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Distribution & Local Hobby Store Retail
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TOPIC: Distribution & Local Hobby Store Retail
#18651
Distribution & Local Hobby Store Retail 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
I would like to see you start distributing to local hobby stores again. In Michigan you would make a killing in the Detroit area. Do you have any plans to get back into distribution, limited or otherwise?
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#18652
Distribution & Local Hobby Store Retail 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
DF's answer will be interesting to read.
Why?
Because the distributors and hobby stores were just "killing" Dwarven Forge before, pardon the borrowing of one of your words tmcmenamin.

I bet it will not be for at least two more years before Dwarven Forge seriously considers using game shoppes, thereby the gaming distribution networks, again.
Then what do I know?
I do not work for Dwarven Forge.
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#18653
Distribution & Local Hobby Store Retail 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
RF*;

I have a local FLGS here in Baltimore who dearly wants to sell DF again, in fact, would love to distribute DF, but he wants a dealer discount somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-50% below retail before shipping, so that he can make a profit on sales. He figures that way, he can sell at or below the Web page price and make some money on the deal.
He's a good guy, generally speaking, but I have to wonder whether that would just kill DF; I don't know what their cost per set is (and since that's their business, not mine, I'm not likely to find out, either!), but I suspect that would really destroy any profit margin they have. And my dealer here thinks that DF just wants to kill the FLGS's! HA!

I dunno, man; I just dunno. I don't see DF going back to the stores any time soon.

See ya!

Jim
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#18654
Distribution & Local Hobby Store Retail 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
RF*;

I have a local FLGS here in Baltimore who dearly wants to sell DF again, in fact, would love to distribute DF, but he wants a dealer discount somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-50% below retail before shipping, so that he can make a profit on sales. He figures that way, he can sell at or below the Web page price and make some money on the deal.
He's a good guy, generally speaking, but I have to wonder whether that would just kill DF; I don't know what their cost per set is (and since that's their business, not mine, I'm not likely to find out, either!), but I suspect that would really destroy any profit margin they have. And my dealer here thinks that DF just wants to kill the FLGS's! HA!

I dunno, man; I just dunno. I don't see DF going back to the stores any time soon.

See ya!

Jim

Stefan and Jeff both posted that they did not hold the profit needs of a shoppe against them, but where do most shoppes get their stock?
A gaming distributor.
They both mentioned that the common three tiered system in the gaming industry was what was it impossible to sell to shoppes.
The chunk the distributor took out was causing the main part of the profit margin problem.

Maybe Stefan or Jeff will post here and help us all understand the problem better.

On the other hand, as I posted and so did you, I do not see a return to distributing to shoppes any time in the near future.
If direct sells are doing quite well and stay that way, never.
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#18655
Distribution & Local Hobby Store Retail 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
There's nothing to stop a retailer from buying direct from DF and putting those sets on the shelves with a modest mark-up. However, that mark-up already includes shipping costs, so the profit to the store would likely be very low, possibly five to twenty dollars per set (five for small sets, twenty for the largest sets).

That's an awful lot of trouble to go to for twenty bucks, especially factoring in the risk that they won't sell each and every set.

There was a suggestion a while ago that DF produce a catalog to order from. A downloadable catalog for retailers might allow them to place orders for their customers, and collect a five or ten dollar service fee for doing so -- this is advantageous to people who don't want to order from web sites (still a lot of superstitious dread out there), people who don't want orders to come to their homes ('it's none of my landlord's business what I order, and my neighbors steal'), or people who receive mail at P.O.Boxes (and can't get packages delivered by major delivery carriers).

But it is not DF's responsibility to help anyone else make money from their products. If they do go back to retail sales, I hope they find a way to deal directly with retailers instead of including a distributor in the process, but I think the retailers are going to have to figure out a way to make it work.
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#18656
Distribution & Local Hobby Store Retail 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
retailers might allow them to place orders for their customers, and collect a five or ten dollar service fee for doing so -- this is advantageous to people who don't want to order from web sites (still a lot of superstitious dread out there), people who don't want orders to come to their homes ('it's none of my landlord's business what I order, and my neighbors steal'), or people who receive mail at P.O.Boxes (and can't get packages delivered by major delivery carriers).
My question is what is stopping a store from doing that right now for those types of people?
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#18657
Distribution & Local Hobby Store Retail 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
Not one thing, except for the lack of paper materials to show customers. Retailers could download photos and make their own flier/catalog, but most probably won't bother to do so.
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#18658
Distribution & Local Hobby Store Retail 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
I agree with jackattack.
Too often retailers get hooked on all of the papers their distributors give them from the various companies out there to show stuff off and do not want to do anything themselves.
I am NOT saying that there are not good retailers, who actually get off their butts, but they are the exception to the rule in my experience.
We all talked about a .pdf catalogue over on this thread:
www.dwarvenforge.com/dwarvenforums/viewtopic.php?id=1242

As to buying straight from Dwarven Forge, a retailer is still going to have to order a fair number of sets to make this financially feasible.
They have to order a number of sets so as to distribute the shipping costs over more sets so as to reduce the impact of said costs down to the smallest effect.
This is called keeping your overhead low so as to increase your profits, while your prices are low enough to actually get the consumer to buy so as to make said profits

I am not sure if most game shoppes can do this and it has nothing to do with Dwarven Forge or the shipping companies.
It almost all has to do with the fact that most game shoppes out there are not real businesses; they are hobbies and/or game clubs.
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Cavern: Cavern, Cavernous Passages, many individual pieces, Cavernous River & Wall and Cavernous Lake someday soon;
Fantasy: Room & Passages, Room, Octagonal Room, Wicked Additions I&II, Adv. Builder, Diagonal Walls Set, Dungeon Accessories, Medieval Furniture, many individual pieces.
 
#18659
Distribution & Local Hobby Store Retail 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
It almost all has to do with the fact that most game shoppes out there are not real businesses; they are hobbies and/or game clubs.
MYEAHH! RF critted on hit!

I've been saying that for years around here. Most guys I know got into the business so they could play more - not to actually run a business. They learn that not only do they have less time to play but setting up games in shops takes away from selling stuff in said shops.

One of my buddies, the only one to not have shut down in the past 2 years, is actually going the business route. He tends to play in my games at my house on his 1 day off (out of 2 he gets a month) and run his store when he is in it.

As for how DF fits in, he was selling the stuff when he first opened, but interest was not there like other things that had a lower overhead and took less shelf space. Twice a year, I will set up a GMing demo there with DF (mine) which raises interest.

I think the "Holy Grail" in FLGS sales is stuff in the $5-$10 range. Anyone who comes up with gaming stuff in that range will make a killing (cards, plastic minis, dice...? ).
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