The online comics community is up in arms over a deal that Barnes and Noble is offering, The Ultimate Spider-Man collection, 992 pages, collecting the first three Ultimate Spider-Man Hardcover trades, which comprise three years (or 41 issues), all for the price of $34.96 US, (plus $6.00 shipping to Canada).That’s a freaking amazing deal. Of course retailers are (understandably) upset because this is being offered only at Barnes and Noble, and comic retailers are complaining that it’s unfair.
Now I love my comic store (insert plug for ComicsNMore.com here), but I just ordered this comic because that deal is just too damn sweet to pass up. The Canadian retail on the hardcover is $74.95 according to the jacket, with today’s exchange rate, I’ll be paying $60.00 including taxes.
People are arguing online that this is unfair, but I have to say that I think differently. I’ve bought the individual comics, I’ve bought the trades, and now I’m buying this hardcover edition. It’s been a year since the last hardcover came out, stores have sold as many of them as they’re going to. What’s the big deal? Thousands of people will buy this in Barnes and Nobles stores because you know it will get huge promotion for the Spidey movie. Some of those people will want to read more, and might search out a comic store…that’s good for everyone.
That’s my opinion anyway…maybe I’m just rationalizing.
Hey Brian, I must agree it’s a great deal. If my own copies were’nt all purchased at wholesale, I’d probably go for this too. The main problem that I and other retailers have with this deal is the unfair playing field we’re dealt. Barnes and Nobles (or any other mass retail chain) is given these books at a much lower cost point than anything we’re offered.On top of that, they’re FULLY RETURNABLE. The mass market stores get to sit on this stuff as long as they can still sell some, and then dump what’s left back on the publishers. Granted, some of these books will ultimately make their way to us at a bargain price, but we, the loyal salesmen that have kept Marvel solvent through the lean times are skipped over during the years of fat. If Marvel and DC spent as much on marketing and promotion of the small stores as they do the big boys, maybe we’d all be doing a little better.Barnes and Nobles as well as Walmart will continue to exist without those comic sales, but even just a few $30.00 sales can make the difference in an independently owned store staying in business.