Better yet, call your insurance broker to ask whether your $100,000 collection is safe. Much smarter to be safe than sorry.

The St. Lucie Appraisal Company is sometimes called upon to place values on comic book collections but usually in bankruptcy, divorce, donation, estate or guardianship proceedings. Whereas collectors and sellers of comic books once purchased insurance to protect their assets, that practice is now as rare as the comics themselves.

"Well, what could happen to my comic book collection, realistically speaking?"  My first response might be " a burst water pipe or sewer line" or "theft while you are vacationing" might be another. Here in Florida, comic book collections stored in attics or any room for that matter are subject to hurricanes tossing them in every direction for twenty miles.

If you read comic book-related sites there are always pleas for the public to be on the lookout for comics or original art pages that were stolen. A well-known former editor at Marvel and DC Comics recently suffered a house fire that destroyed thousands of pristine old comics. The comic book collecting community raised awareness of his loss and asked for donations of comics to replace his collection. Don't expect the same consideration after you've suffered the loss of your uninsured collection. Remember, simply having an inventory of your comic book collection won't help if they aren't properly insured.

Of course, there are appraisals and there are appraisals. Placing a value on a few high-end collectible comic books requires different appraisal technique than does evaluating a large collection. The latest batch was sent to me in 125 short boxes. Contained within were nice first issues and complete collections from the 60s to the 90s. Now there were early X-Men in there that are worth thousands but the later stuff wasn't as desirable - much of it in the fifty-cent range. This collector's aim was to insure the entire collection. Her instructions were to provide a general overview and valuation appraisal for her insurance underwriter. She also figured that she'd spring for a more detailed appraisal if either the insuror requested it or there was a discrepancy between what I'd valued the collection at and what they felt it was worth.

As an appraiser catalogs a collection that isn't being evaluated on a book-by-book basis, he formulates a summary of the value of the entire lot that becomes an average value per issue. Had the expensive comics been more prevalent, the estimation of the average price of each book would be higher but as I started encountering the less-desirable books at about 25% of the collection, that estimation started to drop.

Here's the results of the appraisal and the formula I used to obtain the final amount.

Value of Collection: 179 Short Boxes X 150 comics bagged but not boarded 26,850 comic books X $3.00/Each = $80,550.00

Original comic art and high-end comics can't be appraised in the above manner as prices for these, even in this time of recession, continue to skyrocket. From that perspective, having these items appraised makes even more sense.

Whether the comic book collection resides here in Florida or elsewhere in the world, your interests will be well-served by hiring The St. Lucie Appraisal Company to evaluate it. Appraisals for insurance underwriting and claims, donations, guardianship, estate liquidation, divorce, bankruptcy and purchase or sale.

 Personal Property Appraisals nationwide including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington West Virginia and Wisconsin.

You may obtain appraisals for Charitable Donation Tax Credits, Collateral, Damage Claims, Equitable Distribution, Bankruptcy, Estates, Insurance Stated Value, Purchase & Sale and Diminished Value.

Appraisals of Personal Property, Art, Boats, Classic & Custom Autos, Collectibles and Memorabilia, Electronics, Machinery, Motorcycles & Choppers, Furnishings, RVs, Trucks & Heavy Equipment. Business Valuations specializing in all types of small businesses.

The St. Lucie Appraisal Company
P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400


Keywords for this article: APPRAISER, bankruptcy, collection, comic book, DC, divorce, donations, estates, FLORIDA, guardianship, insurance, Marvel, Miami, original art, purchase, sale, stolen, theft
Revised 08/29/2012, Revised 01/05/2013, Revised 06-20-2013, Revised 09-11-2013