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Subject: Opening an Online Table Top Games Store in Kuwait! rss

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Raven Loft
Kuwait
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Hello Everyone!

I've read a lot about establishing a business in this field and most of the guides and tips cater to what's going on in USA or Europe. There are more reasons to establish such a business in my region than there is in America.

First of all, there are not a single store (online or brick and mortar front) that sells Table Top Games (yes you can still find Monopoly, Risk and other Hasbro's products but you will never find any of FFG, Z-Man, Asmodee, Wizards of the Coast..etc products).

Shipment doubles the price of every board I purchase online (no exaggerations here) so gamers in Kuwait (which are not many) must feel frustrated to shop online without any local alternative.

Since I already own a webserver (this is my professional field) and I can develop/implement an eCommerce website in a snap I thought it wouldn't be a very bad idea to establish this business especially because I am very passionate about Table Top games.

One of my biggest problems now, is shipping cost. I am not planning to invest a lot on an inventory (yet). So, booking a container for sea shipping is not an option. I am planning to start with a humble inventory and test the waters and see how things fare. I have a plan for advertisement which I believe should kick start the project and based on the events of the first few months of this project I might start increasing the budget dramatically.

I just wanted to share my plans with you here because I believe a lot of you have more experience in this field than I do and it's better to learn from other's mistakes than from yours. Your guidance and feedback will be appreciated!



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Jeremy Fridy
United States
Kent
Ohio
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Good luck with your mad quest!

In the States, it's a battle for stores to compete with online pricing. The usual thing that they can offer is community. At the local game store, you can meet other gamers, find out about new product, and play there. If you can organize the occasional game day or tournament, all the better.
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Raven Loft
Kuwait
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Freitag wrote:
Good luck with your mad quest!

In the States, it's a battle for stores to compete with online pricing. The usual thing that they can offer is community. At the local game store, you can meet other gamers, find out about new product, and play there. If you can organize the occasional game day or tournament, all the better.


Thank you Jeremy!
I appreciate your support and kind words.

You're right I will be having easier time selling games in Kuwait because of the lack of big monstrous online stores with crazy discounts! (which I love and appreciate btw )

I think if my Online Store becomes successful I will am willing to make a step forward and create a community for gamine like you suggest, maybe even establish a showroom with gaming tables for tournaments or game demonstration.

I think it's a shame that the whole region doesn't have one single store to provide the gaming community with such products. I know a lot of gaming groups (War Gamers, Role Playing Groups) who would kill just to find a local store selling them the items they need instead of having to order them online (which takes a week or two sometimes) and costs a lot of money.



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Jason's Good Twin
United States
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You should talk to Andy in Kuwait at Fortress Ameritrash! He had a really interesting story about customs with some of the board games with demonic themes, such as Lord of the Rings Collectors Edition. I think they thought it was the satanic Ark or something.
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John
United States
Seattle
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You might try to outreach to other countries near you who also don't want to wait for the longer ship times, and higher shipping prices from the USA and Europe. You may also have some advantages for certain countries which make it easier for you to get through customs and also language barriers.

You might test the waters with a site like ebay or even the BGG marketplace promoting yourself as having fast ship times and better shipping prices.

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Raven Loft
Kuwait
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jtabler wrote:
You should talk to Andy in Kuwait at Fortress Ameritrash! He had a really interesting story about customs with some of the board games with demonic themes, such as Lord of the Rings Collectors Edition. I think they thought it was the satanic Ark or something.


Haha!
I'm glad I've never been in trouble with the customs before, at least for that particular reason, despite my passion for morbid arts and collectibles! Maybe Andy needs to use an Arabic name next time to add +2 to his dice of elusiveness against the evil customs department

But what is Fortress Ameritrash? (is that a store name? if yes, it's an excellent one lol) or is it the actual American Base in Kuwait?

 
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Raven Loft
Kuwait
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Jumpshelf wrote:
You might try to outreach to other countries near you who also don't want to wait for the longer ship times, and higher shipping prices from the USA and Europe. You may also have some advantages for certain countries which make it easier for you to get through customs and also language barriers.

You might test the waters with a site like ebay or even the BGG marketplace promoting yourself as having fast ship times and better shipping prices.



You're right. I think once I get steady number of clients I will start shipping these heavy boxes in a container instead to drop the expenses of air shipping (which is SO FREAKING EXPENSIVE IT IS RIDICULOUS) and then I will definitely extend the reach to serve the poor gamers stuck in this region and not just in Kuwait.

Thank you for your comment John!


 
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Louise McCully
New Zealand
Auckland
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Have you looked at LCL (Less than a Container Load) shipping? That's what our main New Zealand distributor does, and believe me shipping to New Zealand is rather expensive any method.
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Raven Loft
Kuwait
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rhianna_ wrote:
Have you looked at LCL (Less than a Container Load) shipping? That's what our main New Zealand distributor does, and believe me shipping to New Zealand is rather expensive any method.


The smallest container I found was 20 feet long and costs around $3,000.

Who offers this LCL service? it sounds like the solution I'm looking for!
 
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Jason's Good Twin
United States
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Raven13 wrote:
jtabler wrote:
You should talk to Andy in Kuwait at Fortress Ameritrash! He had a really interesting story about customs with some of the board games with demonic themes, such as Lord of the Rings Collectors Edition. I think they thought it was the satanic Ark or something.


Haha!
I'm glad I've never been in trouble with the customs before, at least for that particular reason, despite my passion for morbid arts and collectibles! Maybe Andy needs to use an Arabic name next time to add +2 to his dice of elusiveness against the evil customs department

But what is Fortress Ameritrash? (is that a store name? if yes, it's an excellent one lol) or is it the actual American Base in Kuwait?



www.fortressat.com look up user AndyInKuwait
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Joe Dodgy
Australia
Glen Waverley
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Hi There,

'LCL' stands for (depending on who you talk to) Less than Container Load.

Any freight forwarder should be able to organise to have your goods shipped this way.

Things to watch out for:

* More expensive than FCL rates, but less expensive than air,
* Because your goods are hand loaded into a mixed container for shipping, then hand unloaded again at the other end, damage can occur,
* We've had troubles where something else in the container had to be fumigated or was held up by a customs check - which will delay your shipment as well.

Regards,

Mitch.
Joe Dodgy's Dice and Games
www.joedodgy.com.au
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Raven Loft
Kuwait
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Joe Dodgy wrote:
Hi There,

'LCL' stands for (depending on who you talk to) Less than Container Load.

Any freight forwarder should be able to organise to have your goods shipped this way.

Things to watch out for:

* More expensive than FCL rates, but less expensive than air,
* Because your goods are hand loaded into a mixed container for shipping, then hand unloaded again at the other end, damage can occur,
* We've had troubles where something else in the container had to be fumigated or was held up by a customs check - which will delay your shipment as well.

Regards,

Mitch.
Joe Dodgy's Dice and Games
www.joedodgy.com.au


Thanks Joe, it sounds like the optimal option for me and this is exactly what I need. Now I have to find a decent local freight forwarder.

Nice online store you got there too!
 
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