Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
29 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: A P500 proposal for international customers rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Art Bugorski
Canada
London
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is just some spit-balling on how to improve the P500 process.

First of all, I would like to support games in the P500 but these are factors leading to the reason I don't (it's just bad value):

1) S&H: The shipping and handling fee wipes out and savings I get from preordering.
2) Duty sometimes (unpredictably from AFAICT) gets slapped on top of things.
3) The P500 price is roughly what I end up paying at my FLGS / favourite internet retailer (FIR).

I think the real wastefulness comes from the fact they are shipped directly to houses. I'd be happy to pay less to have to go to a local area to pick it up, such as an FLGS.

So I propose this: let us pre-order through our FLGS/FIR and then send back a proof of purchase and you credit back the credit cards more than the preorder amount? So I go to my FLGS and put down $10 for preorder of A Distant Plain, they send you the money, you use it to finance the produciton of the game. You send the game to the FLGS I by it full price from them, then send you a proof of purchase (cardboard chit or entering the number from a paper with a uniquely generated key, detail really) and then you credit my credit card with which I preordered the game $30 (so I effectively save $20 on the game by preordering it).

---

Edit: I just realised that a better system would be to p500 online, have them email you a printable individualised numbered coupon (a la Group On) and then select a participating P500 partner to whom an additional copy of your game will be sent. Much simpler than refunding credit cards etc. So P500 $20 for a game to get a $40 coupon emailed to you.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joao Lima
Scotland
Edinburgh
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, if you take into consideration costs, then, as a UK customer of US based companies I would have zero interest in pre-ordering as I would get the game cheaper in the standard way by buying at a local retailer.

You subscribe to P500 because you are willing to see a game published even if that means paying a premium for it (in the international case).

(I'm not, there's enough games out there to keep me happy till the end of my days without paying premium for something... food goes at premium prices these days and I need food, but this is a personal opinion.)
5 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Art Bugorski
Canada
London
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jmlima wrote:
Well, if you take into consideration costs, then, as a UK customer of US based companies I would have zero interest in pre-ordering as I would get the game cheaper in the standard way by buying at a local retailer.


How? You'd get a coupon to use at your FLGS valued at more than your preorder amount, so you'd save money.

Quote:
You subscribe to P500 because you are willing to see a game published even if that means paying a premium for it (in the international case).


But in the US case you do it to save money as well (don't they???) so why not bring more symmetry?

Frankly, the only P500 I've done was to get exclusive units.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jacovis
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We can order the games later for the same price or cheaper than pre-order prices most of the time. Cheaper, actually, because OLGS have free shipping on larger orders. Support for P500 and such is mostly to show that we want to see the game published. Sometimes we also get the game a week or two before those who wait to order it from elsewhere, but really it's about the support for the game.

Cheers,

Jacovis

Edit: Forgot to add that supporting P500 projects directly from the game companies also shows support for the company.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Adey
United Kingdom
Wolverhampton
West Midlands
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jmlima wrote:
Well, if you take into consideration costs, then, as a UK customer of US based companies I would have zero interest in pre-ordering as I would get the game cheaper in the standard way by buying at a local retailer.

You subscribe to P500 because you are willing to see a game published even if that means paying a premium for it (in the international case).

(I'm not, there's enough games out there to keep me happy till the end of my days without paying premium for something... food goes at premium prices these days and I need food, but this is a personal opinion.)


What he said.

The last P500 I bought was Bomber Command and it cost me a small fortune to import because the UK govt is now so grasping after the bank crash etc etc.

I wait until they`re shipped to the UK and then buy.

Sorry GMT. I did email you to apologise - I won`t be taking part until something gives.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Art Bugorski
Canada
London
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Albireo wrote:
Sorry GMT. I did email you to apologise - I won`t be taking part until something gives.


I just want to support the games without it costing me an arm & a leg. If it comes down to support a game or buying two, I'll get 2.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Captain Nemo
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The key issue is to demonstrate to producers a minimum demand for the product. Direct orders from international customers are no longer financially viable in many cases. The solution is to have an in-country point of supply (or within EU!) that will give you a local [discount] price that includes tax and shipping costs. If producers do not want the hassle of arranging that they will have to estimate likely demand as of old.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
flag msg tools
ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
badge
Beneath this mask there is an idea.....and ideas are bulletproof.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Albireo wrote:
jmlima wrote:
Well, if you take into consideration costs, then, as a UK customer of US based companies I would have zero interest in pre-ordering as I would get the game cheaper in the standard way by buying at a local retailer.

You subscribe to P500 because you are willing to see a game published even if that means paying a premium for it (in the international case).

(I'm not, there's enough games out there to keep me happy till the end of my days without paying premium for something... food goes at premium prices these days and I need food, but this is a personal opinion.)


What he said.

The last P500 I bought was Bomber Command and it cost me a small fortune to import because the UK govt is now so grasping after the bank crash etc etc.

I wait until they`re shipped to the UK and then buy.

Sorry GMT. I did email you to apologise - I won`t be taking part until something gives.



It's not really the UK govt that is now so grasping, as you put it, The VAT that is being added would be added anyway once it is being sold by the reatailer in the UK. The thing that hits the price sufficient to make it uneconomic to buy directly via pre-order in the UK is the handling charge the private shippers charge for raising the VAT on the item - I think the last time I was hit with this it was an additional £12. I now have no pre-orders.

One aspect of the VAT that is an issue is that it is raised on the total cost of the package (i.e. including shipping) which makes it higher than waiting for retail (sort of - as by the time it is at retail the retailer has added their cut on which will also have VAT added to it).

The answer is for GMT/MMP (whoever) to register and pay the VAT for us, and pass that cost on to us, or for an agent within the EU to handle the pre-orders. Both of these have set up and admin costs for GMT/MMP so I can understand why they would not want to do them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nigel Heather
United Kingdom
Horsham
West Sussex
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I've posted before about my frustration with the P500 system.

I see plenty of GMT games that I would love to support and help get it to the printers. But I can only echo what I has been said here

(1) cardboard is heavy >> very high shipping costs for an individual game

(2) VAT and taxes on the combined purchase and shipping price

(3) Random courier admin fees

It's not uncommon to see a game attractively priced at $40 only to work out that I might end up paying $110 in total.

There is a German company that does GMT P500. Obviously, there is VAT and shipping but no nasty courier admin fees. But even so it still ends up quite expensive so I wait till it is released in th UK.

If I lived in the US I'd spend a fortune on P500 so perhaps it is a blessing in disguise.

Cheers,

Nigel
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Art Bugorski
Canada
London
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That's why I advocate a coupon system, that way you just pick it up from any FLGS so there is no additional shipping fees.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Lai
Hong Kong
Happy Valley
None
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I support P500 and I live in Hong Kong. I agree that the savings from the discount is mostly wiped out by the shipping, I've found that some company's shipping is better value than others. This is from experience rather than transparency on the companies' part unfortunately. I've found GMT's shipping to be the best and fair, while MMP's and L'n'L to be relatively more expensive. (I've found that for GMT games if you choose Surface Shipping on your preorder to Hong Kong, it still arrives by air!! So that's probably why its cheap.)

Its always going to be cheaper waiting for the game to appear at an online discount store and buying in bulk to save on shipping a little, but I've found (for me in Hong Kong) the difference not huge.

There is also the intangible benefit of getting the game first.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
しんぶん赤旗
New Zealand
Christchurch
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I use the GMT P500 service as a means of getting cheaper shipping rates so my experience is very different to most the people posting in this thread. Postage to NZ is usually between 25 - 30 US dollars from the web retailer I use. GMT have usually charged between 15 and 20 US$. This is a significant saving on top of the P500 discount.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nigel Heather
United Kingdom
Horsham
West Sussex
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
This is how it works in the UK

You see a P500 for $40. Fantastic that's about £25 as opposed to £45 when it hits the stores in the UK. But then the reality hits in

$40 - P500 Item
$35 - Interntional Shipping
$15 - Sales Tax on the item and shipping (VAT at 20%)
$2.25 - Import Duty (this isn't always charged)
$24 - Courier Admin Fee

$116.25 - Possible TOTAL - about £73

So what looked really attractive at £25, compared to a local street price of £45 could actually cost £73.

I say possible because customs don't stop everything, just a random selection. Though it is said that stuff from the US is more likely to be stopped then stuff from the Far East.

I usually assume it will get stopped and figure the worst. If it is still a good deal I go ahead. And if it doesn't get stopped then extra bargain.

The killer is the Courier Admin Fee. This is a lucrative little business for the couriers. They pay the tax and duty on your behalf (even though you didn't ask them to) and they tehn charge you a fee for their service. You don't get any say, you can't question the price, you can't shop around for the best deal - the courier has you by the short and curlies.

What we really need is

(i) VAT paid up front so the courier doesn't need to get involved, so cannot demand their pound of flesh

(ii) Combined shipping to a country (all the P500s for one country are sent as a single shipment) and then distributed once in country - so we can get the shipping costs down to a sensible level.

Cheers,

Nigel

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Björn Hansson
Sweden
Bromma
Stockholm
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
nheather wrote:
(ii) Combined shipping to a country (all the P500s for one country are sent as a single shipment) and then distributed once in country - so we can get the shipping costs down to a sensible level.


I reckon this would generate some administrative fee as well...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Brophy
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I to, am put off with pre-orders because, in the past, I have been badly stung by postal fees in the UK, and I find it cheaper to wait for the game to be released, and imported to the UK by a distibutor, and then buy it.

I am sure many people do the same as me, which means that there is often hidden demand for a game, that the P500 system does not show up.

Since P500 is mostly to guage the future demand for a game, one possibility to expose the hidden demand I referred to, might be some sort of "Pledge to Buy" list, open only to non US residents. This would allow people abroad to register their intention to buy a game when it reaches their country. There is of course the danger that some people might register several times under different names in order to speed up a game reaching 500, but there must be some piece of software that can pick up multiple "cheats" of this kind. Just a thought.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
oystein eker
Norway
Unspecified
sola
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Me too want to support P500 - but it is too expensive. I suspect my fav online US shop buy P500 stuff. When publisher (read GMT) announces final call just before shipping,I do my order.

Hopefully my online shop do order P500 at some stage - and I indirectly support the P500 this way.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nigel Heather
United Kingdom
Horsham
West Sussex
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Quote:
I reckon this would generate some administrative fee as well...


I'm sure, but it would be shared between many, so small for each individual.

The problem with the Courier Admin fees is that you have no idea what they are going to be up front and have no choice but to pay them.

Different couriers charge different amounts and very view advertise or declare that you will be charged. To give you some idea what I have actually seen

(i) Admin fees vary between $8 and $40. Not because of the amount of taxes paid, but just from courier to courier.

(ii) I personally have been charged the standard admin fee from one courier of $24 when the taxes collected were less than $16.

(iii) I personally, have had the parcel delivered without any mention of a fee and then a week later get an invoice for $24 in the post.

Quote:
Since P500 is mostly to guage the future demand for a game, one possibility to expose the hidden demand I referred to, might be some sort of "Pledge to Buy" list, open only to non US residents. This would allow people abroad to register their intention to buy a game when it reaches their country. There is of course the danger that some people might register several times under different names in order to speed up a game reaching 500, but there must be some piece of software that can pick up multiple "cheats" of this kind. Just a thought.


Definitely is a hidden demand. There are a few P500s at the moment that haven't made the cut but that I intend to buy if they do. Would love to add my name to ensure they get to the printers or get there faster.

The problem with pledges though is they aren't binding. There is the problem of registering multiple times as you mention, but more likely the problem of registering, possibly with good intentions, but changing your mind when the time comes.

No they need a way of taking orders but locally. That way taxes can be paid up front and the cost of international shipping can be shared.

The way I see it you would have

P500 promotional price
Share of international shipping
Local shipping
Sales Tax

Maybe it will come out at practically the same price as buying locally when released, but I wouldn't mind that because I would have contributed to the P500 process. It's having to pay nearly double that I object to.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Brophy
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Pre orders aren't binding either, because you can always cancel your credit card order before payment is taken I believe.
I'm not proposing that the publisher takes pledges on a one to one basis with pre-orders, rather that it would give them a feel for the interest that is out there for the game. If you have 400 pre-orders from US residents, and 150 pledges from abroad, you have got your 500 even if 30% of the pledges are unfulfilled. I doubt there would be many that are unfulfilled.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Trauth
Australia
Pretty much everywhere
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In my opinion the only way to make international buying of bulky items ( boardgames), and do it on the individual level is to buy in quantity before having them sent over.

I can only speak for Australia, but you need to know your countries' importation laws (such as the duty threshold) - Australia is not as I've been told some (maybe all for all I know) places in Europe can be -such as before adding in the VAT. It isn't that difficult to find a reseller in the US that seems to have bought under P500 (or other pre-order offers), and although of course they tack on their profit margin (they are businesses too afterall), it seems like it is as inexpensive as putting in a preorder for an individual item (in the sense that it allows buys to buy in quantity).

I've also been a little lucky as some of the series I collect it seems like there might have been an overproduction issue and withing a couple of years a company is trying to move them on -even cheaper than the preorder price (in my specific case I'm talking about GMT's Revolutionary War series). I haven't actually relied on that happening- but rather more like it happens, and I haven't had a chance to get a particular title -and then there it is ...

The get together and buy some model, basically puts the individual (if it is an individual) into the position of being a defacto distributor - and the total amount of product coming in -is over the duty threshold -than that poor guy gets stuck with having to pay it (as you can talk about dividing it up afterwards- but in my practice in going out to dinners in groups -there is usually some guy that ends up paying more than their share for whatever reason)... so then it seems like in effect you are waiting for a business to get in a stock and then buying from them - which in effect is a retailer, unless I overlooked something.

The group model can work, but I think that you would already have to have a fairly close network of gamers who you know that you can trust.

I understand, though, that at the heart of it - it is all about gaming -and I sincerely hope that you find a solution that works.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard H
United Kingdom
York
Hampshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If only they would lie on the customs form on the front so that they didn't get charged.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Galaad Maal
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
At the risk of blowing my own trumpet - I'm floating an idea for a different model of shared-cost international shipping over at International Aid - thoughts appreciated. Thanks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Damo
Australia
Hobart
Tasmania
flag msg tools
Look Up! Stay Alive!
badge
http://australianmuseum.net.au/Drop-Bear
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
django5 wrote:
If only they would lie on the customs form on the front so that they didn't get charged.


That would be Fraud.

For a company to do that on hundreds or thousands of games is fraud on a spectacular level.

They aren't going to risk it.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Trauth
Australia
Pretty much everywhere
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Damjon wrote:
django5 wrote:
If only they would lie on the customs form on the front so that they didn't get charged.


That would be Fraud.

For a company to do that on hundreds or thousands of games is fraud on a spectacular level.

They aren't going to risk it.


You might be surprised, then as some clearly do. I know if I were in business I wouldn't.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Daglish
United Kingdom
Cheadle
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
nheather wrote:
$40 - P500 Item


Buy it in the annual sale.

Quote:
$35 - Interntional Shipping


Small packet rate is about half that but of course GMT don't care as they have a postal contract whose value cannot be determined. Often the Border Agency don't seem to bother with the franked amount.

Quote:
$15 - Sales Tax on the item and shipping (VAT at 20%)


You can of course miss this. It still happens. Surface stuff sent by air for convenience is usually cast to one side whilst they check the valuable rapid-delivery stuff.

Quote:
$2.25 - Import Duty (this isn't always charged)


not on games

Quote:
$24 - Courier Admin Fee


$12 is common.

Quote:
The killer is the Courier Admin Fee. This is a lucrative little business for the couriers. They pay the tax and duty on your behalf (even though you didn't ask them to) and they tehn charge you a fee for their service. You don't get any say, you can't question the price, you can't shop around for the best deal - the courier has you by the short and curlies.


A Trading Standards lawyer suggested this may be illegal. It needs to be tested in court.

Quote:
(i) VAT paid up front so the courier doesn't need to get involved, so cannot demand their pound of flesh


The point is not paying it. The system is failed because charging is arbitrary, and legally questionable. There's less point in passing laws that can't be enforced.

Quote:
(ii) Combined shipping to a country (all the P500s for one country are sent as a single shipment) and then distributed once in country - so we can get the shipping costs down to a sensible level.


Consolidation would be more expensive. Its cheaper to dump boxes on whatever transport is available.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Szarka
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
AngryStarAnarchy wrote:
Albireo wrote:
Sorry GMT. I did email you to apologise - I won`t be taking part until something gives.


I just want to support the games without it costing me an arm & a leg. If it comes down to support a game or buying two, I'll get 2.


As a fellow Canuck, my experience with P500 is this:

1) P500 price is usually comparable to those offered after the fact by mail order discounters
2) Shipping charged by GMT is often less than postage indicated on the package (i.e. GMT is swallowing some of the postage charge)
3) I have found that single games, as are typical P500 shipments, do not too frequently arouse the notice of Canada Revenue, but multiple orders do
4) The overall price is not higher than I would pay including taxes from most Canadian retailers.
5) In exchange I get the warm, fuzzy feeling of supporting a company that deserves my support, and a bunch of discounts at the end of the year

No, it doesn't save me money but I still do it. But only on a game that I am really certain I want.
4 
 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.