Comic Store In Your Future – The Cost Of Cosmic Cubes

Comic Store In Your Future – The Cost Of Cosmic Cubes

Posted by May 13, 2017 Comment


Rod Lamberti of Rodman Comics, writes weekly for Bleeding Cool. Find previous columns here.

Bleeding Cool reported: “As Secret Empire sets the good guys and the bad guys on the run to find the fragments of the cosmic cube to change reality one way or the other, Marvel Comics will be supplying comic book stores with free promotional cosmic cubes that glow in the dark. I remember a comic store employee telling me the first time he closed the store at night after putting the glow in the dark Ghost Rider #15 on display and nearly shat his pants when turning round. Hopefully, this will be a more calming experience for stores.”

Sounds really cool right? Just one problem. These cool sounding glow in the dark cubes aren’t really free.

“They will be made available alongside Secret Empire #6, and stores that order 150% of their Secret Empire #2 orders will get two free bundles, or 50 cubes. Order 125% and get 25 cubes. Or say, “Stuff this tiered ordering, I’ll never sell that many, and pay Marvel money to get the bundles.”

Issue six of a comic historically sells less than a second issue as a general rule. Some quick simple math, if a store ordered 100 copies of Secret Empire 2, that store would need to order 150 issues of Secret Empire 6 to receive 50 cubes. or 125 to get 25 cubes.

We can also buy the cubes outright for$10 for 25.

This puts stores in a difficult spot. By saying the cubes are free, it is simply not true. There will be customers wanting the cubes for free, because Marvel said they are. So how does a store make up for unsold copies of Secret Empire #6, since it ordered more? Could the store get lucky enough and sell the extra copies? That would mean they under-ordered on #2, which would make selling more copies of #6 even more of a long shot.

Charge for the cubes? Take a chance and maybe lose a customer or two, by not just giving them away because Marvel said they were free?

Marvel doesn’t believe in allowing comic stores to return their product. We over-order it, and we are stuck with it. Marvel has no problem with comic stores over-ordering comics, it still is the same amount of money for Marvel if we have left over stock, or if we sell out.

I find the cubes to be a neat idea. Marvel does this order a higher percentage, and get the opportunity to order the variant a lot. In my humble opinion, it leads to over-ordering, which leads to devaluing the comic issue, since stores have more than they can sell, just so they can get a variant to sell to one person. I am not throwing shade at stores that do it, because I am one of them. It puts me in an awkward spot. Get the variant cover for a long time loyal customers by over-ordering, or at times gamble, and get it offline hoping it costs me less.

I personally would rather have customers telling me they want Secret Wars #6 because they want to read it. Not for a variant. Not for a promotional cube, but because they are excited about the story, and want to read it as soon as possible.

(Last Updated May 13, 2017 11:57 am )

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