Here it is two weeks into 2008 and I am just now getting a chance to write this post. You have to forgive me for being a little late but a lot of things have happened this last week. As many of you may know, my Father has had a tough time with complications from his knee surgery he had the first week of December but he is fighting through it. Then, my mother was attacked by our warehouse cat for no good reason. 14 staples and a whole lot of bruises later, she is getting better but is still moving slow. Needless to say, we no longer have a warehouse cat. Throw in a busy Christmas season, a great Wizard World Texas show and a good San Antonio show and that makes for a hectic last couple of months. The good news is business is still going very well at the store. We had a GREAT November and December with a lot of new faces coming through the door. We added 20 or more people to our free subscription service we provide. For those who do not know, let me explain some aspects of the subscription service:
We provide our customers a free comic book subscription service. You can sign up through the store by filling out a form at the check out counter, which lets us know which specific issues we can reserve for you on a monthly basis. For example, if you collect Uncanny X-Men, you check the box on the form and we pull you that issue and place it in your file every time that comic comes out. You can also access the pull list through our website. When you come to the Duncanville Bookstore home page, look at the right side and you see a link called Weekly Pull List. Click on that link and it will take you to a page that will list EVERYTHING that will be coming into the store on the following Wednesday (or if there was a holiday, the day new comics will arrive). You can just go down the list and click on the box next to the item you want and, at the end of the list, give us your name and contact information and click submit and we will get an e-mail will your reserve list. It really is a simple process. We will have the Weekly Pull List page updated by Friday afternoon of each week and you can click and submit after that. The advantages of using our subscription service is that you are GUARANTEED to get the issues you want because we do our pulls before we ever put the new comics on sale to the general public. If you have been in the store in the last couple of months, you may have noticed that we are selling out of titles pretty quick in some cases. Also, probably the best reason for signing up for the subscription service is that you get an automatic 15% discount on any and all items in our store, anytime you come in or when you order from us. Finally, if you live out of the area, we ship comics and collectibles worldwide, so feel free to call us up and set up an account and you can get your items in a timely manner and get them well protected.
We have also been making a big push on ebay the last couple of months, which has helped the bottom line quite nicely. As any one that knows me, I did not get into this business to be an on-line dealer or an ebay dealer but the industry has changed. I prefer to look our customers in the eye and make sure they are happy with their purchases. I also like to get to know the people we deal with on a regular basis. The internet is very impersonal in that regard but we reach a potential customer base that is simply incredible. I never thought I would be shipping comics to places like Japan, China or Australia but sure enough we are. I will be using this forum to update you on the ebay auctions we are putting on. This week, I have put on over 50 auctions in our ebay store (id: DuncanvilleBookstore) with another 100 planned for the next couple of day. Renee Burris has listed 35 live auctions (id: AndyMac2570) with another 50 or more scheduled for the next three to four days. She has been listing everything from older TV Guides to Star Wars action figures and I have been concentrating on comic book sets and key issues. As you may know, if you win anything on ebay, you can pick your items up at the store, free of charge.
We just got back from a show in San Antonio last weekend. Chris Fulton, David Cavin and I had a great time, like always in San Antonio. This was David’s first out of town show and I think he now knows why Chris and I always so tired after that trip. We drive five hours, we set up our location, which takes about 7 hours, we sleep for about 6 hours, we get up and finish setting up, we do the show for about 8 hours, we tear everything down, which takes 3 hours or more, then we drive home for five hours. We usually get back into town around 2:00 am but we have a blast. Chris has done shows with me for over three years and he has been the glue that has held things together out on the road. He is our convention specialist and he has really come into his own. If he leaves us and opens his own business, I will kill him though. Just kidding Chris. I know he is here for life. He is part of the family now.
One of the reasons business has really started to take off around here is we have expanded our advertising over the last six months. We have an ad in the Wizard Magazine under places to go. We will be in the next four issues for sure and hopefully have an ad through the next year. We have upgraded our ad in the up coming Overstreet Guide. We have a business card sized ad as well as a location listing coming up. I just placed an ad in the Comics Buyer Guide for the next twelve issues in their Comic Shop Locator section. We have placed ads in the Dallas Morning News and have plans on doing so on a monthly basis for the next several months. We are getting our name out there which helps keep the doors open and the collections coming in.
The last point I want to make before signing off is that our inventory is growing at an amazing rate. We have been able to pick up alot of good items over the last several months. We finally have our overstock inventory in order and we now have a system in place to make sure the boxes stay filled with the back issues you are looking for. We have turned alot of that over to Mel Johnson and he really has done a great job. The problem is we have so much stuff coming in that I am afraid Mel, Chris and I will never get caught up but I guess that is a good problem to have. If you have comics or toys you no longer want, remember, we do give store credit for items or we will pay cash. Also, we will pay a finders fee if you let us know about a collection that is out there. Call me and I will give you the details.
Well, it is time for me to get out of here. I plan on doing this on a regular basis. If you watch the website in the next couple of weeks, you send more and more for selling. The shopping cart is working and we are getting things ready to go, so watch out. Next time I will touch on some of the great items we have gotten and let you know what our convention schedule will be for the year. I hope everything is going well with you and yours and please let us know if there is anything we can help you with.
Duncanville Bookstore - owner