Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thoughts: Collecting Tips - Buying Used 2

Okay we have covered how to get used manga in real life but what about online?

The Internets

Don't want to be bothered going out to all these places?  Then online is the place to go.  The two retailers I'd suggested are Amazon Marketplace and Often titles will be very cheap on both sites, but key is to remember shipping.  On Amazon used books can start at a penny and on books can start at seventy five cents.  Amazon Marketplace is different then normal Amazon and you will have to pay shipping, at least $3.99 per book.'s shipping starts at $3.49, the real difference comes in when you buy multiple books from the same seller. will reduce the shipping in about half for each subsequent book from the same seller.  Amazon Marketplace even if you order all your books from the same seller, each will have the same cost of shipping as the first book.  If you are looking to order more then one book at a time I highly recommend pricing it out on both sites.  A lot of the time even if the book costs more on the total cost will be lower due to shipping.  Also always try and get as many book as possible from the same seller for that reduced shipping cost.

Also, with these sites watch out for over inflated prices.  Sometimes a volume or a whole series is legitimately expensive because it went out of print and had a low print run.  Sometimes though sellers use bot programs to control the pricing, like being the cheapest for sale but only by a penny. Sometimes books will become super inflated, in the case the best solution is to wait for the seller to realize what has happen and hope they lower the price.

Another place to try is eBay. If you are just shopping around for some manga to buy eBay can be great. A lot of the time whole series show up in lots to buy. Just make sure you check around on other sites to see if you are getting a good deal. Now, if you are looking to fill out certain titles it can be a bit of mixed bag.

What if you just want one volume of a series from the middle of it? Or the title you are looking for is a bit more unusual? Then you can try eBay's saved searched.  You just put in a search you want and every time something new comes up under that search eBay sends you an email.

Another online outlet for buying used manga is Live Journal selling communities like Garage Sale Japan, Anime4Sale and Anime Shopping. Again this is a shot in the dark but is great place to find whole series and random volumes for great prices.  It's always a great way to unload your own stuff.  All you need to do is sign up for a Live Journal account.

Next time I'll talk about trading for want you want!

Thoughts: Collecting Tips - Buying Used 1

Okay we got buying new manga down but what if want to buy used, here are some tips for that. First why even buy used? If there is an old series that now seems interesting used maybe the only way to get it.  Also used is a great way to pick up stuff for cheap.

Brick & Mortar

One place to try is your local used book store.   Much like going to conventions to buy this can be a huge crap shoot.  Some used book stores have a great section of graphic novels with manga for good prices, others well not so much.  The nice thing about the used book store is you can take books you have laying around in for credit to use on picking up stuff you want.  Used books stores sometimes end up in weird places so it might be worth Googling it to see if any are in your area.

Then we go back to the local comic book store.  If you are familiar with your local shop then you will know if they carry used books or not.  While back issues of single comics are common, used volumes of graphic novels and manga not so much.  It can't hurt to ask though.

Another shot in the dark is a book sale.  These are local events held by generally by libraries (but other places also) selling off a huge mass of used books for super cheap.  I've found some very interesting books at sales like this but the manga kind be kind of iffy.  A lot of the time the people running the book sale don't know where to put manga so you may have to look in children's and sci-fi sections.

Another brick and mortar store I would highly recommend is Book Off.  Book Off is a Japanese chain of used book/video game/DVD etc. stores.  Currently there is one store in New York City, five out in California, and two in Hawaii. They will often have a good selection of manga in English, anime DVDs, and art books.  Most of the manga here runs about $5 dollars or less.  When I was visiting friends out in LA I think we visited almost all of the stores in the area.  I brought back more stuff from Book Off then I did from Anime Expo that year.  I also make sure to stop in the New York store every time I'm in the city.  Now, what if you don't live close to one?  Well you get someone else to look for you, which I'll get to more in a another post.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thoughts: Collecting Tips - Buying New

So you want to start collecting manga or you are collecting manga but looking for a bit more help?  Here are my best tips when it comes to collecting.  Some of these might seem like common sense but sometimes you might just not think of it.

How did this all get here?!

Buying New

So, if there is a series you really want and it is going to come out soon or is currently coming out, pick it up as soon as possible.  Yes, a lot of series devalue over time but there are many cases of a great series going out of print (OOP) shortly after release and having super jacked up prices.  So, often to avoid headaches I suggest getting titles as they come out.  This might seem expensive but there are way to save money.

One thing not to do is buy from a big box retailer.  Not that I hate Barnes & Noble, but there other ways and places to acquire manga cheaper. One of those is to try your local comic book shop.  Local shops often will give a deal if become a "subscriber." You order so many titles a month (with the plan to get future volumes) and the store gives a discount on all these titles.  Generally in the range of 10% to 20%.  Since manga isn't monthly for the most part, you will have to talk to the store owner about making arrangements.  Most of the time store owners are more then willing to make a deal with you.  Also even if you don't see your favorite manga at the local store there is a good chance they can order it in for you.

Another great way to get new manga cheap is Amazon.  It is almost always discounted to some degree.  I just looked up Sailor Moon Volume 1 and it is 35% off.  Now another great thing about Amazon is pretty much everything over $25 dollars will have free shipping.  I just wait for about three titles I want to come out and order all three at once for the free shipping.  If you have Amazon Prime then you don't even need to worry about that.  If you are a student you can get a free six month trial of Amazon Prime no less.

Another online retailer that is worth trying  They often have sales from different publisher that give for around 33% off.  They also have a Got Anime? Purchasing Club Membership which gives an additional 10% off.  Though unless you are ordering over $49 dollars you will have to pay shipping costs.

One last suggestion for buying new is buying new titles at cons.  This can be a crapshoot though.  Some publishers like Vertical sell all their books at a great discount ($10 a piece for books that run $16.95 sometimes) but you have to hurry to the dealers room right away to get what you want.  Other dealers may offer discounts on newer books also.  There are also deep discount sellers with deals like 10 for $40, on new but slightly older titles.  Where the more you buy the cheaper it is.  If you are in the dealers room you can put your books together for an even better deal. If there is something you are really jiving for, it might be worth a look.

Next time I'll talking about getting those series you might of missed out new in "Buying Used."