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  1. #1
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    Smile entertaining the idea of owning a comic shop.

    So, I live in a small town, of about 10,000-11,000 people. We have a small book store that does well. But no comic store nearby, the closest comic store being about 34 miles away and a good store with a lot of selection is about 47 or so miles away. I am pretty new to the whole comics thing myself. I've only been reading since, around early 2013. (Marvel's movies being the thing that made me check out comics.)

    I have a limited knowledge of comics as a whole myself. Right now, I've read several, now old since the new 52 reboot, batman graphics novels. (batman:knightfall, long Halloween, year one,etc) and Ms.Marvel's whole 2006-2010 run. Current comics that I'm reading are star wars:dawn of the jedi, Justice League, the manga Attack on Titan, and probably gonna start picking up aquaman and/or Guardians of the galaxy.

    So, I guess the questions I'm trying to ask are: what does it take to open a comic shop?

    How much comic knowledge is necessary so I wouldn't be mocked by customers for my lack of knowledge of comic's as a whole?(Or am I over-thinking that question and are most small comic shop owners not gurus?)

    Is this just a dumb idea that just isn't feasible in today's economy, or my small town?

    I'm about to get out of high school and I am just trying to find some sort of idea as to what I want to do as a job or career in life.

    I just thought i'd entertain my brain's, probably dumb, idea and ask people who might have some sort of clue as to what it would take.


    (EDIT: Extra background in post 4.)

    Edit: I just realized I could have posted my newest post onto this first one. Oh well. My final decision to my idea is on page 2.
    Last edited by Exphio; 06-30-2014 at 02:16 PM.

  2. #2
    "do what bert says" bert's Avatar
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    it takes a lot of work.

    it's a business, not a hobby, so you need to have some business experience, or at least know something about running a business - or you'll get eaten alive.

    (I'd compare it to owning a bar, and knowing what you need to order liquor wise -- what are people going to drink, so you DON'T end up with 10 cases of Heineken rotting in the freezer, but sell out of Lone Star beer five minutes after opening).


    you DON'T need to know alot about current comics (tho your customers would likely respect you more if you do). . but you *do* need to employ folks who do know about current comics, so they can advise you what to stock, as well as to give the customers something/someone to talk to/about when they come in the store and will make them want to hang around for a while and treat your store like "their" store.

    personally? I wouldn't do it. . especially if you are just about to graduate high-school.

    if you really are interested? Contact that smaller store (34 miles away) and see if you can get a job there. See if you like it and if it's something you want to pursue, BEFORE you attempt to even ramp up your own business.

    (alternate idea: contact the owner of the book store, and see if you can get a job THERE. . . maybe they will let you start ordering comics for that store, and you can get a feel if the town can support a comic shop)

    just my 2cents.
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  3. #3
    Scoundrel Don C's Avatar
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    What bert said. There are two big issues I see here:

    1. Can your town support a comic book store? Meaning, are there enough people in town who want to buy comics.

    2. Where are you going to get the money to start this store? You're still in high school. You're not going to find a whole lot of people willing to give you a loan or line of credit.

    See if the book store needs part-time help. Take some business classes.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don C View Post
    What bert said. There are two big issues I see here:

    1. Can your town support a comic book store? Meaning, are there enough people in town who want to buy comics.

    2. Where are you going to get the money to start this store? You're still in high school. You're not going to find a whole lot of people willing to give you a loan or line of credit.

    See if the book store needs part-time help. Take some business classes.
    Oops, I skipped the first question.
    Erm, I'm honestly not sure. I know that the town has quite afew mtg, yugioh, and pokemon fans. Aswell as some rpgers.( D&d and such) So, I'd imagine that a comic shop might be feasible, considering that most comic shops sell these items as well and the ccg and rpgers are usually the ones who also seem to like comics.


    Money, currently working as a part time janitor at my school. As for business classes, definitely would need those if I decided to try out the idea.

    One other thing that came to mind is, I've never played most of the popular tabletop games. I've always wanted to play things like d&d, warhammer 40k, and mageknight. Just didn't feel comfortable enough with those that do play those kinds of games to, pretty much, try to invite myself to one of their gaming sessions. My own gaming experience is Arkham horror, and I don't believe that is nearly as complex as the aforementioned games. XD

    Not saying I am positive that this is what I want to do in life. I'm just trying to come up with ideas and noticed that the town doesn't have any source of comic's, rpgs, or miniatures without taking an hour's drive to the city.
    Last edited by Exphio; 05-10-2014 at 12:24 PM.

  5. #5

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    Let's see..no money,no experience,no business acumen,no comic knowledge.Sounds good to me

  6. #6
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    Comic books and comic book stores are not generally big money makers. Even with the latest explosion of comic book movies, that hasn't really seemed to translate very much from movie popularity to comic book popularity.

    So if you really love comics, do it. Otherwise, I'd advise against it if you're just trying to make money.

    BUT...You say you already have a small book store that does well. Branching out can't hurt. Get a few graphic novels, maybe a few comic books. See how it goes. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Chad Jar Jar Pinsir's Avatar
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    The thing is no comic book store I know of sells just comics. All of them supplement their business with trading card games, in addition to what anime stuff.
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  8. #8
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    I say go for that. But do so with patience and hard work and diligence. Can you carve yourself out a living doing this thing? of course you can, but its going to take a very long time...you should expect to be on the verge of failure for quite a while as you deal with the learning curve and hopefully the growing pains as you tap into and build a community of readers.

  9. #9
    Amazing Member Lt Trouble's Avatar
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    Starting a business is really hard - very long hours, very high risk, for initially very little money - but it is rewarding.

    Here's what I'd recommend:
    1. Go work in a comic book shop. You need to know not only if you like the business, but what the business is, what it involves and requires, who the customers are, etc.
    2. Go to business school. Learn about management, accounting, marketing, etc.
    3. Save up some money, at least $10,000
    4. Learn a lot about comics and gaming.

    After that, if you decide this is really what you want to do and think you can make it work in your hometown, develop a business plan and go to the Small Business Administration to try and get a business loan.

  10. #10
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    Shoot for opening up a strip club instead.

  11. #11
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    Based on what you've said, I'd say no.

  12. #12
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    Get a job at the comic book store or at least at the book store. Find out not only is this something you really want to do (given you've only been reading comics for about a year) but can you tolerate working with the public? I guarantee you that if you don't like people--a lot--working with them on a regular basis can drive you buggy.

    Otherwise, lot of good advice given already. Get the knowledge, get some experience, get some money to fund the thing.
    Parental care is way exhausting. Gained insight into what my parents went through when I was a baby. Not fun, but what ya gonna do? (Read comics, obviously.)

  13. #13
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    Something that several of you have brought up is that I'm new to comics in general. Well, my question is, how can anyone really know a lot about comics? Are they people spending literally hundreds to buy many different titles from publishers, or are they partially gaining their knowledge through talking with others and, say, through wiki and such? I mean, keeping up with a lot of the big titles and crossover events by purchasing the comics from dc, marvel, dark horse, image, boom, idw, etc has to be close to impossible.

    If I decide to try this, I may try talking with the bookstore owner in my town, see if he has any tips. Talk with the family owned comic store in the city, ask him what he thinks it would take, and see about working with one of the stores as suggested to see if I like it. Obviously if I did like it, I would be going to take business classes then.

    But yeah, as I said before. Just saw that we didn't have any sort of comics or specialty games store and I'm trying to come up with ideas for possible jobs or careers that I think sound like they could be fun or that I may want to try and pursue in life. I'm just exploring to see if the jobs could be something that I actually want to do.
    Last edited by Exphio; 05-11-2014 at 12:57 PM.

  14. #14
    Incredible Member danmar85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exphio View Post
    Something that several of you have brought up is that I'm new to comics in general. Well, my question is, how can anyone really know a lot about comics? Are they people spending literally hundreds to buy many different titles from publishers, or are they partially gaining their knowledge through talking with others and, say, through wiki and such? I mean, keeping up with a lot of the big titles and crossover events by purchasing the comics from dc, marvel, dark horse, image, boom, idw, etc has to be close to impossible.

    If I decide to try this, I may try talking with the bookstore owner in my town, see if he has any tips. Talk with the family owned comic store in the city, ask him what he thinks it would take, and see about working with one of the stores as suggested to see if I like it. Obviously if I did like it, I would be going to take business classes then.

    But yeah, as I said before. Just saw that we didn't have a store and trying to come up with ideas for possible jobs or careers that I could want to try and pursue. I'm just exploring to see if the jobs could be something that I actually want to do.
    That's definitely the logical first step.

  15. #15
    Amazing Member Lt Trouble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exphio View Post
    Well, my question is, how can anyone really know a lot about comics? Are they people spending literally hundreds to buy many different titles from publishers, or are they partially gaining their knowledge through talking with others and, say, through wiki and such?
    Well, I think yes and yes, and/or that they've been reading comics for years or decades. Some people on here have mentioned that they do spend $100+/month on comics.

    I also want to say... your town just might not be big enough to support a comics/game shop. I don't know what proportion of people read comics or play tabletop games/collectible card games. Working in a comics shop will probably give you a better sense of that.

    I do know my county has ~100,000 people and two comics shops. The city I grew up in had ~60,000 people and one comics shop. So, if you pursue this, you might want to look at opening it in a larger town/city, where the market is bigger.

    In a smaller town, I think you might have to carry a wider range of merchandise beyond comics and games, such as toys, sports memorabilia or video games.

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