I just posted this in our secret retailer forum. The replies will all be top secret as it’s a private forum for store-owners, but here’s my question and I wonder what your thoughts are…
"I was watching this documentary on the computer king Clive Sinclair last night and he ruled 1980 to 1983 with his cut price computers. His big thing was getting the price point under £100 when TRS-80 and Apple 2 and all these other early machines were costing between 600 and 2K even 35 years ago.
The ZX81 was the breakthrough for him and they couldn’t make them fast enough. Everybody said they couldn’t be made so cheaply but he sold so many it didn’t matter. Is it possible to do the same with comics? A decent creative team plus covers plus editorial etc means you need to be selling around 20K to break even at $3 an issue, but what would happen if you dropped the price to $1? I estimate you’d need to be selling around 50K to make the same break even number, but do you think you would more than triple sales if a new creator-owned book launched at a dollar?
I’m just spitballing here, but I trust the accuracy of retailers over the companies as you guys see price and buying patterns. I know DC and Marvel sold through the roof for their 9 and 10 cent comics with FF and Detective a decade ago. I also remember the 99 cents Lobo #1 doing gangbusters. But I wonder about the economics of it and, in terms of shelf-space, whether retailers even LIKE the idea as it’s the same amount of space for you guys but a third of the profit.
What’s your thoughts?"