Friday, October 19, 2012

Unabashed Retailer Recommendations/Endorsements

Doug:  About a week ago we had a request in the "So, Whatcha Buying?" post for a wide-open opportunity for our readers to recommend buying points to each other.  Today's query is pretty simple, then:  Where do you buy your "fix", whether it be comics, books, or toys?  Are there good experiences out there with eBay or other online auctions/retailers?  Are there instances when you felt like you got burned?  Overall, would you recommend the online shopping experience, or do you prefer a physical space to converse with sellers, examine your potential purchase, etc?

Doug:  In the interest of keeping this a friendly space, I think we'd rather hear more good news than complaining.  Obviously if you really, really got taken with no recovery of your loss, then share; but I'd rather spend my time reading about good places to buy/shop than bad.  And, since we are a mobile society, don't hesitate to praise that LCS in your neck of the woods -- who knows, the BAB World Tour may be coming to a town near you in the not-so-distant future!  And yeah, I made that last part up...


Anonymous said...

I love buying comics on eBay. I have struck up some friendships doing it that have been going for the best part of 10 years now. I have never once been screwed over buying comics (though I have bought thousands) and have had many positive experiences....dealers dropping some freebies in the box, alerting me when comics they know I want come along, and just chatting about comics and life in general.

I have however, had many negative experiences buying other things on eBay (toys, games, electrical goods, memorabilia, DVD’s you name it). The fact that my ‘getting shafted’ ratio for EVERYTHING else is about 40-60%, and my ratio for comics is zero, despite hundreds of purchases of thousands of comics, it strikes me that comic people are a thoroughly decent bunch. I mean really disproportionately so.

In terms of comic shops, I used to love ‘Dark They Were And Golden Eyed’ in central London, the original Forbidden Planet (it’s more games and figures now) but really I used to love those little bookshops that just had a pile of random comics in the corner, all at the same price (which would be pennies). It was literally like panning for gold, and every now and then you’d find something that would make you literally shudder with pleasure.

In terms of my LCS, I go to the superb ’30th Century Comics’ in Putney ( West London),which is probably exactly like the comic shop that Karen worked in, and run by the Simpsons comic store guy X 2.

My other LCS, which is more collectibles now, you might actually have seen. All of you. It’s called ‘They Walk Among Us’ in Richmond. If any of you saw the Red Dwarf special called ‘Back To Earth’, it’s the comic shop they go to in that.

Whilst I love the whole eBay comic experience, especially opening the box when it arrives and I’ve forgotten exactly what treasures are within, there is still nothing like going to a proper LCS, thumbing through the long boxes, and finding THAT comic, the one you thought you’d never have. There’s that moment, where you’re standing there, actually holding it in your hands, you don’t own it yet, but you’ve found it! It’s the one time that handing the money over is actually a pleasure.

Last birthday, I found TOS #40 in VG which was unaccountably being sold for £30 (about $50). Should have been about 7 times that. I asked the guy if it was complete and if the price was correct. He said yes and yes. Happy Birthday to me. I’m now 1 issue short of completing TOS. (Maybe next birthday....can’t rush these things).


Edo Bosnar said...

My general preference is brick-and-mortar bookstores, especially used bookstores, and that goes for comic shops as well, but given where I'm currently living (Zagreb, Croatia) and the understandably limited number of places that offer what I'm looking for, I'm pretty much forced to seek out online outlets for my comics fix.
Like Richard, I've made copious use of eBay, and like him, I've had nothing but positive experiences: both for comics-related purchases and books in general. Another really good online dealer for comics, especially floppies, is Lone Star Comics ( It pretty much always offers the lowest prices, and its postage rates are very reasonable (a very, very important consideration for me).
Otherwise, there are actually two comic shops in Zagreb, but they're (quite naturally) mainly geared toward European stuff (Italian comics in translation are insanely popular with the comics crowd over here). Even so, they both have a decent selection of American super-hero stuff, and occasionally I find something I like. Another good source of the American stuff is the annual comics show here in Zagreb (it's just too small to call a convention), which is coming up next week...

david_b said...

Primarily eBay (like most here I suspect..), never had a problem with them or PayPal... In fact, my collections of, well nearly everything's been off eBay (at least 70% of it.., besides what was left over from childhood...).

Sellers have all been super ~ If I complain that some comic condition's not what was stated, they've all been good at taking 'em back (or if cheap enough, just refunding my cash without a return). I'm still amazed at dealing with so many trust-worthy sellers: I once had a VF Doc Strange comic arrive with the 'special Colan pin-up page' cut out, I told the seller this and he just refunded my $$ on my word alone. That's pretty rare, even for LCS situations.

My corner LCS from college days is still on the far side of town, so I haven't been there in years. My nephew just told me about this new LCS ('Lost World of Wonders') here in Milwaukee, and it's the size of a corner Walgreens (it's fricken' HUGE). Tables and tables of quarter, 50c, and dollar Bronze comic boxes.. (sure beats the $2.95 shipping on eBay...), so I now I have a new place to frequent. It's got all the glassware, shirts, toys, and new comics.

Doug said...

The image at the bottom of the post is from my LCS, which is actually about 25 miles north of my town. They have four shops spread across the far south suburbs, so that's nice for the extra opportunity to find a particular books. They keep a phenomenal stock of current comics and trades/hardcovers -- not so much on back issues.

I don't get up there as often as I'd like, but when I do I always try to buy a small trade or Essentials. My theory on that is that if you want nice things to be around, you need to patronize them. That being said, here's the hypocritical part: 90% of my reprint purchases come from or retailers like In-Stock Trades or Tales of Wonder. I can't ignore the discounts and potential for free shipping. And I've never had a bad experience with anyone like that. When I purchased my copy of Chronicles of Conan #4 (which was very hard to come by), I actually went through a used textbook site called and found it.

When I was buying comic books I got some great deals and had wonderful experiences using eBay. One of my best purchases was happening by when a fellow was selling his run of Fantastic Four in 10-issue lots. I was able to secure over 80% of the John Buscema run by winning three auctions. And yes, when the box arrives it's like that kid-on-Christmas-morning feeling!


Mike said...

I'm the guy who put in the request to Doug for this post -- thanks Doug!!! You are truly a man of your word.

And thanks for the comments so far. Its good to know that Ebay has been rather positive for everyone. That's where I've been going lately but only for some current stuff. Like Edo, I live in an area where good back-issues can kinda be hard to come by, especially older Bronze and Silver Age. I'd probably have to drive over 100 miles for a chance at another "long box" experience like the one Richard talked about. Those were the good ol' days for me. So I'm looking at Ebay to get some back issues as I've just recently got back into the hobby and I'm finding the new stuff just ain't as cool as the old stuff. Any other online stores that I should check out?

And Doug -- if I ever get to Chicago again I'm checking out that store ... right after I grab a slice of deep dish for lunch!

Another question -- anybody ever sell their stuff on Ebay, and how was that experience? My collection will someday go to my 4-yr old son when he gets older, and there's some things I'd like to get rid of only because I kinda feel funny if he inherits some things from his old man, like my "Sin City" run. Personally I'd rather just get rid of them and take the $$$ to invest in filling in holes in my Bronze Age Batman/Detective runs. Those are more fun anyhow.

Thanks again Doug. I'll be keeping an eye on the comments on this one.


Doug said...

Mike, you are certainly welcome. Karen and I are always open to suggestions made either in various posts are dropped in the Suggestion Box (link is on the sidebar).

Best of luck in your quest, and I fully understand the dilemma with passing on certain content.

Who says this isn't the BAB Age of Reader Requests, Rewards, and Rapture?


Mike said...

Oh, and one more thing -- anybody ever try out any of the auction sites like Comic Connect(, Comic Link(, or Heritage ( to name a few?

Karen said...

Here in Phoenix my favorite place to shop for comics is All About Books and Comics. They have a ton of silver and bronze age books and are good folks.

I have frequently used eBay for comic purchases and most of the time it has been a good experience. Occasionally I've bought from Mile High Comics, but only when there has been the right combination of sales and discounts to get their prices more in line with reality.I typically go to Amazon for trades and hardbacks.

I used to sell comics on eBay about ten years ago. Most of the time the process worked pretty well. But there were a few times where I basically came out of it without making a dime because the auction return was so low, plus the fees and shipping costs ate away anything I might have made. Now that eBay fees have increased I hate to think what you'd have to sell for to make any money. That's why I have been donating my 90s books. I know I can't make any money off of them anyway.

Inkstained Wretch said...

If you are ever in the Annapolis, Maryland, region, the place to go to is Third Eye Comics. Huge selection of stuff and run by a very nice couple of comic geeks:

I also do a lot of my shopping on now and have had generally good experiences with that.

Anonymous said...

Karen, what suggestions do you have on the best place(s) to donate comics? I've thought about elementary schools and possibly children's hospitals. The local libraries seem to have regular sales of extra books already and I doubt they need my New 52 books too much, but I'd sure like to get them into the best hands.


Edo Bosnar said...

Mike, I rarely buy single issues (floppies) any more, so I use eBay almost exclusively to find cheap copies of reprint volumes: tpbs, and the occasional HC or Essential.
Like I noted in my first comment, the two shops close to where I live don't really have a big selection of American comic offerings - and what they do have from the big two is mainly the newer stuff (which I generally avoid). Interestingly enough, though, one of them has about 10 long boxes full of American singles, mainly Marvel and DC. Most of them are early 90s onward, but there is some older stuff as well. An example: I found a copy of Brave & the Bold #109 there, so I snapped it right up.
As to selling, I've never sold anything on eBay (there's no way I could offer competitive postage rates for any buyer outside of Croatia or an immediately adjacent country), but I have sold a few things on this eBay-like auction page of a local comics news site and forum ( All of my experiences here have been good, in that the buyers were always quite satisfied - however, much of that has to do with the fact that I deliberately put pretty low prices on everything I sell (although a few times this did spark bidding wars which ended up in a slight profit for me). My objective when selling is less about making money and more about finding a good home for books I know I'm not going to read again and which are taking up my limited and valuable shelf space...

Rip Jagger said...

I still live in the past, so I prefer to buy things inside an actual "fleshworld" storefront.

In my area there seems to be a lot of good shops. In and around Cincinnati you have Comic Book World (in Florence Kentucky actually), an inviting family-run store I've been going to regularly for over twenty years now.

In that same town there's Comics to Games (I think, they keep changing the name) which has recently brought in some new management which has really shaped it up nicely. They don't have the deep back stock of CBW, but they keep a host of great trades.

In Cincinnati proper there's Queen City Comics, a store I try to visit at least once a year. Great vintage comics run by a guy who knows what he wants. I find stuff there I don't find anywhere else.

Down in Louisville there's The Great Escape (one of three in the region) which has good back stock and has a real underground feel.

And a little closer to home in Lexington is Comics Interlude, a store which keeps a hefty stock of trades and lots of recent back issues. If you missed something, this is the place to go. The owner is a friendly guy, more than willing to swing a trade.

So there's good comics stores all around. I guess that's why I don't really have to rely too much on the internet. If I lived in a comics-free zone, I'm sure this computer device would prove much more useful.

Rip Off

William said...

I mostly use Ebay for single issue comics purchases and Amazon for trade paperbacks and hardcover collections.

In fact I just bought nine single comics on Ebay this week and a hardcover on Amazon and got a great deal on all of them.

From Amazon I got what is possibly the greatest collected book collection ever!!! "Avengers: The Bride Of Ultron" which reprints Avengers 157-166 which includes my 5 favorite Avengers comics of all time (161-162 and 164-166) plus several others that I love. All in one beautifully bound hardcover edition (for $13.99). I don't go to my LCS very often as I don't really buy new comics anymore (except for Mark Waid's Daredevil) and I buy those as TPBs. I actually bought Vol. 2 and 3 at my LCS because they are only $19.99 cover price.

I've had good experiences buying both books and action figures on Amazon and Ebay. The only thing that irks me is the guy I bought 5 comics from on Ebay Monday still hasn't shipped them yet. (After I inquired, he said he was mailing them out today).

As for the comic book auction site "Comic Connect" they are currently in the process of selling some books for me. I drove up to NYC last week with my very large collection of Spider-Man comics (7 full long boxes that includes Amazing Fantasy 15 and ASM 1-650) and dropped them off with the fine folks at Comic Connect. Their office is a very cool place with tons of original art all over the walls. They are very nice and professional and I feel I am in good hands. The person that's handling my collection even got me and my wife into NY ComicCon for free while we were there.

Redartz said...

Like Edo and Rip, I enjoy the physical presence of a brick and mortar store. When I travel, part of the fun lies in hunting down any nearby comic shops. Of course, I must give credit to our local shop, Blue Moon Comics. They have always gone the extra few steps in service, and it is much appreciated.

As for E-bay, never had any problems with comic purchases. I watch for the occasional yard sales; and of course many of my books have come from flea market boxes, which helps keep the spending down.

Incidentally, this week I made my first comics purchase through Craigslist . Thanks to a very kind gentleman, nearly 200 comics are sitting on my floor waiting to be sorted. It's a blast, hauling in a boxful with the prospect of finding a hidden gem or two...

Karen said...

Joseph, I usually donate to Goodwill or the Boys and Girls Club. I did contact our local library but they had no interest in the comics! I hadn't thought of hospitals but that might be a good place to try.

Related Posts with Thumbnails