Business Overview

Comic book stores sell comic books and related paraphernalia, such as action figures, models, posters, and more. These comic book shops differ from larger retail bookstores in that they offer a wider and more exclusive selection of comic books and feature rare collectibles. Comic book stores are usually defined by their community business style. Customers browse, engage, and lounge about at comic book stores always hoping to find that rare item that completes a collection.

Who is this business right for?

It goes without saying that you need to love comic books. You will need to be an enthusiastic living encyclopedia about the history of comic books, which ones are most treasured by collectors and why.

What happens during a typical day at a comic book store?

A comic book store owner will likely spend much of his working day involved with the following:

  • Checking the inventory for the most recent sales and put the best items on display.
  • Follow up with any online queries and orders.
  • Hunting for treasures to buy on eBay for bargain prices that you can resell to customers.
  • Answering questions and discussing comic books with customers

What is the target market?

Serious ollectors are the lifeblood of this business. The customers who want a rare comic book that is extremely hard to find are good and the ones that maintain more than one type of collection are excellent customers. Disposable income allows customers to pay big prices for the collectibles that they treasure. These are good customers for this business. You hunt for them and they pay good prices to you in order to complete their collection of the comic books they love.

Although the customer types mentioned above are the best for the business, one must not forget the less dedicated customer, or casual fan. These are customers who may only wish to purchase new comics, models, or just make sporadic purchases. Appealing to both hardcore and casual fans will make your shop more successful.

How does a comic book store make money?

A comic book store makes money by purchasing comic books and and reselling them for a profit. The key to this business is to be a successful trader. You must know the fair market prices for rare comic books and you must buy them for less than the going prices in order to resell them for a profit.

Additionally, a comic book store can also make money by selling online. Two alternatives to the traditional brick-and-mortar store business model include:

  • Online sale of physical comics
  • Online sale of digital comics

These business models may be more viable for those who do not have the capital to open a physical location and/or can be an additional business that increases revenue in combination with a physical location.

What is the growth potential for a comic book store?

This is a niche business, which is fairly small. There are not many ways to grow it beyond a level that sustains a small retail store and an Internet sales effort. However, it is possible, though unlikely, that a very successful store could make enough profit to open many locations, even eventually franchising.