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Subject: Is it expected that you make a small purchase when you play in a game/comic shop? rss

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I'm playing in a small shop for the first time soon and meeting a group (thanks to BGG ) Should you make a small purchase when you use their shop to game in? At least browse their selection? We're going to be there for about 4 hours I'm sure.
 
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George Louie
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I don't play at my FLGS very often, but if I do, I always browse the store... If I see something that I wanted at a reasonable price I may pick it up.. But normally, I just make sure I buy some snacks and/or a drink from the store while I'm playing...
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Benj Davis
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You should definitely check out what they have. I don't think it's totally necessary that you buy something, but you should certainly consider it.
 
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Otherworldly Gamer
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We game at our FLGS shop every week and while not obligated, I tend to buy smaller items when I am there. Drinks, snacks, and card sleeves mostly.
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M. Shanmugasundaram
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Absolutely not.

If the game store has free public play space available, and you want to use it, your only obligation is to have good gaming etiquette, to be gracious and welcoming to observers, and to have a good time.

You don't even have to like the game you're playing.

You are effectively a gaming ambassador while you use their facilities, and you should make it a great place to shop, a place where people can get honest, measured, personable opinions from other patrons.

Now, I'd suggest that browsing, and maybe buying something you really want, is a good idea. That's how you keep the store in business and keep the play space free.

But "expected"? No way.
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Kathleen Nugent
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I'm cheap. I go to play games wherever the MeetUp has arranged them - sometimes a restaurant, sometimes a games store. But I almost never buy anything while I'm there, not even food. Yeah, I know it would be more polite if I did. But miserliness wins out most of the time.
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Susan F.
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If I play regularly at a store then I will do my best to make the occasional purchase there. How often I'll do so will tend to depend on their selection, prices, etc. (In other words, if they didn't carry anything I was interested in - or only had insanely expensive games - I wouldn't shop there. Fortunately, this has yet to be an issue.) For a single store visit, I'll likely check out their selection but feel no obligation to purchase.
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Bart
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Rusty567 wrote:
If I play regularly at a store then I will do my best to make the occasional purchase there. How often I'll do so will tend to depend on their selection, prices, etc. (In other words, if they didn't carry anything I was interested in - or only had insanely expensive games - I wouldn't shop there. Fortunately, this has yet to be an issue.) For a single store visit, I'll likely check out their selection but feel no obligation to purchase.

This is pretty much my approach too. I don't buy something every time I'm there, but I'll get something there from time to time.
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Carl Frodge
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smytty94 wrote:
I'm playing in a small shop for the first time soon and meeting a group (thanks to BGG ) Should you make a small purchase when you use their shop to game in? At least browse their selection? We're going to be there for about 4 hours I'm sure.
For me, it depends. I love my FLGS, and they have great prices, so I don't mind buying stuff. But if it ended up being a shitty place to play at, I wouldn't really want to support them. So I think that's what it comes down to. Do you want to support them? Do you appreciate what they're doing? If yes, then do.

You don't have to buy a game, just a snack or drink is fine.
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Mister P
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Just make sure you have a wash and put on heaps of deodorant. Nothing is worse than walking into a BO rich gaming store! shake
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David H
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You shouldn't feel obligated as it's your first time there. If however you like the store, use it regularly and gain pleasure from it then buying something, however small, helps keep the place going.

Nothing worse than seeing your favourite FLGS close.
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George Stewart
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Never feel obligated to make a purchase but on the other hand how can you be at a store and not have a browse/impulse buy!

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Nicholas Palmer
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I don't think its necessary, but I general tend to buy something small. Its easier though when you are into something like Dice Masters like I am, where I can just grab a few packs whenever I'm there each time and its like, 5-10 bucks at most.
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Barry Harvey
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BahdMufu wrote:
Just make sure you have a wash and put on heaps of deodorant. Nothing is worse than walking into a BO rich gaming store! shake

Could toiletries be a lucrative market for a gaming shop to expand into?

They could even sell specially branded merchandise. 'Eau de Catan' anyone?
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Andreas
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EllenCaroline wrote:
I'm cheap. I go to play games wherever the MeetUp has arranged them - sometimes a restaurant, sometimes a games store. But I almost never buy anything while I'm there, not even food. Yeah, I know it would be more polite if I did. But miserliness wins out most of the time.

Why not doing it right and creating wins for others too? Get an assortment of snacks and drinks and sell them to the other gamers. It should be easy to beat the stores price and get them a good deal.
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Boaty McBoatface
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I have seen a shop that expects you to use only stuff they sell (but you do not have to buy anything there and then) I have seen shops that have no such rule. The latter was the more packed (the former we have decided not to go to as the chances are we will ant to play something they do not sell, in fact the choice we made (before knowing the rule) was an OOP game).

It may well be polite to buy something (and I always tried, not often with success), but as a rule would not only mean I would not go to the game nights, but might even decide the bloke who owns the shop does not deserve my patronage ever. In fact it's why I cannot stand even going into a certain chain of gaming stores, it offends me.

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Gilbert Tobal
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As a first time user, you don't HAVE to buy anything. You'll be Taking a table for 4 hours though, it's a very long time so it'd be polite if your group contributed by buying drinks or snacks to keep the store going.

A lot of people tend to forget gaming stores and cafes are a business and need income to stay open. I used to play at a small boardgame bar a few times a month and I'd frequently see 5 people order a single soda for the "right" to play at one of the tables for the rest of the afternoon, some of them would even pack their own snacks. The owner/waiter would frequently go up to these tables to politely ask if they wanted to order anything, mostly getting a negative response with a second soda on rare occasions. You'd think a bar successful if it manages to fill up within minutes of opening the door, but this one went out of business last month. Ironically, some of the most vocally devastated users were regular members of deadweight tables.

TL,DR: if you enjoy your time at the store and intend on coming back, buy something
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Aaron Edwards
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I doubt anyone is going to yell at you if you come in, play for 4 hours, and then walk out. But the polite thing to do would be to buy something, even if just a pack of card sleeve for $3.
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Iain Brown
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My local store charges £2.50 to play there on a Friday night. I know some will object to this, but I don't mind it as it relieves me of any feeling of obligation to buy anything.

(Although I normally do)
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Stephen Williams
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smytty94 wrote:
I'm playing in a small shop for the first time soon and meeting a group (thanks to BGG ) Should you make a small purchase when you use their shop to game in? At least browse their selection? We're going to be there for about 4 hours I'm sure.

In terms of what's expected, I'd say it depends on the store.

It would be polite to at least buy a soft drink or something, assuming they sell those (most FLGSes do in my experience.) Particularly if it's one of these newfangled board gaming cafes that's half games and half coffee shop - definitely make a point of ordering something if that's the case.

However, I don't think you're under any obligation to buy a GAME... unless of course, you want to. If the staff make you feel pressured into doing that, I'd seriously reconsider going back. Although I've never personally run into that myself.

Some stores charge a nominal fee to use the tables for X amount of time. If that's the case, then pay your cover charge fair and square, but I wouldn't say you're under any obligation to buy anything else, having paid that.

gvt2000 wrote:

I used to play at a small boardgame bar a few times a month and I'd frequently see 5 people order a single soda for the "right" to play at one of the tables for the rest of the afternoon, some of them would even pack their own snacks. The owner/waiter would frequently go up to these tables to politely ask if they wanted to order anything, mostly getting a negative response with a second soda on rare occasions. You'd think a bar successful if it manages to fill up within minutes of opening the door, but this one went out of business last month. Ironically, some of the most vocally devastated users were regular members of deadweight tables.

Yeah, that's just rude. I understand the conundrum for the store's owners - wanting to maintain a polite and inviting atmosphere, but also wanting to convince people to buy stuff.

Were I the manager of such a store, particularly after seeing them bring in their own snacks, I'd probably sit down and have a very frank (but civilized) discussion with those kids about how it's rude to bring your own food into a bar/restaurant. If they never came back, I wouldn't shed too many tears.

Then again, I'm not the manager of such a store (and likely never will be,) so it's easy for me to talk...

caracfergus wrote:

Could toiletries be a lucrative market for a gaming shop to expand into?

I doubt that would pan out. Stinky gamers aren't stinky because they RAN OUT of these things...
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Asaf Fabbi
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Obligated no. If you attend regularly though, it helps the place stay in business. I attend a regular game night at a local store and really love the community there. For me, it is one of the small local businesses I go out of my way to support. Even though it is more expensive to purchase things there, I do so often. I rarely buy things elsewhere unless I am at a convention or the store owner cannot get it for me or I am kickstartimg something.

I like this approach. It works for me. Having a place to go where there is a vibrant gaming community I can play a bunch of games with every week is awesome and I am willing to do my best to keep that place in business.
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Quote:
I doubt that would pan out. Stinky gamers aren't stinky because they RAN OUT of these things...

Love it.

Thanks guys, some strong opinions here. Great discussion! The place I'm going to is fairly small, prices are decent (for a FLGS), a lot of comics, and always MTG going on. But our choices of locations like this are kind of limited in this area.

To make a good first impression I'll probably get a coke, or some sleeves, or a few dice masters packs. Done.
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It shouldn't be. If a store wants that kind of arrangement it can charge a fee for admittance and then award the amount of the fee in store credit. Proprietors need to look out for their own interests rather than expect visitors to do that for them.
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Asaf Fabbi
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Best of luck. I hope it works out for you! having a place to go game is fantastic :-)
 
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I tend to buy dice nearly every time. They are cheap and they help out the store in a small way. And really... Can you ever have enough dice?
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