Welcome comics retailers! 28pageslater.com and the Comics Industry Collective are here to guide you to resources that will help keep your small businesses alive during the pandemic.
Your Shop Setting Up & Getting Started
Here’s a few tools to utilize to start an online store. It’s heavy lifting at first but helps identify key and specific inventory at your store during this time.
- Etsy (listings has a marketplace advertising to those who like vintage and unique items)
- Big Cartel (first five listings free, perfect for bundles and surprise bags if you’re unable to start listing your entire store)
- Ecwid (offers a free plan but there’s possibly transaction fees)
- Ebay (known for comic collecting, easily copy listings to enter in faster)
- Shopify (29$/month basic plan offers design, support, and connecting apps)
- Storenvy (easy and purchaser pays fees during checkout)
- Squarespace (customizable storefronts, paypal fees only - pretty interface)
- POS Services like Comichub: https://comichub.com/
Listing your things online can be hard. Check out this amazing thread created by White Squirrel’s owner Andrea Demonakos about shipping items.
- How much time can you set aside each day listing things in your shop
- Don’t hesitate to advertise the store on all of your social media and link to each item you’re listing!
Ideas for Clever Selling:
- Offer curated bundles
- Offer recommended bundles
- Offer surprise grab bags
- Create special sales each week
- Facebook live sales
- Ebay auctions for specific “proceeds”
- Offer local delivery
- Offer shipping for over the phone orders
- Do live tele-signings with creators to drum up sales of in stock books!
Branding and Promotion
- Reach out to sponsor or work with creators during their online streams to collaborate on pushing sales.
- Run a small “online con” with your local creators with sales.
- Collaborate or reach out to your favorite publishers that you stock to maybe run tweets about your sales!
Relief Programs Resources for Monetary Assistance
- Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation
- Binc helps booksellers and comic retailers with unforeseen emergency financial needs. The Foundation assesses each request to determine how best to provide relief to the bookseller. If approved, grants are paid to third-party vendors. Call 1-866-733-9064 or fill out the form on the right. We will be in touch within two business days, typically less than 24-hours.
- Comics Experience Relief Fund
- Each product on Podia allows us to set a profit split for the retailer. For the items that are a part of “Retail Relief,” we are setting that profit split at 80% of the sale price to the retailer. The 20% that comes to Comics Experience covers some of our costs and effort. The creators involved are donating their time and videos.
- Jim Lee Auctions
- Jim Lee is selling sketches to benefit the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC), aimed at helping comic book stores and their employees during the coronavirus crisis.
- TKO - Help Comic Book Shops Fight Back!
- Until the end of the Coronavirus threat, when any customer chooses a store during checkout at tkopresents.com, TKO will send that store 50% of the purchase price, the exact same amount the store would have made selling the book via their brick-and-mortar store.
- Comic Book Defense Fund
- Multiple resources and programs.
- Mad Cave Studio's GoFundMe
- Miami-based comic book publisher, Mad Cave Studios, has created the Comic Book Retailer COVID-19 Relief Fund, with the goal to help out local comic book shops that are struggling in these turbulent times.
- Source Point Press Retailer Relief Program
- A way for comics readers to help their comics shops while getting videos, audio files, PDFs, and more, featuring creators and educators discussing the craft and life of comics.
- BOOM! Guarantee Retailer Program