Comic Fans, Need Your Input! My Journey to Opening a Store

in #comics2 years ago

Got another "still waiting" email from the real estate agent today...but I'm moving forward with some of my planing anyways as I'll find another location if this one falls apart for some reason. Which leads me to this post and the help I need from Comic Book collectors.

I have an idea for custom cabinets for my toy and comic shop that I'm planning on opening in March of 2020.

My thought is to make cabinets that have a top layer of boxes at slightly higher then normal table height and then a shelf below that will allow for a second layer of boxes when needed. I will make a custom stand that can be moved along to pull the lower shelf boxes onto and give a short stool with wheels to so people can look at these boxes comfortably.

Excuse the quick sketch as it's not in perspective and not in perfect scale, but wanted to jot down the idea over worrying about it looking pretty.


Oh and the cabinet you see has 2 shelves and the top. The top and the first shelf will be used at the store. These are on large heavy duty casters so I can load them straight onto a truck. When this happens I will need to be able to take the boxes on the top and put them into the lower shelf for transport. This will make my loading and unloading into comic cons MUCH easier. The ability to move these will also let me clear out the center front of my store and use it for events.

Do I make these cabinets short box or long box depth?

So size matters no matter what some little boys like to say, but in this case I'm not sure bigger is better.

A Short Box is 15" Long vs the Long Box comes in at around 27" long.

For tall people like myself a long box is easy to dig in, but I feel like a majority of people have a hard time getting to the far back of a long box. When I plan to have 40-80 long boxes worth of back issue comics on the floor at any given time it's a lot of digging around and I want to make sure my customers are comfortable. At the same time space is an issue...

So the advantage of a long box is less isle space for me. Back to back long box cabinets will take up around 5 foot of space and then each isle needs to be 3.5-4 feet.

With a short box the cabinets back to back will be under 3 foot wide and then the killer is the isles as it will require more isle space to have the same number of comics.


The other issue is weight. A short box is very easily moved around at 30 pounds (give or take based on era of comics), but a long box comes in at 50 pounds which is much harder to move.

The issue of moving them will come into play with the design of having a lower shelf that will have boxes on it. This box will need to be dragged out of the shelf onto the stand. At 30 pounds it's pretty easy to move around, but at 50-60 it's heavy.

So which way to go?

I hope I explained all of that clear enough that you can help out. If not please ask questions or please answer the couple questions below.

Do you think that a long box it ok to pull out onto a stand or is it to much weight?

Does it bother you to dig in long boxes vs short boxes?

Anyone that is into comics and has dug around countless boxes of comics over the years I can really use your help on this. Thank you!


You mention stool for people to look through the boxes, I am not sure how wide your aisle's will be, but the customers will need room to dig and root through the boxes. I have a good reach at over 34 inches, but I also have a very hard time finding shirts with long enough sleeves, so I think maybe doing a full size mock up, (sounds like you have time), would be the best way. Get your wife, and kids, and a couple of friends see how they feel about the stool and the depth of the boxes.

Also I am a used book looker at used book stores, and yeah, sometimes it gets hard to look through boxes of magazines that are to long, and then people trying to squeeze past you while you root for that perfect gem. So not only is depth of box an issue, but width of aisle can be an issue also, and then the size of the customer, it is going to be hard to find a good middle road area, you can't plan based on the largest, or smallest customer. Fortunately attending all those comic-cons you should have a pretty good idea of the size of the average shopper you are to encounter.

Good luck, and hope the plan comes together for you.

Isle space is important. My thought was 4 feet. The only time I see an issue is if someone has a box pulled out and someone wants to stand right behind them looking at the other cabinet (there will be 3 rows, back to back of these cabinets). Being that people will be able to just go around if they wanted to get somewhere I think the 4 feet is more then enough.

Kids can't do long boxes, it's way to long for them. As a general rule my main buyer for back issues is adults at shows, but not sure once I open a shop. Neighborhood kids very well may want to start reading the origin stories of their favorite characters....hmmm...more to think about. Honestly hadn't even considered kids.

Fortunately attending all those comic-cons you should have a pretty good idea of the size of the average shopper you are to encounter.

lol...that could be taken a couple ways. But I have been thinking about it in terms of height for displays and width since that matters for isles. A few of my regulars are very large people so they just need more space and a couple are in wheelchairs so trying to make sure they can still get around the store.

Oh and the stool will be on wheels and purely be for the people who are looking at the lower shelf comics so they don't need to take a knee to dig around. Know there are plenty of people who just can't do that for any length of time (myself included).

short boxes, for all the reasons you mentioned as well as less damage..meaning shorter boxes are easier to sift through so people are less likely to bend book spines while rooting through them, and also...accidents do happen, would you rather have a long box ( 500 or so books) hit the ground spilling books out or a short box (250 or so books)? * I might be off on the numbers of books in such boxes, but you get my meaning.

Thank you for your input! The books are all bagged and boarded, but I think you are correct even still about damage. People tend to lift up a book about 2/3rds of the way and then put it back down a lot when they are further back in a long box. They can't see down into the box in the back so need to pull it up to see the cover better.

Hopefully with the design spilling a whole box won't happen...but on the shelf I guess it totally is possible. The top would be nearly impossible as I'll have slat wall up to the height of the box on each end of the bank of cabinets to allow me added display space and lock in the boxes.

Hi! Well, I don't know much about construction and I want to ask about another thing, however, what do you think about this kind of cabinets:


Kind of like a stair... It's just my opinion...

And the real questions is this:

I recently made a post about the confusing rewards system Steemit has now... And Sharon (@fitinfun) suggested I ask you about it.

I'm pretty confused about the rewards, I expected to win what the post indicated before being paid and after being paid I think I only got less than 25% of the reward.

I'd appreciate your input, thanks

The problem with that design is that the upper boxes would be even harder to reach the back of. But thanks for the suggestion.

I'll shoot over to your post and see if I can figure out what happened.

Your welcome and thanks

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