How to Use a Price Guide

Comic Books
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Knowing how to use a price guide is a simple but important thing. The price guide will help you do just that and is an indispensable tool in the comic book collector's arsenal. Here's how to use this valuable asset.

Know the Grade of Your Comic

Knowing the "grade" or condition of your comic is essential to discovering how much it's worth. Most price guides use a system that ranges from Poor - 0 to Mint - 10. Make sure you understand what condition your comic book is in. 

Know What Issue You Have

This is important because there may be many relaunches of a title.

On older comic books, there is the title page that lists the writer, artist, editor and other information about that comic. In the "fine print" at the bottom of the page it will read something like this issue of The New Mutants - "The New Mutants Vol.1, No. 83, December 1989."

With newer comics, you will need the title, month and date published (which can be found on the cover), as well as the writer, artist, and publisher.

Get a Price Guide

Now it is time to either buy a price guide or find one online. Most price guides can be purchased in a comic book store. Popular ones include the Overstreet Price Guide (pictured) or Wizard Magazine. Please note that Wizard has more comics that are current, while Overstreet is a more comprehensive — and therefore more expensive — option.

Popular online price guides such as as well as are both good places to use as price guides.

Find Your Title

Now that you have a price guide in your hands or on your screen you can go about finding your comic book. Comic books are listed alphabetically, by title. Just go the section of that book or type in the issue title for online price guides and you should easily find the comic book you are looking for. This is where having the issue information is vital. Knowing the date of the publication, as well as the artist and writer, will help you distinguish between JSA #1 Volume 3 - released in 2006 or JSA #1 Volume 2 - released in 1992.

Making Sense of the Information

Look to the right of or underneath the title name. You will find information such as the publisher, issue number, artist, writer, and price. Most guides will list the mint price of a comic book, as well as lower grade prices.

Protect Your Investment

Once you have used the price guide, put your comic book in a safe place — preferably in a mylar sleeve with comic board and finally, stored in some kind of comic book box.


  1. If you can't find the price right away, don't give up. Many obscure comic books are worth a lot of money. Check a search engine or email an expert such as your comic book guide if you get stuck.
  2. Know that this price is subjective. This is, this is their opinion of how much it is worth. What people will really pay, is another thing entirely. Check comic book stores or online sites such as eBay for real-time prices.
  3. Watch out for abbreviations. Price guides love abbreviations. Just use common sense to understand it all. For instance, if under the publisher it says MAR, that will most likely be Marvel Comics.