The Problem With Online Shopping

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2001
By: David Tang

Cover of The Problem With Online Shopping

I just got my first credit card about a month ago.

Faced with this situation, I did what any normal red-blooded male would do, I went online shopping! More specifically, I bought domain name hosting, some web space for and you guessed it - comics.

About a week earlier, my parents gave me $100AUD (about $50US) as a birthday present, and I decided to spend it on comics. I'd stumbled across the Top Shelf site a while ago, and a lot of their comics appealed to me. So with credit card in hand, I picked out $50US worth of comics - including Non #4, some Kochalka stuff, Top Shelf: the anthology and some Actus Box stuff. It took me about three hours to work out the final comics that I wanted, and I managed to get it under the $50 mark.

And then I saw the postage and handling fee.
Now if you lived in America, the $3.00 fee would be fine and dandy. Unfortunately for the rest of us, we have to add $10 to our orders. That's $10 US. That's more than the cover price of some of the comics I ordered!

So naturally, I didn't go through with the order.

Not content without having spent my $50US, I suddenly remembered Monkey Suit. A couple of weeks previously I'd found the website, it's main product was called Monkey Suit a yearly anthology that featured a whole heap of small press folk. Turns out that Americans get free shipping, while the rest of us pay $3US.
Needless to say I was impressed. I quickly punched in my credit card numbers, and submitted the order. I bought all three anthologies:

  • Monkey Suit
  • Bride of Monkey Suit
  • Viva La Monkey Suit
The moral of the story? If you're a small press person, without any alternate means to online distribution, keep the postage and handling minimal. If I didn't fork over $10 for Top Shelf, (a name that's synonymous with good independent comics,) then chances are, I'm sure as hell not gonna fork out $10 for some unknown mini-comic.

And that my friend, is that.

Note: The purpose of this article was to not put down Top Shelf Productions in any way. On the contrary, I really like their stuff, it's just that I'll have to order my comics off them in one big sitting so as to save on shipping costs.

Special thanks to Caroline Chung and Michelle Tan for providing creative feedback on this article. You girls are the caramel to my chocolate bars.


David Tang. Artist. Writer. Nice Guy.

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