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Subject: Owning a Gamign Store rss

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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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As I sit here at my summer internship in the physics department toiling over a laser, and a crashed computer, my mind naturally wanders to anywhere but here. And so I wonder, what's it like to own a board game store? What's it like to have your career be "boardgames"? How about just working in a gaming store?

Am I going to abandon my physics career and try to start my own small business? Probably not. It's a nice dream, though, and I'm a bright young kid with a lot of ambition so let's feed that dream, just for a little.

So tell me... is it stressful? What obstacles did you have to overcome? Are you human like the rest of us? Do you bleed when you are cut? Is it fun? Do you go to conventions to trot your wares? Is it a life of high adventure, shady dealings, and ninjas?

Help me break through the myth.

I can only hope there is at least one game store owner out there who can answer this. Snarky comments are also welcome.
 
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Galen
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I dont own a game store but you can't just sell games, that's for sure. It seems now a days everyone is ordering them online. My guess would be to run events and board game nights. You really have to seperate yourself and do something different.
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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galeninjapan wrote:
I dont own a game store but you can't just sell games, that's for sure. It seems now a days everyone is ordering them online. My guess would be to run events and board game nights. You really have to seperate yourself and do something different.


The intrigue and excitement only grows.

I don't even have a gaming store near me to get a taste of that elusive, magical world (not since Wizards left, and I was too young to appreciate them).
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Read here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/987339#987339
 
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Mark Goadrich
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This Games Journal article of Ward Batty's experiences with Batty's Best Comics & Games demistifies many dreams about opening a game store.

http://thegamesjournal.com/articles/OpeningAGameStore.shtml
 
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Rick B
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I can relate. If one could earn an honest living without spending every hour of the day at it (I'm kind of lazy that way), it would be fun, I think.

Anyway, take a look at this thread when you get a chance:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/117490 (edit: Paul was faster posting this link...)

It made it sound like it is a tough business to start.
 
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jeremy cobert
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ninjas dont go to game conventions, they go to killacon.
http://www.askaninja.com/news/2006/05/01/ask-a-ninja-questio...
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Excellent articles, thank you.

The dream can still live on in my head, though
 
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Phillip Heaton
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The one complaint that I've heard from almost every game store owner I've ever known is "I never do any gaming any more."
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Thanks for your reply, Peter, that's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. I understand that owning a business is tough, awful, horrendous, soul-grinding work. But come on. Gaming business > regular business any day of the week. How could it not be?

Other than the poverty, of course.
 
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Galen
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What about designing games instead of selling them.

How profitible is it to start and run a game designer/publisher business?
 
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Paul DeStefano
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galeninjapan wrote:
What about designing games instead of selling them.

How profitible is it to start and run a game designer/publisher business?


That depends on far far too many variables to be taken into account here and really needs to be on a case by case basis.

Yes, I have made a nice amount of money working with Adiken. More than most others in similar situations, I would think, and with no cost out of pocket.

However, obviously ventures due fail...
 
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Alan
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BPD, when do you have time to work in a physics lab and dream of owning a game store?

Get back to your WW games!!!
 
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Galen
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I think my dream job would be to publish games. I've designed a few myself, but only played them with my friends. What kind of profits can be made from designing a medium size game and getting it published?
 
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Paul DeStefano
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galeninjapan wrote:
What kind of profits can be made from designing a medium size game and getting it published?


Again, this is truly a case by case basis.
 
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Galen
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Geosphere wrote:
galeninjapan wrote:
What kind of profits can be made from designing a medium size game and getting it published?


Again, this is truly a case by case basis.


Do you know of any examples?
 
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Stephen De Chellis
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If you want to get into game design check out -> http://www.bgdf.com/tiki/tiki-custom_home.php

Don't expect to quit your day job and live off of your game design money unless

A) Your name is Reiner Knizia, Alan R. Moon or Klaus Teuber
B) You move to the Yukon where you hunt your own food and only need the royalties to pay for the occasional manufactured goods

There is money to be made but a lot depends on the relationships you build with publishers and how well your game designs are received by the buying public.
 
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Grant
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For what its worth, nearly every time I go into a board game store in SoCal, I'm always AMAZED that they somehow manage to keep their doors open. They tend to get two kinds of customers: 1.) CCG kids that don't have their allowance yet and only want a cool corner to park their sweaty adolescent bodies in for a few hours while they whisper about whether a Flimflam beats a Boombang, and 2.) adults like me who wander in, marvel at the wondrous products, realize that I can get all of them for at least 20% off online, smile and leave.
Now I think our hobby might be coming on the up & up here soon, but I TOTALLY agree with your first commentator: you need to have an angle. Pure retail doesn't cut it...maybe a coffee/dessert/cocktail bar attachment? With game rentals and used books? And a smoke shop? I think I just described the world's greatest business...
 
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Mark Crane
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My ideal hybrid retail store would be:

1. about 200 videos, all highly rated. No crap.
2. small cafe with high-margin tasty stuff.
3. live acoustic music
4. gaming tables
5. small but awesome book and magazine section
6. boardgames. Lots of good stuff in the $20 impulse price point.

It would go out of business in about two weeks, of course.
 
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Eric Burgess at Boardgame Babylon recently put up two podcasts on FLGSs. The first is with a guy who recently closed his store, and the second is with a guy who just opened his store.

BGB Volume 19 - The Demise and Rise of the FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store), Part 1
http://boardgamebabylon.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=104576

BGB Volume 21 - The Demise and Rise of the FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store), Part 2
http://boardgamebabylon.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=112527
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Luthien wrote:
BPD, when do you have time to work in a physics lab and dream of owning a game store?

Get back to your WW games!!!


I'm only in one and a half right now (PotC is basically over!)
 
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Phil Shepherd
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ulyssus wrote:
For what its worth, nearly every time I go into a board game store in SoCal, I'm always AMAZED that they somehow manage to keep their doors open. They tend to get two kinds of customers: 1.) CCG kids that don't have their allowance yet and only want a cool corner to park their sweaty adolescent bodies in for a few hours while they whisper about whether a Flimflam beats a Boombang, and 2.) adults like me who wander in, marvel at the wondrous products, realize that I can get all of them for at least 20% off online, smile and leave.


I invoke the spirit of DWTripp!

You should buy some games there sometimes, if you want to keep the opportunity to browse games in person. If that is not important to you, more power to you.
 
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Galen
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craniac wrote:
My ideal hybrid retail store would be:

1. about 200 videos, all highly rated. No crap.
2. small cafe with high-margin tasty stuff.
3. live acoustic music
4. gaming tables
5. small but awesome book and magazine section
6. boardgames. Lots of good stuff in the $20 impulse price point.

It would go out of business in about two weeks, of course.


Except for the music that sounds great. I hate playing games with loud muci because half the fun of playing for me is the interaction between people and the jokes that inevitably come.
 
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Arcadian Del Sol
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Robert Salvatore gave me this advice about writing, and it probably applies to game design as well:

'being a writer means eating peanut butter sandwiches for dinner every day for as long as you can possibly remember. Being a SUCCESSFUL writer means eating peanut butter sandwiches for dinner every day for as long as you can remember, and having the luxury of tuna fish sandwiches for dinner every other Sunday."

In other words: If money is even remotely important to you, don't do it - its not there.
 
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E.R. Burgess
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Fawkes wrote:
Eric Burgess at Boardgame Babylon recently put up two podcasts on FLGSs. The first is with a guy who recently closed his store, and the second is with a guy who just opened his store.

BGB Volume 19 - The Demise and Rise of the FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store), Part 1
http://boardgamebabylon.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=104576

BGB Volume 21 - The Demise and Rise of the FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store), Part 2
http://boardgamebabylon.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=112527


Thanks for the links, Fawkes. The third show, with a game store owner who is in the process of selling his store, will be out very shortly.

...Sheylon

www.boardgamebabylon.com
 
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