The webcomics blog about webcomics

So I’ve Been Thinking About Exchange Rates

See, the American dollar has been slip-sliding to historic lows against other major currencies. While this does not affect my life directly in any major way, it is starting to affect some of my webcomics merch-puchasing. Drat it all, some of what I like is imported.

Case in point: I loves me some Liz Greenfield autobio comics, and news that she’s got a print mini of them up for preorder made me happy. But given the current exchange rates, the €8.95 (with shipping) that she needs to charge to keep the spectre of starvation from the door comes to more than US$13; toss in the very cool calendar also up for pre-order, and you’re looking at a cool US$40. Yeah, imported items always cost more and the shipping rates are very fair compared to actual trans-Atlantic costs, but at some point it’s going to cut seriously into Greenfield’s business. And unlike the assumptions made in macroeconomic theory, I can’t just find an equivalent domestic supplier of the goods, since there’s only one Liz Greenberg Greenfield [dammit, I apparently had a bowl of Stupid Flakes for breakfast this morning; we at Fleen apologize to Ms Cusack].

Taking a slightly different tack is John Allison, who’s placed his merch business Stateside, leading to the ironic situation that I can buy one of his shirts postpaid for £11 (US$23; pretty fair for an American Apparel shirt with a quality print job) while a fellow Brit would pay £14 (US$29.50). Good for me, and Allison gets more sales out of it than if he shipped from Blighty, but it may not actually help in all cases:

There’s also a strong possibility that in the future I may have to switch to doing the comic in black and white — purely in service of the print editions. Colour printing is getting more and more expensive and the weak dollar means that while some of the sting is taken out of it for me, I’m selling fewer books (and all other items) to the USA, where the greatest percentage of my readers are. I don’t like the idea of this move very much and if I can avoid it, I will. I certainly don’t want to punish my many loyal readers, who like me, enjoy all colours.

Disaster! Particularly when Allison’s decision to draw at a larger size means we’re now getting lips in full detail on our sassy heroines. So this one goes out to any creator with a merch line and an international readership — what kind of shift in purchasing patterns have you seen, and any ideas how to combat it? Barring the ability to do merch-on-demand locally in all major locales of the world, I’m stumped.

It also means that every time your dollar goes down, I make less, since PayPal converts to Canadian when I take the money out!

this is me: WHAT

I’m sure there’s only one Liz Greenberg out there. What she does is anybody’s guess.

There does, indeed, seem to be one Liz Greenfield. However, there are a few Liz Greenbergs, and a whole lot o’ me. At least as far as Google is concerned.

Yay common names!


I think we’re skirting the major issue here – European cartoonists are not to be trusted.

You and me both, Ryan… you and me both!

I’ve always sold all my merch in American dollars, since most of my customers are Americans. But those dollars used to be worth more than ours, whereas now I’m only getting about 91 Canadian cents for them. In all honesty it’s pretty catastrophic.

I try to sell my merch in Canadian dollars and now with the U.S. dollar going down, I’m worried that my readers State-side are dealing with sticker shock.

I converted £1 at the post office the other day and was given $100,000 in return. Now my parcels can be sent with a cheaper packing filler!

For the England consumer in America land, every shop is a sale where everything’s half price.

As Autsa points out, this is actually real boon for those of us readers living outside the United Cheap of Cheaperica. Clearly the solution is to somehow quickly acquire a broader international readership.

I suggest using voodoo.

Can’t speak for anyone else, but my international orders have gone up in frequency by at least 50% in the last year as the cost of American goods grew cheaper for foreigners. Net result for me = more sales.

Well for me – an underdeveloped amateurish foreign webcomicker who doesn’t care much about starving – the dollar’s dive means webhosting and domain purchase for the next few years! Victoryyyyyy!!!

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