Comic Retail: Behind the Scenes Edition Part II

Previously, I gave you guys a VERY brief summary of how the HIVE came to be.  Today I would like to share with you guys a bit of what I have learned in my 2 years of selling comics.  Let’s take a peak at what’s behind the curtain, shall we?

Fair warning: I might come off as rant-y and gripe-y at some points (mostly because I love what I do and want you, our customer to have a better understanding of how our business works!)

  1. Ordering 2 months BEFORE this issue comes out is a challenge.
    1. We order 2 months in advance and can adjust most of our orders 3 weeks prior to the issue releasing.
  2. Seeing a customer take your suggestion on a book and then fall in love with it, is super satisfying and exciting.
  3. Over ordering can kill your shop, be O.K. with the sell-out.
  4. Pull-lists are vital
    1. It tells you what people are reading and WANT to read
  5. BUT, customers need to pick up their books
    1. Having a pull list and not picking them up can kill a store faster than anything else
    2. The shop has already paid for the books
    3. When I reach out to you about your pulls, it’s not to be mean, its to keep a comic shop open in our area.
  6. Don’t try and compete with the online big boys at their game, beat them with customer service and knowing your market and customers.
  7. Adapt and change with the market
  8. Always try and improve in some way
  9. Keep product moving and fresh
  10. Cut losses on product that has sat and become stagnant
  11. Promoting indie and small print books are a challenge compared to the “Big Two” but is necessary for the growth and health of the comic industry.
  12. Children and young readers and the vital to the continuation of the industry and it is great to see more and more product offered for our “littles”.
    1. i’m getting old and so are you, kids are the future
  13. Having customers feel that they can take “ownership” of the shop is priority.
    1. When they refer to the HIVE as “my shop”
    2. We have great customers that are always spreading info via word of mouth in our area.grand opening
  14. Support those that support you and keep your doors open.

We love you guys that come in and support our shop and we hope to continually grow and change and improve to serve y’all.

Thank you all for a great first year and here’s to many more!

-matt

 

 

 

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