What Is a Comic Book Store?

How to start a comic book store takes research and a diverse inventory and knowledge about the history of the many comic book characters that have been created through the years. 


Step 1. Before going to the expense of incurring startup costs, consider these questions to help you determine if opening a comic book store is the right investment for you. 

  • Working for yourself as a comic book retailer requires self-motivation. Do you have the discipline to keep yourself motivated?
  • Are you willing to change your personal schedule, give up activities, or cancel events to have a successful comic book store?
  • Will I set my goal to be quality service for my comic book customers?
  • Can I be objective about the different comic books even those that may not be my favorites?
  • Will I take the initiative, interest, and curiosity to continually stay up-to-date about my collection and about trends in the comic book collecting business?
  • When the going gets tough, do I have what it takes to continue moving my business forward against all odds of succeeding?
  • Are my communication skills the best they can be, so I can interact with my customer base one-on-one?

Step 2. Consider the demographics of where you plan to open a store. Visibility, traffic, and a targeted population with the money to spend on comic books, whether for pleasure or for a collection, are important considerations. 

Step 3. Contact the local licensing bureau of your city to find out what you need to do to apply for a license and the type of license you'll need. You may be required to have more than one. Acquiring a license(s) is necessary before opening the store.

Step 4. Contact your insurance agent about coverage of your collection. You'll also want coverage for customers and employees, if applicable. 

Step 5. Go to the Internal Revenue website to apply for a free employee identification number (EIN).


For the most part, starting a comic book store is relatively easy to do.

With a comic book store, you can turn your dream of showcasing and selling new and vintage comic books into a reality while exposing new customers to the comic book genre, provide collectors with an assortment of characters, and older customers with memories of their childhood.

Having rare and hard to find comic books in your store, or offering a research service to find specific comic books, is an attraction for comic book enthusiasts. Collectors pay high dollar figures for collectibles. 

Providing both new and collectible comics provides two independent avenues for attracting customers and generating revenue.


Selling comic books on a retail basis may not be the most rewarding choice when considering a startup business as the financial rewards may be non-existent from week to week. 

With incoming cash flow from sales potentially being little to none, do you have the resources to cover new inventory as well as other store expenses?

Running a business involves stress on your free time and a strain on financial resources. It usually requires a long-term investment on the owner's part to work every day with a regular set of hours to operate a well-stocked, well-maintained, and well-run business. 


  • What other items should I sell in my comic book store to draw traffic and generate more revenue?

Along with new, used, and collectible comic books, consider popular action figures especially if there are movies out featuring comic book characters, graphic novels, DVDs, and movies featuring superheroes and comic book characters. 

  • What are some marketing ideas I can use to generate traffic and network with other comic book retailers?

Host comic book related events and advertise it on social media and your website. Make your store a go-to location for collectors to gather to discuss comic book trends and topics. You can also add gaming equipment and video games to your store as a sideline business to draw in traffic. Hold a raffle with vintage comic books as the prize. Join an organization like ComicsPRO to get and share ideas about sales, marketing, and trends for a successful retail comic store. 

If you need help with starting a comic book store, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.