A Readers Email to Aspen Canceling their Order

I did it and stayed try to my word. I canceled my Aspen order for the color and black and white set (keeping just the Puddin Pack). Waiting on my refund as we speak. I received a CC on an email from a reader who has done the same thing. Thought it would be interesting to share. It has been redacted of course for anonymity. 

“Aspen,

Please respond as promptly as possible today that you are processing my partial cancellation and refunding my money as outlined below.

I would like to partially cancel my order #: [REDACTED], and receive a refund for those items cancelled.

Please cancel the following items:

1. 2 copies of “harley-quinn-1-color Harley Quinn # 1 Aspen Turner Variant (Pre-Order)” at $14.99 each; and
2. 2 copies of “harley-quinn-1-set Harley Quinn #1Aspen Turner Variant & Artist Edition Set (Pre-Order)” at 29.99 each.

My total refunded amount from Aspen to my paypal account (Paypal email: [REDACTED]@[_______].com) should be $89.96.

I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that I had to cancel and refund over $300.00 in resell proceeds to buyers who purchased through my Ebay store. Say what you will about the secondary market, but you have caused me to incur significant costs on my paypal account due to what amounts to a bait and switch. Your customers purchased color and sketch variants that were printed at 3,000 copies and 2,000 copies respectively. They did not purchase color and sketch copies printed at 9,000 and 6,000 copies respectively. If you believe that your variants are sold in anything other than a small subset of a larger market place that places a premium on rarity and collectability, you are truly out of touch with your own market.

Please process my refund as quickly as possible. Your poor business practices have caused the balance of my Papal account to enter the negative. True, part of that is optimism on my part that there would be no need for a refund to my buyers, and poor accounting by using those proceeds to fund other parts of my online sales operation. But nonetheless, I wanted to convey my hardship to you to let you know that your actions had very real monetary side-effects. I will be making up for these losses for weeks with ebay sales. I am one man who only sells comics online to fund his own hobby. You didn’t “help the little guy out” here. You damaged the little guy! I am part of a larger community of people who resell to fund their own hobby who are in the same boat as I am.

If your hundreds of comments asking for more copies of this variant equated to thousands of more copies being produced, then my single email should amount to hundreds of small online sellers damaged by your actions who are not speaking out to you like I am. (At least based on your logic).

I’m sorely disappointed and won’t be ordering from you again. As a former retail professional, this amounts to nothing other than false advertising and immoral business practice in my mind.

Having said that, please send my “harley-quinn-1-puddin Harley Quinn # 1 Michael Turner Puddin’ Pack 3 Cover Set (Pre-Order)” as soon as it is available.I will probably keep one of those copies as my only copy of Harley Quinn for the personal collection. Perhaps I can sell two of those copies and mitigate some of my losses. However, probably not because this book’s collectible value has been diluted hundreds of times over.

Please respond promptly today that you will be processing my cancellation.

Thank you,

[REDACTED], attorney-at-law, former retail professional, comic book enthusiast”

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About Anthony

Collector of comics for 30 years.
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66 Responses to A Readers Email to Aspen Canceling their Order

  1. ocguy72 says:

    Good for that person! People have every right to be upset in regard to Aspen’s business practice over this.

  2. k Winger says:

    Well said….

  3. Anthony says:

    I don’t do presales. This is a prime reason why. But there was definitely a bail out going on with these books both from secondary market sellers and from people who purchased from Aspen. Honestly, most of these books did go to spec guys. To prove it you can just look at the fact that there are still unsold hundreds, if not thousands, of copies up on the Aspen Store. With more being added back into the stock as the day goes by. This guy I can assure you is not a CBSI guy. Regardless of why one purchases them, grading, collecting, selling, or using for target practice, we were still sold books that were supposed to be “in line” with the other variants (3000/1500 print runs) and a 1000 print run additional book that days after purchase Aspen reversed their decision and printed way more.

  4. Ray says:

    First of all, CBSI members frown upon presales. Most do not presell, or in my case have stopped because of the threads on CBSI. I’ve been a member for over a year and do not understand where your comments stem from. Second, I’ve never seen anyone peddling My Little Pony books, and majority of CBSIers don’t spec on kids books. Are you just jealous because you couldn’t get Brony Con tickets?

  5. Mike says:

    I cancelled all pending orders. If they will not respond to your email, you can phone their customer service line and get an immediate cancellation. Won’t be buying from Aspen every again.

    • Anthony says:

      I called and canceled. Informed them that I wouldn’t purchase from them again. I asked if tons of people have canceled. The guys said not a ton, just a few vocal minority. (Not sure if he meant only minority buyers canceled or a vocal minority canceled) either way I felt like he was down playing it all.

    • Donato Congialdi says:

      That’s what I did today…called and got through right away and refunded in 3 minutes..

      • Anthony says:

        No I understand it is a small population of people but we have four people on the site now that have said they’ve canceled. The preorders for the Harley books are still there they’re not selling the way Aspen wanted them to. Public sentiment is gone

      • Elvi says:

        I haven’t canceled my order yet (1 Puddin’, 1 set) and I doubt I will. I didn’t go heavy into these as I wanted them for my collection. They were definitely shady in the handling of the print run but it’s not enough for me to swear off them forever. I may change my mind in the next few days, but I rarely act on impulse.

  6. Matt says:

    Anthony, I love your site, love the info but this guy is a total crybaby. I’m sorry, they never said the print run for any but the hatless variant, which they ended up keeping at 1k. So this person is mad because they sold books they didn’t have and then apparently spent that money if his PayPal was going to go negative now. Yes, it sucks they are upping the print run but actual people that want this comic now have a chance to get it too. We still have the 1k variant. Makes comic flippers look pretty bad IMO

    • Anthony says:

      Hey Matt thanks and I totally respect your opinion. I don’t do presales like he did, but I am often on and out of books as quickly as possible to move money on to another spec. He got burned. Big time. Yes he is resentful, as am I, I canceled 2/3 of my order on principle. Plus if you look at what they are charging for the 9000 copies you would see that they are way over priced at this point. The initial 3,000 would cost them about $9,000. The sell through on that is $44,970 or a profit of $35,970. Not bad. An additional 6,000 copies would cost them an additional $9300 for a total of $18300 (estimated) their new sell through at $14.99 is $274,317. Or a profit of $256,017 dollars. That is a huge profit ratio based on the fact that they sold out so quickly. I can see how people think this is altruism on the part of Aspen, but you see the dollars do not lie.

    • Matt, I too respect your opinion and thank you for reading CHU.

      If Aspen truly cared, wouldn’t they have just further limited their orders, though? As the preorder limits were set on Monday, somebody with one account, not operating with multiple dummy accounts, could order 5 color copies, 3 sketch copies, and a “hatless.”

      If they truly wanted this in the hands of as many people as possible, why didn’t they just limit it to 1 per customer from the get go? 5 times more people (potentially) could have bought the color variant. 3 times as many (potentially) could have bought the sketch. I find it hard to believe that their demand exceeded the supply they could have limited up front.

      They were selling to speccers, flippers, dealers, and resellers from moment one and they knew it.

      • Matt says:

        You guys bring up some great points. Ultimately, they should have waited and done a 2nd print like with the batman. Anthony, I never thought about the fact it is cheaper to print more. Very good point

      • Anthony says:

        One variant I was looking at doing at one point would have cost me $.40 per unit additional to go from 100 to 200 copies. I ended up not going with the book but something to think about

      • agentpoyo says:

        I was going to suggest the same, when the demand is high, you already set your limits, that’s when you do the 2nd print run.

        As for them wanting to make more money off this, you can’t blame them though for trying. That’s what secondary market comic book flippers are doing! 😉

  7. Chris says:

    I’d be mad too. Why advertise print runs if you don’t INTEND for them to be very collectible?

    Anyway, I love variants overall.. but I’m tired of one book having sooo many.

  8. Alana says:

    Funny no one mentions the Singapore investment group that bought over 1000 of the original copies of this book with dummy emails and multiple accounts.

  9. Jesus says:

    Wow this person got burned big time. One of the reasons why I also don’t do pre-orders on ebay. And when I sell something, I wait at least 1 week before I waste the paypal $ just so I can be on the safe side. And he has all right to be this mad. If I did the same I would be pissed and everyone else here would too. I guess Aspen wasn’t doing that we’ll for them to up there print and make more $.

  10. Sevendust says:

    So, everyone is mad over an overprint. But, these same people have no problem when orders are allocated and buyers only get 1 of the 3 they pre-ordered. So, it is no big deal when a book sells out and the seller shorts pre orders so they can sell the same book on Ebay for more money.

  11. Daniel Hurd says:

    I just cancelled my order.

  12. Mr Troll says:

    Not sure if I agree with this individual. This is the equivalent of stubhub getting pissed with Madison square garden for releasing more tickets to a Bruce Springsteen concert. MSG, like Aspen, isn’t in the business of making scalpers, or resellers, happy. They’re in the business o making their customers happy. So if some happen to be resellers who are getting screwed, that’s not aspens concern. They operate and are concerned with the primary market, not the secondary market.
    Full disclosure – I cancelled my order as well and am disappointed but I understand aspens perspective.

    • Kyle says:

      Exactly !!

    • Anthony says:

      Well stated Mr. troll. I do understand the spice of the argument however if you look at the potential profit they stand to make my going from a base level 3000 unit print run to a 9000 unit print run with a lower cost per unitthey stand to make a heck of a lot of money and they’re not worried so much about making sure everybody gets one just making sure they all get sold

  13. Jeff says:

    i think Aspen has lost all credibility to resellers like myself. How do we know they aren’t gonna pull the same stunt on the next batch of variants? I have 4 sets of the Harley and I will be very lucky just to break even on these. Can I blame Aspen for wanting to make more money? Of course not, but I can guarantee they will lose a lot of reseller business. You think they won’t do the same thing with the Suicide Squad variant coming out in a couple weeks? Think again.

  14. Josh Masters says:

    Nearly 7 hours later and they’re still sitting on stock.

    Wonder if they learned something today?

  15. Jtothe says:

    An attorney at law and u go in the red over 300$ lol. I agree that it’s total bs what their doing but u don’t have to make a fake job to seem more adept in law practices/buisness ethics

    • Anthony says:

      I can tell you it is not a fake credential.

    • brennan says:

      $300 is $300, doesn’t matter if you have more. It’s the principal of the matter. This is one time the insane shipping to Canada actually saved me (because I didn’t buy). I still don’t know why an eBay seller can ship a comic to Canada for $5-$7, but online retailers regularly charge $25+

      • Alana says:

        Don’t know what’s going on with Canada Postal I shipped a MTG card today one card one small envelope $9 it use to cost half that! I hve to change my rates or stop offering shipping to Canada.

      • Anthony says:

        A single comic in a bag and board plus cardboard used to cost me $8 to ship and about $1 each additional comic. No idea why people charge so much.

      • agentpoyo says:

        People who charge more shipping than they actually pay is just them squeezing out more profit. Honestly I can say if it’s just a buck or so, that’s fine, as it pays for handling and supplies to package it up. But when the shipping is doubled or more, that’s just wrong and there’s a special place in hell for people who do that sort of thing.

      • Anthony says:

        I think you need to pad a little for supplies (tape and such) as well as travel time, but you should not make a full time income off shipping expenses.

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

      • agentpoyo says:

        Exactly and forget travel time though unless your like me and it’s literally on your way to work every day.. You can schedule pickups with all of them, USPS, UPS, FedEx.. they don’t charge for pickups.

      • Anthony says:

        I work next door to the post office so…..

      • agentpoyo says:

        Yeah, I have two within 6 miles of me, in different directions. One is on the way for one client.. the other is on the way when I drop kids off for camp and or another client.

  16. David Lippman says:

    interesting how they still have copies up for sale of the color and B&W… maybe they won’t do this again for a cash grab. I missed the first shot, and didn’t bite at the 2nd…

  17. Allfather says:

    So I glad I got a refund and although I sort of hate to admit it, I’m pretty happy to see that they are not sold out yet. Was not a smart move by Aspen.

    • Anthony says:

      Yup. It’s vindictive to say but they lost fan support on this. Sure. It will sell out eventually. But for now they are losing orders and not getting the rush of customers they thought they would.

  18. Dang it, I was hyped i got all I wanted before sell out now theyr worthless! REFUNDING ;(

  19. jclu007 says:

    I havent delved into the store variants thus far in my collecting infancy. I bought a Fried Pie Batman #1recently, which would be my first store variant, because I liked the cover, and I like Batman. Batman is a scientist. lol. I really liked this Harley cover when I first read about it on CHU, and wanted one. But I was really turned off when I read that it is a doctored Lara Croft print. Every time I look at it now all I see Miss Croft. Very happy I missed out.

  20. brennan says:

    Yet here you are, on a website for ‘douchy scalpers’
    Go back to reddit. We don’t want you at CHU.

  21. Jonathan says:

    Where exactly did Aspen give the print runs for the color and b/w versions? The lawyer doesn’t cite the source.

    • Anthony says:

      The standard print run for the DC variants are 3,000 for color and 1,500 for a second variant. From there, Aspen said in their presale marketing that these would be “in line with our other variants” in reference to print size, 3,000 and 1,500 being about what the other ones were.

  22. Glad I never ended up buying any of these. You’ll remember I was questioning the ethics behind these covers on the original announcement thread (as FromTheAshes), as a long-time Michael Turner fan; and the likelihood that this was a sketch of Lara Croft Tomb Raider transformed into Harley Quinn. Regardless of the smaller details, this overall reeks of a cash grab by extending their print run to triple size. Aspen had better dial-back their mainstream Variants and focus on their own properties if they don’t want to damage Turner’s legacy. They’re in the middle of their own universe-wide crossover, redefining their properties, but no one is talking about it. I haven’t bought an Aspen book since “Shrugged”, but I did buy Aspen Universe Revelations#1 this past week via DCBS because I was interested to see what they’re doing!

  23. Also, just a heads-up, if some of you are selling books prior to having them in-hand, and ever running the risk of having to give refunds if they come in damaged or you don’t get the quantity you ordered… Paypal considers All Payments to be a Profit, regardless of whether or not they were Refunded. So if you advance sell $1000 worth of Variants, you get shorted, and end up having to refund $800 back to the buyers, Paypal still includes that full $1000 as profit to be reported to the IRS. If this happens often for you, it’s going to add up quickly. I almost never sell something I don’t have in-hand. The only exception is if it is a reliable source with a good track record, and arriving to me soon, because I don’t want to risk any of that nonsense.

    • Josh Masters says:

      Good to know that. Thanks.

    • agentpoyo says:

      This is why you keep good book keeping records. Paypal will still submit to IRS but you won’t have to end up paying the taxes on it if you do issue refunds, as long as you have the records to back it up.

  24. Alana says:

    We could all chip in and pay off the guy dressed as Juggernaut at SDCC to smash through Aspen Comics table while yelling obscenities about increasing print runs.

  25. Anthony says:

    And here it is Saturday night/Sunday morning and the books are still for sale. http://www.aspenstore.com/search.asp?keyword=harley&search.x=0&search.y=0&search=GO

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