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Sunday, October 24, 2004
How To Get A Discount
So, a while back I posted a mini-rant about how customers who ask for discounts annoy me. I've been mulling it over, and I've decided that I wasn't quite fair. There are a few very simple ways to get me to give you a discount on comics, particularly back-issues.
1)Be a regular customer: If I see you on a weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly basis, and you spend money each time you come in (the people who come in every week and never buy any comics are a story for another time...), it won't take me long to see that you support our store and I appreciate that. I'm more inclined to consider your request favorably when I've had time to develop a sense of your tastes, spending habits and attitude towards me and the store.
Don't come in off the street for the first time and have your very first words ever to me be "What kind of discount do you give?"
2) Don't assume I'm going to give you a discount: Using conditional or polite phrases such as "please", "could you", "is it possible" when asking for a discount can only work in your favor. It's also helpful if you don't get angry or indignant when I don't immediately acquiesce to your request. A mature, adult understanding of why I may not be able to discount an item is also in your favor.
Don't be the guy who says "The place I used to buy my comics at gave me a 40% discount on everything. I expect you to beat that or I'll continue doing business with them." Believe me, I'll tell you where you can take your "business" if you do.
3) Spend a lot of money: It may sound mercenary, but experience has taught me that most people apparently define "a lot of money" as $20. Now, if your age is in the single digits, yes, $20 is a "a lot of money"...but if you're older than me and your credit card says "MD" after your name and $20 is "a lot of money" you probably should be spending that money on something other than comics.
4) Related to the above point Buy a lot of comics: The more comics you're buying, the more money you're spending, the more inclined I am to cut you some slack on the final total.
To see how rules 3 and 4 work, here are a Do and a Don't example. If you're spending $300 on back-issues and you're buying 200 comics you're buying lots and lots of low-grade or inexpensive books. You're buying books that either we didn't have to spend a lot of money on ourselves, or we simply want to get rid of them and have priced them to move. This is a good situation to ask for a discount.
However, if you're spending $300 on comics and you're only buying two, you're in all likelihood buying high-grade golden or silver age books. In other words, you're buying books that we had to pay a good amount of money to purchase in the first place. In many cases, we don't have a very large mark-up on books like that because we simply can't afford to have them hanging around the store. They're priced to move so that we can get our money back quickly. Discounting a book like that would actually cost the store money. Discounting a book we only paid a nickel for, not so much...
5) Buy comics nobody else wants: I'm serious. Don't ask for an in-demand book or perennially popular series. In most cases I've got trouble enough keeping those books in stock and if you don't want to pay our asking price we'll have plenty of people who will. However, if you come in and tell me that you want full runs of Checkmate, Suicide Squad, Manhunter and the middle 60 issues of Firestorm I'll be so happy to see those box-warmers go I may offer you a discount before it even occurs to you to ask.