|(Back Issue bins at Excalibur Comics in Portland, OR)|
Alas, this is not always the actuality. We sometimes actually run out of an issue, but other times something else happens to those issues you were looking for; they become hidden treasures. Hidden treasures used to be the gem or key issue found in unorganized discount bins, but they have become books that have been misfiled in the back issue bins or on current book walls.
The main reason this happens is there are those back issue bin divers and comic speculators out there that cannot fathom the simple concept of put it back in the order you found it, or just give it to the guy behind the counter so he can put it away for you. These hidden treasure makers are a pain in ass for shops with decent back issue and current book sections. And this pain extends to you; the guy (or girl) looking for those back issues of The Invincible Iron Man that for some strange reason always seem to have had a drunk who's just gone through them. When back or current issues get turned into hidden gems it is frustrating not only for you the customer, but for the shop employees who want you to find what you are looking for.
At Comics Conspiracy when it comes time to restock a particular title in the back issue bins we always have to go through the issues in the bin or on the wall first to make sure they are still in order before getting started with restocking. This wouldn't be so bad if it was one or two titles misplaced by a number or two, but no, there always seems to be chunks of titles moved to another part of the run in some lame attempt to hide them from other customers. This behavior is annoying, especially when it is done to hide back issues before a sale.
So, for everyone reading this (and especially those who are guilty of putting stuff back in the wrong place) please be courteous to your fellow comic book readers and comic shop staff by keeping the comics you look through in order. If you aren't going to pull the trigger, and buy the issue then put it back where it goes in the bin or on the wall. Don't try and hid it at the end of the run, or the back of the row, in the row next to the one it should be in, at the bottom of the pile, or in the pile next to the pile the book is suppose to be in. Put the issue(s) back where you found them. If it is meant to be there when you come back for it then guess what it will be in order, and easy for you to find.