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malleman
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 12 Jan 2008
Posts: 308
Location: Lafayette, LA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am planning to place an order this week after my group meets. I am waiting on the guys because they may decide to get "A Piece of the Action" with all the new releases.

Okay, I know that one was really bad Very Happy .
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Steve Cole
Site Admin


Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3082

PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keeping local stores in business is critical. For every new customer who accidentally stumbled into FC/SFU in a discount web store, there are five customers I never got because the discount web store put their local game store out of business and they no longer had a local game store where they could accidentally stumble into FC/SFU.
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Starfury
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
Keeping local stores in business is critical. For every new customer who accidentally stumbled into FC/SFU in a discount web store, there are five customers I never got because the discount web store put their local game store out of business and they no longer had a local game store where they could accidentally stumble into FC/SFU.


I agree with keeping local businesses going, especially game stores. The one local store I mentioned earlier was forced out by the city because they were going to develop the area he was in.

Now there isn't a good local game store and the area is just a vacant lot. The developer lost their main anchor store and now whatever project that was going to be there is on hold. For the last 2 years.
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Kang
Fleet Captain


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1963
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
I usually feel that web-discounters hurt ADB and the brick-and-mortar stores that keep the industry sustained.


Call me thick, but what's a Web Discounter. plz? An online store? Embarassed
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Davec_24
Commander


Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question actually - I too was wondering if "web discounters" includes all websites or stores which sell ADB products online. I don't think I've heard the phrase before (apart from on here), maybe we don't have them in the UK/know them by a different name over here? Confused
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bish
Ensign


Joined: 22 Sep 2008
Posts: 10
Location: Addison, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
Keeping local stores in business is critical. For every new customer who accidentally stumbled into FC/SFU in a discount web store, there are five customers I never got because the discount web store put their local game store out of business and they no longer had a local game store where they could accidentally stumble into FC/SFU.



Not trying to sound like a jerk, so please take this as a genuine question and not just being snarky, but how are the online retailers getting your products to sell? Do you not have the ability to distribute only to brick and mortar stores?

I figured I'd ask since I started this thread and it's gone completely off topic.

-bish
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Web Discounters" are online stores that sell products at a price that the brick and mortar stores (and ADB, since they refuse to undercut their retailers) can't match.

The discounters are probably selling at a loss and make their money from some other aspect ("volume", selling your email to spam lists, etc.). They don't have the overhead of a physical store, but they also don't have the presence (and accountability) that a "real" store does. There have been plenty that sell at a loss trying to "get their business going" and eventually fail (sometimes taking unfilled orders with them).

The discounters have to buy their product from the same distributor (Alliance, usually) as the brick and mortar guys.

Not all online retailers are bad. There are several reputable ones (most of which grew out of a physical store).
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Starfury
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
"Web Discounters" are online stores that sell products at a price that the brick and mortar stores (and ADB, since they refuse to undercut their retailers) can't match.

The discounters are probably selling at a loss and make their money from some other aspect ("volume", selling your email to spam lists, etc.). They don't have the overhead of a physical store, but they also don't have the presence (and accountability) that a "real" store does. There have been plenty that sell at a loss trying to "get their business going" and eventually fail (sometimes taking unfilled orders with them).

The discounters have to buy their product from the same distributor (Alliance, usually) as the brick and mortar guys.

Not all online retailers are bad. There are several reputable ones (most of which grew out of a physical store).


When I worked retail many many years ago the margin on most items was around 40%. So a $10 item cost the store $6. Some items (dice) had a much higher one (200%) down to around 20% for your Hasbro/MB games. Most web stores tend to discount around 20%-30% leaving a small margin.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can think of one "local" web discounter. I won't mention his name even though he's not truly a competitor to any of our FLGS. He only sells plastic model kits. He purchases them in bulk at a discount, or through clearances, or from bankrupt stores. Everything is stored in a 20' x 20' self storage facility near my house. He takes orders through his website, sells at a price no "Brick and Mortar" store could compete with as his overhead is only $55 a month for the storage unit and the cost of his web hosting, then he only goes to pull stock for orders once every week or two and ships them.

I'm sure many of the ebay stores and such that always have ADB / WotC / WizKids stuff at ridiculously low prices do something similar.
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Steve Cole
Site Admin


Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3082

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are bad web stores (which are stealing sales from brick and mortar stores) and there are very bad web stores (which are stealing sales from brick and mortar stores AND give very bad service since they don't order product until they have an order for it).

On-line discounters work by doing mail order only, so they aren't paying store rent, insurance, and so forth. They can make a profit while giving a 20% discount.

Stores buy from wholesalers. Wholesalers hate on-line discount stores because they do destroy brick and mortar retailers, but wholesalers do NOT refuse to sell to discounters because "If we don't, some other wholesaler who is desperate for sales WILL sell to them".

The final result will be that the webstores drive the brick and mortar stores out of business, at which point the manufacturers will stop selling to wholesalers (putting them out of business) and will thereafter sell only by mail.

We do about 50-55% of our business on the cart. Because of the way the industry works, we made a lot more profit on cart sales. If every wholesaler kicked me out for some reason and I got 1/4 of the customers who now buy in stores to buy from my shopping cart, I would be making the same total profit. I could, in theory, just stop selling to wholesalers/retailers and go entirely mail order (not cutting my prices) and get at least that many customers to switch with me, and put the web discounters out of business. I do not do that because games on the store shelves (not games special ordered by a store) do more to attract new customers than anything else I do or could do. (or so the theory goes)
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Davec_24
Commander


Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, so it's not all online stores that count as web discounters. I can see how web discounters aren't doing proper, physical high-street game shops any favours. I think most of the websites I've seen that sell games I'm interested in over here are actually websites that belong to a company who run a brick-and-mortar shop, but also cater for mail-order customers. In this case, I wouldn't think online retail is a problem as it would be when it's web discounters we're talking about, as the money goes to retailers who operate a physical shop in addition to a website.
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Kang
Fleet Captain


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1963
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly Dave and I will be ordering our new FC products from our usual supplier who is a bricks-and-mortar store who also has an online presence.
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Davec_24
Commander


Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that's the next best thing when you haven't got a shop you can go and visit in person - it still supports the brick-and-mortar store by buying from their website.
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junior
Captain


Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are two basic reasons to support your FLGS when possible.

The first is the simple idea that someone will see the game on the shelf, get interested in it that way (an added bonus with FedCom is that there are recognizeable ships on the cover), and end up buying it as a result.

The second is that many game stores set up areas for customers to play games in. If your local FedCom group meets and plays regularly at the store, then you'll start to get people coming through who say, "What's that?", start to ask questions about the game, and hopefully get involved with it themselves. This increases the store's sales, helps keep them in business, and provides ADB with a new customer who will stay with the hobby and continue to buy new products when they are released because he or she has a group to play with.

The most disappointing thing is when you see a new game that you're excited about, but you can't find anyone to play with.
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Jiraiya1969
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fortunately I have the best of both worlds in my FLGS.

I can special order items that the store does not normally carry and score a 15% discount on them, scoring both a discount and supporting the FLGS at the same time.

Sar
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