I'm new here at CCL. I see a lot to like here, and I intend to stick around for awhile.
We're glad you're here! I'm Steve and I'm the Director of the site. Welcome to the show.
There is one thing, though, that is causing me considerable frustration. That one thing is the failure of the site to distinguish newsstand comics from direct sales comics.
My current collecting resources are directed toward adding to my collection newsstand copies of comics I already own as direct-sales comics, with initial emphasis on Marvel's earliest comics that were published with direct-sales versions (I find diamond price blocks ugly, and the slashes through barcodes just offensive).
I see that this has been discussed on CCL message boards, with an apparent decision NOT to distinguish between the two types of comics, except when there is a demonstrable difference in the markets for the two types.
Pretty much. We acknowledge the niche exists, but we only have instances in the CCLdb, as you say, that either A) shows a significant secondary market value or B) demonstrates a change in the book..i.e. cover price, etc.)
Let me point out that, as a collector currently primarily interested in newsstand comics, that the lack of distinction in the listings adds considerable friction to my process of finding and ORDERING and PAYING FOR the comics that I want to purchase! The argument that there is no difference in the comics' values is irrelevant to me. For me to identify comics I am willing to purchase, I have to send messages to various dealers, one by one, and wait for replies before I can decide what to buy. Only after receiving replies will I be able to place an order, and to pay for comics that I have decided to buy. Just now, I have spent over an hour sending such messages to dealers, and I don't think I covered more than a dozen issues.
I gladly acknowledge that there are others that do exactly what you do. That being said, I think what you do is cool, but still a niche within a niche and a fraction of the market. "I'm a comic collector, but I only collect newsstands version." It's no different than saying "I collect comics, but only CGC graded 9.6s." We're not going to have an absolute perfect system for you in this regard, and your hunt is going to be more time consuming because what you're doing is a uniqueness in an already unique hobby. I'd wager even trips to the comic book shop are probably very time consuming ordeals for you as a collector, my friend.
With a more customer-friendly database, I could have already identified the comics that suit my current collecting needs, and could have placed an order. I would be happy, the dealers from whom I decided to order would be happy, CCL would have booked some commission revenues, and the world would be a better place. As things stand, though, I am waiting on responses from dealers, and I am realizing that getting through my whole list is going to take several days or weeks instead of the minutes or hours that it ought to take.
We do have visitors to the site every now and then that are also looking for newsstand variants of the books..but as Pat said...he had one person message him. This is one of maybe...MAYBE...10 responses I've typed up in the last 5 years. So while you're collecting niche is COOL...it's not 100% customer-friendly. If we did catalog them, you would be creating a website where almost NOONE has a 100% complete collection as well. Pretty much every comic book for a 30-40 year spread would have a variant and stores would need to completely readjust their inventory to accomodate a difference in barcode where, in most cases, there's no difference in price value for them. I notice a comment made about OVERSTREET and the way they price. I'll play devil's advocate and argue that sites like MILE HIGH are figuring to bank in on collectors like you who are willing to pay a higher premium for those newsstands. It's like people who collect VALIANT COMICS...if I'm patient, I can pretty much find what I'm looking for fairly cheap. Unless I shop with the other Valiant collectors...and I'm gonna pay a premium.
Someone may suggest that my objectives could be achieved by dealers' simply stating in their listings whether their for-sale copies are newsstand or direct sales comics. While that might be better than the current state, I am concerned that such statements might not be accurate enough to improve matters. As I have looked around the Internet at comics sales and information sites, I have found a large number of comics inaccurately identified as "newsstand" or "direct sales." The best solution, I believe, would be to include in the library scans of both versions; dealers will then find it simple to match the comics they have for sale to the appropriate cover scan on the site.
Again...you're talking probably hundreds of thousands of back issues to accomodate a niche in the market that either isn't fully realized...or only a few are doing.
I urge reconsideration of this issue by the appropriate decision-makers.
I appreciate you taking the time to post this. You're argument is certainly valid and you seem extremely passionaite about what you do. That's to be commended and respected IMO, so kudos. That being said...if there are more collectors like you who wanted a change like this, I absolutely would be inclined to reconsider policy in this regard. But, it's gonna take quite a few of them. I encourage any members who would like to see an addition of this nature to contact me personally via PM and lemme know what you think.
Again, thanks for the comments Outcast. We're glad you're a member and a part of our community.