Thursday, November 3, 2011

What I look for in a comic shop..

This entry was inspired by a recent post from: @TheNerdyBird

I have had some mixed results in finding a "Good" comic shop that has real satisfying staying power. Some of it is my own fault, I guess. I'm a bit of a flake.

I like a knowledgeable and friendly staff. I really dig being made to feel like my business matters. Being welcomed is an important feeling. 

I've been a regular customer in a shop where the clerk wouldn't have 3 words to say to me (a regular customer for YEARS) and was breaking his neck to talk to some other kid who just wandered in the shop. Like what I had to say didn't matter. Like he had me and didn't have to bother to try to keep me engaged and interested in trading with him. Very. Not. Cool. Left those guys and haven't looked back.

Then I moved around the country a bit; well, Southeast - and it seemed that when I would find a shop I liked, it would close or I would move again. Bad luck I reckon.

For that reason I had a hard time connecting with any shop. Afraid my business would be the Kiss Of Death and as soon as I let myself like them something would pull the rug out.

It took a while for me to get over this odd phobia. I found a place I could let myself like. They gave a nice discount on the new books. They were friendly personable and acted generally interested to have me around. The problem for me with them, was that I was into the OLD stuff. The new stuff was to read and have my finger on the pulse of what back issues might become the "hotness" dujour. To get any discount, price break or otherwise have some wiggle room to negotiate was completely out of the question unless the owner was there. Which didn't synch up with my schedule. Lost my mojo and willingness for dealing with them.

Then I found a new outfit. A bit of a further drive for me from the house but they offered a better discount level and someone was AROUND who could wheel and deal on the old stuff. I dint have to wait, rearrange my schedule or make a 2nd trip on a different day. Plus it was closer to work so I could drop in mid-week over lunch.

I liked this store MUCH better for a long while. They turned me on to new stuff I would not have otherwise tried. I bought tons of stuff from them OLD and new. The friction came when they found success and started opening other locations. They eventually designated a different store location in their Empire (further away from me) to be their "Back Issue" hub location.

I complained. Alot. I got mouthy. The owner finally had enough of it once I escalted it. I got tired of the lip service they they would "bring some stuff over soon". The owner told me that I didn't do enough business with them to be worth their hassle to continue to deal with and they booted me. Their right to do of course... but bad form.

At that time I was having a fair amount of success on ebay so it was no great loss. I culled my collection to only focus on the old stuff. All told, I feel better off and happier.

I do still have a serious Jones for back-issues that is unsatisfied. Ebay has gotten a little outrageous lately so I've cooled it on that front.

Moral of the story:
If you are a shop owner, have an accessible location (close proximity to me),  sell desirable Silver and Bronze Age material at a fair price, you cant help but have a customer for life.

Is that too much to ask? So far that would appear to be the case....

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