How to Sell Comic Books Online

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Be a Hero to The World by Selling Comic Books Online

Do you debate the finer details of DC vs. Marvel Universes, know every iteration of Batman, Superman, and/or Spidey, and think Rob Liefeld is either a legend for co-creating Deadpool or an overrated artist with too much influence (or somewhere in between)? Or, perhaps Sin City, The Watchmen, and The Walking Dead fuel your thoughts? Regardless of your specific preferences and opinions on comics, it's possible to turn your passion for sequential art into cash as an online business!

If you love finding and collecting great comic books and graphic novels, and have a desire to share this love with the world, you may already have the foundation for a business you can excel at. All you need is the right starting point and the right tools. Shift4Shop has everything you need to launch your dreams and start selling comic books online.

sell comic-books

How to Start a Business Selling Comic Books Online

Starting a business is a serious venture, and you need to be prepared with industry knowledge and a good plan. Don't be discouraged, though — simply take it one step at a time and make sure you're thinking realistically. Know the challenges you'll face and how to overcome them. The better your preparation is, the more likely you'll be able to take any hits the business world throws at you.

The following tips will help guide you through the process of planning, starting, and growing your online comic book shop.

sell comic-books online

Understanding the Comic Book Industry

Main Product Categories

Comics can be hard to categorize unless you put some thought into it first. Technically, you could keep your categories very simple by just basing them on character or title, but you can also go deeper than that. Adding different categories can help your customers find what they're already looking for, and also discover new comics they might enjoy — which leads to more sales. Here are some example categories:

  • Manga (should probably be separate from Western graphic novels)
  • Collectible issues
  • Ashcan issues
  • Individual series
  • Graphic novels
  • Crossover mini-series
  • Regular comic issues
  • Other types of mini-series
  • Hobby magazines
  • Specific artists/writers (Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, etc.)
  • Genre (superheroes, sci-fi, horror, comedy, etc.)
  • Character-specific (Batman, Superman, X-Men, Spawn, etc.)
  • Different comic publishers (DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, etc.)
  • Spinoff series or characters that got more attention (e.g. Wolverine)
  • Specific story arcs
Understanding the comic-books Business

Naturally, many of these categories can overlap, so it's important that your eCommerce software allows you to build a category structure that lets you assign multiple categories to a single product. You should also be able to "nest" categories within each other to create sub-categories. However, you shouldn't overdo it — customers should be able to find what they're looking for without having to dig too deeply. A search function on your site will also be a big help.

  • Expanding to Figurines and Collectibles

    Many comic collectors also enjoy collecting figurines or other merchandise of their favorite series or characters. If you decide to expand into offering these types of products as well, you'll need to ensure that your products are authentic. You can't simply print your own t-shirts or manufacture other collectibles yourself without encountering problems with copyright (unless you limit these to your store logo or other original material). In many cases, you can't even resell toys you bought off the shelf without getting a cease-and-desist from the rights holder. This happens because the market is flooded with counterfeit merchandise and trademark infringement, and the owners of intellectual property such as comic book characters need to protect their rights. So, you're best off if you become a licensed retailer of such merchandise, which you can usually do by contacting the manufacturer or distributor.

Online Store Themes for Selling Comic Books

Be a Hero of the Comic Industry with These Super Templates

painted website template

Painted Colors

While built mainly for art galleries, Painted Colors is an excellent free theme for selling comic books online because art is such an important aspect of comics. The homepage carousel banner and product images are big enough that customers can see a lot of detail at a glance, and the sidebar makes navigation easy. It doesn't take much to edit this theme to make it perfect for comic shops — you'd just need to adjust some colors to get the right feel.

molten website theme


Another art-based free template, Molten catches the customer's eye immediately with a huge banner, perfect for getting customers excited about the adventures they'll be able to partake in through your comics! Navigation is simple, using a header-based dropdown menu that can expand to fit any number of categories. Molten is also easy to edit through color changes you can make with our built-in Theme Editor.

How to Get Your Online Comic Book Business Started

Once you've fully planned out your business, secured your suppliers, and gotten any necessary licenses (if you want to sell figurines and other collectibles right out of the gate), you're ready to take the next step. Now it's time to build your eCommerce website! Shift4Shop is the best shopping cart software for online comic book stores, complete with all the features we've discussed in this article, and much more. Built-in tools cover product management, marketing and SEO (including a blog module), unlimited high-resolution product photos, and much more. Best yet, you can access all our features completely free, without paying a monthly fee for our software — and we're the only eCommerce platform that offers a completely unlimited, free plan.

Online comic-books Business

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find a comic book distributor?
Thanks to the internet, it's easy to find comic book distributors these days — you can simply start out with a Google search for "comic book distributor." From there, you'll have to browse the results to find distributors that sell the comics you want to stock. Some examples of comic book distributors are Diamond Comics and UCS Comic Distributors. You will need to sign up for an account as a retailer to start buying wholesale comics from the distributor(s) you choose. Both of the previous links go straight to that distributor's retailer page, but you should browse the rest of their sites as well to learn more about them.
Can I sell used comics on eBay?
Yes, you can sell used comics on eBay, and it's a popular marketplace for collectibles and back issues of all price points. However, it's always best to have your own online store if you're serious about growing your business. With Shift4Shop, you can actually sell within your own eCommerce website and list your comics on eBay at the same time, which will attract customers from more places (and draw the attention of eBay users to your shop). Shift4Shop has a built-in integration and set of tools for selling on eBay, including the ability to export products from your store directly to your eBay listings, synchronize your inventory between eBay sales and website sales, and manage your orders from both platforms within your Shift4Shop dashboard. This saves a lot of time and effort while giving you the best of both worlds.