VINCENT Zurzolo does not have the most traditional background.
He’s the brains behind New York-based Metropolis Collectibles, an online comics marketplace that bills itself as “the world’s largest vintage comics reseller.”
This career has lasting roots in Vincent’s past.
The New York comic book superfan started buying and selling collectibles when he was just 15 years old growing up in Queens.
Initially, it was a way to look like his older brothers, who were also known for their collections, but Vincent soon realized he had unlocked a gold mine.
He and his friends collected comic books all through elementary school, he told The Sun.
“Then you hit puberty and you learn more about girls, and so you move away from the comics,” Vincent said.
“And then you’re heartbroken and come back to your true love that will never hurt you: comic books.”
Art, stories, escapism, superheroes and monsters…everything attracted Vincent and he was hooked.
So much so that decades later it ended up breaking a worldwide comic book sales record.
After selling 1938’s Action Comics #1 in 2008, which features Superman’s first appearance, Vincent became the first person to sell a million-dollar comic book.
He also sold an Amazing Fantasy #15 (Spider-Man’s first) for $1.1 million.
Collection of comics over the years
Ironically, Vincent noted an increase in the popularity and sales of comic books during recessions.
In 2008, his company did 20 times what it did in 2007. And the comics sold during that time have only skyrocketed ever since.
Vincent recommends others looking to get into this business to embrace what they love.
With so many genres of comics, it’s important to pick what you like, whether it’s superheroes or sci-fi.
“Determine what your goal is,” Vincent said.
“Are you doing this because you just want to have fun and collect comics? Do you do this as an alternative form of investment? »
Based on his own success in comic book collecting, Vincent recommends sticking to a budget for your comic book purchases, but throwing in a little discretionary room in case you find something unexpected.
You also need to learn about comic book ratings, which simply means giving them a specific value based on how good they’ve been since they were published.
The closer to perfect the state is for the first edition, the more you tend to earn for your comics.
To get your comic rated, you must pay a fee based on the age and value of the comic.
This tends to be between $20 and $120, but comics with a market value over $3,000 may charge on sliding scales of 3% of book value.
Comic book conventions can be particularly useful for learning the craft, as you encounter a wide variety of genres and collectors.
One thing to note is that comics restored in any way are never worth as much as the originals, so it’s best to avoid them if you’re looking to make a lot of money.
To avoid this, buy only from reputable sources, like comic book auction houses that sell accurately graded books.
Whatever your budget, Vincent thinks you can go for it and still find cool books to buy.
Metropolis Collectibles often offers comics for purchase with flexible payment options, including paying full payment over a few months.
This opens up accessibility to collectors who might not have all the money at once for a rare and valuable comic.
Of course, make sure you never spend more than you can afford.
The Great Moments of the Comic Book Collector
Vincent did not share all of his earnings from his collecting activities, but he said he earns more today than he thought he would earn in his lifetime.
The company’s quarterly auctions average $8 million.
“It allowed me to not make a living, I don’t see it as making a living, I see it as designing a lifestyle,” Vincent said.
He is able to travel the world and lives in New York’s Greenwich Village, which he considers one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the world.
“Are there people making millions and millions and millions of dollars buying and selling comics and collectibles? Absolutely,” Vincent said.
“But I will say: money was never my number one goal in the comics business.”
Vincent said there are so many easier ways to make money in the world than collectibles, but that’s what he loves.
He said, “If I go back to doing what I did 20 years ago. I would always be happy.
“There’s something to be said for how every day when I walk into my office it feels like Christmas morning.”
He sees comics as the perfect combination of business and art, and it brings him joy.
He also expanded his comic book empire to include collectibles like video games, VHS tapes, and baseball cards.
Just recently, a baseball card signed by 8-year-old Mark Zuckerberg sold for over $120,000.
How to know if your comic has value
If you have comics in your house, there are a few things you can look at to determine if they’re worth the money.
Almost all comics have a retail price at the time of publication.
If that price is 10, 12, 20, or 25 cents, it is more likely to have value now.
The issue number is also particularly important, because the lower the issue number, the higher the value.
There are rare cases, such as when main characters are introduced, where this is not true.
Currently, the most popular comics are usually from the 1970s or later, so look at the age to see if you have a chance of selling your book for big bucks.
And of course, the better your comic is, the more likely you are to get a high value.
To sell your comics online, you can either go to a dealer in person or choose an online route like eBay.
By browsing past auctions on eBay, you can easily see how much other issues cost and price your copy based on that.
When you sell any type of collectible there are tax implications.
Earnings from any collectibles held for more than a year are taxed at 28% by the IRS, regardless of any other income.
For a side hustle you can do in your spare time from home, consider this content creator’s transcription idea that makes up to $3,000 a month.
Or, examine other hustles from home: customer service and proofreading.