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Subject: For us, by us - the dream website for buying games rss

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Alex Horvath
United States
Michigan
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Hello all -

Long time lurker, first time (almost) poster.

I'm launching an eComm gaming website, largely focusing on board games.

While I've got some ideas, I'm looking for what exactly YOU look for when buying games online. What would it take to get you to buy games - not just once, but again and again - from my website?

Any and all suggestions are much appreciated. Fire away!

thanks
A
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Robert Wesley
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HAVING the $$$ for this? WHAT did I "Win"? surprise
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J S
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Best price and good customer service. Simple, really.
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Aaron Brooks
United States
Maple Valley
Washington
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Of course best price is important, but there are lots of little things that make me come back to a games website:

Saved carts: being able to save my cart, so when that one game comes back in stock, I can just add it and check out.

Shipping to APO (military) addresses: It shouldn't cost more, and we should be able to get free shipping, too. It doesn't cost you any more to mail to us, anyway.

Reasonable shipping: I hate getting something shipped to me and seeing that the actual shipping costs are way lower than what I paid.

Quick mailing: Watch out trying to sell pre-orders, I like buying something that I know is in stock.

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Eddie B
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The ability to see the shipping cost without having to login.

Make a login name optional, meaning that you can order without having to have a login name. (I have a hard time enough already keeping track of about 40 logon id's and passwords).
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Lance
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Moorhead
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Real-Time inventory

Flat Rate shipping

Decent price point for free shipping (i.e. $100)

Large and varied selection

Excellent customer service (kind of a catch all, but communication is key to keep customers. Even if its news they don't want to hear, it is still better than no response at all)
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Andrew Swan
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Randwick
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Reasonably priced international shipping, with a fairly accurate estimate available upon checkout based on weight, volume, method, and whatever other factors determine the actual shipping price.

Intuitive site navigation (e.g. one site I won't mention has Devil Bunny Needs a Ham in the "War Games" category). The ability to search by title is of course essential, but other categorisations are useful too, e.g. genre, weight, publisher, theatre (for wargames), player age, and player number.
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Howard Wagner
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Best prices, including shipping. In these tough times, I figure the cost of the entire order with shipping and buy from the reputable online retailer with the lowest price. Of course, you also have to follow through then with good service, particularly fast shipping. I've ordered from most of the online retailers who advertise here. They are all good and in the end, it comes down to price. Good luck.
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Dice bags!
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Customer service will make it or break it. I don't care if you're giving Le Havre away for $10, if I've had an experience where I can't trust you, I won't order from you. This means (among other things) timely and accurate emails to update the status of my order (Thank you! We received your order. We've shipped your order. etc) I got a really nice "order shipped" email the other day that said "Dear [Indigo]", Thank you for your order, we appreciate you as a customer - things like that. It had nice little extra touches.

I agree that I hate having to create usernames and passwords for sites, especially my first time. Let me order as a guest if I want, and if I come back, I'm much more likely to create a profile.

Have a scratch and dent bargain bin and/or clearance bin. A good clearance price will entice me to see what else they have. "As long as I'm ordering that..."

Free shipping threshold at a reasonable level (like $100, but I saw it somewhere for $75, which really impressed me). Good shipping rates in general. Options for UPS vs. USPS, if possible. I saw on a site the other day they had a table where basic USPS was X, Priority USPS was X, overnight was X, UPS was X, and it let me choose what I wanted, with it all in front of me.

Real-time in stock info. I especially like when it says "3 in stock".

Being able to check out right on the site. I went to place an order the other day at a site, and it wanted me to go to PayPal, check out, and come back to apply my order. I was concerned it wouldn't work right, and I didn't want to deal with the PayPal site, so I went somewhere else. They may have had the lowest prices, I even took the time to register on their site, but that lost the sale.
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Lance
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I agree with the above.

I very much dislike having to go through paypal to buy my items.
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Sean
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Mechanicsburg
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All good points. Also check out some of the other sites and note the 10,000 game they have in stock. I bet at least 9000 of those have never moved. Start with a good selection of the recent (couple of years), hot games and go from there. Also if there is a game being released that I must have then I will buy it from whoever has it in stock first, I don't care if someone else will have it for $3.50 cheaper next week. I rarely do pre-orders.
Keep us posted!
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Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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If your pricing isn't competitive, you might not get much chance to show off your great customer service and prompt shipping.
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Craig J
United States
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alexhorvath wrote:
What would it take to get you to buy games - not just once, but again and again - from my website?


The ability to pick up the order from your shipping location... and you building your shipping location next to my house...
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Greg r
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I hate it when I go somewhere to buy games and they only have 4 of the 5 things I want in stock, (or worse 3 out of 5).

I will go to another e store to make my purchase If I am still planing on getting that game, one website I like to support has this problem and has lost about 5 purchases from me (each over $125) because of this,

Also communication is a key, I want to know what is up with my order, IF there is a problem E-Mail me TODAY!! do not tell me stories.

If you send me a tracking number, Have the thing shipped! not just the label sitting in a pile waiting to get lost.

Festivus wrote:
alexhorvath wrote:
What would it take to get you to buy games - not just once, but again and again - from my website?


The ability to pick up the order from your shipping location... and you building your shipping location next to my house...


I see we are in the same state, this would work for me too , can I help you locate a building
edit to add quote
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Adrienne
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Real time inventory

Great customer service

Discounts for purchases (If I make purchases regularly, maybe offer a discount after you spend X amount)

Offer shipping options, not just UPS or FedEx.

Set free shipping price point to $100 or even $75
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Carc >> BSG
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Make it possible for those of us who can't shuffle together $100 or more at a time to still get great deals. That's the no. 1 thing that keeps me from ordering more items online.
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Tokelau
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Don't require a customer to register before purchasing a product if they don't want to.

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Schraml
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it may sound simple, and a bit weird, but one of my big pet peeves is not being able to look at like a hundred results on a page. if im searching for all the GMT games or FFG games a site has i dont want to have to click through a dozen pages with 10 results on each.
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ejcarter wrote:
Make it possible for those of us who can't shuffle together $100 or more at a time to still get great deals. That's the no. 1 thing that keeps me from ordering more items online.


Quoted for utter truth!
 
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Christopher M
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Flowood
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coolstuffinc gets a large amount of my business by having free shipping at 100 instead of 150. That would be a good place to start.
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J.L. Robert
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Recording a purchase history, so that you can provide tailor-made special offers based on my buying habits. I don't need a discount on the next Magic expansion if I haven't purchased a single booster since the Ice Age set.

CoolStuff's frequent buyer discount program is a great idea that I'm surprised more companies aren't following.

Competetive prices. They don't have to be the absolute lowest, but have reasonably decent prices.

Selection would be nice, but it's understandable if you don't have everything in stock, considering how so many games are short-printed.

Reasonable shipping rates. I know most people insist on free shipping, but I know the kinds of margins you'll be dealing with. As long as rates aren't outrageous, they can be tolerated. If free shipping isn't an option, at least a cap (a maximum shipping charge, regardless of order size).

Highly responsive customer service. I've shopped from several vendors. The ones I go back to are the ones who respond to EVERY questions, even the innocuous ones. If you can follow the customer service models from Noble Knight and Miniature Market, you'll be on the right track.
 
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El Mejor Juego de la Vida
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For me?

- Best prices
- Good Selection (some imported items)
- Good customer service
- International Shipping with fair shipping costs
 
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Ralph T
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-Best prices, including shipping
-Special sales
-Good ding and dent discounts
-Reliability and fast time to ship
-A way to place backorders without being charged

Number 1 thing right now is prices. Can you offer 40% off? That's what you will need to do to compete with the other shops who offer 30-35% off.
 
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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Will
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burrie wrote:
The ability to see the shipping cost without having to login.

QFT!
On sites that REQUIRE a login JUST to see shipping I usually end up creating fake logins and fake emails on sites I figure I won't order from, I just want to check the shipping price (like if I'm checking out a deal I'm not interested in, but maybe a friend is and I want to see what shipping would be for him). There's absolutely no need for this, you should be able to put in a zip code and get an estimation based on your cart. There's probably 2 main reasons that some sites do this, poor site design, and greed for the emails they can send newsletters to, to beg for your money.

Sometimes when a site requires a login to see shipping, I'll just skip it entirely and go somewhere else (somewhere that I might end up creating an account to order, but since I saw the shipping cost up front before I did, I was willing to go that extra step)

indigopotter wrote:

Being able to check out right on the site. I went to place an order the other day at a site, and it wanted me to go to PayPal, check out, and come back to apply my order. I was concerned it wouldn't work right, and I didn't want to deal with the PayPal site, so I went somewhere else. They may have had the lowest prices, I even took the time to register on their site, but that lost the sale.

This is generally what happens when a site takes paypal for payment. Most larger game websites will accept credit cards directly and offer paypal as an option, but some just let paypal handle the whole thing (including credit cards) so they have that kinda checkout process. It depends on if the store has a separate merchant account or lets paypal handle the whole thing.

You click on checkout at the game site, it sends you to paypal so you can login and verify that you want to pay with paypal and choose your paypal payment source depending on how your paypal is setup, and then confirm the payment on paypal, and then you get sent back over to your original site for confirmation there. It takes an extra couple steps, but when using paypal you kinda have to go through some steps because paypal login is separate from [insert game website name here] checkout.

I've used it a number of times, both in my old IE 6 (I dont like the later versions of IE) and my old firefox 1.5 (yeah I know, I need to upgrade) and a fairly recent version of opera (9.63 I think). And its always worked for me.

Oh also, with ebay you have to also log into paypal to use it, especially with buy it now.

Anyway, I understand why you did it, but I wanted to explain how/why some places are setup that way.
 
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