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Old 07-07-2020, 12:02 AM   #1
Xtreme987
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US Comic Book Shops vs. Canadian Comic Book Shops

I've been in quite a few Comic Book Shops in Ontario & have also watched a ton of Youtube action figure hunts from the US. I've noticed 1 big difference aside from the prices. The stores are usually a lot better laid out in the states than here. Here in Southwestern Ontario a lot of them cram so much stuff in their space it's difficult to see all of what they have. Add to that the other customers/staff in the store at the same time & it gets to be a chore/hassle to be in there looking. I realize there are exceptions but anyone else notice this ? I'd like to hear your opinion/thoughts on this or other difference you've noticed between the 2 countries comic book shops.

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Old 07-07-2020, 12:26 AM   #2
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Re: US Comic Book Shops vs. Canadian Comic Book Shops

I’m not sure I’ve been to many US shops, but my local Comic shop feels like it’s part of the Harry Potter universe with stuff cranes in and all over the place; and I love it. For those in Calgary I’m talking about Phoenix Comics on 17th SW, but goes for Another Dimension, Phoenix on 16th and Comic Kazi.
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:19 AM   #3
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Re: US Comic Book Shops vs. Canadian Comic Book Shops

Yeah I've noticed this at a lot of comic shops I have frequented over the years. They seem to keep piling in stock with no desire to sell old stock. As well the desire to maximize shelf space usually means traffic flow suffers greatly.

I have seen 15+ year old product sitting on shelves (not desirable product) for full price at some stores. I don't know if that is due to bad business decisions, or just a lack of awareness about their inventory, but that is just insane (unless you are a store that specifically sell retro of course).

However I guess that is just a natural extension of a business that caters to collectors. It becomes a vicious cycle of having to bring in the latest products collectors demand/want, but then being stuck with, or unwilling to liquidate, product that doesn't sell. Eventually you see these stores become commercial "hoarders" for lack of a better term.

That of course also doesn't take into account the storage/warehouse spaces some stores keep as well for all the product they can't keep on premise.

I can't speak to the US since I can't remember the last time I went into a comic book shop there, but these are my observations here over the last 30+ years.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:55 AM   #4
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Re: US Comic Book Shops vs. Canadian Comic Book Shops

It might just be a matter of the types of stores that people tend to film in the US. I'm sure there are tons of tightly packed shops there as well, but they are probably not the stores that people want to film in.

I've seen a mix here, really. Big B comics in both Barrie and Hamilton are clean, nicely laid out shops, as is Conspiracy Comics in Burlington. But then I've also been in a couple in Montreal, Toronto, Kitchener, and some other smaller towns that are like what you describe.

A lot of it probably has to do with the business acumen of the people running them, but then again if they can continue to pay rent and make a living I guess they're doing something right.
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Old 07-07-2020, 02:02 PM   #5
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Re: US Comic Book Shops vs. Canadian Comic Book Shops

One issue with some comic shops I've run across is their lack of desire to get rid of old product.

I was at a comic book store late last year and they still had a Marvel Legends Machine Man figure all the way back from 2015. It wasn't a recent addition either - I remember seeing the same fig back in 2015 at the store. Another problem was that they were selling it for the price of $31.95.

I think with a lot of these comic shops they're realizing there is more money in the card games - Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc. and give very little concern for action figures. I experienced that with Dungeon Comics when it was in Dundas.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:07 PM   #6
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Re: US Comic Book Shops vs. Canadian Comic Book Shops

Do you think maybe there hoping over time these shelf & peg warming figz will become vintage & then they'll cash in ?
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Old 07-08-2020, 12:22 PM   #7
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Re: US Comic Book Shops vs. Canadian Comic Book Shops

Iíve been to a few different comics/collectibles shops from Fargo, North Dakota to Minneapolis. I find them similar to what Iíve seen from Winnipeg to Calgary at the very least. Very busy, lots of oldsr product.

What Wintermute mentions about the Machine Man peg warmer is fairly common, but also logical when you consider that these store business practices are more like a marathon than a sprint.

Eventually that Machine Man will be hard to find for someone and they will get the price they want.

We have a couple stores like that in Winnipeg. If you need something that was out 7 years ago, they are a go to spot.
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:24 PM   #8
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Re: US Comic Book Shops vs. Canadian Comic Book Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtreme987 View Post
Do you think maybe there hoping over time these shelf & peg warming figz will become vintage & then they'll cash in ?
I think there are 2 factors:

Toys are generally not their bread & butter. They probably don't really care how quickly they move, as they're making their profits off of other items.

Toys don't have a lot of profit in them to begin with, so they don't see the value in marking them down and selling them at a loss.

Those two things kind of work together in a circle. They don't want to sell the toys at a loss, but at the same time there's not a ton of incentive to do so since they're still making profits off of other higher turnover items.
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Old 07-08-2020, 11:29 PM   #9
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Re: US Comic Book Shops vs. Canadian Comic Book Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post
I think there are 2 factors:

Toys are generally not their bread & butter. They probably don't really care how quickly they move, as they're making their profits off of other items.

Toys don't have a lot of profit in them to begin with, so they don't see the value in marking them down and selling them at a loss.

Those two things kind of work together in a circle. They don't want to sell the toys at a loss, but at the same time there's not a ton of incentive to do so since they're still making profits off of other higher turnover items.
Ya true most customers would probably buy a stack of comics ($3-5 each on average) over action figures ($10-70 each on average) so comic book sales is their main demographic.
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Old 07-11-2020, 02:54 AM   #10
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Re: US Comic Book Shops vs. Canadian Comic Book Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wintermute View Post
One issue with some comic shops I've run across is their lack of desire to get rid of old product.

I was at a comic book store late last year and they still had a Marvel Legends Machine Man figure all the way back from 2015. It wasn't a recent addition either - I remember seeing the same fig back in 2015 at the store. Another problem was that they were selling it for the price of $31.95.

I think with a lot of these comic shops they're realizing there is more money in the card games - Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc. and give very little concern for action figures. I experienced that with Dungeon Comics when it was in Dundas.
I think depends on how pack the store is. Part of the model is like, it's only 1 action figure. If the store clearance it, they lose money for sure. Maybe someday people would want to buy it.
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