“Established 2014” reads the sign that I may someday get to display.

§ December 15th, 2014 § Filed under retailing, sterling silver comics § 7 Comments

So one of my behaviors that I’ve noticed since opening the new store is that I am, just slightly, a little bit defensive. Hopefully not obnoxiously so, but every once in a while someone new will pop in the door and say something like “oh, hey, a new comic book store! When did you open?” and I’ll respond with “just a little over a month ago butI’vebeendoingthisalongtime Iusedtomanageanotherstoreforyearsandyears butIownthisoneIknowwhatI’mdoingIswear” and that hasn’t frightened anybody off yet but I suppose it’s only a matter of time.

I think it’s a reaction to no longer having the history of my previous place of employment backing me up. I used to be all “yeah, we’ve been around a while…thirty-five years a while” and then leaning back, smiling with arms crossed, as I bathed in the awe and amazement. Okay, I wasn’t that smug about it well maybe a little but I liked being able to reassure customers that this wasn’t some fly-by-night shop and that I wasn’t some schmuck who didn’t know his job…we’d been at it for some time, we’ve got it down, don’t worry, friend.

My current circumstances require me to pretty much start again, to rebuild my reputation as a comic book guy who’s got it together, and so far I’d like to think I’ve impressed upon the newer members of my clientele that I do in fact know what I’m doing. This article in the city paper did help quite a bit in letting interested parties know my history in the business, and this page on my store’s site did the same. In fact, I was starting the “butI’vebeendoingthisawhile” info dump for one customer who pretty much stopped me with “yeah, I know, I saw the webpage!”

Now, the customers I have now who did know me from my previous funnybook-retailing life…I can only assume that they’re used to my particular quirks and, well, “better the devil you know” and all that. …Okay, I’m just joshin’ a little. I do appreciate their loyalty to me, and frankly, I’m touched that they came with me or, at least, are splitting some of their comic-buying business with me. (And for those of you who are curious…that wasn’t an unexpected result of my leaving, and things are still okay between me and my old shop. Read my reply to Roel here for details.)

I’m about a month and a week into this new life of mine, and thus far everything seems to be going great. I’m doing good business, I’m meeting new customers, and it’s beginning to feel a lot less like “I hope people will eventually come into this big box where I’m storing comics on shelves and in boxes, and also I’m so lonely” and more like “hey, I’m running a comic book store, look at all these people who want comics.”

I’ve also gone from “I hope I’m not making a huge mistake” to “why did I wait so long?”

Thank goodness.

7 Responses to ““Established 2014” reads the sign that I may someday get to display.”

  • Walaka says:

    Hey, maybe try this: When people day “When did you open?” reply with “This store? A couple of months ago.” And then they’ll say, “Oh, do you have another store?” And that gives you the opening to talk about your prior experience because, hey, they asked, right?

  • philip says:

    “I’ve always been here. Only the pure of heart can see.”

  • swamp mark says:

    great to hear things are going well for you. that sound you hear is a collective sigh of relief from your many fans.

  • Rob March says:

    At least you can say “Last year.” as soon as January 1st. That will add 10 months of implied age right there. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find a way to remove that age later.

    I’m sure that you’ll be happy to be in business long enough where all your friends/customers who come in aren’t asking “So how has business been lately?” and focus more on funnybook and pop culture brouhaha (hahaha!). I know that I’m guilty of that. I’ll try to step up my smalltalk game.

  • Sir A1! says:

    You can always play the “Coming at ya with nearly 40 years of experience” card, but don’t end up abusing it if you get more employees and start dialing it up to “Nearly 120 years of combined experience!”

  • And now all of the money is yours so you can throw it on the bed at the end of the day and roll around on it and … oh dear … I’ve said too much haven’t I …

  • Bully says:

    Mike, surely the answer is

    “Since 1969.”