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Comic Store In Your Future: DC Returnability A Game Changer?

Once in a while, a possible game-changer happens. It was recently announced that DC is making all of its new releases returnable. All DC Comics Made Returnable Because Of DC Universe Infinite Ultra. In the article, it explains further details on DC's sudden announcement. Readers will be able to pay a premium to get all of DC Comics released comics on the DC Universe Infinite app a month after they appear in print rather than the six-month period they had been doing before. My reaction was, "wow, is it true?" Am I worried about losing business to the DC app? No, my customers enjoy physical copies of comics. Thanks to this news for me and other comic retailers, the rest of the year just got a bit brighter. Those unhappy will be with this announcement; I am not in that camp.

Comic Store In Your Future: DC Returnability A Game Changer?
Let the comic games begin! Photo by Rod Lamberti.

Now the question is, what is Marvel going to do? This shifts the comic market. If I can return DC products, I will be ordering more DC products. I. of course will still order Marvel comics, just fewer because carrying their comics will be more of a risk. I will trim my Marvel comics ordering and take the money to place a much safer bet on DC Comics. As much as I enjoy guessing what the next mutant spin-off from Marvel will actually sell, I can order more on a DC title, knowing if I overorder, at least I did not lose money doing so. Secret X-Men, anyone? Marvel does not like doing returns on their comics. Might DC doing this for their whole line change Marvel's mind? Could we look at a new era of returnable comics from the big two American comic publishers? If so, could a trickle-down effect happen where the other publishers follow? Would smaller publishers be able to afford to have returnable products? Will some publishers follow while others do not?

What other possible changes could happen? If DC is the only publisher allowing returns on all their comics, could DC's comics be more collectible in the future due to comic stores returning unsold copies, making fewer available? Some fire for speculators to feast upon.

I just upped my order on future DC releases. On my next Penguin order, I will order fewer Marvel comics to have greater funds for ordering DC comics. If it was the other way around and Marvel was offering full returnability on open-to-order comics, and DC was not, I would be ordering more Marvel and fewer DC. As a business owner taking advantage of opportunities is what I do.

What, if any, domino effect will happen will be interesting. Will DC let the returnability window run out and not continue it? What unforeseen changes will occur? Less low-selling books? Will the comic market become healthier? Only the future knows.

Diamond is no longer the only vendor for comic stores to use for comics, and now this. I never thought I would see the day that DC had returnability on all their titles. Exciting times for comic shops and the comic industry.

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Rod LambertiAbout Rod Lamberti

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