If you enjoy collecting comics, opening a comic store is one way to profit from your hobby. Having a thorough knowledge of comics and collecting is important when trying to connect with customers to maintain steady sales. In addition to selling comics in a shop, you can also open an online store. Being able to sell comics to people outside your area is another way to increase profits and a way to become an expert in your field.
Choose a location near a shopping mall, cinema or downtown that is accessible to adults, teenagers and children interested in comic book reading and collecting. Contact commercial property leasing companies, real estate offices for available spaces. Visit local malls to see the types of spaces available. Contact the property of manager of these malls to find out more information about leasing the space.
Register your business with the Internal Revenue Service. You will receive an Employer Tax Number (EIN) for tax purposes. Apply for a business license in the region in which you live. Visit your state's secretary of state website, department of revenue or small business web site for a business license application and filing procedures. Lease a retail space prior to applying for a business license because you have to provide a business address on the application.
Rent or purchase shelving and display cases for comics and merchandise from a companies such as Clear Literature Display Systems or look through online communities like Craigslist to find discounted or free shelving or displays. You may also need to purchase dust jackets to store comics, price stickers and a pricing gun and plastic bags for customers to use after purchasing items in your store.
Order comic books and merchandise from such comic distributors as Diamond Comic Distributors Inc., DC Comics and Marvel Corporation. There are smaller distributors to order from as well that supply comics from all over the world. Create an account with distributors to take advantage of retailer discounts.
Sell comics online to increase sales. Create a website and set up a merchant account to accept credit card payments. Online auction sites like eBay, Amazon.com or Heritage Auctions allow you to sell new, used and rare comics directly to buyers. To set up a merchant account, conduct an online search of banks that offer merchant accounts or third party providers such as Paypal.com to create an account. You will need to provide copies of your driver's license, business or personal bank account information, Social Security number or Employer Identification Number (EIN) and domain name of your website, and to sign a contract.
- Host new release parties, role playing games or monthly meetings for buyers and sellers in the area to meet and swap or sell their comics. Creating a solid customer base is an important part of your shop's success.
- Conduct regular customer surveys before purchasing comics to ensure that you stock materials that will sell each month. Unsellable comics can reduce your profits.