Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
 Hide
29 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Discussing Retailers

Subject: Board Game Distributors? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Daniel James
United States
California
flag msg tools
I would really like to start an online store and sell BoardGames from companies like Rio Grande Games, Fantasy Flight Games, and Days of Wonder. But I am having the hardest time finding distributors to get whole sale pricing. If anyone knows of any distributors preferably in the California area I would greatly appreciate some distributors names. Thanks in advance.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Galaxy is Just Packed!
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You may want to try googling "Game Distributors." The first two are Alliance and ACD, both good starts. However, Alliance will probably be harder if you are trying to set up an online store (from what I've heard).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike T
United States
Frederick
Maryland
flag msg tools
You are right about alliance. They are the only distributors that carry Days of Wonder games but thats not such a big deal. I got my account through ACD. They are a breeze to work with and would recommend them highly. They are easy to work with even if your a small timer like me. No order is too small for them as they say. You could try GTS if you want to do more stuff other than board games. Also alliance requires you to have an actual retail store before they will even look at your account. They only want to deal with the big timers. For your purposes ACD is a better choice. Good luck on your ventures, Its a hard business to make money in.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel James
United States
California
flag msg tools
Thanks for the reply I will have to check them out, I came across warpathgames.com the seem to be located in Northern Ca. Has anyone had experience with them?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike T
United States
Frederick
Maryland
flag msg tools
You do also want to keep in mind where the distribution warehouses are. If they are too many days away for shipping you will have to keep a larger stock of games on hand.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel James
United States
California
flag msg tools
Yeah good point mike, thats why I am hoping for one located in southern california or northern ca. It looks like GTS has a warehouse located in southern california and norther california. But not to big of a selection, I will probably have to end up having multiple distributors which will not be good because then I wont get as good as a discount. The search continues...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike T
United States
Frederick
Maryland
flag msg tools
ACD has a warehouse in Fresno which is closer to you. GTS's main business isnt in board games so their selection is a lot less.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Barry Nadler
United States
Altamonte Springs
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I used GTS and had no issue with them - except that they moved out of their Orlando office and the problems that created.

But, they do have a warehouse on the west coast and in Atlanta.

Southern Hobby was good also - they are located in Chatanooga, TN.

Lastly, you can look at PHD, Premiere Hobby Distribution. They were my primary supplier. They are on the east coast - Orlando and New Jersey.

Alliance is going to be a tough nut for you to crack and you may have to settle for not carrying Days of Wonder games and a few others, like BANG!. The primary reason for this is because of Wizards of the Coast and the way they manage the Magic CCG brand. They require retailers to have a storefront where you can hold tournements - with photos.

Alliance does not sell to retailers who don't have a storefront. This removes any liability on their part to Wizards of the Coast.

It so happens that Days of Wonder has chosen to use Alliance exclusively - therefore you can't get them through another supplier.

There is a company or two out there that is a middleman buyer and you can get these games just over cost - I don't know who that is, but that is what I have heard.

Good luck in the online market - it is a tough place to be. Profit margins are VERY thin. Do your due dilligence before you spend the money.

Hope this helped.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Will
United States
Fresno
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BarryNadler wrote:
Good luck in the online market - it is a tough place to be. Profit margins are VERY thin. Do your due dilligence before you spend the money.


Yep, OP, keep in mind that you will get something like 45% discount for wholesale and many online game stores sell games at something like 35% discount. If you plan to compete in that area, you'll only be making $5 on a $50 game, and that doesn't count any other expenses (like credit card processor will take a few percent, if you have discounted shipping, there's another few percent, etc etc). There's a few other places that have higher pricing online that compete in other ways, for instance funagain has a huge selection.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel James
United States
California
flag msg tools
Thanks for all the replies, I didn't think it would be so tricky. I just figured since I love board games it would be cool to try and start a business doing something that you love. I will definitely do my homework first before I dive in. Thanks again.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Banta
United States
Greenwood
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
akaDanPaul wrote:
Thanks for the reply I will have to check them out, I came across warpathgames.com the seem to be located in Northern Ca. Has anyone had experience with them?


I use Warpath as my primary game distributor. They are highly competitive on price and shipping is free on orders above $350. If you're going to do any minis I would find another distributor (i.e. e-figures, The War Store are my choices) though as warpath is always around 10% higher than my other distributors are.

Also as a small operator I highly suggest specializing your inventory and be ready to offer awesome customer service. Its the only way small guys like us can survive past the first year.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Preston Brown
United States
Utah
flag msg tools
So, what makes it worth it? I, too, am interested in selling board games and was curious your opinions on it. If there's such a small profit margin, why do it?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven
United States
flag msg tools
Thanks for the information on distributors. Today I met with a small business incubator program and they've got me working on monthly cash flow projection forms. They also gave me NAICS information on retail game stores. So I've just started working on what kind of numbers I'm looking at for a retail game store. Going through this process should give me a pretty good idea if such a store is viable here. I know this area very well and I think there's a good chance at getting a profitable store going.We'll see.

What I'd do then nephiguy is look into a business incubator program near where you live. That might be a good first step to see if it's possible to have a board game business. I'm guessing from your username that you might live in Utah. I would think there are several places along the Wasatch Front that have good game stores.

Thanks again for those who provided the above information.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Banta
United States
Greenwood
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
nephiguy wrote:
So, what makes it worth it? I, too, am interested in selling board games and was curious your opinions on it. If there's such a small profit margin, why do it?


Do it because you love the hobby and love running a business. If you do it because you think you'll get rich then I highly suggest becoming a stock broker.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Heath Newton
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First thing you need to do is see how cheap you can get the games, then see how much it will cost to ship them and then look at coolstuffinc's prices. Yeah... that's right after shipping, etc your making 3 bucks on a game if your lucky. It's a very hard business and I do not suggest getting into it.(I own a retail store and online store www.capefeargames.com). We sell tons of magic singles online but very few board games.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
R Clark
msg tools
I also am looking into a board game store in new hampshire. In the process you outlined have you been able to determine your profit margin on games?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Banta
United States
Greenwood
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Whether you do an online or brick and mortar store your profit margin per game will be dangerously thin. Think about 5% give or take. This is why many game stores get into magic and the like because the singles can make or break your business.

The same goes for4 non game items like drinks, snacks, room rental. Heck, I even know one store owner who sells add space on his walls.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
R Clark
msg tools
I agree, get people in with other gimmicks. I think we have a pretty good plan to do that but if the 5% is real I'm not sure any gimmicks would help. For store sold games I was expecting between 20-30%.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Banta
United States
Greenwood
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
GreatPumpkin wrote:
I agree, get people in with other gimmicks. I think we have a pretty good plan to do that but if the 5% is real I'm not sure any gimmicks would help. For store sold games I was expecting between 20-30%.


After you figure in rent, utilities, insurance, credit processing, payroll, advertising, etc 5% would be a good return. Heck, your average McDonald's franchisee only sees a 2-3% profit margin. This is why so many businesses fail in their first 5 years. The people running them only see the markup on their product and fail to account for all other expenses.

Starting a business is like walking into a room loaded with traps. If you know its a deadly room when you walk into it, your chances of surviving are much better than if you just went skipping in thinking about all the treasure you'll find.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boards & Bits
United States
Spokane Valley
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
evilchode wrote:
Blah, blah, blah...all the treasure you'll find.

I'm in!! shake
21 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Frick
United States
West Jordan
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Red Raven, Red Raven...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Does anyone know the distributor that carries Vinhos, K2, and spielbox Magazine (English?)

I know they are out there, but I can't remember the name!

Thanks!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
bruce bramley
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
New Hampshire has a Monster board game and MTG company dominating everything. Rough in New Hampshire to get anything done with them having 2 retail locations-plus the huge online store.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
One Armed Bandit
Canada
Surrey
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
akaDanPaul wrote:
Thanks for all the replies, I didn't think it would be so tricky. I just figured since I love board games it would be cool to try and start a business doing something that you love. I will definitely do my homework first before I dive in. Thanks again.


Do you have any experience in business?

Do you love the idea of 90 hour work weeks with no vacations, ever?

Do not run a business of something you like. Once play becomes work, you frequently stop liking what you're doing.

My FLGS got into games because he loved playing them.
He hasn't had time to play a game in YEARS, because running the store takes ALL his time.

Run a game store because you want to run a BUSINESS. Not because you like games.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Rietveld
United States
Zeeland
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
evilchode wrote:
nephiguy wrote:
So, what makes it worth it? I, too, am interested in selling board games and was curious your opinions on it. If there's such a small profit margin, why do it?


Do it because you love the hobby and love running a business. If you do it because you think you'll get rich then I highly suggest becoming a stock broker.


Agreed! I would put tantamount emphasis on loving to run a business. If you don't have such a love to work for yourself for pennies an hour, you will grow to hate the hobby.
Note that I didn't say love the IDEA of running a business. Love RUNNING a business.
You will make less money than working full-time at McDonalds and that's after several years!), and will work harder and longer.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Briggs
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
The joys of being a business owner in this economy becomes a major challenge and not for the faint of heart. I have owned several businesses in my lifetime but never have faced the dread of the past couple of years. My latest, a coffee to which we added sandwiches, chocolates, puzzles, gifts and now games to try and stay afloat which was not done on a shoestring while we live on one. I love retail and the challenge. We added online and our gifts do okay the rest has been slow because of the competitive nature of the business, some people sell stuff and must know know the overhead costs involved, or they have more money than I have to lose.
I owned a couple of sporting good stores years ago, got into the business because I love fishing, the store gave me the opportunity to talk about my love for fishing but I was so busy helping everyone else, I rarely got to fish. The point being, if you go into business do it because you have a passion for business, and good business sense, you like the independence it creates, the fun of helping others achieve their passion from what you offer, and have a reality check in life, for the majority of new businesses do not make it, the likeliness of making money takes years and as my wife says to me from time to time, "you would probably make more money working a minimum wage job than you do now." Best to all the entrepreneurs who take a risk on life, for as the song says, its better to dance than sit life out
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.