If I'm a little slow posting right now, it's because I own a comic book store, and not only are we just getting restarted after lockdown, but DC Comics decided to screw everyone over with a distribution war that's putting my shipping cost up 1400% and we're scrambling to figure out how to deal with that and still stay in business. I'll be back to post speed soon!
Uh, wow. Sounds like they just shot themselves in the foot - who will take the order with those expenses? Can you ignore that part of the inventory and focus on some less known (maybe European) comics? Overseas sounds like it would be cheaper than this
He has to sell what people want to buy. Most comic book buyers have an automatic buy list (at good comic stores). So there's probably a few hundred customers who want Batman #n+1 every month. His profit margin for all those Batman comics has just plummeted based on what he says. Does he continue to autopull Batman for his existing customers and eat the loss or does he tell them. "I no longer sell Batman that you've been coming into my shop and buying every month for the last 15 years."? It's a rock and a hard place, for sure. (In addition, he probably has customers who get a 5-20% discount because they buy a lot of books frequently. What percentage of those books are DC books?)
You're all on the right track regarding the thought processes. I consider my job to get people the comics they will enjoy, so I've got to keep getting DCs. We're working on some options to get that shipping cost down, though there's no way it'll go down to what it was before. I will probably raise my price on DCs, but not by the whole cost. I'll split the difference with the customers - raising my price, but lowering my margins, netting less profit, but keeping things going. (Just what I need, less profit right after losing money every month this year so far (other than February, actually). I always lose money in January, but usually make it back in March, and make extra in April and May, but COVID killed that pattern. Still, not in danger of going out of business yet, so First World Problems.
Sounds tough. Covid's changed the way we do business in general. Even places like Best Buy are still on curbside pickup. Still, it's a pretty stupid time to start a trade war over comic books. I'd boycott them but I don't buy them anyways.
The trouble with boycotting them (I mean if you were getting any) would be that (I mean all comic shops here, most of you will likely never have the opportunity to go to MY store) we stores need all the sales that we can get right now, so a boycott would only be helpful if 1) You made sure to tell us at least a month ahead so we can adjust orders, and 2) you bought something else instead, preferably something you told us you would buy a month in advance so, again, we could adjust our orders.
Sadly, anything else could be damaging. Worse, the less DCs we get the higher the shipping we pay on a per-book basis, so unless EVERYONE boycotts DC (not going to happen) a small boycott risks making the DCs we DO bring in even LESS profitable by reducing our bulk.
As you can see, it's quite the juggling act. Good thing I can juggle.