03rd Nov2022

Sales To Astonish #2 – October 2022 Comic Market Report

by Guest

Welcome to Sales to Astonish,  a new column in association with comics retailer The Unreality Store, in which Matthew De Monti brings us news on comic sales and the general moves in the comic market over the past month or so!

After a slow September, hopes were high that October would return to seeing a normal semblance of online sales levels seen earlier in the year, and indeed the month started strongly with sales of runs of Flash, Tomb of Dracula, Werewolf By Night and X-Men.

We dropped around 100 Spider-Man and Fantastic Four issues into the store around mid-October. No real key issues to speak of but some solid entertaining books featuring some great art by John Romita Jnr (Spidey) and Carlos Pacheco (FF). Surprisingly to date, none of these have sold, but no doubt they will trickle out as people fill their gaps and before we know it we’ll be looking to buy more to restock.

Dynamite titles such as Flash Gordon, James Bond and Vampirella and a new batch of comic sets were the Monday Mini Drops for October and sold well. From an e-commerce perspective having more than one ‘event’ a week means we can drive more traffic to the site through our emailers and social media platforms. Finding a balance between these Mini Drops and the more established Thursday release is key given whatever product is for sale it requires photographing, grading and pricing.

We ended the month with our 3rd Annual Halloween Spooktacular with 25% off all horror comics. It was nice to see people filling their gaps with Mignolaverse titles like Lobster Johnson and Witchfinder and picking up relatively obscure indie horror titles. It didn’t seem as busy as in previous years but that may have something to do with people having less disposable income at present and half an eye on Christmas. It also raises the wider question of just what number, in terms percentage discount, is attractive enough to entice people to fill up their baskets and checkout.

Key sales in October

  • Giant Size Defenders #3 FN- £125
  • Hulk Vol.2 #2 NM £15
  • Spider-man Vol.1 #1 (Silver Cover) VFN+ £12
  • Star Wars Vol.2 Dynamic Forces Signed NM £20

In an effort to increase revenue streams and not be solely reliant on online sales we bookended the month with attendance at Sheffield Comic Fair and Nottingham Comic Con. These two events couldn’t have been more contrasting in terms of sales – Sheffield was very quiet whereas at Nottingham business was brisk. Standout sales at Nottingham include Secret Wars #1 for £12 and a selection of Venom issues by Donny Cates including variant covers for £50. Undeterred we are booked in again for Sheffield Comic Fair on 12th November with a slightly changed stock offering and the hope that our first experience was simply down to being the new kid on the block and that repeat visits will start to build up a repeat customer base.

We have also taken shelf space in Vintage Guru in Northampton which gives us exposure to retail footfall and also the opportunity to sell some items that are slightly different to our online offering, such as vintage war games along with comics, graphic novels and vintage roleplaying games

In closing, October wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad and the key takeaway from the month is that there’s nothing better than selling comics! Well perhaps buying them ?


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