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VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces
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TOPIC: VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
The point I was trying to make was that Dwarven Forge is missing a huge opportunity to make money if there are a lot more people like me. It would be up to DF to make that determination. In playing it safe they are potentially loosing quite a bit of money. If they could get their sales up they might be able to get their costs down. The price point of DF is also preventing a lot of gamers from purchasing their product. I procrastinated for two years before I finally bit the bullet and ordered the two sets they had in stock.

I suspect that the reality of the situation is that the company is run by two gamers and they make this product so that they can have it for themselves and they make a little money. This is the only way their business model makes any sense. Being in business myself I just couldn't resist commenting in this thread :)
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VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 11 Months ago  

Think of their competitors. For instance Hirst arts, they are only for the real enthusiasts. Normal Joes like me dream of doing that but in reality do not have the time. There are other choices out there that I see at my hobby store that are plastic. These are about 3/4 the price of DF. Myself I do not like them. Plastic is well plastic. Not painted flimsy etc. Recently as of last week I did find one "real" competitor or one that could be a competitor. They do plaster casts, the items come painted and for about the same price you get more pieces. However the website does not look as professional and the variety is not as much. Not to mention plaster vs resin. So to me the price is justified. I have a lot of gamer friends who say the same thing about the cost. It is to high. However these are the same gamers who try to find alternatives and some are successful some are not but in any case whether or not they find props or not or use them or not the same thing happens. The props get lost, or someone does not like them or they quit using them. DF is the first terrain that has survived the test of time. We have been using DF since 1999 maybe sooner I can not remember exactly and it is the only prop that we use every game and lasts. If I spread the ROI over the products that I would have purchased and discontinued use, and the amount of times I have used it it would be much less then the cost of my plastic crack minis the last two years not counting the thousands I have collected and the hundreds of ral partha minis before that over the last 20 years. I agree that DF is not a casual purchase but if one would purchase the average boxed set 1 time every 3 months at the end of 2 years that person would have 8 sets which in my humble opinion is more than enough to run any dungeon and cavern set 1-3 rooms at a time which could be a single gaming session. that is 8 sets at $100 on average over 2 years. 800. I can guaranty the average person spends that much in Soda or candy bars in 2 years. Even the really expensive sets and shipping the cost would be roughly 1200 for 2 years. That is $50 a month for the first 2 years. If that gamer then uses those sets once a month for 10 years that comes out to be $10 a gaming session or less than the cost of a movie and a lot lot more fun. For even the crack heads like me with around 90 sets I have collected in roughly 10 years assuming 120 per set, (I have taken a lot of advantage of sales through the years at DF and with other collectors giving up their DF collection) that would be roughly 11k or 12k. I game on average of 2 times a month, some months more, some less. That is 250 times the last 10 years. Some of those gaming sessions were all weekend long. I also play every Saturday morning for the last 2 years with my 6, now 7 year old a version of minis he can understand. Add that to the mix and I have used my DF roughly 350 times. That is roughly $35 per use. Not bad. As time goes on I will continue to invest in DF and will continue to use it. My cost will come down per session and I will have the product for years to come. As for their business model. Df could do a lot more but I have a feeling the stress level would go up for them and this would become their lives. Stefan has his artwork and Jeff ahs his gig. This is a business that they want to bring to the masses. Not to become rich. As time goes by I think that DF will slowly stock the individual pieces and other items. DF is becoming more popular and more collectors means more of a pool to draw from. If DF wanted to go big time they could look for investors, remain the creative flow and then go big time. However the final result from that would be stress and pressure to produce and make profits that are worth the investments of the investors. That is the quickest way to end a GREAT gaming company. Look at how many have gone away. (Ral Partha, armorcast although they are back now, there are others) I say the model is working and as time goes by it will be easier for them to stock individual pieces etc. If DF ever needed an investor I WOULD GLADLY INVEST. HINT HINT.

I want to say THANK YOU to Stefan and Jeff. Great Product, Great Fun and Great Company.

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Over 143 Sets (Expanding), 300+ Loose Pieces (Expanding), 11,000 plastic figures (Expanding), 1,000 metal figures (350 actually painted)
VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
Cavernous Chasm Set - 22 pieces for $109 - $5 per piece
Room & Passage Set - 37 pieces for $109 - $2.95 per piece
Den of Evil Room Set - 37 pieces for $89 - $2.40 per piece
Medieval Building Set - 40 pieces for $99 - $2.50 per piece

"They make a little money" is right, as long as you emphasize "little". I've paid more for individual DDMs. I think most of us have spent at least the cost of a single set in the dealer's room at conventions. And I'd probably be much better off all around if I put the money I spend on pizza into DF instead.

For a second business, I think they are doing pretty well by us. As a unique product, they could probably charge significantly more, but they have chosen to keep the prices low to allow as many gamers to buy the product as possible (financially speaking). AND they recently retooled the entire Fantasy line (no more bowties), which can't have been cheap or easy, and we really haven't seen a significant price hike.

It's only an incredible opportunity if the company can afford to absorb the cost of ramping up the business while the market catches up to them, AND if they can afford the cost of failure if things don't go the way they hope. DF has tried the standard business model, with inventory and distributors and retail outlets and so forth, and it didn't work for them -- they have said as much right here on these forums. The only way they get to do things the way they want to do them (for now) is to sell direct to the customer over the web, and to make small orders a few times a year. They may be missing out on some profit, but they are not losing money -- they might not make as much as they could, but by producing short they avoid overproduction and the potential financial loss that goes with it.

If I understand correctly (and please correct me if I am wrong), DF orders one cargo container full of products per shipment. In order to increase their business efficiently, DF would have to double it. That's a significant investment, and a very real risk. They need to continue with the business model that they feel is the most successful for them, and take the risks they feel comfortable with. They've been in business for ten years in which they have brought us five lines of incredibly high-quality products, and we all want to see them stick around for at least twenty more years of creativity and fun.
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VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 5 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.

Hi, longtime DF fan, newbie collector and forum poster, yadda yadda...

I'm in agreement with Blast, I would love to see some of the individual pieces sold separately. I think the item I crave most has to be the secret door (with swing action!). Seriously, why aren't some of the more unique items available as singles? I'd be willing to pay a little extra for something that's usually available in the sets. I'm talking everything--but there could be a nice increase in variety of single items and it would be a BIG help!!

Also, and I don't mean to criticize, but there are a lot of items listed in the store as 'unavailable'. I'm not sure if they're coming back since it seems like they've been that way for a while. Case in point, a simple cavern floor piece: www.dwarvenforge.com/store/product.php?productid=16290&cat=262&page=1

....or the ones I'm really looking for are the cavern stalagmite clusters: www.dwarvenforge.com/store/product.php?productid=16311&cat=262&page=1

...the treasure accessories: www.dwarvenforge.com/store/product.php?productid=16342&cat=258&page=1

...even just coin piles by themselves: www.dwarvenforge.com/store/product.php?productid=16276&cat=263&page=1

To be fair, the main treasure accessory page says "back in stock in June". But most of the stuff I've been buying of late is of the single or accessory variety. It would be really helpful to have more items in stock and just more individual items to choose from.

At the moment we're trying to save some cash, so the sets aren't really an option right now. But some accessories and single pieces go a long way. Hope that doesn't come off too harsh, just my .02.

Love all the DF modules by the way--just beautiful stuff! :)
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VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 5 Years, 9 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?
Sorry to double post, but I very much agree with this point. Thanks Philip--you're not alone! I've bought everything I own from shops or ebay. Lots more to be made if DF could offer more or at least keep items in stock more often.
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VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 5 Years, 9 Months ago  
If you just add Sci-Fi corner pieces to that mix then you wouldn't need to order 600 entire starter sets to satisfy the needs of newer Sci-Fi collectors as well.

I have absolutely none of the corner pieces and need to get around 40 of them. They have been out of stock quite some time and aren't available even in the secondary market.

I'm not asking for individual pieces as a cheaper alternative. I don't care if they are available separately or as part of a starter set but I would hope that some priority would be given to pieces that have not been available in any way, for some time.

Personally, I think that a small selection of three individual pieces may be the way satisfy the present needs for the Sci-Fi stuff, as it appears that there are two separate markets for additional Sci-Fi pieces with varying needs. (corners, 2x2 floor pieces and 6"walls)


If the corner pieces were stocked at the same time (replacing the need for a starter set) then I would also buy a good quantity of the 2x2 floor pieces as well.

Thanks again.

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VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 5 Years, 9 Months ago  
i think its not necessary/cost effective for DF to have all single pieces in stock.
The pieces fall in 3 categories mostly:

individuals (where most collectors need only 1 or few):
i.e. Mermaid fountain, Demon Arch, Lava Spring Floortile

nice to have a few of (where most of us want some, but not masses):
i.e. Traps, Porticullies, Floor with iron bars, River Turn, Lake corner, Stairs

mass product (where most collectors need many of)
i.e. Walls, Floors, Corners, long Walls, River Straight, Lake Bank, Lake Blank tile

maybe DF could try some "on demand" production:
- start a poll which tiles are needed in masses
- start a preorder and look if there will be enough demand to justify a production

Right now i think the following are requested most:
Sci-Fi Floor
Sci-Fi Walls
Sci-Fi Long Wall
Classic Walls
Classic Floors
Classic long Wall
WE1 Stairs
Classic Doors

maybe put togehter a sets of the pieces:
i.e. Sci-Fi (10x 2" Wall, 2x 2"Wall with Opening, 12x 2"x2" Floor)
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VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 5 Years, 9 Months ago  
Thanks for your concerns and comments.

Much has changed with factory minimums over the last 2-3 years. It used to be easy to restock individual items as we did not need to purchase a large quantity at once. We could add them on with little difficulty. Unfortunately, our manufacturer now requires must larger minimum orders which makes it very hard for us to restock much. We only have so much capital to sink into our inventory, so it becomes a question of priorities of where to put our resources. We have elected to put much of our resources into new sets (and restocks of older sets), and to put a lesser amount into individual pieces.

That being said, we are striving to invest in more individual pieces this summer with an order that will arrive in the early Fall. It is too early to say what pieces we hope to include in it, as much depends on summer business levels. We will make an announcement when we have a better idea.
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VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 5 Years, 9 Months ago  
Thanks Jeff.

My vote is with a big big set of stairs, pillars and portcullis. I know I want wayyyyy more stairs and pillars' then i could get by even buying 4 WA1 kits.

You guys are the best.
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VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 5 Years, 9 Months ago  
How about those nice attached wide doors again?
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VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 5 Years, 9 Months ago  
Thanks to Jeff for responding to our concerns. It's great that companies and consumers can connect so easily.

I've noticed that DF's model for the most recent new releases (RotA I & II) seems to leverage factory orders with pre-orders. Perhaps that strategy would work well for "inventory building" pieces, if the desired pieces could be properly determined. It sounds like the sci-fi crowd lacks nuts and bolts pieces more than the fantasy crowd does, just reviewing this thread and looking over product. I'm exclusively a fantasy collector, and I think the existing sets are fine for walls, floors, and corners, though obviously large areas need multiple sets to field.

My interest would be in something like an "escalation pack", that combined stairs, pillars, blocks, etc. to allow for more multi-level designs. Maybe thrown in a couple of the larger flat pieces so your stairs have a place to go. There were several auctions last week on ebay for clumps of stairs, pillars, blocks, etc. and they didn't sell cheap.

There are a number of free survey programs available online that might be helpful in putting together a survey that could be posted on the site. This could help identify the market for such specialized sets, how many might be ordered, what they might be composed of, and our willingness to pre-order.

Based upon the interest in the RotA sets, it seems to me that those of us that are really into this stuff can manage to work out the money for what we really want. Not to imply that money is no object, but when you're standard price points run $99-$139, you're obviously not selling to paupers. I would strongly suggest that DF explore this further.
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VERY Frustrated- Single Pieces 5 Years, 9 Months ago  
To Jeff :

You can stock DF sets in my garage ^^ hehe !

I've started to buy Df some years ago, a big part of "out of stock" sets on ebay then I've completed my collection on DF store.I also was lucky and could buy some dunjeon cross and long corridors.
The hard part were the international fees and douane tax but I could solve this problem.
So now I have 1 set of each, ogre den and medieval expansion set are missing.
I didn't encounter special problems with a lack of individual pieces since I use to make "short" dunjeons, ones you can fit on a table of 1 meter on 2.

I didn't care about accessories sets until now and I really need it !
As I'm limited into my budget, I also realized with ROTA entrance, secret passage & hall or the boat of the cavernous lake set that it was cruel to miss it but since Jeff just announced we will be able to get it this year it are good news to me.(I mean rota entrance other pieces are missed to me forever)

If I win to €uromillions tonight I will give a hand.
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Cavern & Cavernous passages set / Cavernous Lake & River & Wall set / Advanced Builder set 1 &2 / Room & Passage set / Narrow Passage set & Wicked Addition set 1 & 2 / Deluxe Room set & Octagonal Room set / Trap set 1 & 2 / Fantasy Floor & Starter sets / Den Of Evil set & Room & Wicked Additions sets / Medieval Building & Expansion set / ROTA set 1 & 2 & entrance / Hellscape set / All Accessories
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