I thought Iíd start this thread here since Brian is a retailer and I assume that many people who read his column are retailers, fans, and people who might generally appreciate and have some input on my question.
I am seeking some advice on how to approach my LCS owner about giving me a pre-order discount that would enable me to move all of my buying from DCBS to his shop. My local LCS owner is a great guy, very approachable, very easy to deal with. Iím not nervous about approaching him with the idea, but I am nervous about offending him with my terms.
By way of background, my LCS is pretty small in terms of size, and is located in a fairly out-of-the-way location in a small and quiet community. It has been around for many years, but I canít imagine that the owner is getting rich off the business. Iíve never seen more than 5-6 other people in there at the same time, and there are many times when I go in that I am the only customer in the shop. Comics and trades seem to be their core business, but they also have RPG accessories and an RPG room, and sell a small selection of toys, statues, busts, etc.
I would like to propose that he give me a 40% flat rate discount in exchange for a monthly pre-paid order of $60 minimum, but sometimes higher. Initially I was going to propose 35%, but this only slightly trims my savings from DCBS since (a) I donít have to pay taxes on my DCBS orders and (b) there are always a few titles that I get in my DCBS orders that are anywhere from 40-75% off. For a $60 order, paying sales tax on my comics at the LCS would be about half what I pay to DCBS in shipping, but it still eats away at the savings. Thus, I bumped my initial offer up to 40% from 35%.
Am I asking too much? Is my head in the wrong place? Purely from a business standpoint, I am offering this guy 100% of my business whereas now he is getting 0%. Letís say heís only making 10% margin off of my purchases if he gives me a 40% discount Ė isnít that 10% of $60 better than 0% of $60, or does it create more trouble for him than it is worth? Plus, heís ordering inventory that he knows is going to move, as opposed to the possibility of having to stick them in the back issue bin where they will NEVER sell.