Archives: See Hear
See Hear is a little store/distro in New York that went poor and turned evil.
Is anyone else here owed large amounts of money by See Hear?
Ted has been very polite to me, and I suppose moving expenses are a pretty
good excuse, so I'm naturally inclined to be patient and give him the benefit of
the doubt. Furthermore, I want to keep selling Infiltration at See Hear, so I don't
want to piss Ted off. On the other hand, he's been giving me excuses for many
months, and now owes me for 400 copies of various issues of Infiltration.
Is anyone else worried that they may be being ripped off? Has anyone been paid
by See Hear in the last six months?
Before I edited "The Torch", I co-edited a Doors fanzine for a few years called
"Ship Of Fools". See Hear ordered 50 copies outright. After they got them, they
changed the deal on us to a consignment deal. This was in 1996. They've since
sold out of "SOF", but never paid us. They do still send us their postcards,
though. It's a nice touch. It says, "You're money paid for this."
Did ya ever consider GOING TO See Hear? When they ordered my fanzine and
I heard nothing for a year, I thought I'd never see my $$$. But then I got off my
lazy ass, made some calls, jumped on the L train, and dicovered Ted to be a
receptive, trustworthy guy. I can understand outta-towners being at a loss for
action, Shaun, but you're playing the Lazy Man, without a dime to spare on your
That's insane. Having to show up to get paid for a product they
ordered and sold? Fuck that, that's nuts. They ordered it through the mail, they
can pay for it through the mail.
I couldn't agree more. Azmacourt, read your own words. You made a
consignment arrangement with See Hear, sent them your zine and they sold it,
but you heard nothing and got no payment for A YEAR! So you went down in
person and found the owner to be "a receptive, trustworthy guy." That's
BULLSHIT! If he's TRUSTWORTHY, you wouldn't HAVE to go in person to
collect. That's the opposite of trustworthy.
I hope Music Dimensions in OKC is on that list of dependable stores, because I
realize how few and essential these are becoming lately. My comments were
directed toward Shaun because I believe his beef with See Hear is purely
manufactured. I think he'd rather have a See Hear story than a check for some
Regarding this thread, we can only tell of our personal experiences. Otherwise,
we're all standing around, telling tales of who said what regarding whom buying
whatever. I stand by my favorable opinion of Ted, based on the following:
#1--I sent him 25 copies of a shitty, Xeroxed fanzine about a fucking kids'
show. He agreed to pay 50%, that's it. I assumed payment would be made after
the issues sold out and I'd endlessly prodded him, if at all. I'm a realist, you see.
See Hear sells a lot of shitty fanzines, and I never send off more copies than I
can afford to lose.
#2--After a year of ME not contacting HIM, I called Ted while I was in NY and
he was in the middle of moving. I had no invoice, and the only proof of the
money owed to me was Ted's rocollection of Z, K, S, J, L, Mr. B, and AC. Yet,
I still got my check, giving me enough $$$ to buy a sack and send off 150
copies of yet another zine I made--only this one's about asthma and apparently
not GOOD ENOUGH to make it into See Hear.
Now that i think about it, FUCK SEE HEAR!!! FUCK TED! LET'S BURN HIS
GODDAMN PEE PEE SMELLIN' STORE DOWN. that would solve
I've never sold my zine in stores, so I can't say anything from first-hand
experience, but Zine World has an open forum where zinesters talk about what
stores are treating them right and what stores are treating them wrong, and See
Hear is invariably mentioned by someone in almost every issue as a store that's
doesn't pay on time if ever.
I used to think the comments about stores and distros was kind of a wasted
section of the zine, until we got a couple of letters from people after Fine Print
went bankrupt, saying the advance word had saved their skins. Doug tells me
the next issue will include a list of all the stores and distros that have consistently
gotten more positive comments than negative.
I've heard at least three different stories about Ted not paying, which is actually
a lot for someone as anti-social as me. I bet there are dozens, if not hundreds of
other zine publishers who I haven't spoken too that were ripped off by SEE
HEAR. My zine NO FUTURE was sold there for a few years, and he paid me all
I was owed, but I had to hound him a bit, which I don't thnk is very fair. After
all, he takes 50% of the cover, which on my new release, SEX AND GUTS 2,
means I'd have to PAY him to sell them, no profit whatsoever, whether he paid
me my 50% or not. I elected not to sell him anything. Two months ago, I
appeared on live NYC TV and said a bit about this man's business practices. I
guess most zinesters out there publishing their crummy zines don't care enough
to speak up...probably because their parents pay for it all anyway. If you ask
me, such people deserve to be ripped off, if not severely beaten. As for those
who really work to get their projects out there, and aren't paid by Ted, get off
your lazy asses and collect. There's nothing worse than a liar who poses as a
supporter of small press publishing.
When I started ROCKRGRL I always sent a couple of sample issues to See Hear
and always received a rejection notice. Then a few people told me they had
bought ROCKRGRL there, which floored me. Apparently these "rejected"
samples were placed on the stand and sold - 100% to the store, 0% to me. That
pretty much changed my mind about trying to get into See Hear.
It must be my dumb luck. I've been shopping at See Hear for years and
discovered lots of cool things that were only available there. When i finally did
my own zine earlier this year, I sent a copy for consideration. After 2 months,
he was the only person I sent it to who rejected it without explanation. He said I
should send another copy when I have a new one, but to be honest, I think at
this point I'll not only not send him my next issue but stop shopping there
entirely. As long as there are honest people running distros (like the excellent
Libby Lampert and her Glovebox) and honest and cool stores like Tower &
Atomic, the world can get along without See Hear. What do I care if they don't
like me? It turns out, it was the best thing that could've happened. I'm glad they
rejected me--it looks like it saved me a lot of hassle.
Ted at See Hear has been very, very naughty: not paying for his WHAP!
Magazines and then lying about the check being in the mail. Pity his ass next
time I'm in New York.
We are not currently shipping *Black Sheets* to See Hear because their payment
record with us is atrocious. At this point, they owe us on invoices totaling $483,
which represent 30 copies each of four issues of *Black Sheets* dating back as
far as August 1996, and 30 copies of a book we sent them on July 2, 1997.
Some of the earlier stuff is due to our own lack of follow-through (read: making
lots of pointless toll calls to nag them to do what they're supposed to do).
Initially, when they requested *Black Sheets*, they were good about paying us
promptly, but that stopped after the first issue was paid for. Normally we don't
let any store or distributor get more than two issues out with us. Then we stop
shipping until they pay us. But we let See Hear get away with more than usual
because we were trying to get them to carry the book. Now they owe us for
We've been calling monthly since January 16 to get See Hear to pay us; prior to
that, and since, we've also mailed them past-due invoices regularly. We have
been promised payment repeatedly, or simply blown off, depending on the mood
of the person answering the phone, but the check never comes.
So that summarizes our experience with See Hear pretty completely.
Ted (of See Hear):
Sorry that we haven't paid you guys yet but we are really broke from our move.
We plan on staying in business and paying everyone back. In fact we have been
paying invoices off every week as more and more of our more than 300
suppliers know. Sorry we haven't gotten to yours yet. As your letter shows,
calling us repeatedly really doesn't help and costs time and money for both of us.
We really want to carry Black Sheets and make it available to our customers but
we understand your position and will try to get you your money soon.
Fortunately some of our suppliers continue to send us new issues realizing that if
everyone stops sending us new issues we will go out of business. They feel they
should support us so we can continue to pay off our debts and keep providing a
link between zine publishers and our customers.
Paul T. Olson:
Man, I'm glad Goth Shmoth isn't sold in stores that don't pay cash up front. I
feel really bad for the editors of the zines I contribute to. They work so hard and
get shit on so much. It's a rough world, I know, but Christ how come it's so
hard for talented writers and artists to get any traction?
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