Name your preference

Do you prefer a comic book publisher charging $50 for the comic so you can order it at that or less if you get a discount or do you prefer it being a 50 QTY Ratio Variant expecting it to be $50 but maybe having a chance of it being less if you’re lucky to find one priced that way?

The one pictured is apparently a $50 Cover Price Virgin comic from a new series collecting 4 women no one subscribes to individually so I definitely would not plan to order 50 shelf copies of a non virgin to buy this one but as a stand alone I’m considering it.

If I’m buying books at $50 retail price tag, there better be some original sketch involved or it better have hands to give me a massage or something.

No way I would pay $50 for a book that has a $50 retail price tag on it if it’s just “limited” and I definitely wouldn’t pay $50 for that book picture.

Forget the example image LOL :money_mouth_face:

If you have a relationship with a store subscription service I’m sure you could wrangle a 10 to 35% discount out of someone you’re a regular with in general.

I’m reading that as you’d rather the store buy 50 copies of something on the chance they may sell enough of them to offer it to you for less if it was another comic in that situation?

I’ve been back and forth over the years on wether I’d prefer they just sell the qty ratios at the $ = Ratio # price so I didn’t have to spend the cost of 200 $3.99 comics to buy one copy. It’d be nice to take the $399 investment and just buy 4 copies of the cover at $200. The costs would be the same and I’d have a lot less shipping weight to pay, less books to move and 4 times the variants to sell. It’d suck for adding $$ to the discount tier percentage though.

This comes back to a problem I have in this industry, are we buying covers or we buying comic books? To answer the question, I would rather a shop buy quality books based not only on cover art but the stories and interior art as well. If you want to buy 50 books to get a 1:50 ratio variant you’re gonna sell at $50, that’s your business but it’s gonna have to be really super special of a book to entice me to spend $50 on any comic that’s just hitting the shelves as a new release.

Now I’m not a shop owner but I’d imagine I’d try to stick to the plans of “sell what I think or know I can sell, not what I want to sell”. Not to speak for Uncle Willie but I’d probably take the approach he’s mentioned he takes as a shop owner, buy the number of books to fulfill customer pulls, buy a few extra for the stragglers.

You’re talking to a reader first, a collector next (and that’s not just collecting covers, but entire books that include great story and interiors) and then a flipper to pay for the books I want to keep.

It’s rare I ever pay over cover price for a variant. The shop closest to me never sells comics over cover price, even variants. If they happen to qualify for them, they either stick them in a long time subscribers pull list or stick them out on the shelves for cover price. They buy what their customers ask in their pulls and then a few extra on the shelves they think they can sell to those who didn’t put on their pull.

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I do stuff like frequently but it’s usually by customer request. The general idea is if you can sell the 50 copies at a discount of a buck each then the ratio variant recoops the lost $50. You’re talking around $200 in expense to get that comic in the door plus shipping. Frequently I’ve got multiple customers wanting the same variant and there’s just no realistic way to supply them all without swamping myself with additional copies expected to move none of if the first 50 wasn’t even going to sell quickly. There are times I’d much rather just buy 4 $50 individuals than 204 cover priced copies to make 4 people happy.

Part of me wants to reward the company offering the $50 copy with no strings just to encourage that kind of behavior in the future. They offer the same comic with trade dress for standard cover price.

I wish Marvel would do that once in a while or at least offer an either or option on their high ratio’s. I can usually offer one good deal but after that the additional one’s have to charge more to offset the books that will not sell. Other times like that Spider-Girls #1 Dekal 50 qty I think that sold all 4 covers for $125 just since the comics would never move quickly if at all it’d take to get them. So far I’m amazed that maybe 5 standard covers have left so far. Maybe 45 more to go but at least it’s not a money loser now. It should have covered cost and shipping by now plus I think the extra 25 qty variant sold also a few weeks ago for $12.50.

Is this not the Publisher trying to bypass the secondary market and speculate on themselves using an extremely marked up price point (on a book that technically has an unlimited print run, until FOC) IDK. $50 cover price? At that price, that book is going to have to do a lot more for me than tell a 22 page story. A lot, lot more.

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It better have a $50 bill tucked within the pages… :wink:

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Technically that wouldn’t be true. If they’d made it a “ratio variant” that required 50 copies to be purchased, that ratio variant is also an unlimited print run “until FOC”.

The publisher themselves I wouldn’t say is speculating on themselves since speculating implies trying to make more money. By dropping the requirement to purchase 50 standards they’re actually making less money by a large % and helping out the customers who buy the standard cover in general by not watering down the production run with additional qty printed solely to qualify for purchase requirements to get the ratio variant increasing the long term spec value on the standard cover.

I would think it’d maybe result in a higher print run for the $50 comic than the 50 qty ratio variant since more people could now have it but at the same time but then again, that could be offset by people with sticker shock staying away resulting in a lower number and escalating prices on the market later once the low print totals are known and maybe exceed customer demand from people who didn’t know they wanted it until after they saw it regardless of the hoops stores had to go through to qualify to get it for them or not.

I believe you are missing some important variables in your assessment @BJ. I do not believe many, if any, LCS would order 50 of this book in order to qualify for a 1:50. You yourself stated you probably wouldn’t. The 10-12 shops in my area, I know, would never order 50 of any Dynamite book. They wouldnt even order 50 for a Marvel 1:50. So, I feel that they are speculating on themselves. A $50 cover is an attempt to make more money. Imo.
I dont know the exact numbers, but if a store with the largest Diamond discount will be paying about $2 per book. Im assuming $1.5 - $1 would be the publishers share. From that $1.50/issue profit for the publisher, they have to pay the printer and the employess who worked on said book. How much of that initial $1.50 profit is left for the coiffures of the publisher? .50, .25, 0? So, lets say the publisher profits .50 per book after factoring in all costs to produce. 50 books x .50 profit = $25 profit from selling one 1:50 ratio and the 50 cover A’s that would be required to go along with it.

Now lets look at the $50/per book variant. If they sell 50 variants at $50 and we use the same overhead costs as the ratio example above ($50 cover= $25 for retailer with diamond discount - $1 for production costs and salaries = $24 profit per book), so if they sell 50 books at $24 profit (50x24=$1200), then I would say that the publisher IS trying to speculate on themselves. They will make a greater profit, realistically, by selling these variants at a $50 cover price as opposed to forcing shops to order 50 to receive 1 Variant.

And yes, having one variant at $50 will create a much higher print run for this $50 book, as opposed to if it was a cover price ratio variant. In turn making the $50 price point that much more absurd. As I stated above, the only way they (Dynamite) sell this book is if you can order it without meeting a ratio requirement. Imo.

I believe you are missing some important variables in your assessment @BJ. I do not believe many, if any, LCS would order 50 of this book in order to qualify for a 1:50.

You’re missing it actually. That one pictured above is just one example but the discussion was for all ratio variants, any publisher, any hero. I know plenty of stores that order 50 comics to bring in qty variants especially if the order they would have done without doing so put them in the ballpark where they only had to increase their order some to qualify for example bumping order size from 40 to 50 which is only an increase of 25% over what would have been ordered without the variant.

I chose this particular copy just because it’s the one that got me thinking about the topic and as has already been expressed, seems to be something many of you wouldn’t want which is why even though I don’t think the title it’s a variant of would be a big seller, the variant itself may be an extremely low print run and have some spec potential. (This is a spec site after all :money_mouth_face: )

You’re not comparing apples to apples in your comparison. You would have to compare the profit from 50 variants to the profit of selling 2,500 standard covers.

Some stores are going to order just because it’s $50 without the qty strings attached. Others are going to run away and not touch it because of the price point so there’s no way to really know whether the end production would exceed or be less than the production would have been with qty restrictions. Even if they do make a little more in the end, they’re reducing my costs of acquisition while expanding the size of the market I could offer it to if multiple people wanted it so that’s a good thing.

I know, would never order 50 of any Dynamite book.

I’m in that ballpark all the time with multiple people wanting all Kiss, Bettie Page and Elvira ratio qty variants. Several want all the covers, no matter what the cost though I do get them good discounts on the combo packs and others just want all the covers up until the qty variants get pricey. Hopefully you can find some fans with need them all mentality over time yourself. 30 to 50 depending on how high the ratios go and frequently they want the signed copies and special covers that also run in the $35 to $70 range from Dynamite.

One of my larger subscribers just finished paying off his Uncanny X-Men #1 variant combo pack. His excuse for taking so long to pick them up and catching up his regular books in his hold-box was he’s “focusing on getting VIRGIN covers since January.” He appears to be mostly a Marvel fan though. I’ve been doing really good with Dynamite bundles after the series ends. The ratio variants cover most of the cost of acquisition then we assemble complete readable sets of Covers A thru D into bundles at discounted prices. Worse case they end up in the cheap boxes years from now.

If the discussion is for any ratio variant, I apologize, I missed that stipulation. I was speaking directly about the book pictured above. It is a completely different question when involving the big 2.

When we discuss any one particular shop, we must consider that the market i am in is only 10% the size of yours, based on population (im Canadian, you’re American).
Canadian shops have more financial hurdles to consider when ordering (exchange rate, import charges, much smaller market). This causes my Canadian shops to not have the clientele to be ordering more than they know what they can sell. there are 2-3 shops by me, out of 12-15, that may order enough books, on any given Wednesday, to even qualify for a big 2 top tier ratio book. There are several shops that have zero indie books, unless they are preordered. This is due to the much smaller Canadian market and higher financial risks.

So now that we are talking about the same thing, if Marvel or DC offered $25 and $50 variants, im sure people would order them, but I doubt they would be highly sought after by the general comic community, or speculators for that matter. I also believe that the big 2 would be putting themselves in a hole if they were to switch from their current ratio ordering system, to a high cover price open order alternative. And I do think if Marvel or DC did it, it would definitely increase the print run compared to a normal ratio variant.

God I hope Marvel doesnt do this.

Vampi, then Betty. Oh wait. I guess I should have read the topic before I answered.