Diamond Pullbox Releases Pricing, Release Information
I thought I was late in talking about Diamond’s Pullbox software plans last week, but it seems I was right on time, since they’ve just released pricing information (one of THE most important factors when talking about services for the direct comic shop market, since those stores often don’t have a lot of funds to play around with).
Pullbox is going to be an add-on to the existing Diamond Distribution PreviewsWorld.com website, with some background processing tools for retails to integrate with their monthly orders. Customers will be able to place requests for upcoming products with their local comic stores (assuming they have one, and that store pays to participate in the service) and track their monthly subscription orders. So while the modern reader, more interested in graphic novels or digital releases than monthly periodical comics, could use it to make sure a store gets their special requests, it’s more aimed at the traditional habitual market.
Diamond has announced more details:
Pullbox is currently planned for wide release in mid-July, allowing customers to place their preorders with comic shops for the August catalog cycle. Beta-testing for a select group of retailers and their customers is scheduled to begin in May.
Retailers will have free access to Pullbox until May 2019. After that time, pricing will be $25 per month or $250 per year, per store location, for brick-and-mortar retailers. ComicSuite users will qualify for reduced pricing of $20 per month or $200 per year, per location.
[ComicSuite is a software add-on to a point-of-sale system offered by Diamond to help retailers automate and track their orders and sales.]
“We want every comics fan to use PULLBOX, so they can easily track the items they want to purchase and place orders with their local comic shop,” said Diamond’s VP-Retailer Services, Chris Powell. “You will be able to easily connect to the local comic shop of your choice and transmit your orders and requests to them.”
So, if one estimates that there are 3,000 Diamond accounts in the US (a high figure, but that’s what I usually see people use), and then assumes that 1/3 of them sign up for the service (a figure pulled entirely from hat), that’s 1,000 * $250/year = an extra $250,000/year (starting in 2019) for Diamond for providing the kinds of tools that would have been standard expectations if the company began today, given startup culture. But given the comic market, which isn’t always ready for the latest and greatest tools and techniques, maybe that doesn’t matter.