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Thoughts on zine distros having a "used" section?

This post stems off of this discussion: http://wemakezines.ning.com/forum/topics/can-you-just-distro?id=228... but I felt it was a different question so I opted to start a new thread so I didn't derail the discussion.

What about if a zine distro had a "used" zine section, where they stocked it with zines they purchased from ebay, other people's collections, etc...?  I wouldn't see a problem with this as long as they didn't mark up the zines because of their "value".  Record stores and book stores have used sections and I've never heard anyone complain about them.

ex. It would be cool if a distro hunted down old copies of Cometbus or Maximum Rock and Roll and sold them at cover price.  What do other people think of this?

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Sweet Candy Distro does zine grab bags...I think that's the closest I've ever seen to a "used" section, although it's a bit more random than what you're talking about I think.

A used section like you describe it would be cool I think. Maybe even people could trade their old zines for some of the newer ones the distro stocks? (Although I have no head for business, so I don't even know if that would be practical for a distro to do...)
hmmm, I like the way you're thinking.

ManDuh said:
Sweet Candy Distro does zine grab bags...I think that's the closest I've ever seen to a "used" section, although it's a bit more random than what you're talking about I think.

A used section like you describe it would be cool I think. Maybe even people could trade their old zines for some of the newer ones the distro stocks? (Although I have no head for business, so I don't even know if that would be practical for a distro to do...)
I personally really like this idea. I hope someone does it!
Many zines I've come across over the years don't have a clear price listed. So the idea of not marking them up because of their value might be difficult. I mean, if you don't know the original price, you would have to make a guess. But there's the issue of free zines, which I just replied about on the other discussion you provide a link to. I guess people who make free zines need to be careful to label them as such? My zines are available through trade and through free zine distro Zinemonger and through Sweet Candy Zine Distro for free. The vast majority of zines aren't free, though, so the things I'm bringing up here are not relevant in most cases.
I have to agree with Laura-Marie.

I know that Ciara Xyerra found one of her zines marked up to $9 at a used bookstore in Portland. That is just absurd.

With the Richmond Zine Fest we sell donated zines in grab-bags as a fund raiser. We also have some loose zines that we sell at a "name your own price" sort of deal, since they are all for donation.

The other issue with this is that the person whose zine is being sold may not really want that zine to be distroed or sold anymore. Such as a back issue of a really personal zine that they have put out of print for a reason. I can remember an issue with the zine "M is for Monster" (a zine about rape and assault) being sold on eBay when the writer had put it out of print purposefully.
I didn't think about the "out of print for a reason" possibility. that's a really good point

NicoleIntrovert said:
I have to agree with Laura-Marie.

I know that Ciara Xyerra found one of her zines marked up to $9 at a used bookstore in Portland. That is just absurd.

With the Richmond Zine Fest we sell donated zines in grab-bags as a fund raiser. We also have some loose zines that we sell at a "name your own price" sort of deal, since they are all for donation.

The other issue with this is that the person whose zine is being sold may not really want that zine to be distroed or sold anymore. Such as a back issue of a really personal zine that they have put out of print for a reason. I can remember an issue with the zine "M is for Monster" (a zine about rape and assault) being sold on eBay when the writer had put it out of print purposefully.
I think that all efforts should be made to contact the zinester whose zine you'd want to distro in this way and see if they are okay with it. When in doubt, don't do it, and never sell it for more than the cover price (if there is a cover price, or the zinester tells you the price). To me, the personal nature of zines makes this different from reselling used records or books and makes contacting the zinester necessary, but I wouldn't have a problem with my own zines being sold this way. Grab bags sold for postage are completely different because you are basically giving them away.
As someone who owns a distro, I personally wouldn't do it. But I see the zines in my disro as being "curated", in a way. There's a reason why I choose to distro them, and though I have a lot of fantastic zines in my personal collection, it wouldn't make sense to me to sell them alongside zines that I've sought out. It's hard to explain, hopefully that makes some sense.

As someone who purchases zines, though, I enjoy buying used zines. Goteblud, in San Francsico, is a used zine shop run by two really awesome, sweet guys. I probably spent an hour there once just browsing zines and getting all giddy when I'd find a Girl Swirl or some of my old favorites that I hadn't seen in ages. I've definitely bought zines that were marked up (namely That Girl and 20 Bus because I fucking love them and can't find my old copies anymore), but I wouldn't have bought a random grab bag. If there's a title that I really like and don't have in my collection, I have no qualms buying it for $3-4 more than cover price. Then again, I'm a bit of a collector. Grabbags just don't appeal to me though.

As for out of print stuff, I think as long as the person who's selling the old copy isn't making new ones and selling those, I think it's okay. In that case it's like trading because they are just passing it along to another person, not re-printing it.
I'm totally for it. I 'd love for my zines to end up in this scenario. I've seen many awesome used zines at record stores and book/zine shops, many from before I was born and that I wouldn't of been able to get into had I not randomly come upon them.

I think an emphasis on older/ out of print stuff is good, but not that important. I think a lot of people get way too precious about their zines.

If you don't want someone to read something, don't publish it, or make sure you do so anonymously. I'm embarrassed by a lot of my art I did when I was younger, but once it's in the world you can't control it.

As for the money issue, yeah people marking up prices sucks, but once they buy something it's theirs to do whatever they want with.

I've had people buy my paintings for $5 and try to sell them for thousands. It's annoying, but not a big deal. You just have to accept it, because once it leaves your possession, it isn't yours any more.
I guess this depends on whether you see zines as a commodity or something more personal. If someone knitted you a sweater, would you feel right marking it up by 1000 and reselling it? What if you paid them for the materials and time, but they are still your friend and it's still more personal than buying a sweater at Target? Would it be okay then? Ultimately you're right that you can't police things you make or write once they're out of your possession, but I do think there's an extra personal dimension that makes reselling zines different, and that's something the reseller should take into consideration if they care about being ethical.

Royce Icon said:once they buy something it's theirs to do whatever they want with.
Hmm. I don't view zines as a commodity, I view them as an artistic personal expression, equivalent to a book or a record or a painting. A sweater is definitely not an apt comparison to me. I don't see zines as custom made gifts that exist to give to friends. Most zines are more personal due to their nature, but at the end of the day they're just like any other possession.

I guess it's just a matter of perception. I'm not sentimental about the zines I make, or any of the other art I make. I care about it, but it isn't a precious thing to me the way it seems to be to many folks. I want my stuff to reach as many strangers as possible through any avenue available.

I think doing huge markups is in poor taste, but it's very rare that anyone would pay those prices for it, and if they do, hey, that's one more person exposed to your stuff.

I mean, sure, I'm a bit pissed that Russian mp3 sites are selling mp3 of out of print albums I did 7 years ago, but not really. I'm only annoyed because I want them to be free.



Erica S. said:
I guess this depends on whether you see zines as a commodity or something more personal. If someone knitted you a sweater, would you feel right marking it up by 1000 and reselling it? What if you paid them for the materials and time, but they are still your friend and it's still more personal than buying a sweater at Target? Would it be okay then? Ultimately you're right that you can't police things you make or write once they're out of your possession, but I do think there's an extra personal dimension that makes reselling zines different, and that's something the reseller should take into consideration if they care about being ethical.

Royce Icon said:once they buy something it's theirs to do whatever they want with.

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