Check the "General Questions & Answers" section below to find out about Free Comic Book Day Comics! But first, some important information.....
Why you need a comic service NOW:
Comics are being published in smaller and smaller numbers these days. There are multiple reasons for this, not the least of which are the downturn in the general economy and the advent of electronic means of dissemination. While no one can argue with the convenience of downloading a book onto your iPad, nothing beats having the physical product in your hands to touch, feel, smell, and most importantly to collect!
With smaller numbers comes greater difficulty in getting the books. We see it every day as more and more collectors resort to making orders for recent issues that they just could not manage to find anywhere! All this means that the books coming out now are even more collectible than some that came out some 20 years ago! That enhances their desirability even more!
Let's also not forget that there are some terrific new titles coming out by some of the best new talents we've seen in years, and more often than not the first issues are sold out almost before they make it to the stores, so the prices start to escalate. This even affects special issues of popular titles (Walking Dead and Saga come to mind right away, and there are many more). All this can drive you nuts if you don't have a reliable source of supply for your collection.
These phenomena happen everywhere, not only in isolated locations. We see orders all the time from major cities where you think there would be enough physical stores and copies to satisfy the demand. And even if there are stores, have you ever experienced the aggravation of going to a local retailer only to find that they're sold out of the new issue of such and such title? How about that first issue with the bonus you've been anxiously waiting for, or that special one-shot being issued in limited numbers? Even worse, you asked for it to be kept for you, someone made a mistake, and presto, you have to rush all over the place just to scare one up! That's not even counting scarce limited edition collectibles. You could really be out of luck on those!
Then consider: what's your time and aggravation worth? If you have to travel between just two stores to find a few books or that special item, then you're spending way more than the retail price on them, not to mention the stress factor!
These are just a few reasons why you need a reliable service to make sure that you get everything you want without problems. Comics America has been fulfilling that function for collectors since the 1960s! It is the oldest, continuously-running comic service in the world!
With the Comics America System collectors have total flexibility in ordering because Comics America uses a combination standing order/custom order system to register orders.
Your standing order is selected from the Comics America Comic Service Standing Order List link in the Categories area on the upper left of the home page. When you click it, you'll get access to a fixed list of the most dependable active titles currently being published from the most reliable publishers. This list changes every few months to reflect changes in the industry and publisher offerings.
Your standing order is for titles you buy every issue of, no matter what. Register the quantity of each title you buy for every single issue of that title. (Example: If you always buy 2 Amazing Spider-Man, input a "2" in the quantity area when you add that title to your cart.) At the completion of registering your list, you will be asked to deposit to establish your account and create credit to draw on to pay for products.
Deposits are in units of $100 US. Follow the instructions to do so. Everything is secure and confidential.
Your custom order is created each month using the Pre-Orders category. That category shows the current months' items which are being accepted for pre-orders. There you can order any of the myriad of products listed, grouped by the expected or approximate month of release. In this way you can catch the latest titles even before the standing order list is updated, as well as thousands of specialty items, related products and great limited edition items!
Your custom order is in ADDITION to your standing order. That way you can TOTALLY CUSTOMIZE what you get. You can order extra copies of special issues of a title you normally get, order other titles not offered on the standing order list, and choose from thousands of other comic books, magazines, action figures, posters, and related collectibles.
Not only do you have complete ordering flexibility, but one of the best things about ALL your orders is that you get the products at DISCOUNT PRICES! Find out more by reading the General Questions & Answers section which follows....
Does every member get the set of Free Comic Book Day comics? Every year since its inception Free Comic Book Day has been a magnet for new and old fans alike to sample the variety of material being created in this wonderful hobby! But not everyone is near a place where all the titles are offered, and sometimes folks have a tough time getting to that place even if they are close by. So every year Comics America has assembled complete or almost-complete sets of the year's titles and sent them to each member at no extra charge! No searching on auction sites for tough to find books, and no paying for something that is intended to be free! Join the Comic Service today so that you can take advantage of this terrific bonus!
Must every member have a standing order? YES. Every member of the comic service MUST establish a standing order for regularly-issued titles. That means a list of the titles from the standing order list. You cannot join the comic service by making an order for a single item or group of single items from our site and then choose the "I am establishing a comic service account" selection for payment. By definition, every member has at least one standing order title because every member is automatically registered for Previews Magazine. The reason for that is because we supply a hard copy of Previews each month to augment the on-site ordering here. You can follow along in the hard copy as you order on line, or you can just use the order form that comes with it and return that to us by regular mail. However, Previews Magazine does not count as an active stadning ordfer title for discount purposes, because it's an ordering aid, not a collectable title in and of itself. Read on.
Any minimums? No, but smaller orders can affect your savings, because postage charges may impact them. For example, it doesn't make sense to order just one or two titles, because the postage costs will more than negate any savings.
What base prices apply? All prices are based on US dollars. This can be especially advantageous for collectors outside of the US because the exchange rate for other countries can often skew pricing to the high side. This way, everyone gets equal treatment as if they lived Stateside and helps you save extra money.
What basic discounts do members receive? Our basic discounts are very attractive: Comic Books and Magazines get a basic discount of 20% off. Books (including trade paperbacks and hardcovers) and all other product categories get a basic discount of 10%. But, that's just the beginning! Read on.
Are there any other discounts? You bet! We have a tiered scale of ADDITIONAL discounts which range from 1% right up through a terrific 7%! In this way, you can reach a discount as high as 27% on your regularly-collected comics and magazines each and every issue, and up to 17% off all the other goodies you get each month! These additional discounts depend on the number of active standing orders you have. The levels aren't hard to achieve either because we always have at least a couple of hundred titles to choose from.
What are the levels? Here goes:
For 1 to 5 active standing orders, the basic discount applies.
For 6 to 10 active standing orders, the additional discount of 1% applies. (up to 21% total)
For 11 to 15 active standing orders, the additional discount of 2% applies. (up to 22% total)
For 16 to 20 active standing orders, the additional discount of 3% applies. (up to 23% total)
For 21 to 30 active standing orders, the additional discount of 4% applies. (up to 24% total)
For 31 to 40 active standing orders, the additional discount of 5% applies. (up to 25% total)
For 41 to 50 active standing orders, the additional discount of 6% applies. (up to 26% total)
For over 50 active standing orders, the additional discount of 7% applies. (up to 27% total!)
Do these discounts only apply to the Comic Service, or do they apply anywhere else on the website? You bet they apply to other parts of the site! The discount level you achieve will apply to most of the back issue comics and magazines as well as the other products you can find in most of the regular categories throughout the site, opening up savings from regular pricing on literally thousands of goodies including collectibles and merchandise! Even better, once you're a member of the Comic Service, you can run your other orders through your Comic Service account which saves on separate payments, and we'll ship those orders along with your regular Comic Service orders, for even more savings on shipping costs!
What other costs are there? Exact shipping and handling charges for each shipment. That's it.
By what method are shipments sent? In North America, shipments are sent via Priority Mail in the USA, and Expedited Service in Canada, both of which come with complete tracking to ensure both timely and reliable delivery at reasonable cost. Shipments to foreign countries also go by mail, via the cheapest method employing tracking, again for timeliness and reliability.
What payment is required? Accounts are operated automatically from a credit balance. This means you first deposit funds in advance via credit card when you establish your account. Then we do it automatically if you subsequently run out of funds during operation of your account. Deposits are always in units of $100 US. For example, you start your account. After a few weeks you have a remaining credit of $21.42 (just picking a number from thin air). Your next invoice is generated for $35.00, which puts you "into the red" for $13.58. We would then automatically run a credit card charge for $100, restoring your credit balance to $86.42. The system keeps a running track of your remaining credit and you always get a clear and detailed statement of your account activity with each shipment, so you know exactly where you are at. This is why you need to follow the instructions when establishing your account so that we have secure record of your credit card information. If credit card information is not supplied, the account will not be established.
What are the shipping schedule choices? There are two: Monthly or Bi-weekly (approximately every 2 weeks). Choose the one you'd like, but remember that shipping costs are greater with Bi-weekly because shipments are more frequent.
How long does it take for a new standing order to take effect? Depending on when you order, it normally takes about a month to start regular shipments. You can instruct us to start immediately in the "Special Instructions" during checkout, and we'll scramble to make sure you get everything you need.
How long does it take for Pre-orders to ship? Pre-orders ship as products are received, and the items go out with your standing order according to the shipping schedule you have chosen.
What obligations do members have? The big one is: Accept the products which have been ordered. This may mean enduring publisher delays which no one (sometimes not even the publisher!) can control. Obviously if a product is cancelled this doesn't apply.
Can standing orders be easily changed? Yes. Changes can be made on line by logging in and going to the Standing Order List under Categories. Just enter your new list or any additions. If you're just making additions, please inform us in the special instructions during checkout. If you want to make subtractions or adjust quantities, please inform us also, just so we get it right. In future you will have the ability to see your current list on line. Please note: It takes up to 2 months for a change to take effect. If you cancel a title, there may be orders already registered for you. You will receive them. If you add a title, you might not get the next immediate issue. Use the Pre-orders or regular category orders (if the issue or issues you need are already out) to solve this problem.
Are members obligated to take Previews each month? Yes. It gives you complete info on all the products we make available. Also, if you don't want to use the on-line Pre-orders to make orders, getting it each month includes getting the order form which you can complete and use to fax to us or send in via regular mail, or even e-mail us your choices. It also serves as a hard-copy guide to each month's new products for reference purposes long after that month's Pre-order list has disappeared from the site.
Can titles not shown on the standing order list be added as standing orders? No. The list includes titles with proven track records. The list does NOT include mini-series or one-shots or stuff that would necessitate a great number of changes every month. The idea of the standing order is to make things easy to depend on, not difficult. We used to update the list very infrequently, but this has now changed and we will update it as important changes take place to keep it as up to date as possible.
Can a member request an order like "All Superman titles"? No. Use the Pre-orders or order form each month to order exactly what you want. For example, you wouldn't appreciate it if you got something you didn't want because we tried to guess what "all Superman titles" meant and gave you a whole mess of stuff that you didn't expect to pay for!
If a member has a standing order, do those titles have to be ordered each month as Pre-orders? Not unless you want extra copies. They come automatically in the quantity you entered on your initial standing order. However, if you do want extra copies, ordering is easy. Suppose for example that one month there's a special anniversary issue of a title you take. You know you're getting one copy on your standing order, but you want a total of five copies. Simple! Just use the Pre-orders to order the other 4. The system will make sure you have all 5 as soon as they come out!
Does a member have to place a Pre-order each month? No. If there's nothing that catches your eye, just wait. Standing orders will still arrive like clockwork.
Are order due dates rigid? They are actually pretty flexible, but we appreciate it when you order within the timeframe. Currently it's around the 22nd of each month to absolutely guarantee items from the most recent month of products. If you miss it, we leave the most recent month's list up for a second month. This allows you even more flexibility to make sure you get everything. While not absolutely dead-rock guaranteed (because some things are limited to initial orders only by manufacturers' deadlines), we'll still do our best to get you the goodies, and most of the time we're extremely successful that way because we usually build in some extra quantities for the regular store listings. Thus, even if you miss something as a Pre-order, once the item is in stock it will shift to the regular categories and you can order it there, as long as a quantity remains available.
Can a member use the account for back issues? As we stated above, you can indeed, with greater savings! Even better, you can also use the Wish List function on the site to leave us your want lists with filling instructions on what to fill when, and telling us to charge your account and ship whatever is available with your regular Comic Service order!
How do I make my Pre-orders from the site? Easy. Go to the Pre-orders on the Categories list at the upper left of the home page. Click it and you'll see a page where you can navigate the currently available release months of products. Choose the month's releases you want to order from. (Please do not mix products from different months on one order.) Search items within that month and place your orders as you would normally. Proceed to checkout and during checkout, choose "I already have a Comic Service account" as your checkout option and complete the order. It's that simple. You can then go and pre-order items from another month. The orders will be entered and processed, and your items will ship automatically to you as they become available.
Are all orders guaranteed? You will receive what you order except for cancelled products, products restricted geographically by licensing, or products prohibited by the friendly customs regulations of your country.
What if an item is ordered, cancelled, and subsequently relisted? If it's a standing order title, you'll get it automatically. If not, reorder it using the Pre-orders or the physical order form at the time the resolicitation listing appears.
What additional things do members receive? Let's review the advantages of the comic service so far:
1.) Discounts! Receive all your products with discounts anywhere from 10% to 27%!
2.) Pre-Orders! You can make your orders well in advance of the regular release dates for thousands of products, ensuring that you getf all the goodies you need!
3.) NO minimum orders! Members bypass the standard $25.00 minimum order for products on the site. The theory behind this is that since you're running an account, if you need just one or two items, you can just have them put in with your regular comics shipment, again saving time, aggravation, and most of all shipping costs! all the goodies you need!
4.) Free Comic Book Day Books! Members get near-complete sets of FCBD books every year at no extra charge!
Here are more:
5.) Automatic newsletter subscription! Periodically we issue a short newsletter, and you will be subscribed to it to keep up to date on upcoming events, special offers, and items you should be aware of!
.....and two other very, VERY BIG ONES:
6.) Access to special categories of products and other items not available to casual visitors!
7.) Special promotions or price breaks on desirable products! Comic service members get first crack at them well in advance of casual visitors!
Upon joining or updating a standing order, you will receive a separate confirmation by e-mail. If it's your first time joining you'll receive your login and password information, as well as the discount category you qualify for. If it's an update, we'll inform you of any effect on your discount category your changes have had. Every shipment comes with complete invoicing and balance details. We're also adding a blog where you will find things like special announcements. Keep abreast of these things on the blog.
How does a member cancel an account? We require notification in writing via e-mail or regular mail. Any orders placed up to that point must be honored. Leftover account balances must be used up with product. Your account number once assigned to you remains so that you may reactivate your account at a later date.
What if there's a subject that we haven't covered here? We would love to hear from you. Please e-mail us with your questions and we'll reply asap. Also, more general questions about the site and our company history appear in the FAQ page elsewhere on the site.
Join Comics America Comic Service today!