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Subject: A store for custom made bits and components rss

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Rasmus Leth Jorno
Denmark
Copenhagen
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Hi. I've been looking for such a store/website and cannot seem to find any. Have you come across anything remotely like it? I can see that there are sites which sell the most common components like dice, wooden markers, etc. and I can also see some impressive custom made jobs from some of the Boardgame geeks in here. So the second question would be, if there's no such store, do you think that there's market potential in setting up such a store? Would boardgamegeeks with ten thumbs put money into a custom edition of their favorite game in sufficient numbers ?
 
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
United States
Westchester
New York
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I'm too lazy to look up the links for you, but they're in various threads in the DIY Forum (and possibly the Wiki).

Gorno
 
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Betty Egan
Canada
Halifax
Nova Scotia
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Maybe here:

www.spielmaterial.de
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Rob Bartel
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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I think what Rasmus is proposing is an online store that sells hand-customized components. Basically, if you have the talent to resin-cast a new king for El Grande, build a wooden travel case for Arkham Horror, hotrod your Carcassonne meeples, laser engrave wooden piecepack sets, or hand-paint miniatures, you could sell your creations to this store in bulk and the store would then turn around and resell them to individual consumers.

For the creators, it would mean a small revenue stream without the hassle of having to market their goods, deal with all of the shipping and handling, respond to angry emails from people receiving damaged goods, etc. By narrowing their focus to simply bulk-selling to Rasmus' store, they can spend more time doing what they love - creating customized components.

For the consumers, it may mean slightly higher prices but most of these items are essentially unobtainable at this point anyways. Under this model, when someone posts a new photo of some custom resin-casted treasure chests for Pirate's Cove here on the Geek, you'd know where to go to see if you can obtain some. You'd send an email to Rasmus, asking if he had plans on getting any in stock - if Rasmus wasn't already aware of the item, he'd be able to track down the creator and possibly place a bulk order.

Overall, I think this sort of 'central clearing house' approach is a really neat idea. I doubt it would be something that could pay a full salary rather than simply being a labour of love, but I think it could be a really interesting sideline activity.
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Matt Winckler
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Kennewick
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I like the idea quite a bit (from all standpoints--consumer, creator, and middleman), but like Rob said, I doubt it's self-sustaining. Whenever I see those neat customized components, I always think of how cool it would be to have some, but I probably would not pay the price necessary to actually buy some.

This may well be a function of my current stage in gaming, though--at this point my collection is still small enough that I prefer to spend every available gaming dollar expanding the collection with new games instead of enhancing old ones. I do place a fair amount of value on nice-looking components in general, however.

Sustainable or not, it would be fascinating to see someone do this (or discover that someone already does)!
 
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Scott Everts
United States
Foothill Ranch
California
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I'd certainly pay for nicer components to my favorite games. Sadly with companies increasing the quality of components so much some of my older games just don't hold up anymore. And people seem to like nice bits (including me) so its sometimes hard to get players for old stuff that looks so bad.
 
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Rasmus Leth Jorno
Denmark
Copenhagen
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[Rob]That's right on the money. I'm sure you're right though that this would have to be a labour of love. If nothing else the postage would be prohibitive, seeing as geeks are spread worldwide (creators as well as buyers).
Unrelated: I like your page and your games look really cool. You wouldn't happen to be a potential 'creator' for such a store? Where can I buy copies of your games?
 
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Rob Bartel
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Good, I'm glad I understood your intentions correctly.

One way to minimize the postage issue would be to establish a partner store run by someone in North America. Both stores would service their local markets (both supply and demand) with occasional bulk shipments across the Atlantic to keep each other stocked.

Another option would be to become a wholesaler / distributor, focused on aggregating supply and shipping in bulk to a handful of established online stores (I can imagine Funagain or Boards & Bits showing some interest in carrying limited supply of items like this, and similar opportunities probably exist in Europe).

In either case, you're dealing with relatively unique wares and you'd be surprised what people would be willing to pay or the lengths they'll go to to pimp their favorite game (the fact that these items are being made in the first place should give you some indication).

As for your other comment, thanks for checking out my site. The pictures there are of prototypes only, intended for playtesting and for shopping around to publishers rather than for sale or distribution. Professionally published versions of some of my designs should start hitting the market relatively soon and you'll be seeing even more of me in 2009 & 2010. As for the website, I've let it go dark for the time being and will probably wipe the current prototype content when that time comes so I can replace it with games of mine that are actually in print.
 
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Sandeep Kharkar
United States
Bountiful
UTAH (UT)
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If you are willing to pay good money, http://www.boardgamedesign.com/ will print and ship even a single copy of a game/game prototype.
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