Bad Comic Book Stores

Teenage Wasteland

Photo by Flickr user Elston

When I go on road trips, I usually make a point to stop by comic book stores. I like comics, and to me there is nothing more fun then scouring around for a while. Any way, on one of my vacation day road trips I stopped by a comic book store that wasn’t so hot. It wasn’t as bad as the picture, but pretty bad nonetheless.

So what did they do wrong?

  1. The most noticeable thing in any comics store is the new issue racks/walls. Some stores leave some of the previous issues behind what is the most current issue. To me this is fine; it markets the recent back issues well. Unfortunately at this store, there was just a hodge-podge of random comics. Behind the most recent issue of Deathstroke was a few back issues from the early 1990s series, and some Power Girl stuff from last summer. That didn’t make any sense.
  2. Nothing was on sale. It was like they ran this store as if it was still the nineties and you could get whatever price Wizard was listing. There is a reason why dollar bins are so popular; reducing the price of your back stock or over-orderd comics is a surefire way to get it out of your shop and generate sales. Those old Marvel Fanfares will never sell at “guide price” but for a dollar people will buy them. Or those Stormwatch and WildCATsbooks that you’ve paid off years ago.The same could be said for their selection of graphic novels/trades. If you read on Bleeding Cool or Comics Beat, you can periodically see that the publishers have mass discounts on their back stock. I know retailers would rather not have to discount anything, but they have to sometimes. Just let it go.
  3. The back issues had a really arbitrary pricing scheme. Certain things that should be cheap were expensive. Things that are rare were bargain priced. And the other two-thirds of the back issues weren’t priced at all. What the heck does that even mean? Is it cover price? Do you haggle? Do they have some sort of commodities tracker that bases it hourly on what is sold on eBay? I had no clue and as too embarrassed to act.

At the end of the day, I couldn’t deal enough with this store to actually buy something. What are some of your comic book store nightmares?