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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)

Ok, I'm not a Pet Shop Boys fan (by a long shot) but I thought one of their song titles really caught the spirit of what I'm thinking right now. I've just been to my aLCS (almost Local Comic Shop) and I feel...well violated

You see, I gave up buying tons and tons of new comics about a year ago, in fact I'm no longer buying ANY regular DC or Marvel Universe title anymore, but I'm still buying a handful of titles which I've really been enjoying. I came back to comics when Marvel had a Renaissance at the turn of the century, and for 3-4 years they published some dang good books, but the last 18 months have seen steady decrease in quality and it has come to such a nadir (House of M...) that I'm glad I got rid of that monkey on my back in 2004. As for DC...well I've never been much of a DC fan and let's leave it at that.

So why am I pissed off ? Well first of all, it's important you know that I know of 5 comic shops in my country. That's 5 ! Only one of them has a decent selection,the other 4 work with pull-lists only. None have comics older than 1980.
Two of the shops are in my state, the other three are on the other side of the country. The one closest to me was so expensive that I almost quit buying new books back in 2002. But the other one which is about an hour's drive has a better pricing policy,even though any book has to be pre-ordered 3 months in advance.

For the better part of 3 years they have been getting my business, each month I set aside an entire morning and make the trek to get my "monthly dose". Today was such a day, and to my dismay the prices had gone up.Not the cover price mind you, no the price the store charges. Because I'm in Europe I pay in euros, and because of the exchange rate $<->€ I know prices can vary. Well, when I first started to buy comics, a $3.00 comic was €2.80, which comes down to $3.30. So I was paying 10% more than the cover price, that's after I got a store discount because I had pre-ordered. Then the euro weakened and I had to pay €3.00 for a $3.00 comic, so now I was paying $3.50 per comic. The people at the store told me that this was out of their hands as they were just following the exchange market. And then last year, the euro started to trounce the dollar and became a lot stronger. Did my comics become cheaper ? What do you think ? The store told me they were now setting a "firm" price because the market was fluctuating too much....$1.00 = €1.00....in other words I was still paying over $3.50 for a $3.00 comic.

Today I had to pay €3.40 for a $3.00 comic, yes I am now paying the nice round sum of $4.00 (for a $3.00 comic)...and yes that's the 'cheap cheap after discount loyal customer price). Why ? Well the euro has lost some ground against the dollar didn't you know ?

So what's the alternative ? I'm already shopping at the cheapest store that I can get to without having to pack a suitcase...Stop reading new books ? Maybe, I don't know.
I'm currently only getting :
  • Planetary
  • Y, The last Man
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four
  • Supreme Power
  • Astro City
That's it.... It's not that paying a dollar over cover price will kill me, and maybe some might think it's a bit small of me after dropping $500 a month on backissues, but I just don't like the feeling they expect me to drop the soap every time I enter my local comic book store.


Anonymous Médard said...

Wow, that's quite expensive!
I don't have a real good almost local comic shop so I always get my comics at Gojokers in Amsterdam and Comicasa via the internet.

Both have good prices. $1=€0.90, something like that. They also have alot of backissues, current and pre-dating 1980. With good prices too, especially Gojokers who's also very friendly with customers.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous osborn_france said...

Hi Chrom,
I hads to stop buying monthly comics one year ago. It was definitively too much expensive for me, little european collector.
Since, I found the solution: I only buy TPB, directly from US comics discounters. Theses frenchs comics shops are killing themselves practising such crazy prices...

9:47 PM  
Blogger chromium said...

Hi osborn,
It's pretty sad, but I'm leaning that way as well, even though I really enjoy reading books from month to month and having to wait to read what happened next.
An extra bonus is that you can discuss the new comics on various bulletin boards...something you can't do when buying the TPBs...

Oh and Dave, I see you bid on that Colan Daredevil (+ Dr Doom) #37 page...Sweet page, I tried to snipe it but my max was $280 due to the condition of the page...

11:30 PM  
Anonymous osborn_france said...

Too bad this page is going back to USA...

Agree with you about the TPB...

Still using bidnip.com ?

Last question: do you now why i can't post a comment with Internet Explorer. I had to use Opera to write theses lines ?...

2:04 PM  
Blogger chromium said...

I'm writing this using IE....dunno why it doesn't work for you. I always use Firefox, but tried IE per your request....

I stopped using bidnip.com and now use a free non-web based prog called Bidwatcher, very easy, very flexible, but of course your PC has to be on for the snipe to go out. But that's not really a problem here :)

2:21 PM  

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