Sunday, March 24, 2019 10:00:27 PM
Joined: 9/29/2014 | Posts: 783 | Points: 2,389
So I've been going to conventions for about 20 years now... so that means I'm almost no longer a newbie according to some of the veterans around here. And I never really put a lot of thought into the kinds of dealers I saw at conventions until I was wandering the floor at C2E2 this past weekend and I realized that there were dealers that I'd stop and be ready to thoroughly look through their entire stock and other dealers that I'd take one glance through their boxes and be ready to go somewhere else. (To be clear, I'm not saying the latter dealers are bad dealers by any means, simply that I'm not their target customer based on my needs not fitting their stock.)
1) Dealers who want to make money at conventions by moving large amount of stock. (Their target customer is generally a reader.)
a) Large stock of comics to choose from.
b) More likely to have cheap boxes and/or be running a discount on their other stock or blanket bulk discounts.
a) That large stock is more likely to have a lot of comics that are complete garbage. (3 full long boxes of Convergence!).
b) More likely to have their stock unsorted.
The best kind of these dealers: Has plenty of backup comics to fill in their stock so they don't have empty/partially filled boxes.
The worst kind of these dealers: Will see the cheap comics you've bought and try to pawn off their overpriced key issues that fit with them.
2) Dealers who want to make money at conventions by moving high grade and/or rare/hot comics. (Their target customer is generally a collector.)
a) Likely to have THAT ONE ISSUE that you know you're going to have to shell out for big bucks for.
b) And that issue will even be a gorgeous 9.8!
a) Less likely to have more obscure comics, even if they're valuable, because they're not likely to sell.
b) More likely to raise prices on comics related to writers and artists at the convention.
The best kind of these dealers: Knows every nook and cranny on every issue and can walk you through the condition.
The worst kind of these dealers: Has people looking through other dealers and will buy and mark up and try to flip issues at the same convention.
(So, in an effort to hopefully avoid having my head bitten off, I'd like to say that I am overly generalizing, but the title of "The 13 types and 45 subtypes of comics dealers at comic conventions" isn't as flashy. And by "reader" and "collector" I'm over generalizing as "People who care less about condition" and "People who care more about condition".)
So finally, some fun and flabbergasting stories about my experience at C2E2 from this year.
I was looking through one dealers stock and had the price on the back of the comics, down at the bottom, which is usually a sign of the dealer falling in the latter category of high grade stuff, which I don't prefer (gimme reading copies all day). When I noticed the back of one of the comics had a very distinctive colored dot. I recognized this dot as being a marker from one of the comics from the $5 box at Comics4Less (shoutout). How much did this other dealer want for a comic he had just bought for $5 at the same convention? $40. I stopped browsing and walked away.
(On a side note, shout out to Comics4Less, ended up making two purchases from them at the convention and had great conversations with the people there twice. And in case the guy who I talked with Saturday night about how exhausted I was, that I was planning to skip Sunday to drive home, and he encouraged me to come for a few hours on Sunday... I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I woke up Sunday and was just ready to head home.)
I picked up a Pinkie Pie metallic bookmark at one place and was determined to pick up one for my mom. I went around to several of the places that had the metallic bookmarks asking if they had a Magneto themed one and I came to one and the lady there was sure she had seen one and spent the better part of 5 minutes hunting it down. My mom absolutely loved it, so thank you so much for your dedication!
I had bought about a half dozen Punishers (almost have that collection wrapped up) at one place and the dealer asked if I had the original mini-series, to which I commented that I was missing #1, but it wasn't a huge priority since I had a reprint. She proceeded to show me one she had that was probably VF raw and said she wanted $200 for it, but she then showed me another one which couldn't have been better than a VG+ raw and said she'd let me have it for "just" $100. I generally try to be polite if I think something is overpriced, but I couldn't help but let out a loud guffaw at hearing that, though I caught myself after that and politely declined. Later I had to confirm my reaction and sure enough, Punisher #1 doesn't get above $100 generally unless it's 9.6 slabbed and doesn't get above $200 unless it's 9.8 slabbed. (Later on I did end up caving and getting a nice 7.5 copy of #1.)
Funny story about that #1. I saw it in a dealer for $35 and remembered I had seen it at a previous dealer for $25. So I finally said "Heck with it" and went back to get the one at the previous dealer. Turns out it was a #4 in the middle of four copies of #1 and I just hadn't noticed it wasn't #1. So later I went back to the dealer with the #1 for $35 and couldn't find it. Even later still I was frustrated and looked for it one more time at that dealer and finally found it. (He had 3 different collections set up and on my second trip I had only searched two... with the issue being in the 3rd collection.)
My last purchase of the con ended up being both good and bad. I had seen a Marvel Treasury that I wanted to remember to pick up and when I went back I saw there was also a Batman Treasury Edition (C-51). I generally keep up on potential purchases, but I didn't know that one, so I asked the dealer if he knew if was an original story or reprints. He assured me with complete confidence that it was totally new material. So I ended up buying the two treasury editions and was happy... until I doubled checked later only to find out that the Batman Treasury is a reprint of Ra's Al Ghul's first four appearances. Ultimately it's my responsibility as a customer to know what I'm buying, but it really annoys me that he either 1) Lied to my face knowing that it was a reprint 2) Refused to admit he didn't know so he wouldn't potentially lose out on a sale if I looked it up. (But I was definitely happy with the Marvel Treasury I got, at least.)
Overall I had a blast at C2E2, it's been 17 years since I went to a really major comic con (Wizard World Chicago 2002 was the last one) and I ended up cleaning up. Every time I go to a con I say that maybe this will be the time that I'll do something other than look for comics and this time, just like every other time, I end up saying, "But today is not that day!"
Monday, March 25, 2019 1:09:12 AM
Groups: Member, Super Seller
Joined: 8/13/2007 | Posts: 2,749 | Points: 12,608
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I'm always amazed how badly stocked some dealers are at cons. One thing that gets me is when they bring 14 copies of a comic (all bunched up) that isn't hot at all and probably won't even sell a single copy. Really, did you think you were going to sell out of Avengers (2010) #7?!? Tables at most conventions are pretty expensive! I don't understand why some dealers don't take a little more effort to sort through their inventory and weed out some of the duplicates to maximize their space.
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