Brian Hibbs of Comix Experience in San Francisco, CA read comments from another retailer about shipping schedules (see 'Chad Spano of Comic Lair on Shipping Relief') and offers suggestions, including that retailers work together through ComicsPRO to find a solution:


I [believe] that this is an area that ComicsPRO can help with, at least when our membership grows large enough that we're a bloc that can't be ignored, but let me observe a couple of things about the current shipping situations in the meantime.


First off, there are at least some other options for shipping than straight UPS. I know that Diamond offers (if doesn't publicize) LTL ('Less than Truck Load') shipping for accounts that have enough volume, or I think, accounts that have joined together to get that volume together.  There are 'drop points' in several locations of the country, like Chad offers as one of his three solutions.


The trick is, I think, that Diamond isn't going to go out of their way to establish them. Diamond, after all, makes a profit from shipping.  This means that local retailers have to work together in their own communities.  I suspect if you went to the right Diamond person with 'We've gotten every retailer in x miles together to agree to a common pick-up point' that it would probably adopted without much fanfare.  But, first you have to do the work in your own community to build that level of trust with other retailers.


One thing that I know about Diamond is that Diamond doesn't want any controversy; in fact they want to look like the good guy whenever practical.  And, so, Diamond is vehemently opposed to any possible circumstance in which they'd have to 'police' their clients.  That's one of the reasons we'll almost certainly never see Street Dates -- in order for dates to have meaning, they have to have a consequence for someone breaking them.  Yet Diamond is not interested in being the ones who dole out (or even investigate) that consequence.  Why would they?  They have nothing to gain except bad will.


I do wonder if Diamond can make accommodations for other carries (FedEx, etc.).  I can't see why they wouldn't be able to.  My suggestion is to keep taking it 'up the chain' until you get satisfaction.  Your Customer Service Rep may not be the person to talk to.  Talk to their supervisor, then their supervisor, and so on, until you find someone who can help.  This is true with almost anything at Diamond.  Follow the chain-of-command, yes, but never let the first roadblock be where you stop.


This is certainly a topic in which ComicsPRO can weigh in on, but the membership is going to have to put it on the agenda -- ComicsPRO can only help do what its own members wish it to do.  Joining ComicsPRO and adding your voice and agenda is absolutely essential to the process.  And the more voices we have, the more weight those voices carry.


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