Why I don’t have a pull list.

The other night I went to Ladies Night at the Comic Book Lounge. While I was buying some comics I was chatting with one of the girls who attended about how I might have to order a couple issues of Mind the Gap online (I missed a couple issues, because I wasn’t able to get to the comic book store for a while). She looked at me with a confused face and said “really, you don’t have a pull list at a comic book store?”  I replied “of course I don’t” and I should probably explain why.

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Yes, a pull list at your local store makes a lot of sense, you don’t miss any issues in a series, and you don’t have to go into the store and hunt for any singles. You are also helping out the comic store owner/manager by letting them know what to order every week and what sales they can expect. It also gives you a reason to visit the store on a regular basis.

So, with all the reasons as to why pull lists at a comic book stores are great, why don’t I have one? Because my dear readers I am lucky enough to live in Toronto. There are multiple comic book stores in downtown Toronto, and I like to experience all of them. I try and make it out to all the different stores in my area, even some that are farther away for me. One of my favorite stores in the city, Paradise Comics, is too far for me to get to on a regular basis, so as much as I would like to have a pull list there, I don’t. I do however try and go up there as much as I can, but sadly that’s not as often as I would like.

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I tend to travel, and when I travel I like to visit the local town/city’s comic shop. If it’s a good store then I like to pick up a thing or two. I am not one to spend money and collect things I don’t need, so I like to keep a couple of things on my “want list” that I will pick up when I go to out of town stores. Pull lists can also be a bit stressful, well stressful to me, sometimes you can feel pressured to buy. If I am reading a title and then become disinterested, but forget to cancel it, I will keep buying it because it’s there, it’s in my stack. It can be really hard when you want to cancel a pull list and go to another store. Sometimes stores can be very sour about that, and not make it an easy process on the customer. This is why a lot of customers just leave their pulls and never go back to the store.

One day I am sure I will have a pull list somewhere, maybe then I won’t have to order over priced comics online. If you have a pull list what comic store do you have it at and why? Is it simply because it’s the closest store to you or is it because you love the place, maybe it’s just out of convenience? Let me know! It might convince me to get a pull list somewhere soon.

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Leigh Hart
Leigh Woodhall - Soapbox Nerd. Aerialist. Writer. Podcaster. All around tough guy (but a lady version). Follow me on twitter @Leigh_Louise
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14 Comments

  1. Nice piece Leigh!

    Paradise Comics is a great shop, Doug and Pete love comics and it shows. How is their expansion going? Maybe you can update everyone next time you are up there.

    I have the perfect solution for you Leigh, you should get 1 comic on your pull list at each shop. This way you’ll have reason to visit them all weekly!! Should I put you down for Catwoman? Hulk?

  2. Amen to that. I only use pull lists on issues that i think will likely not be available. Other than that, i just enjoy browsing through comics…it’s a big reason why i go to the store in the first place.

  3. I barely have time to make it to the comic shop every other week! (hence all the missed Mind the Gap Issues) I wish I could come to Hamilton to the Big B shop, whenever I am there I try to stop by though

  4. Having a pull list is a huge help to your comic shop, at the Lounge, we tend to order extras of titles we know will sell off the rack – it’s a no-brainer that we will order extra Marvel now titles — but I’ve recently lowered my orders on a number of underperforming DC, Image, Boom and IDW titles.

    Most of the stores are in the same boat – we order what we think we can sell. Take Mind the Gap, a title which ships with two covers each month. For about four months now I’ve been ordering four copies – three for pull-files and one extra for the rack and 3 of the four months I’ve filed the extra copy away unsold into the back issue bins – the message I receive as a retailer is that it doesn’t sell so cut it down. I’ve subsequently eliminated that extra copy from my orders.

    Nelson’s theory is not unsound, if it’s not a Marvel or DC book, or say the Walking Dead, then telling at least one of your regular stops to hold it for you is going to be to your benefit in the long run and will make your comic book retailer even more happy to see you when you do come in!

  5. Well, I just bought an issue of Mind the Gap at your store the other night! I must have taken the one extra that you order. I do find it a hard title to find. I will have to come by and see what you have in back issues before I order online. But, it is good to know that if you do like not so popular comics it is worth getting a pull list for them.

  6. I definitely agree on not having a pull. I just don’t like the commitment of it. Not because commitment scares me, but I know that I personally can’t commit to a set list of titles and that isn’t fair to any shop so I simply don’t do it.

  7. For small businesses like comic shops, every copy you see on the rack unsold is a copy we’ve bought and own forever. With some titles we’re prepared to lose/gamble a little on because we want to support the creators as we know that they have done good in the past, or advance buzz is strong and we know people are interested, but with the sheer volume of material out each week, I’m always shocked to see how much most people never get a chance to browse. I might get 150 different titles in on a Wednesday, but the walk-in consumers only see maybe 40-60 of them.

  8. It’s a huge help if you are committed to actually buying the books you have set aside. Too many people I find are seeing subscriptions on Big Bang Theory and want one too without realizing once they add 100 titles they are committed to buying 100 titles (or like 400 if it’s marvel…) and then you never see them again and after a few months you shelve the comics and lose all the money.

  9. Yes, certainly a big concern. Having pull files at the store makes regular contact with the customers essential. We have to flag people who haven’t been in regularly and follow up to make sure they do or cut the file if there’s no response.

  10. I have a pull list at my store, mainly because I can only get there every other week sometimes and I don’t want to miss out on the titles I want to read. Also with pull lists the stores usually give you some of discount for having a pull list which is a pretty decent incentive.

  11. See having a list for a discount makes a lot of sense to me, especially if you are pulling the same thing for a long time. The overall savings at the end of a title would be pretty good, I would think.

  12. I get 10% off all the items on my pull list. Plus I get free bags and boards. I also get 10% of my trade/graphic novels back in store credit when I buy 10 books. That helps when I get free stuff. Last time I traded in my credit towards the Artists Edition Daredevil.

    I like it when a store is willing to reward me for my patronage.

  13. I had a pull list for years. Worked great if you want to get in an out like me.
    New guy is lazy and messes up all the time. No more pull list now, i subscribe directly from Marvel.The comics get beat up in the mail sometimes but I always get them.

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