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TOPIC: Out of Business?
#17342
Out of Business? 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
A motivated hobyist will always know more than the local store owner. A game store usually represents many different games. My FLGS has comics and anime in addition to gaming tables where all sorts of stuff is played. I am only interested in D&D these days so I usually inform my game store on new stuff :)~ FWIW when I asked my FLGS about DF they said that they couldn't afford to keep it in stock. This is probably what was driving the declining sales.
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#17343
Out of Business? 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Yes, I was told by my local retailer that DF was out of business too. I set him straight real quick. =)

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#17344
Out of Business? 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
The thing is, not everyone is set up to do online orders. I know several people who don't actually own computers, some people whose addresses and/or schedules discourage them from receiving packages, and many who don't trust any form of online ordering/payment.

Even though a hobby shop might not stock a product (and let's face it, NO ONE could stock everything that is available in gaming), they can still handle orders for products AND charge a nominal fee for handling that order. That should be reason enough to maintain an awareness of the state of the industry, and keep track of which companies are (or are not) still in business.
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#17345
Out of Business? 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
I suppose, looking at the responses here, that I can see how my view is somewhat idiosyncratic. I still am disgusted by willing ignorance, especially when it comes in the form of a disguised snobbery ("I know something so much more important and complicated, I can't be bothered to track the interests of the hoi polloi")

And I also feel that this hobby is seriously hampered by people who do not have a professional attitude. I've posted about this before -- hobby shops regularly, in my experience ---

1. Do not obey their own posted hours. Constant "back in 10 min" signs, which are frequently optimistically underestimating, and people getting to the store a half hour late to open, or leaving early.

2. Do not know their own inventory. When is this coming in? When DID this come in? Are you getting more? Do you know what this is, this item on your own @#$# shelf?

3. Do not know how to special order. Can't figure it out, can't explain delays, can't follow a simple schedule.

4. Constant falling behind in basic services -- oh, the system is down, we're in a fight with our distributor, we can't do this today, we can't do that today, we can't get to here today.

I buy toys, this doesn't happen. I buy DVDs, this doesn't happen. I buy books, this doesn't happen. I buy clothes, furniture, food, this doesn't happen.

I buy hobby supplies? This is constantly happening.

I'm not saying there are no explanations, I'm not even saying that there are no excuses for it or that it is avoidable. I'm just saying it leaves me with a short fuse, and so the latest round of unprofessional "I don't know the state of my own industry" nonsense gets me all the more irritated.

If I ask about the release of the Star Wars DVDs, the guy at the counter looks it up. If I want to know when Martha Nussbaum's latest comes out in paperback, the guy at the counter looks it up. If I want to know when there will be more scallions coming in, the guy at the counter looks it up. They don't just say "We don't carry those anymore" because they don't freaking know and can't be bothered to check.

L
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#17346
Out of Business? 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
I understand why Retailers would say we're out of business. I don't really blame them for feeling a little betrayed. It's a tough industry and they are just trying to stay in business. Why should they direct a potential customer to spend hundreds of dollars on a product that they no longer stock...? I also think that many store owners and employees were ordering our stuff for their own personal collections...which is O.K. I would do the same thing, beleive me, but from our point of view, we end up with a VERY small piece of the pie after the distributor, the retailer, UPS, overseas shipping, insurance, factory, etc...get's their pieces of their pie...

But the final and last straw was the dozens of web sites that were getting our products at steep discounts from OUR distributors and then selling them also at steep discounts over the web...

in the end it seemed like everyone in the world was eating pie and making money from our hard work and imagination except us!

Now that we sell directly to the people who actually use and enjoy our products we are doing much better:)

I feel bad, for all the retailers who were playing fair...it was mostly just the ONE Distributor who felt they could push us around and intimidate us with impunity...but just like the Retailers, in the end we had to do what was best for us...we are gamers, and we love what we do, but we are not stupid (at least not always)

Man! Sorry for the rant! 10 years of angst!

Gen Con or Bust!!!

WooooHoooo!!!
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#17347
Out of Business? 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Stefan -

You go ahead and 'rant', if that's what you call it; it really didn't sound like one to me (take it from one who KNOWS how to rant!).

I guess I'm a lucky dog; my FLHS and FLGS are both honest and aware. Dan, at the GS, knows all his stock to at least SOME extent - possibly because he is often loading on Wednesday or unloading on Monday for/after a convention. He keeps up with what is newest in the gaming genre. He usually has at least SOME idea what's on the horizon. But then again, he IS a gamer. Dan will order ANYTHING game-related for you, if he can find a distributor for it. Unfortunately, he is down to one Curved Walls & Passages Set, a couple of 4-Way Passages, and a couple of T-Passages. I've taken the rest, including his ONLY DoE set - which I got from him for exactly what he paid (oh, am I evil?).
Bob, at the HS, is a long-time modeler; in fact, HE recruited Sandy and me for IPMS - the International Plastic Modeler's Society. Bob is a semi-pro at model train repairs, and also makes custom resin 1:25th-scale car bodies and decals for both aircraft and cars. Mike, Bob's partner in crime, does car decals as well, and is a major player in the MD model car builders club. Bob is also a special-order kind of guy - and is a Squadron Direct dealer, as well as a regular Stevens International "A" vendor.
Between the two, there is very little I can't get in either gaming or model-building goodies.
The unfortunate fact is that they are both a vanishing breed; the businessman who is an afficionato of that which his business sells. Most retailers these days are only in it for the money; they have no love for what they sell. And considering that they are competing with either the 'box stores' or with the Internet, they are NOT being smart, because the ONLY advantage a FL_S has over direct, such as DF sells, or Internet distributors, IS the Friendly Local part.
I can't run to the Internet at 4:30 on a Saturday and order a bottle of Citadel Burnished Gold, and walk away from my PC with bottle in hand (not until Star Trek sells the transporter!), but I CAN hit FLGS (or even the GW store, which IS improving, I hate to admit) and walk out.
I can't slide over to the Web at 4 PM and ask someone how to get an uncooperative lower left wing panel to fit Slot A AND Pin 156 at the same time - but Bob can show me how to do it in less time than it takes for someone to see my whine for help on a forum and answer me.
The ONLY advantage to either case above is that I can hit the PC in my pajamas, at 3 AM. The advantage for the bottle of paint is that it will probably(?) cost a little less - but I'll have to wait a couple of days for it.

No, a GOOD FLGS or FLHS is still the best way to go. Unfortunately, too many LGS and LHS are NOT F. And neither are their distributors, which means either the customer gets screwed, the manufacturer gets it, or we both do, plus the HS/HS frequently get the shaft as well. This does not bode well for any of us, except the distributor, or the manufacturer who is big enough to tell the distributor what goes. I only know of ONE manufacturer who can do that - Hasbro, aka WotC. And it's interesting to note that they've closed most, if not all, of their retail stores.
Hmmm...

Now THAT, Stefan, is a rant - and a rambling one.

See ya!

Jim
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#17348
Out of Business? 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
THAT view is a just bit narrow-minded Celtchief.
I have patronized many good game shoppes over the years Celtchief that never read or even sold either Dungeon or Dragon.
They were stores that specialized in just about any type of gaming, but especially Sci-fi, other than Fantasy.

I gotta side with Celtchief here, RF. This is not something I had remembered at the time of my post, but it fits under the category of "know the hobby."

Law, for some gamers and game shoppe owners out there what you mean by this last phrase and what they mean is lightyears a part.
For GW-only enthusiasts it means a completely different thing than those who role-play and such.
Shoot, even for the 'Techer-onlys out there it means another definition.

They don't have to stock it. They don't even have to READ it. This is a big color ad in the back of the magazine, there has been one almost every month this year. You just have to skim it.

If we were talking about knowing the minutia of a 3.5 edition prestige class, or even the release date of a book -- fine, I'd agree with you. Not everyone needs to know that.

But we're talking about a passing familiarity with the biggest periodical in the industry. That's pretty basic stuff. This is like being an expert in film and running a video store and not knowing Tom Cruise just because you happen to specialize in foreign movies.

I know some gamers that would argue tooth and nail with you with this last periodical statement of yours Law.
They would say that White Dwarf is the BIGGEST periodical in gaming.
After that they would probably mention one of the other GW periodicals.
Dragon and/or Dungeon might not even get on their top ten list of gaming periodicals, let alone their top five.

Law, you really do not spend much time around around GW-only and/or science fiction gaming-only gamers, do you?
For most of these folks, neither Dragon or Dungeon are worth the paper they are printed on.
Personally, I look for the cartoon/comic in Dragon each month and that is it, believe it or not.
{On a different note, have they ever published a book of the cartoon/comics from Dragon? I would buy it. My favorite is "Food Fight" from Dragon 236}

Maybe I'm just sensitive to this because I'm an academic -- I can't stand the "head in the sand" qualities of people whose expertise in a narrow area causes them to be ignorant of something basic and immensely popular close to their field. Film experts should be familiar with the name "Tom Cruise," even if they don't know anything about his recent exploits or the BO of his movies. Your expertise in something esoteric should't give you a license to be ignorant about something so basic.
Yes, it does - it is called "scope of business".
Most game shoppes are ran by people who start them to support their own hobby (see long posting from about 18 months ago from a portion of a business presentation I gave in college years ago about game shoppe owners(nothing I have seen since has changed my views), elsewhere on this forum).
These shoppe owners only pay attention to what is interesting to them and their main customers, who just by chance (HA!), happen to be gamers like themselves.
Law, these shoppes may order in a Dragon or Dungeon occasionally, but it is specifically for a customer who asks for it.

Similarly, if you run a game shop -- not just frequent one or like them a lot but actually make it your business to run one -- then, yes, I don't think it is asking much that you should have skimmed through a Dragon in the past six months.

I mean, there is a small chance you will get a customer curious about this, after all. It's just good business sense. (Not in this case, of course, but that doesn't mean that skimming through Dragon magazine every few months to remain aware of some basic points wouldn't be a good idea)

I know shoppe owners that doing this Law is a total waste of their time.
Neither magazine has had any positive impact whatsoever on their bottomline.
One owner I know in Idaho ordered in both mags as an experiment to expand his business; he did so only once.
His grade school daughter ended up using the issues' pics for a collage in school.
He swore to never order them in again except for a special order.
Furthermore Law, his is not the only dismal Dr/Du story I have heard in the West here.
Law, the major money in gaming (not counting the CCG sector) here in the Northern Rockies is not RPGs; it is almost completely in miniature wargaming whether you do fantasy, science fiction and/or historical.
RPGs represent very little of the gaming market when only compared to wargames and their marketshare is infinitesimal when CCGs get added into the equation.

I doubt you're going to agree with me, RF, so we'll have to respect each other's different perspectives here. I certainly don't think either one of us could offer proof about what store managers should or should not know.
We work at gaming from a completely different section of the continuum Law; that means we agree to disagree at times.
Jim and I do that all the time.
Disagreements are bound to occur as a result of our differences Law.
The difference for the two of us, (EDIT: derogatory comment removed - moderator.){EDIT#2: was a phrase talking about how some folks here can be a bit on the wild and contentious side is all; sorry if anyone took real offense, but there is a bright spot in it - it means someone(s) here has(have) read classic English literature - RabidFox*.}, is that you can disagree with me without attacking me or trying to push me down to make yourself feel better about you.
That means I do not feel any need to defend myself and/or the experience I have earned/endured to gain my knowledge.
Which all means we can disagree civilly.

I'm pretty intolerant of ignorance, esp. concerning things so basic, information so easy to come by, and so popular. If you can't be bothered to stay abreast of such basic information, I lose respect for you, no matter how long you can lecture on the more fascinatingly obscure esoterica of the field.

L

If someone has absolutely no need and/or desire to look at Dragon and/or Dungeon magazine, you will not respect them Law?
Well Law, other than the cartoon/comic, I guess you do not respect me at all.
I still hear about some of the minutiae that the two crank out, but that is all from friends that do the D&D thing.
Other than stuff like Warhammer Quest and such, I do not do fantasy gaming and I really do not do RPGs so I have no need to read either mag for even any SF role-playing they may have.
Sorry Law if you then cannot consider me a reasonable gamer as a result.
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#17349
Out of Business? 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Were GW stores selling DF products to begin with? I know I am narrow minded and all, but it seems to me that most of DF products are there to augment fantasy roleplaying, and so, in my mind, a store that sold DF, probably sold Dungeon....

Robert
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#17350
Out of Business? 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
If someone has absolutely no need and/or desire to look at Dragon and/or Dungeon magazine, you will not respect them Law?
Well Law, other than the cartoon/comic, I guess you do not respect me at all.

No, no, that "you" was rhetorical, as in "one." I was thinking of store owners. It would barely make sense to insist that anyone who doesn't like Dragon magazine doesn't deserve respect -- I don't even read it. I bought Dungeon for the MSB ad, I think it's maybe the second issue I've ever read. But I don't respect someone who runs a hobby shop and decides that their area of concentration is so important that they can turn a blind eye to other aspects of the hobby.

The reason I stressed "passing familiarity" is to establish that I don't insist that anyone should order these, as I can readily recognize that it may not be good business. But being passingly familiar with a magazine like this -- to the point that companies which regularly advertise in the magazine are not thought to be out of business -- that strikes me as not asking much. And, yes, I recognize that White Dwarf is bigger than Dragon. I'd also, in that respect, expect a passing familiarity with what GW is up to. I never insisted that Dragon was ALL anyone needed to know -- only that it is very big, very popular, and certainly deserving of a little attention, passing attention, from someone who makes a living in this hobby. Hence my comments about academics and other experts who allow ignorance in matters pertaining to the hoi polloi.



I had more to say here, but I'll cut myself off. I said what I wanted to say, and I fully recognize that people are going to disagree with me. But it's what I believe.

L
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#17351
Out of Business? 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
Were GW stores selling DF products to begin with?
I seem to have gotten lost as to where GW's own few retail outlets came into the discussion.
I thought we were talking everyday game shoppes, of which, many do carry GW product among other companies' science fiction, post-modern (aka near-future), modern, historical, etc.
Anyone else lost here?

I know I am narrow minded and all,
I was meaning narrow in your perceptions and expectations, mostly in your expectations.
I was not meaning that you could not think outside of your own experience if you made the cause.
Truly narrow-minded persons have lost that ability.
I do not believe you have become such.

but it seems to me that most of DF products are there to augment fantasy roleplaying, and so, in my mind, a store that sold DF, probably sold Dungeon....

Robert

Before the advent of the Sci-Fi Master Maze, I bought Fantasy Master Maze.
Why?
Because it was the only "game" in town; it was FAR better than any of the alternatives other than scratchbuilding, and I had various obstacles to that.
So yes, Sci-Fi players bought Master Maze as it was just known as before the advent of Sci-Fi Master Maze and the resulting break up into Fantasy & Science Fiction Master Mazes.
I even bought Cavern Master Maze too!

So no Celtchief, there is no true causality between the selling of Master Maze and the selling or even possession of Dungeon magazine; I will give you a chance of probability though Celtchief, but that is all.
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#17352
Out of Business? 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
If someone has absolutely no need and/or desire to look at Dragon and/or Dungeon magazine, you will not respect them Law?
Well Law, other than the cartoon/comic, I guess you do not respect me at all.

No, no, that "you" was rhetorical, as in "one." I was thinking of store owners. It would barely make sense to insist that anyone who doesn't like Dragon magazine doesn't deserve respect -- I don't even read it. I bought Dungeon for the MSB ad, I think it's maybe the second issue I've ever read. But I don't respect someone who runs a hobby shop and decides that their area of concentration is so important that they can turn a blind eye to other aspects of the hobby.

Good, I am not the only one here who has little use for Dragon (the comics/cartoon) to absolutely no use for Dungeon.
I was feeling a bit out of it there.

The reason I stressed "passing familiarity" is to establish that I don't insist that anyone should order these, as I can readily recognize that it may not be good business. But being passingly familiar with a magazine like this -- to the point that companies which regularly advertise in the magazine are not thought to be out of business -- that strikes me as not asking much. And, yes, I recognize that White Dwarf is bigger than Dragon. I'd also, in that respect, expect a passing familiarity with what GW is up to. I never insisted that Dragon was ALL anyone needed to know -- only that it is very big, very popular, and certainly deserving of a little attention, passing attention, from someone who makes a living in this hobby. Hence my comments about academics and other experts who allow ignorance in matters pertaining to the hoi polloi.
If the contents of said magazine only touched on the direct business matters of the said shoppe maybe 1% of the time, why then is even familiarity necessary for said shoppe Law?
It would be a waste of their precious resource 'time', yes?

Would you not rather they spend said time making sure that said shoppe was open when it was supposed to be open, making sure that the necessary product for the success of their store was in-house constantly, running fun promotional events, making sure they have cabinets of the latest figures and store armies all painted to the nines, sending staff to GAMA trade meetings, attending their regional cons so as to get info straight from the companies whose products they sell, keeping in good communications with their distributor and so forth?

I understand the bit about academics, but I took the tack that no business, especially small businesses like game shoppes, really have the time to be versed in areas of business that truly do not affect them either through their true specialties and/or their inclinations and limited resources.
Academics usually are not truly limited by either.

I had more to say here, but I'll cut myself off. I said what I wanted to say, and I fully recognize that people are going to disagree with me. But it's what I believe.

L

It is always good to get down to beliefs Law; otherwise too many argue for the fun of it like a few too many persons here.
We disagree Law, but we are not contentious about it; that is what is important.
Maybe between us a few more people will better understand why their local game shoppe does what they do, yes?
Then our discussion would be greatly worth the effort.
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#17353
Out of Business? 8 Years, 3 Months ago  
RF*, L;

You're both right, and you're both wrong, on one level or another.
To some extent you're saying the same thing in different terminology.
Half-full, half-empty, same-same.
As RF and I have done many times (hat tip to RF for recognixing me), agree to disagree and let it go.
Suffice it to say that DF IS NOT OUT OF BUSINESS, heave a HUGE sigh of relief, and let's get on with the games!

See ya, guys!

Jim
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