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  1. #7036
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    Whether we want to accept it or not, the fact of the matter is that there is a small base of OHC, HC and TPB collectors out there who will buy these books. Yeah, we like to think that everyone buys their comics in these nice tomes, but it just isn't so. Many of the cult classics, like X-Factor, don't carry a large readership and I believe that translates into smaller print runs for TPBs and HCs. Even when a big name is attached to a series, it still doesn't warrant a large print run on the comic, and thus goes the HC and TPB orders, which would have to be way smaller.
    Now, having said all that, the audience for omnibuses is MUCH smaller because of the price point. Most collectors simply cannot afford to spend, nor are willing to shell out, $125 on a large book. They still have the mindset that comics are cheap forms of entertainment and anything over $20 is outrageously priced.
    I am amazed at how many TPBs The Walking Dead sells. I've seen comic shops get boxes of each volume in on their weekly shipments from Diamond. I have also been amazed at how many copies BAMs keep in stock on their shelves.
    But, what amazes me more is how people will look at the bigger collections of TWD and they simply won't pay the big bucks for the compilations, which are a better buy than the TPBs on their own.
    Just like with TWD, readers will flip through omnibuses and go on and on about how awesome those larger editions are, but they simply can't understand how anyone would pay such a high price for a book. I mean, even us seasoned collectors sometimes find it hard to shell out $100 for these reprint volumes. I know it gets harder and harder for me to spend that much, because I have so many other things begging for my dollars.
    I'm not trying to be an alarmist, but Marvel has said it is changing its policy on reprint editions and I think we are seeing the new policy in action with these sold-out TPBs. I mean, when was the last time any of us saw TOW sell out of THREE TPBs just minutes after the listing went live?
    Last edited by DonEMC; 11-24-2012 at 08:28 AM.

  2. #7037
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    Another example of how comic companies are cutting down on the massive print runs that have plagued them in the past is that we are seeing more and more "hot" series going into HC and then TPB for all subsequent issues.
    Or, in DC's case, they just cancel the TPB when sales are so low, as in the case of Doom Patrol, which got two TPBs before the third and final TPB was cancelled due to low sales and orders, and John Ostrander's Suicide Squad, which DC promised it would reprint the full series, then cancelled the rest of the TPB line after receiving low orders for the second volume.
    I think Marvel THOUGHT it would sell a heckuva lot more Alan Davis-covered John Carter Warlord of Mars and thought it would sell more of the Humberto Ramos ASM 2s, because those artists are hot. Yeah, I love Gil Kane's cover and think John Romita is the second greatest Spider-Man artist (behind Ditko, of course), but many of the younger readers haven't grown up with those guys drawing the Wall Crawler like I did. So, Marvel wrongly banked on their appeal to sell more books and those are the ones that are still in stock everywhere (Davis John Carters were recently put on the cutout list).
    I think that is further proof of what I said earlier: It is the small group of collectors like myself that are purchasing these large hardcover collections and that means print runs are most likely getting closer to the pre-orders.

  3. #7038
    X-Fan & Rocker krisis's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the updates to the stores list! I think this captures all of your updates; any more comments - especially on Int'l shipping, packaging, and returns?

    I'll update this again (for the last time?) on Monday when everyone has had a chance to chime in, and then perhaps Omnibus or Merrick would be kind enough to add it to the one of the early posts.

    Amazon (including .ca, .uk, etc)
    Discounts: 5-48%, but also charges tax in some states
    Pre-Orders: Yes; you are charged the lowest price prior to release and billed upon shipment.
    US Shipping: Free from $25 up, or free 2-day with Prime subscription.
    Int'l Shipping: Yes, but there are also Int'l Amazon sites. Often is the cheapest option due to discounts and shipping cost. AU/NZ may order from US or UK.
    Packaging: Occasional poor packaging leads to damaged books, especially on larger volumes - but it differs by shipping center.
    Returns: Within US pays return cost for damaged books.

    Barnes & Noble (AKA BN or B&N)
    Discounts: Generally 5-45%, and will price-match Amazon. Issues regular coupon codes to subscribers.
    Pre-Orders: Yes; credit cards are briefly pre-charged to confirm funds and then fully charged when books are shipped.
    US Shipping: Free $25 and up
    Int'l Shipping: Per item charges
    Packaging: Generally considered the least reliable by the board.
    Returns: [Anyone? Do they pay for return label]

    Book Depository (.com and .uk) aka BD
    Discounts: Discounts vary, but are generally <20%.
    Pre-Orders: Yes; fixed at 15% off. You are charged when order is placed.
    US Shipping: Free
    Int'l Shipping: Yes, free!
    Packaging: Generally reliable, but can be problematic for larger/heavier books.
    Returns: Will return/refund [but, who pays shipping?]

    CheapGraphicNovels.com (aka CGN)
    Discounts: 45% on new Marvel/DC books, less for other publishers. 50% off on many week-of-release titles. $6 flat rate shipping.
    Pre-Orders: No, but you can set a reminder to be informed when a book arrives in stock
    US Shipping: $6 flat rate, no exceptions.
    Int'l Shipping: Priced per box, check site for current rates.
    Packaging: They describe it as "bomb-proof" - generally reported consistent on the board. Some reported errors.
    Returns: You pay shipping

    Dcbservice.com (aka DCBS)
    Discounts: >30%, but 50% off weak of release
    Pre-Orders: Yes, billed at time of pre-order
    US Shipping: $7 flat rate
    Int'l Shipping: Asks users to inquire prior to ordering
    Packaging: [Anyone?]
    Returns: [Anyone?]

    Instocktrades (aka IST)
    Discounts: 30-42%, generally 40% for major publishers
    Pre-Orders: No, but you can wishlist upcoming books.
    US Shipping: Free from $50
    Int'l Shipping: No Int'l shipping.
    Packaging: [ANYONE?]
    Returns: Accepted for damaged books

    Mile High Comics (aka MHC)
    Discounts: Codeword sales vary widely up tp 60%, but do not always apply to TPBs/HC; you must subscribe to their newsletter to receive codes.
    Pre-Orders: No
    US Shipping: Free higher than $30, but surcharge for HCs and oversized books
    Int'l Shipping: Free higher than $60, but surcharge for HCs and oversized books
    Packaging: Consistent packaging (some reported errors)
    Returns: Can be unresponsive to customer service issues, but do offer replacements

    Tales of Wonder (aka TOW)
    Discounts: Generally close to 30%. Offers sales on categories of books (i.e., Masterworks, Avengers, Marvel TPBs)
    Pre-Orders: Yes - you are charged at the time of pre-order and the entire order ships when the LAST book is released
    US Shipping: Flat rate plus per-item free, but free over $99
    Int'l Shipping: Yes, in various Flat Rate envelopes/boxes
    Packaging: Very reliable (will occasionally send books with off-center DJs)
    Returns: Will issue a return label and a refund or replacement for damaged items
    Last edited by krisis; 11-24-2012 at 08:50 AM.

  4. #7039
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    I also buy from mycomicshop.com, and they do an excellent job in shipping and give significant discounts. I don't know any specifics, but I think they are one of the best companies from which I buy.

  5. #7040
    Junior Member Dorkasaur's Avatar
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    I'd like to comment that InStockTrades' packaging is flawless. They use this really malleable, styrofoam-like material that actually forms a case around the books perfectly, then package in brand new boxes. Never had a problem with them, and I'm going on my 10th or so order. In addition, great customer service all-around, so with their new release pricing, they're easily my go-to place for books now.

  6. #7041
    Senior Member MartinNL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEMC View Post
    I also buy from mycomicshop.com, and they do an excellent job in shipping and give significant discounts. I don't know any specifics, but I think they are one of the best companies from which I buy.
    Yeah these guys are great. They know how to pack!! International shipping (to Europe) starts as low as $9.00. If they send you the wrong item you'll get store credit.

  7. #7042
    Senior Member CrazyOldHermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEMC View Post
    But, what amazes me more is how people will look at the bigger collections of TWD and they simply won't pay the big bucks for the compilations, which are a better buy than the TPBs on their own.
    Are you sure about that? While the Compendiums obviously don't sell as much as the cheaper TPBs, they still sell reasonably well considering their size and price. Several times at my LCS I've seen people pick them up off the shelf, flip through them and buy them. I actually had to take my buddy aside and warn him (out of earshot of the owner) that he could save big bucks buying online. He had both volumes in his hands ready to go to the checkout and he isn't much of a comic fan at all.

  8. #7043
    Even More Senior Member Captain Planet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEMC View Post
    Marvel's anticipation of selling 100,000 copies is what left them with pallets of Steven King's Dark Tower HCs that they blew out for a buck a book earlier this year, along with Marvel Apes and other HCs and TPBs that we saw flooding shelves at BAMs and comic shops. I think we are seeing a more cautious Marvel. I mean, how many singles does Winter Soldier sell? It's not selling in the numbers of Captain America, that's for sure, so that would also lead me to believe there would be a lower print run on the second TPB. Again, I go back to my Waid DD HC example: Why NOT print 100,000 of these, since it's one of Marvel's biggest hits? Instead, Marvel went for the extremely small print run and the HC sold out immediately and then came the TPB just a few weeks later, which also sold like crazy. I think Marvel is being more and more cautious with what it prints in the wake of having to sell off so many HCs and TPBs at pennies on the dollar. That's just good business sense.
    I'm not so sure there is such great demand for Winter Soldier Vol. 2, nor X-Factor Vol. 17, nor Fraction Thor Vol. 2 (especially not when the Thor Vol. 2 HCs are still lining the shelves nearly everywhere I go) TPBs, except from guys like me who buy a lot of TPBs and from the small-but-loyal fan base these titles have.
    Just because Marvel is a business does not mean they know what they are doing or make the best decisions. There is something in-between over and under printing and Marvel just isn't bothering to figure it out. That is just poor business decision making. You will never profit from a sale you don't make and its almost always worse to be out of product people want then to have a little too much since not having product on your shelves results in more then a "no sale", i.e. bad will, loss of loyalty and dissatisfaction.

    I think we could all agree that Marvel could do a much better job of forecasting with their collected editions but they take the amateur, safe route and under print knowing comic fans will complain but ultimately stick with them since the have a monopoly on their characters.

  9. #7044
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    Hermit: Read your own first sentence. That's what I was saying.
    Captain Planet: It is an unintelligent notion to think Marvel makes "bad" decisions on an instinctual basis. They have a marketing research department that does its homework and forecasts what will and won't sell. We don't know what led Marvel to publish Avengers The Crossing before UXM2, but, obviously, with its timing, I can honestly say the market research most likely said it would sell. They might have had a low overhead that reaped a larger than average profit than some of the omnibuses us experts think they should publish.

  10. #7045
    Senior Member NZ_InFerno's Avatar
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    For amazon you can delete that au/nz can order from part, as it doesn't apply. You can order from any of the amazons, .de .fr etc

    Internationally B&N want you to pay shipping for returns.

    BD return/refund at their cost, no charge for the customer.


    As far as packaging goes from those I've received more than one parcel it's MHC>Amazon>BD>B&N. The below is my experience as an international customer, probably the furthest books have to travel unless someone here posts from Antarctica.

    Mile high comics easily has the best packaging I've seen, from any place I've ever purchased from online. They really care that your stuff turns up in the condition you order it. Multiple boxes, packing peanuts, the works. Books are well and truly protected from damage.
    Amazon ships to me in a thick cardboard sleeve or envelope , with multiple wrap points or with the book taped to a piece of cardboard inside a box. I've had tiny amounts of damage but mostly no damage on a variety of books from amazon. Nothing that would be cause for a refund/replacement.
    BD now ship everything in a cardboard envelop, similar to amazon but much thinner. Over the years nearly every heavy book has had damage, even smaller books do get some damage. BD does replace or refund books promptly though, compared to other Internet retailers its first class in that respect. Because of this I'm willing to keep ordering there even though there's a good chance it could turn up damaged.
    B&N package books in a cardboard box that is regularly much to big for the books inside it, and then throws in a couple of air pillows to stop it bouncing around in transit. This offers the bare minimum of protection and books are regularly damaged on arrival often quite significantly. Unlike BD who refund/replace at a drop of a hat, B&N are difficult to get any recompense out of. For international customers they insist you pay shipping for returns.
    Last edited by NZ_InFerno; 11-24-2012 at 11:19 AM.

  11. #7046
    Even More Senior Member Captain Planet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEMC View Post
    Hermit: Read your own first sentence. That's what I was saying.
    Captain Planet: It is an unintelligent notion to think Marvel makes "bad" decisions on an instinctual basis. They have a marketing research department that does its homework and forecasts what will and won't sell. We don't know what led Marvel to publish Avengers The Crossing before UXM2, but, obviously, with its timing, I can honestly say the market research most likely said it would sell. They might have had a low overhead that reaped a larger than average profit than some of the omnibuses us experts think they should publish.
    Ouch, didn't think you were the personal attack kind of guy Don. It's actually not unintelligent though (I mean my thought wasn't, but I also wasn't saying Marvel makes "bad" decisions on an instinctual basis) . It just doesn't make sense to assume, as I stated earlier, that because they are a professional business they know what they are doing in every situation, or even more, that the decision is good. You and I can think of plenty of examples of professional companies that make big mistakes. We don't need to assume that because they are Marvel, every decision they make is the right one or well thought out. This is the company that has gone almost bankrupt, what, twice now? Track record suggests my theory that they don't always make good production decisions is in the right ball park.

    Not everything they do is some great move we just don't understand because we don't see things from their perspective. Sometimes, companies just make dumb decisions because they are run by people.
    Last edited by Captain Planet; 11-24-2012 at 11:36 AM.

  12. #7047
    Senior Member CrazyOldHermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEMC View Post
    Hermit: Read your own first sentence. That's what I was saying.
    Captain Planet: It is an unintelligent notion to think Marvel makes "bad" decisions on an instinctual basis. They have a marketing research department that does its homework and forecasts what will and won't sell. We don't know what led Marvel to publish Avengers The Crossing before UXM2, but, obviously, with its timing, I can honestly say the market research most likely said it would sell. They might have had a low overhead that reaped a larger than average profit than some of the omnibuses us experts think they should publish.
    Sorry, I misread you. I thought you were saying people refuse to buy the Compendium.

  13. #7048
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    No, I sincerely apologize, because I wasn't personally attacking you, at all. I meant that it would be stupid for any of us to think Marvel just does things on a whim. They spend millions on market research and everything is carefully thought out. I am sorry, because in retracing what I wrote, it does sound harsh.

  14. #7049
    Senior Member DrGregatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Planet View Post
    Just because Marvel is a business does not mean they know what they are doing or make the best decisions. There is something in-between over and under printing and Marvel just isn't bothering to figure it out. That is just poor business decision making. You will never profit from a sale you don't make and its almost always worse to be out of product people want then to have a little too much since not having product on your shelves results in more then a "no sale", i.e. bad will, loss of loyalty and dissatisfaction.

    I think we could all agree that Marvel could do a much better job of forecasting with their collected editions but they take the amateur, safe route and under print knowing comic fans will complain but ultimately stick with them since the have a monopoly on their characters.
    Sounds like we're in agreement, Cap. The worse possible thing for making a profit is having no books for sale at all. It's better to slightly over print than to lose sales by underprinting. I think Marvel's announcement from the other week will probably result in a reduction in the sheer multitude of titles they print per quarter rather than reducing print runs to a level so small that they lose sales. So maybe we won't see 2 new omnibuses, 2 new masterworks and 90 new TPBs per month, but that doesn't mean they'll only print 600 copies instead of thousands.

    As to your second point, Marvel characters are my first love but I'm discovering great comics being printed by other companies like DC, Image and Dark Horse at much better prices than Marvel.

  15. #7050
    Senior Member LordJulius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krisis View Post
    Thanks all for the updates to the stores list! I think this captures all of your updates; any more comments - especially on Int'l shipping, packaging, and returns?

    I'll update this again (for the last time?) on Monday when everyone has had a chance to chime in, and then perhaps Omnibus or Merrick would be kind enough to add it to the one of the early posts.

    Amazon (including .ca, .uk, etc)
    Discounts: 5-48%, but also charges tax in some states
    Pre-Orders: Yes; you are charged the lowest price prior to release and billed upon shipment.
    US Shipping: Free from $25 up, or free 2-day with Prime subscription.
    Int'l Shipping: Yes, but there are also Int'l Amazon sites. Often is the cheapest option due to discounts and shipping cost. AU/NZ may order from US or UK.
    Packaging: Occasional poor packaging leads to damaged books, especially on larger volumes - but it differs by shipping center.
    Returns: Within US pays return cost for damaged books.

    Barnes & Noble (AKA BN or B&N)
    Discounts: ...
    Leave it to krisis to finally come up with that kind of list. Excellent job.

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