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Seasonality and Internet Sales Tax...two topics10241

Collector EbaySeller private msg quote post Address this user
I've noticed a slump in Ebay sales in the last 60 days. Usually I keep 10-12 CBCS and CGC Graded minor key books listed at a time and maybe sale 3-4 per month. Sometimes more, sometimes less depending how aggressive I get on pricing. The slump has made me think about the new Internet Sales Tax situation as well as seasonality in comics.

1) Does anyone else notice a seasonality in sales and prices that goes like this: May movie releases start a rise in sales that peaks with San Diego Comic-con, Drop off through Thanksgiving, pick-up in sales for December, Drop off again from January until movie releases in May? I'm starting to think there may be a pattern here that creates optimal windows for buying and selling.

2) Have the new sales tax issues affected anyone else's sales...or if your a buyer, has it affected your online buying?
Post 1 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
october is always a slow month.

sales tax potentially has called a minor dip in sales - especially in 3 digit sales
Post 2 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR drchaos private msg quote post Address this user
Summer is generally slow while the time around Christmas is usually the best.

Also, I had a pretty big drop off in sales around the time ebay started collecting taxes / shifting 30 day listings into GTC.
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COLLECTOR Studley_Dudley private msg quote post Address this user
I have a little over 100 items listed, but I only sell a handful of things per month. So, to me it's always slow. The sales tax has made me hesitant to buy some things, but I can't speak on the whole about it. I do know that some shops in the area mention their slow time is around the fall and into the new year, then tax return time gets the ball rolling into the summer again. As far as getting collections in, they'll get some in around the fall from people looking for holiday cash.
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COLLECTOR Towmater private msg quote post Address this user
Never understood why people have an issue with a sales tax on things they purchase on the internet. People pay it at brick and mortar establishments. It levels the playing field. Everyone, on-line and off, is the same and that's the way it should be.
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COLLECTOR Studley_Dudley private msg quote post Address this user
We should definitely pay more taxes. I like being punished for making and spending money.
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Collector xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
Is it possible to not have another tax discussion? There was a thread lock less than a week ago. Some people see the value in having the government do things, other people do not, etc etc.
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COLLECTOR Studley_Dudley private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by xkonk
Is it possible to not have another tax discussion? There was a thread lock less than a week ago. Some people see the value in having the government do things, other people do not, etc etc.

I can get behind that. Sorry.
Post 8 IP   flag post
Collector xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
I don't like being in the position of shooting down discussions if they can be reasonable and productive. But we just saw a few days ago that this one, apparently, cannot.

On the other hand, I'm not a moderator! So no one has to listen to me
Post 9 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR Towmater private msg quote post Address this user
@xkonk, we could derail this thread and it might go on for 3 pages. What do you think? Wanna give it a try?


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Collector Darkseid_of_town private msg quote post Address this user
Perhaps if we also add media mail into the title...that should work
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Collector KatKomics private msg quote post Address this user
I'm hopeful to list a few books before Christmas.
The only books I've sold recently were in the craziness after Stans passing and I think 7 more books this year. I had a few Stan books that did not mean as much to me as others and they went for way more than they were worth.

I could definitely see a drop after Christmas as people are recovering from what they spent in the lead up to the holidays (Oct,Nov,Dec).

I could also reasonably see an uptick in May/June after people get their tax returns, bonus cheques etc.

Waiting for new WW movie to move some books and Bloodshot movie to off load Rai and Eternal Warrior books. Have to see what else is coming out to TV or movies to sell books - oh!! Need to scan/sell my Stumptown #1 and 2 while the iron is luke warm!!
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COLLECTOR Towmater private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatKomics
Need to scan/sell my Stumptown #1 and 2 while the iron is luke warm!!


I have a Stumptown #1. Has there been much price movement since the TV show started?
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Collector KYoung_1974 private msg quote post Address this user
Not comics per se, but my Amazon sales usually hits a slump through August and into September and then start picking back up towards October and the holidays.
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Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
I noticed a definite slump for the last month or two. Especially the last month. I only have about 150 comics for sale at MCS. I tend to adjust prices down every couple of weeks, but I've been reluctant to lately, thinking it was just the time of year, and not the price, that was the problem.

Anyway, the best time over the last year for me was Christmas and January, and Free Comic Book Day.
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Collector KatKomics private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Towmater
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatKomics
Need to scan/sell my Stumptown #1 and 2 while the iron is luke warm!!


I have a Stumptown #1. Has there been much price movement since the TV show started?


Looks like $60 to $75 sold prices for raw grades - only have cover price into it so may as well see if I can even get $50!!
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Collector EbaySeller private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedsaid
I noticed a definite slump for the last month or two. Especially the last month. I only have about 150 comics for sale at MCS. I tend to adjust prices down every couple of weeks, but I've been reluctant to lately, thinking it was just the time of year, and not the price, that was the problem.


Can you share any details about selling through MCS consignment? What's the cost, are you allowed to list here or other places? How's your experience?
Post 17 IP   flag post
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by EbaySeller
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedsaid
I noticed a definite slump for the last month or two. Especially the last month. I only have about 150 comics for sale at MCS. I tend to adjust prices down every couple of weeks, but I've been reluctant to lately, thinking it was just the time of year, and not the price, that was the problem.


Can you share any details about selling through MCS consignment? What's the cost, are you allowed to list here or other places? How's your experience?

I love it. It's so much easier, not having to deal with mailing comics out. They do a great job of keeping track of everything you've sold, too - you can even download a spreadsheet if you want. They pay fast. They cut my check every Thursday and I get it on Monday. For auctions the pay is a little slower, but that's because the customers have, like, 30 days or something. I think a lot of them wait to find other things to buy, so they save on shipping. Anyway, it's slower because of the people, not because of their system.

The slow pay was the main reason I left ComicLink. It would take a couple months over there. Plus, you could never tell what your expenses were. I mean, they would front the money to press and grade comics for you and handle all of that, which was nice. But it was so hard to keep track of when you paid for what exactly.

Anyway, with MCS, I love everything about it except selling raws. DON'T sell raws there ... they grade WAY too tight. It's a great place to BUY raws, but a terrible place to sell them. (Although a lot of their customers have learned about the grading, and are willing to overpay sometimes.) So I only sell graded books there.

As far as costs, they charge 10% for under $300, 8% for under $3000, and 6% for everything else. Plus, they charge the customer 3%, but that's pretty much to cover the credit card fee. And shipping is reasonable, too. You can get your money deposited into your PayPal account, but then PayPal takes 3-4% to do that, so I just get the weekly check in the mail.
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Collector EbaySeller private msg quote post Address this user
Thanks, that's great info, I think I would like to give it a shot. From what you said I'm assuming that you send the books to them to hold while they are listed? I also assume this would mean that you need to list those books exclusively on their platform. Please correct if I'm wrong. Have you had any situations where you pulled unsold listings and had them shipped back to you?
Post 19 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatKomics
I'm hopeful to list a few books before Christmas.
The only books I've sold recently were in the craziness after Stans passing and I think 7 more books this year. I had a few Stan books that did not mean as much to me as others and they went for way more than they were worth.

I could definitely see a drop after Christmas as people are recovering from what they spent in the lead up to the holidays (Oct,Nov,Dec).

I could also reasonably see an uptick in May/June after people get their tax returns, bonus cheques etc.

Waiting for new WW movie to move some books and Bloodshot movie to off load Rai and Eternal Warrior books. Have to see what else is coming out to TV or movies to sell books - oh!! Need to scan/sell my Stumptown #1 and 2 while the iron is luke warm!!


Actually normally Jan/feb are pretty good months for Selling. People buy what they didn’t get for x-mas?
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Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by EbaySeller
Thanks, that's great info, I think I would like to give it a shot. From what you said I'm assuming that you send the books to them to hold while they are listed? I also assume this would mean that you need to list those books exclusively on their platform. Please correct if I'm wrong. Have you had any situations where you pulled unsold listings and had them shipped back to you?

Yep, you send them all in. They hold them until sold, or you ask for them back. I have had a couple sent back, but it's been awhile, and I don't remember the cost. It wasn't bad, though, just their normal shipping charge.

I *think* you can sell them elsewhere, and just have them ship them to the person that buys them? I can't remember. Haven't tried that yet, but I seem to remember it was fine to advertise them yourself on social media and such? You better ask them, because I just don't recall. I am probably mixing them up with a different online seller.
Post 21 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR drchaos private msg quote post Address this user
@Tedsaid I recently started selling some comics through MCS as well.

I started them off with books I won in their auctions and just had them pick up 163 books from CBCS.

The first two lots included a total of 44 books (15 sold so far).

Less work and lower fees on my end.

For me the key to giving them more business is results.

If they continue to sell faster than my ebay listings I will continue to divert more books to them.

Otherwise, I can always have them sent back to me later.
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Collector xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
@EbaySeller I've also sold on MCS, and agree with everything @Tedsaid
Post 23 IP   flag post
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by drchaos
@Tedsaid I recently started selling some comics through MCS as well.

I started them off with books I won in their auctions and just had them pick up 163 books from CBCS.

The first two lots included a total of 44 books (15 sold so far).

Less work and lower fees on my end.

For me the key to giving them more business is results.

If they continue to sell faster than my ebay listings I will continue to divert more books to them.

Otherwise, I can always have them sent back to me later.

Hey, that's fantastic! You've sold many more than I have in the last month (five). Probably because I am pricing mine too high, but also it is a slow period, I think. (I've also sold some at auction, so the five I was just referring to fixed-price comics.)

Or maybe you just have better books! Anyway, congrats. I'm glad to hear you are doing well.
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COLLECTOR drchaos private msg quote post Address this user
@Tedsaid I had one buyer scoop up nine Booster Gold CGC 9.8 issues in one go (paid $25-30 each, sold $48-56 each). Otherwise I only had six other sales.

Either way it is a very small sample size so I am waiting to see how things go.
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Collector Paulbg2000 private msg quote post Address this user
I sold something yesterday and it was the first time I saw the Sales Tax on the invoice...I have to admit, being in Canada it makes me feel a bit weird charging someone New Jersey state tax on an item sold to them outside of the country.
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Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
I just priced 52 comics that arrived and were checked in, and four of them sold immediately, so I thought I'd mention that. My practice is to start the price at a point I would consider too high ... for example, if you could buy the same thing much cheaper on eBay. And then I lower the price every couple of weeks, until it is reasonable, or I just wouldn't want to sell it for lower.

So, these four went for a surprisingly high amount. But maybe I priced them too low? Hard to tell sometimes. It's nice that MCS maintains a "want list" for customers. So people will automatically get an email when a comic hits their want list. I guess that's what happened with these.

The Walking Dead #192 blank variant, 9.8. $129.99. I think this is the first time I graded a blank cover. I noticed at the time MCS only had raws so I sent it in. It was too valuable, I thought, to use for an actual sketch, so I decided to grade and sell it.

The Walking Dead #193 convention edition, 9.8. $199.99. I sold one of these as a "presale" on eBay for $250, when FOMO was strong with this issue. (Technically, I sold a regular cover, and when it came back a 9.6 instead of a 9.8, I offered one of these as an "upgrade." The buyer gladly accepted.) So I didn't think the market was still strong for this. But the nice looking convention edition is still relatively rare.

Convergence Superman #2 9.6. $129.99. I was going for a 9.8 for my PC, and this was my miss. (The other one came back a 9.8, so I'm happy with that.) One in this grade sold on eBay three weeks ago for $46 shipped.

Batman 423, 9.6. $159.99. This was from my PC, a comic I bought of the shelf ~30 years ago. I was disappointed it came back a 9.6 instead of a 9.8. I may look for a raw high grade to replace it, but I am okay selling it for this price.

BTW - I think, in general, keys are hard to sell on MCS as they tend to have a LOT of competition. I have things like Star Wars #1, or Ms. Marvel #1, or Amazing Spider-Man #41, but they are all very crowded. All the keys are, it seems. Especially when a key pops due to a movie or something ... the high prices really bring out the gems. So I think I tend to do better at MCS for the comics where mine is the only copy, or the only graded copy ... the lesser known ones and the run fillers. (What they call "the long tail." )

Not sure, but that seems to be a trend. Just FYI.
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COLLECTOR drchaos private msg quote post Address this user
@Tedsaid Another tip for MCS:

After pricing up my second batch of books, I circled back about a week later and made sure if MCS had another copy of any book in the same grade that I lowered my price to have the least expensive copy of that book (I think I had to lower four out of fourteen prices.

There is only one book where I thought the lowest price was too low and only dropped my price enough to be the second lowest.
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Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by drchaos
@Tedsaid Another tip for MCS:

After pricing up my second batch of books, I circled back about a week later and made sure if MCS had another copy of any book in the same grade that I lowered my price to have the least expensive copy of that book (I think I had to lower four out of fourteen prices.

There is only one book where I thought the lowest price was too low and only dropped my price enough to be the second lowest.


Ah, I see. I use a different strategy, and try not to undercut other sellers. At least, not at first. I price mine higher than most of the ones at my grade to help them sell theirs. (Not all, though, because some are just too ridiculously high.) This is based on some of the retail pricing research that is out there, such as the following: if you have two similar items, and one is priced higher than the other, then the lower-priced one will seem like a good deal, no matter what the "true" price should be. That is, people - all people - tend to use the price of an object as a proxy for it's value.

This can get a little tricky for LCS owners and managers, because - especially with raws - they are seen as the experts, with a default assumption that they are pricing a comic at X because it is worth X. But a lot of sellers price it instead at Y, which is higher than X (the value), but what they THINK they can sell it for. Either because they think it looks nicer than the grade, or that the "inherent value" is wrong, or the local market is different than the national market. OR - and this is where it can get ethically shady - they think they can "sell it up" and get more than they think it is worth.

So collectors tend to learn to make their own judgement about comics, and not take the seller's word for it on the true value.

Anyway, none of that really comes into play at MCS. My "store" isn't "branded" - only a few sellers on MCS are identified. So I don't have a reputation to make and protect. All my comics are graded by a third party, so there is no question about me exaggerating the value. And people are already online, so comparisons are just a few clicks and searches away. If someone can't be bothered to shop around, then I'm not going to lose any sleep if they over pay a little.

Now, I would LOVE all my customers to get a good value. I truly want them to be happy with their purchase. That's why, on eBay, I usually throw in a little extra something or other. But I can't do that on MCS - it's all anonymous. And most comics go up in value over time. So pricing high is a good strategy to capture that. But you are right - they will almost always buy the lowest priced book in grade. So mine is a little bit of a longer-term strategy, encouraging price increases rather than price discounts.

Anyway, I just do that at first. I still drop the price by 5-10% every two to three weeks, and usually don't re-check first to see where others are. So eventually mine will be the cheapest.
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Collector EbaySeller private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulbg2000
I sold something yesterday and it was the first time I saw the Sales Tax on the invoice...I have to admit, being in Canada it makes me feel a bit weird charging someone New Jersey state tax on an item sold to them outside of the country.


I guess the State of New Jersey would reasonably argue that their citizen did not, in fact, travel out of the country to purchase the item, it was presented to them right there in their New Jersey home.

Hope I didn't just set off a firestorm.
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