Comics on a Budget: Trade waiting

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Posted September 12, 2013 by Topher Bostick in Comic Books

We all love comics. Chances are, if you are reading this, then you love comics too. But buying comics each and every week can get expensive and hard to maintain. This week I come to you with yet another tip to help you save a few bucks while maintaining your comic collection.

A common practice among comic geeks is to buy your favorite, must read books monthly and then pick up the other stuff you want to read but can wait for to come out in a paperback or hardcover trade. This is commonly known as trade waiting.  Trades are a collection of 6 to 7 single issues compiled together in one printed book that usually contains one or two story arch.

COB3-1Benefits to collecting trades:

Trades tend to cost a little less for the amount of comics given. For example, the current run of Batman vol. 1 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo normally cost $3.99 an issue. Add that up and you get 7 issue for $27.99. The cover price for the first trade of  Batman, collecting issues 1-7, list it at $24.99. That is a $3 difference. Saving you almost one issue.

That may not seem like much, but when collecting comics, even little bit helps.

Down falls to collecting trades:

 Trades might save you a little bit of money, but it’s on the expensive of having to wait for them. Now Marvel does very well with getting their trades out and in stores fairly quickly. DC on the hand tends to take for ever. And every other  company seems to fall somewhere in between. So if you can wait, buying trades maybe the thing for you.

Top 5 places to buy trades:

Now this is where this week’s tip really gets good. Most of the time, you never have to pay full price for a trade. Why pay more, when you don’t have to? Here are the top 5 places to buy trades on the cheap.

  1. Amazon.com
    This is probably the most common place to buy trades on the cheap. Everything is pretty much discounted and if you are a Amazon Prime member, shipping is usually free.  Batman vol. 1, which normally cost $24.99, right now only cost $12.68. And for you digital geeks out there, they even have a Kindle version you can get for $10.48

  1. CheapGraphicNovels.com
    This is another great place to buy trades on the cheap. but sometimes their selection is limited. They have tons of deals and currently you can pick up Batman vol. 1 for only $9.34.

  1. Barns & Noble
    Now this site has some perks. A lot of the time, they have a buy 2 get 1 free sale on trades online and sometime in store. So this is something to keep an eye on for future purchases. Currently Batman vol. 1 in Hardcover only is selling for $17.83 and their Nook version is also going for $10.48 for you digital geeks.

  1. Comixology
    Digital readers also have another option for picking up cheaper comics in trade format. Comixology will sometimes have a sale where you can get caught up on a full run for .99 cents an issue. Also they will combine singles issue into a one price digital trade, known as Collection Editions, that go for a lot less. But the major benefit to Comixology is that they reduce prices for older issues. Currently you can get the New 52 Batman issue 1-22 for $2.99 an issue. That’s far less then buying it every month at the price tag of $3.99 and even some special issues that went for $4.99 are now $2.99.

  1. Local comic shop
    Now we can’t forget about our local shops. A lot of the time, shops will hold sales on trades to try to clear out back stock to make room for some new additions. Recently my local comic store had a 50% discount on all trades. So follow your store on Facebook or Twitter and you never know when an opportunity will come in huge savings. Other stores take in used trades and we’ll mark them down. Sometimes they also, we give discounts, up to 50% off, when they order trades from the stores directly. The only downfall is that they can’t get trades that are out of print because they have to order through Diamond Distribution.

Buying comics doesn’t have to be hard and trade waiting is an exception compromise to saving a little bit of money. With these great places to buy your trades on the cheap, trying to save money shouldn’t never be a hassle.


About the Author

Topher Bostick