Diamond to Offer US Retailers Tuesday Delivery in 2011

If you've ever been to the comic shop on a Wednesday only to be told that the books haven't been delivered yet, or worse, they've just been delivered and you still can't get your hands on them (which is almost worse), it's very possible things have gone and got better.

Rich teased it last week, and Heidi confirms it today, but Diamond will be offering US retailers the option to received their new comics shipments on Tuesday instead of Wednesday starting next year.  Retailers will have to pay a $5 "mystery shopper" fee for the privelege, and that money will go to guarding against early sales.

This came about as a result of discussions and a survey with retailers.  It looks like we almost ended up with Tuesday, but ultimately didn't.

The survey also asked retailers: “If given the choice between Monday delivery for Tuesday on-sale, and Tuesday delivery for Wednesday on-sale, what would be your preference?” Retailers could choose between the two options, or for “Either Monday for Tuesday or Tuesday for Wednesday.
The number of respondents who selected Tuesday delivery for Wednesday on-sale and the ‘Either’ option totaled 63%,” Fletcher said, “while those selecting the Monday-for-Tuesday alternative and the ‘Either’ option totaled 38%. This encouraging consensus has convinced us that moving forward with day-early delivery for Wednesday on-sale holds considerable advantages for vendors, retailers, and the industry.

Do retailers think this will be a good thing?  Here's what Diamond says:

In that survey, retailers were asked how they thought the day-early option would affect their business and the Direct Market. “Of more than 1,000 retailers who responded to the survey,” Fletcher said, “75% believe day-early delivery will benefit their business, while 72% believe it will benefit the entire Direct Market.

A little bit of change could be really helpful.  It will be interesting to see how many more "leaks" we start seeing from careless retailers and if the plan stays the same after they implement it.  You wouldn't think that sort of thing happened, but it did, and it had real implications for what preview material was received by the press.


  1. Meh.  I’ll be more impressed when they can beam comics directly into my brain!

  2. I don’t think that "careless" retailers really exist in the comics market. They know the score and just want to get the books out earlier to get themselves a bit more business. The Mystery Shopper fee is a great way to counter-act this imho.

  3. Trust me. They exist. This used to be the standard.

  4. I know my LCS will appreciate this.

  5. I would love if my LCS was able to do this.  I usually can’t get to the shop until after work to get comics Wednesday becasue the books aren’t on the shelf until sometime after noon.  If they are able to get them out by Wednesday morning then I can get them on my lunch break which would result in my getting comics before they run out at the LCS. I’m all for it.

  6. How does the Mystery Shopper fee work? Do they actually pay someone to go undercover looking for early releases at shops? that would be a fun albeit low paying gig. 

    Is the early release "careless retailer" problem the reason why you’ll see "Top Secret" covers posted in solicits? 

  7. The Mystery Shopper Project is a commitee of action minded individuals chosen from predesignated pools of qualified canditates with experience in special ops such as these.  Said individuals recieve extensive training in areas (but not limited to specific mission parameters) of: Subterfuge, current market economics related to the objective, general consensus among the fanboy population so as to ascertain the mindset of the public mob, and there is also advanced training in pop culture jargon, customs and cultural norms. 

  8. I think this is great, I wonder too if it means no more day late comics when there’s a holiday on the Monday?

  9. But…but…comic retailers already get their comics in on Tuesday.  At least here in MA all the comic book retailers pick up from Diamond first thing Tuesday morning.

  10. I talked to my shop owner about this and he said he would probably start doing this as soon as possible, but has no interest in selling early.  He has had all kinds of delivery issues and simply wants to be able to have the books out and ready to sell on Wednesday morning without having to chase a FedEx truck all over town.

  11. Ok, just read the articles you linked to.  I’m a bit astounded.  As someone who used to do the sorting for a comic book store, getting deliveries on Wednesday for Wednesday sale sounds awful.  There are at least six companies in the Boston area that get their comics in on Tuesdays.  And, to the best of my knowledge, none of them have ever jumped the street date. 

  12. That would mean I could receive comics from DCBS on Wednesday! ( now get them on Thursday) Great!

  13. my old LCS used to stock their books Tuesday night after closing so they’d be ready for a 9am wed opening. I’ve been to other shops that stock the shelves all day wed…which seems like a ploy to make you ask for stuff…so they can then recommend more stuff to you. 

  14. @Odino1 – I bet they can’t ship them until Wednesday, but if they could… well that would be a game changer.

  15. This could give stores a chance to set up for the Wednesday rush without having to get to the store at the ass crack of dawn.  Also, it might be a nice way for more techno savvy stores using Twitter and Facebook to hype stuff every week.

  16. @Josh – I hope that should be allowed as long as consumers don’t get comics before Wednesday.  That should work the same way Amazon operates for movies, books, or videogames… if you pre-order them, Amazon ships them in advance so that buyers receive them on the release date.

  17. If other reports are correct and the UK will also get comics on Tuesday, meaning we’ll have them the same day as US readers (maybe even earlier, taking into account the time difference), fantastic!

  18. Oh my LCS is gonna agree to do this in a heartbeat. Get everything in early and get ready for the morning on Wednesday. Cause my shop, sometimes, gets his comics from UPS VERY late. Sometimes it doesn’t even come at all! (He’s at the mercy of the one UPS guy who only goes to his neck of the woods once a week) So this is a plus for me.

    I doubt he will sell it a day early though. Cause we’ve been used Wednesdays for so long I don’t think he can make all 200+ of his costumers commit to coming a day earlier when, obviously, they have various schedules for the week. 

  19. Most shops won’t sell early if they’re asked not to. A comic shop will have a very short life if Diamond notices that someone is selling early and comics are getting to the internet before other shops have a chance to open their doors. Diamond won’t do business with people who can’t fulfill a contract and those stores will have to find something else to sell.