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DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own
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TOPIC: DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own
#16272
DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
Stefan, Jeff

The coupons seem to have had only positive feedback so far - and I think you are really generous with them as DF also needs to make a profit to stay alive. And in this respect I feel bad when you feel pressured here on the board to send them out. I know you have our content at heart. But maybe next time something goes wrong there are alternatives that keep the DF customers happy as well - but may cost less.

All that is needed - be more inventive. This way you might save money for DF as well as for customers.

Don't misunderstand me - the raft, the Lizard Men ambushers, the Winning the Mystery Set are exactly that kind of inventiveness I mean and you have shown quite a lot lately.

But here are a few more ideas in case you have run dry. At least suggestion 2 should be followed up in some form or another to the benefit of German customers:

Suggestion 1:
What do next time when something horribly, horribly goes wrong ??

Produce a small back-up mystery item. This item needs to be
a) small and light
b) flat
c) sturdy

Otherwise it can be nearly anything. An example fitting at the moment could have been a whirlpool similar in height / size to the flat rocks which you could place on the water. Just imagine the outcry here on the board if such an item hits unanounced you mail box. Surely this could have been cheaper including postage as all the vouchers.
And I'm sure as well Stefan can come up with something even better as I did.


Suggestion 2:
Beating the tax man (at least the German one)

Take two random figures of your overstocked miniatures. Add two D6 dice. Come up with a short rule for miniature combat (can be shoddy - if in doubt ask someone here on the forum to write it for you). Add several maps done with the nice Tile System. I'm sure PFworks and Lonestar won't mind this 'commercial' exploitation of their work. Put all of this in a transparent pack, call it the DF MasterMaze Game - prize it at $5 and you are done to 90%.

Now let your distributor know that whenever this item is bought by a customer that they have to put Games / Gesellschaftsspiele on the Custom declaration.

This mind sound crazy - but as a German customer I would buy one of these Games with every order. Call it a protection from the tax man. 100% legal (I don't want you to declare DF wares as 'gifts' seen by other US shops) and we just heard the stories of 80Euro and 160 Euro going to the tax man. This could / should be DF/customer money instead.

This might not work for any other countries - but we need to tackle one country a time. And there are enough places with distinct architecture due to the tax men. I'm talking about the late medival Window tax which differt from region to region. Depending if they charged for size, number of windows or windows in a wall architects did reply in inventive ways to allow a maximum of light in for a minimum of tax. Ever wondered why some areas have tiny, tiny windows in old houses while others have roofs nearly down to the floor. All thanks to the tax man.


Suggestion 3:
Franchise / Exploiting the value of the DF brand

Are there items which could be sold bearing the DF brand and on which you could get royalties but which are in areas you would never exploit yourself. Example DF T-Shirts, Sweatshirts. The front shows the DF logo, the back a map done again using the great Tile system (again needs also agreement from the authors there). You provide a link on your webpage and gain royalties - some of the gamers might love such a shirt - and whoever is doing this might earn some bucks as well.

I mention Clothes here as I have my own idea what I would sell provided some inquiries in 'production of my wares' work out and my wife doesn't veto me.

Suggestion 4:
Independent European distributor who could source DF directly in China

How far are you in regard to a European distributor. From my point of view to make this business viable it needs to shortcut delivery to get stuff directly from China. This would mean rather royalties for you instead of selling to such a distributor. It would also mean a business.

I might have an idea how to overcome the biggest hurdle - the starting capital. At the start of the year I came up with an idea how to raise pounds 150.000 (approx. $250.000) to get the whole lot started (no - I'm not talking my own money or the money of other DF customers). Colleagues at work thought the idea was great. I even chatted with my brother who is working as German head of a company selling Outdoor equipment discussing viability of such an idea.

Okay - my wife was horrified that I could leave my well paid and secure day-to-day job and I never persued it. Let me know if you want to know more (Stefan never answered to a cryptic message I send him in January). Also if someone in the UK is looking for a job as European counterpart of Jeff - just contact me.

Okay - enough for the moment. Start your own suggestions or the flaming

Thod
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#16273
DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
Heya Thod,
I like all the ideas except the first one. If I understand it correctly then their would be a DF set that people would want, and the only way to get it would be to have an order screwed up. While I understand that would make the person who's order screwed up happier... it would probably make the people who want the piece and don't get it annoyed.

I like the 2 mini's and dice idea best... except screw the dice, unless they are a custom job from DF... what person buying DF really needs more dice!

Now their is an idea DF... DF dice!!!!

Robert
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#16274
DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
Celtchief

I have thought about your concerns before I wrote my post but felt I rather don't want to go into too much detail.

The 'special pieces'. I agree 100% there will be people out who will want them as well. In this case you have to put them up for sale at some stage. Maybe 4 weeks later - this way the first wave will be happy to have something before other got it while other will know they will eventually get it as well.

About the dice:
I agree - they are the least useful bit and 0% DF - but they are the most convincing bit for a Tax inspector who has no clue and might have played last time 20 years ago when he was a kid.

'Oh - Ich sehe dies Spiel hat Wuerfel. In diesem Falle muss es ein Gesellschaftsspiel sein.'.

There are diceless (wuerfellose) Gesellschaftsspiele on offer - but they are rather the exemption. On the other hand I don't know of many items with dice which would not qualify as a Gesellschaftsspiel. For a non gamer (and you have to assume the tax inspector is such a person) the main association will be through the dice.

DF dice would be even better - and I thought about them - but the current absence of them shouldn't prevent this. It's not about 'usefulness' - it's about customers saving money that can be spend on more items from DF without costing DF much.

Thod
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#16275
DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
We mark all German orders as "parlor games" to TRY to get around the taxman. I hope helps there...

Thanks for the suggestions. You have given me an interesting idea...
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Jeff Martin

President
Dwarven Forge, LLC
 
#16276
DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
I like that idea with the dice, minis, rules. That's rellay innovative, and might help custom officers to get the right idea or at least help us when we have to argue with them.

But nevertheless the best thing would be if DF finds distributors outside the US. During the times when MM was available at the DragonWorld online shop in germany, the prices were only depending on the money exchange rate added with a little amount that presumably resulted from either their transportation costs during import and/or the VAT. In comparison to the current situation prices were ok. But now the high shipping costs are the worst part of it all (and they double strike when it comes to taxes and VAT). The only way to avoid that issue, is to find distributors that can do a real business to business import of DF stuff (larger shippments that hopefully reduce costs; better conditions regarding customs declaration, since a game shop obviously sells games, etc.).
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#16277
DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
@Jeff: I'll have to check if my customs papers contains that remark (it may be).
But anyway: I am not sure if all german custom officers will be able to understand that term.
Even I had to check in LEO if I were right with what I thought 'parlor' means in german, and I think I know a lot of english words allready ;)

The interesting thing is LEO (dict.leo.org) know seems to know the translation 'Gesellschaftsspiel' <=> parlor game (AE), parlour game (BE). When I checked that the first time some month ago, LEO did not know the term.
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#16278
DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
Just checked the customs papers: Yes, the 'parlor games' declaration is on it. Seems that it did not work in this case ;(
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#16279
DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
Confirmed friends. "Parlor" has not worked in Spain with my order... sniff... well, nice try! ;-)

Thank you anyway... yay! perhaps I'll recieve today or tomorrow my CR&W... can't wait!!!
arsthein
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I want my DF Spiderweb Accesories Set!!! ^O^U
 
#16280
DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
My order that arrived 3 days ago was declared as "parlor games" and it worked. But remember, I pick up my orders at the customs office myself and I always have a little discussion about the category with the guys there.

Another thing that might help is not only giving the name "parlor games" on the box, but even go a step further and list the german custom category number and this way saving the officer to search for it in the catalogue. Because every time I pick up a order there, the officer is complaining about having to search the right category number for "parlor games". Presenting him the number in advance would allow him to simply enter it into his computer, while otherwise he would need to search for a better category himself, having more work. Do I need to say more...

I will try to get hold of the complete correct category number and post it here. Right now I just know it contains "9090" (listening to his murmur). I just don't know if that is the complete number or only a subnumber. I will try to find out. It should be on my papers somewhere.

Now I like the idea of simply having 1d6, 1 pawn (miniature might be to expensive) and a somehow copied rule sheet for a simple game on the tiles to fix the category once and for all and this way ending all discussions.

But remember, anyway you can not save the VAT (16% now, 19% from 2007 on...) this way. But at least you can save the customs duty of around 4,7%.

bye
Wolfgang
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#16281
DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
Well that's why I declared myself as a 'Selbstverzoller' recently. I hope that the data is updated until the Lake sets arrive.
In fact the VAT can not be avoided and since it has to be calculated on the goods value and the shipping costs, the only way to reduce it, is finding cheaper shipping.
But the 4,7% which are pretty haphazardly taken or not, should be avoided. In fact its 5,452% and 5,5,93% from 2007 on because the VAT is also calculated on that tax, since the tax obviously adds a lot of value the stuff.
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#16282
DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own 7 Years, 8 Months ago  
Just another way the EU has cost European citizens MORE than it has benefitted them.

Tax the transportation, tax the tax, tax the tax on the tax.

Sorry to start something here, guys, but as I've always maintained,

"People WILL have the government they want." If you don't like it, change it. By peaceful means if AT ALL possible (such as the ballot box), but if NOT possible, change 'em anyway - or accept what the Bread and Circuses crowd has bought for you.

I get a LOT of arguments, usually from Liberals, about that statement. Funny thing is, I ALWAYS eventually win the argument. But FIRST, I have to make them THINK!

See ya!

Jim
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Jim Kratzer, a/k/a The Mad Yank
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#16283
DF - be more inventive - save your customers money AND your own 7 Years, 8 Months ago  
@jkratzer:

Please stop *any* discussion about european or american politics or governments before it even starts here. Nuff said!

@German DF-Fans:

If you declare your DF-order, give the foreign customs officer a helping hand and deliver the correct "Warennummer" aka "Zolltarifnummer" for your goods, it`s:

9504 9090

(=Gesellschaftsspiele, andere, andere)

Sparing him to search for a better category will most likely spare you the 4,7% duty that can hit you if you get another category.

Btw, you can find information about the categories here (unfortunately without the duty rates):

http://www.destatis.de/allg/d/klassif/wa_download.htm

or specific for toys and games here:

http://www.destatis.de/download/d/klassif/kap95.pdf

It is also stated in the preamble of this document, that accessories and parts for these categories are categorised the same way, so there is actually no need for the 1d6+pawns+rule-sheet strategy. It is already perfectly legal and justified to declare the DF-sets under the number above.

bye
Wolfgang
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