Originally posted by smackmore:
First let me explain my plight. I am opening a store. Very soon in fact, but no one in their right mind would open a store with nothing to sell.
The truth is, your first few weeks will be slow anyway. A lot of customers will just be checking out the layout and location. The promise of new stock being on he way will be a good reason for them to come back. Most of your new comic sales will be from people who subscribe to a pull service. Unless you've got some unbelievably sweet location, your sell through will be crap if you try to rely on walk-in sales. You might actually be GLAD Diamond didn't give you your first few weeks of comics on time.
Many comic orders these days are based on pre-orders from subscribers. The financial risk is lower because the sell through percentage is typically higher. Unless you really intend on marketing back issues aggressively, most of that stock will be cherry picked quite quickly by collectors and the rest of your back issue sales will settle down to a very small percentage.
This may be your dream job now, but it won't be in a few years.
My own rant....
Diamond should be happy to get whatever accounts they can get. Their problem is that they are so deserate for genuine retail accounts that they must keep their minimum orders very low. At the height of my collecting, I used to buy as much as some of their smaller retail accounts. I bought so much that my local retailer set up my account as a fictitious "3rd store" and just used an address for an unrelated business of theirs on the paperwork. I was getting the retailer preview packs full of freebies... the whole works.... just as if I was buying direct from Diamond.
Logically, a bunch of small accounts could cost Diamond a more money to support. It is more efficient for them to support a fewer number of accounts that place higher orders. If that's their concern, it's just stupid. If a retailer gives me a nice discount on buying new comics for the sole purpose of letting my huge orders boost their orders (and qualify them for a better discount), Diamond is still losing income.
Nothing helps a retailer more than quick turnover and a better discount. While I can help a retailer by providing that, I expect a nice discount. In other words, if I'm helping boost their orders significantly, I'm not oblivious to the fact they are making a higher percentage profit on every other sale... I deserve a respectable savings for my significant contribution. Back in the 90's, comic books store were constantly trying to offer me a better discount just so I'd buy from their store.... sometimes my discount was barely above their cost. It was worth it to them. I could also resupply them with hot issues, since my insight into preordering exceeded their own abilities.
Diamond implemented a bunch of stupid rules to chastise and prevent subdistribution, but they can't price fix a product (that's illegal) an they can't tell me (the hobbyist) what I'm going to do with my comics after I get them for a nice discount. The stores that sold me my comics often had no idea what I did with them.. unless they needed them and were buyimg them back.
My point? Diamond is full of crap. They'd be far better off just sticking to their discount structure and selling to ANYONE with a business license. Nothing has ever stopped me from getting a business license and setting up a mock store front. I can think of a dozen ways to do that and it would cost them more money and effort proving I was doing a mock-up than it would be to just sell me the comics in the first place.
Currently, I'm not buying any new comics and when I pick up Previews, the selection is so homogenized it sickens me. Also, the closest comic shop to my home recently closed. If I was to make a plunge back into comics, I'm not driving 15 miles to another location. I'll use one of my my friend's existing business license,we'll pool our money and orders and we'll buy from whatever distributor is actually interested in selling comics. I haven't quite figured out what the hell Diamond calls their operation. They don't really do a great job at anything, yet they somehow manage to keep a monopoly on the distribution.
Nothing would help this hobby more than giving some alternate distrubutors a chance to compete. If even one other distributor entered the game, a certain percentage of tolerable overorders would take place. Those distributors would fight a little harder to sell those overstocked items and they'd try a little harder to keep any customers they had happy. The overorders alone would start boosting print runs and this hobby will never be profitable to anyone until the print runs start increasing and the availability to consumers increases.