I have absolutely zero interest in the movie, J.Edgar. I can't think of a less appealing person to base a movie on. In fact, he is actively repellent.
So, you know, it'll probably be a big hit.
What would happen if, every time the stock market went up 500 points, you sold? And every time the stock market went down 500 points, you bought?
I wonder why it seems like half my customers love Tintin and Asterix, and half my customers have never heard of them?
It's either one or the other. No vague familiarity.
Love them, or haven't heard of them.
Of course, after Christmas, EVERYONE will know who Tintin is. Because they know who Spielberg is....don't you know.
One of the more frustrating things about being "in the know" and being a "retailer" is the disconnect to those customers who "aren't in the know" but are potential customers.
"Hey, this young adult book, Hunger Games is really cool. And it's going to be BIG! when the movie comes out...."
"ummmm.....I'll think about it."
So I spend a couple of years talking up Game of Thrones, or The Walking Dead, and getting blank looks and rejection and I'm nearly begging them to give it a try -- and then the shows come out, and it seems like all of a sudden EVERYONE wants them.
I make it a habit not to recommend anything I don't actually really, really like.
But I guess the customers don't know that.
See what happens when you retire, Andy Rooney? Happens every time, I tell you.
Check out the Triumph the Comic Insult Dog video about Occupy Wall Street. On the Conan show. Or, it's over on the local The Source site. Genius.
I swore I wouldn't watch any videos or look at any pictures of The Hobbit movie-- but I couldn't resist.
It looks fantastic. Kind of seems like it will be lighter, more humorous than LOTR's; but then, so was the book.
Go, Radagast the Brown!
(I always related to Radagast, because my name, Duncan, can be translated as Brown (dark) Warrior.)
Old technology that still works. Trains and books!
Here's why I don't bother to look at the bestseller lists.
The current top 5. Publisher's Weekly.
1. The Litigators, John Grisham.
2. 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami
3. The Snow Angel, Glenn Beck.
4. The Best of Me, Nicholas Sparks.
5. The Christmas Wedding, by James Patterson and some other guy (who probably actually wrote the book.)
At least three out of the top five are utter pap, and the fourth is probably pretty workmanlike. I'll let you guess which three. (Well....Glenn Beck? Shoot me now.)
I have ordered 1Q84 by Murakami, however; as well as trying to get his back list as much as possible.
Being a card shop.
I was trying to imagine how hard being a full service card shop would be right now. One of the big three sports isn't even playing. And since Basketball is the only big league sport in Oregon, that's even more impactful.
Panini (the Italian sticker company who has exclusive rights to NBA basketball cards, and what does that say?) hasn't even bothered to put out a brand so far this year.
It's as if a third (or more) of the product that your store sells, just disappears.
What sport card shops who still survive have, is what I call Cockroachability -- not even a nuclear bomb will completely wipe them out. I suspect, mostly, because most current owners don't actually live off their business...
What's interesting to me how demanding sports card customers can still be. They usually give me a "treat me right or else" vibe, to which I usually give a, "here's what I got at what price, buy if you like" answer. As you can imagine, that very often doesn't work.
So I sell the occasional packs to casual customers. And the even more occasional boxes.
The price structure to sports cards is completely dysfunctional. The only way you can survive is to be MORE expensive than S.R.P., and yet, like I said, the customers expect you to be CHEAPER than S.R.P., because there are plenty of people online selling for near cost.
I've managed to eke out small profits by doing it my way, but it's constantly on the edge.
I recently had a customer think that I was raising my prices so that I could give him a 10% discount. The truth was, I was actually doing the opposite!
I was keeping my prices lower than usual because he was buying so much.
In the old days, I would've been paying enough attention to know what I had priced something the last time, but nowadays, I do a quick calculation and put the price sticker on. Since I have a fixed formula, I tend to average it out either upward or downward, depending on a number of factors that aren't always the same.
So, say I arrive at a retail target price of 73. 40. So, I'll average that out to either 69.99 or 74.99, depending. But like I said, I may not remember what I did the last time.
What gets me, I suppose, and why I'm writing this, is that this card customer automatically assumes the worst motivation.
The solution, I've decided, it to put a price on the box and not offer discounts. That way, there can be no misunderstandings. The price is what the price is.
So I raised all the prices on the boxes to the prices I normally would charge, and I'll stick with that.
Back to doing this the no fuss, no muss way.
The customer can decide. I totally understand if they don't want to pay my price. There are always a few customers who will, fortunately.
A retail store shouldn't try to be a flea market. I don't offer those kinds of automatic discounts for any other product in my store. Well, I give 10% for comic subscription customers, and I give a "Buy 5 packs and get the 6th pack free deal" to Magic customers. But that's it. Everything else is retail priced.
And now, so too are sports cards. No more unnecessary discounts.
I wonder why I was ever tempted to do so? Tradition? Industry norms? Customer pressure?
Whatever it was, it's come to an end.
6 days ago