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#279179 - 03/23/99 09:33 PM Diamond and NextPlanetOver.com
William Harms Offline
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Registered: 02/01/99
Posts: 37
Loc: San Francisco CA
The part about all of this that kills me is the statment that: "Diamond's said its agreement with NextPlanetOver would "allow Diamond to test the feasibility of doing order fulfillment for other retailers in the future." The agreement is currently exclusive, meaning Diamond will perform this service only for NextPlanetOver on a "limited two-year trial basis"." When you're talking about the Internet, two years is a life-time; this effectively kills any serious competition. And Diamond goes on to reassure retailers by saying this will allow the comic industry to gain new readers. That may be true, but will those new readers buy their comics through NPO or at their local comic shop?


This is getting way out control. Would someone please stop the madness!

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#279180 - 03/24/99 12:15 PM Re: Diamond and NextPlanetOver.com
Joe Zabel Offline
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Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 2546
Loc: Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
Could somebody explain what 'order fulfillment' means in this context?

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#279181 - 03/24/99 01:23 PM Re: Diamond and NextPlanetOver.com
Rick Veitch Administrator Offline
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Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 3531
Loc: Vermont, USA
It's a pick and pack deal. As I understand it, NPO will be renting space in the Sparta warehouse. For more info check out the complete Q&A Diamond released yesterday (which I posted on the DISTRIBUTION AND RETAILING board.

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#279182 - 03/25/99 01:58 PM Re: Diamond and NextPlanetOver.com
Tim Gagne Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 433
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Rick & Joe,

This is a lot more than pick and pack. If NPO is generating new orders, someone will have to input the orders, cut a PO, receive the order, process the order and then they can pick and pack. If all of this is happening at a Diamond warehouse, who is doing the work? Also the fact that the majority of comics are printed by Ronalds/Quebecor in Canada, who pays for shipping of the NPO orders from there to the "fufillment house" in Sparta?

Remember the wording of the release? How the new comic operations for accounts were being transfered to Plattsburgh so Diamond could concentrate on Graphic Novels and Toy storage backlist in Sparta? Even if TRU (the Reorder Universe) is in Sparta, there would still be excess comics being shipped/processed free of charge to NPO.

This is probably part of the ambigious "equity" that everyone read about.

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#279183 - 03/25/99 03:43 PM Re: Diamond and NextPlanetOver.com
Jeff Zugale Offline
Member

Registered: 12/06/98
Posts: 1806
Loc: Los Angeles, CA, USA
It all just smells really bad to me. I think that William is right, two years in Internet time is like a Galactic rotation... and if NPO can reach enough people, the online presence of many established retailers is going to suffer from it.

In other words, if they can market half as well as Microsoft can (and offer better prices online than other retailers), they'll have the serious possibility of leading all our potential online customers away by the nose. After all, people are controlled by the information they receive... so whoever shouts loud enough to enough people usually gets the most attention. These guys have the clout to shout quite loudly indeed, and we and other online retailers might get drowned out. I'm pretty sure that's what Diamond is hoping to do...

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Pagan City Comics
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#279184 - 03/25/99 05:15 PM Re: Diamond and NextPlanetOver.com
Joe Zabel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 2546
Loc: Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
Jeff--

I don't think it's the shouting that's the biggest issue here-- it's the discount NPO will be able to offer customers, and the fast delivery. A competitor could have Black Bolt as their spokesman, and they still wouldn't be able to compete with that!

(Is that a good superhero reference, gang? Been a long time since I read the FF...)

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#279185 - 03/25/99 06:51 PM Re: Diamond and NextPlanetOver.com
Carlton Donaghe Offline
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Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 1619
Loc: the American Desert
(be careful Joe or they'll have you drawing a Marvel Knights series next!)
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#279186 - 03/25/99 08:52 PM Re: Diamond and NextPlanetOver.com
William Harms Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/99
Posts: 37
Loc: San Francisco CA
I guess the thing that disturbs me the most is that no one (with the exception of Chuck at Mile High) seems to be doing anything about this; does anyone know if any members of the DLG or other retailer associations are lodging complaints? Most indications seem to suggest that no one really cares about this.


A boycott of some kind seems to be in order, but since Diamond is the only distributor left, who will stand up to them? It's a poor situation all the way around. Of course, this could all change if DC, Marvel, Image, and Dark Horse ended their exclusive arrangments with Diamond.

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My graphic novel Abel is available from Slave Labor Graphics. Check it out at http://www.slavelabor.com

http://members.xoom.com/wharms


[This message has been edited by William Harms (edited 03-25-99).]

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#279187 - 03/25/99 09:00 PM Re: Diamond and NextPlanetOver.com
Ben Adams Offline
Member

Registered: 12/24/98
Posts: 483
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Go to Comickaze's Comic Retailers Forum at http://www.delphi.com/retailforum, and, believe me, you'll see PLENTY of discussion about this.

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www.mediawarpcomics.com
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#279188 - 03/28/99 03:22 AM Re: Diamond and NextPlanetOver.com
Kady Mae Offline
Member

Registered: 01/26/99
Posts: 466
Loc: Las Vegas, NV USA
I think that many retailers, well, those who have computers and go online (a distinct minority) are very concerned about this development. The question is, how do we inform the rest of the retailers out there that Diamond is trying to get them eyes front trousers down?

As for retailer apathy, consider these:
(1) Diamond is an 800 pound gorilla.
(2) We all know the DOJ has bigger fish to fry.
(3) Why would DC, Image, Marvel, etc want to break their exclusivity deals with Diamond?
(4) Getting comic shop owners to agree on a single course of action is like herding cats.

Hopefully, DC etc. will realize that if Diamond suceeds in this it will eventually lead to lower sales for them as local comic stores are driven out of business. (It's easier and cheaper for the average customer to gas up the car and head for a store than it is for them to buy a computer for the express pupose of getting comics on-line from Diamond.)
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