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  1. #1
    Junior Member Pandastrike's Avatar
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    Default How much do comic book store owners make?

    I'm curious, how much do comic book stores actually bring in, and what is the normal price that a store owner will pay to stock a $3.99 comic? I just don't see how some stores stay in business. I'm guessing the majority of owners are in the business because they like comics, not necessarily to make money?

  2. #2
    Hey don't call. Gary_B's Avatar
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    It varies. Many factors influence the overhead that each comic book store has to cover each month. My fave shop is run by two guys with no staff and I don't think they are rolling in dough. The notion that someone stays in business because they love it, even though it doesn't pay the bills is a romantic throwback to times that never were.

  3. #3
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    The guy that owns the shop I go to doesn't just sell comics. He sells Hello Kitty, statues, gaming stuff like Hero Clix, has gaming tournaments, does raffles for charities, offers free movies at a local theater, has golden and silver age comics for sale, teams up with other merchants or charities on special occasions, and other stuff. When the economy yanked and merchants were closing shops, he opened a 2nd store. Dude knows what he is doing.

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    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
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    My former LCS that closed down a few years ago apparently pulled in a profit of $10,000 a year. Unless you already have enough to stock the place and can get it up and running on credit, doesn't sound like the greatest investment. Then again, maybe easier to do that than to buy a rental property that could bring in nearly a grand a month.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasputin9977 View Post
    The guy that owns the shop I go to doesn't just sell comics. He sells Hello Kitty, statues, gaming stuff like Hero Clix, has gaming tournaments, does raffles for charities, offers free movies at a local theater, has golden and silver age comics for sale, teams up with other merchants or charities on special occasions, and other stuff. When the economy yanked and merchants were closing shops, he opened a 2nd store. Dude knows what he is doing.
    Yea you can't just sell comics.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Pandastrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasputin9977 View Post
    The guy that owns the shop I go to doesn't just sell comics. He sells Hello Kitty, statues, gaming stuff like Hero Clix, has gaming tournaments, does raffles for charities, offers free movies at a local theater, has golden and silver age comics for sale, teams up with other merchants or charities on special occasions, and other stuff. When the economy yanked and merchants were closing shops, he opened a 2nd store. Dude knows what he is doing.
    Nice, that's smart

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pandastrike View Post
    I'm curious, how much do comic book stores actually bring in, and what is the normal price that a store owner will pay to stock a $3.99 comic? I just don't see how some stores stay in business. I'm guessing the majority of owners are in the business because they like comics, not necessarily to make money?
    I left my job in the public service to concentrate full-time on the comics business about 8 years ago.

    As of today, I make $10,000 a year less than I was making in the public service back then.

    But my life is a lot happier.
    Visit the Ace Comics & Games Digital shopfront:
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  8. #8
    Lowe/Piece/Understatement Artycool8or's Avatar
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by FANA(R)TIC View Post
    This is not a reliable source so don't quote me, but my understanding is that more the store buys bigger discount it gets from the distributor. As high as 40-60% off of the retail Price. Obviously 60% is for TPB's, and 40% is for single comics.
    A quick correction - the different discount levels aren't for comics versus trades. The discount is usually set by the publisher and is usually uniform for everything they publish.

    So the discount on a Marvel trade is the same as the discount on a Marvel single issue and so on.
    Visit the Ace Comics & Games Digital shopfront:
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavemold View Post
    Yea you can't just sell comics.
    There are plenty of very successful stores that sell 75% and more comics and books.

    I know a few stores that ONLY stock comics and books and do very well.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FANA(R)TIC View Post
    This is not a reliable source so don't quote me, but my understanding is that more the store buys bigger discount it gets from the distributor. As high as 40-60% off of the retail Price. Obviously 60% is for TPB's, and 40% is for single comics. Occasionally, the distributor will blow out their left over and overstock comics at much better prices.
    With this in mind I'm not worried about the Comic Book Stores. If they are rational, they make profit on a single copy, what I don't get is how the independently (self) published books survive?
    The cheapest you can print is about 70-80 cents per issue for over 1000 copies in China. Add to that S&H, possibly Duty, and the fact that the distributor might pay them 50% of the cover price, leaving hardly anything for the creators.
    .
    If a book sells through 3000 copies at 4 bucks a pop, that's 2100 for printing, freight is less than you think, and even if the distributor takes 50%, they've still made several grand. If an indie book can get out ten times a year, that's around $30,000 a year, just from making a comic.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Pandastrike's Avatar
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    So, how much does a store owner make off of the $3.99 comic I buy?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pandastrike View Post
    So, how much does a store owner make off of the $3.99 comic I buy?
    Before costs: around $2.

    After freight, wages, rent and other costs, more like 20 cents.
    Visit the Ace Comics & Games Digital shopfront:
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pandastrike View Post
    So, how much does a store owner make off of the $3.99 comic I buy?
    It depends on his overall volume and what publisher it is. It ranges from 30% t0 almost 60%

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iangould View Post
    Before costs: around $2.

    After freight, wages, rent and other costs, more like 20 cents.
    Freight is a much bigger issue for you. Here they are shipped UPS ground and the cost, per unit, averages out to a few cents per, depending.

    Rent was a much bigger issue for me. I was paying four times more than a friend's store in the south for four times less the space.

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