A Unique View of a Business Raffle
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â€œImpact a Lifeâ€ Scholarship contributor:Â Michael Marinelli
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As a comic reader, I spend hours upon hours reading and analyzing comics. Comic reading is not just a hobby for me; itâ€™s a lifestyle. And as someone who spends a lot of time reading comics, I must spend lots of time and money visiting my local comic book shops. Comic readers and geeks such as me know the importance of sales and other events such as Free Comic Book Day.
Free Comic Book Day is a national event in which famous comic companies such as Marvel and DC create special comics specifically to be given out for free on Free Comic Book Day. This event is immensely beneficial for local comic stores, which hold large sales with almost everything discounted to bring an enormous amount of revenue and traffic into the store. The participating stores hand out the designated free comics of that year and often have snacks and special activities for customers as well, such as games and contests. These games range from small videogame tournaments to large-scale cosplay competitions.
In all my years of attending my local comic shops on Free Comic Book Day to take advantage of great prices, however, I have never once seen a raffle. I would consider a raffle to be one of the smartest ways to keep customers loyal and to bring in extra money to the business.
Raffles can be a dangerous game for small businesses, especially comic stores which are losing the race to digital comics available online. Raffles can be free or have a small price required to enter. A free raffle would be likely to do more monetary harm than good for a company because they would receive no tangible benefits from a raffle, only subconscious support. This subconscious support would come from the mentality of customers thinking the store is loyal to its customers for giving away free prizes. The free prizes and raffles can bring in more customers but the money coming into the store would be indirectly caused by the raffle. To directly bring in revenue, stores could require a small purchase for a ticket, such as $1 per ticket entry. This would hopefully mean the business makes enough money selling raffle tickets that it would have a net gain because it would make more than the prize is worth. This is subconsciously not as effective as free raffles, however, leading customers to not be as drawn to the store. The method of conducting a raffle is a give-and-take scenario: a business must choose a type of raffle which will benefit them in one way and hurt them in another.
Within the realm of raffles, there are two ways a comic shop can give away prizes. A store could offer the winner some type of benefit for winning that keeps them coming back. One of my local comic shops offers a free membership giving 10% off everything bought in the store. A perfect prize could be a higher discount, such as 20% off everything in the store, but only for that one winner. Stores with no membership could create a membership system that must be paid in monthly fees or must be won through the raffle. That would definitely keep the winner or winners coming back because they know they can get consistently better prices there than anywhere else.
If a business is not comfortable with a long term commitment to a customer, another viable option is a physical prize. A customer could win an entire series or a large comic character figurine. These would allow the store to not have to worry about their financial future. With memberships, the store cannot be sure how much money it will actually lose because someone could spend much more money than anticipated, meaning lots more comics were sold by the store at discounted rates than intended. This loss of income could be detrimental to a comic store, which are in more danger than ever. A prize with a set value could be a safer choice for a store because the business can account for the exact amount of money they would be â€œgiving awayâ€ in the form of a physical prize.
Every year on Free Comic Book Day, millions of people flock to comic stores across the world in search of free comics and enormous sales. Raffles are brilliant ways for the small businesses to capitalize on the influx of customers and it would be a shame if they did not.