The local comic shop has long been a barbershop type setting for those that love super heroes. In the comic book community people often shorten it and just use the initials LCS. Meaning there's a bunch of guys sharing their opinions on books, characters, pricing, availability and scores. Similar to guys waiting for a haircut talking about sports and current events. In the days of retail stores closing and people ordering online, the local comic shop is a big part of the hobby.
Several shops are now versatile as they not only sell comics but toys and other comic related paraphenalia. And many have welcomed the gaming crowd in to their space to keep revenue coming in monthly. In this current climate it's incredibly important to keep customers long term in order to stay profitable. And I believe if you're a true collector you try and buy as much as you can to help support a local business.
Unfortunately now I feel like there is a new predisposition to shops recently. In that they are incredibly overpriced vs online shops on eBay and other selling shops. I think you have to understand that they have to pay overhead like any brick and mortar store. So of course you may see prices up a little more than normal. But the big difference is that you actually get to see the book in person versus through your phone or laptop. You have the option to visually inspect the book front and back and also inside. And several times there are lots of little things you can't catch no matter how great the image quality is online of the book.
Plus you're not paying for shipping. There will be a little tax, but nothing is more upsetting than getting a book at a great price to find that the seller doesn't package books well and ending up with a lower grade/damaged book. This just happened to me recently as a seller who said they had sold books for quite some time sent a book simply sandwhiched between two pieces of cardboard in a bubble mailer. For me the standard is a Gemini mailer as discussed in my ebook. Lastly, most shops have a little room to barter in their prices and this is always the fun part of getting a great book is getting it at a great price!
I'm fairly lucky as the shop closest shop to me happens to be a really great business as well. They offer different deals and sales each day of the week. And several times have given me a discount just because I've been a repeat customer. This is the type of business I don't mind paying a little more and supporting. Because let's face it, more than likely your first experience with comic books probably came from visiting a LCS (local comic shop) when you were younger. And that for me is one of my fondest memories when I was younger. Growing up on the northwest side of Chicago, I went to a placed called Comic Kingdom. And it was a true comic book store, in the sense that they sold nothing else but books. The owner was a nice guy and the shop was clean, organized, and well lit. It made going there that much of a better experience and I always wanted to go back. And several times I use it as the bare minimum or standard when visiting other shops when I got older. So do your part especially in these crazy times to support a local business in the community and the hobby!