Help me name a comic store

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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Kelaan » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:05 pm

Sodium x 16 idea.
Pro: It's easy to remember. It's clever.
Con: It's hard for new customers to realize that you're a comic store.

Your princess is in this castle
Pro: Clever reference to a meme that almost all your target audience is familiar with (?)
Con: Wordy, not clear that it's a COMIC store.

I think you should have a name that makes it clear you're a Comic store, so that new people can easily find you on Google, the phone book, etc. Unfortunately I have no suggestions. :D
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby culhag » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:33 pm

I think you should avoid any name that directly references an existing IP. (like Batcave)
At least for legal reasons, but especially because it's not very inventive.
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Flex » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:47 pm

culhag wrote:I think you should avoid any name that directly references an existing IP. (like Batcave)
At least for legal reasons, but especially because it's not very inventive.


I'll be "that guy" and suggest not opening a LCS since that industry is on very shaky grounds. I have one down the street from where I work and I said I would go in there weekly once the one in my town of 50K people closed down two years ago. That lasted a month. Now with DC's all in push for digital same day release I am much more interested than I have ever been.
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Thalia » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:53 pm

Ya we are in Seattle, not sure if we will open in West Seattle or Bellevue Mall, we are still scouting locations and nearby shops that sell similar items so we can differentiate ourselves from them.

We do want to sell comics for sure, but not just that, though it will be the heart of the store probably. We want to sell collectables, stickers, posters, techy stuff, and toys that are related to comics/sci-fi/general geekdom. Also some games, perhaps board games/card games.

We also want to put in a little lounge area where people can read new release comics for free (just 1 copy of a few), play a board game, watch Smallville (any show/movie we feel would please our target audience)on the TV we want to put in, etc -- just draw them in.

Right now Aergis has a life size Predator Costume that he is finishing up. It was uniquely molded and casted. He is painting it himself and it's coming out so bad ass...that will be our first window display lol.

So many ideas, we want it to be a place we'd love to shop at and hang at.
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Nikachelle » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:25 pm

culhag wrote:I think you should avoid any name that directly references an existing IP. (like Batcave)
At least for legal reasons, but especially because it's not very inventive.

It also drives away customers who may not be a particular fan of whatever you have listed as your store name. So yeah, I agree with your comment.
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Arnock » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:48 pm

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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Heil » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:07 pm

^ I likes

Also:
We Sell Comics and Bongs
Name's Panda, G. D. Panda.
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Aergis » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:53 pm

I'm liking Sodium16 the best. The subtlety is great, and when you get it the kick is awesome. Making sure people know it's a comic store is only neccessary from a distance, driving or walking. So we could make the outside signage say "sodium 16 COMICS AND TOYS". Inside the shop our official logo would be reversed. Name big comics and toys small. And we can make a little poster thing at the counter that says "WTF does Sodium 16 mean?" and you flip it up and we just put "Read this out loud: na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na"

I love princess in another/this castle, but it is very long and hard to make a sign out of.

And Flex I was pretty sure you were going to be that guy!

There's a lot of other things going on that actually make it a very sound business choice. I was needing an office to work from already, which was going to run me 300-500 in my area. I've found a couple good storefronts for under $700 per month, so for an extra $200 I could get my office in the back of a location that people can buy stuff from. I find it extremely hard to believe we cannot sell $200 worth of merchandise per month. Of course there's more costs than just the store lease, but getting that as low as possible but still in a visible area is probably the biggest part of all of this.

Additionally I don't plan to stop the work I currently do as a freelancer. The difference will be that my family can help work the store while I'm working in the back as well. If I work from home or get a $500 shared office space, there's no way anyone else can help make additional money.

And in the end taking out a 5 year SBA loan that will cover the store lease for 12 months and initial stocking costs will essentially cost the same as leasing a new car... And that's if we don't even sell anything!
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Dorvan » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:30 pm

I think there's definitely a risk of being overly cute/insider joke with your choice of name...Sodium 16 definitely falls into that camp for me. Remember, the choice of name is for the customers' benefit, not yours.

In addition to that, you should consider that even if the lease was your only overhead (and you'll quickly find that it isn't)...selling $200 of merchandise and making $200 off of merchandise sales are two very different things. Plus, that only counts as breaking even if you place no value on your personal time needed to operate the store. Then there's issues like hours: you're committing to keep the store open certain hours...which can, for examples, making taking vacations much more difficult if not impossible the first few years, especially if you're planning on staffing it entirely yourselves.

This isn't to say that you shouldn't do this, but you definitely shouldn't be looking at this as a low maintenance hobby that's a small add on to some office space you're going to lease anyway...starting and running a successful business is a lot of work, and if you want to succeed you should be prepared to have this endeavor take over your lives for the next few years. It's not something to consider lightly.
Last edited by Dorvan on Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Dorvan » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:39 pm

One other thing, the forums at boardgamegeek.com have some resources for trying to start this kind of store...they're more aimed at hobby board/card game stores, but there's a lot of overlap between that and comic shops, as well as niche small retail businesses in general. This thread is a good place to start:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/691669/ ... ended-reso
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Nikachelle » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:41 pm

Aergis wrote:I'm liking Sodium16 the best. The subtlety is great, and when you get it the kick is awesome. Making sure people know it's a comic store is only neccessary from a distance, driving or walking. So we could make the outside signage say "sodium 16 COMICS AND TOYS". Inside the shop our official logo would be reversed. Name big comics and toys small. And we can make a little poster thing at the counter that says "WTF does Sodium 16 mean?" and you flip it up and we just put "Read this out loud: na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na"

I do like the idea of Sodium 16 - it's quite clever and obtuse enough that it will stick in someone's head (if only out of sheer curiosity). But unless you KNOW it's to the tune of the Batman song, very VERY few people are going to pick up on it. Even knowing NA x 16 = nananananananananananananananana, I didn't get it until Thalia mentioned it was to the Batman theme song.
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Invisusira » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:43 pm

Aergis wrote:There's a lot of other things going on that actually make it a very sound business choice. I was needing an office to work from already, which was going to run me 300-500 in my area. I've found a couple good storefronts for under $700 per month, so for an extra $200 I could get my office in the back of a location that people can buy stuff from. I find it extremely hard to believe we cannot sell $200 worth of merchandise per month. Of course there's more costs than just the store lease, but getting that as low as possible but still in a visible area is probably the biggest part of all of this.

You uh

do realize that there's much, much more to making $200 than simply selling $200 worth of stuff, right? I mean, this isn't a yard sale.

Signage
Advertising
Staffing once you/your family gets sick of working for nothing
Purchasing enough stock to have in your store to be able to sell $200 worth of it <- this is the big one
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Dorvan » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:47 pm

I thought of the signage issue after I posted. Most retail spaces will require that you purchase signage to advertise your store...they won't put that up for you. Exact numbers will vary, but you can expect that to be a four figure expense.
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Thalia » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:04 pm

Dorvan wrote:I thought of the signage issue after I posted. Most retail spaces will require that you purchase signage to advertise your store...they won't put that up for you. Exact numbers will vary, but you can expect that to be a four figure expense.



Yep I took care of the signage for my parents tenants in the commercial building they own, so I know how much it usually runs, specially if we want to get flashy.
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Re: Help me name a comic store

Postby Aergis » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:38 pm

I uh,

do realize there's more work involved than $200.



What I was explaining was from the cost perspective that I was going to spend $500 already. The difference between costs in having a storefront and having an non-product carrying office is what spurred the idea in the first place. The signage is a one time cost, not a big concern. The advertising is a potentially a continual cost but I am hoping that the very placement of the shop in an extremely high traffic area will require very little in advertising. However if we need to my "real" job is in... Advertising.

I have successfully run a limited edition tshirt store 10 years ago that had no advertising at all in the middle of downtown Seattle and we did great. And our cost of the lease was literally free. Word of mouth and foot traffic was all we needed. It was surprising then but when we had unique cool stuff people told other people about it and we quickly had people specifically looking for it. We ran it that way for 2 years. The only problem began when my investor decided he wanted to do all the product buying and despite many many arguments he ran the product into the ground, and I dissolved the partnership.

I'm trying to repeat the business with better products, better partner, and as little overhead as possible.

Also maybe you missed this part:
Aergis wrote:Of course there's more costs than just the store lease, but getting that as low as possible but still in a visible area is probably the biggest part of all of this.


And the last point I was trying to make was even if I have to cover the cost of the store from my pocket it's pretty easy based on my current freelance job and the actual costs we are talking about.

I do appreciate the concern guys but this isn't something we're considering lightly and not the first time we've done it. From every angle I can look at it seems like a good idea, even if it takes years to sell the product we initially purchase. And the worst case scenario is I get to collect all of this stuff at a very minimal cost compared to trying to buy it and collect myself, which I am already doing anyway... I have an $800 full size predator in my garage waiting to be painted.
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