Arcadia Sanctorum

The Arcadia Sanctorum is a place to learn about comics and comic book collecting. We find lesser-known stories from the comic book universe. We teach collectors how to grow, sell, and preserve their collections. And we share news and insights about the contemporary comic book artform. Enter and discover.

Comic Book Collecting 201: Common Mistakes

Collecting comic books is one of those things that you’ve always known about. People talk about it. it gets mentioned in movies, on the playground, even on the news. It seems like it would be simple enough; you go to a store, you pick out the book you want, you go home and store them.


Sure, it can be that easy, but are you hoping to buy key issues? Some comics that, in the future, might net you some serious return on your investment? If so, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. Some things that not everyone knows about.

The truth is, it can be very easy to make mistakes, so we broke down some of the most common things that people do wrong when they are getting into collecting comic books.

Common mistakes to avoid when collecting comic books
Knowing what mistakes to avoid will help you on your collecting journey

You Need to do Your Homework

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. I know, I know, homework is everyone’s least favorite part of doing anything, but in comic collecting, it’s what makes the difference. If you’re looking for a specific issue and find one online, you should check to see what it’s sold for recently, and assess the book to the best of your ability to determine its value. One of the best places to start your research is a price guide. Price guides will include important information about the books, as well as prices. They also give good information about the comic book resale market as a whole.

The more time that you take to research before making your decision, the better prepared you will be when entering a discussion about the piece you’re looking to buy.

You Have to Learn the Lingo

Learning the terminology associated with comic book collecting is one of the easiest parts of the hobby, and it’s one of the things that often goes overlooked. Knowing the difference between an issue and a graphic novel, between a writer and a letterer, or knowing what a variant cover is, these are the types of things that will make a difference when you’re in a shop, or chatting with a seller online. Asking other collectors if you come across terms you don’t understand will go a long way toward building your vocabulary.

Going into a shop not knowing the terminology is a major mistake, and will set you off on the wrong foot in a conversation with a seller or buyer.

Comic book collecting Common mistakes
Key issues are important issues in a comic book series.

You Have to Learn About Grading Comic Books

Another thing that you need to understand is how grading works. Comics are given a grade between 1 and 10, where the value increases with the grade. Knowing the grade of the comic will give you a better idea of what to expect when purchasing. Some collectors won’t even consider buying a comic graded below a 6.0, and the value of a comic book raises exponentially once the grade raises over 8.0.

We actually wrote a blog post about grading already that goes further into the nuances of the grading scale, find that here.


Here is the thing, no matter what you do, you can ask questions. Don’t worry about making mistakes, just be ready to learn. Get out there, talk to other collectors, share your grails, do your research. Above all, keep collecting!

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