Last week, Bleeding Cool ran an article about comic book buyers clubs, individuals who order directly from Diamond Comic Distrubution for themselves and others. They may sell comics online, they may take stalls at local markets, but they break Diamond Comic Distrubutors’ terms of service by not having a storefront or having a dedicated website for customers to order from with a shopoing cart and credit card facilities.
One of those featured, Dan from Ultimate Treasures, Michigan, got in touch. As well as being accused of being a buying club, he was also accused of buying masses of comics for rare variants at retailer discounts, then dumping the standard copies to make up the cost and heavily distortingthe local market.
I have been a Licensed Retailer for over 12 Years, I started very small and worked very hard to build my Business. I pay my taxes, as with eBay or Amazon they report directly to the IRS! Some Retailer can’t make it and grasp out to find reasons why. Here it’s stated that I am hurting my Local Comic Retailers. A store some 50 miles from me sends you an email and wala, I’m ruining his business. There are no local stores I compete with! Build your comic store here, and then complain! To be honest I have 1 local buyer, been with me for 9 years now or more. If bleeding Cool or ANYONE can find 2 locally I supply their books to on a monthly basis, and locally I mean in the whole State of Michigan, Please let me know. If I sell to anyone on a monthly basis (buying club, or whatever), please come forward, I welcome it. I must be really missing something. I am calling you out on this Bleeding Cool and your Store Owner Complaining! If I can talk my 1 buyer to drive 50 miles to pick his books up, I’m glad to help this persons business out. I support local comic stores, and have a close friend who runs an awesome store, one of the best I’ve seen. You post Pictures of peoples addresses, did you ever think some may sell at a store front. I myself for many years sold from a store front uptown. A friend of mine owned a Video store and I rented space and sold in that store, until it closed down. He closed down because superstores like Amazon and Netflix came along and started to rent movies direct to consumers, so what should have happened is for them not to be allowed to do this so my friend could stay in Business. This is a free Market is it not? You learn to adapt with the market, not Complain. Everything I do, every other retailer with or without a brick and mortar store, can or does the same as I do, and has the same chance as I in buying anything before or after FOC. But I rarely buy extra on most titles. I run with a few books that look good to me. Buying clubs, my buyers will tell you I offer 20% discounts, and only recently rose to 25% due to USPS rose shipping from $16.95 to $23.95 globally. I felt bad for my buyers, so was looking to help out a bit with the big hike. You State I quote “He dumps everything and has killed more books then I care to remember”. Ok do me something and please name these books here, and Ill offer my copies of my Diamond Invoices to show exactly how many copies of any given book I ordered. So If I’m dumping everything, that list has to be quite large. Anyone who would take the time to research into this would have known this instead of some email from a retailer who has clearly misinformed you and holds some sort of grudge against me and others. I do mainly live auctions, I will also offer screen shots for the past 4 months (or more if needed), of every sale on EBay I’ve done. Not that it’s anyone’s business, but in defense, I guess I have to prove something to Bleeding cool. Well I will.
Please send your Rep from Bleeding cool to my House, and/or said Store Owner who I’m ruing his business, and you guys can see every sale I’ve made in the last year if you wish and you can Prove to your readers what you’ve written is true. I am dumping nothing, I am in this business to make money, some retailer who has an issue with it, hit the International market and take it over! If you need help with this market, I’m the guy to talk to. I’m calling you out on this as well!
I’ve sold 13 Ditkos on EBay, ok, I buy a lot of books. But get your facts straight, I sold 10 and 2 of the buyers never paid so they were relisted, in fact, 8 copies. My last Investment was 2100 copies of superior spider-man #1. I saw it heating up and at FOC I ordered that many to get in on all the incentives. Retail $8379.00, but here you slam me for buying after FOC?? I deal in Variants, as you may or may not know, Variants cannot be ordered after FOC, these books have to be ordered at FOC or before. I took that chance, some pay off, and some don’t. Now my Superior #1 regs sell $4.99 ea, (and this is considered dumping?).
To name a few books I bought into over the years: Red Sonja #1, Dynamite which had a 1:300. I bought 3000 copies for 10 of those variants; I’ve sold some of the red Sonja as high as $10 for the turner regular cover (dumping again?).My Business as well as some others was listed within the pages of that book as a large supporter for its release! How about when Civil war hit, marvel Comics. I bought over 3000 copies of the #1 to get the Turner 1:75 Sketches, and continued heavy till issue #7 for complete sets to sell. Avengers vs. x-men… the list goes on… So to say gee, I sold 13 Ditkos, ok , what’s your point? I’ve sold my Amazing Spider-man #700’s as high as $29.99 ea the first week they hit, (again , I’m dumping , I know), I pick very few books and run with it.
Lately, I’ve missed most of the heavy hitters like peter panzerfaust, nowhere men, batman INC #8, and others to name a few. I bought 5 to 10 copies each, I guess I should contact bleeding cool and complain they were sold out before I could get there because some other retailer out there bought them all up. I mean, that’s not fair! All the other retailers should have waited till I had my chance to buy some. You win some, you lose some. Don’t whine about it.
I’ve built my Business around the International market with top Notch Customer service. My Reputation speaks for itself. I have a few buyers within the States (like 15 nationwide). Some have no stores close to them, or don’t like dealing with them. My Main buyer base is in Australia, I sell to buyers in France, Germany, The UK, Singapore, Sweden, Norway, Israel, Greece, Philippines, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Netherlands, and recently pick up a buyer in Russia. Plus many more then I care to write down here. You want to hit the International Market and take the chances I have over the years, go for it.
Diamonds Policy states: that “A retailer must have a website with a cart feature”. Don’t know if you guys know this both ebay and amazon both have cart systems. My Amazon Store that I pay a monthly premium to has a cart system, so what rule am I breaking? I pay roughly $1500 and Higher a Month in fees to sell on these websites. I pay my dues.
Diamonds response to this on the matter, and asking my rep, he has heard of no “meetings” about me and my business. Bleeding cool, I would expect more of you guys to really look into a story like this before slamming a business because some whiney retailer emails you.
I believe the policy is:
A. a physical storefront or
B. A website with shopping cart feature
The bottom line is, everything that was written about me and my business is not true. I speak only for myself and Ultimate Treasures; I don’t know what other retailers or sellers do. My business is on the books. I am licensed in the State of Michigan as a licensed retailer dealing with Diamond Comics Inc. as a legal retailer. I retain an accountant, (you need his information too?), to keep my business in line with any local and federal laws and any Taxes owed! Words are easily written, it’s sad that people have to slam other people without taking a look at the facts. If Bleeding Cool needs anything else from me, if I still need to prove something to you, please be big enough to contact me directly. You have my information, (and a picture of my house).
One thing that does stick out is that Dan admits he no longer has a storefront, and that the only website he is using are the Amazon and eBay storefronts – which have not been acceptable as a dedicated website by Diamond Comics Distrubutors’ Terms Of Conditions. Right now he has admitted to be in breach of them.
I would suggest, and purely in Dan’s interest, is that maybe he gets someone to knock him up a functioning, operating retail website pretty sharpish. Diamond has a habit of ignoring all sorts of sins, but finds it a lot harder to do so when it’s out in the open.
Dan also encouraged his customers to register and post in the BC forum. Here are a few examples.
When did we forget that this is America! WTF is the problem with making a little bit of money and being smart enough to order comics that will be popular. If you pick a stock and it is succesful…………are you stealing? NO
This is the most BS story I have ever read……………I dont even know what to say but this is just ridiculous. SHAME ON BLEEDING COOL. BLEEDING SOCIALIST FOOLS……….WAH WAH someone is selling books on the internet……..seriously this is the best thing you have for a story????????????? are you serious???????????????
Get your head out of your fu cking ASSES IDIOTS!
Good for you Ultimate Treasures! Stick it to em!
I found Dan by word of mouth since my local comic shop went out of business. I tried buying by mail order from a physical shop in Australia, but 1000km from where I live. They were unprofessional, often missed stuff and never fixed it. Plus, the practice in Australia is for retailers to DOUBLE the cover price, eventhough our dollar has been doing better than US dollar for years now! I have recommended Dan to other overseas customers, who like me have no other way to buy comics.
I can tell you specifically with regard to the comment of “killing the market” on the Ditko variants. I had ordered two in advance and my plan was to get them CGC graded and possibly signed. When I checked the CGC census about two weeks after the Dec. 26, 2012 release I saw that there were 90 Ditko variants already CGC graded in Signature Series, mostly including Stan Lee and perhaps other creators. Though CGC does not tell you on their Census page who signed the SS book, you can look up who signed if you have the CGC serial number. Thompson admits to selling 13 on eBay. His 13 PALE in comparison to the 90 already graded and SS’d. CGC confirmed with me that there was a large private signing but said for confidentiality reasons said they couldn’t identify who that was. Anyone who follows ebay would know that its “honestgrader”and “daredevil3013″ (might have this handle slightly misspelled) and it if you check their sales, they both have sold more Ditkos than Thompson. I also would find it likely that they pre-sold a number of those to certain customers.
The times are hard. High street retailers like HMV are going out of business, people are losing jobs left and right because the new internet era is affecting everyone these days. I can only imagine how hard it is for small time shop owners to sustain their sales. But what you did is just showing how bitter, jealous, incompetent, desperate a person can be. For every Dan, there tens of assholes like you. You’re the exact opposite what I’d be looking for in a shop owner.
What’s next, are you going to sue Comixology for selling comics digitally? I have better Idea, go for Apple and post the picture
of Steve Jobs’ house (RIP) trying to justify you’re own incapability of selling enough of comics.
Blame Marvel for releasing 10 variant covers of each title (’90s anyone?), better yet, blame the consumer that they are killing your business by paying so much on eBay for 1:200, 1:300, 1:700 and whatnots because let’s be honest, the consumer drives the sales and how much they’re willing to pay at the exact moment.
I will take this a step further. During one of my email conversations with Dan I had expressed my disappointment that Stan Lee had only visited Toronto and not Montreal this year. I had mentioned that I hope he would be well enough to visit Montreal in 2013 because I would of loved to have gotten the 1:200 ASM 700 CGC’d and autographed by San Lee. Dan was nice enough to tell me that he was having Stan Lee sign some stuff for him and would be more than happy to get my book signed and CGC. In comparison to my local comic book store I have asked them to get my ASM #1 re-cased at CGC and they refused because they did not want the responsibility. On anther occasion I asked them if they could send a few books to get CGC and they refused again saying there was to much paper work to fill out for customs. I must add that they are an authorized CGC representative. Go figure. Ultimate Treasures was able to once again to fill a void and a need my local comic book store front comic did not. This only straightened my relation with Ultimate Treasures.
I have been pre ordering and buying my monthly comics from dan of ultimate treasures for about 5 years now, sick of paying for comics that are sometimes tripled in cover price from online Australian retailers and not having a comic book shop close by in central Australia I was put onto dan when my online supplier suggested I was buying too many books for him to deal with and would save money if I went with his friend, a retailer in the US, and from there a beautiful streamlined retailer\Customer relationship was forged, I email once a month with my preorders and I never miss a book.
The fact dan doesn’t have a brick and mortar store means nothing.
Shame on you Bleeding Cool for even allowing this thread article to be published by all means have a discussion in regards to shops vs online shops but naming people and business to satisfy the bitterness of a retailer who cant hold there customers, for the lack of service quality and a multitude of different things, you paint a very untruthful and blatant lie of who Dan is what he does for this industry his knowledge and the international customer base he has who have his support 100%.
Just a note here. I have been buying/bidding from Ultimate Treasures on Ebay for over ten years now. In my experience he does not undercut or undermine ANY seller. He simply posts his books on Ebay and we bid for it. I live in the West indies and it makes since to bid on multiple sets from Ultimate Treasures since I can benefit from economies of scale. If you ask me the REAL robbers are Diamond comics who force sellers into buying a minimum of $500 worth of comics and then have MASSIVE sales on HC and TPB afterwards. They are the backstabbers mate.