We will be having a costume contest at 7 on October 29th. Who will win?
December 10th, the last Rod Deal of the year! Will we set a record? Will the weather be decent that day? Will we all have fun? Heck, yeah!
This week's Projections I figured I would write about opening a second location. It's a goal. A long term goal most likely. After reading about the chain of Hastings closing it doesn't exactly encourage me to expand.
As I have said before I miss the challenge of having a new store at times. But the reality is the deck is really stacked against a new store. I have known that for years but didn't want to write about it when we were new because I figured people would take it as whining. Now that we are not new I figure it is a good topic to talk about.
Magic the Gathering is set up in three different levels. It is set up that the more games you run for them them the more prize support and more material you can order from them. Such as limited products as From the Vaults and Modern Masters. When you are new you of course start at the bottom level. We are on the second level. And that is fine with me. It would be to much time, energy, and money to start paying judges for events and so forth. It does suck that popular sets such as Modern Masters are tied into not sales but amount of gaming a store has. The most money off Magic the store ever made was from the first Modern Masters because it wasn't set up at the time as we can only order it from one vendor and be strictly limited as it is now. I ordered it from Diamond Comics even. Multiple vendors. Had more of it arrive over the few weeks we could get it. Another reason it was so profitable is we didn't pre sell it. Meaning online sites and stores had no idea it would be so popular and had pre sold at less than what people were willing to pay. We were not locked into that.
Now when we order Modern Masters we are locked in at a certain amount and may only order it through one vendor and one vendor only. It will sell. It is still an easy sale. But not nearly as profitable for us.
A new store would have to start off with even being able to order less of a popular product thanks to the Wizards of the Coast's rules. A new store gets to try to fight its way up to the next level. Which usually means giving away not only the free cards that are given as prize support but products that costs the store money to be given away all in order to get more players so a store can make it to the next level.
Wizards of the Coast used to send adventures for the Dungeon & Dragons players to play campaigns with. And they wanted it to be like Friday Night Magic. But make Wednesdays for D&D gaming. I foolishly went along with it at first even though that was new comic day. Though thankfully D&D on Wednesdays died.
So as a new store even though you are selling their products you are suppose to do things Wizards of the Coasts wants even though with millions of dollars they couldn't get a chain of stores that sold their products to work.
A new store that is selling comics. The more a store sells the better of a discount on comics that store gets. When I first opened I remember Diamond Comics calling and telling me you didn't order that much. I even said well yeah I am new so it is going to take some time to build up customers and everything I order through Diamond is non returnable. Even at that low level I over ordered. So I learned don't listen to Diamond Comics.
It is going to take time for a new store to get up to a good discount on comics.
And the variant covers for comics. Oy. As a new store some of those were a pain. People wanted the 1 in 100 variant cover and more. And at the time when we were new we weren't even close to selling a 100 copies of a title. So then the whole is getting the variant for the customer worth it math comes in to play. If you don't get it for them they of course will go elsewhere and get it.
The start up costs are just amazing. The amount for just having signs made shocked the heck out of me. Though the first sign that I ever had made for the store was by far the best money spent. It hung in our window before we opened and generated good word of mouth along with a newspaper article. The sign was never suppose to last beyond a few months. Each year when it gets closer to our anniversary I put it back up. The sign has some dings and scratches. Though they are only noticeable if looking at it up close.
There is no incentive for new stores to open by the various vendors. Be it by gaming companies or comic companies. They want a new store to order as much as possible even though it is all non returnable product. Fail to sell their products? Fail to make a profit? Go out of business? Not their worry.
So it might be awhile till there is a new second Rodman Comics. Though who knows. Seems everything I plan never goes according to plan. There may be a new one in 2017.
As always we hope to see you at Rodman Comics!
Interested in rare hard to find comics? Then check these out.