Saturday, February 10, 2007

Shaking my Fist

I don't know who to blame here, or at least who to shake my fist at.

On January 31 Annihilation #6 came out. We were shorted on our order. Shorted by over half. Luckily we had just enough for our in-store subscribers. Unfortunately, that left none for the shelf. Well, sometimes these things do happen, and usually the good folks at Diamond are good about replacing the comics we were shorted the following week. We called in to our rep and let him know how many we were shorted and he put the order in, not saying anything about the fact that we might not get them.

On Friday February 2 we get our list of books we're getting from Diamond for Wednesday the 7th. Nowhere on the list were our copies of Annihilation #6. So, we check the Diamond site and see that they're coming from "remote extras." That tells us that our local warehouse ran out, and they're going to be getting the comics from another warehouse. So, on the 7th we have to tell all of the people who wanted Annihilation #6 on January 31st that they will have to wait another week, but we should have them in by then.

WRONG! We receive our list on February 9th for comics coming in on the 14th and STILL no Annihilation #6's. Now, we never received any kind of notice from Diamond that these were no longer available. Usually, on the rare occasion when this happens, we get an email in a day or three, no longer than a week, letting us know the order was canceled. Frustrated, we called our Diamond rep who shared the good news with us that we were probably out of luck on these.

Diamond messed up the order by not shipping us what we ordered. That is always aggravating. It happens fairly often, but usually we can get replacements without a hassle, just an extra week delay and some disappointed customers.

Marvel messed up by running such a small print run on this comic book. In fact, that's pretty typical for Marvel. They just about "print-to-order" on most titles, only printing out what they've got ordered plus a certain small percentage more for replacements on damages and such, and that's so small that sometimes they don't even have enough to cover that - as is evident by our Annihilation situation.

Craig's running around today trying to get some copies for us - something that's a pain and we should NOT have to do. It is one thing if we under-order on something and sell out quickly. That's the fault of our crystal ball not telling us if the comic is going to be a good seller or not. But when Diamond messes up, and then because of Marvel's printing policy they can't fix it--that's out of our control. And there's no other distributor that can sell new Marvel comics, so we can't just call them and order some to fill in for what Diamond shorted us on. Yes, we will have some more to put on the shelf, but they will be over a week late and will require a lot more effort than they should have.

*shaking fist* shouts: "Dang it Diamond!" "Stupid Marvel!"

1 comment:

James Meeley said...

Sort of makes you think Marvel doesn't deserve the title of a "publisher", doesn't it?

Of course, you already know what needs to be done to fix this stuff. I said so over at Comics Fairplay. But, as you and I also know, it will never happen.

"The wheels on the bus go round and round...."