Austin Books and Comics (biggest comic book store in Austin) magically won't have Batman #89 on the shelf

#1

This isn’t much of a speculation (as we all know about Punchline’s debut by now), but I wanted to just get this off my chest and out there.

Austin Books and Comics, the biggest comic shop in Austin (that’s based out of Fort Worth and has Bankston’s as their sister store) made a post that they only ordered enough books for Batman #88 subscribers:

This is a giant pile of lies, and if your (big) shop does something similar, call them out. This is not a mom and pop shop that has 10 subscribers. This is a mega shop that is known for over-ordering (they’ll have 1:500 and 1:1000 variants). Since both stores are under the same account, they’re able to order big and split it between the two. Yes, that is smart, but with this hot book coming out, they magically don’t have enough for the shelves.

About 2 months from now, they’ll have copies of this book on their wall, with their Recently Acquired sticker all over it.

/Rant over

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#2

That’s hard to believe they didn’t over-order for Batman. I think we’ll have many similar stories this week. I know my LCS sold some on ebay. As long as I get mine and it’s NM; I’ll be happy.

#3

There isn’t one comic store in the US that doesn’t order shelf copies of Batman each month.

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#4

That sounds very fishy. Don’t buy from them and don’t be afraid to call them out. You are probably right that they will be selling the “ones that didn’t make the shelves” for multiples of cover online or on the shelves in a few weeks when they decide to start putting them out…Anyway, I didn’t pre-order it and I’m not going to go out of my way searching for it. A new villain is cool but nothing new and unless they do huge things with her right away the book will cool fairly quickly becoming a ten dollar comic this time next year give or take. I Just don’t feel like getting caught up in the FOMO this week.

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#5

As someone who lives in Austin and has frequented this store, can tell everyone first hand that this is utter bullshit. Unless the book is hot, they usually have stacks of Batman on the shelves going back 15 to 25 issues as well. They usually have the last 3-6 months worth of books on Batman and bigger titles on the shelves.

So F$*K this store for good now, I’m never stepping foot in their shop ever again!

At least they had the decency to send out a notice instead of blatantly lying to my face, saving me a trip this coming week to pick up a copy only to find them yanked and shoved in the back stock room. This is BG23 all over again…

#6

So this is better or worse than putting the extra copies they have on the shelf for inflated costs?

#7

Worse, at least jack up the price so I can laugh at them and walk away… They did this very thing with BG23 and it sat in their back stock room apparently for weeks. I’m sure they slowly dumped them by throwing them up on the special wall like @TheOneAboveDonny mentioned with the sticker… “Recently Acquired”…

Just shady shit going on there, I won’t shop there anymore. Plus Brandon their store manager always gives you the look as if you’re actually bothering him for shopping there, looking at the variants and looking at the “recently acquired” books on the wall behind them. He’s definitely got the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons type of attitude going on it seems… always looks unhappy. Some of their other staff are pretty cool but that’s not going to win me over to come back.

Anyone in the Austin area, support the other shops in the area, not these clowns!

#8

Oh, they’ll have it out on the wall but after a few days or weeks… like TheOneAboveDonny said… they love to put the hot books they yanked with the stupid “recently acquired” on them like they got it later, maybe at a higher price and not at their Diamond wholesale price…

They have eBay for the store but I’m pretty certain they sell these hot books under other masked names that don’t associate themselves with the shop.

#9

If you’re in the Austin area, support the other local shops.

Tribes Comics and Games
3005 S Lamar Blvd #d113, Austin, TX 78704

Dragons Lair Austin
2438 W Anderson Ln B1, Austin, TX 78757

Rogues Gallery Comics & Games
1601 S Interstate 35 #330, Round Rock, TX 78664

Outlaw Moon Games and Toys
5000 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

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#10

At least they sent out a notice but it’s still crappy. I don’t see why people get upset when brick and mortar stores try to cash in on hot books. They’re not swimming in money like Scrooge McDuck and why shouldn’t they profit off of hot new releases? That could be the difference in the shop closing or staying open. I understand it’s not good customer service but it’s more incentive to preorder your books and get in at the cheapest price. So it’s okay for buyers to come in and buy copies to flip and profit off of but not the store itself? Honestly I think a lot of the hate is anger because you’re not able to get that hot book cheap to flip. Just my two cents.

#11

The guy who owns ABC is certainly swimming in money… In this case, it’s their tactics of getting around it. Like I explained to @drogio, I’d rather them slap me in the face with the jacked up prices instead of just flat out lie about it.

ABC will slowly leak what copies they have and put on their wall days later and claim it was “Recently Acquired”… for a shop that has plentiful Batman issues each month sitting on the back shelf, it’s pretty lame they sent out a notice saying “they only ordered enough to fulfill subscribers”… anyone who lives in Austin and collects comics knows all too well this is not one of those shops that goes light on most major titles.

#12

No, cause ABC will limit books. That’s all it takes. Why does a shop care what happens to the book after it leaves the shop? They bought at wholesale from distributor. At least wait a week and then any extra copies jack up to secondary prices. Pull a couple to the side to sell later. That’s all I’m asking. I want the local shops to succeed but if and when shops start jacking up prices from the retail price on release day, they’re hurting the comic industry as a whole, not helping… and it’s only done out of one thing, greed!

And yes, flippers who clear shelves when allowed to do so on release day are also doing it out of greed. Days I’m picking up books to flip on release day, I still limit myself to couple of copies, leaving others with a chance whether they’re a reader, collector or flipper.

I pre-ordered my copy of Batman #89. So I wasn’t even going to hit this shop anyways. They’re further out of the way and PITA to get to most days. I’ll give praise to Dragons Lair though. A shop that sells all comics at retail prices (variant or not) and always retail price 6 months later. You find it on the shelf, it’s cover price. If it’s a 1:1000 variant (which has never happened cause they don’t order heavily), it’s cover price. I’ve snagged 1:100 variants when available for cover price.

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#13

Not everyone has a chance to pre-order and certainly not everyone is in a position to subscribe to every book either. I don’t commit to books anymore cause one issue can turn me away from reading it.

Every customer should expect to walk into a shop and buy new books at cover prices in my opinion. If a shop wants to yank a few to the side to sell later, great, no harm done with that (I use to do that for Capstone, hot books he owner was unaware of I would show up at the counter and flat out tell him, these are hot, save this copy to sell later). A few days to a week later after release, you still got copies on the shelves or customers didn’t come pick up their pull/sub books, then it’s all fair game if you ask me.

Selling all copies, perfectly fine. If I’m late to the shop and they’re out, that’s on me.

But yes, a shop has every right to jack up prices if they want to and as consumers, we have every right to warn others to avoid and not waste their time shopping there.

We are a speculation and news site. We all hang out with other speculators and flippers. But I can still only imagine the % of flippers showing up at shops is a far cry from those who are readers, collectors, etc, not there to just flip the books.

#14

So, here is the way I see it.

No one has a right to go into a store and be guaranteed a copy of a book unless they subscribe to the title. But customers should at least have a fighting chance at getting copies.

Does ABC have a right to make a profit? Absolutely. And they will selling out the book at cover.

They could easily take 25% of the copies they got and set them aside. Fill preorders and let the customers get one each until they are gone. I think that would be reasonable and fair. However, they have decided to take all their remaining copies after they fill subs and stash them at a markup. Then claim, on a book that will sell off the shelf no matter what over a long period of time, they only order enough of BATMAN to fill subs. Yet I bet they order more than for subs of other newer books that don’t sell as well.

In the end, people do not have a right to buy a new comic on release date. However, they do have a right to not purchase from that shop and call them out for their behavior. They may make a profit off this book, but they may lose more profits off people not visiting them in the long run.

2 Likes
#15

Exactly and well said.

If I was in business as a shop owner, my whole business model is to sell inventory. If I’m buying 500 books at $2 each and selling them for $4 each, I’m making my expected profit from such books.

Shops that cry foul when someone walks in, buys a book for $4 and sells for $20 or whatever, should simply drop their Diamond account and stand in line with the rest of us where there are less guarantees.

Now a shop that orders more copies than their pull and subscribers are asking for are taking a chance, that comes with any business that sells items from inventory. It’s not just comic shops who get stuck with products that don’t sell, happens in every business model where products are sold.

I’m going to pick on BJ. Anyone remember BJ? The shop owner who openly admitted to yanking books on release day, jacking up the prices on release day? Yeah, this is also the guy who openly admitted he had to keep taking out Paypal loans also to keep buying books. You think that model is working for his shop? The guy had the audacity to tell his customers “I’m cheaper than eBay”… but yet still charging a premium on books on release day. Simply put, if you can’t buy a product at wholesale and make profit from their cover/retail price, then perhaps you shouldn’t go into that business model.

What ABC did here was blatantly admit what most of us knew they were doing when a book becomes hot before it’s released.

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#16

I don’t want to sound like a Broken Record (sorry if that saying escapes anyone), however, the goal of any Shop should be to keep your orders tight and work toward selling out if at all possible, at cover price … money in hand beats holding and hoping …

Greed almost killed the Industry in the Past … I wish Shop Owners would take a lesson from past bad choices …

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#17

I have pull accounts at each LCS, including a Batman pull at each. That’s how I’m handlig this. I’m fortunate that my shops don’t hike prices immediately…but they don’t limit copies bought either. I’ve seen someone take a stack of 20 avengers comics one Wednesday and walk out with the purchase. No questions asked. So I expect this will happen tomorrow when they open.

I honestly am curious (and a little apprehensive) to see what happens at my small LCSs tomorrow…will humanity prevail when 3 or more people are there for the limited shelf copies of Batman 89. An interesting social experiment for sure. I’m sure I’ll see faces I’ve never seen in the shop before. Either way, my copies are safe as a subscriber…I hope!

#18

Dragons Lair! One of my all time favorite games!

#19

And Space Ace. Great concepts and fun games. But we’re expensive to play in the arcade.

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#20

King’s Cache is another shop in Austin, Tx that has a nice setup with their comics and I’m sure they will have a few copies on their shelf on Wednesday. All comics come bagged and boarded free and they offer discounts.

7801 N Lamar Blvd STE. B-169, Austin, TX 78752

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