::Direct market

::concepts



{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} The direct market is the dominant distribution and retail network for North American comic books, created in the 1970s by Phil Seuling. It currently consists of one dominant distributor (Diamond Comic Distributors) and the majority of comics specialty stores, as well as other retailers of comic books and related merchandise. The name is no longer a fully accurate description of the model by which it operates, but derives from its original implementation: retailers bypassing existing distributors to make "direct" purchases from publishers. The defining characteristic of the direct market is non-returnability: unlike bookstore and newsstand distribution, direct-market distribution prohibits distributors and retailers from returning their unsold merchandise for refunds. In exchange for more favorable ordering terms, retailers and distributors must gamble that they can accurately predict their customers' demand for products. Each month's surplus inventory, meanwhile, could be archived and sold later, driving the development of an organized market for "back issues."

The emergence of this lower-risk distribution system is also credited with providing an opportunity for new comics publishers to enter the business, despite the two bigger publishers Marvel and DC Comics still having the largest share. The establishment and growth of independent publishers and self-publishers, beginning in the late 1970s and continuing to the present, was made economically possible by the existence of a system that targets its retail audience, rather than relying on the scattershot approach embodied in the returnable newsstand system.


Direct market sections
Intro   Comic book specialty shops    Impact   History   Direct market distributors    See also    Notes   References   

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Comic book specialty shops
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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} The direct market is the dominant distribution and retail network for North American comic books, created in the 1970s by Phil Seuling. It currently consists of one dominant distributor (Diamond Comic Distributors) and the majority of comics specialty stores, as well as other retailers of comic books and related merchandise. The name is no longer a fully accurate description of the model by which it operates, but derives from its original implementation: retailers bypassing existing distributors to make "direct" purchases from publishers. The defining characteristic of the direct market is non-returnability: unlike bookstore and newsstand distribution, direct-market distribution prohibits distributors and retailers from returning their unsold merchandise for refunds. In exchange for more favorable ordering terms, retailers and distributors must gamble that they can accurately predict their customers' demand for products. Each month's surplus inventory, meanwhile, could be archived and sold later, driving the development of an organized market for "back issues."

The emergence of this lower-risk distribution system is also credited with providing an opportunity for new comics publishers to enter the business, despite the two bigger publishers Marvel and DC Comics still having the largest share. The establishment and growth of independent publishers and self-publishers, beginning in the late 1970s and continuing to the present, was made economically possible by the existence of a system that targets its retail audience, rather than relying on the scattershot approach embodied in the returnable newsstand system.


Direct market sections
Intro   Comic book specialty shops    Impact   History   Direct market distributors    See also    Notes   References   

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Comic book specialty shops
<<>>