If you have comics that you want to sell there are two ways you can go about this. You can either sell them all at once to a dealer or set up as a dealer and sell them to collectors. Collectors will pay more for individual comics that they want for their collection than a dealer will. Dealers will pay less since they will then try to sell the comics to collectors and they want to make money in the process. However dealers will often pay more for a collection since chances are slim that an individual collector will want (or need) all the comics you have and will not really want to buy a lot of comics that he or she either already has copies of or has no interest in.
If you want to get rid of them all at once you can bring them to a convention and sell them to a dealer (dealers are always looking for more comics). It costs you nothing to do this since all of the conventions I run are free to get into. Since many of the dealers come to the convention from out of town, do bring all the comics you want to sell, not just a few saying you have more at home. You do not have to bring them all into the building at once but if you have them in your vehicle you are much more likely to sell them than if you had left them at home. Also the ones you think are the best may not be the best ones. Let the highly trained professionals go through them. The advantages to this method are that you do not have to do a lot of work, there are no up front costs and you will get rid of all your comics both good ones and bad ones at once.
Be advised that more than 95% of modern comics those published since 1980 (and many before that) can frequently be found for sale at the convention for $1 or less, despite having values in the price guide of $3.oo or more. Comic books are NOT considered old if they are from the 1980s or 1990s- if there is a UPC (computer bar code) or a box on the cover where one would go (often with a Spider-Man face or DC comics logo in it ) the comic is not old. Almost ALL comics from second tier publishers (not Marvel or DC as well as many Marvel and DC) from the 1990s are worth a lot less. This being the case do NOT expect to get more than 10c each for comics from this era and that is if they are in like new condition. There are some modern comics that are worth more, often the first appearance of a major character, but there are not many of these. Most dealers would gladly sell you all of thier comics published from the 1980's to present for 25% of the price guide value. Unless you drive a semi you could fill up your vehicle with comics at the convention that you paid a buck each or less for.
The prices you can get for older comics will vary on what comics you have and the condition they are in. The price of a comic book published in the 1960s or earlier can vary in price by over a factor of ten from one that is in average condition for a comic from that time period to one that is in like new or "mint" condition. Comics with their cover torn off or missing pages are generally worth very little, if anything at all. As a general rule of thumb on older comics super hero (Superman, Batman, Spider-Man etc.), science fiction and horror comics are far more desireable (and thus worth more) than westerns or funny animal comics and other comics that appealed mostly to girls.
If you have comics you want to sell to customers at the convention or are a dealer you will need to get and pay for a table. If you do this you set the price of your comics and have the potential to make more money. But it will involve more work. You are also not guaranteed any particular results. If you are not a regular dealer you will most likely sell the better comics you own your first time out. This will make it harder to sell the remaining ones all at once and makes the second time you come to a convention no where near as bountiful as the first, if you bring the same comics.
1) I have a uniform table cost $40 each for the first 2 tables, the third table and any beyond that are $35 each for big time dealers with lots of stuff. In almost all cases the tables are provided by the venue. Tables at most venues are 6 feet long and can fit 9 standard comic book boxes. A few venues have 8 foot long tables, which can hold12 sandard size comic book boxes. At this point the cost is the same. If you do not like this and wind up at a venue with an 8 foot table. Do not whine! You can just not use the extra 2 feet of space. If you are NOT an established dealer or have had a bad history of showing up when you say you will, you MUST pay for your table in advance. I will generally hold a table for no less than a week (generally a bit longer) while waiting for a cheque to arrive.
2) Tables will come with a chair (although you can often get an extra one) and 2 to 3 feet of space behind the table. If you want you can push your table closer to the wall (or away from the aisle if you are in the middle of the room), making the aisle bigger. You may NOT push it out into the aisle. Table clothes are NOT provided. You can bring extra tables to put behind your table for no extra charge. If you bring extra tables and wind up placing them in such a manner that you have to move table(s) that are not yours around or have them blocking aisles you will be charged extra for it. If you want more table space get more tables! Signs or banners for advertising your table may only be placed on or behind your table. Placing them in other parts of the venue, such as hallways or the lobby can be done by paying a $500 fee per sign or banner payable in CASH when the sign is placed
3) You can bring anything you want to sell as long as it is legal. Be advised that these events are being promoted as having comics and related collectibles for sale. So you could expect to do well with comic books and non-comic things like: graphic novels, comic character action figures, Star Wars toys, non-sports cards and DVDs. I would not expect you to do well bringing Hot Wheels, NASCAR items, Beanie Babies, Barbie dolls, sports items or general flea market merchandise. You can bring adult only items. If you do you will NOT be allowed to have them displayed in such a manner as small children or immature fans under the age of 18 can see them.
4) All conventions run from 10 AM to 4 PM. Set up time is 8:30 AM. Fort Wayne and South Bend are on eastern time all other events I run are central time- please keep this in mind if you are crossing the dreaded time zone change. Dealers who have more than 3 tables are often allowed to get in a half hour earlier, at all venues except for Rockford. If you arrive earlier than this you may get consripted into moving tables around and there is also a good chance that your table(s) will not be ready to put your stuff on. Dealers who are not setting up at the convention, and want to attend to see their friends or buy stuff can come at 10 AM when the convention starts, just like the customers.
The only reason that anyone could possibly want to leave early is that you have made too much money. There have been a few instances when dealers have sold everything they have brought (lucky them). If this is the case then you will have no problems leaving early. If it is just that you have made too much money, but still have items left be respectful of those who have not made too much money and want to continue selling stuff. You can't block aisles with carts and will NOT be allowed to use loading doors that have direct access to the outside which when opened allow hot or cold air into the room (depending on the season) causing discomfort for the less affluent dealers and their customers. Exceptions to this will be made for family and medical emergencies.
5) You can't smoke in any venue. You can bring food and drink into most venues. Some venues sell food and drink items to be consumed on premises. They do NOT allow outside food or drink to be brought in. At present these are in: Metro East , Milwaukee and Rockford. I am responsible for paying a fine if you do. If I have to pay the fine because of you, you will be responsible for reimbursing me. It will be cheaper to just not bring food in.
6) I hold events on both Saturdays and Sundays. Often times two on the same weekend. Dealers who want space at both events in a weekend will be given priority over those who just want to set up at one. On weekends where I only have one event, or if one event is full and the other is not priority will be given to dealers who live the furthest away from the event.
If you have set up at a previous convention you will have first dibs on the same number of tables at the next event at the same venue. Most of the time you will get the same space. Although this is not guaranteed. You may be moved to accommodate placement of others. For example: if there is an open table to each side of your location and someone wants 2 tables you will be moved over one since most people want their tables placed together. If you decide for whatever reason not to make a convention you regularly do you may NOT be able to get your space again at the one after that if the person who gets your space wants to come back. If he or she does not wish to come back then you can get your space again. If you are not wanting to attend a convention and know someone who may want to take your space, I may take your recommendation if there is no one else wanting space at said convention. It is less likely if I can sell another table(s) at the other event on the weekend in question by going with someone you do not recommend.
If you have been setting up at both shows I run on a given weekend and choose not to do one of them and someone is only willing to set up at both of them, you will get bumped from the other event. If two dealers decide to both not set up at the same event, and I find someone who wants to do both the person who gets bump will be the one who is the closet to that event.
There is no deadline for getting a table. Sometimes I will have a full room and all the dealers who are there want to come to the next one and I know this at the convention. At other events I have had emtpy tables on the day of the con. Once the tables are all sold is thus the deadline. I generally contact dealers via email from 3 to 6 weeks before an event to see if they want their spaces at the next convention. If you are a dealer who does not get these, does not read their emails or can't figure out how email works, you will be responsible for contacting me no more than 6 weeks or less than 3 weeks before the convention to let me know for certain that you want your space. If you do not you could loose it to someone else.
7) Passing out fliers for other events is only allowed with prior permission. Rich Comic Book Shop Owners (or half owners) can pass out fliers for their shop, assuming you pass out fliers for conventions in you area at your shop. Rich Comic Shop Owners who do not set up at the con can bring out fliers for their shop and leave them on the freebie table, again assuming you pass out fliers for the con at your shop. Fans often come to the convention from out of town. In Omaha some fans drive 4 or 5 hours since there are very few places to buy comics in the western part of Nebraska or in South Dakota. However most come from within an hour drive. They will often head to local shops after looking through everything that is available at the con, so this can work to everyone's advantage.
8) I am not responsible for the weather, your job (which I have learned many dealers take on since they get bored during the week), demands of your spouse (or other family member), the condition of your vehicle or the fact you don't feel good enough to come. If I could control the weather every con would be on a day with not nice but not really bad weather. You are responsible for paying for your tables even if you have weather, family, vehicle, health or job related issues that prevent you from coming. If you let me know I can sometimes sell tables (often at a reduced rate) to dealers who do show up and you will only be responsible for the difference. If you ask someone else to come and take your space and they do not show up you are responsible for paying for the tables.
9) Whining does not solve any problems. Although it may get you branded as a whiner by both the customers and the other dealers.
10) I do NOT run the conventions in Indianapolis (and other cities that may be listed on the schedule page in italics). You will have to contact the people running those events if you want to set up there. Their phone number or other contact info is on the schedule page. My rules are not all the same as their rules.
11) There is a $5 table sharing fee applied to dealers who get more than 1 table and share it. There will be $100 fee applied to dealers who try and share any number of tables with a dealer who is on the deadbeat list- those who reserve tables and do not show up or pay for them, show up leave and then ring me with claims bad weather kept them from the con, run an event at the same hotel I do and tell customers I have quit doing so or who are a general nuisance. These guys know who they are. There are currently 7 of them.
12) You are responsible for the stuff you bring in. It is best to keep your eye on it. Although most comic fans are honest there have been some theives come to some cons. One who had been plaguing the Springfield IL con for some time was identified and literally chased out of the room in 2012. He has not shown back up.
13) If the con is at a hotel that has hotel carts and you elect to use one put it back in the lobby when you are done using it. It is hoped that if are a reagular dealer you will invest in your own cart to haul stuff in and out (I myself have 4 in varying sizes). I have in the past had complaints from hotels about dealers monopolizing use of their carts, overloading them and wrecking them. If you have parked in a "loading" spot (one that you move your vehicle from when you are done unloading) wait until you have all your stuff in the building and your vehicle is moved to a regular spot in the car park before you decide to see if the other dealers have cooler stuff than you do. You need to wait to look at all the other dealers' cool stuff until you are done using a cart belonging to the hotel and if using your own cart have all of your stuff out of the aisles and out of the way of the other dealers.
14) Other rules may be added in the future, check back and see.
Have fun and make lots of money!