Tales from the Comic Box - Rookie Adventures in Buying/Selling/Cons
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17 minutes ago, spreads said:

Cottage country con just sounds wrong - I think I'd like to spend time at the cottage then be in a big hall! 

It was previously known as Orillia Comic Con and was a one day show in late spring 2017.

I think, because that show was a success they got greedy and bit off more than they could chew.  They upped vendor prices and went from one day to two days and obviously moved from late spring to this past weekend...The last weekend before end of school...It was also the same weekend as the Toronto Comic Book Show (well, the Sunday anyway). Apparently they were "cool" with vendors to leave on Sunday to go to TCBS as if you don't set up one weekend at TCBS you can lose your spot for the year or something crazy like that. Also likely affected even being able to get some vendors due to the conflict (speculation on my part) but I suspect the moving to two days and being in cottage country with summer hotel prices also played a role along with table costs.

I am hearing all sorts of reports of attendance being down (confirmed they shut down 2 hours early on Sunday) and that a lot of con goers were upset at the prices ($30 to get in)..Allegedly kids under 12 were supposed to get in free (advertised as such on Facebook) but then at the gate were told that if you had two (or three or whatever) kids under 12, the "discount" only applied to one kid or something stupid like that. I am hearing of artists and vendors getting screwed on their table and placement and low sales. I have even been told first hand that they even managed to anger O'Barr and Eastman. They are deleting comments/reviews on Facebook too, so full on damage control it seems.  

The people who run this are also doing a one day Muskoka Con in August and Claremont is the big guest.

https://www.muskokacomiccon.com/MuskokaComicCon/Welcome.html

I just can't see this show being a "success" either...You had my show (Sudbury Graphic Con) in early June, this Cottage Country Con in late June and now this one? Toronto Fan Ex is at the end of the month too! I can't see anyone south of Barrie even bothering to make the trip and I don't know if there is enough for a lot of people north of Muskoka to go either. Also, if it is a hot, nice day, who is going to want to leave the lake??? I also think they may have just "burned up" whatever good will capital from their first show they may have had so that is another strike against it.

Either way; very, very glad I decided to "skip" on the Cottage Country Con. By all accounts that could have been a big loser for me.

 

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Sounds like a nightmare.   Why would they schedule it the same weekend as another show in the same area?  Closing early, I can only see that happening if there's no buyers and dealers are leaving in droves.

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1 hour ago, thehumantorch said:

Sounds like a nightmare.   Why would they schedule it the same weekend as another show in the same area?  Closing early, I can only see that happening if there's no buyers and dealers are leaving in droves.

A vendor I know is supposed to be doing a video or lengthy FB post sometime today about it.

I have no idea why they would schedule it same weekend as TCBS...I am not sure how that happened.  As for closing early, reports are it was dead, dead, dead...

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33 minutes ago, Wall-Crawler said:

A vendor I know is supposed to be doing a video or lengthy FB post sometime today about it.

I have no idea why they would schedule it same weekend as TCBS...I am not sure how that happened.  As for closing early, reports are it was dead, dead, dead...

I've been at lots of shows where the last couple hours are dead.  For many of the dealers to pack up early it must have been a ghost town and dealers were so mad they didn't care what the organizer thought - they won't be coming back.

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Creator video from Cottage CountryCon (formerly Orillia Con)...

Vendors had to supply their own chairs! Not in video but also was announced at 4PM the show was closing early, no warning....

 

Edited by Wall-Crawler

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6 hours ago, thehumantorch said:

Am I reading this right?  The organizer who is collecting revenues from dealers and users requested municipal dollars to subsidize his cost?  Wow.

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22 hours ago, thehumantorch said:

Sounds like a nightmare.   Why would they schedule it the same weekend as another show in the same area?  Closing early, I can only see that happening if there's no buyers and dealers are leaving in droves.

This happens all the time here in Ottawa!  I can't tell you how often similar events are posted on the same day as our show, and it's extremely more frustrating because the guys who run our show book the dates 18 months in advance with the dates posted online!!

Edited by spreads

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On ‎6‎/‎25‎/‎2018 at 11:10 AM, Wall-Crawler said:

It was previously known as Orillia Comic Con and was a one day show in late spring 2017.

I think, because that show was a success they got greedy and bit off more than they could chew.  They upped vendor prices and went from one day to two days and obviously moved from late spring to this past weekend...The last weekend before end of school...It was also the same weekend as the Toronto Comic Book Show (well, the Sunday anyway). Apparently they were "cool" with vendors to leave on Sunday to go to TCBS as if you don't set up one weekend at TCBS you can lose your spot for the year or something crazy like that. Also likely affected even being able to get some vendors due to the conflict (speculation on my part) but I suspect the moving to two days and being in cottage country with summer hotel prices also played a role along with table costs.

I am hearing all sorts of reports of attendance being down (confirmed they shut down 2 hours early on Sunday) and that a lot of con goers were upset at the prices ($30 to get in)..Allegedly kids under 12 were supposed to get in free (advertised as such on Facebook) but then at the gate were told that if you had two (or three or whatever) kids under 12, the "discount" only applied to one kid or something stupid like that. I am hearing of artists and vendors getting screwed on their table and placement and low sales. I have even been told first hand that they even managed to anger O'Barr and Eastman. They are deleting comments/reviews on Facebook too, so full on damage control it seems.  

The people who run this are also doing a one day Muskoka Con in August and Claremont is the big guest.

https://www.muskokacomiccon.com/MuskokaComicCon/Welcome.html

I just can't see this show being a "success" either...You had my show (Sudbury Graphic Con) in early June, this Cottage Country Con in late June and now this one? Toronto Fan Ex is at the end of the month too! I can't see anyone south of Barrie even bothering to make the trip and I don't know if there is enough for a lot of people north of Muskoka to go either. Also, if it is a hot, nice day, who is going to want to leave the lake??? I also think they may have just "burned up" whatever good will capital from their first show they may have had so that is another strike against it.

Either way; very, very glad I decided to "skip" on the Cottage Country Con. By all accounts that could have been a big loser for me.

 

Ya, sounds like you dodged a bullet.  A nightmare all around!

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Not much new to report.

No new collections have surfaced locally...Longest "dry spell" I have had since I started doing this :frown:

However, I did make a good contact from the last local show I did in April.  Older retired gentleman came to my booth and bought a few things. Told me he was interested in cartoon books (anything pre-1980).  Gave him my card.

Finally connected and he CLEANED ME OUT of my cartoon books, mostly 1970's Dell/Gold Key stuff.  We made a bulk deal and a lot of my stock wasn't even in bagged and boarded yet.  He also did a bit of trading where I picked up some nice treasuries (I love these for shows for visuals and they sell).  He also bought some ASM and Flash books and I sold a handful of minor keys. So, while I have not made a big purchase, I did make a big sale of stuff that, for me, is pretty hard to move.

I let him when my next show will be and he told me he doesn't like "competing" with crowds so now we are basically setting up some "private" appointments.  He was "vetted" by another person so was fine having him to my home.  Next he wants to look into my Western books. He is retired and his previous interest in collecting was rekindled recently and primarily interested in books from his childhood.  

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13 minutes ago, Wall-Crawler said:

Not much new to report.

No new collections have surfaced locally...Longest "dry spell" I have had since I started doing this :frown:

However, I did make a good contact from the last local show I did in April.  Older retired gentleman came to my booth and bought a few things. Told me he was interested in cartoon books (anything pre-1980).  Gave him my card.

Finally connected and he CLEANED ME OUT of my cartoon books, mostly 1970's Dell/Gold Key stuff.  We made a bulk deal and a lot of my stock wasn't even in bagged and boarded yet.  He also did a bit of trading where I picked up some nice treasuries (I love these for shows for visuals and they sell).  He also bought some ASM and Flash books and I sold a handful of minor keys. So, while I have not made a big purchase, I did make a big sale of stuff that, for me, is pretty hard to move.

I let him when my next show will be and he told me he doesn't like "competing" with crowds so now we are basically setting up some "private" appointments.  He was "vetted" by another person so was fine having him to my home.  Next he wants to look into my Western books. He is retired and his previous interest in collecting was rekindled recently and primarily interested in books from his childhood.  

Moving hard-to-move books in bulk is just as good as making new purchases, especially if you can move it before its bagged and boarded. More space + (non-premium) inventory turnover + more cash in hand + some labor saved + probable future selling of more hard-to-move books =^^

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2 hours ago, Wall-Crawler said:

Not much new to report.

No new collections have surfaced locally...Longest "dry spell" I have had since I started doing this :frown:

However, I did make a good contact from the last local show I did in April.  Older retired gentleman came to my booth and bought a few things. Told me he was interested in cartoon books (anything pre-1980).  Gave him my card.

Finally connected and he CLEANED ME OUT of my cartoon books, mostly 1970's Dell/Gold Key stuff.  We made a bulk deal and a lot of my stock wasn't even in bagged and boarded yet.  He also did a bit of trading where I picked up some nice treasuries (I love these for shows for visuals and they sell).  He also bought some ASM and Flash books and I sold a handful of minor keys. So, while I have not made a big purchase, I did make a big sale of stuff that, for me, is pretty hard to move.

I let him when my next show will be and he told me he doesn't like "competing" with crowds so now we are basically setting up some "private" appointments.  He was "vetted" by another person so was fine having him to my home.  Next he wants to look into my Western books. He is retired and his previous interest in collecting was rekindled recently and primarily interested in books from his childhood.  

I love buyers like this.  I have several that come to my place fairly regularly, we have coffee, talk comics, they dig stuff out of my boxes and they leave money behind.  One was here on Monday and dropped $250 and put aside another $150 in books that he'll pick up at the next show.  All of these were books that were run fillers and stuff that may never get to a show.

I also drive across town every couple months with a trunk load of comics to another buyer who doesn't drive a car.   He'll spend $200 to $400 each time.  He also showed me his basement which is full to the rafters with comics, stored in whatever type of box he can find.  Took some control not to laugh at his toilet tank box filled with books.  Now when I go I take half a dozen empty comic boxes and give them to him.  I'd guess this guy has 200k comics in his basement and he told me he had more upstairs and I'd imagine he has more in his garage.  He rarely spends more than $10 a book but he's done it for 40 years so I'd imagine there's some good books in the collection.

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19 hours ago, revat said:

Moving hard-to-move books in bulk is just as good as making new purchases, especially if you can move it before its bagged and boarded. More space + (non-premium) inventory turnover + more cash in hand + some labor saved + probable future selling of more hard-to-move books =^^

Oh I could not agree more. I was very happy with the sale.  The amount of time it would have taken to move those books plus investment in bags and boards...Sometimes when I sell a book or a set or whatever there may be a small "twinge" of "sadness" to see a particular book go...I had NONE of that with this deal.

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17 hours ago, thehumantorch said:

I love buyers like this.  I have several that come to my place fairly regularly, we have coffee, talk comics, they dig stuff out of my boxes and they leave money behind.  One was here on Monday and dropped $250 and put aside another $150 in books that he'll pick up at the next show.  All of these were books that were run fillers and stuff that may never get to a show.

I also drive across town every couple months with a trunk load of comics to another buyer who doesn't drive a car.   He'll spend $200 to $400 each time.  He also showed me his basement which is full to the rafters with comics, stored in whatever type of box he can find.  Took some control not to laugh at his toilet tank box filled with books.  Now when I go I take half a dozen empty comic boxes and give them to him.  I'd guess this guy has 200k comics in his basement and he told me he had more upstairs and I'd imagine he has more in his garage.  He rarely spends more than $10 a book but he's done it for 40 years so I'd imagine there's some good books in the collection.

I believe this particular buyer will be like one you describe.  I have no problem having him to my home. Nice guy. Very reasonable.  Will tell me what he is looking for ahead of time so I can pull what I have and he shows up with cash.   I have started pulling all my westerns for him :D  Also, I wouldn't mind to take books to his place one day to see what all he has.  

Anyway, it was another benefit of setting up at a show. He didn't buy a lot there (not a fan of crowds) but I made a great contact/buyer.  This is not someone I would have met anywhere else as he barely uses the internet and doesn't use a cell phone.

This was a great bulk deal with future potential sales, so I agree we @revat and @thehumantorch that is a very nice win despite no new collection purchases.

One problem I have is that I don't have all my books onsite (may have mentioned this before) so makes selling at home and being readily available to post stuff on my ebay store a bit of a PITA.  Working on an organizing solution where I can keep more of my stock on hand (my current space is used to house my personal collection). I'd really like to ramp up my ebay store as I am not taking full advantage of it.

 

 

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Being in a position flush with cash and looking to buy is a good spot!  You'll really be able to take advantage of that great sale when it comes along, just don't get desperate and buy lots you might have otherwise passed-on.  I should have let you know about a large collection (22 boxes that went here for cheap); the seller had dramatically come down over a few months off his 10k initial asking price.  Not really any keys, but big runs of many titles and a ton of trades which I think you'd like.  I was very close to grabbing this, but in the end I had to pass due to time constraints...I'm taking days off work to do errands.  You guys probably find it hard to not be outside given how short our summers are, checkout this amazing snapping turtle at our cottage - I've named him Frank!

 

 

IMG_2304.JPG

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1 hour ago, spreads said:

Being in a position flush with cash and looking to buy is a good spot!  You'll really be able to take advantage of that great sale when it comes along, just don't get desperate and buy lots you might have otherwise passed-on.  I should have let you know about a large collection (22 boxes that went here for cheap); the seller had dramatically come down over a few months off his 10k initial asking price.  Not really any keys, but big runs of many titles and a ton of trades which I think you'd like.  I was very close to grabbing this, but in the end I had to pass due to time constraints...I'm taking days off work to do errands.  You guys probably find it hard to not be outside given how short our summers are, checkout this amazing snapping turtle at our cottage - I've named him Frank!

 

 

IMG_2304.JPG

Cool

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Summer, usually after Graphic Con is slow selling for me (I typically only run one ebay auction per month June to August) which, I know is kind of the opposite...

The reason being is that during "con season" I am spending as much time as I possibly can on the lake or outside (we have family property and my parents live on a lake) as I can or doing little trips with my spouse...I don't even go to cons...Toronto FanEx is the last weekend of summer so I usually opt to spend it on the lake as opposed to convention floor...I haven't been to that show in YEARS.

Boils down to priorities and I am very fortunate to have such close and immediate access to a lake and I try to enjoy it as much as I can.  

Been confirmed, have a show coming at the end of September and will ramp up eBay again around that time too.

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One thing some of you more experienced sellers have touched on is "investing" or "buying keys to hold" and discussions of "margins"...This is something I would like to start and I have picked up about 5 for this purpose....This is something I may like to do more of as I have some $$$ to reinvest from sales of mostly non-key books. 

With collections here being super dry for me makes it even more appealing...Any advice?  Not looking for what books people are chasing, just a discussion on the topic but any tips appreciated ;) lol

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1 hour ago, Wall-Crawler said:

One thing some of you more experienced sellers have touched on is "investing" or "buying keys to hold" and discussions of "margins"...This is something I would like to start and I have picked up about 5 for this purpose....This is something I may like to do more of as I have some $$$ to reinvest from sales of mostly non-key books. 

With collections here being super dry for me makes it even more appealing...Any advice?  Not looking for what books people are chasing, just a discussion on the topic but any tips appreciated ;) lol

From a RR standpoint I love low grade keys - they're usually priced very cheaply that the risk of not being able to get your purchase price back in say 1,2,5,10 years is very minimal.  As the mid and upper grade books become too pricey these ones will gravitate higher and as a percentage of return - total price appreciation the lower grade ones will actually accrue higher.  AND you'll be better diversified because with a lower cost basis you can spread that amount of monies out over more books.

Example:  2 or 3 years ago I bought a bunch of books from a guy, young guy that had a really nice collection and priced out a bunch of books fairly well - maybe a slight discount to what they would go online.  I managed to pickup low grade copies of a number of books for around $30-40 each, 1st Poison Ivy, 1st Scarecrow - probably in the VG-/VG category (I personally love VG- books with good colors), now you wouldn't be able to find those books that cheap - or if you did you would be extremely lucky.  Another book he had was ASM 129 - a beater but it was only $100 at the time, now look at where it's at....

Second example: last summer (or spring)?  I can't remember which, doesn't seem like that long ago I was hmmm/hawing over two copies of DD #1 - both low grade.  One was borderline held together for $450 the other was nicer but still low grade for $650 (maybe 600)?  I couldn't decide which to get so I didn't end up getting either!  :frustrated:I would  love to have a chance to get those books now at those prices...

 

Really the point of these purchases (aside from that they were for my collection) is that they were longer-term passive (buy/hold) buys.  If you're looking to buy something on the dip to maybe sell in a few months then it gets a lot more speculative. 

Edited by spreads

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I'm also of the mindset I would rather have multiple mid grade copies of a book then a very high grade single copy - but that's just me (take this nugget as a bias in my previous comment).

Edited by spreads

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