Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Which is more important in a dealer? Price Or Selection?

Where on the spectrum is your ideal dealer? Assume these are the "marked" prices and that you may be able to negotiate a little or get an occasional discount but this is the starting point.  

6 members have voted

  1. 1. Where on the spectrum is your ideal dealer? Assume these are the "marked" prices and that you may be able to negotiate a little or get an occasional discount but this is the starting point.

    • 2250


24 posts in this topic

I run into this question a lot in owning a shop. And I run into it as a collector when filling out my own wantlists. Is it better to price every thing cheap and constantly be out of items, or to have what people are looking for but maybe not at their ideal price.Yes, it's nice to be able to shop around, but we all build long-term relationships with a small number of dealers, our "go-to guys" if you will. And they make the cut in part based on where they are on this spectrum. Is the stuff they have cheap? Or do they have what you are looking for?So here's the question. Where on the spectrum is your ideal dealer?One big assumption before you vote. We're not talking about Holy Grail books here. We're not talking about finding a dealer who will sell you an AF15 at 75% off. We're talking about the guys who carry the "common" books in your collection, which may be $5 books for some people and $100 books for others. The stuff to fill out the random holes in your collection.

Where on the spectrum is your ideal dealer? Assume these are the "marked" prices and that you may be able to negotiate a little or get an occasional discount but this is the starting point.They have almost every book you are ever looking for, and they charge around triple what you're looking to pay.They have 90% of the books you are ever looking for, and they charge around double what you're looking to pay.They have 80% of the books you are ever looking for, and they charge around 60% more than what you're looking to pay.They have 70% of the books you are ever looking for, and they charge around 40% more than what you're looking to pay.They have 60% of the books you are ever looking for, and they charge around 25% more than what you're looking to pay.They have 50% of the books you are ever looking for, and they charge around 10% more than what you're looking to pay.They have 40% of the books you are ever looking for, and they charge right around what you're looking to pay.They have 30% of the books you are ever looking for, and they charge around 15% less than what you're looking to pay.They have 20% of the books you are ever looking for, and they charge around 30% less than what you're looking to pay.They have 10% of the books you are ever looking for, and they charge around 50% less than what you're looking to pay.They have 5% of the books you are ever looking for, and they charge around 75% less than what you're looking to pay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TAKE TWO:

 

I run into this question a lot in owning a shop. And I run into it as a collector when filling out my own wantlists. Is it better to price every thing cheap and constantly be out of items, or to have what people are looking for but maybe not at their ideal price.

 

Yes, it's nice to be able to shop around, but we all build long-term relationships with a small number of dealers, our "go-to guys" if you will. And they make the cut in part based on where they are on this spectrum. Is the stuff they have cheap? Or do they have what you are looking for?

 

So here's the question. Where on the spectrum is your ideal dealer?

 

One big assumption before you vote. We're not talking about Holy Grail books here. We're not talking about finding a dealer who will sell you an AF15 at 75% off. We're talking about the guys who carry the "common" books in your collection, which may be $5 books for some people and $100 books for others. The stuff to fill out the random holes in your collection. And we're not talking about guide price, just the price you think is appropriate for the book...

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I chose the 40% option...if a dealer had 40% of the early Silver Marvels I collect at prices I'm willing to pay (and I'm willing to pay above Overstreet), I'd drop dead of shock!!! 893whatthe.gifcloud9.gif With the low available supply, I rarely find dealers who have 5% of what I'm looking for at ANY price. Which makes it more fun because of the challenge!! cloud9.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I chose 40% as well. What can I say... I dont want to pay more than what I think its worth. If I can get a deal, thats great, but if I have to choose between cheap books that arent what I want, and what I want at the high end of my range, I would rather the dealer had what I want. Having said all that, if I cant find the book I want after a long search (months to years), then I will pay more than I want... within reason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mathematically, 20% of books at 30% off seems to give best overall value. I went for the 5% option as I can't afford to buy 20% of what I want, so I'll just take the maximum discount going.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I chose the 40% option...if a dealer had 40% of the early Silver Marvels I collect at prices I'm willing to pay (and I'm willing to pay above Overstreet), I'd drop dead of shock!!! 893whatthe.gifcloud9.gif With the low available supply, I rarely find dealers who have 5% of what I'm looking for at ANY price. Which makes it more fun because of the challenge!! cloud9.gif

 

Same here with everything you said. Although mine are early Silver DC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't understand most local comic shops around here. smirk.gif

 

 

They have very little Silver on the wall and only a few small boxes of bronze.

 

Overgraded and overpriced.

FVF = NM grade and price.

VGF= VF etc...

frown.gif

 

I find the less Silver Age stuff a shop has the worse the grading/prices are not the way your poll is.

 

Those few times I've found someone with a large volume they seem to be more sane in their pricing and even offer good deals if you want to buy $500 or $1000 of VGF non-key stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went with the lowest price,but look for good service also. Perhaps he only has a limited selection because of the volume he does. Dealers with great inventory and insanely high prices should simply open up museums and charge fee to gasp at the wonder of their collections.At the Big Apple show,The Avengers 4 I picked up was priced at $975 and was nicer than ones priced at 1500(with a small tear on front cover) and another at $2375(not by much,but I thought it was better).Sometimes,there is a very good reason why dealers have so many books-they don't sell enough!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting results so far... and they go somewhat against my own personal experience in the shop...

 

I get far more complaints about not having the book someone is looking for than for having prices that are too high.

 

If someone walks in the door and wants to start collecting Ultimate Spider-Man, I can't see him being pleased with his results when he finds that I only have 3 of the 52 issues. Even if they are at 50 cents a piece. I still don't think that's an experience that is going to put me in his top 5 favorite stores...

 

I get quite a few people coming into the shop with big wantlists, in many cases 200-500 different issues that they are trying to fill. As they start walking through the store looking for stuff, if I only have 5-10% of the books they are looking for (and we're talking books like Avengers 118, not books like Buzzy 70) they may buy the books that I have on that trip, but they likely never come back. Because it just isn't worth the effort. There's no repeat business there, and they aren't likely to tell their friends to check the place out.

 

That same guy comes in and I have 60% of the books he is looking for, he probably spends the same amount of money (or more) than he did in the 5-10% scenario, picking and choosing which books he thinks he can tolerate paying a little extra for. And he definitely comes back, because he knows I will have books that he needs. He also is more likely to tell his friends about the place. Even though he tells them my prices are "a little high" they will check the place out anyway and pick and choose which books they are willing to pay over budget for...

 

Friend says "They didn't have hardly any (silver age, bronze age, pre-Code Horror, etc)..." = You don't make the trip

 

Friend says "They had a lot of (silver age, bronze age, pre-Code Horror, etc) but their prices were a little high..." = You make the trip

 

Just my experience...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'House...

 

Your poll doesn't reflect the amount of money you'll need to make to run a business...

 

If you have 5% of the books someone wants at 75% off...

you'll make next-to-nothing, and the customer will be extremely happy

but he'll be forced to spend the rest of his money elsewhere

(looking for the other 95%).

He'll probably go to the 10% inventory place with the 50% off sale next.

 

Having 5% at a great price is fine with "us" (customers) because we would

clean you out quickly and move on. It wouldn't be good for you at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes,there is a very good reason why dealers have so many books-they don't sell enough!

 

I hear you there...a certain west coast company comes to mind with their 20x guide on average...and they have a good selection of what I want...at a price I cannot fit into my budget.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'House...

 

Your poll doesn't reflect the amount of money you'll need to make to run a business...

 

If you have 5% of the books someone wants at 75% off...

you'll make next-to-nothing, and the customer will be extremely happy

but he'll be forced to spend the rest of his money elsewhere

(looking for the other 95%).

He'll probably go to the 10% inventory place with the 50% off sale next.

 

Having 5% at a great price is fine with "us" (customers) because we would

clean you out quickly and move on. It wouldn't be good for you at all.

 

Here is a different take on the same situation.

I go to a store,not my normal store but one not too far away,they have a decent selection at great prices. I'll buy what I can find and will absolultely return assuming that, at these kind of prices,he must have a tremendous turnover rate.

I go to store B,same distance away but in the opposite direction.My God,I'm impressed by their selection but Marrrooonn,the prices are insane.I can be pretty sure no one is going to be knocking down the doors to buy up all these books.I might sign up for future mailings,looking for the annual 50% sale most stores have.

Four weeks go by,I've a little money in my pocket. I pull out of my driveway-which direction do you think I'm heading?

If the queston boils down to a quick but small profit compared to a slower larger profit,it's a matter of which business model you choose to follow-McDonalds or an exclusive restruant. Both can be very successful.

Are your back issues a lossleader to attract people to your store, are they a major source of profit or something inbetween?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In reality, 40% is basically the only really good option.

 

As FF and others already mentioned, for someone collecting S.A, 40% is a good amount. We're talking 40% of my total want-list, correct? And I don't know about any other S.A collectors, but I wouldn't be able to buy 40% of my want-list in one shot anyway, unless I went onto a serious time-payment program. And I wouldn't want to buy 40% of my want-list at once, even if I had the cash, because it takes some of the fun out of collecting. So really, for me it's the only option that makes sense. I'm not a bargain hunter, I'm a "quality" hunter(quality in terms of the book itself, and the person I'm dealing with). I don't mind paying the top end of my set "range" for a particular book, so 40% sounds right. It's enough of a choice that I can pick out my priorities, and continue to be a repeat customer until I've cleaned them out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You probably should have asked what we are looking for in a brick and mortar store/dealer.

 

If I were looking for a brick and mortar dealer than I would be more inclined to go with the one with the best selection of back issues and a decent membership discount. When I go to a brick and mortar store I'm usually looking for a SPECIFIC item, rather than to fill my want list. That specific item is usually a recent issue I might have missed or a tpb that I want to read.

 

But at cons, I have the time to search around from multiple dealers and compare prices and conditions I am looking for someone personable, with a decent selection of books 10-40% of what I might be looking for and some negotiating room on the price or an upfront discount.

 

Kev

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really, in a dealer, I would look for knowledge of his product... for example, I was in the LCS the other day, the dealer is unloading an X-Men collection that he had just purchased, some insufficiently_thoughtful_person walks up and asks if he has the "first appearance of Storm in there somewhere"... the dealer then asks: "Was that Uncanny #129? No, wait, that was the first Kitty Pryde..."

 

Mortified both at their ignorance and my own Geeky revulsion from witnessing such an exchange, I left, never to return again.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So just because he didn't know it was X-Men #202, you aren't going to do business with him? I guess I can understand. I once asked my LCS owner for the first appearance of Speedball, and he pulled out a New Warriors #1. I cried myself to sleep that night, and couldn't digest any solids for a week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites