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Subject: Speed: And Where Can I Get Some ? rss

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Jene Weir
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Ok the short of it is this:

Two games are purchased online in Australia using two major retailers of board games.
One game is purchased online located in Kentucky USA.

All are purchased within an hour.

The price of shipping to Australia from Kentucky + the price of the game itself = the cost of the game here in Australia + 10%

The Kentucky purchase arrives at my door a day after both Australian stores ship my order.

My tentative query is: Where is the bottleneck ?

With very limited knowledge I can only assume that it is a combination of factors, and it is no doubt different for someone living in a capital city, but in my dreams would I wish for such speedy service.

Now in fairness I am forgiving of our Australian business’ involved in this industry, as they are servicing a highly selective want/need, and if they've got what I want, I’ll get it in the end.

But sometimes my mind boggles at the discrepancy.
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Mark McG
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so have you played the Kentucky delivered game yet?
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Jene Weir
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I sense a trap...but the answer is unfortunately no. It was to be played tonight, but we had unexpected visitors of the non-gaming/not interested kind.
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James Mckane
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Quote:
The Kentucky purchase arrives at my door a day after both Australian stores ship my order.


Sounds like my experiences, try the U.K too.
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Mark McG
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nosratheno wrote:
I sense a trap...but the answer is unfortunately no. It was to be played tonight, but we had unexpected visitors of the non-gaming/not interested kind.


dunno if trap is the right word, but sometimes I wonder about the need for speed. Personally I have games I've never played, and plenty of games I want to play more often. So delivery speed isn't a big issue for me.

OTOH, I've ordered a new game from Idaho for around 60% of the Australian price. I can't even buy it used in Australia for that.
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Jene Weir
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Minedog3 wrote:


dunno if trap is the right word, but sometimes I wonder about the need for speed. Personally I have games I've never played, and plenty of games I want to play more often. So delivery speed isn't a big issue for me.


While I agree that speed is a luxury in many cases (though not all), I still question the difference in apparent efficiency both in principle, and out of curiosity.

jamesmckane wrote:

Sounds like my experiences, try the U.K too .


The GBP usually scares me off looking at the UK market, but perhaps I'll keep an eye out now.. ninja
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Alex Brown
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I only buy in .au if I'm taking it home.
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J J
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Simple enough.

With regard to the price, and as I'm sure everybody knows by now, Australians are routinely ripped off blind by importers and distributors. The population learning this dirty little secret was what sent Gerry Harvey off the deep end last year (and why he was so desperate to make people believe that not having GST on on-line sales was killing local business - classic distraction crap).

With regard to speed - many shops that sell on-line don't actually stock the items they claim to have. Whether they use just-in-time supplying (only ordering when they've got a confirmed sale) or drop-shipping, it ends up delayed just as much as if you order from the US (which is most likely where the local on-line seller was getting it from anyway).

And no, it is no different living in one of the capitals.
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Alex Brown
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I've only used Coolstuffinc, but their service is blazingly fast. It has never gotten to me later than two weeks after the order, and once it came within a week.

I've also altered orders, pre-ordered and cancelled, and I've never had any drama or delays.

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J J
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Alex Brown wrote:
I've only used Coolstuffinc, but their service is blazingly fast. It has never gotten to me later than two weeks after the order, and once it came within a week.

I've also altered orders, pre-ordered and cancelled, and I've never had any drama or delays.



I find that things from the US routinely take a week and a half to two weeks. I recall once having something arrive in about a week (it was a bit of a shock, really). From the UK, usually one week, maybe a couple of days longer.

I don't think it is possible to get stuff any quicker from overseas.

What ticks me off is local vendors taking their time to post. I've ordered (frequently on the phone, so no computerised queue to get through), you've got my money, and I've done all this first thing in the morning after confirming that you have the thing in stock - why did you then take two or even three days to take it to the post office down the road? This is one of the things that shits me the most about a certain retailer that apparently everybody else here adores - no matter what, express post from them takes several days and is a waste of money.

I deal with the post at work; I know damned well just how long it will take for a package to travel across Australia; and I wax wroth when I see this crap pulled.
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Alex Brown
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Yep, I think we can call it: MilSims at least adjusted their prices to reflect competition from US prices +shipping, but they've really dropped off with timely mailing (and the accuracy of their online catalogue).

As a taxpayer, I'm glad Au Post is kept in the black, even if it means we get a worse service than most countries. Really, it should be up to the private sector to improve the industry if it can. There is a mooted Packer/Bouris attempt to rival the government carrier coming, and for most interstate stuff couriers are often cheaper (I found when working in the hobby games industry).

I don't expect an idealised customer service: people are humans. But for all its flaws, the strength of capitalist society is that we should never have to apologize for disregarding inferior options. The reality is that traditional FLGS models for retail and shipping are failing. Instead of making excuses, we should vote with our wallets.
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J J
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Alex Brown wrote:
Yep, I think we can call it: MilSims at least adjusted their prices to reflect competition from US prices +shipping, but they've really dropped off with timely mailing (and the accuracy of their online catalogue).

As a taxpayer, I'm glad Au Post is kept in the black, even if it means we get a worse service than most countries. Really, it should be up to the private sector to improve the industry if it can. There is a mooted Packer/Bouris attempt to rival the government carrier coming, and for most interstate stuff couriers are often cheaper (I found when working in the hobby games industry).


Do we get worse service? From all that I can tell, we get much better postal service than most of the rest of the planet, especially the US with all it's private sector obsessions.

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Bruce Murphy
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JasonJ0 wrote:
Alex Brown wrote:
Yep, I think we can call it: MilSims at least adjusted their prices to reflect competition from US prices +shipping, but they've really dropped off with timely mailing (and the accuracy of their online catalogue).

As a taxpayer, I'm glad Au Post is kept in the black, even if it means we get a worse service than most countries. Really, it should be up to the private sector to improve the industry if it can. There is a mooted Packer/Bouris attempt to rival the government carrier coming, and for most interstate stuff couriers are often cheaper (I found when working in the hobby games industry).


Do we get worse service? From all that I can tell, we get much better postal service than most of the rest of the planet, especially the US with all it's private sector obsessions.



Well, mostly, yes. The US has a crazy-high postal density which supports all sorts of private sector postal stuff and actually has very high cross-coast traffic. This helps with a lot of things, but even so their postal service struggles along (although the much vaunted imminent bankruptcy has more to do with pension arrangements than day to day operating expenses)

If you want to see fanastic service, you'd be looking at the Royal Mail service out to here, since we are presumably on the old colonial postal list.

B>
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Alex Brown
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I don't know, I was generalising based on the shipping costs other comparable services charge.

For all I know maybe this is as good as it gets .
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Jene Weir
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Many excellent points that reflect my thoughts on the matter exactly.

I've wondered if perhaps volume is a factor. Does having so few stores servicing our interests impact the postage deadlines ? Are there many active Aussie board game buyers ? Or is it a matter of storage/inventory problems ?


I guess to sum up, if I had one wish, asides from agreeable prices, it would be: Ship my order within 24 hours.
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Bruce Murphy
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nosratheno wrote:
Many excellent points that reflect my thoughts on the matter exactly.

I've wondered if perhaps volume is a factor. Does having so few stores servicing our interests impact the postage deadlines ? Are there many active Aussie board game buyers ? Or is it a matter of storage/inventory problems ?


I guess to sum up, if I had one wish, asides from agreeable prices, it would be: Ship my order within 24 hours.


One problem has historically been relatively low volumes, another has been the crazy change in $AU value over the last decade relative to $US, which could potentially have burnt folks holding stock which now nobody will buy at the prices they paid for it.

It would be really nice if Milsims updated their systems to have up-to-date stock levels, better track of backorders and whathaveyou, but I doubt they do the volume of sales to justify a big rewrite.

B>
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Bruce Murphy
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Of course, when placing an order with Milsims, I don't ever get an aggressive email demanding I immediately provide the address of my bank for some sort of international fraud prevention policy.

The address of commbank? How exactly is that going to help anyone?

Sigh.

B>
 
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Jene Weir
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Well all games have arrived, and I am grateful that they have. I still wonder at the delays to post, but I am more forgiving (and forgetful) once I have the games within my grasp.
 
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Julian Clarke
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JasonJ0 wrote:
Simple enough.

With regard to the price, and as I'm sure everybody knows by now, Australians are routinely ripped off blind by importers and distributors.


If you mean me, come down to Melbourne & I'll show you how my business works, & how much money I make on each game. Genuine offer. I doubt it'll change your mind, but at least you'll know that your assumption regarding being ripped off blind is not across the board.
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J J
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Unhalfbricking wrote:
JasonJ0 wrote:
Simple enough.

With regard to the price, and as I'm sure everybody knows by now, Australians are routinely ripped off blind by importers and distributors.


If you mean me, come down to Melbourne & I'll show you how my business works, & how much money I make on each game. Genuine offer. I doubt it'll change your mind, but at least you'll know that your assumption regarding being ripped off blind is not across the board.


Julian, I'm well aware that you don't do this, and a brief glance at your price list makes it abundantly clear.

I was referring to importers and distributors in general, not merely board games - and it is indisputable, we are asked to pay far too much for imported goods. I've gone over the figures, as have many others - factor in the exchange rate, shipping costs and the rest, and you still cannot explain what we are asked to pay except via sheer extortionate greed somewhere in the supply chain. And the point of the supply chain where most of this gouging occurs always seems to be the importer/distributor.

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Jenny Nguyen
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JasonJ0 wrote:
Simple enough.

With regard to the price, and as I'm sure everybody knows by now, Australians are routinely ripped off blind by importers and distributors.

With regard to speed - many shops that sell on-line don't actually stock the items they claim to have. Whether they use just-in-time supplying (only ordering when they've got a confirmed sale) or drop-shipping, it ends up delayed just as much as if you order from the US (which is most likely where the local on-line seller was getting it from anyway).


So, so true.

Australia only has a few board game distributors (who sell to little shops at exorbitant prices, but this is an aside), most of whom do not carry 'sufficient' stock (can't blame them in our market). Having worked for one previously, I can confirm that it wasn't uncommon for competitors to call in begging for urgent/emergency stock.
 
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J J
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smittenkitten wrote:
JasonJ0 wrote:
Simple enough.

With regard to the price, and as I'm sure everybody knows by now, Australians are routinely ripped off blind by importers and distributors.

With regard to speed - many shops that sell on-line don't actually stock the items they claim to have. Whether they use just-in-time supplying (only ordering when they've got a confirmed sale) or drop-shipping, it ends up delayed just as much as if you order from the US (which is most likely where the local on-line seller was getting it from anyway).


So, so true.

Australia only has a few board game distributors (who sell to little shops at exorbitant prices, but this is an aside), most of whom do not carry 'sufficient' stock (can't blame them in our market). Having worked for one previously, I can confirm that it wasn't uncommon for competitors to call in begging for urgent/emergency stock.


Mmmm - I forgot about that. I've actually had it happen once - one of the last times I ordered for myself from Milsims, they had to get a copy of a Carcassonne expansion from Mind Games because they couldn't supply it themselves. How do I know? They forgot to remove the Mind Games sticker...
 
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Julian Clarke
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Part of the problem & something I am actively trying to change is that many games are made in China, shipped to the USA or Europe (freight added to the price) & then shipped to Australia (more freight added to the cost).

I am trying to work with small publishers to arrange to get a few cases sent directly from the factory in China to Australia. This could reduce the price by 15%-20% & result in better figures for all concerned.

I can't see it working for big publishers or importers, but I think I might make it work for small publishers whose games fit the demographic of my customers, i.e. niche Eurogamers.


[edit] & by the way, my stock figures on my website are correct (barring occasional stock count errors). The public view of my website carries the business view stock-levels - after all, why not?
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Jene Weir
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I greatly appreciate in-stock accuracy of (such) web retailers, and even more so when I see those stock figures laid bare.

Except that time when there was only one left in the morning, and none left when I later that day decided to buy cry
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J J
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Unhalfbricking wrote:

[edit] & by the way, my stock figures on my website are correct (barring occasional stock count errors). The public view of my website carries the business view stock-levels - after all, why not?


This interests me. Is it difficult to set up and maintain? Or can it be done relatively cheaply and easily with off-the-shelf products?

 
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