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Ebay Original Comic Art Webscraping


Webscraping eBay for Original Comic Art Sales Information

This project is set up so you can generate your own current and recent sales information from eBay using Google Colab. Skip down to run "Final Code" at the bottom if you just want the csv files which will be in the folders on the left after running.

Project Introduction

This is my first webscraping project. I am a fan of original comic book art. This is the artwork drawn by hand in pencil usually by a one artist(sometimes another artist hand draws the captions), and finally another artist inks the drawing over. Often these are 11 x 17 inch panels. I like the dynamism of the drawing style and the craftmanship that is immediately apparent.

Years ago in about 2010, I bought two panels of oroginal art for interior pages from Spiderman comics which were published in the 80's. I bought them for about $200-300, and slightly more than doubled my money when I sold them a year later. (Yes, I can see you wincing along with me as I imagine that their value is likely 10 times what I paid for them now)

Nonethless, I am interested in buying some pieces now in the $200 range and wanted to be more informed before making a purchase.

Below is the full program with the main output being two csv files.

The first csv file has the top 800 listings of original comic art from Marvel and DC in the form of either interior pages, covers, or splash pages sorted by price. The fields in the csv which are scraped from eBay are:

  • Title (which usually includes a 20 word description of the item, character, type of page)
  • Price
  • Link to the full sales page on eBay for the item
  • the main charater
  • full list of all characters in the artwork
    *after the initial search on eBay, the program cycles through the page numbers of additional results at the bottom. eBay identifies the program as a bot and blocks being able to scrape page numbers greater than 4. This is ok, because this only excludes items usually being sold for less than $75 and almost none of these items are original comic art -- they are mostly replicas or fan art.

The second csv file does the same thing using the same search criteria, but for items that have already been sold. The code for this part has been commented out because it uses Selenium and I do not know how to configure Selenium to run from a Jupyter notebook.

I have tested the code multiple times and it works when run locally.
If you run more than 2 or 3 times within an hour, eBay will block Selenium and you will have to manually download the html of sold comic art.

Expected Result

I have many ideas for other information to scrape for, but I am pretty happy with the result.
Once a day I can run this program and look through the csv file for mostly lesser known characters in the $100-300 US dollars range currently for sale.

I can then look through the csv of items recently sold and see if I can find a comparable item for price comparison or to look for trends in prices.