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Subject: Asmodee Cut off Third Party sellers on Amazon? rss

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Matt Brown
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Is it just me, or did all the third party listings for Asmodee board games on Amazon just disappear over night? Also, it appears Amazon raised the prices of all the Asmodee related products they sell (Asmodee, FFG, Plaid Hat, etc.) because they no longer have any competition. Well, looks like the end game that we all knew was going to happen is finally being put into place and Asmodee is fully embracing it's role as the new Games Workshop. At least there is is till eBay (for now).
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Upside : no more counterfeit games and unbelievably low price scammers on Amazon for games.
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Matt Brown
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LunaWolvesMan wrote:
Upside : no more counterfeit games and unbelievably low price scammers on Amazon for games.


To be honest, I have never experienced or even seen this problem even having purchased dozens of games on Amazon. Probably because if I saw a price that was too good to be true I knew it was.

This seems to be a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water.
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Christian T. Petersen
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Gents, we are currently working with Amazon, jointly undertaking a significant effort to combat the incredible torrent of counterfeiting on the Amazon marketplace. As soon as practicable, all legit and authorized resellers of authentic Asmodee products will be able to return to the marketplace as usual.

Thanks for your concern,

Christian
Asmodee North America

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Flightmaster wrote:
Gents, we are currently working with Amazon, jointly undertaking a significant effort to combat the incredible torrent of counterfeiting on the Amazon marketplace. As soon as practicable, all legit and authorized resellers of authentic Asmodee products will be able to return to the marketplace as usual.

Thanks for your concern,

Christian
Asmodee North America



But if you reply with a sensible, informative answer, how are we supposed to foam at the mouth and shake our fists angrily in your general direction?
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Michael Jake
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Does that mean you are going to require Amazon to provide proof of our source of the product, say from an approved distributor? They already have moved to that with CD and DVD sales, presumable to combat counterfeit products, but with that action they have cut off a lot of smaller sellers and the counterfeit problem with those products (at least what I have seen), has not gotten better in the slightest.

Just not sure what can really be done unless only sellers with pre approved distributors providing the product are allowed to sell. And in that instance the prices are going to go up regardless.
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There's been some debate on whether the anecdotal reports have been of counterfeit items or a reduction in quality. Actually I'm glad to know it's for former. Well informed consumers and all.
 
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I need more card sleeves and just checked and Amazon is selling 1 pack of 50 Poker sleeves for $9.42! Holy crap, that's over 3x the regular price.

So, yeah, getting rid of counterfeit sellers is certainly keeping the prices up just a bit.
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Matt Brown
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Flightmaster wrote:
Gents, we are currently working with Amazon, jointly undertaking a significant effort to combat the incredible torrent of counterfeiting on the Amazon marketplace. As soon as practicable, all legit and authorized resellers of authentic Asmodee products will be able to return to the marketplace as usual.

Thanks for your concern,

Christian
Asmodee North America



Thanks for the reply, Christian. The official explanation is much appreciated. For those of us "old timers" that have had to go through the ups and downs of this hobby and the not so hobbyist-friendly practices of publishers, the openness is a welcome change. I was about to ask what happens to the inventory of legitimate third party sellers who use Amazon as their warehouse and fulfillment agent, but I guess if this is a temporary situation, they will only be "frozen" for a short time. Still, doesn't excuse Amazon for raising the prices of board games during this "temporary" loss of competition. For example, the price of Dead Winter: The Long Night was being sold by Amazon.com for $44 last night. This morning it jumped to $56.

Again, thank you for the candor. Glad to see that maybe Asmodee learned from Games Workshop's mistakes and their heavy handed approach to resale. It's telling that FFG made better use of GW's own IP when they had the license...
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Jacob Schoberg
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There is a strong possibility that Amazon's prices (that is, products actually sold by Amazon) are priced based on some algorithm of MSRP vs wholesale cost vs current competition in the Amazon marketplace. And thus, with all of the third party sellers now gone, Amazon's pricing robot realizes that they're the only seller, and adjusts the price up accordingly while still being within normal margins (i.e. under MSRP).
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emodiu5 wrote:
There is a strong possibility that Amazon's prices (that is, products actually sold by Amazon) are priced based on some algorithm of MSRP vs wholesale cost vs current competition in the Amazon marketplace. And thus, with all of the third party sellers now gone, Amazon's pricing robot realizes that they're the only seller, and adjusts the price up accordingly while still being within normal margins (i.e. under MSRP).


This is exactly how Amazon runs ABEBooks after they bought that web portal. The amount of sh*tty bulk resellers has skyrocketed, and search results for actual book stores are diminished.
 
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emodiu5 wrote:
There is a strong possibility that Amazon's prices (that is, products actually sold by Amazon) are priced based on some algorithm of MSRP vs wholesale cost vs current competition in the Amazon marketplace. And thus, with all of the third party sellers now gone, Amazon's pricing robot realizes that they're the only seller, and adjusts the price up accordingly while still being within normal margins (i.e. under MSRP).

There are exceptions as I noted above. Card sleeves are now priced at over 3x MSRP. The problem may be that it should technically be an "add-on" but isn't so shipping was added automatically. Since Amazon hides their shipping costs in with the product price on cheap items such as paints that tend to be double regular prices.
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Flightmaster wrote:
Gents, we are currently working with Amazon, jointly undertaking a significant effort to combat the incredible torrent of counterfeiting on the Amazon marketplace. As soon as practicable, all legit and authorized resellers of authentic Asmodee products will be able to return to the marketplace as usual.

Thanks for your concern,

Christian
Asmodee North America


Translation, Gents we're going to force Amazon sellers to jack up their prices.
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otakuon wrote:
Probably because if I saw a price that was too good to be true I knew it was.


Although I am usually the same as you when it comes to this, a year ago I found Dead of Winter: The Long Night on amazon for $15 new. Everyone said it was probably a scammer but I checked the seller and they were a pretty reputable group.

So I decided to take the risk. It was only $15 after all.

A week later, I had my brand new copy of DoW:TLN and I was as happy as a clam. Possibly happier.
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Flightmaster wrote:
Gents, we are currently working with Amazon, jointly undertaking a significant effort to combat the incredible torrent of counterfeiting on the Amazon marketplace. As soon as practicable, all legit and authorized resellers of authentic Asmodee products will be able to return to the marketplace as usual.

Thanks for your concern,

Christian
Asmodee North America



Since Asmodee listings now require a written permission from the publishing company, (e.g., Fantasy Flight, Asmodee etc.), proof of purchase within 180 days....as well as not allowing any listings that are in other than new condition,(forget about selling that game you bought, tried and didn't like), it appears that Asmodee will be squeezing out anyone who is not one of their approved distributors. Will Asmodee approve individuals to sell used games, or games that are new, but out of print? How does Asmodee plan to identify a seller as "legit" and "authorized"?

Amazon and Asmodee should focus on banning sellers who are found selling counterfeit products, tedious as that may be, not simply de-listing products from all sellers. If the current rules for listing Asmodee products is their plan for the future, then it is simply a strategy to ban all other sellers except for those on their "approved" list, and a way to stop individuals reselling their products....and it smacks of a deliberate form of protectionism. Hopefully, I'm wrong, but with how it appears they stand to gain from removing all but sellers of their choosing and eliminating resales of used games, I would wager this is not only an effort to deal with counterfeiting. Again, I hope I am wrong, and I hope they will address the questions above.
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emodiu5 wrote:
Flightmaster wrote:
Gents, we are currently working with Amazon, jointly undertaking a significant effort to combat the incredible torrent of counterfeiting on the Amazon marketplace. As soon as practicable, all legit and authorized resellers of authentic Asmodee products will be able to return to the marketplace as usual.

Thanks for your concern,

Christian
Asmodee North America



But if you reply with a sensible, informative answer, how are we supposed to foam at the mouth and shake our fists angrily in your general direction?


Sensible, but that one part worries some of us. We remember GW's attacks on both online retailers and then brick & mortar stores, plus their great purge of fan made content from BGG. Yes, they have a legitimate reason behind this move, but the simple fact is they want to pull a GW and control all the gatekeepers to raise prices and thus profitablility. The question is how long before company profits demand they cut off online competitors and route all business to their own website (no distribution or game store markup, so all that MSRP profit goes straight to them)? How long before fan content is seen as a threat to their profit margins? We have a case study. Look at what happened with GW, the steps are slowly being followed by ANA.

I am legitimately worried about the future, as they control many of the companies I used to buy a lot from. Honestly, their market behavior has driven me to look to alternatives since they already took out one of my FLGS as an authorized reseller (they have a store and 3 warehouses because they specialize in used games, and they often did 10-30% mark downs - they were deemed unworthy like CSI, and so they hurt one of my FLGS). They probably cut them off because in store sales are done through their web store and they didn't offer a playing space (storing tons of used titles takes up room). Now when my remaining FLGS stores don't choose to stock or run out of stock, I can only find a few online resources that weren't way above MSRP - and so availability cut my purchasing of their products. However, the GW-like behavior and the memory of what GW did has also encouraged me to avoid the companies under their banner - and so I have turned to a lot of smaller independent publishers.

Sorry, to me this counterfeit issue sounds like an excuse to up their profit margins. I really am skeptical they are doing this for the betterment of the board gaming industry, as they often are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Not only that, they are greatly restricting consumer choice in online sales for those who don't live in reasonable commute of a FLGS.

Yes, the individuals that work there can be idealistic and naive like their consumers, thinking what they are doing is good for the hobby. Its much like that recent news bit about the suppressed EU study about piracy not hurting sales. Actually, I don't believe the issue of pirated games became a problem until they changed their policies and drove up their game prices significantly (something about market perception of value and creating a level field with brick & mortar stores). Sure, it happened - but only in the last month had there been a spike; and I suspect that spike occurred because counterfeiters finally saw there was a market that was created.

So what happens now? Counterfeiters move to BGG and used game sales via ebay? What will ANA do then? The issue will not go away, they'll just get smarter - and the issue was most likely caused by their pricing & authorized reseller actions. Do they have a right to do this? Yes. Is it good for the boardgaming industry? No.
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Steve R Bullock
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Whatever.

My days of buying Asmodee and related games has been long over since this entire "jack up the price to help out game stores" charade began.
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Flightmaster wrote:
Gents, we are currently working with Amazon, jointly undertaking a significant effort to combat the incredible torrent of counterfeiting on the Amazon marketplace. As soon as practicable, all legit and authorized resellers of authentic Asmodee products will be able to return to the marketplace as usual.

Thanks for your concern,

Christian
Asmodee North America



counterfeit games???... who is asmodee kidding?... asmodee thinks there is some underground cartel selling counterfeit games... please
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Sounds like eBay is a winner.
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Verbosity wrote:


Sensible, but that one part worries some of us. We remember GW's attacks on both online retailers and then brick & mortar stores, plus their great purge of fan made content from BGG. Yes, they have a legitimate reason behind this move, but the simple fact is they want to pull a GW and control all the gatekeepers to raise prices and thus profitablility. The question is how long before company profits demand they cut off online competitors and route all business to their own website (no distribution or game store markup, so all that MSRP profit goes straight to them)? How long before fan content is seen as a threat to their profit margins? We have a case study. Look at what happened with GW, the steps are slowly being followed by ANA.

I am legitimately worried about the future, as they control many of the companies I used to buy a lot from. Honestly, their market behavior has driven me to look to alternatives since they already took out one of my FLGS as an authorized reseller (they have a store and 3 warehouses because they specialize in used games, and they often did 10-30% mark downs - they were deemed unworthy like CSI, and so they hurt one of my FLGS). They probably cut them off because in store sales are done through their web store and they didn't offer a playing space (storing tons of used titles takes up room). Now when my remaining FLGS stores don't choose to stock or run out of stock, I can only find a few online resources that weren't way above MSRP - and so availability cut my purchasing of their products. However, the GW-like behavior and the memory of what GW did has also encouraged me to avoid the companies under their banner - and so I have turned to a lot of smaller independent publishers.

Sorry, to me this counterfeit issue sounds like an excuse to up their profit margins. I really am skeptical they are doing this for the betterment of the board gaming industry, as they often are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Not only that, they are greatly restricting consumer choice in online sales for those who don't live in reasonable commute of a FLGS.

Yes, the individuals that work there can be idealistic and naive like their consumers, thinking what they are doing is good for the hobby. Its much like that recent news bit about the suppressed EU study about piracy not hurting sales. Actually, I don't believe the issue of pirated games became a problem until they changed their policies and drove up their game prices significantly (something about market perception of value and creating a level field with brick & mortar stores). Sure, it happened - but only in the last month had there been a spike; and I suspect that spike occurred because counterfeiters finally saw there was a market that was created.

So what happens now? Counterfeiters move to BGG and used game sales via ebay? What will ANA do then? The issue will not go away, they'll just get smarter - and the issue was most likely caused by their pricing & authorized reseller actions. Do they have a right to do this? Yes. Is it good for the boardgaming industry? No.


Well said and a lot of great points raised.

FFG was probably my favorite publisher before they became part of Asmodee. Before then, I was in love with not just the great games and high quality but the outstanding and respectful customer service.

I learned that I can't rely on receiving any customer service at all now that they are part of ANA.

The first product I got after they were bought out was the Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook. Unfortunately the binding was damaged and the book is at risk of completely falling apart. It wasn't my first issue with a FFG product, so I just followed the usual steps of contacting customer service and provided pictures, etc. as required.

I got a response saying that since I'm in Japan, they can't help me because they aren't authorized to sell Star Wars products here. A little bit of a shock, but red tape is bound to come up from time to time. I replied to the CSR that if the address is the issue, I could use my home address in the USA. I bought the game in the USA, after all, but it just would have been a lot more convenient if they could have sent things directly to where I'm at as they have done for numerous other replacements.

However the CSR wrote back saying that since I already submitted the issue with a Japanese address they won't accept it with a new address and I could not file a second request. It felt almost like an excuse to not deal with my issue.

So now I'm hesitant about buying any FFG products because I can't depend on their service anymore in case there is an issue with the game (the odds of which are quite high as most of my FFG games have arrived with some type of packing/quality issue).

While I think that FFG/ANA are well within their rights to try to make things better on the Amazon marketplace, I'm also very suspicious of their sincerity in helping us, the lowly gamer. It seems from listening to others that they still provide good quality customer service to the average customer but from where I'm sitting, I feel like they are willing to snub/reject those of use outside of the spotlight because they don't think we'll have an impact on their reputation/sales.
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"Authorized Dealers Only" puts them in contention with arbitragers, which don't hurt them financially but might cheese them off. I'm just surprised to hear "counterfeiters" come up. Gray market maybe, but counterfeiters?

I've seen counterfeit Pokemon cards, but never a counterfeit board game. Has anybody else seen one?
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EBay Australia is flooded with fake copies of Secret Hitler and CAH.
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Sagrilarus wrote:
"Authorized Dealers Only" puts them in contention with arbitragers, which don't hurt them financially but might cheese them off. I'm just surprised to hear "counterfeiters" come up. Gray market maybe, but counterfeiters?

I've seen counterfeit Pokemon cards, but never a counterfeit board game. Has anybody else seen one?
I would love to see one. Cards I've seen, but a whole boardgame?

Cardgame? Hmmm... Maybe.
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ScottE wrote:
I need more card sleeves and just checked and Amazon is selling 1 pack of 50 Poker sleeves for $9.42! Holy crap, that's over 3x the regular price.

So, yeah, getting rid of counterfeit sellers is certainly keeping the prices up just a bit.


Single pack sleeves from Amazon have never really been worth it.
 
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whitekid wrote:
Flightmaster wrote:
Gents, we are currently working with Amazon, jointly undertaking a significant effort to combat the incredible torrent of counterfeiting on the Amazon marketplace. As soon as practicable, all legit and authorized resellers of authentic Asmodee products will be able to return to the marketplace as usual.

Thanks for your concern,

Christian
Asmodee North America



counterfeit games???... who is asmodee kidding?... asmodee thinks there is some underground cartel selling counterfeit games... please

If you worked in the industry, you would know this is absolutely a legitimate problem. An example that has gone public:

Counterfeit Dominion 2nd Edition

Folks can easily buy counterfeit games from Amazon without even realizing it.
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