Let’s face it. There’s not a lot of money going around these days. But fun still needs to be had. For 2011 Stashmycomics.com offers you this monthly column as a means of helping you find ways of pursuing the hobby of collecting comic books without having to sell your vital organs on the black market. Geek On A Budget will give you ideas on how to save a dollar or ten while enjoying the fun hobby of comic book collecting. In this first installment of the column we discuss online options of frugality.
Your local brick and mortar comic book shop is a trooper in terms of retail business. Consider that most comic books are non-returnable as opposed to magazines and books sold at non-specialty book stores. This means that the comic book retailer must attempt to predict how many of each book will sell and order approximately that amount. Any books not sold become part of the inventory. Add to that the fact that the customer pool is relatively small and that overhead costs are significantly high – rent, maintenance, heating lights and so forth. I have much respect and admiration for comic book shop owners and managers. They overcome great business challenges! Online comic book dealers have their own set of challenges but they avoid overhead costs. For this reason they can afford to offer discounts on the product.
Many comic book collectors are making the switch to purchasing books and related comic book paraphernalia exclusively online. There are pros and cons to shopping online.
Here is a short list of some online stores that offer great discounts.
A popular one is Discount Comic Book Service – more commonly known as DCBS.com : Check them out here – www.dcbservice.com. They offer giant discounts! However, if you live outside the US, shipping is much more expensive.
A Canadian alternative to DCBS.com is www.allnewcomics.com. They are essentially the equivalent to DCBS but of course cater specifically to Canadian consumers.
Finally, if you prefer reading your comics in collected format check out the reputable Instocktrades.com a sister site to DCBS.com. They specialize in collected editions, trade paperbacks and hardcovers.
Some comic book shops are branching out online and making their stock available for online purchase at discounted prices. Ask your local comic shop if they do this. I personally do not use online comic book shops. They do not quite fit my needs. I have found other ways of enjoying the hobby while saving money. Next month I will be focusing on this subject.
Stashmycomics.com. It is a 100% free no catch no gimmick online collection cataloging and database service.
If you haven’t already, setup an account by going to the home page and clicking “sign up”.
Jason Newcomb is a frugal Canadian geek. He can be found at his local comic book shop diving in dollar bins and playing other people’s board games. He would like it if you shared this article on facebook or twitter.