Repped Artist Websites (best / worst)
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75 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

I’m not sure I follow, or agree, with that distinction. A rep acts as the artist agent. To maximize the artist’s cash flow, if that is what the artist wants, it can make sense to keep the price “competitive”. But set it too low, and the artist, as well as the rep, leave money on the table. And, it can set the market price low which impacts further income from sales. Since some people just want one example of an artist’s work, that is a limited strategy, too.
A dealer acts solely in his interest. But, with one apparent exception, needs cash flow, too, to buy and sell more art. Sitting on high priced inventory for a long time isn’t typically a good way to make money (exceptions noted). 
That Felix has found a sweet spot is a credit to him, but he isn’t doing it out of beneficence—just smart work effort.

I completely agree with the bolded, and didn't intend for it to sound as if it was anything other that a certain degree of business savy at play.  Specifically, I was (trying) to contrast his approach to other situations where you might see a majority of the art from a year's old book still sitting on a website, with maybe the cover and couple of pages sold.  

I generally think you've hit that sweet spot when things are priced such that maybe a single page is left that might later need to be marked down.  It's definitely a balancing act though, and like you said you do run the risk of leaving money on the table.  

One thing his approach seems to have achieved is a bit of excitement among his customer base where there's a feeding frenzy at new releases.  I think that this can definitely be beneficial to artists and helps make sure that every page gets sold (whether this is due to FOMO or true demand is something that might be argued, but at the end of the day it's selling).

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I think this thread is very helpful. As a new collector, I simply don't have much experience with most of these reps and websites, so it's nice to hear from other collectors their opinions and experiences. Also, I'm simply not familiar with a lot of places where I can peruse and purchase art, so this topic helps with that as well.

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6 hours ago, GotSuperPowers? said:

Posting on Jason at Essential Sequentials behalf as he's having issues accessing his dormant account here:

 

Twanj:

My apologies for the bad experience you encountered. We try very hard to reply promptly but sometimes its just not possible.

When art gets double sold or when you're trying to made an offer on a piece, and it gets sold it sucks. It doesn't happen very often and I try to do my best to make sure that doesn't happen but sometimes just out of my hands. And then sometimes its just me making a mistake. It happens, I'm also human.

To address to email situation: I noticed many emails weren't getting delivered and my inbox frequently was crashed due to too data overages. I've recently purchased a higher capacity email to avoid these issues as well as now investing about 15k into a new inventory platform and website that should help avoid future issues with double selling. These should be ready later this fall.

I'm usually available on facebook, skype and social media about 8-15 hours a day (usually 7 days a week to my GF unhappiness) to answer questions. I'm always happy to chat on the phone (my cel is posted on the site) so please feel free to reach out if email doesn't seem to work.

I'm sorry i don't recall the specifics of your deal/offer but am always happy to try to make both the buyer and the artist satisfied. If its not done on a current piece then on a future one. I def take pride in selling a piece a fan loves and will cherish. As a fan and collector myself, i know that feeling of missing out on something I really wanted.

I hope you give us another shot if something strikes your fancy.

In the meantime, please stay safe.

Sincerely,
Jason Schachter - EssentialSequential.com

First of all, THANKS for the apology and taking the time to reply.

No worries, I know it wasn't intentional! Like I said, it was a bit of a highs and lows rollercoaster of you're getting all these pieces you really want! to shoot, now you're not. I guess you know it's good art and powerful if it's provoking a physical and emotional response!

It didn't ruin the 3 pieces I already have by the artist, which I love. I was really excited and it was one of my biggest potential deals. But it at least temporarily soured me on the other pieces, and unfortunately they are great. Hopefully at some time I will un-sour on them and be able to pick the remaining ones up! :)

You really do have some amazing artists.

Once the second email reached you, you were very responsive.

Glad you are taking care of the tech issues. Next time I'll call or chat, I didn't realize those were better methods.

No issues with your website except for the previous super low res images for 6-8k covers (lol which now seem to be taken care of) or broken images (not a big deal).

The good news: I ended up rebounding with a couple Coipel Thor covers, which would suck even more not to have!

Edited by Twanj
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On 8/24/2020 at 6:54 AM, PhilipB2k17 said:

Fanfare Comic Art, is the former site for Land and Immonen. I’d add TDArtGallery, run by Tatiana Dykes, as another in the good/great category. 
 

And the times I bought from Cadence, it went well. Can’t speak for others, though. I do know that Ryan Stegman used to be at Cadence, then moved to Felix’s group. 

Ah yes Fanfare. That's was it. Ty.

I've probably spent more money and had more transactions with Cadence than any other rep. Some were seamless transactions, and some incredibly frustrating ones. There's a whole thread somewhere on here discussing them in particular. Again, just my experience. 

The thing is it, it doesn't keep me from going back. They rep some artists i love, and you have to deal with it if you want access to new art. (I think a lot of reps know the art sells itself in most cases, but it's still poor practice, and a disservice to the client) 

Edited by awayne83
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23 hours ago, sfilosa said:

So of the repped sites that have been mentioned, regardless if there is hype or not, which ones seem to have at least some sales at drop time, and which ones don't. And as one person pointed out, some times you can negotiate on price, and if that is the case, what time frame would/could you start. By that I mean, I'm not going to email and ask for a discount on a piece that just went on the site that day, but what about after the 3rd day, a week, a month, etc. Any experiences on that?

 

I'd say after a couple months is fair game. But this mindset can vary widely between reps (and which artist). Never hurts to ask imo.

Edited by awayne83
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18 hours ago, Twanj said:

Kwan Chang - Had a great experience. He lives local to me so we met up in person. Can't recommend highly enough!

Kwan was great the first couple times i dealt with him, but the last year/18 months have been particularly frustrating. Don't know if things have changed for him personally. Seems like a nice guy. I dont really want to bag on anyone in this thread, but he strikes me as a fan first, rep second.

I've had him openly tell me it's not his day job, and idk if that's the right mindset for his clients. I've attempted to work out upper 4 figure deals that just get "lost" in the process.

So, unfortunately, what ends up happening lately is i spend my money elsewhere with someone more accommodating, and try again the next time I'm in the market for a piece. 

Edited by awayne83
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I know it varies widely, but generally speaking, what's an acceptable offer to make a rep for a piece without being insulting? I've currently got 2 pieces on hold from 2 different reps that I'm paying listed price for. I didn't ask for any discount, but rather asked for layaway plans that work for me and both graciously agreed. But there's a 3rd piece I'm eyeing from yet another rep that is from a comic that is over 5 years old now, and to my knowledge, not drawn by a currently "hot"  or big legacy artist. I don't think asking for both layaway AND a discount is good form, so I'll most likely wait until I've paid off my current holds and save up enough for an immediate purchase. But if I do that, and make an offer, how much of a discount should I ask for without being rude? How do you even ask? I don't want to sound disingenuous if I say how much I love the art or seem like I'm begging. I just want to see if they'll go down some to make it more affordable for me.

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11 minutes ago, BuraddoRun said:

I know it varies widely, but generally speaking, what's an acceptable offer to make a rep for a piece without being insulting? I've currently got 2 pieces on hold from 2 different reps that I'm paying listed price for. I didn't ask for any discount, but rather asked for layaway plans that work for me and both graciously agreed. But there's a 3rd piece I'm eyeing from yet another rep that is from a comic that is over 5 years old now, and to my knowledge, not drawn by a currently "hot"  or big legacy artist. I don't think asking for both layaway AND a discount is good form, so I'll most likely wait until I've paid off my current holds and save up enough for an immediate purchase. But if I do that, and make an offer, how much of a discount should I ask for without being rude? How do you even ask? I don't want to sound disingenuous if I say how much I love the art or seem like I'm begging. I just want to see if they'll go down some to make it more affordable for me.

Negotiations are an art form so it is not a hard and fast rule.. and some will not negotiate at all be aware of that (cough cough ALbert Cough).. I would say depending on the size of the piece 10/20%  - 

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5 hours ago, Unstoppablejayd said:

Negotiations are an art form so it is not a hard and fast rule.. and some will not negotiate at all be aware of that (cough cough ALbert Cough).. I would say depending on the size of the piece 10/20%  - 

You can get 10% off of Albert, but it will depend on the piece and how hot he thinks it is. 

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5 hours ago, BuraddoRun said:

I know it varies widely, but generally speaking, what's an acceptable offer to make a rep for a piece without being insulting? I've currently got 2 pieces on hold from 2 different reps that I'm paying listed price for. I didn't ask for any discount, but rather asked for layaway plans that work for me and both graciously agreed. But there's a 3rd piece I'm eyeing from yet another rep that is from a comic that is over 5 years old now, and to my knowledge, not drawn by a currently "hot"  or big legacy artist. I don't think asking for both layaway AND a discount is good form, so I'll most likely wait until I've paid off my current holds and save up enough for an immediate purchase. But if I do that, and make an offer, how much of a discount should I ask for without being rude? How do you even ask? I don't want to sound disingenuous if I say how much I love the art or seem like I'm begging. I just want to see if they'll go down some to make it more affordable for me.

Be warned that if you like it, someone else might,too. 
You can usually get 10% off of anything (except a posted price in a retail store, and no coupon). 

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10 hours ago, BuraddoRun said:

I don't think asking for both layaway AND a discount is good form

That's correct.

Ideally you can afford the art you're purchasing (in my world, layaway = can't afford), but if you're going to stretch it out anyway, why not throw it on a card and then still ask for that discount now? (I'm assuming you haven't already maxxed this option out on other things you can't afford and that you have a zero% rate option already or easily available to you, if not...time to back away from highly unnecessary comic art!) Two birds, one stone. Unless you're working with one of these guys that punishes you for not paying "cash" (or equivalent). Okay. Their business to run. And run away business from ;)

But anyway, if that's the case..."cash" is also a negotiating point and it can mitigate some of the conversation around "layaway" (and that's where the graciousness of reps/dealers come in...they'll actually do almost anything to get you on the hook for full price, most of this stuff...like 99% will not resell in 6 months for full price anyway, so that time factor is you actually screwing yourself here (by paying full price "within six months")...fyi. Keep in mind: every component of an arrangement is negotiable and if you're not pointing everything in your direction, then those that are not are pointing in the other guy's - by definition.

10 hours ago, BuraddoRun said:

from a comic that is over 5 years old now, and to my knowledge, not drawn by a currently "hot"  or big legacy artist.

10 hours ago, BuraddoRun said:

make an offer, how much of a discount should I ask for without being rude?

35% is very fair to all parties (assuming no previous discounting has already happened by rep!) Let's be honest: five years, nothing special artist or property...they're lucky you're even asking :)

10 hours ago, Unstoppablejayd said:

I would say depending on the size of the piece 10/20%

If that's your model....reps must <3<3<3<3 you ;)  

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4 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

You can get 10% off of Albert, but it will depend on the piece and how hot he thinks it is. 

I've gotten more* off Albert, recently, and knocked his shipping back too...but it was a bloody tough affair and I had to turn him on to Venmo too, a learning experience for all lol

 

*Part of his willingness here was that he knows me and trusted that I wouldn't monkey around with "lost" packages, etc, so he didn't feel compelled to pad the thing to cover himself against shenanigans. Likewise I trusted him the same way and had no problem sending him "no recourse" Venmo cash. Reputation matters. A lot.

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4 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

(except a posted price in a retail store, and no coupon). 

My Dad used to pull this off actually. Before the days of Big Box monopolies and "matching competitor" ads, he would walk in with the advertisement (expired or not, didn't matter), ask for the floor manager and demand 25% off for cash on the spot or walk out. Not for a can of soup, but a stereo, tv, etc (this was the 70s lol ) So yes, a big wad of cash. In hand. Just like at a convention. And he'd get the deal every time. Everything I know, about business, I learned from him. The nice stuff (some are still waiting to see that side of me ;) )...all from Mom.

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Vodou hit most of the negotiating points on the head, but I'll add bundling to the tactics. I've found reps to be more receptive to work better deals for multiple pieces. Obviously in this scenario they're getting more money for their clients, but your also getting the pages at a price you're comfortable with. Again, this is all predicated on the ability of a rep to maintain a healthy line of communication. :facepalm: Ymmv

Edited by awayne83
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3 hours ago, vodou said:

My Dad used to pull this off actually. Before the days of Big Box monopolies and "matching competitor" ads, he would walk in with the advertisement (expired or not, didn't matter), ask for the floor manager and demand 25% off for cash on the spot or walk out. Not for a can of soup, but a stereo, tv, etc (this was the 70s lol ) So yes, a big wad of cash. In hand. Just like at a convention. And he'd get the deal every time. Everything I know, about business, I learned from him. The nice stuff (some are still waiting to see that side of me ;) )...all from Mom.

Not sure he could still get that high a percentage off since the internet has changed the price competitive landscape. Except for furniture, with its 50% markup (or 70% +/- if you have no overhead figured in)(you can learn a lot at bankruptcy auctions, which are a blast), that 25% may wipe out not just profit but cut onto overhead.

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4 hours ago, ESeffinga said:

IMO negotiating with a dealer and negotiating with an artist/rep can be very different things.

I would happily negotiate with any dealer, or at least come with a specific offer, and go from there. The longer something has sat around unsold, the better chances of making a deal on it.
Also the less likely you will ever be able to move it if you decide to sell it later on. So know what you are buying into.

When it comes to artists reps, and especially artists in general, I'd treat that a bit different. IMO, if anyone deserves top dollar out of an artist's work, it's not me, it's the artist. Whether I chose to buy it or not is up to me. I'm not about to come at an artist, trying to dicker them down if I'm not a known entity to them beforehand. i.e.

I might float an offer to an artist or their rep, but only after they know A.) I'm not out to chisel them down and then flip their art for the difference (or more), because  - d i c k  m o v e -
If I really consider myself a fan, I'm not out to get one over or make myself a sweetheart deal on the back of someone trying to make a very hard living. Many artists aren't equipped for it, and some will be downright offended. You get more flies with honey, in my experience.

Now, if I am known to a rep or artist directly, and they've had something I personally wanted for myself for a good long while (I'm thinking years, not months), I am not afraid to float a possible deal or two here or there. At least then they know who I am, and where I'm coming from. hopefully we've built up some rapport over time, and even if they can't do it, I don't feel like a jerk for asking. And often, if they know who you are and where you stand, they will accept the offer, just to feel like they are placing the art somewhere reputable.

IMO, as with many fields, but especially comic art, reputation is worth WAY more than a few bucks. Word gets around. Artists and dealers all talk. Etc.

 

As for who is the best and who is the worst... reading through any lists like this, I always see names that people consider bad, that I've had good experiences with, and other names that people had good experiences with who have done me dirty. We all have off days. We all have some good and bad experiences. The most important thing is to find out the names that come up over and over again. (cough...donnellybros...cough), and try to avoid them at all costs. Beyond that, just allow for a differing level of experiences. Even the best dealers and reps have had snafus. Shipping go bad. Missed communications, etc. That's all just part of the game. Work with enough dealers enough, and you'll figure out most of them are on the up and up.

I generally don’t try to negotiate with artists, and wouldn’t even consider it for commissions (you get what you pay for). If I am undecided and an artist volunteers a lower price by a few bucks, however, that’s smart on their part. I just couldn’t say no unless I really didn’t like it all.

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3 minutes ago, Rick2you2 said:

I generally don’t try to negotiate with artists, and wouldn’t even consider it for commissions (you get what you pay for). If I am undecided and an artist volunteers a lower price by a few bucks, however, that’s smart on their part. I just couldn’t say no unless I really didn’t like it all.

I agree- direct with artist no negotiation... but that is why they have reps.. so they can work out what is best .. both higher and lower..

Here is a fun one from an unnamed rep this week... I was after a specific page that was not listed yet by an artist he reps... and the art was digital so it would be one of those One of one prints (I do not usually collect them but I really wanted the page) he offered it to me for 200- I said ok, if the artist will sign and remark the back of it- he says no problem.. I then get an email saying it may be slightly more as getting it printed proper over seas is an issue. OK... he comes back at $350?????? (shrug) ... But we are not supposed to negotiate with them?????

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