Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Another Two Weeks....


This whole "official business" thing has really put a cramp in my ability to update my blog, you know that? Since we are solidly into the sensitive negotiations phase of purchasing process, it makes it hard to discuss in detail what is going on.

Suffice it to say that we are now moving forward very quickly, I think. We are in the process of preparing -- and will be providing the seller with -- our official Letter of Intent to buy the store. Given the terms we have laid out, both in terms of our offer and the milestones we would like to hit in terms of the calendar, I think our group will be hanging out the Big Monkey sign in September. The deal will likely be done before then, but by the time all of the i's are dotted and t's crossed, it will be September before we are all official-like.

These negotiations have been fascinating, to say the least. Most of them have been done in a very friendly, informal way. Everybody wants this to happen -- buyers, sellers, everyone. It just makes sense on so many levels. And because of that, we have been able to avoid all of the bouts of reluctance and anger that can sometimes occur during these things. Interestingly, however, now that we are beginning to bring the lawyers into the mix (which has to be done in order to, well make it legal) my level of anxiety is actually starting to climb upwards. It is just giving the whole thing a slightly different feel. Not a bad feel, mind you, but one that is decidedly more business-like than it had been. And when you move in that direction, you begin to wonder -- ever so slightly -- if the camaraderie that has been established among all of the parties along the way might be adversely impacted. I don't think it will, and I am still very confident that this is going to wrap up the way we want, but it is still a thought tickling in the back of my mind.

Beyond that, we are beginning to take some of the steps now that will ease the transition. We are talking to a graphic designer about the need to design the logo. I am going to get a host for our website, so we can begin putting up at least the bare bones site until we have our whiz-bang site up and running. I am continuing to input comics into our online store (which takes, FOREVER, may I add, but at least I am finally up to all of the Batman books, so I feel as if some progress is being made...).

And now for something completely different…

I had a wonderful lunch the other day with Johanna, of Comics Worth Reading, and her husband KC. Good people who know a lot about the industry – and aren’t afraid to tell you their opinions! It is always nice to meet with people who either work/worked in the biz (as they both do) and still have a love for the medium. Also, they were kind enough to invite me to further pick their brains and take advantage of their decades (combined) of experience once the doors to Big Monkey have swung wide. FOOLS!!! Little do they know how they will rue the day!!


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Two Weeks?! What Has Happened?

Well, it looks like it has been roughly TWO WEEKS since I last made a post. Sad, just sad. Well, part of the reason for that is that I can't really discuss the specifics of what is going on with our store acquisition efforts.

What I can say is that all parties have discussed specifics relating to what the sellers want by way of compensation and what we actually want to spend. The negotiations are now beginning in earnest, and only time will tell with regards to how successful we will be in coming to a number that everyone is comfortable with. I am still a bit more than cautiously optimistic at this point regarding how this is all going to end up, though.

We are making other steps, however. I am in the process of creating an ebay store through which the store will be selling its back issue inventory (in addition to other avenues) This is INCREDIBLY time consuming at this point. Especially as an ebay novice (I have a rating of 7 -- SEVEN?!) which means that I am making a lot of mistakes. It took me an hour to input my first comic book since I was trying to set up the tmeplate for the store, etc. At this point, I've still only been able to cut down the process to about 3-4 minutes per book...which when you are talking about the 4,500+ books I am looking to get input, you can see why I am (and will continue) to look at this project with some trepidation.

At this point, I am using my personal comic book collection as the seed stock for the store (with some things being taken out that I am particularly partial to). Assuming that the deal goes through to buy the existing store, then we will also have that back stock to input as well. And I have a feeling that since I started this project it will be mine until the bitter end. *sigh*

In case you want to buy anything, feel free to swing by the old store and pick something up. I've only inputted through Advanced Dungeons & Dragons number 11, so bear with me!

And give me your thoughts on the pricing and the information I have provided for each entry. Heck anything at all. I NEED all the help I can get!!

Unfortunately, I think that is all I've got to say at this point. I am very hopeful that somethig will break through on the store purchasing front in the near future, so when I actually know something, I will let YOU know.