A while back, a friend (thanks Matt!) recommended Treehouse Comic Shop as an online source of mostly cheaper comic books, so I tried the service. Here are my thoughts.
As you can see, the main page lists “latest additions” to the site and that changes occasionally. As for the note about the service being on vacation (at the time of posting), I haven’t yet tried to order while this notice is active, but I get the feeling I should wait when the proprietor is back and focused). Finally, I wish the text and Add to Cart buttons under each comic book were larger to accommodate my old man eyes. Despite this surface objection, my overall experience was positive.
I have to say, while the prices initially caught my eye, the website itself looked and felt a bit dated and not as user-friendly as I would like. This is probably more on me, but it took me a little while to realize that I could click the main menu item to see even more of the category than I thought. For example, if I click AMAZING SPIDER MAN (1963), I see that era of books (despite the one #1 issue, at the time of this review, that doesn’t belong here), but I didn’t understand that at first and initially thought the service was focused on selling books from the 1980s onward (which isn’t a bad thing itself). I also don’t understand why some categories have a start year and others do not, but that’s a minor quibble.
The search function worked fine (and is what helped me realize my misunderstanding with the menu), and I was able to find some issues I’d been wanting that I couldn’t find as cheaply. For example, the Fine copy of New Teen Titans v1 #8 at Treehouse was listed for $1.80 while mycomicshop.com had it for $3.60. Given the books that I had ordered, I preferred not only Treehouse’s prices generally, but the ratings as well (see my review of mycomicshop.com for more on that). However, the selection of issues at Treehouse is far fewer in comparison. Another thing I liked was if an issue was out of stock, there was a red banner across the image indicating that. In fact, Treehouse has a SOLD BOOKS page whose purpose is three-fold:
3 reasons for this section: first, it’s a way to keep a listing active so a customer can review a purchase, second is to keep key books on the site to attract google hits, 3rd is simply to see what neat books have passed through the store.I appreciate the owner’s candor.
Regarding the images, something I don’t care for is that when you select a book to see more details, the preview image is not the best quality all of the time. If you select the image as the page indicates, then you may get a higher quality image to look at or you may not. But these images aren’t supposed to show you the specific condition or quality of the issue, so I guess it doesn’t really matter.
Other things I liked about the site that you can access from the main menu:
- $0.60 books
- Complete sets and minis
- Treasury books under the Variants submenu (as shown)
- Graphic novels and trade paperbacks
- and Oddball Items, such as the Happy Days tie-in novel I saw featuring the Fonz
Once you’ve chosen your books, the shopping cart is easy to use and even provides a shipping estimation. One of the options is “No shipping outside the USA!” for $999. While it is a humorous deterrent, it is still selectable and I didn’t want to test the theory. The two cheaper options, Media Mail and Priority, are what you would expect for price. After I ordered my books (on a Saturday), I received a confirmation email that same day and a notification the following Monday that my books were shipping out the next day. My books arrived two weeks later (via Media Mail).
As you can see, the books came wrapped in comic book bags (the two larger books were on the bottom of the box and taped between two slabs of cardboard) and the box was lightly filled with packing peanuts.
The books were in good condition, however, so considering the prices, I will be ordering from this service again if I can find something I want.