Thursday, January 17, 2008

I (heart) my comic shop

Like most of us, I go to my local comic shop every Wednesday to pick up my new books for the week. It’s like clockwork, and it’s about as interesting as it sounds; I go after work, weave my way around the other customers while I grab my titles, and then try to talk my wife into going out for dinner before heading home.

But now the routine is a little different and I’m getting to Austin Books & Comics later than normal. Driving to the shop last night around 8 p.m. I thought, “No problem – they’re open late on Wednesdays.” Which is true. What is not true is that “late” means "9 p.m." Which is what I thought.

So we got to the shop and I yanked on the door and KA-CLUNK! Locked! And right there on the door is the sign I’ve seen a hundred times that says, “Wednesdays: Closed — 8 p.m.” Well, hell. I was already walking away when my wife said, “Hey, hey — they’re going to let us in!”

Wait — what? It was still sinking in when Brandon (I think he’s the manager, but is mostly referenced in my head as “that cool guy at Austin Books”) unlocked the door and said, “C’mon in.”

So, yes, even though the store had closed at least a half hour before I pathetically tugged on their door, the staff still let me in so I could get my comics. Sure, it got one more sale in before they went home, but I don’t think it was the reason for unlocking that door. I think they just wanted to give some guy a chance to get his comics.

And that’s pretty cool.

Austin Books already had me with its crazy-complete inventory and helpful staff, but this just cemented it. This is the sort of thing that makes a regular customer a loyal customer.

What about you guys? Let me know in the comments which comic shop you call yours, and how they've earned your superhuman loyalty.

Photo swiped from Austin Books & Comics' Flickr site (and I swear — I am not The Preventor)


philip said...

Zanadu Comics on 3rd Ave in Seattle.

Remembering my name was a huge first step in making me their customer for life (my needs are small). Plus they always come through with great recommendations (they know what I like) and with their help, I've never missed a book I wanted.

Maxo said...

Sounds like a great shop, Philip - it's those little things that add up, isn't it? Knowing your customers (as much as anyone's able) goes a long way.

I used to go to a place that would put stuff in my box just because "we thought you might want to check it out." I love that.

I'll have to put Zanadu on the list of places to visit when I go to Seattle!