The Unexpected #189 - Steve Ditko art
1 hour ago
I used the Internet to shop for IDW's John Romita Amazing Spider-Man Artifact Edition. Two Cats Comic Book Store in San Francisco by far had the best price I could locate. In fact, they were over 20% better than the dealer with whom I usually place orders for books of that price/value. I placed my order via the Two Cats website early on May 1 2015, a Friday. My PayPal account showed a deduction later that same day. However, the next communication I had from Two Cats was on May 7 when in checking my account on their website it showed the order was "In Preparation". I phoned the store directly on May 12 to inquire about the situation -- eight business days after my order. I was told by the female clerk that "it takes time to get orders ready". My thought was, if it takes that long perhaps Two Cats should not offer Internet sales.
The next day, May 13, my account showed that the book had shipped. However, I never received an email in confirmation, no tracking number, etc. I had asked the clerk the previous day how the package would be shipped -- she stammered around and finally concluded that it must be through the U.S. Postal Service. Needless to say, I had no confidence that a) the package had truly been shipped, and b) it would arrive safely (the latter statement is no reflection on the USPS, who I've used 100s of times for eBay business).
The book arrived today, May 19 -- 18 days after my order. To say I am disgruntled at the time it took to receive such a costly book would be an understatement. When I have purchased Artist Editions from other dealers, they have come in large boxes with several cubic feet of static-free packing peanuts cradling the books' outer boxes. Not so here. My book was in it's storage box, and then a makeshift box of corrugated cardboard was wrapped around that. That's it -- no liner, no cushioning, nothing. Obviously the book's storage box is dinged up on all four corners. The book itself is fine, although I'm not convinced that part of the delay was due to the employees perusing it over a week-and-a-half's time. Let's just say the spine didn't creak when I first opened the book.
So while other reviews for Two Cats seem positive in terms of the in-store experience, I will not place any future orders via the web, regardless of the price. In retrospect, I'd rather have paid retail price for my book but gotten it in 3-4 days. Live and learn, I guess.
David B: HB summed it up best..:
“I have to say, DaveB, that yours sounds like just about the most comfortable, friendly, retro-pop-cultural womb that anyone could ever hope to visit-! The creeping plants are a perfect touch. In spite of the Little Shop [of Horrors, what I used to describe the creeping nature of my plants..] connection, they very much bridge the gap from being potentially geekily-off-putting to having an eccentric but welcoming vibe.”He certainly nailed it.