It's weird how I continue to improve the store when all I'm going to do at the end is sell it to Sabrina. But I can't help it. The store is a work of art, as far as I'm concerned.
In some ways, the lack of space has required that I be very ingenious about how and where I display things. One of the reasons I never even considered trying to be a full bookstore until--well, at least until I was already almost there--was because of space. But I kept squeezing an inch here and an inch there, adding elements slowly, and one day I looked around and realized I'd done it. Frankly, it was the reaction of new customers and tourists that clued me to the fact that Pegasus was, indeed, a bookstore. Selective, to be sure, but it has all the pieces.
So as all the parts fall into place, I have time to turn my attention to things I've let slide. Most of it is done. I feel like the selection of books can always be slowly improved, I'm trying to keep up on card games, specializing in variety, I'm trying to keep the inventory graphic novels up to snuff. Over the last year, I've concentrated on increasing the quantity and quality of our toys. Games, I'm trying to maintain at current levels--frankly, waiting for the the market to settle down.
So, in some ways, the last thing that needs to be done is back-issue comics. I saved this for last because, though it can generate revenue, the lack of cost-effectiveness, the amount of work needed to be done, has always been a little intimidating.
I was never been opposed to the general idea of buying collections, but I hated the process so much (sports card collectors were rather aggressive at the end), that I simply quit doing it. This current collection came because I knew the owner and what he collected, the price had already been established that was more than reasonable, and...most important of all...I finally have the time and energy to deal with it.
The final piece.
I'd forgotten how much time and effort goes into organizing comics. It used to be, I'd never have enough of the essentials to do the job right: I'd either be short of boxes, or bags, or boards, or price tags, or tape, or something that would stop me half way through the process.
Once again, space is at a premium, but my brain is working on solutions as I bag and board. If nothing else, I'll have premium material for sale at the end. It'll be clean and nice looking and complete.
Weirdly, I'm enjoying it. I like the challenge, the game of trying to figure out what comics will sell, in what format, at what price. It used to be, we had price guides. There are way too many titles and comics overall for anyone to be able to put together a usable, up-to-date price guide, so basically pricing is up to me. I can look online for prices to sets, but the average comic is going to have an average price. If there are "key" issues in the run, well...I'm pretty clueless about which ones they might be.
Some comic dealers are very up to date on which comics are currently hot--first appearances, major changes, etc. But my eyes glaze over when I start reading how such and such a comic is suddenly "hot" because some character got a new costume or something equally inane. So I'm well aware that the back issues will probably be cherry picked. Thus, the average comic will need to be priced at least at cover price, an probably more often a dollar or two more. The first five issues of every series are going to priced so that they cover the cost of the next twenty or so issues. Seems fair to me. It will be up to the collector to decide if that is worth it. I'm in no hurry to sell. I'm creating art here. Heh.