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Subject: New storefront market test rss

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Dillon Tener
United States
Kansas
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Am considering opening up a board game retail storefront with a twist. I'm just looking for general opinions on whether or not people in your local area (wherever) would consider, definitely use, or would not utilize the service. More or less, the idea is for a board game rental store that would also offer purchase. As an avid board game hobbyist I've spent lots of money on games, some of which either get minimal play because the core of the group doesn't enjoy or it just misses entirely. Or maybe we're just dipping into a new mechanic that we have yet to try out. I would offer competitive pricing plans for individual or bundled games, and there would be offer to purchase the games you like with the rental fee going towards the stores purchase price for the game. Lots of details to still work out but am looking for any suggestions and what people like/dislike about board game stores in general. I've seen a site called board game exchange that offers a subscription based service with bulk games. I like the idea but want to do more of a hybrid local retail/rental. Thanks for any input!
 
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Jeff Michaud
United States
Longwood
FL
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Cory Yates
United States
Pekin
Illinois
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I'm not interested and don't think it will succeed at all...sorry to be blunt but I don't want you to invest in something that will go no where. I don't see how the model is financially feasible or profitable. You're competing with the big timers like Amazon, Coolstuff., MM, and such. You may say your not but what's your rental fee going to be?...ok, then how much are you going to charge for say a game that costs $40 on Coolstuff if I decide to keep it?
 
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Dillon Tener
United States
Kansas
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Oh, I know I would be competing with amazon (it's where I buy all my stuff too!). The rental fees I'm talking would be about 10% game cost or a flat rate via a tiered system. Also, I insist on the bluntness! Not offended, sort of an all planets align, I have extra cash to play with situation. Just mucking around with the idea and looking for feedback. If you think about it like this: I could price match any product based on lowest priced on the internet if I wanted to. However, it would make more sense to offer 10% or lower total MSRP via rentals. A $50 game now becomes $5 for a week. Just like a video/movie rental, your done with it, you either like it or you don't, or you want to invest in your own copy. Whether I offer that copy to you at the Amazon.com current price or MSRP is something to consider further. One advantage of the rental system though is that it would be an investment rental system, unlike traditional video game rentals where you pay $1 per day, to reference the Redbox price, you don't get any of that money into the game if you want to own. I rent console game for 10 days thats $10. If I want to buy it, it will still run me $65 (tax included depending on the state your in). If you rent using an equity system, you pay $5 for a week with a $50 game. If you want to buy it, you pay off the remaining $45. Whether or not there is a market for people who want to use this system like a glorified Blockbuster video (poor example BANKRUPT...) for boardgames is different than the system. There is a local bg store in my area that charges MSRP for every single item, miniatures, boardgames, cards. They are very successful, competition aside. Thanks again for your input. Keep it coming brother
 
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Francisco Gutierrez
United States
Burbank
California
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Ask someone who runs a rental service how many copies of "new releases" they must buy to meet demand.

Ask someone who runs a boardgame cafe how long the boardgames last.

Ask someone who deals in used boardgames how much condition affects resale value.

I think you'll find that the responses to those questions will make your idea seem impractical.
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secoAce -
United States
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As a followup to what Francisco is saying, I think it would be too easy and tempting for people to take advantage of the rental model to not only just try but also play enough of the game to get tired of it and then offload it easily by returning it.

And then what are you going to do with all the opened game boxes which you'll have to carefully check for not only resellable condition but that it's complete with no missing pieces? You will have to sell/rent it as a used product, and who would want to rent/buy a used game instead of a new one for the same price?
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jeremy root
United States
Kingsley
Michigan
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Sounds like something I might use once in a while if available to me. But probably only for newer and more expensive games($40+). There are a few things that I thought of right away though:

1) I would think the shipping fees alone would make this idea too pricey to work for anyone not able to pick up locally. How much would it be for me to rent a $5 a week game and get it shipped from you in Kansas to me in Northern Michigan? Based on most of the auctions around here it looks like another $10-$15. And then it has to be shipped back again. That's $25-$35 to rent a game for a week. So I guess my point is, would there be enough interest in your area alone to make this feasible?

2) What about all the game components? Games will get returned with: missing pieces, broken pieces, bent cards, food/drink stains, etc. What to do with it now?

3) I will admit ignorance here, but what can be done with people who just don't return a game or games? It used to happen all the time at video stores and libraries
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Steve R
United States
Plymouth
New Hampshire
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jerkyroot wrote:
2) What about all the game components? Games will get returned with: missing pieces, broken pieces, bent cards, food/drink stains, etc. What to do with it now?

3) I will admit ignorance here, but what can be done with people who just don't return a game or games? It used to happen all the time at video stores and libraries

These two questions are very important. Are you going to do a fully component inventory everytime a game comes back? If not, how can you hold a renter accountable if they do not return a full game? Some components are generic (cubes, meeples, etc.) and can be easily replaced. But many games may have components that cannot be easily replaced or can't be replaced.

Another thought is your bottom line and ability to pay your monthly lease (assuming you are renting space for your store front). At 10% MSRP per rental, you are going to need to rent each game X amount of times to break even on the cost (depending on how good your wholesaler pricing is) and Y amount of times to pay for expenses such as leasing a storefront. How long will it take for those games to be rented that many times?

Don't forget about startup costs, fixtures, computers, taxes, licenses, employee costs, software costs, credit/debit transaction fees, etc. How many times do you need to rent a game before it is profitable and can you handle the cash flow while waiting for a game to be profitable. With a one week rental at 10% MSRP, assuming the games are constantly rented (which they won't be), you will not be making enough money to cover your costs for a while.

Another question is will gamers actually rent games on a regular basis. I have so many unplayed games that I have purchased that I wouldn't dream of renting a game. And given the amount of new games that hit my gaming group's table, there is no shortage of new games available through my friends. I am not sure you'll have enough demand to sustain this type of model.

Also, the trading marketplace for games on the Geek is incredible. I can almost always buy a hot new game with confidence that if I don't like it, I can quickly turn it around via a trade for a somewhat generally equivalent priced game and only pay shipping. You would be competing directly against a robust trading community which allows gamers to quickly turn over games they don't want at minimum cost (so long as the game has decent demand, which by default are the types of games you would need to limit a rental shop to offering).
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Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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I wouldn't do that, but the local FLGS does have such a program. It's not likely successful, but they haven't stopped it either.
 
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