Thursday, March 21, 2013

GW Policy Eliminates Web and Bits Sales




If you haven't heard by now, Games Workshop is eliminating ANY online sales by any retailer outside of itself in the US and Canada. This basically will force every online discounter out of business.  Those that have a brick and mortar store (like the War Store, or my favorite, Spikey Bits), will survive, but being just an online retailer is a thing of the past (starting June 15th at least when the GW policy goes into effect).

Now, while I think GW corporate policies are generally full of crap (especially only letting retailers sell certain product, or lower discounts for some products), and I think they are squeezing us gamers for every last dime with ridiculous price increases that made some products like Land Raiders 50% more expensive in just two years, I happen to be HAPPY that there will be no more online discounting.  

Why?  Well, it basically hurts the hobby.  Sorry, I know people will yell and scream, but your FLGS cannot survive when your knucklehead gaming buddy buys his stuff online at 20% off and then goes and uses it in a FLGS.  Sure, most of us responsible gamers always buy our stuff in the FLGS we game in.  But some don't.  And it is a constant struggle educating these neanderthals.

I also know the very valid argument that mail order helps those gamers who aren't near a FLGS.  And I agree with that too.  So now they will have to pay full price like the rest of us.  Yeah, it will suck to not get the benefit of gaming tables like those of us near a great FLGS, but that is what you get for living in Saskatchewan or wherever!

Now the part about not allowing bit sales is typical GW bullshit and why so many people hate GW.  They don't give a shit about the hobbyist any farther than where it helps their bottom line.  And bits is GOOD for their business.   Why they would want to supress that I have no idea.  Good news is that this won't affect most bits companies who aren't buying direct.  The prices may go up as they have to buy retail now, but I don't expect to see bits disappearing.

OK, so without going into this too much, let me just repost this AWESOME video by the guys at Miniwargaming, an online discounter.  I agree with everything he says here and he does a great job of telling it like it is.  I highly recommend you watch this.




And stay tuned for more news on GW policies and new developments in the gaming industry. 

 Loken

21 comments:

Mark Mercer said...

This only effects US resellers though.

Anonymous said...

No really sure what makes somebody a knucklehead for buying their stuff online at a discount?

For the last couple years those online discount retailers are the only way I can afford to stay in the hobby. GW prices are not VFM in an ailing economy.

With wages rising under infation whike food energy and ta keeos going up the GW price hikes are all the more severe on hobby budgets. Poor show.

Anonymous said...

we see what happen in the long run. must be that there having some kind of leadership problems at the top to be doing this

Anonymous said...

Interesting summary on the topic, Alec. I'm an engineer, not a lawyer, so how does this effect online person to person dealings (think The Black Market requests on your Apocalypse website)? In construction, any agreement where services or products are provided for some compensation can be considered a contract, so will this GW mandate effect individuals as well? If so, and not that I would want to do anything "against Caesar," how could they possibly enforce it?

One minor unrelated request to posting: Whenever I post, I try to spell out the 1st acronym so the reader doesn't have to do a double take. I did look up FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store) and VFM (Value for Money) partly because my company alone uses so many acronyms that they need to have a specific site on their webportal to help their employees keep up to date! So can people please spell them out once since "seeing as the VP is such a VIP, maybe we should put the PC on the QT because of the leaks in the VC he may end up MIA and then we will all be put on KP." Thanks, Wild Bill

Loken said...

You will note I do not call people "Knuckleheads" for buying from an online discounter, only for doing so and them going and playing at your FLGS, thus not supporting them.

Anonymous said...

So you can buy online but just don't attend social gaming events if you didn't buy your army from the hosting FLGS?

That's madness.

I buy most my stuff online, but find that I also buy from my local place when I'm there to game. If I weren't going along there to game anyway I'd never buy anything from them direct. Seems like everybody would lose.

J81

Phil Millar said...

Buying online ISN'T the only way you can afford to buy models for the hobby, buying online helps you buy as much stuff as you want, if you want to buy from GW and still afford the hobby, buy fewer things.

Anonymous said...

A rephrase then - buying online is what keeps GW worthwhile for many of us. If I had to pay store price I'd switch to a game that was better bang for my buck.

I came back to 40k after nearly a decade and found GW prices (even online discount prices actually) very hard to afford to get an army that folk would play against knocked together. The GW doesn't much care about parents on a budget : (

I love the gaming system, but other games are looking more cost efficient and as a former GW diehard I realky think it's a damn shame. If you can afford it - more power to you. But don't assume everbody can. For some of us this could literally be a tipping point.

Yes this is a luxury. Yes it's worth what folk will pay for it at the end of the day. But luxuries are the first things that get dropped when finances are stretched.

Cerrik said...

The thing is, that GW is still making their money from the online discounters as said discounters are paying for the product first, even is if it is at a price lower than retail. Those are the perks that GW gives out for mutltiple distributers willing to spread their ilk across the globe. As GW cannot do it all by their onesies. Now, after they have skimmed the cream off, they are just going to toss out the other distributers so they can cut out the middle-men... bad business model (as an oppinion) since we all keep the company afloat with our wallets. GW does not remain on top by simply being on top. Gamers and their families that buy GW product do.

If GW becomes to expensive to sustain as a hobby, it is nothing to hop games. Anyone can pick up Warmahordes or Malifaux, or any other minature war game and pay a fraction for a viable army. I can spent the same $300+ on multiple factions for Malifaux and Warmahordes to get myself and at least 1 other player into the game; possibly even 2 other players without having to shell out anything else.

As said previously here, if you can afford it, more power to you. I for one am bringing my army lists to a close and hanging on with what I have.

Anonymous said...

My friends play 40K. We have no game store within 75 miles of us. We do go travel to tourneies and such to support the game and community. Online retailers are how we are able to stay involved in the game. We all have lives and non-disposable incomes, so discounts that online sellers helps us. How is this move by GW positive for us?
thanxs,
Carl the lost midwesterner

Loken said...

J81:

My point is obvious. You can't buy everything online and then expect your FLGS to survive. If you buy some online and some at your FLGS great. You take the point to extreme to make a point that is not there.


Carl:

You pick up the phone and do mail order with a discounter. There is nothing stopping retailers from discounting. And nothing that stops them from doing mail order. Pretty simple.

The GW move helps your FLGS by making it harder for people to buy from online discounters. Doesn't make it impossible. You just need to pick up a phone now. Your current relationship will continue with your discounter if they choose to stay open.

Alec

mafiacheese said...

I am fortunate enough to actually be able to game at home with people I know, like, and trust, so the whole "support your FLGS" thing does not apply to me...which is a good thing, because around here, there is no "F." Although most around here carry GW products, they treat those who buy them with disdain (especially the outlets that also double as comic book stores...I'm not really sure why that pairing breeds contempt). You'd think as a business that carries a product to make money, it'd be in their fiscal interest to not be rude to customers, but clearly that is not the case.

My question is, what's stopping the "brick & mortar stores" from offering an in-store discount? Does GW require bills of sale or whatnot to prove that their products were sold at full retail value? I don't know if the retail markup margin is going to change in June, or what it even IS, but surely if people can afford to offer discounts online (INCLUDING the B&M stores that operate online stores), they should be able to do so on-site, for those that patronize their stores, as an incentive to shop there, especially for those of us who don't *need* a place to game...but might stay anyway if the right atmosphere and a fiscal incentive were there.

I guess I'm just having trouble understanding how restricting the sale of goods is a GOOD thing for ANYONE involved, all the way from GW to the consumers of an admittedly "luxury" good.

Anonymous said...

that's what you get for not living near a FLGS??

wow, and who's the neanderthal?

I'm sorry but if the choice is a $75 land raider or not buying product, i won't be buying. especially not from you. It's weird how you dis capitalism in one sentence (I'm glad they're exercising monopoly control to set prices so i don't have to compete in a free market), and then knock them for setting monopolistic bits policy in the next.

I don't know, this policy has been in effect in the US for years, the new thing is it's hitting canada now, and preventing the export of product out of country (as they've done to UK sellers for a while). so now canadians technically can't buy from US sellers (and save a LOT of money).

I'll still be getting my 20-25% off, and if you can't find a B&M that mail orders with a discount, you're not looking very hard.

btw, more 40k players don't use FLGS's than do, so why should they be subject to your FLGS space rental tax?

please, keep spinning this as righteous and good, it doesn't hurt your credibility at all.

Anonymous said...

What if your local game store only carris the minimum GW product. It is frustrating to go in and there not be even the essential models you need for your army. Go to a store to buy a box of troops and there are none! Then the owner says, "Well I can order it for you." Wow really? I can do that at from home and pay the same price from GW,.....or I can pay less for the same thing from someone else.
I don't support my local game store because he doesn't support us!
I'll not even mention the lack of space given for 40K players or having us run out for trading card game space. My "store" is not friendly for 40K. Why should I support it?

Dave

Anonymous said...

Come to Australia and check out the GW prices down here. You cant tell me that the nearly double price we pay on items is the way it should be.

If I didnt buy online I wouldnt be playing 40k or Fantasy I can tell you.

What really gets me is I can buy a ForgeWorld LandRaider for cheaper than one in a local GW store and that includes the shipping.

Atleast Ebay will not be really effected by this so thats where my purchases will go.

Cheers
Hawke

Anonymous said...

I am professionally connected to a hobby business in a metro area and I'd like to bring a simple point to this discussion that I tell every person who walks in my doors and mentions shopping online or on ebay.

So here it is...

Shop where you play, play where you shop, if you shop on-line, you can't play on-line, but why should I let you play in my store when you don't support it...

There is something about my store that keeps bringing you back, I'm fully stocked all the time, I have nice terrain, well painted tables, no painting restrictions, building and painting space, I've even gone as far as making my personal private bathroom in the back open to the customers.

I teach people how to build models, convert models, paint models, make army lists, play games. When you spill your food or drink, it's no problem, I clean it up. When you drop a fat papa nurgle poop in my bathrom, it's no problem, I clean it up. When you want tournaments, I host it free of charge, and don't make a dime, but that's cool I'm supporting your hobby.

I sweep, mop, scrub, clean and freshen up my store every day so you may have a great environment to enjoy a hobby you like.

Even though I don't discount I feel the hard work I put into my shop, and the excellent customer service I provide is worth it. In return all I ask is that you shop where you play, and play where you shop, and bring in friends that would like to play as well so I can continue to keep my doors open and give you a clean place to Hobby.

That's all... I'm not a corporate douche, I'm a small shop trying to give you first class service.

Is that not worth the support?


Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

" ( online discount) it basically hurts the hobby. "

bullshit.

Anonymous said...

As an Australian my thoughts are simple, GW can go get fucked. The price hike down here is offensive. They need to open their eyes and realise this is a global market, if they were to set prices the same across the world then this problem would not exist, we would all buy from GW quite happily, joining in on the hobby scene and thus making the hobby better for all.

But current state is Crap, the only reason your real estate costs are so damn high is because you put stores in places you cannot afford. GW Marion Adelaide for example.

I for one will not pay your prices. I have a family to support, a mortgage to pay and have no plans to use you game stores.

What will do is support the Chinese economy. I will continue to do this because they are able to provide the product at near UK prices. Prices that GW would be still making a profit on if they shut down their stupidly located stores in Australia and provided the local model market the ability to support their products.

So Fuck you GW, keep making great games and great models, but Fuck You and your Aussie pricing model.

Anonymous said...

Dear Angry Aussie.

a Hobby is a Luxury you are entitled to when you have the money to spend on it.

But slow your roll Dundee, you're making it sound like the man just stole your freedom and committed crimes against humanity...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous store owner,

You are the exception not the rule.

"Shop where you play, play where you shop, if you shop on-line, you can't play on-line, but why should I let you play in my store when you don't support it..."

Not all game stores support their gamers. It is a business. Money and sales will trump gamers any day of the week. That is what game store we used to play at did. If you don't support us, why should we support you?

Cancel our game nights, run us out for trading card games, don't stock what we need, push aside 40K and other tabletoppers for the easy card sell, ignore our concerns, state that "it is my store and my rules." ban people from the store for disagreements with you and fragment the foundation of your gamers: and we will (and have) walked away from supporting you.

So now I have no store and I guess i am not allowed to play 40K since I have to get all my stuff online, since locally it is not a viable option.

Not all game stores are lands of milk and honey like yours.

Once again, why support you, if you don't support us?

Dave

Anonymous said...

Dave,

That's truly saddening to hear that, I guess that's the difference between a Local Gaming Store, a Friendly Local Gaming Store, and a Games Workshop Hobby Center.

To address your specific point...
"Once again, why support you, if you don't support us?"

That is 100% all on the shop to create that first step. In a way it's like showing respect, it has to start somewhere and logically it would be the role of the host to show the first sign of respect and humility, that is OUR responsibility to make sure that we are catering to your needs to the best of our ability to ensure you have a happy and fun experience with your hobby.

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