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Subject: Are FLGS's pricing themselves out of business rss

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Michael Burke
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I went to my FLGS to have a look around. They previously had all their games at the back of the shop but now they are all over the place and the lass in the shop was trying to find places to put all the games as they are taking over the shop.

I'm pretty sure it's because they aren't selling them and they are just stacking up. I overheard her talking to a customer saying people can't afford buying more than one game. I really wanted to say maybe it's because your prices are really high. I really want to support my local shop but their prices are at least £10-£15 more than anywhere else. I know the argument over rent and rates but surely they are still over charging.
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Aaron Morgan
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I don't know how things are on your side of the ocean, but retailers everywhere over here are feeling the pinch from the current state of the economy.

FLGS prices have to be higher than elsewhere because of the factors you mentioned. It costs less per unit to run an online business, so those vendors can afford to drop 25-30+ % off retailer prices.

It sounds like in your particular case, the store's buyers are continuing to bring in product at a rate faster than they are moving product. I predict a sale in their future if they want to stay afloat.
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Matthew Tadyshak
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FLGS are way to expensive for me to buy from them. Frankly with the internet, I don't see the point of them other then having table space, which isn't a problem around here.
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Michael Burke
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I understand the reasons for higher prices but it still doesn't make sense to me to charge the full price if nobody is buying them. I get 10% off and even then they are still way overpriced. I still think they are overcharging and have more room for pricing. Real shame but apart from the odd small purchase I never have bought a big game from them.
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Justin Wertz
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NBAfan wrote:
FLGS are way to expensive for me to buy from them. Frankly with the internet, I don't see the point of them other then having table space, which isn't a problem around here.


Table space seems to be the way they stay in business. Most of the owners I've talked to say that if they didn't have tables to run frequent MtG tournaments and other game nights, they'd have to close.
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Martin Plourde
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I try to support MY friendly local game store once in a while because 1- they have very good customer service 2- they have a very good selection of games, some hard to find when they go OOP 3- they tend to have price slightly better than MSRP. In many cases, it is nearly as good as buying one game online+shipping, since I live in Canada and shipping is insanely high. However, when I have more than one game I want to buy, I use CSI with a friend from Vermont, so I save lots of money.

Unfortunately, not every game store try to price their games lower than MSRP. I have even seen places where they sell higher than MSRP, at nearly double the price you can find online. It is even worse for games that are translated (I am pointing fingers at you, edge entertainement). For example, Kingsburg+exp, at CSI = 53$. French version at MSRP = 112$. Kind of crazy for a game that is mostly language independant...
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Paul DeStefano
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The rent's too damn high.
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Andrew Brannan
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NBAfan wrote:
FLGS are way to expensive for me to buy from them. Frankly with the internet, I don't see the point of them other then having table space, which isn't a problem around here.


It depends for me. If I'm going to make a large game purchase ($100+), then I'll likely do so through an online retailer, as the savings are significant enough, especially if I can hit a free shipping price point. However, if I'm just picking up the latest The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game Adventure pack, or a single game of less than $50, I'll usually go to my FLGS. Instant gratification, plus it avoids the pesky questions about "there was another package for you today" from my wife.

It sounds like the OP's shop has a bit of a management problem. They clearly want to sell more board games, but didn't do any preparation to make that happen. Shifting the focus of a store cannot happen overnight. You need to implement it gradually over time, and allow the word to get around that the store now has a few more games, and get people used to the idea of going there for the board games, while allowing older stock of the previous focus to dwindle down through normal attrition.

I don't think it's a matter of pricing, specifically. It just sounds like good old-fashioned poor business sense.
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Michael Burke
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At my FLGS I was lost for words at some of their prices. For example all there FFG Core Card games like Lord of The Rings were £40 when I bought online for £20 including delivery and expansions were £25 like the Hobbit one I picked up for £12. I think they are kidding themselves if they think people will pay those prices.

They are now to the point where they have board games all over the place and in every nook and cranny. I wouldn't be surprised if next time I go their counter will be made of board games.
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Benjamin Maggi
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It isn't a unique situation for gaming stores. I am a model railroader too, and the local stores cannot compete with the internet for prices and variety. True, when I need something quick I will go to the store (when it is open, which isn't always the case) but most of the time I will buy online and wait a few days to receive it.
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Eric Etkin
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I think this phenomenon is a lot like when you see people selling items on ebay, craigslist, consignment stores, etc. They think that since the item cost them $XYZ, then they should also pass along $XYZ cost to the next person buying the item... even if the item isn't worth $XYZ and can clearly be had for substantially less elsewhere.

It's entirely true that a physical business has additional overhead and associated costs which must be defrayed, but for too many the answer is to charge a completely non-competitive price while offering little else than a physical portal to purchase through.

The good stores, the ones that stick around, not only stock a variety of product, but should also bring a value-add service that online models can't compete with. When you're paying $XYZ, it should be with the understanding that your getting product + unique service, not just product + defrayed rent. If a store can't offer the latter, it doesn't deserve your business.

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Steve Evans
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Unfortunately they have to. The overheads for bricks and mortar stores are astronomic compared to internet shopping.
I like the guys at the shop where we play and they do try to give a fair price wherever possible, the reality is that it costs them more to sell a game than an internet retailer.

I remember a few years ago I ran a bookshop which catered to students, we had a market which no one on the highstreet dealt with and we were doing okay until Amazon and a few others edged us out, and we weren't making megabucks. Being a bookstore we had access to everything that the big chain stores carry and when the Harry Potter books came out, even with our bookstore and bulk buying power, Smiths were selling Harry Potter to the general public cheaper than we could buy it from the publisher. Life's just not fair for the FLGS any more, trust me when I say that they aren't robbing you, they're probably only just scraping by. But it's your money mate, spend it where you want.
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CJ
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Maybe you've got it wrong and they have games everywhere because they are managing to shift them at MSRP prices..?
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Andrew H
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There are 3 stores in my area, and there is some variance in prices between all three. I try to support them all in some way. I like to support the locals mostly because of the customer service and house games. Also I like to pick up a single game at a time, and don't like how you usually need to buy 3-4 games online to save on shipping.

While the prices here do tend to be higher then online prices, it's usually about $10 to $15 more then online prices. I think that would be 6 to 8 pounds, so the prices in the original post do seem to be higher then what I'm used to.
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To answer the OP's question - Absolutely yes.

I've enjoyed shopping at brick-and-mortar stores over the many years but it's just getting ridiculous these days. To cite one specific eample, I used to love shopping at the Source Comics & Games in Minneapolis but they're just way over-priced now (well, that and I don't live in Mn at the moment).

I rarely now, if ever, buy anything there or at any brick-and-mortar store these days. I don't mind being gouged a tiny bit but it's gotten pretty bad/sad.
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Mitchell Waldbauer
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A solid article about the expenses an FLGS incurs and the dangers of discounting.

http://www.gamehead.com/article/1936/discounting-dilemma-gam...
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David "Brother" Eicher
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I think they are. We had a game store come into our town a year or so ago. I was excited, until I went and visited. And I told my wife, "They're not gonna last." Prices were obscene, for one thing. And there was not really good selection either. However, if there had been an obvious effort to cater to the gaming crowd, such as areas for people to play games or staff who were clearly interested in gaming, they might have made it.

I would love to have a local game store. And I would support it by paying more, if necessary, for its products, IF and ONLY if it would cater to the gamer.

That's just my two cents. (MSRP $5.50)
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Pete Lane
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Truth be told, it's Warhammer and Magic keeping many of our FLGS alive. Game shops are really going the way of CD shops before them, and we have nothing but the internet to blame.

As someone who worked in the entertainment retail business for many years during the time when they really started to feel the pinch... it seems like people love to blame the stores for being "overpriced" when they never considered that places like Best Buy and Target were selling the same items for BELOW cost and creating a false sense of what something was supposed to cost.

Not saying this is 100% happening here, but even if your local FLGS sold BG's for 20% every day I don't know if many people would even buy at that rate thanks to the internet retailers that are making up for losses by selling Magic (troll and toad/CSI), or by being run out of someone's garage and not having to pay a staff, mall rent, and utilities for multiple spots.

I think it's fine that people are all about supporting the discount retailers... but they have to realize that there is more to the FLGS "pricing themselves out" than "being cheap." I'd bet that there isn't a single FLGS that would survive as it does today if they sold BGs for ThoughtHammer prices (esp if they didn't run Magic events).
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Bill Eldard
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MitchellW wrote:
A solid article about the expenses an FLGS incurs and the dangers of discounting.

http://www.gamehead.com/article/1936/discounting-dilemma-gam...


Sums it up pretty well.

The dilemma I see for FLGSs is similar to one I witnessesd with a comic store my wife managed a while back: Hanging on to inventory that won't move.

A hobbyist who owns a store also runs the risk of overvaluing inventory. This is what did in the comic store I'm familiar with. The owner continued to buy collections of old comics that had only a few collectibles, while he wouldn't discount the stuff he already had. Eventually, he had 800 boxes of comics and negative cash flow.

In the FLGS I most often visit, there are games that have been on the shelves for 8 years or more. They didn't move when they were new, and they're certainly not going to move now, unless the customer has an incentive to buy.

As the shelves fill up with items that don't sell, sales naturally suffer, creating cash flow difficulties that make purchasing new inventory difficult if not impossible. Consequently, the old stuff sits around waiting for a buyer that's never going to come, while opportunities to sell the hot new stuff are reduced.

The incentive is a discount so great that the customer might buy it if only for the components.

Yes, the store will lose money on the game, but after a few years or more of care and feeding on the shelf (taking up space the better merchandise could occupy), the game has already lost it s value to the store, and eventually will begin draining from it. Get rid of it at any cost. Why not 50-70% discount?

Ultimately, the online merchants will likely do the FLGSs in. I don't want to see that happen, but I have to be realistic.
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August Larson
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My FLGS, Board Game Revolution (boardgamerevolution.com), actually prices games quite close to online prices. I could buy Mice & Mystics in-store for $52. I don't know how they stay in business, but they do, and I'm grateful for it. I haven't ever had to shop online since discovering them.
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Troy English
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Drittz wrote:
I went to my FLGS to have a look around. They previously had all their games at the back of the shop but now they are all over the place and the lass in the shop was trying to find places to put all the games as they are taking over the shop.

I'm pretty sure it's because they aren't selling them and they are just stacking up. I overheard her talking to a customer saying people can't afford buying more than one game. I really wanted to say maybe it's because your prices are really high. I really want to support my local shop but their prices are at least £10-£15 more than anywhere else. I know the argument over rent and rates but surely they are still over charging.


They are NOT overcharging you. They really are charging you the lowest amount they can and still make enough money to stay in business.

They are however in a huge problem, and, there is not much they can do about it.
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Matthew Tadyshak
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Tut_613 wrote:
Drittz wrote:
I went to my FLGS to have a look around. They previously had all their games at the back of the shop but now they are all over the place and the lass in the shop was trying to find places to put all the games as they are taking over the shop.

I'm pretty sure it's because they aren't selling them and they are just stacking up. I overheard her talking to a customer saying people can't afford buying more than one game. I really wanted to say maybe it's because your prices are really high. I really want to support my local shop but their prices are at least £10-£15 more than anywhere else. I know the argument over rent and rates but surely they are still over charging.


They are NOT overcharging you. They really are charging you the lowest amount they can and still make enough money to stay in business.

They are however in a huge problem, and, there is not much they can do about it.
Indeed, physical stores are just being obsoleted by the internet.
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Scott Hill
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NBAfan wrote:
Tut_613 wrote:
Drittz wrote:
I went to my FLGS to have a look around. They previously had all their games at the back of the shop but now they are all over the place and the lass in the shop was trying to find places to put all the games as they are taking over the shop.

I'm pretty sure it's because they aren't selling them and they are just stacking up. I overheard her talking to a customer saying people can't afford buying more than one game. I really wanted to say maybe it's because your prices are really high. I really want to support my local shop but their prices are at least £10-£15 more than anywhere else. I know the argument over rent and rates but surely they are still over charging.


They are NOT overcharging you. They really are charging you the lowest amount they can and still make enough money to stay in business.

They are however in a huge problem, and, there is not much they can do about it.
Indeed, physical stores are just being obsoleted by the internet.


Physical stores that exist only to sell products are being obsoleted by the internet.
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Pete Lane
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NBAfan wrote:
Tut_613 wrote:
Drittz wrote:
I went to my FLGS to have a look around. They previously had all their games at the back of the shop but now they are all over the place and the lass in the shop was trying to find places to put all the games as they are taking over the shop.

I'm pretty sure it's because they aren't selling them and they are just stacking up. I overheard her talking to a customer saying people can't afford buying more than one game. I really wanted to say maybe it's because your prices are really high. I really want to support my local shop but their prices are at least £10-£15 more than anywhere else. I know the argument over rent and rates but surely they are still over charging.


They are NOT overcharging you. They really are charging you the lowest amount they can and still make enough money to stay in business.

They are however in a huge problem, and, there is not much they can do about it.
Indeed, physical stores are just being obsoleted by the internet.


Which is sad, as someone who loves walking into unique little shops as I'm traveling through towns and seeing some unexpected fun things as I browse. Amazon is changing the way people shop, and I think we're all worse off for it in the end. Saving money is great, but at what cost?
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Simon Lundström
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Picture a world where prices for games were 50% higher than they are today. People would complain that prices in offline game stores are simply too much and they can't imagine ever paying anything else than online discounts.

Those online discounts would be higher than the offline game stores prices are today. And people would think they were cheap.

It's just a matter of comparison.

/from a country where Descent 1e was $150 retail and still sold like hell.
 
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