CBSI Writer Wars Round 2 : Trade Secrets by Phillip Newton



Imagine for a moment that you walk into your LCS. On the wall you see a book priced $75. You decide to take a look at it. You have no interest in it for your personal collection, but you know for a fact you could sell it for $150. What would you do? Buy that baby and flip it of course!

Guess what. You’re missing the chance to do this every single day.

It’s not your fault. Books like these aren’t on the wall or even in the back bins. They’re on the bookshelf.

Trade paperbacks and hardbacks can sell for good money, but you must be on your A-game.

The nice thing about this game is the risk is low and the reward is high. Who can argue with those odds?

How can I say that? Easy, the worst you might do is by a discounted omnibus for $70 and end up selling it for the $65 or $70 and eating the fees. You might also keep it and enjoy reading it (blasphemy I know). The upside is selling it for $250. I did this twice in the past year. Personally, the worse I’ve done is buy a TPB for $10 and sell for $20, a measly double-up before fees. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Today I’ll give an introduction with three real-world examples of flips I accomplished in the last 90 days.

If Trade Secrets gets picked up, I’ll delve more into my step by step processes. You can use the same steps to find books that give you the best chance for a profitable flip. It’s a fun way to boost your personal collection budget or supplement your income. In my case, it does both.

Well, Captain Marvel is all the rage, but I know her best as Ms. Marvel. A quick eBay search showed me several sales of Essential Ms. Marvel. Vol 1 around $50. I found it at a local shop that gives 10% off of used TPB, so after tax, I got it for $17. I put on eBay and two weeks later it sold for $49. That’s an ROI of 109% after fees. If I could do that 10 times a day, I’d quit my job.

The Question TPB Vol. 1.  A well-told series with a small but strong following. I’ve seen this book go for $75 – 100. I found it at a used book store for $6 and a week later took a best offer for $55. That’s an ROI of 392%. Are you feeling it yet?

Last example for this week. Squadron Supreme TPB  1st edition. Found this baby for $15 at a LCS in my home state of Alabama. Later that day when I was driving home a friend called and asked what I was up to. I told him, “Just driving home with a dead man’s ashes in my car.”

For those of you not in the know, after his sudden death, Mark Gruenwald, the writer of the 12 issue mini-series was cremated and his ashes were mixed with the ink used on this 1st printing.

It sold for $95 for a profit of $63 and an ROI of 323%. I see that look in your eyes. You’re ready to hit those bookshelves! I don’t blame you, true believer!

That’s all for this week. If there is a next article the title will be, It All Began with Ray Bradbury.

I’m going to be a little cocky and say, see you soon.


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