Comix Experience: 305 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA 94117, (415) 863-9258
Comix Experience Outpost: 2381 Ocean Ave., San Francisco, CA 94127, (415) 239-2669
Q: Where are you located?
We have two awesome locations to serve you! Our main store is Comix Experience, located at 305 Divisadero St. (at Page). Our second store is Comix Experience Outpost, located at 2381 Ocean Ave (at San Leandro)
Q: What are your hours?
We are open 10 – 8 every day of the week at both stores!
Q: Do you buy comics?
Sometimes. We are currently buying at our Ocean Ave. store. (and ONLY there!) However, when we do it is for fixed and flat rate of fifty cents a pound. Of course, one should call first before bringing your books in; sometimes we get overstocked and need to suspend buying until we sell down our back issue supply. Seriously: CALL FIRST. (415) 239-2669.
Depending on the comic, this averages out to approximately five cents a book. We never ever vary from this scheme, regardless of what the comic is, or how old it is (if you've got pre-'62 comics, sell them on eBay) -- we have a freight scale that we'll plop your comics on, sight-unseen.
At this point in the conversation, things usually go one of two ways. Either the caller thanks us profusely (no one WANTS to sell their comics, after all), or they start screaming obscenities at us, and accuse us of "ripping them off". Well, no. I mean, first off, selling comics is a mutual transaction. We can't "rip you off" if YOU are agreeing to sell them for that price.... But, more importantly, most old comics aren't worth a thing. No, honestly.
Before there were comic book price guides, comics were worth money, because most people either through their comics away or read them over and over and over again until they fell apart. That’s WHY old Golden- and Silver-Age comics are valuable – you can’t find many of them, and less in terrific condition. But that changed with the advent of price guides – after about 1976 everyone started keeping all of their old comics in bags and boards, and no one threw them away, and the market is just drowning in high condition copies of almost every comic after that point. If you walk in to a comic shop with 100 comics, odds are fabulous they'll pick out 1, maybe 2 of your books, and offer you a realistic fraction of their selling price, and the other 98 comics they won't give you one thin dime for.
We started this policy when I went to sell my LPs. I went to 14 different SF record shops trying to sell my albums. Each took 2 or 3. By the time I made it to the last shop, I still had more than 80% of my collection left, and I had spent five hours of my life to make maybe $50. Yuck. I would have KILLED to find a place that would buy everything for a flat rate. Think about it this way: your time is worth money. MY time is worth (at least) $50/hour. Looking at it from that POV, I LOST $200 selling my albums. If you think 50 cents a pound isn't enough for your comics, you've got many options: You could donate them to charity (or a children’s hospital, or a homeless shelter, or a veteran’s hospital), and take the write-off from your taxes; you could go from store-to-store and see what you might get; you could go onto e-bay (or the like), and sell them that way.... But, again, if you spend an hour of your time scanning, listing and tracking the comic you're selling, have you actually made any money?
For what it is worth, the "average" back issue is sold at CE in sets -- for prices that range around 25 cents a book. Single-copy (bagged and boarded) comics almost always go for 25 cents above cover price, and in the insanely rare circumstance where we look something up in a guide, we almost always price it at 50% or less of Overstreet.
The upside for you, is that we'll buy basically anything. I can think of less than 2 times when we've turned down a collection... and that was because they were coverless. We reserve the right to say "no" to multiple copies of Valiant or Ultraverse books, and we'll also turn down other retailers....but other than that, we'll take all your comics, when we're buying, which isn't that often -- CALL FIRST! Ocean Avenue only! 415-239-2669.
Q: Will you appraise my comics?
Sure, though we have a pretty steep hourly fee to do so. Please contact email@example.com for more details. Note that we can not appraise books if they are not in order: Alphabetical by title, and in numeric order. Having said that, appraisal is almost never worth your money, unless you have a big collection of rare and valuable comics (which you probably don’t!) – read a few paragraphs back about how most comics are sold.
Q: Do you sell Pokemon cards, or Toys or Magic The Gathering or things like that?
No. We put 95%+ of our purchasing power into comic books and graphic novels, and are very proud of being that kind of a dedicated specialist. If you are interested in games, our flagship store has San Francisco’s finest game store (www.gamescapesf.com) just a few doors down the block at 333 Divisadero. You can call them at 415-621-GAME.
Q: Do you have a subscription service? (also known as "pull and hold" or "saver box" depending on where you're from.)
Yes! Our Point-Of-Sale system tracks all pulls and orders, so it is astonishingly accurate. We have no minimum number of titles that you must order, but you must arrange for payment at least once a month. We offer standing order service, and we also produce our own, free, in-store magazine (Comix Experience: Onomatopoeia, or CEO for short) that list each month's new releases so you can conveniently add books. Subscriptions require a valid credit card as a deposit. We currently offer subscribers a 10% rebate on their next purchase, applying to anything you buy, whether preordered or not. Please come into the store for more details.
Q: Do you take returns?
If a comic or graphic novel is brought back in the exact same condition as it was purchased, and you have your receipt, and it is within 30 days, we can exchange for store credit. Under no circumstances will you get cash back. All exchanges are purely and 100% at our discretion, and we reserve the right to withdraw this offer for any reason at any time.
Q: When can I order straight from the web-site?
Never. This is a "business-card" site, not for "e-commerce." Still, if you're looking for something, feel free to e-mail an inquiry to Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll take care of you the best as we can.
Q: I'm a creator, will you buy my comic directly from me? You should feel free to mail a sample to Brian Hibbs, Comix Experience, 305 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA, 94117, and we can evaluate it. If you are a local Bay Area cartoonist, please stop by -- it is very rare that we do not accept everything from local creators.
In most cases, though, we're only willing to take books directly on consignment: 50/50 split upon sale, you take care of any shipping both ways. We'll throw out that rule for superlative comics, but in that case, why aren't you distributing through Diamond or Last Gasp or even Tony Shenton?
Q: Will you read a PDF of my comic?
No. Printed copies only. My brain doesn’t process digital comics correctly. I’m old like that.
Q: I'm a creator, can I do a signing at your store?
Feel free to e-mail Brian at email@example.com, and we can discuss it. Over the decades we've hosted a lot of events, and are always looking for the right event that will draw a lot of attention, but it has to be special and fit in with our clientele. We're always happy to talk with you, though.
Q: Will you hire me?
Maybe! I mean, not NOW. Right this second we’ve got a really excellent and hard-working staff, but if you want to leave a resume we might call you at some point in the future should any of them decide this is no longer the life for them.
We’re also way more likely to hire people who we know LOVE comics, and the way we tend to know that is if you shop with us and we get to know you. Not like that is a promise of any kind, but it helps.
Q: I have some other question you haven't answered, you heartless bastard!
Cut me some slack! Ask your question to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll do our best to accommodate you. Hell, maybe we'll even add it to the FAQ!