Retailer Tips and Tricks on Successfully Running a Shop Long Term

no need to apologize, the working title and questions still apply. As an aspiring B&M guy, these things interest me. Its easy for me to see the trend online and quickly throw my hat in, but down in the trenchs is more difficult to see as i dont visit shops anymore in my area. Knowing what these pull and hold customers are looking for and what the random comic hunter is looking for are all of intrest to me.

That is terrible practice. I would imagine as a shop owner, I would keep a digital copy of what I have in stock with my current tagged price. Perhaps as time permits, once a month or perhaps once a quarter I would do a review for price changes, fluctuations, etc. The drastic changes I would mark as to go update in the physical inventory.

I don’t know, that’s just me. I would probably also drop my prices if the market starts swinging the other way for some books as well. Nothing worse than finding a back issue that was likely hot 5 years ago with the 5 year old peak price when the rest of world is selling it for less…

It was supposed to be BlondeStabby with the 1st post but something went wrong with the registration verification stuff leading to me posting without realizing it hadn’t changed. I am blonde after all so sometimes these things confuse me. :smile:

I considered going with GreenStabby also. But you know how they put it, BlondeStabbies have more FUN!!! :joy:

I’m not privy to the numbers but I’ve always heard it was stuff like penny a click drops in the bucket which you could possibly offset by the additional sales you’d be getting and maybe even qualifying for higher levels of discounts on your 6 month averages to get better pricing on everything.

I’d be more tempted to click myself if I knew it was supporting CHU and a CHU member that had helped me in the past. Maybe even two links if someone else offers a great price on subscriptions so CHU gets it either way and the viewers have a choice that benefits two CHU content providers.

It’s a terrible, terrible practice. Especially when he leans on some inflated Mycomicshop pricepoint. The worst part is the shop has a metal roof and solar panels so literally no service in the entire store…

He has such glorious stock but it’s so awful doing business there. It may be my own personal hell. I saw the owner at a con a few months back and he was curious where I’d been - just so clueless… the last time was in his shop he told me “it was my loss” that I decided against purchasing this one key from him. I haven’t been back since. I spent probably just less then 3k on silver age books last quarter and average about 200 a month on monlthys (he never had my monthly business because of proximity).

I’m not a confrontational customer, I used to work retail and was a GM so I get the customer isn’t always right, but man my.local shops are just so clueless. Its amazing what just being able to pick up on behavior signals can do for your business. I’ve dreamed of having my own B&M but my wife wants nothing to do with it. Such is life.

I should also state - the pricing on his books, he had a 1st Hobgonlin with tattoo marked for $90 and marked it up to 120 at POS - so it’s not like his stock is way underpriced to start

Well, I had to chuckle a minute on that … When GOTG 1 came out, I had 3 nice copies of Hulk #271 in the bins … priced at $3.00 each … guy comes in the day of the Movie and buys all three … these books had languished for years, really just another Hulk back-issue of no particular interest, anyone could have bought them during the years they resided in the bins …

That’s just one story of many over the years … regrets … ?? You bet … my fault, well yes … it’s tough to keep a huge quantity of back issues Up to the Minute Priced … and, although people seem to think I am a Fountain of Comic Knowledge, no one knows it all …

I think this guys issue is he deals with coins, gold and silver too - so he’s used to a varying market, price changes and buying cheap chains from crackheads. Which of course, is a totally different market from building a monthly recurring income model based off of developing a loyal regular base.

My friend and I talk about a B&M store often and we all come to the conclusion that if we pursued volume and ratio variants we would have to augment with an online presence. We’ve theorized we’d sell the variant at ratio in store but would mark up to market price online…

Back when I first started out and got to the end of my welcome to Diamond period, my discount level crashed to 35%

I was paying COD fee’s which are inflated and Shipping Charges on top of that. Shipping would frequently come out to 15 to 22 cent per book on the order sizes back then.

The places I was used to selling at were loaded with dumpers. Books offered at say $1.99 the day they came out for $2.99 books. My cost was already higher than that before I even touched them. Throw in the cost of a board and bag if they shipped and that pretty much made every book that didn’t sell a loss if it had to be listed online and then another 10-15% would come off the top of that in site fee’s and PayPal fee’s.

That’s one of the reasons I say if you want to go into the walk-in biz, make sure you keep your order totals up right from the beginning and have enough capital to maintain until you develop the traffic to keep it there. I got in the 2 year shelf if a series was ongoing just because it would frequently take that long to find a buyer and if we didn’t then then the inventory was going to lose money.

Those little discounts kill the margin. You have to sell more than two copies to make the same as selling just one that’s not discounted 25% if you maintain your 50% margin.

So most advertising and affiliate links create policies and terms that say the person creating the links or placing the ads on the site prohibit us from telling people to click or click to go buy. It has to be genuine interest. As more clicks do generate more revenue for a website, I nor Anthony cannot tell you to go click on ads or affiliate links to buy stuff. We would break policies and can lose either ads or affiliate status.

So with that said, do as you see fit but we aren’t telling anyone to click anything ever on CHU or it’s related websites. We leave it as it is, advertising and we only tell people that links within articles leads to sites like eBay, TFAW, MCS, Amazon and so on as commission based links, etc.

Here’s something you will want a copy of also when you get open and it’s even from Dark Horse.

Another one for no beverages allowed. Nothing like having sweaty drink hands all over your comics and there’s that one guy who knocks something off and reflexively tries to catch it with the hand holding the drink slinging moisture over a wide selection of comics while claiming not to have any money, he was just looking and really sorry.

Good insurance so when they shoot out two of your front windows the week before Christmas you can still enjoy the holiday season somewhat.

Another topic I don’t see brought up is what’s your preference for insurance? I imagine each State has different minimums on what’s required for when customers hurt themselves, robbery and other replacement of inventory level needs?

Anyone that walks in the door with Food and/or Drink in hand, is politely asked to take them out and leave them in the car … my Shop, my Rules …

Cell phone scanners using some sort of pricing app are ejected tout suite … my Shop, my Rules …

People I’ve never seen before that say “Will you take $XXX for this …?” … nay … although I will cut regulars good deals without them even asking …

With the continually escalating cost of insurance these days, my Deductible has been forced to go to 5K … which, unless it’s practically a catastrophic event, is close to no Insurance at all … “Welcome, to the Machine” … :vulcan_salute:

Whoah…lots of different comic shops around my area. All are long term (over 20 years) & everyone runs their shops differently. Each could likely offer tips from their perspective that may or may be to someones liking but they have all obviously worked for the owners.
Take it easy a bit on each other please.

work out something in advertising to make the click bait of choice at least a CHU member like yourself. Keep the advertising money and support in house.

See BJ. Here is where I have a problem. First off, I have told you before that in order to keep the site running and free we need to do advertising. Otherwise I would be throwing hundreds of dollars a month to host a site that does not sell anything. Doesn’t sound like a good business practice. I am asking you to just let it drop. It is none of your business. Your dislike for us running ads is duly noted now move on.

Click bait articles are the equivalent of spam or something to draw a reader in to click but not deliver what is promised. A picture of a hot girl say with something that says “you will not believe what she takes off” then when you click the article it is wart removal. That’s effective click bait. We don’t do that. Again. It’s kinda rude.

Maybe we keep it in house and start charging subscriptions to be a part of CHU… Say, $1.99 a month for regular folks and $19.99 a month if you’re a retailer… Since you know, we can set the price how we see fit right? :wink:

See BJ. Here is where I have a problem. First off, I have told you before that in order to keep the site running and free we need to do advertising.

I think you misunderstood. I didn’t say give it to him for free. I suggested switching some of the cheaper one’s to him for what you’re making now from the cheaper ones for those posts. you make the same, he gets more business and maybe an enhancement to his overall discount level. If your FOC page is making say $25 a week from just that portion, then let him pay the $25 or whatever it works out to, especially if he’s willing to match the price or beat the price your linking to from the other place. That’s a win-win for everyone. :thinking:

Maybe we keep it in house and start charging subscriptions to be a part of CHU… Say, $1.99 a month for regular folks and $19.99 a month if you’re a retailer… Since you know, we can set the price how we see fit right? :wink:

That’s actually fairly common and not an unacceptable approach to problems so long as there was a perk added to the business side like, maybe direct e-mail notification every time a new post goes up here or on the main site or both as an option so we get information faster and in time to do something about it. That’s part of the problem with last Saturday night. Instead of running my business, my discussion of snack choices and preparation (with pictures) got turned into something I didn’t intend but instead of leaving to handle things I needed to be taking care of, I stayed and participated since it appeared I was getting information a couple minutes faster than the other members from the place I was watching make live posts. Instead of trying to help CHUsters get info fast and dissected I could have been taking care of my own comics that sold immediately at prices that were less than what they could have been if I was paying attention. All my best copies of What If 10, Avengers, 43, 44 etc left in a blink. Then I get to feel bad because it took someone a few seconds to rename the snack choices and preparation topic with pictures somewhere else? At least the expected six posts telling me how horrible the snacks were or how they were being prepared didn’t show up once all that useful alternative topic stuff crowded them out of the forefront of discussion at the time.

The winky at the end indicated sarcasm… CHU will never go subscription based. It would likely lose a huge majority of it’s readers and it would doom the website more than likely. Most if not all the information we post is already out there, we just do the work for people so they don’t have to go search it on all the corners of the web.

I have no idea what the rest of your post was about… I lost interest real fast. Please don’t try to explain snack choices and such… You basically replied with a lot of irrelevant info there in responding to my post about subscriptions on CHU, which I assure everyone will never happen.

Charge per Login per ISP as well. Someone has three accounts gets three charges.

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I honestly have no idea what the snack choice conversation is about. I am baffled. But anyway:

maybe direct e-mail notification every time a new post goes up here or on the main site or both

We already do that, for free, all you have to do is sign up with your email.

Yup… right there on the main CHU website on the sidebar (or at the bottom if you are browsing via mobile):