Saying Good-Bye to Used Books
Hey folks – we all want you to know that there are some very big things coming to Variant Edition quite soon – and while we can’t tell you what the biggest thing is just yet, we’re going to be telling you about a change to the store that’s going to make things better for everyone going forward.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve been getting busier and busier – which means we’ve had less and less time to process a lot of our used books intake. When we started bringing in used product roughly three years ago, we had a partner who was taking care of that part of the store. As their priorities changed, we took on what was another full time job to run the section ourselves. This wasn’t a problem when we were a younger business, but these days, we’re attempting to manage the work load of four with the resources of two.
First: we recognize that this is a good problem to have. It means that you folks really like our store and have put us in a position where we can pay ourselves to do this and stop taking other jobs. However, something has to give… especially before we make our next big announcement. So, it is with a heavy heart that we are announcing the liquidation of much of our used book section.
This is not a decision we’ve made lightly. In fact, we’ve been talking about it for roughly six months, weighing the pros and cons, and asking ourselves what we want to do, and who we want to be.
We decided that we want Variant Edition to remain small. This might seem strange, but it is an idea near and dear to our heart. We don’t want to be the biggest, we want to be the best. Specifically, we want to be the best local graphic novel and comic shop we can possibly be. At this point, it means cutting out the time it takes to intake and process a lot of the used product. It also means changing the focus of the shop to build upon our strongest elements – connecting people with stories that they never knew they loved, in the medium of comics.
What Does This Mean?
Well, first it means we’re going to be rearranging the store. Yes, again.
When we first moved into our space on 151st Street, customers would often joke that the store looked different every time they walked through the door. This wasn’t wrong. We were continually adjusting the space as we grew and morphed our focus, getting new fixtures and building within the space. Over the next few months, we’ll be doing something similar, as we greatly expand our all ages section, and start moving things around so folks will be able to find all the books they’re looking for by genre – with many items being front faced for an easier browsing experience.
This also means we have a lot of product to get rid of – which is why we’ll be having a massive sale on almost all of our used book product. To start, we’re offering everyone 25% off used product, excluding kids picture books (which we’ll be keeping, going forward) gaming books (such as DnD and Pathfinder, of which we’ll be getting new product in shortly) and graphic novels (as we will continue to offer used graphic novels).
Also, since we’re looking to get rid of as much as possible, if you’re freeing up a considerable amount of space, we’ll be willing to make a deal for your help in clearing our shelves.
Onwards to Chapter 3(.0)
As we mentioned before, all of this is in preparation for something big. While we continue to love prose books (and will continue to have a robust section of new content featuring local authors and comics adjacent prose), we know that we would be doing a disservice to you all if we spread ourselves thin as we move into the next big chapter of Variant Edition.
We’ve been around the industry long enough to see so many folks both locally and abroad burn out their love of stories as they try and push their businesses to get bigger and consume more. We’ve seen folks keep adding more and more to their plate and get further away from what made them love comics in the first place – and in doing so, the business also loses the spark that once drove people to connect with them in the first place.
We will never be Amazon. We won’t be something for everyone – but we will be the very best graphic novel and comic shop in all of Canada. We will have one of the best all ages section you’ll be able to find – and what’s more, we’ll have the product knowledge to back up any and all recommendations made.
Thank you for coming along with us on this journey so far. We look forward to continuing our relationship as we walk forward to the next chapter. And keep an eye on this space (and on our social media) in the next few weeks for our biggest announcement yet…