Wizard: Guilty of Insider Trading?

[NEWSARAMA] CBarger of Wonderworld Comics …questioned whether one eBay seller might have been given information that other retailers were not, as Wizard Universe, which is owned by the same company as Wizard Magazine, sold hundreds of issues of Captain America #25 on eBay on Wednesday at prices from $10 to $50 an issue.

“I think this is a case of life imitating art,” Barger said. “In Civil War Frontline #11, we find out that Tony Stark and Stark Industries were the real profiteers behind the entire Civil War. And now we find out that Wizard Magazine has abused their privilege as one of comics’ media sources to get info on this book, get a variant for their convention exclusive the week after it’s released, and on top of that, have their sales arm of the company order way in excess of what any retailer was privy to and start selling them on ebay the morning the story broke — before many of us were even open to start selling the book to our customers.”

“If they really had that much foresight to order that many more issues of this comic to sell on ebay, then kudos to them,” said Pierce of Alter Ego about all the ebay sellers who capitalized on the situation. “But it seems that there was the equivalent of insider trading going on. Some information was passed that the rest of the retailing world didn’t seem to get.”

Shea of Famous Faces & Funnies agreed. “Wizard seems to be the biggest offender in this situation and I’m sure this won’t be the last time an event like this has them at the center of it,” he said. “As they’ve now revealed their upcoming Cap cover on the next Wizard issue featuring 18 pages of Captain America articles, it’s obvious they knew all about this well in advance. As Wizard certainly gets early insider information, it’s a complete conflict of interest that they’re carrying this comic in such incredibly deep levels and selling them for such insane amounts considering they knew what was going to happen in this issue while no other retailers were clued in. I do understand the reluctance of Marvel to give every retailer all the details as it would have surely slipped out somewhere along the way, and we wouldn’t have had the full media blitz that we saw the last few days. However, Wizard being both a news source and an online retailer is really questionable territory.”

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