As I lay in bed, unable to fall asleep; I open up my laptop and login to Facebook…
For the last few weeks I’ve really liked most of the autograph groups I’ve joined on Mark Zuckerberg’s social network; but some of the posts I’ve been seeing lately are just ridiculous — especially when it comes to pricing and consignments.
If you’ve never heard the term before, it’s commonly used when someone is going to an in-person signing and offering the service of mail order for those who can’t make it. When used correctly, it’s when you can send an item that you have to the person who is attending. Much of the time, it’s more of a pre-order of a photo or item that the person can get at or before the convention. In most cases, the going rate for a commission is $5 to $20 above what the guest charges.
Tonight I saw a post for Mick Foley who will be doing a signing in Maryland this weekend. Since I saw Mick at EternalCon two weeks ago, I feel like I know what his pricing will be and that’s why the Facebook post left me flabbergasted.
OK, let’s break this down… when I saw Mick (with Noelle) the super combo was $50 that included.. an autograph from Mick, an autograph from Noelle, a picture with each of them solo, and a group picture. I believe it was $20 extra for an additional autograph from Mick and inscriptions were free.
So assuming the seller is going to get an autograph for himself, we’ll consider all the consignments as “additional autographs”… that means $20 plus $10 for a Funko Pop plus around $6-7 for priority mail and a minimal piece of bubble wrap. That’s $37 at most (because maybe Mick will give him an even better deal if he has a certain number of autographs, and maybe he can get the Pops for less — I know I’ve seen a lot of %-off sales lately).
So the seller is making $53 profit on each one of these that he sells!?! That’s more than it cost for admission and parking at EternalCon!
In the case of the $100 books, it could be even more — many of Mick’s hardcovers can be found at thrift shops or garage sales for $3 or less; at worst they’re about $6 shipped on Amazon for a used copy in good or acceptable condition — plus a book can be shipped via Media Mail ($3-4).
I’m all for a free market economy, but this is ridiculous. All I can do is hope that everyone who sees the post knows how much Mick charges for his autograph and that they’re better off waiting until he is near them to get it themselves — after all, it’s not like it’s Stan Lee on his retirement tour.
And for good measure, here’s the Pop that Mick signed for me two weeks ago…