Half Price HOLIDAY Comics Sale Begins


I want to begin today's newsletter with a confession: I have never been in a Wal-Mart store. Nor do I ever intend to be. This intentional avoidance on my part is prompted because I have seen the economic devastation that Sam Walton and his offspring wrought in utterly destroying Main Street businesses in small towns all across America, and I want nothing to do with them, or their predatory ways. If their endless lure of low prices is enough to make you a fan of Wal-Mart, I wish you no ill will. In the end, we all have to draw our own moral and ethical lines. Mine just do not happen to include Wal-Mart.

Nanette In the back fields

In case you're wondering, I chose to mention Wal-Mart today because of a somewhat animated discussion I had with my wife, Nanette, this morning as regards Amazon.com. Nanette (and my daughter Rowan) are members of Amazon.com's Prime service. As a result, hardly a day goes by during the holidays that we do not receive delivery of at least one Amazon.com box. This is exactly how Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, very cleverly planned it. Offer visitors to your website darn near everything in the world at their fingertips, with free shipping and lightning fast delivery, and you will eventually own their shopping souls.

Their evil plan must be working, as the business news reports I am seeing say that nearly half of all online commerce now goes directly though Amazon, with eBay taking 8%, Apple at 3%, and Wal-Mart at 3%. Add them all together, and the top four online retailers now siphon off 58%-64% of ALL online sales. The next six big retailers (Home Depot, Best Buy, Macy's, WayFair, Costco, QVC) take another 6%. That leaves only 30%-35% of all Internet business left to be divvied up by the remaining 750,000 e-commerce websites. Is it any wonder that I am feeling very much these days like Amazon is crushing us?

Returning to my discussion with my wife, I asked Nanette this morning to go ahead and order for me 6 bottles of my favorite tattoo color-enhancement cream as a Christmas present. Sadly, she has been so conditioned by Mr. Bezos and his magic elves that her first reaction was to offer to order it for me through Amazon. Oh hell, no! I do NOT order items through Amazon when a small company offers the same products through their own website. In this instance, saveyourtattoo.com is a perfectly fine website from which to order their awesome self-created tattoo products, and when I do order from them I do so with an assurance that my funds will go directly toward helping that company to survive. I may have to pay some shipping when ordering from their website, but that is a cost that I willingly absorb.

Where this is all leading is to my expressing that I personally vote with my wallet for a continuation of a vast diversity and endless options in online shopping. To me, hell would be an Internet so dominated by one company (or an oligarchy of behemoth.coms) that they could then totally dictate to us what products are offered to us. Sadly, that seems to be the direction in which we are now heading. Amazon gained six more percentage points of market share this summer (up to 44%), and supposedly did even better (50+%) during the critical Black Friday period. Clearly, the end is nigh.

Trade Shelves

To go full circle back to Mile High Comics, I put into effect an extremely generous 50% off sale last Friday on all of our 200,000+ trade paperbacks and graphic novels. I also cut the prices on all of our hardback comics collections by 40%. In the past, a discounting of this magnitude would have elicited hundreds of orders, for thousands of books. What we saw instead, was a flurry of only several dozen orders, for about 100 books, total. Seriously? I am well aware that many of our out-of-print editions are still pricy at 50% off, but we do have tens of thousands of books that are either at cover price, or sometimes even below. How could 40%-50% off of those prices not be a great deal?

Taking things a step further, what really galls me in all of this is that our weekend book sale was a huge success in our three Denver-stores. We actually sold far more trade paperbacks, graphic novels, and hardback books in our stores over this past weekend than we did through our entire online audience of 120,000+ readers. Honestly, that result is beyond unfathomable to me. Unless, of course, you start looking into today's buying online habits, and realize to what a great extent people have allowed themselves to be inveigled into supporting just the giants of e-commerce. Looking back on history, this may well be remembered as the moment in time when our online shopping paradise was lost, out of sheer neglect.

Mega Store Trade Shelves

Before I give you the wrong impression, I do want you to know that our holiday season is actually starting off gangbusters. Our Jason St. Mega-Store is up by over 150%! over the first ten days of December of last year, and our two smaller stores are also doing quite well. People are lining up at the registers in the stores to take advantage of all of the great bargains that we are offering, and our staff are having a hard time keeping up with all the demand. A bigger switch from years past (when online sales totally dominated...) I just cannot imagine.

Some of our Back issues

All of the above having been said, effective immediately I am going to offer you a new 50% off HOLIDAY! codeword on all of our back issue comics and magazines. This is in addition to the half price sale that I already offered you on all of our trade paperbacks and graphic novels, and the 40% off on all of our comics hardback collections. The codeword does not apply to books, as all of our book prices have already been slashed for you right on our website, but the HOLIDAY! codeword does apply to all ten million of our back issue comics and magazines. Only new issues, a few variants, and our professionally-graded comics are exempt. (Priced in Blue) Please enjoy this awesome HOLIDAY! sale with our sincere thanks for your support of Mile High Comics.

Mile High Comics Headquarters

I will close by sincerely thanking everyone who has continued to support our company even in today's crazy e-commerce environment. I will assure you that I have every intention and desire for us to stay relevant, even in the face of the onslaught of competition from the big guys of e-commerce. I also promise you that we will continue to work hard every single day to offer you an even greater diversity of wonderful older comics, books, and magazines.

Happy collecting!

Chuck Rozanski,
President - Mile High Comics, Inc.
December 11, 2017

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