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VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces
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TOPIC: VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces
#28084
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 9 Months ago  
Jeff/ Stefan,

I have been buying and collecting Dwarven Forge for the past year or so and have now acquired, what I consider a solid foundation to build upon. I own at least 1 of every set (including all the out of print sets) with the exception of the MBS sets and Fantasy Floor. However, even with all these pieces I am finding myself increasingly frustrated at the Dwarven Forge "sales model". I would assume (please correct me if I'm wrong) that the vast majority of your clientele "collect" Dwarven Forge terrain and buy multiple sets/ pieces. Let's face it; can you really do anything with 1 set? So, my frustration resides on the lack of "collector support" (for lack of a better term) that Dwarven Forge offers.

Now I do understand that a small selection of single pieces are offered on your website, but why on earth is EVERY single piece from EVERY single set not offered separately? I cannot understand how this would not be beneficial to Dwarven Forges "bottom line". Of course you should still have the sets, but why not offer, (for a premium) ALL pieces separately?

For example: A set could contain 10 pieces for $100. After release, why not offer each individual piece for $12? You would be increasing your profit margin by 20% and satisfying consumer demand. I understand shipping and the hassle would add up for you and the customer, however I believe most people buying single pieces would probably end up ordering 5-10 pieces at a time to save on shipping anyways. So you would now be making 20% more on potentially the same dollar per item ratio. This could also cover the extra costs associated with packaging etc.

It would also deter people looking "outside" of your product line, for pieces that fulfill their needs. For example, I can't remember when you last had "stairs" in stock (from the Wicked Additions set I believe). It seems ridiculous to me, to have to purchase 10 Wicked Additions (roughly $1000) sets to get 10 sets of "stairs". Therefore, I have been "forced" to buy Hirst Arts blocks and build my own. Sci-Fi floor pieces??? 1 Starter Set comes with 3-4 floor pieces and a bunch of walls. I own 22 Sci-Fi sets and am VERY hesitant (i.e.: not willing) to spend $50 on said few floor pieces, (I just do not need that many walls!) If you did offer floor pieces separately, I would order at LEAST $100+ worth immediately! (Especially with the new Sci-Fi set coming out- which looks (by design) to take up tons of precious floor space!). Again, I am looking at alternative sources.

I really hope you take this under serious consideration. I see a Forum FULL of requests for various single pieces from all sets...

Thanks for your time,
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#28085
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 9 Months ago  
Blast --
I know how you feel -- I think we've all been frustrated by how difficult it can be to locate some DF piece or other...

But you have to remember, DF is, for all intents and purposes, like two guys working out of their basement. You can show all the numbers and graphs to them you want, but ultimately it's a matter of them having to find the time to organize, inventory, and ship out all that stuff. When you figure that 50% of them is also trying to sculpt new product and dealing with the people in China getting the stuff made and dealing with the distribution -- well, really, it doesn't leave a lot of time or resources to change their sales model.

I would LOVE it if DF did well enough to support a real staff so that Stefan could JUST work on new designs (I'm pretty sure he'd love that, too) and Jeff could do his thang and they could just get someone else to deal with the factories and the shipping and the inventory and ultimately branch out into keep more things in stock and a greater variety of ordering options. But sadly, it just doesn't seem like that's on the horizon....

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#28086
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 9 Months ago  
Thanks for your question. It is one I get all the time -- and it would be good to answer it here.

In a nutshell -- it is not possible for us to stock all the individual pieces for all our different sets as well as continue to bring in new sets. This is especially true as we ramped up our release schedule over the past few years. We have added a dozen sets in the last few years -- and that is a lot to stock! Again, because of factory minimums it has been difficult for us just to keep the main sets in stock -- let alone individual pieces. I wish we were this big company that could stock vast amounts of product, but Stefan has always tried to keep his company a more intimate and cottage-like enterprise.

If we could order just a handful of everything, we would be very happy (as would our collectors) but we cannot do that. I wish we could! We are bringing in more individual pieces (and older sets) in June -- but only those we find our most popular. The good news is that stairs are one of those.

Your idea about a Sci-Fi floor set is a good one. We currently have something like this for the cavernous lake, MBS and classic dungeon lines. We will look into it for the June shipment. Thanks.
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#28087
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 9 Months ago  
That's great news about the single pieces!

Hopefully there's some room for diagonal walls and alcoves as well.
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#28088
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 9 Months ago  
I second Sci-Floor sets
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More Sci Fi Please, request a DEAD END for Sci Fi Passages
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#28089
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 9 Months ago  
Sci-fi floors and standard sci-fi walls. I have more corners than I can shake a stick at. I need the other two pieces in bulk.
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My sets: 20x Sci-fi starters, 7x Alpha's, 3x Gamma's, 4x Beta's, 6x Passage; 3x ROTA, 3x ROTA II; and more Dungeon and Caverns sets than I feel like counting (or want my wife counting).
 
#28090
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 8 Months ago  
The profit margin increases also don't work out quite the way most people think for smaller sets or individual pieces. If they box and pack the individual pieces the same way they do larger sets, the packaging costs per unit actually go up, which eats at least a portion of the potential perceived profit.

I'm wondering if DF has given any thought to compiling the various single-piece requests and suggestions on "extra" pieces that "should have been" included in various sets. They might create a one-shipment-only "Favorites" set based on the number of requests for each item. There would be no "theme", and they would have to decide whether to include DoE, Fantasy, Cavernous, and MBS in one set or keep them separate. (If they mix the lines, I'm sure that many individual pieces will end up being sold on e-Bay, or swapped on this site.)

The number of each particular piece might be related to the number of requests or the details of those requests -- for example, if more than half of the people who want to buy stairs as individual pieces claim that they would buy three of them, then the Favorites set might have two complete sets of stairs in it.

Again, this should probably be a one-off, special offer kind of thing. If it goes well, DF might do it again in a few years.

I DO NOT represent DF in any way. This is just an idea for other people to mull over and play around with. Thoughts?
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#28091
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 8 Months ago  
Yes i'm i for a sci-fi 2" Walls set and a 2" Floor set

make them somewhat like 10 pieces a pack, think most collectors will find this ok.
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don't hate the character hate the game system
 
#28092
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 8 Months ago  
Yeah i undersand how it migh not be as cost effective, but there are just a few too many Corners, and not enough Floors, or Walls in a base set, Beta was great with the 6 inch wasll, but the Passages i find i am not using as much, ( Though i will likely start using them more upside down as Support, i should have thought of that last night, Douh!).
I was going to put in an order for a number of the 6inch walls with the Chasam, but they were out, :( i did order something (not sure if it was an Alpha, Beta or if it was more rooms I can't remember) , i guess i will find out when i get home... ;) :)
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More Sci Fi Please, request a DEAD END for Sci Fi Passages
Classes of the Old Republic
Some RPG and mini stats including the Exodus and AAT (along with good source of a Mini scale version of the AAT).
 
#28093
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 8 Months ago  
Just thirding or fourthing the call for sci-fi floor pieces...and wanting to state that myself and others will get out bulk buy on if this hits in the summer (particularly if it is in concert with a new sci-fi set, too). Price it competitively, but I guarantee that sucker flies off the digital shelves!
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#28094
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 8 Months ago  
I had the same frustrated moment when I finally decided to start buying DF and I realized that they were out of stock on practically everything! I bought several thousand dollars of DF on Ebay, in some cases paying more that the DF price. I give my money to DF when they let me but about half the time I have to buy DF secondhand. How much money is DF loosing because they don't have stock? Would they have the money to do more if they had stock?
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#28095
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 8 Months ago  
Actually, they'd have LESS money if they had stock.

Maintaining an inventory has costs associated with it. You have to store the inventory, which means that you are paying rent for the space you store it in. You have to manage the inventory, keep track of how much you have and where it is, which is a labor cost. There are also potential risks involved such as theft, damage, and destruction.

You also have to buy the inventory in the first place, which actually means that you are buying more than you can sell over a short (three to six months?) period. Until the inventory is sold, that represents a loss. And when you buy that much inventory, you are running the risk that you won't be able to sell it at all, which means that money is never coming back.

DF adheres to a very different business model than many (most?) companies, and they came by through considerable thought and effort. It has literally saved the company. However, it does require people who want to buy DF products to wait for the more-or-less quarterly orders to be shipped in. Always remember that this is not a large corporation, or even a mid-sized company, this is a small group of gamers with mad artistic skills and the raw passion to keep making and marketing their amazing products.
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