Local Comic Stores vs. Amazon. Where do your loyalties lie?

Amazon. They steal business from your local comic store, even going as far as to offer a “Price Check App” which allows comic book readers to go to their local shop, see what’s cool, scan the price, and inevitably find that it’s cheaper on Amazon. And buy it through their phone. Sounds like something that would piss off a lot of retailers, no?

Well, one guy’s standing up to Amazon. Mike Wellman from the Comic Bug over in the States has declared January “Amazon Match Month“; for the month of January, Comic Bug is promising to price match Amazon.com to remind buyers of that advantages of heading into a brick and mortar store. And I really hope it works out for him. I do.

But here’s the thing.

I love heading into my local comic book store/s (for me, that’s Daily Planet and Comics Etc in Brisbane). I love staring at all those comics, lined up. I love the feeling when I’m surrounded by fellow comic book lovers. There’s a real sense of community there.

But… but.

Sometimes, the experience isn’t all it could be. Shit, I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial here when I say that the customer service – especially at Daily Planet – is a bit lacking sometimes. It’s a case of keeping their heads down until you lay the comic down, right next to the register, before you get much interaction. Either that or its engaging in some inane chatter with a mate, who clearly has nothing better to do than hang out with their buddy at the store.

(Which is cool, but if that’s the case you damn well better invite others into the conversation.)

And then there’s the thing you can’t ignore… you go into your local store, and you’re going to be paying more for your goods. More often than not, that’s taking shipping into account.Which kind of sucks, if – like me – comic book buying is becoming a luxury that sometimes needs to be cut (I’m buying a house, changing jobs, and getting married this year… so excuse me for being frugal).

So, why wouldn’t you buy online? If it’s cheaper, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. And, while it’s ultra awesome of people to support their LCS, the heart-breaking fact is that in most cases, the LCSs doesn’t deserve that type of loyalty.

I dunno. It’s weird. I used to have a dream of opening up my own comic book store/coffee shop. It was a wonderful dream. But with the way prices are going, and now with the added boom of digital comics, I think I’m going to have to close the door on that dream. Because it just doesn’t seem feasible anymore.

 

Or is it? What do you think? Do you buy your comics online, or from your LCS? Or do you read your comics digitally now?

How would you save the local comic book store?

 

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