I spent the first half of my career, about 20 years, buying and trading product. It's what a store like mine was supposed to do.
But in the end, it was such a miserable experience that I decided I had to quit--either that, or give up all together. I won't go into the particulars, just that I became so stressed by the process that I got a bit of PTSD out of it. (Not to minimize the real PTSD that people feel, but my feelings are so strong that it's got to be some minor form of it.)
So I took a chance and stopped buying and trading product off the street.
I was immediately less stressed and I found ways to make the store work without it. I had about forty thousands comics in the basement for years and never had the energy or the urge to really deal with them. In the end, I sold them all to another dealer for pennies on the dollar. My sports cards I simply gave away to another dealer.
I've spent most of the last 20 years buying only from wholesalers. Without meaning to, I indoctrinated Sabrina about it, too, even though I've often told her that trading and buying from collectors can be a very profitable business--IF you can stand to do it. I can't stand to do it, but she'd have a fresh slate.
Ironically, over the last few years, people have flat out given us boxes of comics, among other things.
Recently, someone gave us a couple of long boxes of comics which I just plopped downstairs and didn't think anything more of it. But I had a guy ask about a title and I remember seeing it in those boxes, so I let him go downstairs and rummage through them.
To my surprise, he came upstairs with some pretty damn good titles. I charged him far below what they worth, but decided I wouldn't let anyone else get in there before I checked them out myself.
In the end, I spent a few minutes pulling out some old series and as an experiment, put them out for sale. Bamm! They sold right away.
Here's the thing. I know I still can't do the process of dealing with collectors without getting upset. So I again mentioned to Sabrina that she might want to develop a process to trade and buy material from collectors when it came time to her taking over the store.
All of this is a long prologue to my buying a rather large collection of comics last night.
"Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson.
About 9:00 last night I saw a posting on Facebook from a longterm customer. This is a fellow I also consider to be a good friend. To my great surprise, he was planning to sell his collection at a weekend garage sale. Based on the picture, it looked to be about 5000 comics.
Something about that idea hurt my heart. I hated the idea of that magnificent collection being ransacked. I knew that my friend had good taste and that there were some great titles in that collection. The price he was quoting was more than fair.
I called him up, I offered to buy the entire collection for the price he was asking and he immediately agreed. No fuss, no muss. None of the dickering that I so hate.
So now I have 5000 comics to deal with.
I'm thinking it will be fun.