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Subject: Tanga's effect on game "value"? rss

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Sterling Babcock
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Don't take this the wrong way, but is Tanga having a negative effect on game value? Let me explain.

The new resergence in board games has been a good thing for the industry, but also for us gamers in general. I honestly believe that if more adults in general were more informed about the current generation of games and less jaded by what they know (Candyland, Risk, Monopoly) that families would spend more time together away from the TV and computers.

Games can be expensive to purchase, but they last for many games. While a family may go out to eat once, or to a movie that lasts two hours, a game will cost them less and they can enjoy it for years.

That is of course another topic, how to inform the general public about games in a inoffensive way that has been discussed before and should be again.

However I was thinking about all the deals on Tanga, and it kind of pushes me the wrong direction. Oh, it is great and all that, fantastic deals for people who get them. But does it affect our perception of the worth of a game as far as playability and value in trade? If one gets a game for $20, does that mean it gets played once or twice and thrown away? If one pays $30, is one inclined to make the effort to play it more?

Does that make sense to anyone, or am I just in an odd perception mode?
 
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mrbass
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In DWTripps podcast with Derk and Aldie he said resellers can't return product so if you have patience board games will all eventually become cheap except those with huge demand.
 
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Gabe Alvaro
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Work backwards. I think the deals on Tanga are there because somewhere there is an excess of stock of the game. There is an excess stock probably because there were to many produced for what was sold. There were many produced because the producer had a rosy outlook and expected some healthy sales. Marketing efforts just failed to sell as many as the producers thought they would. All of this should not have any effect on the intrinsic merit of the game. The sales will be forgotten, but cardboard lasts a long time.
 
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Sterling Babcock
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blindspot wrote:
Work backwards. I think the deals on Tanga are there because somewhere there is an excess of stock of the game. There is an excess stock probably because there were to many produced for what was sold.


True. But that also means that games are not selling like they should. That is, the word is not getting out. Oh, there also is probably some poor planning by manufacturers, but I am more interested in discussing how to make games sell like they should so more people see them.
 
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Blue Jackal
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People are probably more likely to try to play a $30 game more than a $20 game. But that's how it always is... of course, people will play a good game regardless.
 
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Jon
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sbabcock wrote:
If one gets a game for $20, does that mean it gets played once or twice and thrown away? If one pays $30, is one inclined to make the effort to play it more?


If I pay $40.00 for a game that's rotten, I'll play it less than a $20.00 game that is great.


different line of thought:
If tanga has prices you think are very cheap, you could buy extra copies to be gifts to non-gamers, and spread interest in your hobby that way.
Give them to friends, schools, hospitals, and prisons.
 
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Alan Reeve
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It might be poor planning, but it might be that they elect to produce more to get a larger quantity discount on printing costs and then Tanga is a good way to turn the excess back in to cash (obviously Tanga didn't exist at the time some of these were produced so I'm not saying it was part of the original plan).

Tanga is probably a boon for some game makers, but I can certainly see how when a game goes up on Tanga that's going to create a drop in overall game value both based on the price they offer as well as creating more market saturation of a particular game title.
 
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Paul Boos
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I think it is actually most likely poor planning by some retailer (or distributor perhaps) that ordered too many, not the manufacturer for making too many. Basically they got distributed incorrectly, with no means of getting it form a retailer who can't sell it to one who could, so they get dumped and eventually sold on a site like Tanga.

Also judging by how fast these are selling on Tanga means that the quantity they are getting of these games is not large at all.

My thought - this will not have a prolonged impact on the price or value of gaming. It's like any short term sale. The trade argument mentioned earlier is an incorrect presumption on the part of someone or they are just trying to convince the seller.

Paul
 
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Timothy
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jwandke wrote:
If tanga has prices you think are very cheap, you could buy extra copies to be gifts to non-gamers, and spread interest in your hobby that way.


Bingo. Exactly what I think. The games are cheaper so I can share the hobby. If I get a game (such as Marklin) from Tanga, I typically buy three copies to use as gifts for family or friends. Although I will admit the gift closet is getting rather stuffed now.
 
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Iain K
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I have a few comments SB,

Yes, Tanga has lowered the value, especially the resale value, of several games. But it all fairness so has eBay and online discount sellers. The difference is that Tanga seems to sell games at retail cost - slightly undercutting even the deep internet discounters.

You're asking if the "value" a game to gamers is less because of this Tanga discounting. Yes and No.

Whether I enjoy a game or not is independent of the cost. Now, whether I consider the purchase to be a good one or not does tie into the cost. i.e. If I enjoy a game, it was a better purchase if it cost less than a game which I enjoy equally that cost more. But my enjoyment isn't based on the cost, my valuation of the game is.

That having been said, I do see Tanga devaluing games in our BGG community. Consider the recent math trade that focused on Tanga acquisitions. Because so many people picked up these titles at such a low cost, and at the same time as other people, the monetary value of these titles has dropped in trading situations.

Funny side note, those that purchased Tanga games don't always realise this price drop has occurred and they keep holding out for $30 games in trade for their $10 Tanga scores.

Now the real question remains, does the fact that a game was dumped on Tanga mean it's a bit of a clunker?


PS TtR Marklin was recently on Tanga for $19.99 plus shipping, so what? I picked up my copy, new in shrink for $22 incuding shipping on eBay four or five months ago.



 
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Brett Myers
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sbabcock wrote:
Don't take this the wrong way, but is Tanga having a negative effect on game value?


It's absolutely no different than any other online discounter.
 
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Mike Betzel
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pmboos wrote:
I think it is actually most likely poor planning by some retailer (or distributor perhaps) that ordered too many, not the manufacturer for making too many. Basically they got distributed incorrectly, with no means of getting it form a retailer who can't sell it to one who could, so they get dumped and eventually sold on a site like Tanga.


I'd guess that is typically the case as well. They dump it off quick to Tanga to free up space and cut their losses. Tanga sells it and makes a little bit of money in the process.

The thing is I doubt Tanga makes much - if any - money on the board games they sell. I really think the board games are there to attract people to the site, get them checking every day and become interested in other items that are up for sale.
 
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James
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Right on Melon!

Think about the intrinsic value of a deck of cards or an Ice House pack compared to what you can get out of it...

Production costs (and thus game costs) really only contribute to your HOPE that the game is good and gets played a lot but is never a guarantee of table time and satisfaction. Otherwise you could say that CCGs and collectible miniature games are the nectar from Heaven (surprise ) - And don't ANYONE start a flame war over that statement, you know what I mean and it will fall on deaf ears anyway.

I think Tanga is providing a great service by making deals that are too good to pass up. I would have never picked Oasis, Lucky loop or any of the other hot deals from the sea of competition if it hadn't been for the prices. And I don't regret it for a second and I would much rather see those excess inventory games being used than sitting in a warehouse somewhere feeding rats. What is more important to you, the "value" of your collection or the value of the memories with friends at a table sharing an evening?

Cheers,
 
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Sterling Babcock
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ghost604 wrote:
I would much rather see those excess inventory games being used than sitting in a warehouse somewhere feeding rats. What is more important to you, the "value" of your collection or the value of the memories with friends at a table sharing an evening?


An excellent point!

I also like the idea of giving them away as gifts in order to spread the hobby.

Thank you all for your comments!
 
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Jeff Michaud
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sbabcock wrote:
But does it affect our perception of the worth of a game as far as playability and value in trade? If one gets a game for $20, does that mean it gets played once or twice and thrown away? If one pays $30, is one inclined to make the effort to play it more?

I'm willing to bet that a lot of the $20 games are getting more play than a $100 copy of Road & Boats.

generalpf wrote:
I have had a copy of Alhambra for trade since before it went up on Tanga, and now, whenever I get a trade offer for it, the other guy suggests its value is $8 USD, rather than the $40 CAD I paid for it. Bummer.

You overpaid for it in the 1st place! About a year ago it was selling for about US$13 at places like ThoughtHammer and others.

In any case, I'm guessing more copies of the 4 different expansion sets (each which are composed of 4 unique expansions) for Alhambra are being sold... and those are selling for $16-17 for each set!
 
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Rik Van Horn
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I think the X factor here is just how many copies of each game Tanga is putting into the market.

Just because they sell a game $10 doesn't mean thousands have entered circulation.
If they sold 50 or a hundred, it may seem that the game has devalued. But as people will come to find out, if that game has demand out there and supply is still low, the value will increase.
 
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Michelle Zentis
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JeffyJeff wrote:
I'm willing to bet that a lot of the $20 games are getting more play than a $100 copy of Road & Boats.


I do push harder to get an expensive game to the table for the first time, because if I don't like it I'd like to sell or trade it as soon as possible. Once I know that I like a game enough to keep it, I play what I like regardless of cost.

That said, my Roads & Boats game sees plenty of action -- and Antiquity sees even more!
 
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generalpf wrote:
I think it has definitely had an effect on trade value. I have had a copy of Alhambra for trade since before it went up on Tanga, and now, whenever I get a trade offer for it, the other guy suggests its value is $8 USD, rather than the $40 CAD I paid for it. Bummer.


I feel your pain, but this problem existed before Tanga did. In truth, your used copy probably won't be valued less than the total price (including shipping) of the Tanga deal, simply because of the limited supply. Even if Tanga never offered it, you still have to compete with internet discounted pricing from other sources.

On a tangent: The most frustrating trade offers I receive are those which are obviously (and/or ridiculously) unbalanced. Someday I'll take the time to update my condition notes so that other geeks have a clue before they waste their time. Do I want your Fluxx for my Band of Heroes? Yeah, right...
 
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Sterling Babcock
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Side note: I finally got to play Antiquity last Friday. It was pretty good! Although we were playing slowly and we had an analysis paralysis person, so it took about 6 1/2 hours.
 
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That's actually an interesting point Sterling. It reminds me of a geeklist that was posted a little while back, but which I can't seem to find now, about how the author of it used to spend a lot more time with games when he had less means to purchase lots of games. It was sort of looking back fondly on a time when he had only a handful of games and had to squeeze ever last drop of enjoyment out of them by tweaking the rules, etc. In contrast, now people just play something once or twice and move right on. I don't think it was just due to lowered costs but also due to increased means, but anyway, it was a really interesting list, if you can find it, or remember it. I guess Tanga could be contributing to that a little, but as someone else has already said, it doesn't seem like they actually have enough to sell to really make much difference in the market, the boardgames especially always seem to sell out instantly, and I can't imagine they have that many visitors, so the number sold can't be that big. Also, they're not really undercutting Thought Hammer, Fair Play Games, Time Well Spent, etc. by that much, so I guess they can't be contributing to the "devaluation of games" much more than the other online e-tailers. Anyway, not much else to say, just reminded me of a really interesting geeklist, and it's a good point you make, that people definitely enjoy each game more when they only have/can afford a few games, and are more likely to move on quickly when they have a hundred, but I'm not really one to talk, since I like having so many games...
 
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Matthew Gray
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It's occurred to me, that while not necessarily likely, there's a way in which Tanga may actually help board game publishers in a big way. This model/thought may be completely wrong in practice, but I thought it was an interesting theory:

If I'm a publisher, and say I make a $40 MSRP game, I probably have to a print run of, say, 5000 units minimum. Anything lower and the up-front costs drive the unit cost too high. Say then that the full print run of 5000 games cost $40,000. Now, if I'm selling these to the distribution channel for $16 so they can sell them to the retailers for $25 and I sell out the print run, I'm happy, I've made $40,000 on that game. On the other hand, if I only sell 1500 copies, I'm $16k short of my original costs. But, if I'm confident I have a liquidation channel (eg, Tanga) to whom I can sell the remaining stock at, say, $10, I've now made $19,000 on a game that, without something like Tanga, would have been a loss. Further, say Tanga sells this game for the extremely steep discount of $22. They don't even need to sell out their whole stock to break even.

Now, these particular numbers may be wrong, but my sense from talking to various people in the industry was that they're at least in the right ballpark. Obviously, if this kind of dynamic makes people in any volume say "I'll just wait until it's on Tanga", that could create a problem, but I don't see that as particularly likely. If a game sells out its first print run, but not particularly quickly, it may not get printed again at all.

For me, personally, I have a sense of what I'll pay for any given game, and I'm not especially inclined to "game the system" by waiting for it to be on clearance at Tanga, or B&N after the holidays, or whatever in order to save some money. I liked Niagara, but not a ton, and decided to buy it from an online discounter. I payed a lot more than the Tanga price, but I don't feel bad about it. When I first saw Nexus Ops when it came out, I thought it sounded neat, but nothing I'd pay more than $20ish for. As such, I didn't buy it until it appeared on Tanga.

Maybe, in the end, Tanga causes a drop in the overall perceived value (and therefore, pricing options) of boardgames, but I suspect it exists sufficiently in the margins, and the "here today, gone tomorrow" nature of it may cause the "liquidation channel" aspect of it to be a net positive.
 
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Here's a retailer's perspective:

Problem #1: Tanga is competing directly with BGG advertisers, such as me. This, to me, would be a slight conflict of interest.

Problem #2: If publishers dump excess inventory *before* retailers (online OR B&M) sell through their product, they are somewhat screwing their partners (retailers and distributors). How do I sell a $30 game once people have seen it on sale for $10. The difference between B&M and online is that B&M's serve a different customer base than online retail. Tanga is competing directly with other online retailers for the same product and customer.

I think Tanga is great for items that are no longer sold in retail channels (from a manufacturer perspective, not Tanga's or my perspective), but not a great option for manufacturers that want to dump product that is still in the retail channels.

Before the thread goes astray, I'm trying not to sound whiney and just hate competition. I'm trying to look at this as objectively as I can.

Tom
 
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Jeff Michaud
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BoardsAndBits wrote:
Problem #1: Tanga is competing directly with BGG advertisers, such as me. This, to me, would be a slight conflict of interest.

You are also on the other side of that as well... you are distributing Splotter games to other online retailers, but also selling them yourself. If I remember, your prices on Roads/Boats, etc, is lower than ThoughtHammer.

BoardsAndBits wrote:
Problem #2: If publishers dump excess inventory *before* retailers (online OR B&M) sell through their product, they are somewhat screwing their partners (retailers and distributors). How do I sell a $30 game once people have seen it on sale for $10.

Somewhat. However in theory the Tanga deals are one (very short) time deals... some of those buying it from Tanga are folks who wouldn't buy it otherwise. What % would have been your customers, only you'd know (assuming you track sales data, have you seen substantial drop in sales of a given game that was on Tanga?)
 
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I disagree completely with this. Tanga gives me ideas, sometimes with an occasional great value, but in all reality, I haven't bought much from it. Price isn't that much of a factor when choosing games. It's more of the game itself that calls to me. Am I really going to pay $10 for a game that I really don't like and never would pay? If that's the case, all the FLGS would have been gone a long time ago. I still visit and buy stuff from there, maybe not the major purchases, but I do buy stuff from them. Same with online retailors. Quality over price/quanity. A game is a game and the price doesn't change the game.

Edit: oh, one other thing, I decide also on service. If they treat me like crap, I'm not coming back, no matter what the price is. I'm mainstreamer meaning that I like to do repeat business, kinda something that all business look for.
 
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Sterling Babcock
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Thommy8 wrote:
That's actually an interesting point Sterling. ... I guess Tanga could be contributing to that a little, but as someone else has already said, it doesn't seem like they actually have enough to sell to really make much difference in the market, the boardgames especially always seem to sell out instantly, and I can't imagine they have that many visitors, so the number sold can't be that big.


Right, but that gets to my perception of the problem. Only a few people got Ticket to Ride Marklin for $19.99. But now it is in the mind of others that that is what that game costs. Never mind that there was shipping, that it was limited, or that internet retailers sell for not that much more than that. It is the idea in the back of the mind that, "Oh, yeah. Someone got that for 19.99, so therefore that is all that that game is worth." even though that person may not have been one to get that deal. Personally, I think that most games in general are worth what they cost. (Side note: Have you all tried a do it yourself print and play game, making the pieces, gluing a board, buying tools, glue, etc? It adds up.)

I am not trying to put down what Tanga is doing, and I wish them success. I am just giving voice to a disturbance in 'my' force. Thank you for listening.
 
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