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Thread: Comic Books complaing about virus

  1. #1

    Comic Books complaing about virus

    Today while fishing, I read an article about how Comic Book store are complaining about the fact that they cannot sell new comics. Now that most stores are classified as "non-essential" they may not be able to actually be open to the public. This brothers me and not in the way you may think. A great business man once told that Comic Book stores are like gas stations (yeah he own both). Gas station make very little on gas, they make there money on what is sold inside the stores. Comic Book stores do not make that much on new comics or items, they make there profit on back issues, older action figures and other collectables.

    That being said there are way to many stores that do not have there inventory listed online. I have seen way too many store go down because the refused to go the way of the internet listing. By this day you should have your own website with your inventory listed online along with it listed on Ebay and/or Amazon or even Etsy or even iOffer. With all the comic book movies and tv series out; this is the golden age to sell collectables. Since more shoppers are being forced to order items online, you should have your inventory out there. Go back through your inventory, readjust your prices, offer up bundles you have world at your finger tips.

    Right now not everybody is hurting financially, but with the quarantine most people cannot physical go shopping. This is truly the season of internet shopping and with the schools closed, parents are looking for anything to keep there kids busy.

    I know that there are lots of people out there who are without a job and I do feel sorry for them, even my boyfriend was laid-off. Around here there are many people who are still going to work everyday like nothing happened but it is harder to spend that money since most stores are forced into being closed. Hence the internet is one of the few places to shop.
    Last edited by monitor_ep; Mar 29, '20 at 9:57 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I have a friend who for the last four years has run a used bookstore. It's been a struggle, and they were closing end of April, only to have that moved up with the pandemic. My friend told me she would still sell things online (she has occasionally posted from the store's FB site and through FB groups). When I asked if she had the store's inventory in a database, she just said no and looked kind of lost. I guess she could create one now, but that's very late in the game.
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  3. #3
    Finally found that article, it was one Newsarama:

    https://www.newsarama.com/49581-reta...ew-comics.html

    But I can see it happen to more stores that are forced to close who could not or do not have there inventory listed online.
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  4. #4
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    well, the kids are supposed to be doing distance learning on the computer so they have stuff to do.
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  5. #5
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    yes they have a few hours of stuff they should be doing on the computer. they do not have karate lessons or birthday parties or play dates or getting on bikes and checking out the spooky cave that Sparky found last week. It's supposed to make a weird whistling noise.

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    Well one shop that has done all that-Lonestar (i.e. mycomicshop .com) and it doesn't matter, as they just announced they are shutting down all operations for April to comply with the Texas governor's shelter in place orders and they will not be operating their warehouse or shipping books as they are not an essential business and cannot bring employees in to work. So having it all online doesn't do a bit of good if you can't fill and ship orders without employees in the building to do the work.

    -M

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    ...having it all online doesn't do a bit of good if you can't fill and ship orders without employees in the building to do the work.
    -M
    And that just makes sense to me. I don’t see it being a viable option to take your brick and mortar store online. If you have a physical store in your hometown, you win by virtue of proximity and the ability for customers to see the merchandise in person.

    If you take your store online, you are one small fish in an ocean of the same product.

  8. #8
    Wow Texas finally stepped up and shut down the non-essential business, then you also have to remember they are a huge company unlike the other smaller stores that are still trying to bring in some money. I have read some of the smaller stores are still open but are filling there orders online and offering curb service, mail-order or a few are actually delivering there orders.
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  9. #9
    And that just makes sense to me. I don’t see it being a viable option to take your brick and mortar store online. If you have a physical store in your hometown, you win by virtue of proximity and the ability for customers to see the merchandise in person.

    If you take your store online, you are one small fish in an ocean of the same product.
    In todays market it doesn't make since to not have your merchandise online. You do not have to list everything, I mean how many people are going to want your back stock of $1 comic books that every store is stuck with but you should have listed your money-makers. I mean not all stores carry older back issues, action figures or other merchandise.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by monitor_ep View Post
    In todays market it doesn't make since to not have your merchandise online. You do not have to list everything, I mean how many people are going to want your back stock of $1 comic books that every store is stuck with but you should have listed your money-makers. I mean not all stores carry older back issues, action figures or other merchandise.
    However, the only actual money makers in the back issue market now are either high grade copies or keys, everything else is bargain bin fare ($1 bins, $2 or $3 Silver and Bronze bins, $5 Silver bins etc, things I see at shows ans shops all the time, which makes them essentially non-sellable as online pieces as they will cost more in labor and opportunity costs than they will make selling it. And they will likely realize a higher price selling in store than the will online, where there is a more plentiful supply of books available. Most shops are lucky to see a handful of the types of books walking in that are of the money maker type, as people who have them for sale can cut out the middle man and sell them online directly as most shops can only offer pennies on the dollar in terms of value on those books because they don't have the capital to tie up on them and remain liquid enough to meet weekly Diamond invoices, rent, insurance, utilities, etc. so sellers are going to get better offers elsewhere from major players (like Lonestar or other national level back issue dealer) or from dealers who specialize in the con circuit and don't have the kind of overhear brick and mortar retailers do and can invest more in those types of books to sell at shows as wall books. Inventorying, grading and pricing run of the mill books (low to mid grade Silver & Bronze non-keys, modern non-keys in any grade, recent overstock, is time consuming and labor-intensive. Most shops have small staffs (if any staff beyond the owner at all) who also have to do all the ordering, track current inventory, merchandise the shops, process pre-orders and pull books each week for customers, provide customer service, keep the financial books, pay the bills, receive and check in orders, run the register, run events (if they sell Heroclix, Magic, Pokemon, etc.) keep track of sales trends and books coming into demand to keep an eye out for, keep up on new upcoming products so they can market it to their customers, etc. all needed to keep the shop running before they even think about working on back issues for sale. Add in back issues and they also have to add things like evaluating and appraising collections they are offered, allocating budget to make offers on collections and/or books, etc. before they get down to processing all the run of the mill books or even the slightly sellable books to list online. And oftentimes, the return on investment isn't that good on those types of books, so the opportunity cost of the time it takes to process those books being taken away from other tasks is just too high.

    Yes, most retailers need to have an online presence, but what they are most likely selling is newer merch that they order in higher quantities to get a better discount tier to improve their margins, but cannot move that level of stock at a local level. Bigger shops with larger staffs may be able to commit resources to make a stronger online presence, but there is a lot of other work that needs to be done just to run a shop on a day-to-day basis that are going to be higher priority than processing back issues for sale online (which also adds additional packing and shipping tasks to the to list the owner has to allocate labor time to as well). So I am not surprised that a lot of smaller shops have only a minimal online presence in the back issue market. It's time and labor intensive and doesn't offer high margins or return on investment.

    -M

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