Tales from the Comic Box - Rookie Adventures in Buying/Selling/Cons
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Ok taking a break from the "My Road To Success" action and to ask a question...

 

As stated above, I will be participating in my third local show this coming October. This will be my first 2 day show.

 

As it is a two day show, they will be providing overnight security, likely some students from the local college, taking police foundations or something like that (I'd be surprised if it was a real security 'firm').

 

My question is, what do the pro's do for overnight? Obviously, you take the high end stuff back but do I roll the dice and just leave my set up as is, take it down/away or maybe just put the lids on? Stay out in the parking lot all night?

 

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

 

We take our wall books to our hotel or home, lids on our boxes and blankets on top. There's an unwritten code that dealers don't steal from other dealers but all it takes is one bad peach.

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Ok taking a break from the "My Road To Success" action and to ask a question...

 

As stated above, I will be participating in my third local show this coming October. This will be my first 2 day show.

 

As it is a two day show, they will be providing overnight security, likely some students from the local college, taking police foundations or something like that (I'd be surprised if it was a real security 'firm').

 

My question is, what do the pro's do for overnight? Obviously, you take the high end stuff back but do I roll the dice and just leave my set up as is, take it down/away or maybe just put the lids on? Stay out in the parking lot all night?

 

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

 

We take our wall books to our hotel or home, lids on our boxes and blankets on top. There's an unwritten code that dealers don't steal from other dealers but all it takes is one bad peach.

 

I will take high end stuff back to my house (I live like a 5 minute drive from the venue!) Lids on, blanket on top sounds about right. Good advice for placing a blanket on top. Tks!

Edited by Wall-Crawler

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Ok taking a break from the "My Road To Success" action and to ask a question...

 

As stated above, I will be participating in my third local show this coming October. This will be my first 2 day show.

 

As it is a two day show, they will be providing overnight security, likely some students from the local college, taking police foundations or something like that (I'd be surprised if it was a real security 'firm').

 

My question is, what do the pro's do for overnight? Obviously, you take the high end stuff back but do I roll the dice and just leave my set up as is, take it down/away or maybe just put the lids on? Stay out in the parking lot all night?

 

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

 

We take our wall books to our hotel or home, lids on our boxes and blankets on top. There's an unwritten code that dealers don't steal from other dealers but all it takes is one bad peach.

 

I will take high end stuff back to my house (I live like a 5 minute drive from the venue!) Lids on, blanket on top sounds about right. Good advice for placing a blanket on top. Tks!

 

I've seen some dealers who put stuff on top of the blankets to make it more difficult to remove the blankets. For fun, I'd like to attach a bell to a blanket.

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We put blankets and then depending on the setup (learned from a Greenham pro) to place the chairs as a blockade to enter the booth (or on top of the box lids as mentioned above)

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We put blankets and then depending on the setup (learned from a Greenham pro) to place the chairs as a blockade to enter the booth (or on top of the box lids as mentioned above)

 

(thumbs u

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I went antiquing with my wife this past weekend and I ended up picking up a few things that I will be adding to some long boxes and bringing to the show.

 

Nothing "spectacular" but just shows it is always good to keep an eye out for things!

 

Some comics I picked up for cheap that will be going into some long boxes with other stock and a couple of nice finds (1st Ego, 1st Black Goliath, Invaders #1, some Judas Contract, Surfer with Thanos tie-ins).

 

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supercase_zpspd2omi3r.jpg

 

The glass is from Pepsi "Super Series" (1976) and while it is a little "beat up" I love the box art on the DC Supercase (also 1976) and use to hold old 45 records. The back has Superman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl and will make a nice display item regardless. Thinking I might place some comics in it for display piece.

 

I don't know I will have some toys this year so going to be playing around a bit with the look of my booth.

 

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Spoke to one of the organizers today.

 

Turns out a few vendors can't make it so there are a few extra free tables to vendors who want one. Without knowing if for sure I will have time to actually use it, I took a free table.

 

Anyway, I now have a whole extra table I can use if I want...I was thinking it would be a good opportunity to just have a $1 - $2 table. I thought I was "done" getting ready but looks like not.

 

Does having a pure $1-$2 table sound like a good idea for use of space (if anyone is reading)?

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Jimmers has it right. If you have time, stock and help (having extra space means extra area to cover). $1 bins have been awesome for me. Guys love to dig and fill runs. It helps offsets costs and you can't sell $1 books online (easily or effectively).

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yep.A lot of people at the small Ottawa once a monther will not buy a fifty dollar book,but have no problem diving in and grabbing stacks of 1-2$ comics.It is really nice when they are not on the floor.

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Thanks guys! Cheapie books it is!

 

To be honest, I have been "putting off" getting those books together as I kind of put them to the side as I only really sell here and eBay, so this will motivate me to finally get to it.

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Well, locked in for an extra FREE table. Next couple of weeks will be getting the cheapies organized. :)

 

Also found out another guy might be setting up and also selling comics...As it is a small show, not sure how I feel about that (not that I have a say in the matter) as the pool for potential buyers is rather limited. Obviously, if this was a regular con or a bigger show, I would not care at all about competition but seeing as how small a show it is, well I will be curious to see where I end up.

 

One idea I had was doing a "raffle" for a book...Anyone ever done anything like that?

 

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Final few days before the show this weekend.

 

First time it being a two day show, so little curious to see if the extra day will make it worth it for the extra time and minor increase in table costs.

 

Will be finalizing my boxes this week (as in what to bring)...One thing that stays constant is that I struggle with exactly what boxes to bring.

 

I will be bringing some remaining Marvel Legends that I have from a large lot I purchased awhile ago (that has been generating profit for awhile now) and will allow me to 'change up' my central display area...Hasn't been the same in three shows so I guess that will be good.

 

Here are my costs going into the show this year:

 

2 - Day two table rental (includes discounted third table): $230

Incidentals and supplies: $20 (extra table cloth)

 

Total Investment: $250 (approximately)

 

I still have left over supplies from other shows (pricing stickers,labels, bags, etc) so my costs are pretty much the cost of the vendor fees.

 

As this is a small show, I am keeping my selling expectations low. If I could sell $800 worth of product for a $500 to $600 profit, I would be satisfied with that.

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The extra table is a wonderful bonus. We actually stuff tables into our booth anywhere we can make room.

 

There are two ways you could use it.

 

A) If you have a bunch of cheap stuff a $1 section or even 50 cent section should move a bunch of books. We moved more than 5 longs of it at our last show. Even when the show was relatively quiet we had guys picking out small piles and generating steady sales. Telling kids to grab a couple free out of these boxes never hurts. You may create a new life long collector and they may end up grabbing a pile and you'll make sales -some parents are thrilled if their kids will actually look at something besides a computer screen and tell them to grab a pile.

 

B) Try putting some books down flat on the table. A lot of your potential customers may not be comic collectors and as silly as it sounds, they're not trained to dig through comic boxes. We've found that comics flat on a table sell 2 to 5 times faster than in a comic box. In general, whenever you have some space toss some interesting pop culture related or popular character related books with great covers out flat and you'll increase your chances of making a sale.

 

Regarding an earlier comment about boxes under the table, it's true a lot of people won't dig down there and diggers may block access to the boxes on top. But, I sometimes use the space for items that are easy to categorize or easy to spot. Things like a box of trades or magazines or complete boxes of a single character - all marked with a clear large sign. If someone collects magazines and your sign clearly states magazines they're likely to bend over. hm that didn't sound right.

 

Also with multi day shows we bring a ton on the first day. We'll often take home things that aren't selling at the end of the first day to make our load out easier on the last day.

Edited by thehumantorch

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The extra table is a wonderful bonus. We actually stuff tables into our booth anywhere we can make room.

 

There are two ways you could use it.

 

A) If you have a bunch of cheap stuff a $1 section or even 50 cent section should move a bunch of books. We moved more than 5 longs of it at our last show. Even when the show was relatively quiet we had guys picking out small piles and generating steady sales. Telling kids to grab a couple free out of these boxes never hurts. You may create a new life long collector and they may end up grabbing a pile and you'll make sales -some parents are thrilled if their kids will actually look at something besides a computer screen and tell them to grab a pile.

 

B) Try putting some books down flat on the table. A lot of your potential customers may not be comic collectors and as silly as it sounds, they're not trained to dig through comic boxes. We've found that comics flat on a table sell 2 to 5 times faster than in a comic box. In general, whenever you have some space toss some interesting pop culture related or popular character related books with great covers out flat and you'll increase your chances of making a sale.

 

Regarding an earlier comment about boxes under the table, it's true a lot of people won't dig down there and diggers may block access to the boxes on top. But, I sometimes use the space for items that are easy to categorize or easy to spot. Things like a box of trades or magazines or complete boxes of a single character - all marked with a clear large sign. If someone collects magazines and your sign clearly states magazines they're likely to bend over. hm that didn't sound right.

 

Also with multi day shows we bring a ton on the first day. We'll often take home things that aren't selling at the end of the first day to make our load out easier on the last day.

 

Great advice as per usual!

 

A) I will have more pure $1 and $2 boxes this year and I will have a nice selection of cheap books for youngsters and casual buyer. I gave a few freebies last show but probably could have done better. The last show had a total of 600 people through the doors and not all were comic collectors as it is a mixed show so I don't think I will get the "sell through" (I would love to move 5 boxes). Maybe a silly question, but for $0.50 books do you bother to bag and board them?

 

B) That is an interesting tidbit about laying books flat. I will see what I can do to incorporate that idea as well. I am going to bring a bit more than I have table space for so I can switch it up if need be and/or maybe try a few things under the table.

 

I also have a display board that can hold regular comics and CGC books again...CGC books were a non-starter past two shows and while it generated interest, not a lot of big key buyers...I think biggest single issue sale from last time was like $50...I am definitely having the display board but I was thinking of putting books in the $10 - $50 range this time instead of the $50 + range or maybe a mix of both? I haven't completely decided...

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At my last show I had an extra 4 feet of table top that I laid sets and GNs out on. I sold a lot more of those than I typically would, and a few had been dragged to several shows. It seems like a terrible and wasteful way to use the space, but you're likely to sell a lot to impulse buyers who can see stuff they wouldn't see in a box.

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I don't have a lot of pure TPB's but I do have a good number of sets (organized alphabetically) of storylines, mini-series, runs, etc. that I have put together and while I have had those in boxes in the past and seemed to sell well maybe they will sell better out on the table. What the heck, can't hurt to try!

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The extra table is a wonderful bonus. We actually stuff tables into our booth anywhere we can make room.

 

There are two ways you could use it.

 

A) If you have a bunch of cheap stuff a $1 section or even 50 cent section should move a bunch of books. We moved more than 5 longs of it at our last show. Even when the show was relatively quiet we had guys picking out small piles and generating steady sales. Telling kids to grab a couple free out of these boxes never hurts. You may create a new life long collector and they may end up grabbing a pile and you'll make sales -some parents are thrilled if their kids will actually look at something besides a computer screen and tell them to grab a pile.

 

B) Try putting some books down flat on the table. A lot of your potential customers may not be comic collectors and as silly as it sounds, they're not trained to dig through comic boxes. We've found that comics flat on a table sell 2 to 5 times faster than in a comic box. In general, whenever you have some space toss some interesting pop culture related or popular character related books with great covers out flat and you'll increase your chances of making a sale.

 

Regarding an earlier comment about boxes under the table, it's true a lot of people won't dig down there and diggers may block access to the boxes on top. But, I sometimes use the space for items that are easy to categorize or easy to spot. Things like a box of trades or magazines or complete boxes of a single character - all marked with a clear large sign. If someone collects magazines and your sign clearly states magazines they're likely to bend over. hm that didn't sound right.

 

Also with multi day shows we bring a ton on the first day. We'll often take home things that aren't selling at the end of the first day to make our load out easier on the last day.

 

Great advice as per usual!

 

A) I will have more pure $1 and $2 boxes this year and I will have a nice selection of cheap books for youngsters and casual buyer. I gave a few freebies last show but probably could have done better. The last show had a total of 600 people through the doors and not all were comic collectors as it is a mixed show so I don't think I will get the "sell through" (I would love to move 5 boxes). Maybe a silly question, but for $0.50 books do you bother to bag and board them?

 

B) That is an interesting tidbit about laying books flat. I will see what I can do to incorporate that idea as well. I am going to bring a bit more than I have table space for so I can switch it up if need be and/or maybe try a few things under the table.

 

I also have a display board that can hold regular comics and CGC books again...CGC books were a non-starter past two shows and while it generated interest, not a lot of big key buyers...I think biggest single issue sale from last time was like $50...I am definitely having the display board but I was thinking of putting books in the $10 - $50 range this time instead of the $50 + range or maybe a mix of both? I haven't completely decided...

 

We bag them all, and board some of them just to add some stability to the longs. At 50 cents each people probably won't complain if they're not bagged but I figure they'll stay in better shape in bags and I have tons of old bags to use. We brought 15 longs of 50 cent books so that's about a 30% sell through.

 

Flat works well. As someone else mentioned flat sets also do well. We sell $50 to $100 sets pretty steady if they're flat and I put them near the longs of sets so people spot the flat sets and then look at the longs.

 

I'd imagine big books wouldn't move well at a antique type show. We typically build 3 to 5 sets of walls and sometimes devote 1 wall just to cheaper modern books.

 

I also like to move stuff around. Some people will wander by your booth many times so I like to change what's laying flat or on the wall to mix it up.

 

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So, interesting development a day before the show...

 

Organizer contacted me just this morning and they had one vendor drop out this week and one more just the other day due to personal reasons.

 

Result? They have space to fill as they don't want to the hall to seem "empty". The pro for me is that through the drop outs, I now have 2 extra tables for free. The con is that due to the set up, other vendor requests for their own set up, they have asked if they don't mind if the other two tables are across the aisle from me. Apparently if I didn't "go" for this, they would have had a major headache in rejigging the whole flow of the room.

 

This is what I have ready:

 

Assortment of Action Figures (I was only planning on bringing 10 Marvel Legends but now may bring an additional 5 for 15 total)

 

Shortbox of assorted comic magazines

 

20 Longboxes of comics (most of my stock is Marvel)

 

5 Longboxes of prepackaged "sets", various publishers

 

4 Longboxes of $2 only priced comics - I will have a 'sliding scale' of say like buy 4 get 5th free or $8 for 5, $15 for 10, something like that.

 

Note: As I do this on the side, with the large hoard I bought awhile ago, I first focused on getting the main titles and bigger books organized and it is only now that I have been working on getting the cheaper stuff organized. I plan on to keep working at getting my more economical books organized, re-bagged and boarded.

 

"Wall Book" display and other key book selection

 

What I am thinking with extra tables:

 

For the tables "across the aisle" I was thinking of making that my "Toy Table" as the Marvel Legends figures would be harder to "grab and go" than say a comic book. I was also thinking of putting a He-Man lunch box I have available for sale and some "filler" goodies, maybe some prints and even super cheap DVD's.

 

While not "ideal" set up, I didn't want to "turn down" the extra table and I wanted to help out the organizers "fill the room". If anyone reading, as always open to thoughts/suggestions/tips.

 

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Extra tables are wonderful, take advantage of them. I'd put cheap stuff on the tables across the aisle so that you're not too concerned about theft. $1 books are a great choice but if you don't have enough, trades or $5 to $10 books or sets flat on the table would work A sign indicating where to pay for them would help.

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