Reason #127 to be Frustrated with Diamond

Last week we received zero of the copies we ordered of Superman #650. We were invoiced for them and have now paid for them, but didn't get them when we were supposed to. Not entirely uncommon, since we're shorted several comics on a weekly basis. Usually, however, that's for a title in fairly limited demand, say Silent Hill or Hatter M. Unfortunately this time we were talking about a title with some serious heat that is one of only two titles on every one of our Reserve members pull lists. But mistakes happen. I'm told this is what's called a picking error, when the title and copies are invoiced and charged but when the warehouse staff are sorting out which titles go into our boxes, a mistake is made and a title is missed. You know what, mistakes happen. Even so, to have already been forced to pay for something that we do not yet have, well, that's a bit irritating, but that's what you get when dealing with a near monopoly.

Today's invoice included replacement copies of Superman #650 which is usually how Diamond deal with such mistakes. Now, Superman #650 sold out at Diamond late last week, but I'm told that a certain number of copies are held for replacements of damaged or shorted items, so we should be fine and the invoice indicated as much. Unfortunately, today's shipment arrived and what was missing? You guessed it, Superman #650. So now we have a problem because Diamond is completely out of any copies, there's nothing they can send next week. So, the resolution is that we should get a credit for what we've paid towards next weeks invoice. Unfortunately, I now have several customers who specifically signed up for our reserve system so as not to miss high demand titles like this one, other local shops are sold out (amazing how the vultures in this area swoop in and buy us out of titles that are reported sold out at Diamond), and now my customers don't have any options but to wait for the reprint due out in 2 weeks (which went to print immediately for the sake of speed, because of which we can not be guaranteed copies). Problem with waiting for the reprint is that part two of this story comes out next week and part three the same week the reprint of part one comes out. Not the end of the world, but incredibly frustrating.

It seems that my troubles are fairly minor, however, since two other shops were nearly shorted an entire box of comics (which likely comes out to roughly 1/3 of this weeks new releases). One retailer's box is still missing "somewhere in transit," while Jason Richards (of RIOT fame) details the ridiculous manner in which UPS handles comic shops in PA. Just a bad week for new comics logistics in general (probably because this week we have, get this, 74 titles on our new release wall. 74).


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