When there’s a good deal people will flock

When sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, and Google Offers came out, it was a godsend for those looking to do an activity or shop for something on the cheap side. I have used these services so far for restaurants, recreation, and shopping. The economic downturn has caused more people to be frugal with their money and no one is willing to let go more than what they are willing to pay if it isn’t a good deal.

I have written many times how being a collector of anything can be overwhelming and expensive. Imagine my surprise when my older sister brought to my attention a deal in shopping for comics on Google Offers. Did I hear right? Am I dreaming? Nope, it’s all true. Google Offers had a deal a few weeks ago to purchase a “$10 for $20 of comics, graphic novels, collectables & more” at my local comic book store Forbidden Planet. As soon as I saw the offer I purchased it straightaway. No one had to tell me twice to do it.

It’s so rare for me to shop for manga these days and this deal is the one I’ve been looking for. At least if I go over by a little using this deal then the difference I pay won’t be too much. You have to find the best ways to be cheap and to save money.

The deal that will get me to shop for more manga

I haven’t used my deal yet, but I have until August to make my purchases with it. I love an excuse to shop on the cheap side. Has anyone experienced a good deal they couldn’t refuse?

When out of print goods become a treasure hunt

I was surveying my collection of incomplete manga recently and I noticed how I have quite a few series no longer being printed. Among the incomplete sets are series that used to be published by Tokyopop like Fruits Basket and Pita Ten. I realized how annoying it is to own an incomplete set of series. Even more so when it’s a series you had every intention of reading and collecting but never got the chance to. It’s worse knowing the publisher has either lost the rights to producing it or in Tokyopop’s case, a company has shuttered and stopped production of several series all together.

Continue reading “When out of print goods become a treasure hunt”

Merry Early Christmas to me? Pre-Black Friday sales are a good and bad thing

Thanksgiving is a few days away for those of us who celebrate it. Sometimes we wouldn’t even know it’s Thanksgiving thanks to all the stores, media, and Internet skipping over the acknowledgment of Thanksgiving and going straight to the other holiday…Christmas.

With the economy still in bad shape a lot of retail and online stores are getting pretty desperate to capture our attention and wallets. Before the stores would wait until the actual Black Friday to bring out their best deals to offer. Nowadays, this year in particular, the deals are being rolled out earlier. A lot of places have called their deals, “Pre-Black Friday sales,” “Countdown to Black Friday,” or any other variation of that. A number of places like Amazon and Newegg.com have already started their sales since the start of November.

I’ve been keeping an eye out for the best deals out there to get a jump start on my holiday shopping for friends and loved ones. Only, I actually failed to really shop for friends and loved ones. What ended up happening was I see video game, DVD, or clothing sales advertised, against my own better judgment I browse through what was on sale, find something I like, and I buy for me.

It’s horrible. Considering I’m also on a budget, what goes from a well-intentioned shopping/browsing trip ends up becoming the all about me shopping trip and seeing my own desires for the stuff on my own personal wish list quenched.

Amazon has been the worst when it comes to their recent video games sale for Pre-Black Friday. I’m not one to buy a game as soon as it comes out. I tend to wait it out until it becomes on sale or someone gives me the game I want as a present. The temptation to buy is hard to resist. A lot of the sales I have encountered have been very good. I probably wouldn’t have whipped out the credit card if it wasn’t.

These early sales have been good because I end up buying what I want for less than what I would have paid for it had I bought it at regular retail value. The downside is I get no shopping done for anybody else. It has been quite a dilemma this year.

Pre-Black Friday and Black Friday sales tend to be good for electronics and DVDs. These tend to be the most expensive and popular items to buy. You just can’t pass up a good deal when you see one. The one sale I would have liked to see more of would be manga. I suppose places like Amazon can’t bring down the prices of the books more than they already have. I find Amazon to be one of the cheaper places to buy manga compared to a lot of local bookstores. Then again, a huge markdown on select manga volumes would be ideal for the manga lover. If they did an all anime/manga sale I’m sure it would be a hit. We fans get to buy the merchandise for cheap and the stores make a huge profit. This is something Amazon or any store should consider.

Has anyone else had the problem of buying for themselves instead of for others around the holiday season? Did you come into a store thinking you were going to buy for this particular person only to leave the store with a jacket, book, game, or DVD for yourself? It’s definitely happening to me more this year than all the previous ones. Must have better self-control.

Smart tips for manga collectors looking for affordable ways to feed the habit

Last night I read a very useful article written on Manga Bookshelf about how to buy manga on the cheap. Writer C.J. Thomas lists his top tips and personal guide for manga collectors to continue their mountaintop collections without draining your wallet.

Some of these tips I already knew about and others were worth knowing about. My own personal go to places for manga shopping and bargains have always been Amazon or my local comic shops. I’m especially glad to be living in NYC because we have some really great comic book stores like Midtown Comics, Forbidden Planet, and Jim Hanley’s Universe. We even have Japanese bookstores like Kinokuniya and Bookoff, which sells both the Japanese and English translated mangas. You can almost always find a good deal at these places I’ve been to.

The only tip that doesn’t work for me that C.J. Thomas listed is going to the library and borrowing manga. My local libraries do carry some manga titles, but not much. The collection isn’t very big or impressive in my experience. If you do find the series you want to test out at the library, I usually find that the first volume is missing most of the time (and it isn’t because it was taken out already). Manga doesn’t seem to be very library friendly to me. At least in comic shops and bookstores, the collection is HUGE. I’m more likely to buy the manga after reading what it’s about and skimming through it at the store. I have yet to regret my selections after I paid for it.

As I said in my own previous entry, manga is an expensive hobby to have. But it is possible to fuel the hobby by being a smart shopper and bargain hunter to get more bang out of your buck.