Learning from our mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes. Some we regret for the rest of our lives while others we remember with a good laugh. Both types are less likely to repeat themselves if we actually take the time to learn from them.

It’s easy to blame others and, for many of us anyway, it’s not so easy to blame ourselves.

I spent last weekend at the Wizard World Toronto Comic Con and I witnessed a lot of mistakes, some of them being my own.

I talked to a dealer who felt he caved in too much to a good customer. His fear was that a precedent was set which would be detrimental financially going forward.

I talked to a customer who told me why he hated another dealer in the room. This customer purchased a book from this dealer a few years back only to discover at a later time that the book was incomplete. The dealer did not admit to selling an incomplete book and no solution was reached.

I personally used my not so reliable memory to remember a guide value and bought a few books based on this. The actual guide value was lower than I’d thought and I may take a little hit on the comics I purchased for resale.

Now I know all these mistakes seem trivial in the grand scheme of things but for people dealing in these scenarios on a day to day basis these mistakes could actually lead to some financial problems in the future.

What is there to learn from these minor indiscretions?

First off I must admit that I was not thorough and it cost me. When looking at a familiar comic in the future I will reference the guide or GPA or something. If I don’t reference the book’s value I risk screwing up again. It’s up to me.

The customer that bought the incomplete book should blame himself for purchasing the book and not counting the pages. Three months between shows is too long to come back to a dealer and say ‘hey, remember me’, it not even being the copy he sold you may be his concern. There are not that many dealers that can consistently bring quality books to market and if you blackball such a dealer you will lose opportunities to pick up quality stuff.

The dealer that gave too big a discount should reassess that particular transaction. One bad move does not make a trend as long as you catch the bad move and correct it.

It’s often said that the quickest way to learn anything is through the mistakes you make. Based on this old piece of wisdom I must be one heck of a smart guy.