The Corporate Local Comic Book Store?

I took an unscheduled trip to 2nd & Charles yesterday as the family needed something to do and Emily wanted to sell some books.  I have spoken about this store before but for those who don’t know, 2nd & Charles is a store that sells mostly used books but they also have a nice selection of used DVDs, CDs, and video games.  The stock comes for various places including buy backs from customers.  You simply take in what you want to sell and they make you both a cash offer and a store credit offer with the store credit always being more than the cash offer for what I would assume are obvious reasons.  I hadn’t been to the store in several months and I was surprised this time with a new category of merchandise…comics books.

I browsed through the “collection” and noticed a few things.  First, many of the books were bagged and boarded.  This told me the books didn’t come from left over stock from the parent company’s (Books-A-Million) book stores.  No, these books either came from a comic book shop or a personal collection of some kind.  The second thing I notice was that the pricing was almost entirely uniform at $1.00 per book.  A few books had higher prices but overall any standard books was $1.00.  I saw books from the 70s to books released within the past year all priced the same way.  The pricing seemed to mean they are taking whole collections at pennies per issue.  I found out later that evening that they are only taking comics for store credit which means it basically costs them nothing to carry the books.  All very interesting.

I spent a few minutes flipping through the books but something didn’t feel right.  It was just weird scrubbing through back issue comic books in such a corporate type of store.  I spotted many books that I have in my own collection.  Even now I am not sure how I feel about that but I guess mostly indifferent.  It does make me feel like it is time to liquidate the boxes of books in my closet though.  Most of them don’t mean much to me today anyway.  I am not sure that I want some corporate entity to reap the profit though.  Then again, it is not like they are easy to sell by yourself.  The market of buyers is fairly small.  Anyway, all I know is that the whole experience was odd for me and I can’t exactly say why.


The Corporate Local Comic Book Store? — 2 Comments

  1. I saw the stacks the last time we visited the store. It seemed a bit haphazard, and I wondered at just who would have sold several collections worth of B&B comics to the place. We only made the “pennies on the dollar” mistake once, but they were admittedly books we really didn’t need anymore.

    The comics, though, I’m surprised that they’re pretty flat in price. While on the one hand, I don’t like to think that a desperate collector or an irate ex dumped several years worth of a collection for a song, it might make for a good opportunity for the boys to pick up a few titles when we visit next.

    I agree, though – oddly ambivalent.

  2. Emily traded in some old books of her for store credit and bought some GameCube games. They weren’t doing anything here so I guess it worked out. Obviously the store is going to pay as little as possible but I guess it is better than nothing. Really wouldn’t get much more in a yard sale.

    Looking through the comics it felt like at least some of it came from a store of some kind. I found several of the same issue next to each other which makes me believe they didn’t come from a private collection. I’ll ask the guys at Kingdom about it next time I am in. Maybe they have heard about another store dumping stock.

    Again I guess it is a situation where if they are sitting in a closet and someone doesn’t want them anymore it is better to get something rather than nothing. I don’t really buy back issues these days so I didn’t go through it very thoroughly. They were selling almost everything for $1.00 so there might be a deal in there. Although, I know I have seen some of those issues in the $0.25 bins at other places. It will be interesting to see if the stores keeps comics in stock going forward.

    Ultimately, however, I think it is another sign that the LCS is going to continue to have a tough road in the future.

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