Metropolis Collectibles is the world’s largest dealer of comic books and related collectibles, with an inventory of hundreds of thousands of unique items from the 1930s to the present. Metropolis is one of our longest-standing clients, having employed J2 continuously since 2004.
J2’s early work at Metropolis included the following major accomplishments:
- Replacing the company’s legacy back-office system with a new inventory control system designed to support unlimited concurrent users, a richer data architecture, and new revenue models
- Faithfully migrating over 15 years of legacy data, converting it to a normalized database schema, and correcting significant data inconsistencies along the way
- Streamlining the workflow around inventory management, web site content management, and outbound mass-marketing campaigns
- Eliminating their dependency on third parties for conducting e-commerce on their web site
- Enhancing their web site with more robust search capabilities, want-list matching features, and automated customer alerts
The success of J2’s initial project led directly to the development of ComicConnect, a wholly-owned subsidiary chartered to establish an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of comic books and original art. Since its launch in 2007, ComicConnect has contributed greatly to the company’s growth, opening up not only new sources of revenue but also new avenues for acquiring high-value inventory. In 2010, ComicConnect set the record for the largest sale in the history of comic book collecting, brokering the purchase of a high-grade copy of Action Comics #1 for $1.5 million.
J2 built ComicConnect.com from the code we’d written for the Metropolis site, extending its capabilities to support automated consignment selling, anonymous purchase offers and counter-offers, and full-featured online auctions. On the back end, J2 extended the inventory control system to support both companies on a single data model that lets the staff share inventory seamlessly between the two web sites, manage customer relationships across both companies, maintain independent financial records for the two companies, and even track commissions owed by one company to the other.