I had to change a number of passwords thanks to the Big eBay Hack (and may have to change them again).

One thing I found really interesting, though, is a back and forth between Charles Hill and Jack Baruth about eBay. Here’s Jack:

It’s fair to say that I am deeply ambivalent about eBay: it’s raised the price of old books into the stratosphere while simultaneously adding a $250 transaction fee to most vintage guitar sales. On the other hand, it’s enabled me to find and purchase items that I’d have never found otherwise. You have to take the good with the bad; yes, you can now actually find a brand-new Atari 1200XL, but it will cost you.

Charles cops to raising the prices of used books.

I find this interesting because of the effect it has had on comic books. While there has been a lot going on in the world of comic books since eBay got started, I am convinced that eBay has shredded the price of older comic books. Most specifically, the unfamous ones. It used to be that Mile High Comics would sell you a batch of comics for twenty-five cents a piece, but it was a random lot. Now you can get whole runs of series for around that price if it’s a relatively unremarkable series or at least under a dollar for some good old stuff. Even newer stuff is relatively affordable.

Again, a lot of this has to do with the state of the industry, but not all of it. A lot of it instead has to do with the market being flooded with people with old comic books they’re looking to get rid of. You used to have to find a seller who had old issues of Blue Beetle as you tried to piece together your collection. Now you have some collector who wants to reclaim his garage.

I find it interesting that this hasn’t happened with old books. Or maybe it’s that Jack is looking for classics. I would not be surprised if highly desirable comic book prices fell only in accordance with the shape of the industry, or may have fallen less so due to a concentration of interested buyers.

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