Jeff Weaver Wants No More Dealer Badges for Those Not Setting Up
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1 hour ago, Guardian Comics said:

Of course they do...49th might be the best edition yet. :baiting:

I don't know.  I heard their standard for advisors is slipping. :baiting:

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2 hours ago, THE_BEYONDER said:

It’s all this pre-show buying that diminishes any incentive I have to attend cons at all.  

I find plenty of books for myself and to flip during normal convention hours 2c

Getting in early doesn’t hurt but I don’t do all my buying before a show starts. I used to have the same impression that all the “good stuff” was going to be gone before I could even get in and that’s just not true, at least it hasn’t been for me.

The different situation is if you’re in early and you get offered first looks at new stuff. I can tell you from personal experience that getting in early does not guaranty that.

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15 hours ago, Foolkiller said:

Not sure if anyone caught Jeff Weaver's (Victory Comics) market report, but in it, he bemoans the fact that if you are someone who's received a dealer badge, you shouldn't be allowed into the show hall prior to opening.  Basically, he wants to narrow the playing field and only compete with the guys for material who have bought tables.  I've heard this point made by other dealers in a less pointed way, but most acknowledge that most folks who get badges are putting significant money into the vendors' pockets who are actually set up as well.  

Weaver's stance would get rid of the Tom Brulatos, Doug Schmells, Roy Delics (and me) as well as everyone else who gets an early badge (up to a point, there's still folks who I imagine would still be able to get in early because of helping at a booth etc).  It doesn't help the normal fan (and he's not looking to) he just wants those dealers who paid to have the buying opportunity.  Of course, you don't pay as a vendor for buying opportunities, you pay for the opportunity to sell, and several of these non paying 'dealers' or even higher end collectors get in early and spend -- and they would not either show up or spend the same way if they were like everyone else.  

With that said, I also understand Jeff's point.  If you didn't buy a booth, why are you there early at all?  The premise is there are always going to be helpers at the show and they could buy, but it certainly wouldn't be as free wheeling or as many.  And I understand that he's trying to claw back the competitive advantage that he and other dealers have lost (though to be fair, most dealers seem to have adapted).  

I spent $75k in San Diego.  I'm sure Doug spent as much and probably far, far more.  Other people with advance entry are big spenders.  The vendors are going to lose many of these sales and there's no guarantee that the same sales are always going to occur.  

I don't do as much clear winner buying on the floor and most of the major dealers who I deal with (and some of the smaller ones) are people that if they are willing to give you first look at something are doing it off the show floor now anyway (assuming you are someone who spends large quantity).  But I wonder how much it would affect things and how many promoters would go this way.

I'm curious as to people's thoughts.  I think it's an interesting topic and can see both sides.

I think that anyone, especially dealers buying from other dealers before the show are hurting overall sales at the show in general and if not in the long term.  My group of friends and I are not spending $75,000 but I always bring a budget of a few thousand with me to a show.   I spent over $20k once on book and have spent a few thousand many times over.   My friends were the same way. 

Then we all stopped.

Why? 

Because this is what I am seeing... I am seeing dealers buying from other dealers and the same art and books are circulating around the room until someone puts them up at heritage or CLink or Metropolis at auction and then everyone has an equal shot all at once.  I have seen the same page of art trade amongst three well known dealers over the course of two years.  I have seen the same with books.  Now when it comes to art... those are one of the kind and you have to pay to play... but with books?  If you didn't find your copy of FF48 in a 8.0-9.0 range... there will be one coming up at auction at some point this year. 

The fact is ... the more pre show trading goes on... the more the books are hiked up at the new owners booth, online store, or when they offer them here.  So... why would I ever shop at Comic Con when I know I can get this stuff cheaper when it finally shows up at auction? In fact... my spending has declined at shows over the years and most of my buying is done online....  

In many cases I am buying online AT the show.  I wanted a high grade earlier ASM book for my set... a dealer had told me that he just traded for that book and refused to budge on the price.  I shrugged and whipped out the phone and bought the book in the same grade on eBay of all places with free shipping for $100 less. 

My loyalty is to my wallet... if dealers want to keep trading books back and forth to dealers then jack up the price of the book to justify the cost at the table for that show then don't come bellyaching that sales are down at cons as I have seen some sellers / dealers lament.   I will shop where the deals are and at the current state of thing, it is not at the cons. 

Brian, I love your posts and respect the hell out of you.  However I believe that bread and butter for most dealers is not you.  Not many of us are walking into a show with $75k.  However there are far more of us walking into shows with a few thousand like me and even more of those walking in with that $1k range.  If books are going to increase in value at the shows people will shop somewhere else knowing that they can get it cheaper just by searching on their phone. 

Edited by Buzzetta
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I guess my expectations are slightly lower.  I want in to  SDCC so I can attend and enjoy looking around and just being a part of the convention atmosphere.  I've never been to SDCC and would love to attend but it's expensive to go even if you have a ticket. 
I would be lucky to spend a total of $1k if I were to attend. My goal  "right now" is just being able to attend and enjoy so the best way I think I could attend would be as an "actual" helper for someone setting up.  Getting in early isn't the key for me, it's just getting in. 

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As we discussed yesterday, there are three outcomes to this at a big show:

1) "Load in" wristbands are given out and the floor is policed and no one without a wristband is allowed on the floor - it would be interesting to see what happens when the floor guy tries to eject Doug and his $100K check book, but that's a different discussion - obviously there would be ways around this and you could have Doug get in by going through load in with someone. Dealer badges are given out at the END of the load in procedure - of course that would then allow the same thing to happen before the show opened on the next day, so you'd just be moving the problem to a shorter time period in the morning of the first day.

or

2) Same as above, but those wristbands are for sale - $50? $100? $500? $1000? Whatever the number would be and the person doing it would just factor that into COGS.

or

3) You just ignore Jeff's whining and let it play out the same way it has since 1961.

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2 hours ago, wombat said:

My question was more where do those dealers get the books from then (assuming they need it for inventory). Let's say every single con put a stop to buying early. Dealers still need to acquire books. 

I think they mostly get them from each other or small buys from collectors bringing them to shows. I talked to several dealers at Torpedo. Prices were insanely high. And many had very similar inventories from shows a few months back. They are having a real hard time buying collections anymore. Those with brick and mortar shows say stuff just isn’t walking in any more. eBay and auction houses are getting them. They have to buy from each other at very slim margins. Thusly, crazy prices for collectors. There are very few “deals” any more for dealers or collectors. 

For the most part, the only deals I can get anymore are estate sales, flea markets, antique stores and my other non comic book connections that are general antique dealers who clean out houses. And those are far and a long time in between. At cons, I spend the time digging deep in boxes and asking dealers about stuff I want. It’s a rough business these days...

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34 minutes ago, Buzzetta said:

dealers then jack up the price of the book to justify the cost at the table for that show

I think they are doing it to justify the price of the book they purchased. If they need to buy at the show to pay for the show, they shouldn't be doing the show. They should already have the books and prices to make themselves successful.

And I will add that the last few shows I've set up at, I've had zero time to shop. I'm not sure how much time any dealer really has to be buying before a show.

Edited by jsilverjanet
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4 hours ago, 1Cool said:

I think bob has expressed his opinion on this several times throughout the years.  But I also think Bob doesn't do a ton of business with the big dog early bird buyers so he may be biases since he sees mostly negatives when competing with additional buyers.  I was at a small local show and there was a dealer who refused to sell to early birds.  The problem was he was swamped with dealers and booth friends when the doors opened and none of the regular ticket holders had even gotten in the front door yet.  Maybe a couple of the deals few thru the cracks and got scooped up by regular ticket holders but 99% of the books that would have sold early were gone within 15 minutes of the door opening.

I'm not a big dog by any means but I've skipped two cons this year since I couldn't score dealer badges.  That is $8,000 - $10,000 that didn't quickly go right into the dealers pockets at pretty much full asking prices.  Did those books sell?  Maybe but it probably took a bunch more work on the dealers part to sell them off slowly and I'm just a small fish - you would be crazy to not let the big dogs in and quickly spend 10x what I spend.

I see people pushing the limits of helping a booth set up if this rule gets imposed.  You could watch the booth for 5 minutes while the dealer runs to the bathroom and that would classify as booth helper, right?  Carry a short box in from the van and you instantly become a helper.

I just finished doing the LA/SD show.  I have to say I wish you 1Cool would stop thinking for me.  I do a lot of business with other dealers,  many of those big dog early bird buyers.  I have had relationships with many of them for over 20 years.  However there are lot of Wannabe's that never buy booths and frankly are a bit aggressive when it comes to pre-show buying.  There are others who are a bit whiny about not getting first shot.  When you don't buy a booth and are buying to resell you are cash flow positive while I am cash flow negative because I've paid to be there,  you HAVEN"T.  

As far as you not getting a dealer badge I frankly have to say you really need to learn about building relationships with the dealers you want to compete against.  There is no point giving you a badge because I am NOT IN BUSINESS TO MAKE YOU MONEY.  If I get you in frankly you would get a lot more deals by bringing something to the table, split some deals with the guy who got you in.  The same goes for the guy whose business model is to upgrade books.  You get first shot by either spending a lot of money,  taking shots on books or partnering with the guy you are upgrading books on.  If you think that guy is happy to see you upgrade books on his dime over and over again you are sadly mistaken. 

 

Edited by blazingbob
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9 minutes ago, blazingbob said:

I just finished doing the LA/SD show.  I have to say I wish you 1Cool would stop thinking for me.  I do a lot of business with other dealers,  many of those big dog early bird buyers.  I have had relationships with many of them for over 20 years.  However there are lot of Wannabe's that never buy booths and frankly are a bit aggressive when it comes to pre-show buying.  There are others who are a bit whiny about not getting first shot.  When you don't buy a booth and are buying to resell you are cash flow positive while I am cash flow negative because I've paid to be there,  you HAVEN"T.  

As far as you not getting a dealer badge I frankly have to say you really need to learn about building relationships with the dealers you want to compete against.  There is no point giving you a badge because I am NOT IN BUSINESS TO MAKE YOU MONEY.  If I get you in frankly you would get a lot more deals but bringing something to the table, split some deals with the guy who got you in.  The same goes for the guy whose business model is to upgrade books.  You get first shot by either spending a lot of money,  taking shots on books or partnering with the guy you are upgrading books on.  If you think that guy is happy to see you upgrade books on your dime over and over again you are sadly mistaken. 

 

Now that's the Blazing Bob we all know and love.

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19 minutes ago, jsilverjanet said:

I think they are doing it to justify the price of the book they purchased. If they need to buy at the show to pay for the show, they shouldn't be doing the show. They should already have the books and prices to make themselves successful.

And I will add that the last few shows I've set up at, I've had zero time to shop. I'm not sure how much time any dealer really has to be buying before a show.

That's exactly what they are doing.  But here is the thing.  As a buyer that is a regular con attendee, if I can buy it online cheaper then why buy it there at the show?  As I said, most people are not bringing $75k into a show.  Most people are not bringing in what I bring in.  Most semi-serious buyers are bringing in a few hundred to a thousand at best and they are all armed with cell phones.  If prices are going above online prices at the show, before the show starts, to justify pre-show trading then dealers should not question while sales are down.  Good stuff is taken and repriced in many cases. 

These days most of my purchases for my collection are done online.   

I should also point out that at NYCC I am sometimes let in after the dealers obviously but before the general public... so I can only imagine how the regular buying public feels. 

 

And with that... back to painting - first color looked like Elsa's Frozen Palace... bleeeeeeeh.... so it's the Monday repaint in the color it was supposed to be.... (I hate painting)

Edited by Buzzetta
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Just now, Buzzetta said:

That's exactly what they are doing.  But here is the thing.  As a buyer that is a regular con attendee, if I can buy it online cheaper then why buy it there at the show?  As I said, most people are not bringing $75k into a show.  Most people are not bringing in what I bring in.  Most semi-serious buyers are bringing in a few hundred to a thousand at best and they are all armed with cell phones.  If prices are going above online prices at the show, before the show starts, to justify pre-show trading then dealers should not question while sales are down.  Good stuff is taken and repriced in many cases. 

These days most of my purchases for my collection are done online. 

My website doesn't turn off while I am at a show.  If customers are not buying at the convention there are others that are shopping online. 

I don't agree that good stuff is taken and reprised,  good stuff may be bought and sold to customers that I know need the books. 

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7 minutes ago, Buzzetta said:

That's exactly what they are doing.  But here is the thing.  As a buyer that is a regular con attendee, if I can buy it online cheaper then why buy it there at the show?  As I said, most people are not bringing $75k into a show.  Most people are not bringing in what I bring in.  Most semi-serious buyers are bringing in a few hundred to a thousand at best and they are all armed with cell phones.  If prices are going above online prices at the show, before the show starts, to justify pre-show trading then dealers should not question while sales are down.  Good stuff is taken and repriced in many cases. 

These days most of my purchases for my collection are done online. 

I think you are talking about  different dynamics that I don't believe have any correlation.

Sales down - I don't think sales are down for the dealers that know what they are doing (i.e. know how to buy and know how to sell)

(perception on) books being over priced - I think this is something we've discussed and there are many factors contributing to it. I'll add that for my recent show I purchased some bigger books that I priced aggressively. I think some dealers have stated this before that I don't have sell bigger books cheap. Why would I. They bring eyes to my booth, they are always in demand and eventually I will find my buyer. Plus everything is negotiable. 

Good Stuff taken - Is this books underpriced, mispriced (cheaper) or is this rare books, harder to find books? I don't think this happens as much as people think it does.

 

 

 

 

Edited by jsilverjanet
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It’s uncanny how complicated things can sometimes be, and some of the collateral issues that dealers who set up at a show must deal with.

For example, a high-end buyer gets a dealer’s badge from a vendor and gets in early. He visits various booths and puts short stacks of books on hold. The problem occurs when he never comes back for those books, or he only returns near the end of the show to absent-mindedly say he’s no longer interested. 

Not only has the dealer lost the opportunity to sell those comics that were held back for this individual, serious customers never even got to see them because they were put aside before the show even opened.

One dealer finally told me that he doesn’t care how much money this buyer might spend, he is no longer welcome behind his table. The vendor can’t stop the individual from getting in early to the show (because someone else gives him a dealer’s badge), but he certainly can police his booth as he deems fit.

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2 minutes ago, sacentaur said:

It’s uncanny how complicated things can sometimes be, and some of the collateral issues that dealers who set up at a show must deal with.

For example, a high-end buyer gets a dealer’s badge from a vendor and gets in early. He visits various booths and puts short stacks of books on hold. The problem occurs when he never comes back for those books, or he only returns near the end of the show to absent-mindedly say he’s no longer interested. 

Not only has the dealer lost the opportunity to sell those comics that were held back for this individual, serious customers never even got to see them because they were put aside before the show even opened.

One dealer finally told me that he doesn’t care how much money this buyer might spend, he is no longer welcome behind his table. The vendor can’t stop the individual from getting in early to the show (because someone else gives him a dealer’s badge), but he certainly can police his booth as he deems fit.

Way back in the late 80s I set up at a show.  I had a small booth and got set up pretty quick so I walked the room to see what others had.  One dealer (Praire Star?) was there and had several late GA Batman’s and Detectives I was interested in.  He refuse to even show them to me.  Said come back after we open the show.  I went back after they opened when I could and bought several (he had sold a few).

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53 minutes ago, jsilverjanet said:

I think you are talking about  different dynamics that I don't believe have any correlation.

Sales down - I don't think sales are down for the dealers that know what they are doing (i.e. know how to buy and know how to sell)

(perception on) books being over priced - I think this is something we've discussed and there are many factors contributing to it. I'll add that for my recent show I purchased some bigger books that I priced aggressively. I think some dealers have stated this before that I don't have sell bigger books cheap. Why would I. They bring eyes to my booth, they are always in demand and eventually I will find my buyer. Plus everything is negotiable. 

Good Stuff taken - Is this books underpriced, mispriced (cheaper) or is this rare books, harder to find books? I don't think this happens as much as people think it does.

 

 

 

 

Arbitrary number time - I have to go back to the hardware store.  Not talking about bigger books.  Say we are talking about a book that normally goes for around $1000.  Dealer has it at a show for $1200.  Another dealer comes along and strikes a deal at say $800.  What is the new owner pricing it at?  Is it going to be more than $1000? If so... I am going online. 

Again, a lot of people forget that we live in an age where everyone is walking around with a computer in the palm of their hand and that virtually nothing is 'rare'. 

Text me if you want a couple of specific examples... lol 

Edited by Buzzetta
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