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Subject: Doing some Market Research rss

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Nova Scotia
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Hello Folks,

Just doing some preliminary market research and had a couple questions. I would like to start a online retail boardgame shop based in Nova Scotia, but I need to know a few things about the market, thus I would love to hear some answers from you guys.

1. As far as you know, is there any store (brick and mortar or online) in Atlantic Canada that offers boardgames at prices comparable to other online boardgame retailers in Canada?

2. If prices were competitive with other Canadian online stores, would you be more inclined to order from my store and have to wait a few days or would you be more likely to pay more and buy from your local brick and mortar?

3. If prices were competitive with other Canadian online stores, would you be more inclined to order from my store or would you still order from your normal online seller? Keep in mind the logistics, you would typically get your games sooner, being that I am located in Atlantic Canada as opposed to Ontario where most online retailers for boardgames are located.

Thanks for taking the time to answer and it's been noted.

It's been a dream of mine to run a successful boardgame business. You answering these questions will help in determining whether it's actually possible or not. I still have much more research/work to do but this is the start so when I say thanks for answering, I really mean it. Thanks again.
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Jordan Stewart
Canada
Grand Bay-Westfield
NB
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I'm in Saint John, NB.

We have 2 game stores in town, one that sells games at pretty silly prices, and another that has more reasonable prices (a little bit more than online + shipping), a point system, better selection, and better service.

I love being able to support local business, and often buy games from the better of the 2 stores.

Having said that though, most of my collection has been purchased online. When I buy online, I really have no commitments to anyone, and the lowest bidder usually wins. I've purchased games from pretty much all the major Canadian online retailers, and had excellent service from all of them.

However, if an Atlantic Canadian online retailer opened, with competitive prices, top notch selection, gift certificate options, and a fully functioning website, they would almost definitely steal all of my online business. I mean, why not?

It really does seem like boardgaming is growing all the time. Shows like Tabletop, and games like settlers, dominion and TTR are pushing the whole hobby into a more mainstream front.

I hope some of this helps you out, and I really hope you're able to set up shop on the east coast. :)
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Disclaimer: I don't buy nearly as many games now as I used to, since I have no active gaming group after moving back to NB.

1. No, not that I know of.
2. My preference is buying online. There is currently no local B&M that justifies the higher prices for me (ie: no organized game nights or meaningful growth of hobby that I've seen or attended).
3. A day or two difference in shipping time doesn't matter once I'm already waiting.

Being (relatively) local would encourage me to consider your store, but price/availability/reputation are all key factors when actually placing an order.

Would local pick-up be an option? And if so, where in Nova Scotia are you located? (Some online retailers do this, others don't. The possibility to combine deep discounts with no shipping costs is obviously very appealing.) What differentiates your store, other than location?

@Jordan: Where is the better store in SJ? Might need to check it out next time I'm in town.
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Jordan Stewart
Canada
Grand Bay-Westfield
NB
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newuser wrote:

@Jordan: Where is the better store in SJ? Might need to check it out next time I'm in town.


United Bookstore on Charlotte Street uptown. Rad store, mostly used books and magazines, but they have a small but strong game selection that gets refreshed all the time, and like I said, reasonable prices.
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JordanZS wrote:
newuser wrote:

@Jordan: Where is the better store in SJ? Might need to check it out next time I'm in town.


United Bookstore on Charlotte Street uptown. Rad store, mostly used books and magazines, but they have a small but strong game selection that gets refreshed all the time, and like I said, reasonable prices.


That's right - they actually do a pretty good job bringing in some interesting games. Totally forgot about that store.
Thanks!
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Scott Wheelock
Canada
Woodstock
New Brunswick
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I would answer pretty much the same way as Jordan, so you can double up his responses. Cost is ultimately more important to me than speed, and online stores just plain have lower costs. I do, though, feel a sense of obligation if the store provides more than just the product, so I might get something at a local store if they host a game night, or run a league of some kind, etc.
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Nova Scotia
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Thank you both for your answers, they were as positive as I was hoping.

newuser wrote:


Would local pick-up be an option? And if so, where in Nova Scotia are you located? (Some online retailers do this, others don't. The possibility to combine deep discounts with no shipping costs is obviously very appealing.) What differentiates your store, other than location?


Yes! local pick up is defiantly going to be an option. I am located in New Glasgow, NS. As far as what differentiates me from other stores, I am currently working through a few services that I will keep private for now. I need to work out the mechanics and logistics of the services first to see if its even possible. If those services do turn out as a viable options then they will set me apart from other retailers completely. However, I am always asking myself, why hasn't this been done yet?, so I may never speak of those again
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Ian Shonaman
Canada
Fredericton
New Brunswick
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1. As far as you know, is there any store (brick and mortar or online) in Atlantic Canada that offers boardgames at prices comparable to other online boardgame retailers in Canada? - Here in Fredericton there are three places that stock games regularly - their prices are on the higher side and are hardly ever on sale. Most of the time when you add shipping to the online price of the game is close though. Selection is okay.

2. If prices were competitive with other Canadian online stores, would you be more inclined to order from my store and have to wait a few days or would you be more likely to pay more and buy from your local brick and mortar? - I am never in a rush so price is usually the deal maker or deal breaker.

3. If prices were competitive with other Canadian online stores, would you be more inclined to order from my store or would you still order from your normal online seller? Keep in mind the logistics, you would typically get your games sooner, being that I am located in Atlantic Canada as opposed to Ontario where most online retailers for boardgames are located. - Kind of the same answer as #2 for me. I am never in a rush so price is the usually the deal maker or deal breaker. For this question I would add that having the game in stock or guaranteeing the game to arrive would be important to me. I would not want to order a specific title, give credit information and then have it out of stock or OOP, with no chance of refund. Choosing a different game in lieu of not getting the game I targeted is not appealing to me.
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Cory Walker
Canada
Fredericton
New-Brunswick
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For me price is everithing... So i usualy buy online and i wait till i can order more than one game since its usualy a flat rate for shipping. I wouldn't pay more so that i could get my games sooner.

An other factor for me is what the online store has on stock. Usualy i have a list of games i want to get and no online store can provide every game that I'm looking for. So in the end i'll go with the store that has the most games in stock so that I can get as many games on my list that i can get in one order.

I would say that I spend 200$ in board games in a year. So if you can ofer great deals you'll have me as a customer

Good luck with your store.
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Dennis Freeberg
Canada
Grande-Digue
New Brunswick
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The Comic Hunter in Moncton is where I purchase most of my games. In all likelihood I will continue to purchase from them as I really like their selection and want to keep the local brick and mortar store going. In addition they allow us to game there at least once a week. If you purchase the games full price you do get a "punch card" which effectively cuts 10% off the price, and they have regular sales. Their prices are significantly higher than the online stores, but with the discount and shipping fees it comes closer.

I may purchase some games from an online retailer, but mainly because the local store does not carry it or their prices are simply too high.

I purchase about $400 in games per year.
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Kevin Nicol
Canada
Fredericton
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1) I'm in Fredericton, we have 3 B&M shops that somewhat cover the bases of board gaming (Geek Chic, GameZilla and Strange Adventures). They are slightly above online prices (if you shop around all 3 you'll usually one of them has a close price), but when you factor in shipping I find it's close with online having the slight edge.

2) I like to support local shops to a point, I'll pay about 10% to 15% more to buy local if I like the service I get and it's not some big box chain.

3) If the prices were competitive with the other online guys I'd absolutely buy from a maritime source (my answer to 2. kind of applies here)

On a side note, I find that shipping times are not a big factor in online success, but shipping prices are. I can only assume it would be cheaper to ship here from NS than it would from out west.
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Nova Scotia
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Thanks for the replies guys!
Good news:
-We are hoping to be up and running in the next few months or so.
-We will be very competitive in pricing with other retailers.
-We will have flat rate shipping across the country (cheapest being Atlantic Canada).
-We are going to have a simple way to do special orders with an incentive to do so. This is going to be important, as we won't have a gigantic selection from the get go (think at least 120+ unique boardgames at opening).

Also if you want to contact me with questions or suggestions, feel free to email me at: jacob@areyouboard.ca

Thanks again for answering the questions! It's been noted.
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Russell Grey
Canada
New Brunswick
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I'm excited to hear this. Godboma was the closest online retailer (as far as I know) to the Atlantic provinces and they were in Montreal. Unfortunately, Godboma is also going out of business indefinitely. They hope to be back after at least a 12 month break, but we'll see. Otherwise, the only other online Canadian retailers that I personally know about are meeplemart out of Toronto and Starlit Citadel out of Vancouver. An online Maritime retailer would be great, especially if you'll also offer on site pickup too.
 
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David "Elwood" Hitchcock
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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They are a bit farther than Montreal, but www.PlaytimeGamesOnline.com is based in Ottawa, Ontario and has good prices. Owner calculates shipping by hand to ensure the best rates possible.

If you are in a pinch, check them out.

- David

RussellGrey wrote:
I'm excited to hear this. Godboma was the closest online retailer (as far as I know) to the Atlantic provinces and they were in Montreal. Unfortunately, Godboma is also going out of business indefinitely. They hope to be back after at least a 12 month break, but we'll see. Otherwise, the only other online Canadian retailers that I personally know about are meeplemart out of Toronto and Starlit Citadel out of Vancouver. An online Maritime retailer would be great, especially if you'll also offer on site pickup too.
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Russell Grey
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New Brunswick
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Thanks, David! I'll check them out.
 
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