Last night I was reading this story of comic book collections in self storage.
How widespread is it? Well, the four new TV shows on storage auctions all seem to regularly feature comic book collections. A google search for “comics” and “Self Storage” produced 1,368,000 hits. Many of you will have seen episodes of Storage Wars or Auction Hunters, with the stars bursting with excitement as they find comic book collections in a locker they just purchased.
In 2011 a man buying a locker discovered a 1938 comic book, “Action Comics #1,” with an estimated value of $1 million. It had been stolen 10 years earlier from Nicolas Cage’s Los Angeles home. He had been paid by his insurance, so the auction buyer got to keep it. But WAIT – it gets better. That person put up for sale at and a professional auction on November 31st it sold for $2.1 million.
This year in Edmonton, a lady’s winning bid for a storage locker lead to a treasure trove of comic books. She paid $750 and just the comics were worth many thousands.
Vintage comics in excellent condition have generally gone up in value year after year – more than 7% a year for 20 years. Most comics ever published have been thrown away. Many collections of kids or teens were tossed when the kids went away to college or took a job away from home. Can you imagine the money lost? So if you have a good collection, places it someplace safe where you control its destiny – don’t let “spring-cleaning” by your family or friends include tossing out your boxes.
How about creating not only a storage spot but a reading room? Picture a quiet area inside a storage unit –comfy chair, reading light and small table. See yourself enjoying moments re-reading all your favourites. If I were keeping comics, I would try for heated storage space. I would look for a storage facility with some lighting and power outlets. The outlet may be in the hallway (most storage places don’t have outlets inside a unit) but pick a unit close to an outlet.
Just pay your monthly storage bill and keep away the storage auction hunters.