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Paul Nowak
United States
Greenville
Michigan
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You have paid retail for the last time.
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The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. - GKC
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Some time ago I made a post of resources for opening your own game store.

My question here is, what do you want to know about local game stores when you are visiting or move to a new area?

This could be very useful information for those starting game stores, or trying to improve their game store.

Things that come to mind for me are - do they have open gaming areas? Games you can play if you didn't bring your own? Do they have my kind of game (wargame, TCGs, miniatures)? Do they have organized play for game X?



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that Matt
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
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I'm a quitter. I come from a long line of quitters. It's amazing I'm here at all.
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I can feel bits of my brain falling away like wet cake.
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Is there a clearance shelf?
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Paul Sauberer
United States
Hendersonville
Tennessee
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Some things that pop immediately to mind.

1. Consistent hours. If you have a sign/website that says you are going to be open at a certain time you should be open then.

2. Prices no more than MSRP.

3. A loyalty program that offers some value, either discounts or the possibilities of promos or something else.

4. A place to play board games that is not overrun by CCGs.

5. A way to connect with people such as a bulletin board or scheduled board game sessions.

I have yet to find a store that fulfills all of these in the last two locations I have lived.

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Mindy G
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Mold the chaos into something beautiful
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What kind of beer do they have?
 
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Ted Marshall
United States
San Jose
California
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Are they open in the evening? There are actually quite a few around here (South San Francisco Bay and up the peninsula) that stay open well into the evening, but one, which is otherwise real nice, closes at 7PM at the latest.
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Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Good selection

Reasonable prices

Friendly staff

Scheduled board game night that isn't going to be bumped by Magic.
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Joe Salamone
United States
Billerica
Massachusetts
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Good selection and a loyalty program that provides discounts for large/repeat purchases. There was a store in my area a few years ago that would give you a 10% discount if you brought in $100 worth of receipts from previous purchases. I never left that store without spending $100+. Unfortunately, they ended up closing the store and I have purchased 95 - 99% of my games online since then.
 
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Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
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For me, #1 is the availability of gaming space. Others have pointed out the need for space that Magic players don't take over. (If it's a shared room, Magic players often get pretty loud.) Good lighting, HVAC, restrooms, and parking (and/or light rail access) are critical. Being open weekends and evenings is pretty important.

Aesthetics better than a concrete dungeon are helpful, as is the availability of good food and drinks. Staff should be friendly, but I don't need them to be helpful in terms of game selection. Basically, I'm looking for a space that has, or will encourage the growth of, a regular boardgaming group. I'm OK if the coordination of that group happens on meetup.com or BGG. (I don't do fb.)

If they have decent pricing on a decent inventory of games, that a plus. But for me it's not essential. Similarly, whether or not they carry RPGs, minis, comics, etc. doesn't matter. Nor does organized play.

The only game store within an hour of here has its gaming space in a separate building (think school portable), and the only restroom they provide is a plastic outhouse (with no running water). Unpredictably (if you don't follow such things), it is completely taken over by a Magic event. For me to get there involves a 25-minute drive that goes through a crowded pedestrian downtown area (but to their credit, they do have a decent parking lot). There is no convenient bus access either. So I almost never go.
 
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Stephen McHale
United States
Burke
Virginia
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Clean and well kept with a lack of a bad odor.
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