Thursday, September 5, 2013

Online Discounters - Pro vs. Con



My last article on Dicebucket was the catalyst for a good discussion on online discounting.  (and some moronic trolls but we sent them back under the bridge).  So I thought I would take some time to look at arguments for and against online discounters.

Now, first of all, a few disclosures.

1)  I founded Dice of War Games in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.  I am very close to the new owners and managers there, and we discuss this all the time.  

2)  I am good friends with Rob Baer of Spikey Bits.  Spikey Bits, along with The War Store, are probably the two best online retailers, and who I have bought from when my Friendly Local Game Stores (FLGS) have not had what I needed.

So I am pretty vested in the industry, and have seen all sides.  So here is my take:

Pro

1)  Online Retailers help gamers by offering games and supplies at a discount.  In a market that is increasingly expensive, they do the same thing Wal-Mart or Amazon do.

2)  With Games Workshop prices getting ridiculous, Online Discounters are often the only way people can afford to buy GW product.

3)  For gamers who don't have a FLGS, they are often the only way to get games.

So basically, they sell cheap, they allow people to keep playing GW games, which are increasingly out of the budget of many players, and they are an option for those with no nearby game store.

Did I miss something?  I think those are pretty much the arguments for.


Con

1)  Online retailers don't help the hobby grow.  They are not bringing new people into the hobby.

2)  Online retailers hurt your FLGS by taking business away.

Now that last point is dangerous.  What is the FLGS responsibility here?  The FLGS has to make a compelling case for WHY you should pay full price.  They have a responsibility to create the business case for why you would buy at that store.  Great tables, great service, a nice atmosphere.

The FLGS also has a responsibility to make sure the players in its stores are buying in their stores.  Now, if they don't care, well then, that is bad business.  Then again, that is one reason many game stores go out of business, the owners are gamers not business people and treat the store like a club.

But the stores I know of, make a point to tell players that they have to buy at the store if they want to use the tables.  And if a player had a problem with this, then they are frakking morons.  

Players owe loyalty to the store they play at. I know my buddies and I ALWAYS paid full price at the Los Angeles Games Workshop Battle Bunker, because that is where we played.  It wasn't a question.  (I just bought less once GWs prices started sky rocketing, but by that time I also had most of my army done and all my hobby $ were going to Forge World.)


EXAMPLE

Dice of War gives 10% off of GW.  Why?  Well, Pegasus Hobbies, the best hobby shop in Southern California (and 15 minutes away), gives 20% off.  Pegasus doesn't have any gaming space, and game sales aren't important to them (Like all hobby shops, they make all their $ off of R/C), so Larry the owner gives 20% off because he wants to undercut the local game stores. 

So Dice of War gives 10% off because they feel that you will be willing to pay the extra 10% to have a great store to play in.  DoW has 8 tables, and great terrain.  The store is carpeted, has awesome service and good events. The managers are great people who love gaming.

Now, that is good business.  And DoW has every right to say that if you want to play in their store, you need to buy there.  And frankly, if you don't, then you are an idiot to think they would allow you to play there. 

So, ultimately, the FLGS has a responsibility to EARN the gamers business.  


Dicebucket

My main pet peeve about Dicebucket was that they had an online shopping cart, despite GW's prohibition.  They thought they were smarter than GW and could get by cheating the rules.  Well, they learned (albeit after almost 2 years) that cheating catches up with you.  You may not like that rule, and I think many GW rules for retailers are bullshit, but you want to sell, you need to play on the same playing field that other retailers play on.  By having a shopping cart, Dicebucket had an unfair advantage over other online retailers.

Now, GW has reserved the online shopping cart for themselves.  They have every right to do that.  And what it does is say, you want to order on the best platform and the easiest method, well you pay for it.  You want to buy online at a discount?  Well, we are going to make that harder.  And I support GW 100% in this.


Summary

So, to summarize, online retailing is not, by itself, bad for the hobby.  But it does make it harder for local game stores.   The FLGS though, has a responsibility to earn the customers they get.  So if you have a FLGS, support it if you want to game there.  And if you don't want to game there, go ahead and buy online, but don't bitch if that store goes out of business and you have no place to hang out.  After all, we all like hanging out at a game store.  We WANT it to be like "Cheers" and we all want to be Norm.  Norm didn't bring his beer with him.

Loken







41 comments:

Col. Dracus said...

Great article. I have to agree that you should support the store that you play at and the store needs to earn your business. The retail games that GW likes to play with online sales is like new editions of 40k. You have to learn to play by the new rules and think differently in order to make it work.

kingsfan2099 said...

I agree that it's important to earn the customer support. I live in an area where the closest store to me is Dice of War but it is about an hour away. Every time I have been there the service has been amazing. Enough interaction to let you know they're there but not so much to be overbearing. I am still forced to use online retailers because of some of the GW rules on their direct order list but this is usually after checking my store. People do need to understand the importance of having a store with great play areas and that those areas go away very quickly without support. Great article.

Paul Ohtonen said...

I’m all for supporting local hobby shops, but until recently my local shops never had a gaming spot to play games. Now there are 2 stores that do have table space, but they make more money from selling Magic cards than miniatures.

My question is how can GW dictate who or how their items are being sold? I understand that GW could not support that store by not selling directly to them. But if that store gets its GW products from a distributor, then how can they be forced to sell it the GW way? Isn’t this a free market? I also understand GW reasons why they should be the only one online to sell their items, but I call that greed, they want to sale it at full price.

Why is it unfair for Dicebucket to have an online shopping cart but it’s ok for GW to have one?

Loken said...

GW sets rules by which retailers have to abide if they want to sell GW product. If you break those rules, then GW can stop selling to you. And now, because of new retailer and distributor agreements, GW can force the distributor to stop selling to you.

All legal.

Lufgt Huron said...

OK *Knuckle Crack* here we go.

I'd like to counter some pro's with some really good points.

1) Unless shipping is free, the discount is lost when you pay for shipping, so basically you're paying the same as if you walked into a GW store, or ordered it online and got free shipping, if shipping is free, the price difference is minimal.

A Dark Vengeance at 20% of is 99 and change, Dark Vengeance with tax (Depending on where you are) is about 106 and change, it's about a difference of 7-8 dollars.

Now... that extra 7-8 dollars savings worth spending at a FLGS or FLGW store that you visit so you can continue to support them, or does that savings of 7-8 dollars REALLY mean that much to you?

2) Again... see the price difference of the example above... is it REALLY that big of a difference that you wouldn't spend that at your local FLGS or FLGW to support them?

3) Online stores / discounters are not the only way to get GW products, Games Workshop sells all over the world, and you can get free shipping when you order over $50, if you were to buy from an online retailer you'd spend just about the same because you have to pay for shipping from the discounters while GW does it basically for free.

Shipping on average is usually about 9 to 12 dollars, depending on how big an order is, it could be more.

and now some commentary on the Con.

1) Totally right.

2) Yes, but what are these FLGS doing to help turn their customers back around to their stores, telling someone to buy here or you can't play is wrong, you MUST find out WHY they are so hesitant to support the store.

"Great tables, great service, a nice atmosphere."
There you go, you said it right there, There's a reason why people are going to FLGS and FLGW stores to play, aren't those reasons enough to spend a few extra dollars to support a great shop, that gives you a great experience!

"The FLGS also has a responsibility to make sure the players in its stores are buying in their stores. Now, if they don't care, well then, that is bad business. Then again, that is one reason many game stores go out of business, the owners are gamers not business people and treat the store like a club."

Bravo... too true.

But the stores I know of, make a point to tell players that they have to buy at the store if they want to use the tables. And if a player had a problem with this, then they are frakking morons.

*BUZZER* ERR Nope, gotta find out what is stopping them from spending there, find out what their hesitation is.

"Players owe loyalty to the store they play at."

That's actually the most dangerous statement in this entire thread.

Loyalty is not owed, it's earned though hard work, great customer service, and respect.

When someone comes in to play, or buy, they don't owe you anything at all, you have to work for that by constantly working with them to provide them with the reasons they want to come back, challenging them to grow their hobby, inspiring them to do greater things, showing them how to hobby better and stronger than before, and to maintain a great attitude in the shop.


"After all, we all like hanging out at a game store. We WANT it to be like "Cheers" and we all want to be Norm. Norm didn't bring his beer with him."

That... oh lord is so true.

David Ashworth said...

If you are a player who plays games at your FLGS and then choses to buy stuff from online discounter - shame on you because you are contributing to the demise of the very store where you enjoy playing with your discounted toys.

Most FLGS owners take on extra space in order to support gaming tableland that costs them extra money. I actually feel they should enforce purchases at their store or even charge a premium (OK, let's not get carried away).

If you have no FLGS nearby, then I feel you are free to buy from where you want to, and are certainly not obligated to buy from GW site. Just remember, that when you do go to a GS to play an occasional game, buy something from the store to help them cover the cost of providing the very environment you are enjoying.

David A, aka the Mad Englishman

Loken said...

Lufgt:

Well, I specifically said that you EARN players loyalties. So not sure why you keep harping on that. Makes your other arguments less compelling when you ignore what was specifically stated in the article.

"When someone comes in to play, or buy, they don't owe you anything at all,"

I disagree 100%. You don't get to play at a store for free. The store owner owes you NOTHING. You have no right to step in his store and use it for free unless he offers that service to you. You want to use his store, he has every RIGHT to expect you to buy there.

Asking them why they don't buy there is not relevant. It is a good idea as customer feedback is always important, but it is totally irrelevant to the rule that if you want to play at the store, you buy at the store.

The sense of entitlement you show is exactly what is wrong with gamers. You think you have an absolute right to game at a store and not pay for it.

There arent many good reasons NOT to buy at a store you play at.

1) Price - sorry, covered above. You want to play, you need to support the store.

2) Product - If you ask your store to get something, they will almost always do that for you. In fact Dice of War gives 20% off anything NOT in stock if you pre-pay for the item.

3) Money - Of course if you don't have money, then that is understandable. But you certainly can buy the $ 1 bottle of water or the $ 1 for a candy bar. Just don't show up with new models that you didn't buy at the store.


I think you feel that you have some right to game at a store and that the store owner needs to earn your business AFTER you do so. Sorry, any business has to earn your business, but that doesn't mean you get his services for free.

Cylux said...

The slow death of the high street continues apace I see. It's not just hobby stores that need to fear the 'visit store to appraise item, go back home to order item for cheaper online', it's a problem affecting pretty much anyone with a shop.

Lufgt has the right idea that it might be worthwhile pointing out that such behaviour may well be a false economy once shipping costs are taken into account, I'm still surprised by how much fuel some of my co workers are willing to use to reach a petrol station that's slightly cheaper than their nearest one (thus ultimately putting themselves out of pocket).

Adam (TheDiceAbide.com) said...

Hey buddy, I couldn't agree more! The only time I buy online is when I cannot get it at my FLGS. I'd rather wait a week or two for them to get it in than go buy it online usually. Support your local FLGS and they'll support you, it's pretty simple.

Loken said...

Thanks Adam. A FLGS can get pretty much anything. Heck, with Warmachine being so popular, many items have been out of stock for a while. Dice of War actually bought the items from an online retailer so they could get them to their customers. THAT is what you get when you support a great store, you get great service.

Poxy Proxy Predator said...

My local (u)FLGS was stung badly by Dreadfleet and threatned to throw the GW sales rep threw his, large, front window. While I understand his feelings, I used to pop in for a chat and pick stuff up when I had money, and we all know how Dreadfleet bombed at the shops and he was stuck with 4 boxes that he ended up giving away as a raffle prize.

Loken said...

I would buy ONE of any new game by GW. You take pre-orders and that is it. Don't trust that they can make a product that will sell that is not 40K. Heck, Fantasy is on its way down, as it has been for years.

seb12 said...

You must not be in this Hobby for long???
All you say is Full of GW Propaganda and just against what has happend in the Last 25 years.

How many people Do you think play outside of flgs?
Its the bigger majority!!!!

How many times has GW tride to kill fansites? Plenty!!!

GW is trying to kill the flgs. They used to be the discounter, in the mailorder days. I would get up to 50% if i just bought enoug.
GW wanted to phase out flgs right from 2nd ED on when they started makeing money.

You claim flgs are closeing due to internet. They said that from the start of the Internet. Funny how Store nummbers are growing since then?

You claim retailers dont bring in new players. So? Is it Not really about customers? And they Do bring those in. The hobby mainly expanded via mouth to mouth. Not due to Workshops!
Infakt GW doesnt want you if you dont buy (as you say)

You are Full of GW Marketing.
GW also claimed WD was a minus for them and same for dexes. Or that whitemetal so costly or finecast
later. They also said lexicanum was killing their book sails. Ect ect ect.


Do you really think Online retailers are the Problem?
If at all they keept a lot of us playing and GW still provides them with stock.

Its very easy to have a bias on Workshop. And Not really have any Informationen asaid from what youre Store told you.
Calling others trolls and so on just Shows how much you have been blindet.

Would you use the same mentality when buying other things? Or do you never buy Online?
Its not the customers responsability how the Store does.
They want you to think that so you buy there out of guilt.
You might as well pay to play. Or they could charge!

I think youre out of youre mind going on a crussade for Workshops and telling others what they should do and to feel bad if not supporting a profit orientet organisation and their chain.

You should rather fight for starving Kids than this BS!

Loken said...

Wow, I assume you aren't from the US since your grammar and spelling are so bad. It is hard to understand what you are saying. And since your arguments are based on things I never said, I shall assume you obviously can't read English well either.

That is clear since anyone who has read my blog knows I hate GW corporate (love the studio and BL/FW).

Not sure where you read anything I said as support for Games Workshop. However, stating WHAT GW policies are does not mean I support it.

And since I NEVER state that online retailers are the problem, you basic argument is wrong. You didn't read what I said, only what you wanted to read.

SandWyrm said...

So if I order something from GW's website, that's ok. But if I order something from Models-R-Cheaper.com, it's like setting fire to my FLGS? I call BS. One is just as 'damaging' to the local store as the other.

David Ashworth said...

Loken, I find it really hard to say, but you are right on this one!!

Mad Englishman (and I can read English!!)

seb12 said...

Wow i assume youre deluded?

Supporting youre Store doesnt garantie you gameing space.


warhead01 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
St. Zondo XXIII said...

I've been following this recently, and having discussions with friends, and I thought I would jump in.
First off, I think Loken is correct for the most part. Maybe a little heavy-handed on his pro-flgs defense, but I've met him a couple of times in person and he stuck me as passionate about the hobby and that is what I think we are seeing here.
I'm more of a garagehammer kind of guy, but I still need my game store fix. I actually live about 25 miles south of Dice of War. Thirty miles from Pegasus Hobbies (and they only give 10% discount, FYI). The closest GW store is Tustin, about thirty miles, and the the old Bunker was 40 miles.
I listed the miles because it comes into play regarding the cost of product. It costs me about $8-10 round trip to go to these stores, maybe a few more to get to the old bunker.
Lufgt was fairly far off on his economics. lets say I plan on buying $100 of product. If it's finecast or any other "direct only" I have to order from GW online. And they will charge me CA tax, so about $8 for a total of $108. If I had it shipped to their store we need to add another $10 so $118. Yikes.
Now, if it's plastic my options are more open. If I go to a local store that discounts, like Dice of War, it's $90 plus tax of $7.2 plus $8 gas for a grand total of $105.2. I probably had an enjoyable time talking to people. Maybe bought some paint (get Vallejo Air please). If I went to Pegasus I had less of a good time (for the same amount of money) because I listened to the employees complain/rant about GW - ugh. I only go there if I need certain hobby supplies.
I've ordered online from two discounter, thewarstore and frontline gaming (I believe they both have storefronts on top of online sales). Both do 20% off and flat rate shipping (I think both come in at $6, but I may be wrong here.) So, since I am in the same state as frontline I pay tax. So that $100 msrp purchase costs me $86 from thewarstore and around $92.4 from frontline. Neil and the rest at thewarstore are super friendly, but not really gamer chatty. Frontline gaming, who runs most of the big west coast tournaments, are also friendly and can get chatty if they are not super busy.
So I save just shy of $20 by ordering $100 of product from an out of state online source versus going to my local shop. If I'm going there to play anyway the gas is not a factor, so $12 savings. If we up the purchase to $200 the savings become even greater, around $30-40. That's another (discounted) box of troops.
Taking this into account I think the relationship with the flgs needs to go both ways. Too many times they are dark, dank, stinky places. And too many times at too many stores the tables aren't available, filled up with whatever card game is hot, or filled up with product. One night a week and maybe a weekend day for 40k isn't really supporting me. But hey, just my opinion
TL;DR way cheaper to buy online, so flgs need to support the customers just as much as the customers need to support the store.

Loken said...

SandWyrm said...

So if I order something from GW's website, that's ok. But if I order something from Models-R-Cheaper.com, it's like setting fire to my FLGS? I call BS. One is just as 'damaging' to the local store as the other.


Sandwyrm, I NEVER said anything of the sort. Go back and read what I said. The whole point is if you play at a store, but at that store.

St. Zondo XXIII said...

Loken:
yeah, thought out, unemotional discussions on the internet, crazy right?

And to clarify, I wasn't really talking about Dice of War. My visit there was great, super friendly. I wish I could get there more often. But like I said, I do more garagehammer. Designing a 4x8 table currently, with modular panels. And the convenience of cold Newcastle and 18 year old scotch. lol

Loken said...

You can't beat a fully stocked bar!

Stucarius said...

My only comment regarding the shopping cart is that in all likelihood based on recent Supreme Court rulings, and some past precedence, they cannot legally prevent online sells using shopping carts.

They cannot refuse to sell to some retailers and not others based on a policy that gives them an unfair advantage in the market place. You see GW's retail presence is separate from its presence as a manufacturer and legally is treated differently in many ways.

They are in fact forcing a policy on retailers and punishing them if they do not follow that policy while at the same time competing with the retailers they sell to.

The problem is that up to this point no one has decided to put forth the money to challenge them in court and because the USA the wild west with not government regulation to speak of it falls on the small guy to spend the money on court challenges.

Just like the spanking GW took in the Illinois COurt with Chapter House, eventually GW;s predatory practices will get challenged and they could get one heck of a fine. Not to mention having to settle with every FLGS that was forced to hamstring their online sells in order to give GW an advantage in the retail space online.

Just because GW is forcing sores into these reseller contracts does not mean that the contracts are not subject to legal challenge. GW needs to be VERY VERY careful as they would not be the first niece industry manufacturer to find themselves in a lot of trouble over such practices.

It amuses me no end how trained people are to just think that because a big company does something it must be legal to do so. Since when did Americans abandon their rights so readily to both Big Business and Government.

Lufgt Huron said...

Loken,

Please don't call me entitled, I don't call you names, sure our opinions are different, most of the time actually, rare occasions we agree. I actually agree with most of what you're saying, I feel it's REALLY important to support your game store you go to.

Now, as far as being entitled goes, I shop where I play because the shop is great, the people are great, they play both fantasy and 40k, I can always get a game or help with modeling, and while I don't buy every time I come in, I always buy from my store when I do.

I've never purchased a single item off the internet, including craigslist, amazon, or any other online discounter because I realize that if I want a place to play and hobby, I need to buy from that location.

However I think this is where we got mixed up in my message.

I feel that it's the shop's responsibility to give great service first, even if they don't buy anything because that's what will get people to come back. Once and a while someone will come in the shop bragging about the models they got on ebay or craigslist and the manager let's them play, even though not a single model came from the shop, he lets them, then gives them great service like helping them build their models and showing them how to paint.

That great customer service has turned more people around from craigslist and ebay, to support the shop because he gave them the attention and support they needed, it seems like hard work, and possibly even a dead end but it pays off for him because they shop there now instead of other places.

that's what I mean't, Sorry to offend, I wasn't making this personal.

St. Zondo XXIII,

My economics isn't off, I used some examples that should have been separated more carefully.

What I mean't is usually online discounters don't use free shipping, so for example if you buy a Dark Vengeance at 20% off from Dave's Discount Models .com, it'll be 99 and change after tax, add 8 bucks for shipping it'll be about 107.

But if you bought it from the GW website, Shipping is FREE and it'll be about 106.

If you walked into a Games Store that does 20% off, it'll be 99 and change out the door.

Where if you went somewhere that does not discount, it'll be about 106 and change.

the difference in price is not that big.

As Loken has pointed out, there's some places like Pegasus that will discount just to undercut locals and have no gaming space.

So, my point is, with such a small difference in price why wouldn't you support your local game store.


Now for you, it's no difference because you do Garage Hammer, and that's awesome because open bar, but you actually live at least 30 miles from the shop I go to, so for you online ordering is convenient.

Also to everyone!

Come ON stop attacking each other, I REALLY think this is an awesome discussion, and I'm by no means a mod of this place, that'd be a cold day in hell, eh Loken!

But keep it civil... just because this is the internet, doesn't mean we have to act like savages!

Stucarius said...

Quote Loken "GW sets rules by which retailers have to abide if they want to sell GW product. If you break those rules, then GW can stop selling to you. And now, because of new retailer and distributor agreements, GW can force the distributor to stop selling to you.

All legal."

That is not at all a set in stone legal issue. What GW is doing may very well be illegal. They are engaged in predatory distribution, pricing and sells policies for which companies have gotten in trouble before.

There are laws regarding a manufacturer using sells contracts to gain unfair advantage in the marketplace for their own retail presence. This is really more a matter of a business deciding it is worth the money to file the suite against them.

You see in the USA getting away with something is not the same as something being legal. This is because there are no oversight agencies with the ability to stop such behavior. It is the responsibility of the damaged party to file civil actions in the USA.

Many things GW does in the USA they cannot do in other countries.

It is odd that people do not see how wrong it is for a manufacturer to use distribution contracts to gain market advantage in a separate retail business.

GW can legally set any policies they wish but those policies CANNOT be instituted in order to gain market advantage over the business to which their manufacturing business is selling their products.

BTW, GW does not care a lick for FLGS. Its only in places like the USA and Australia where they have to deal with a market that is accessed largely through FLGS. I have personal experience with this reality via my own FLGS and one of my best friends who owns one of the highest volume sellers of GW products in the S.E.

Their not so transparent goal is to move as much of their business out of FLGS as they can and into their stores and onto their website. Mark my words that the day is not terribly far away that GW will stop distribution through FLGS in the USA.

St. Zondo XXIII said...

Hey Lufgt,
Truly sorry if it seemed like I was attacking you, that was not my intention.

And I understand if you didn't make it through my wall of text, but you're math is off.
using your example, the (rounding up a dollar for convenience) Dark Vengeance at Dave's Discount Models.com would be $80 with a 20% discount. And you only get taxed if the seller has a presence in your state. so it would be, with their slightly too high shipping of $8, $95.40 in state or $88 out of state.

But I think we agree that it's not a huge difference. Where we do see a huge difference is when we increase the numbers.

Let's say I buy $400 worth of stuff. Discounted 20% that is $320, add $6 shipping and it's $326 total. At a flgs discounting 10% it's $360 plus tax, which in CA comes to $388.80. That's a difference of $68.80.

But I'm not preaching to buy online. I'm just saying, kind of like you are, that a retailer needs to step up also. Do something to justify me spending that extra chunk of money. For me that might be a clean, well lit store that doesn't smell like a high school gym locker. And upbeat friendly staff who are helpful but not aggressively pushy. Nice tables with plenty of terrain.

Even if I play mostly at home, I still like to meet new people and find new players. Growing a garagehammer group is always a good thing. Who doesn't want more players and different armies to play against? And not to steal people away from the stores, but to broaden the scope of our hobby.

It's kind of funny how far we strayed from the original issue of Dicebucket. They are kind of like the cheater players we all know and, well, not really love. lol Not playing by the rules to gain an advantage. Oh well, they will never go away

Lufgt Huron said...

Hey St. Zondo XXIII,

No apology needed, I didn't take it as an attack, I figured what I wrote wasn't really that clear, but you've made great points too, I think the one thing that is always a little wonky is the tax issue combined with the discount, especially when it's purchased from an out of state retailer.

That is defiantly one factor i didn't take into account, thanks.

Loken said...

Stucarius said

"Their not so transparent goal is to move as much of their business out of FLGS as they can and into their stores and onto their website. Mark my words that the day is not terribly far away that GW will stop distribution through FLGS in the USA."

While I don't think GW really gives a damn about their merchant accounts, and they would LOVE to see all the business go through THEIR stores and their websites, the fact is a huge amount of their US business go through the merchant accounts. And I don't see that changing. Because if GW did cut them off, their business would nose dive.

Of course GW has started all this "Direct" nonsense and GW exclusives, to get people used to buying from their site.

But their stores are not kicking ass. GW has never had a good retail strategy and we are about to see them struggle even more as they are about to lose a ton of their one-man store managers.

Why? Because they just put them all on salary and took them off hourly, meaning they will all be making about 35% less this coming year. You think their employees are going to stay?

Sir Tainly said...

My F(not so local)GS sell GW at the same price as the discounters, also sells mail order, and has gaming space - which is a win on all sides.

True their stock levels are low, but in this day and age very few shops carry much stock - even GW itself is moving away from keeping things on the shelves. I really feel FLGS should either work on having great stock levels and not worry about gaming space, or work on selling gaming time and refreshments, and actually make their profit from that, not the retail side.

All said I'm no longer living in North America where FLGS by and large got driven out of business by GW 15+ years ago.

seb12 said...

Yea... Flgs are only a stepingstone for Workshop to set foot in an area.
I said it above... in the 90tys they started killing of flgs in europ due to Not fitting their Standards!
They killed of OnlineDiscounters. And its Not a new thing with dicebucket.

To belive they do this to Support local stores is not supportet by any fakts. Its just a nother Workshop lie!

And it wont save youre gameingspace at flgs or battelbunkers if you buy in Store. They just say that to presure you into buying when you dont need anything.

Buying Online is like Not buying at all from youre flgs.
And Not buying is forbiden if you want to play? Wtf?
Thats the GW policy of closeing down gameingspace and selling out of ministores.

Youre flgs should just give the Same discount as onlineretailers and cut costs elswere. Better lose a few % than a whole sail.

A flgs in my area just charges 15% ontop of what GW price is and they instead make their money with supplies like paint from other companies. Because thats the only thing people will by in Store
You might Not like it but customers do save up and can get 45% off if they order direktly from the UK. And once GW shuts that down they will just lose customers to ebay.

Customers cant be forced to buy nore should they be presured into it with gameingspace.

Its not going to change.

David Ashworth said...

Seb12, I think your comment that the FLGS stores should compete at the same level of discount as online stores while still providing gaming space - and paying more rent to do so - is a perfect example of how this selfish thinking is making it so hard for game stores to survive.

It is a trade off. If you play all your games at home, by all means take advantage of discount online sellers. But if you want to have the option of going to a store and playing with players other than your own circle of friends, taking advantage of the varied terrain available and enjoying the vents the stores put on, the as long as the place is not a "stink-cave", I think there is absolutely an obligation to buy your product at the the store. Maybe they will offer a discount, but to expect them to offer the same discount as the people who don't have anywhere near the overhead costs of running a store - while benefiting from the very facilities they offer - is just pure selfishness in my opinion.

Mad Englishman

Loken said...

The problem is, most gamers have no business sense. They have no clue what it takes to run a store. The insane suggestion that stores sell their product cheap and charge for gaming shows me that some people are just clueless.

And you know what? That is why so many game stores go out of business! Because they are run by GAMERS and not but BUSINESS PEOPLE who happen to love gaming.

Opinions are nice, but we know about that. Facts and experience are what you need to back up actually running a game store.

Stucarius said...

Loken,

In large markets there is the customer base to both discount and provide gaming space etc. In small markets the pressure for discounts is not so great an neither is the competition.

The truth is that higher volume discounted sells with secondary supporting products providing your higher margins is a well established business model both on a large scale and on a small scale.

It is simply not true that a FLGS cannot discount and stay in business. The highest volume FLGS in my town (Birmingham Alabama 2 million people) is called Legion. It is 23 years in business and offers 20% discount on all GW products to its customers. Paul also has twice the GW inventory that the local GW store itself has.

I don't know about your town but a well run game store will succeed. A 20% discount still leaves him with a 20% margin on GW products and as a result of the massive increase in volume he sells lots and lots of supporting products he would not sell otherwise.

If you think all the advantage as a reseller is with the online merchant you are fundamentally misunderstanding the psychology of gamers and what drives their purchasing impulse. Brick and mortar store have a HUGE advantage over online retailers in this industry.

seb12 said...

Well face reality... Not many people do that.

And their is also the Problem that once every Player in the area has a decent Army and no new players come in due to everybody in the area allready playing at the Store. That Store has no customers apart from those that buy new releases. And maybe thats just Not enough?

Workshop knows this, thats why we have the price-hikes and rules changeing.

The players that dont buy at the flgs and play are not the reasons stores close.
Some people might by Online.... in result that is the same as just not buying from the flgs for finacial reasons.

But its this attitude of "you have to buy" wich makes people stay away from the store and not even buy glue or paint.

I as customers have to be selfish to get the for me best deal. Every one does it outside of Warhammer.

Tim Sijben said...

Loken, how do you feel about 50-50?
Because that's what I do.
I started the game by spending over 200 on discount-sites and second hand armies.
That army would have been 600 if I bought everything at GW itself.

Later I went to the FLGS and bought another 200 euro's of products.

Should I be able to play with my models there?

Stad said...

I think GW has pushed forward to supplying new molds for armies as a way to fight ebay and the like.

I take offense at the Fantasy decline... but again it might just be your area or the fact I might be in an area that fantasy is doing excellent.

Take the new dark elf book coming out soon, GW is releasing an amazing amount of new plastic minis... not just repacks, new sculpts. Even the marine release has lots of new stuff. They change enough that players will want the new product. Still prices have to bubble soon...

polynikes said...

If a gaming store has tables they should charge subs to cover costs like any gaming club and have no restrictions. If they can't effectively do this then don't.

They should then have a competetive business model to entice people to buy their products, not bully them eg. a reward scheme, membership discount, monthly raffle, access to shop armies it really isn't important.

People will go to a shop and spend money there if it makes sense, you can't force people to shop there no matter how hard you try.

As for the effect it has on GW, stop being naive, this company makes huge amounts of money and has never been in trouble in all its history. Which is incredible in itself, just check the figures.

Online sellers mean their product is selling without them having to do anything and all those websites are free advertising to further push out their ranges.

DarianZG said...

Hey Loken,

I wanted to get your opinion on something tangentially related to this post. I agree with the points you've listed, as a martial arts school owner myself I get a lot of people who "just want to come over and work out" but not pay for lessons since they're already 'very experienced'. I'm not a gym and this is a place of business, regardless of the how many centuries of tradition etc.

But my inquiry is this. What do you think about GW store owners who disallow Forge World models in their store? The store I go to recently had a change in management. The former manager was a pretty chill guy who'd been with the company for years. His view was, "hey if you spent money on it of course you're going to want to play it so bring it in." But this was also because he knew the clientele really well and the people who bought the most Forge World models were the ones who also spent the most in-store as well.

But that manager left the company and the guy who replaced him is a newbie. Been with GW for about 3 months now. He has a staunch "no FW models" rule in the store. We had a guy who literally dropped about $3k/month in FW stuff every month since January. In one month he bought a Reaver Titan, a Manta, a bunch of Tigersharks, etc. When he gets the itch to play an army, he'll generally clear out the entire store's selection of stuff. Literally. He once wanted to play High Elves and just swept his arm along the shelf to buy everything out.

But the new mgr still has this zero FW rule because "it doesn't make the store any money so why would I advertise a product I can't sell?"

I know that FW and GW try to retain their own brand identities regardless of being under the same corporate umbrella so saying "but they're the same company" doesn't exactly jive too accurately. But to limit your highest tier customer sounds a bit too closed-minded in my humble opinion.

I know it's kind of a digression of the original topic but it got me thinking about it and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Loken said...

Well, that is absurd. And in fact, I bet if someone complained to GW HQ that manager would get his head handed to him.

Frankly, he is a tool. And harming GW.

Alec

DarianZG said...

I don't disagree with that and I've been tempted to contact GW HQ about it. My buddy who spends the large wads of cash recently moved to another state. The GW store there has the same restrictions. No FW models allowed at all. Ever. His reason is that a player brought in some FW models and apparently botched the rules and ruined it for everyone else. So the mgr basically said no more FW for anyone. Really small-minded, and it boggles me. Anyway, just wanted to hear your thoughts. Hope all is well.

Loken said...

Can you tell me WHICH Stores? This deserves an article on my blog.

Post a Comment

Labels

3D Printing (7) 40K Fluff (3) 40K Nation (2) 6th Edition (32) 7th Edition (8) Aaron Lovejoy (2) Accessories (4) Adepticon (10) Adeptus Mechanicus (19) Aetherium (1) Airbrushes (1) Alan Bligh (1) Alpha Legion (9) Analytics (1) Anvil Eight (1) Apocalypse (43) Apocalypse Games (6) Apocalypse World Records (9) Armies (2) Art (2) Astra Militarum (1) Battle Reports (20) Battlefleet Gothic (2) Battlefoam (3) Battlefront Miniatures (1) Betrayal at Calth (7) Big Daddy (1) Black Templars (3) Blood and Skulls Industry (7) Blood Angels (21) Blood Ravens (1) Campaign (1) Chainsword (1) Chaos (18) Chaos Space Marines (35) City Fight (1) Collectors Editions (1) Conquest (2) Conventions (1) Conversions (14) Cosplay (5) Crimson Templars (5) Daemons (4) Dark Angels (29) Dark Eldar (5) Dave Taylor (2) Dawn of War (1) Death Guard (1) Death Korp of Krieg (1) Death Korps of Krieg (2) Dice of War Games (2) Digital Downloads (2) Dreadnoughts (2) Dreamforge (7) Drop Zone Commmander (1) Dust (1) eBay (5) Eldar (33) Emperor's Children (1) Eternal Crusade (1) Events (2) Facebook (1) Fantasy Flight Games (5) FAQ (6) Feast of Blades (1) Fellblade (14) Finecast (2) Flames of War (2) Flash-Gitz (1) Flyers (16) Forge World (396) Fraud (2) Games Workshop (77) Gamesday (1) Garro (1) Giveaways (8) Grey Knights (5) Heresy Trading (1) Hobby Articles (26) Hobby Supplies (1) Horus Heresy (335) Horus Heresy Weekender (31) House Rules (7) Imperial Fists (12) Imperial Guard (25) Imperial Knights (22) Inferno (6) Inquisition (3) interviews (4) Iron Hands (8) Iron Warriors (5) KICKSTARTER (7) Killzone (1) Knight Titans (5) Legal Issues (3) Legio Custodes (22) Legion of the Damned (4) Leman Russ (1) Leviathan Crusader (1) Lord Inquisitor (12) Magnus (2) mastadon (1) Mastodon (1) Mechanicum (9) Minotaurs (1) Mobile Devices (1) Moritat (1) Necrons (14) New Releases (4) Night Lords (4) Objective Scoring (2) Orks (28) Painting (4) Plastic 30K Kits (1) Podcasts (1) Primarchs (3) Primaris Space Marines (1) Privateer Press (1) Prospero (3) Raven Guard (8) Ravenguard (1) Resin accessories (108) Retailers (7) Roboute Guilliman (1) Rumors (95) Salamanders (5) Scam Alerts (1) Scratch Builds (24) Siegeworld (5) Sisters of Battle (11) Sisters of Silence (8) SoCal Apocalypse (5) Solar Auxilia (12) Sons of Horus (4) Space Hulk (3) Space Marines (56) Space Wolves (13) Special Ops (1) Starter Set (5) Stormbird (1) Supplements (2) Tactics (1) Tallarn (1) Talons of the Emperor (1) Tau (19) Terrain (15) The Big Game (20) The Big Game 2 (17) The Big Game 3 (14) The Big Game 4 (3) The Black Library (118) The Emperor (1) The Inner Geek (4) Thosand Sons (3) Thousand Sons (16) Thunderhawk (5) Titans (24) Tom McBride (33) Tools (1) Tyranids (13) Ultramarines (12) Video Games (16) Videos (1) Wahammer 40k (4) Warhammer Forge (1) Warhammer World (6) Warhawk (3) Warhound Titan (2) Warlord (16) Warmachine (1) Week in Review (1) White Dwarf (10) White Scars (4) WIP (2) Word Bearers (4) World Eaters (3)

Disclaimers

Apocalypse40K is a registered trademark of Dice of War, Inc.. ©Copyright 20010-2013. All rights reserved.

Warhammer 40,000
This web site is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.

Adeptus Astartes, Blood Angels, Bloodquest, Cadian, Catachan, the Chaos devices, Cityfight, the Chaos logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, Codex, Daemonhunters, Dark Angels, Dark Eldar, 'Eavy Metal, Eldar, Eldar symbol devices, Eye of Terror, Fire Warrior, Forge World, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Genestealer, Golden Demon, Gorkamorka, Great Unclean One, Inquisitor, the Inquisitor logo, the Inquisitor device, Inquisitor:Conspiracies, Keeper of Secrets, Khorne, Kroot, Lord of Change, Necron, Nurgle, Ork, Ork skull devices, Sisters of Battle, Slaanesh, Space Hulk, Space Marine, Space Marine chapters, Space Marine chapter logos, Tau, the Tau caste designations, Tyranid, Tyrannid, Tzeentch, Ultramarines, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k Device, White Dwarf, the White Dwarf logo, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Warhammer 40,000 universe are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2008, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.

Warhammer
This web site is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.

The Chaos devices, the Chaos logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, the Double-Headed/Imperial Eagle device, 'Eavy Metal, Forge World, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Golden Demon, Great Unclean One, the Hammer of Sigmar logo, Horned Rat logo, Keeper of Secrets, Khemri, Khorne, Lord of Change, Nurgle, Skaven, the Skaven symbol devices, Slaanesh, Tomb Kings, Trio of Warriors, Twin Tailed Comet Logo, Tzeentch, Warhammer, Warhammer Online, Warhammer World logo, White Dwarf, the White Dwarf logo, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Warhammer world are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2008, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.


General This web site is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.

Adeptus Astartes, Battlefleet Gothic, Black Flame, Black Library, the Black Library logo, BL Publishing, Blood Angels, Bloodquest, Blood Bowl, the Blood Bowl logo, The Blood Bowl Spike Device, Cadian, Catachan, the Chaos device, Cityfight, the Chaos logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, City of the Damned, Codex, Daemonhunters, Dark Angels, Dark Eldar, Dark Future, the Double-Headed/Imperial Eagle device, 'Eavy Metal, Eldar, Eldar symbol devices, Epic, Eye of Terror, Fanatic, the Fanatic logo, the Fanatic II logo, Fire Warrior, Forge World, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Genestealer, Golden Demon, Gorkamorka, Great Unclean One, the Hammer of Sigmar logo, Horned Rat logo, Inferno, Inquisitor, the Inquisitor logo, the Inquisitor device, Inquisitor:Conspiracies, Keeper of Secrets, Khemri, Khorne, Kroot, Lord of Change, Marauder, Mordheim, the Mordheim logo, Necromunda, Necromunda stencil logo, Necromunda Plate logo, Necron, Nurgle, Ork, Ork skull devices, Sisters of Battle, Skaven, the Skaven symbol devices, Slaanesh, Space Hulk, Space Marine, Space Marine chapters, Space Marine chapter logos, Talisman, Tau, the Tau caste designations, Tomb Kings, Trio of Warriors, Twin Tailed Comet Logo, Tyranid, Tyrannid, Tzeentch, Ultramarines, Warhammer, Warhammer Historical, Warhammer Online, Warhammer 40k Device, Warhammer World logo, Warmaster, White Dwarf, the White Dwarf logo, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Blood Bowl game, the Warhammer world, the Talisaman world, and the Warhammer 40,000 universe are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2008, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.