More on barcodes

A couple more people speaking out on Diamond’s new mandatory barcode decree:
§ From the retail perspective, Neptune Comics’ Lisa:

Diamond primarily makes changes to benefit themselves – they have no competition so there is little need to make improvements to make retailers or publishers lives easier. That’s why I believe the new barcode mandate, while it will be helpful to every store that uses a barcode scanner to receive and sell merchandise, was primarily done to help them. And financially it will be tough on small publishers. I think eventually small publishers will start to sell directly to stores much more actively and/or they will be able to find or create some kind of distribution channel other than Diamond that will distribute their comics.


From the small publisher perspective, Scott King

I don’t get why they decided to tell news sites before they contacted the publishers. To find out that we are going to have to spend a couple thousand bucks a year for upc and isbn junk from Newsarama and Pulbishers Weekly is horse crap. It was rude and disrespectful of Diamond to announce it to us in this way. But I guess that’s just how Diamond does things.

Comments

  1. Diamond’s not contacting the publishers earlier than, or at least at the same time as the retailers is definitely a misstep. Requiring barcodes is NOT. While I don’t have a full blown POS system, I do have a pretty nice register that tracks sales by the barcodes scanned. If I sell something, I have a record of it and I can reorder it easily. UNLESS it doesn’t have a barcode. Then, *if I remember* after the sale, I have to look up the item in Diamond’s not always crystal clear title database to reorder it. Most of the time however, I sell something without a barcode, and by the time I’m in a position to look it up, I’ve forgotten it.

    No barcodes= fewer sales for those items. A good example of this is Strangers in Paradise. Many volumes have barcodes, but some do not. I often times don’t realize I’ve sold out of a volume until someone asks me for it and it’s not there.

    Is requiring barcodes good for Diamond? You betcha. Is it good for retailers? For many of us, the answer is yes. For the rest uf them, it’s not going to hurt. Is it good for publishers? Only the ones that want more sales.

  2. The problem is really in the lines of communication more than anything else. This is something that should have brought up before September, probably closer to mid year at the latest so that everyone who currently doesn’t have barcodes in place could prepare. A lot of small pressers print gang runs to get printing costs down, so it’s very possible some people will be out as a result of the late notice.

    There is no question, from a standpoint of inventory management it makes total sense. I’m shocked that it took this long to require it in the first place. I don’t know how much it is going to effect our floppy sales, as people have to order them for it to help in the first place, remains to be seen. It definitely is going to make retailers lives easier and for those publishers who are already selling product in quantity it’ll be great, but I don’t think more of our product will magically be sold because of it.

    -Michael DeVito, Th3rd World Studios

  3. “Is requiring barcodes good for Diamond? You betcha. Is it good for retailers? For many of us, the answer is yes. For the rest uf them, it’s not going to hurt. Is it good for publishers? Only the ones that want more sales.”

    So you’re saying that you’ll actually order MORE copies of a book from a small publisher because he has a bar code on the book?

  4. Rakarich says:

    “So you’re saying that you’ll actually order MORE copies of a book from a small publisher because he has a bar code on the book?”

    I believe Mr. Jacoby is saying yes, in the sense of reordering. If there is a small press book that sells well in his particular store, bar codes make it more readily available to know that the last copy he sold is in need of reordering. Same thing would apply to Borders or Barnes and Noble. Making it easier to track inventory is always a great business advantage.

    It still blows my mind when I make a purchase in a LCS and they are jotting down the last sale in a notebook.

  5. The catch 22 is that Diamond doesn’t necessarily stock all titles, or reorder them. Thus small or self publishers who publish short comic mini-series or have an infrequent release schedule will probably not benefit greatly, if at all.

    Depending on where you stand, this could be less an argument against barcodes, and more an argument against the comic mini-series format for small publishers. But either way, this does raise the entry threshhold for would-be comics publishers (which in itself could be a good thing for existing small pubs, in a machiavellian sort of way.)

  6. I think Simon Jones nailed it. It really isn’t about the bar codes in and of themselves. It’s about how small publishers will have to conduct business from here on.

    On a side note we FINALLY received our official notice of them from DIamond yesterday.

  7. Alan Coil says:

    Michael said:

    “The problem is really in the lines of communication more than anything else. This is something that should have brought up before September…”

    It was mentioned before. Brian Hibbs has been talking about it on and off all year.

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