Leveling The Playing Field : Diamond Offers Early Delivery
I’ve worked in a comic shop since 2006. I’ve been collecting on a constant basis since 2004. I know my way around the Wednesday routine. I remember back when I was subscribing at a shop in the mall near my house back when I first got into collecting on a weekly basis and sometimes UPS didn’t deliver their books until six o’clock. Lots of stores get lucky and get their books around noon and can still get stuff out during the lunch rush. The owner of my store is a smart guy and he doesn’t take chances on UPS delivery, he gets up early and goes to pick up the boxes when the delivery hub opens to get them back to the store when we open at ten so we can get the books out as early as we can manage it.
So how come some stores have been able to put out books exactly at 10 AM when they open on new comic day? It’s because they qualify for early delivery. They get their books on Tuesday, close up shop for the night and then pull their subscribers books and put new stuff out on the rack so that when they open the doors the next morning their customers can walk in and get their books bright and early. How do you earn this privilege? Until recently, you had to have multiple locations and meet a minimum yearly order. Our single store meets that minimum constantly. But we haven’t been able to get the early books because we work out of a single location. Just the nature of the business.
Then Diamond announced this early this morning:
Effective in January, 2011, retailers in North America and the UK will have the option of “day-early” delivery of weekly product shipments on Tuesdays for sale on Wednesdays.
Day-early delivery – which will allow retailers more time to merchandise their stores and ready for customers on Wednesdays – will take effect with shipments delivered on Tuesday, January 11, that have a scheduled on-sale date of Wednesday, January 12.
Wow. This is definitely great news for me on a personal level, as it will make the shipment delivery a whole lot easier to deal with. And also on a level where smaller stores, and we do have a few around town, who will be able to stay afloat and better compete with the big boys, hopefully growing in the process.
The concern that this seems to be generating at the moment seems to be whether or not it will impact piracy at all. Whether books will get out early and be up on torrent sites before the stores open on 10AM wednesday. I would think that people in comic shops wouldn’t shoot themselves in the foot that way. I mean, if people can get their books for free why would they come into your store. You know, the one that you got that issue that you scanned. I think the piracy thing is a non issue. Piracy will exist regardless of when a book is shipped. Those bastards have no shame. At least this way, the people who put their money into the hobby can be better served. And that’s nothing if not a good thing.