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Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 12:47:44 am EDT (Viewed 104 times)
Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:50:18 pm EDT (Viewed 116 times)


      This time, we also have a single company (Marvel) with a huge percentage of the sales, no strong third company to compete, a bad economy, a dwindling consumer base, no new readers, high prices, and a great reduction of LCSs.


    I'm surprised anyone even bothers with LCS's any more. I've been getting my comics from an online mail service (Westfield Comics) for years now. I order two months in advance. If I suddenly decide I want something that's coming out next month, I get it from Comics Infinity - another online mail service. If I want something from the current month, I get it from eBay. There just isn't a reason to go to the LCS. Hey, if hot chicks hung out there, then maybe, but the only times I ever saw hot chicks at the LCS, they were there with their boyfriends.

Well the main reason why people still go to their LCS is because they've always done it. People are resistant to change. I think this is especially true for comic fans. To be fair, there are still some great LCSs out there, where people would rather pay higher prices for "better service". And LCSs do have an advantage in terms of delivery, where the customer knows he can go to a shop and pick up his comics. Most other distributions methods are somewhat slower.

But in no way can a LCS justify taking 50%? of the price of a comic these days. Grocery stores have a very low profit margins for their food, around 1-2%. Even Wal-Mart typically has an average profit margin for their products at 3-5%. Of course the real money comes from selling so much.

Is a customer really willing to spend $3.99 to pick up Ultimate Avengers #1 at a comic shop, or would they prefer to spend $.99 for it at DCBS? Even Westfield Comics has the issue for $3.19. And there are other cheaper methods, such as waiting for the eventual TPB, or getting a subscription from the publisher.

In the past, the LCS could justify taking 50% of the cost. Other distribution methods weren't available, they offered a huge collection of current and past work, customers didn't have information about future comics, they could recommend comics, they could talk to other fans, etc. But today, they are other distribution methods, back issues became TPBs, they typically don't order extra titles, fans have alot of knowledge about future comics, and they can interact with other comic fans online.

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