NostoNews, September 1, 2003

Nosto visits Wizard World convention in Chicago

Though the memories are already gathering dust in a summer that's rapidly coming to a close, we wanted to comment on our visit to the Wizard World Chicago convention earlier this month. While it was as always an enjoyable show, it seemed to lack some of the excitement and quality of previous years. Of course, after Comic-Con International in San Diego just a few weeks earlier, anything would pale in comparison.

What quality was lacking? One example came right out of the gate. Each year the goodie bag is becoming more and more a junk bag. Wizard didn't put much effort into it this year. When I opened mine to see what the limited edition comic was this year, I was disappointed to find an Uncanny X-Men 429 in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the bag. Not only are the books becoming more standard fare, but last years Weapon X 1/2 was at least delivered NM in a protective sleeve.

But things overall seemed just not up to previous standards. Interesting items and the thrill of finding deals on them are much more infrequent. In fact many of the same tired dealers had the same tired books in the same tired spots on their walls as last year. At the same high prices. There were fewer interesting costumes to be seen roaming the floors, and the food has become nearly inedible.

It wasn't all bad though. One nice thing about this show that you don't get at Comic-Con is more actual comic books for sale. For those looking to fill low-cost runs or load up on reading material, there was plenty of fun to be had. There were many dealers with loads of decent books for a dollar, 50 cents, or even a quarter apiece. Lower table cost is of course a factor here, but whatever the reason, it's nice to see more of what the whole thing is supposed to be about, comic books.

One new interesting service was the ability to get books CGC graded and certified right at the show, with next day turnaround. It was a huge success, but ran Nosto advisor Steve Borock ragged as he was practically kept locked in a room grading with hardly a minute to spare the duration of the show. What amazed us though were some of the items people were getting graded. I felt sorry for some of these folks getting VF- or less silver-age Marvels back. Good luck even recovering the cost of certification. The smart Nosto user already knows from our sales-driven pricing that for this type of book, the place certification pays off is at the ultra high end, where the difference in price between a 9.4 and a 9.6 can be tremendous. As always, if this matters to you we recommend you research our Pricing data for the true state of the current market.

August traffic down slightly

For the only the second time this year, Nosto saw a slight dip in monthly traffic with 1.1 million hits in August, compared to 1.3 million for the previous month. Maybe instead of being online, more people are getting out to the summer conventions, which is a good thing for our hobbies. We did meet a fantastic milestone and crossed the 10,000 mark for registered users. A big thanks to all our users who are telling friends and spreading the word about our free service.


Don't forget, all you have to do is create a single Collection, Wantlist, or Salelist item each month to qualify for our sweepstakes. Why not take a look and see what we're giving away (and gave away last month), free as always.

Thanks, we'll see you all next month.

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