Death of Superman - The Day
Of all the days that I experienced in my days in the comic business, nothing could ever prepare me for the day when the Death of Superman came out.  Talk about total insanity.  My employee and myself were prepared for a busy day, but nothing like what happened. 

To give you an idea of the sheer magnitude of the book, our normal sales for a Superman title were about 30 - 40 copies.  We sold over 1,000 copies of the Death of Superman and could have easily sold 10,000 copies.  And we were limiting it to 2 copies per customer, so it will give you an idea of how many people came into the store.

It started early with the phone ringing off the hook as soon as we opened.  We quickly made a message on our answering machine that said we had them in stock and were limiting to two per person.  If we did not switch to the answering machine, we would have never survived.  The phone rang all day (we had to turn the ringer off as we got sick of hearing it).  Within an hour of opening, we had pulled the copies for all pull box customers and a stack to keep aside for regular customers.  It was good we did that as the people started to line up out the door.  I also had the insight to make up bags and boards the night before and had a few hundred set aside to sell.  Almost everyone who bought the books, also bought bags and boards to insure their new found investment was kept in mint condition.

Within two hours of opening, there was a line out the door and down the street.  Most of the people were very nice and patient.  Some were downright rude and complained about limiting the amount of copies they could buy.  We allowed each person to buy one bagged edition and one unbagged one so they could read the story.  They would tell me how they had multiple kids and needed copies for each one.  I told them if I did not limit copies they would have been sold out in the first hour (we had a guy come in and offer to buy every copy we had and this is when we first opened).

After four hours, we sold out of copies.  We changed the message on the answering machine and put a big sign in the front window.  It was the only day that we did not answer the phone at all.  There was some crazy stories from the whole event:

*While we were busy taking care of guests, some guys decided to steal a bunch of books from us.  We noticed it later and called all the comic stores in the area.  The next day they tried to sell them to another store and we were able to have the police nab them.  I got the books back and thanked the store profusely.

*We gained a great customer from the day.  He said he preordered the Death of Superman from another comic store and they did not pull it for him.  When he asked to have the one they had on the wall for $50.00, they told him he had to pay $50.00 for it.  He was a pull box customer and ordered it in advance but they decided to pull this on him.  He decided to quit shopping there and instead bought one from us (I let him have my copy) and became a loyal customer.  To give you an idea of how stupid a move this was on their part, the man spent over $1,000 a month on comics, magazines and cards.  They lost $12,000 in sales so that they could sell a $2.50 comic for $50.00.  Do the math.

*While other stores pulled copies and sold them for upwards of $50.00, we held no copies back, except the ones for regular customers (and my own copy that I gave up).  While I never seen most of those people again, I did my best to give them a good impression of the comic industry.

       


Here is the infamous comic book.

This is a scan of an old comic book. This item is not for sale. But you can find it on ebay. Click below to go to ebay and search!

 

 

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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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