We'll go through some of the things we do that work for us on this page. FOC, What Came In Sheets, Quick Picks, Top 100, and some of our other programs that you can download and print as you like.
Some notes on FOC
1. You NEED to do FOC. But first, you NEED to track your new comic inventory. If you’re not doing it, start today; don’t worry about last month or even last week, start with your next invoice. The format is unimportant as long as you can determine how many you got in over the course of your sales history and how many you had left. Trying to order 800 titles a month by gut is foolish and it’s either costing you money via unsold books or costing you money via sold out books that you could have sold. Start an ongoing inventory today and maintain it. We’re kinda religious about the inventory data at Coliseum.
2. Our notes will be posted before 2:00 on Monday afternoon. Coliseum does inventory analysis on Monday so that we have the most up-to-date sales data prior to placing our final orders for FOC.
3. Many books are just the next issue in a series. There are no comments on these as typing ‘Just another issue’ gets boring. If it’s not listed then it’s just the next issue with no deviation beyond the normal sales pattern.
4. Comic sales drop after #1. It’s as much a law as gravity and exists even if you want to ignore it. There will be the occasional exception. Walking Dead, Animal Man, and a few others break out of the mold. All the rest will follow the pattern of declining sales every issue until they find their floor (usually 6-10 issues in) or something happens creatively or character-wise that will bump the numbers up. You’ll usually see the decline begin again from the new height.
5. Every store is different. One store might sell 6 copies of Avengers and 40 copies of Aquaman while another store 20 miles away sells 40 Avengers and 6 Aquaman. Your employees (or you) can affect the sales on a title as well as myriad factors that can move your store’s numbers up or down. The notes Coliseum provides are based on what we’re seeing or expect to see in our stores. You might see similar patterns. We have stores in malls, trendy downtown locations, and upscale plazas so we see variations. However, a hot title in one store is generally hot in all stores.
6. Coliseum’s analysis of titles is based on our previous sales, expectations, and the gut feeling that one develops after doing this crazy business for 30 years. We cross-reference multiple titles and try to come to a reasonable conclusion as to how a new title will sell. Above all, listen to reason but trust your gut.
7. Coliseum’s comments are an amalgam of multiple people giving input. Those comments are then distilled into a general comment upon which we base our order numbers. If it’s a split decision, that will be noted.
8. We don’t make recommendations on most trade paperbacks as we order 1-2 per store on most trades. There are certainly exceptions: no one needs a Pink Pearl trade or a 34.95 collection of hacked out stories from 1983 cobbled together under a new cover to appeal to a potential movie fanbase (sell them GOOD books instead!). Order what you can sell but order at least one of the major characters.
9. No info books. Coliseum enters placeholder issues when we have to order #2 before seeing even a week of sales data on #1. Gambit #2 is a perfect example; we had to order #2 before #1 came out. In such cases, we place hold box numbers and place an advance reorder next week. If it sells out, the publisher has tanked their own book. I refuse to feel bad about that.
What Came In Sheets
How To: Add your store’s logo and print (or take them to be printed).
Cost: About 5 to 6 cents per sheet.
Each week Coliseum prints every subscriber’s pulls for that week on the back of our What Came In (WCI) sheets. The books are then pulled and the sheet is put in their hold box. Coliseum prints these on different colored paper each week. This serves several purposes:
1. The sheet gives the customer a list of everything that shipped that week. Even a list on the wall is no substitute for having a list in hand to use as a checklist as the customer browses the store.
2. Their pulls for that week are listed on the back. A quick comparison at the cash register will show if the customer is dropping titles (you don’t need to be ordering extras) or adding titles that they may want added to their weekly pull list.
3. A glance at the boxes, and the different colored sheets, tells you who has been in and who hasn’t. Yes, this is available in MOBY and some other programs as well but nothing beats a quick look.
4. The sheet acts as an impromptu subscription add/drop list.
5. The sheet highlights a new item this week that may be of interest to them and gives them a simple way to add it to their pull list.
6. Even if they have nothing in their hold box, it puts something in their hands and lists all of the great items that came in.