As you may have noticed over the last several months, things have gotten a little less sure when it comes to you getting the books you want. This is down to a few different factors:
- programming errors in the technology we use to handle subscriptions, resulting in occasional missing names on our pull lists
- human error in recording damages
- the ordering window closing 2-4 weeks before the comic ships, and then demand far outstripping supply in the meantime
- so many titles shipping every week and every month that it’s becoming harder and harder to predict what our customers want
- Diamond customer service delays in entering our damages, resulting in lack of available replacements
- printing errors due to publishers trying to cut costs with lower-priced printers
- packing damages that we can’t replace due to publishers printing fewer copies
We’ve also cut our numbers on most titles, ordering more and more titles only for subscribers. We continue to struggle under a weak dollar, which means that our margins on comics have shrunk, as we have been absorbing a varying percentage of the exchange rate on all single issue comics. We also know that we tend to sell very few copies of single issue comics once they leave the new release wall. This leaves us with a glut of backissues, that are almost impossible to manage. The Dragon has never really been a backissue store, and that’s intentional. Our goal is to sell out of comics on a regular basis.
All these things have a negative impact on your reading experience, when a book is unexpectedly hot, or we get blindsided by an event that wasn’t properly communicated to us by the publishers.
BUT, we are devoutly committed to providing you with the best possible experience in reading your comics, and making sure you get the books you want. We want to work with you, and create better communication, to make sure that we can give you the service you deserve, the service we strive to provide.
To that end, we are putting a few systems in place:
1. The next time you’re in, we’ll be asking you to fill out a very short survey regarding your collecting habits. We want to accommodate the specific needs of each of our customers, whether you want only first printings and near mint condition, or whether you don’t care about condition or printing and just want to read the stories.
2. When the new Previews comes out, you will get a list of all the books you are subscribed to. Please review this list and return it to us, so that we can make sure it’s up to date. You can take it home with you, but please make sure to return it, whether there are changes or not.
3. We are creating an electronic catalogue of upcoming new series, jumping on points, and crossovers. It will be available in our newsletter, on our website and social media, and there will be a link in your subscriber email. Items will be available in the catalogue as long as the ordering window is open. If you see anything you’d like in this catalogue, let us know, so we can make sure you get it! As the catalogue is not a full list of available titles, please make sure to consult Previews either in store, online, or at home with your complimentary copy of the magazine, to let us know if there is anything else you would like to add.
As always, you can remove books from your subscription list at any time. So, if you think you might want something, but won’t know for sure until it arrives, please ask us to put it aside for you, as we’d rather put that copy back on our shelves than have you miss out on what you want.
Thank you in advance for helping us give you a better comic reading and buying experience!
Jenn Haines and The Dragon team