DCBS and InStockTrades, the online comic book ordering service and also the home of Lunar Distribution, have changed their Marvel Comics discount offers, as a result of Penguin Random House taking on Marvel as an exclusive distributor. PRH has offered retailers a 50% discount flat rate including the cost of shipping to retailers. Bleeding Cool suspected that would mean that the biggest clients like Midtown and DCBS who get 58% discount would lose out, with the discount they previously got on Marvel Comics being more valuable than the free shipping they are getting now. As a result, DCBS has reduced their maximum discount on pre-orders from 50% to 46%. While InStockTrades, from October 2021, has dropped their discount from a maximum of 42% to 38%.
DCBS and InStockTrades have built a business that can often beat Amazon to discounts and certainly more than most comic book stores can manage. It is possible that, for Marvel titles at least, this will change the equation regarding how, when and for how much people will buy comics and comic book collected volumes.
DCBS was founded in 1999 in the basement of the Merkler family’s Fort Wayne home to become the largest online, direct-to-consumer comic and pop-culture retailer in the country from Calhoun Street in Fort Wayne. In 2004, the Merklers formed InStockTrades, a sister company, which now occupies a 40,000-square-foot warehouse in Memphis. DCBS is currently in the middle of moving locations as Lunar and DCBS are to move from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to New Haven, Indiana, along with InstockTrades from Memphis, Tennessee. The companies will all now be located at Cedar Oak Industrial Park, in a facility recently built as a shell building by the owners of Continental Diamond Tool, just east of 10511 Rose Ave. in New Haven, adjacent to U.S. Route 24 and less than a half-mile from I-469, for those with local knowledge. Lunar Distribution will lease the entire 150,000-square-foot structure and occupy about 100,000 square feet, subleasing the remainder to DCBS and InStockTrades.