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Friendly
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Friendly
There is a such thing as being too friendly. While I don't want them to be jerks, I tend to get in and out, and typically already know what I'm looking for anyways (yeah, I just ask around my game groups, or ask around here on BGG). Otherwise, the FLGS employees have been fun to chat with, alongside the other visitors I've met.

EDIT2: Also includes friendly towards children and female gamers.

Local
In better areas, I had a choice of numerous ones within a 35 minute drive. In worse areas, I had to drive 2 to 4 hours round trip

Game
Some of them didn't offer gaming. Either because it was swamped with Magic/CCG/minis/RPG, or other groups that pay much better margins to keep store alive, or simply couldn't muster enough of a crowd to game with. Others had weekly "regular bg" with at least 12 to 20 attendees

Store
Some had excellent selection, but others weren't really a game store. They were hybrid shops, or a comic book store, toy store, Magic/CCG/Yu-Gi-Oh/Pokémon store, food/drink place that happened to keep a few, "regular bg" around as part of their minority inventory (5% to 40%)

EDIT: price should be here as well. One of them offered a 20% discount, and I did this even though it was STILL cheaper to buy online. I wouldn't have minded paying full, MSRP a few times a year if it meant better helping to support the place, although TBF, I probably would've opted for buying snacks and drinks at inflated prices instead.




For me, LOCAL has been the main reason I've gone to and then not bothered with FLGS. In some of those faraway ones, I drive 2 hours round trip, burn about $10 worth of fuel to buy a game (which is about how much shipping is anyways). It wouldn't be JUST that, as I may be able to game at the venue, or do errands while out of town. However, sometimes I could just game locally, or wouldn't be able to game there, which means ordering online, and paying for the shipping (back when free shipping was less of a thing) was more convenient.

GAME would've been a close 2nd, as having people to play games with was another draw, and lost me interest when that was no longer available.
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Not to dodge the question, but the answer is price. I'm willing to spend $5 over Amazon or even $10 if the store is otherwise exceptional, but at a certain point it feels like subsidizing a bad business model.

After price, Local (distance) is the biggest followed by selection. Friendly barely factors in
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Bruce Gazdecki
United States
Lindsey
Ohio
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For me, Local is probably the biggie, as it's almost an hour 1 way to get to the best one in the "area".

Price is a consideration, as well as Social (I'm not very).
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Hugh G. Rection
United States
La Mesa
California
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The "F" stands for Full Retail Price

I prefer to game at home (mine or other's) or local cons.
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Jeffery Hudson
United States
Washington
Utah
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Well, price is always a consideration, but for me it's Friendly and Game.

Our store has been through several owners and the last one was neither friendly NOR had a large selection of games. I would special order things and it would take months for them to get around to it (and usually two or three tries to get it right)

There was also no selection. They never really had anything I was willing to spend the money on.

The new owner is much better. He runs quite a few sales, so even if it turns out sale items are the same price as what's at Amazon, i'm still happy to support him. He's also friendly. Really, really friendly. And he has worked hard to turn over old inventory and order new inventory in. And special orders never take more then two weeks (usually one, but sometimes things happen). As much as I don't like the new Asmondee policy, i must admit between that and the positive changes in the store I have spent far more there in one then I ever did in the previous 5 years under the old owner.

Price, selection, friendliness. They really are important for brick and mortar shops.
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No One
United States
Burien
Washington
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There is no primary factor one way or the other. It’s the cumulative bad and good that decides it for me.

The one store I avoid in my area:

Fugly decor
Lack of natural light
Gross restrooms
Small space

The one I go to the most in my area:

Fantastic selection
Lots of tables
Good food and drinks
Schedules table reservations

All the other game stores are somewhere in between, and get a related amount of my patronage.

~V
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Dandelion
Canada
Halifax
Nova Scotia
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I patronize my FLGS almost solely to play games (and buy drinks). It's a boardgame cafe, so this isn't weird. I buy games from them if the prices are ever comparable to online, but it's just too expensive to buy from them regularly.
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No One
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Burien
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Savory Oliver wrote:
I patronize my FLGS almost solely to play games (and buy drinks). It's a boardgame cafe, so this isn't weird. I buy games from them if the prices are ever comparable to online, but it's just too expensive to buy from them regularly.


I pick up my smaller card games from my LGS Cafe... the ones that are $20-$25. The price difference between the store and online isn't as significant as the $60+ MSRP huge games. It's a difference that I'm okay with.

~V
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Level 3 Tunt
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Any more the only time I go to a game store is if someone else wants to go and even then I do what I can to make sure they're not suggesting it just because I'm the board game nut and they think I'll like it.

Like others have said, I don't know that there's any one thing I dislike about game stores but the biggest turn-off for me is probably price. Having bought hundreds of games online in the last decade at rock-bottom prices I just don't have any interest in an in-store purchase at full price. Beyond that, most staff at game stores in my experience (including while traveling) have been inept at best and outright rude or inattentive at worst.

You know what...I just realized - there is a game store I like. It's actually a cafe that happens to have a few shelves of games. More than half of the games are already open and the idea is that you play one while you have your coffee. I've never felt pressure to buy a game even once and the staff seems to genuinely like games but are focused on selling drinks and scones. No clue if it's viable and I could live without ever going there again, but I have had consistent positive experiences there and attribute that mostly to them not being focused on games but having them there in the background.
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Pete
United States
Northbrook
Illinois
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Friendly, but not friendly enough for kids.
Local, but not local enough for kids.
Games, but not usually simple enough for kids.
Store, but not priced low enough for kids.

Pete (has kids)
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weesh ful
United States
Texas
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The 'F' is really important to me.
I go to a less local store that is friendly, because my closest store treated us like crap, even though I bought comics and games with every visit.
 
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Paul Kreutzer
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Friendly and Local is good. It's the (board) games element that missing sometimes, as in the OP, when the only activity is groups playing M:TG.
 
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Chris Talmadge
United States
Clinton
CT
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Local.

While the FLGS acronym is known to many, it is applicable to few. In fact, all knowledge I have of these purported FLGSs is second-hand. Hell, I have 2 game cafés within 25 miles of me, but the closest game store is maybe double that distance.
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Phillip Harpring
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For me it's the "store" part. Fairly often the games I become interested in, they don't order unless I've requested it. I can special order things from them, but when I do that, best case scenario I'll have it in a week or two. The alternative being going on amazon and getting it in two days.

I like to give them business because they are very friendly and I'm there every week taking up table space, but it usually only makes sense if I'm preordering something new, which is pretty rare.
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Stephen Rochelle
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Huntsville
Alabama
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Local, but not because of distance. It's because I don't need or use the services that a local store can uniquely provide.
 
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Kyle A
United States
Norfolk
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The only way to reliably get items I want from my FLGS is to preorder through them. This guarantees that I always pay full price and have to wait longer than most folks. I am not always discouraged by paying full price. The last few times I have preordered they didn’t call me when it was in so that added onto the wait. I wouldn’t really call them friendly either but I suppose that’s a matter of opinion. I also don’t think they know much about board games based on a few of the recommendations I’ve heard them give to other customers.

My family owns a restaurant in the area so I know what it’s like to run a business, and as much as I would love to love my FLGS, the relationship is more akin to my 13 year old self finally getting over a crush who doesn’t like me back
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Donald Walsh
United States
Columbia
Maryland
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S for Store

Walked in the other day looking to buy an expansion. I saw the base game on the shelf, and asked if they had any expansions for it.

"No, that's not something we would normally carry in stock. We can order it for you."

Heck I can order it myself for less, delivered in a day, which is what I did.
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D. Shannon Berry
United States
Huntsville
Alabama
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I have avoided my FLGS for years because they forgot the 'F' entirely, and were more of a SSLMS (Smelly Standoffish Local Magic Store). But, they've gotten better in the last six months about the 'F' and have started adding the equally important letter 'K' (for knowledgeable). Being able to walk in and talk to someone who a) wants to talk to you, and b) knows what they're talking about, is a BIG BIG deal for me, and goes a long way to offset the fact that 'F' also stands for 'Full MSRP.'
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Mario Lanza
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I want convenient access to games at a good price. Nothing is more convenient than online if shipping is free.

Once I have games all I need is people and I prefer my friends. So we play in one of our homes and our homes offer a nice environment.
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EDIT update..

Included price as part of STORE

Included child and female friendly as part of FRIENDLY


havoc110 wrote:
S for Store

Walked in the other day looking to buy an expansion. I saw the base game on the shelf, and asked if they had any expansions for it.

"No, that's not something we would normally carry in stock. We can order it for you."

Heck I can order it myself for less, delivered in a day, which is what I did.
I've wondered about this... on one hand, it seems if one is willing to pay more for game, you'd probably also be willing to wait longer too anyways (eh... "for the FLGS!", right?). OTOH, getting the game ASAP is (was?) one of the main advantages of a FLGS.

Me, I used to be willing to trek down there once, but NOT twice to get the game. IOW, I go there and am able to buy it, or I call ahead, they order it, and let me know when I can come in and pick it up. But NOT go in, only to find out I have to go back to pick it up.
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Donald Walsh
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Well, TBH, this was a sort of planned opportunity purchase. I knew I wanted this certain item, and I knew I was going to be where the game store was, so I had planned to buy. I knew there was a risk of not having it, so really, no time or money lost, just affirmation on why I don't go there in the first place.
 
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Geoffrey Burrell
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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My FLGS owner goes out of his way to get games that I am interested in. It also has good hours and I get purchase credits for every $100 I purchase.
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Colin Osborn
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Oregon
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GeoffreyB wrote:
My FLGS owner goes out of his way to get games that I am interested in. It also has good hours and I get purchase credits for every $100 I purchase.


Yeah, for my LCG games, the owner of my local shop has me down on a list and when the orders for those cards comes in, sets mine aside and I get a call saying they're ready to pick up. Then I grab them on the way home from work.

They also have a rewards system so you get credit and discounts after spending X amount of money.
 
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There are no FLGS's around (over 90km radius)! There is a bookstore (45km away) that has a few nice/old board game titles but that's about as far as it can get..
 
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Bill Solt
United States
Palmerton
Pennsylvania
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Our local came cafe opened in June. I can't say enough good about it. They are very friendly. Everyone that works there gets to know people by name. They have membership cards for frequent flyers. But the table prices are not outrageous. I think last time I was there for 4 hours, with drinks ran me about $7. They have a huge game selection and always getting bigger and four escape rooms. Its well lit, with clean bathrooms. The game prices are retail, and if they don't have it they will get it in. I would be very hard pressed to find anything wrong with the place.

Joker's Are Wild in Lehighton, PA. If you are in the area, I highly recommend it.
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