So You Want to Be a Patch Dealer?

I stumbled across this posting from the owner of Mile High Comics, his thoughts on how to become a Comic Book Dealer. While not totally applicable to our hobby it provides some fuel for thought for those interested in the commercial side of the hobby.

There are less than a handful of full-time Scouting Dealers, but many of these points would apply to even a part-time dealer or seller.  If you thinking past the stage of a handful of items on eBay every other week, what do you need to do to take it to the next level.

To begin, if you’re considering becoming a comics retailer, ask yourself these questions:

1) Do I have the ability to self-motivate myself?

Can you set your own deadlines and meet them?  Can you teach yourself the required skills to build or maintain a website, learn e-commerce, promptly fulfill orders through the mail?

2) Am I willing to forego all other activities in my life to be a comics dealer?

Are you willing or able to devote the find and acquire product to sell,  attend TOR’s, estate sales, flea markets, garage sales, etc.

3) Can I make it my foremost goal to serve other comics fans?

You arr no longer just chasing your needs, but need to build and maintain a client base finding what they want and meeting their needs.

4) Do I have the ability to ignore my own personal tastes?

Hate CSP’s, 2-piece OA sets, fakes, spoofs, etc.  Doesn’t matter.  What is selling and what is hot.  If its hot you need to be able to offer it regardless of whether it is your idea of what someone should collect.

5) Do I have the desire and intellectual curiosity to endlessly educate myself about new areas of collecting?

So you know OA, what about Camps, merit badges, insignia, Scout fiction, Scouts on Stamps.

6) Do I have the mental toughness that will enable me to persevere, even when the odds seem hopelessly stacked against me?

You got up at 3:00 AM in the morning drove 150 miles to a TOR with 12 tables and less walk-ins.  Your total sales were $17.00 and you paid $40 for your tables.  The last three collections you tried to purchase were sold to your main rival and the hot lead you just found with ‘lots of scouting stuff’ was 2 1980’s scout shirts and a current cub uniform.

7) Do I communicate well with others?

Can you play nice with others?  Schmooze with the other dealers, make nice to the customers, build contacts, leads and regular customers?

Creative Commons License photo credit: kyle.obrien