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Subject: Board Game Rentals.... rss

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Flip Florey
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Brewer
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I am working on a business plan to open my own gamestore. I would like to offer Board game rentals. But I wonder if this is a plausible thing to offer?

Upside,
The customer can try before they buy.
Easier to get someone hooked on a game or gaming in general if they rent a game for one night.
Good word of mouth.
Something my opponent is not doing.

Downside,
Lost/damaged pieces when returned.
Overdue charges.
Storage.
Theft.

I am thinking that I could laminate all the boards and cards to make them more rental friendly. And I will have to have a couple of games on the side I can cannabilize if I need to replace pieces.

What do you guys think?
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Chad Egbert
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Woodbury
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Interesting concept. I'd probably rent a game on occasion, especially more expensive ones. I wish game stores around her would try that.

A few questions:

Rental cost?

Time allowed to keep a game?
 
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Sean
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Great idea, it has been mentioned before but I don't think anyone took it on because of the downsides you mentioned. But once you get a good group of people that you can trust with the games and its pieces then you should be good to go. Perhaps have some kind of club where after every rental with no issues it gets cheaper or something like that. Lamination is a great idea and maybe use some generic playing pieces instead of the real ones so that they can be easily replaced especially if the pieces have no important function other than looking good.
 
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John N.
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Boardgamerevolution in Orem, UT rent out games to their customers. I think it has worked out well for them. I know I have rented a couple of games that I have ended up buying. Perhaps you could contact those guys and ask how it really has been going for them.
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Jill R
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Troy
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I have always thought it would be a great Idea!
 
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Evgeny Reznikov
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We have a game store here (Tel-Aviv, Israel) that offers rentals.

Their solution to the problems:
1. They take your credit card info in advance. If you don't return the game at all (or return it in poor condition) you get charged.
2. They check every game for damage/missing pieces after it's returned.
3. Rental does not cost a great deal (20 NIS per week - that's something like $5 US). If you buy a copy of the game after you return it - you get a discount equal to the rental charge.
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Richard Pakpreo
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That sounds fantastic!
 
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Allison dlr
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I think it's a great idea.

Theft can be dealt with like any other rental company... keep their credit card on file, and after a certain number of days of no return, charge the full price of the game plus a restocking fee. Same goes for missing pieces - inventory after you get a game back, and if anything's missing, charge a predetermined fee that will help cover the costs of replacing the pieces. This will give people incentive to take care of the game. If you want to get really fancy, you can charge insurance beforehand against spills or damage, or have them sign something verifying that they are getting the game in good condition.

Maybe extend the number of days rental to 2 or 3 days... bringing a game back the very next day can be a bit of a hassle. Or maybe you can charge a dollar a day up to 5 days or something.
 
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Allison dlr
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azuredarkness wrote:
We have a game store here (Tel-Aviv, Israel) that offers rentals.

Their solution to the problems:
1. They take your credit card info in advance. If you don't return the game at all (or return it in poor condition) you get charged.
2. They check every game for damage/missing pieces after it's returned.
3. Rental does not cost a great deal (20 NIS per week - that's something like $5 US). If you buy a copy of the game after you return it - you get a discount equal to the rental charge.


Oops... beat to the punch again. What he said.
 
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James
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I think the potential for problems is way too high to make it profitable. The amount of time it would take to count all of the pieces to a game say like Twilight Imperium would be too costly. But I am not business person.

I had an idea to set up a store with a membership. Members would get discounts on games and would be able to check out games to play in the store. The theory would be that there may be enough interest to make enough money just on memberships that the prices of the games themselves would be able to compete with online retailers, with the added bonus of being able to play the games there in the store.

Just my humble thoughts. I would LOVE to own and operate my own game store some day, but I really am too lazy for something like that Maybe some day.
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Calm Fluffy Bunnies
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azuredarkness wrote:
If you buy a copy of the game after you return it - you get a discount equal to the rental charge.


This seems like a great hook.
 
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Alex
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The Columbus Area Boardgame Society offers a similar service, loaning games out like a library. Seems to work okay for them. I say go for it.
 
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It has come up before, here is one of the threads:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/297374
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gary rembo
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Cool Idea,
Another way to do this would be to have a pre owned boardgame store but instead of renting games people would buy them from you at your second hand rates and have the option of returning them to you within say a week as a buy back option subject to condition and part checkiing. This would then not count as rental no deposit would be needed and you would not be breaking any copyright laws as you are simply selling the item and giving people the option to sell it back to you after a week for a little less.
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Todd Elliott
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This is a great idea. However, I think that the amount of expense and man hours you would spend laminating everything wouldn't pay off in the end. It would be best to probably just write off the loss of the a half dozen games as "advertising" to get people to buy. Also, you could possibly sell the already played games at cost assuming there isn't anything missing. It's a wonder that the publishers don't provide misprints as in store demo copies.
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Bob
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CharmlessMan77 wrote:
Boardgamerevolution in Orem, UT rent out games to their customers. I think it has worked out well for them. I know I have rented a couple of games that I have ended up buying. Perhaps you could contact those guys and ask how it really has been going for them.


Here's what they do as I understand it.

-Rental is 10% of purchase price
-You can keep the game for 10 days
-For everyday after 10, it'll cost you another buck
-Total charge never exceeds price of game, when you reach that price the game is yours (you'll be charged, of course!)
-I pretty sure they take credit card info. as a safety measure
-If you return game on time you can apply the 10% you paid toward any purchase in their store.


I have bought games after renting there. It's nice to try them out first!

I have rented a game that had the board torn in half--when I returned it they seemed surprised, so like the above poster said, I'd be sure to inventory the games after each rental. I imagine "You break it you buy it" in order to keep renting profitable.

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Dwight Mendenhall
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CharmlessMan77 wrote:
Boardgamerevolution in Orem, UT rent out games to their customers. I think it has worked out well for them. I know I have rented a couple of games that I have ended up buying. Perhaps you could contact those guys and ask how it really has been going for them.


Really?! Sweet! If only I lived closer...
 
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Sheldon
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Casey's Collectables across from my work here in Kamloops, BC has board game rentals, I only looked briefly at their prices but seemed way too high to me, don't recall really any of them off hand but I believe renting carc for a week was comparable to buying it at an online retailer minus shipping & their prices to buy made my local FLGS (1/2 block away) seem like bargain basement prices.
yuk

They did have a whole book of different games you could check out which would be good for a special occasion if someone for whatever unknown reason didn't own a ridiculous amount of games (scandalous!).
blush
 
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Flip Florey
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Thanks a lot guys, I really appreciate the feedback. This has definitely given me some good ideas as how to go about this.

I like the discount if you come in and buy the game after renting it. Thats a great incentive. And I will look into getting more info on the programs that are out there right now.

 
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Sean
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Maybe a way to help with the counting a million pieces from a FFG game and checking them off the rulebook component list would be to have the game pieces in one (or two) of those plano/home depot/walmart tackle boxes. Each little compartment could be labelled D6 x4, hit counters x10 etc. Easier to keep track of and easier for the renter and owner to count.
 
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Mike West
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have you thought about buying/selling 2nd hand games as well? If so and your shop was near me, I'd be in every week.
 
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This Guy
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You could offer a rental refund to the first person to return the game sleeved/bagged. Make a photocopy of the standards you expect for this.

You're going to have to check components on the game somehow, you could also offload that to the customer; "Please verify the contents of the game are complete when you take the game, if the next customer says pieces are missing when he examines before taking it home, then you may be responsible for any pieces that are missing."
 
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Yuval Grinspun
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A quick way to see if you need to bother inventorying would be to have a precise scale. When you get the game back, you measure the weight and if it's same as when it went out, most likely everything is still there.
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tim
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grinspy wrote:

A quick way to see if you need to bother inventorying would be to have a precise scale. When you get the game back, you measure the weight and if it's same as when it went out, most likely everything is still there.

How precise would it have to be to measure a single card or cube?
 
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Jake Kiser
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Will this be in conjunction with a storefront? I think this idea could be much more effective if you have an hourly rental rate. That way, everything stays in your store.
 
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