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Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor
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TOPIC: Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor
#34368
Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
Jeff / Stefan

First of all - praise to DF - it is great to hear you are working on a European distributor. I know this isn't easy - especially in the current environment - and I'm fully aware that it still might fall through - but fingers crossed that it will happen.

Here are a few questions and suggestions

1) Your biggest asset are the European collectors who have been holding on to DF and kept buying - even when postage made purchases not only expensive due to shipping - it also just felt wrong when shipping costs were on par with cost for DF. So a question is - what can we do to make the European distribution a success. You can't afford going to Spiel - so what can we do to raise awareness of DF again. It is in your as well as our interest that the European market grows and is healthy. Spend some time what we can do.

2) Promotional / one off items - spend some time to think about European access to promotional items - like the entrance. Your current European customers will probably be to a higher degree 'hard-core' collectors as many other will have left. For these it really is an issue if they can have access to promotional items. But my guess is - your current mode of operation (buy multiple sets - pre-order) probably won't work. So please spend some time on workable alternatives. Here are two ideas - a) reserve a certain number of promotional items for European customers for sale. For example with the entrance piece - take aside 20% (you know better what is realistic) and don't have European customer to wait and hope some are left. If they can show some purchases of similar amounts at the European distributor - allow them to order a reserved copy so he can be sure while buying European he can still get items he otherwise wouldn't get. b) Alternativly set aside a few and keep them as thanks for promotions in Europe. So instead of handing them out for purchase - allow European customers to get a copy for using DF at fairs show otherwise some way that they have done active advertisement for DF.
These are just two ideas and they can be refined - but I hope they show what the hard core European customers would like. They would like a way to have access to future promotional items - and they are (I hope I can speak here for others) willing to either spend some money or do some favours to DF in return. But surely what they don't want is to keep ordering in the US - just because this is the only way to keep getting the extra items.

Well - that's it for now. Maybe other European customers can add suggestions. And sorry folks Down Under - I feel with you and hope one day you will also benefit from a distributor down under again.

Thod
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#34369
Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
I think there is an assumption about products being sold through a European distributor, and it is this:

The European Distributor will receive/sell some portion of each shipment from China to America.

I think this is a false assumption. I think that shipments to Europe are going to be independent of (or in addition to) shipments to America. Every order that comes to America is a completely full cargo container because leaving empty space just wastes money, and would increase the price of every single set in that shipment. It makes no sense whatsoever to take part of the "American shipment" out of the container and send it off to Europe.

The following is speculation! I do not work for DF!

It does make sense that each European shipment will be another full cargo container. I don't know if China-to-Europe shipping uses a different size container (truck or train or air, vs the cargo ship that brings DF to America), but whatever the size of the European shipment it is likely to be similar to the American shipment.

If that is the case, then European shipments will have the same promotional items that the American shipments will. There won't be any shortages because the American customers are bogarting the goodies, there won't be any "market discrimination", and there won't be any competition between Americans and Europeans to buy DF products. Europeans will order from the European distributor, who will fulfill those orders from their own inventory thousands of miles away from the American fulfillment center.

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I'm not clear on why pre-orders or multiple-sets-for-promotional-items wouldn't work in Europe. There are solid reasons for both.

Pre-orders significantly reduce DF's financial risk when they order an entire container full of products, and probably reduce the storage costs incurred by the fulfillment center (because the sets go out as soon as they arrive) -- they also guarantee the customers what they want, without the risk of missing out because something sold out the first day it came up on the web site.

Free promotional items are not free. Their cost can be absorbed by the profits from other items, but there is almost certainly a minimum number based on the cost of the promotional item. Miniatures that have been cut off at the waist and window inserts might be covered by a single set, spinning medallion walls might be covered by two sets, and big honking intersections or dungeon entrances almost certainly need three sets. As terrific as Stefan and Jeff are, they aren't offering promotional items just to be nice, they are offering them as an incentive to buy more stuff -- if the customer isn't willing to do that, then the customer doesn't get the promotional items.

----------------------------------------

I think a really important part of making the European distributor a success is simple visibility. Take your sets to conventions, or to game night at your FLGS, and tell anyone who asks that they can buy from the ED. If you have a website, post pictures of your best set-ups and include a link to the DF commercial site.

I really hope that Stefan and Jeff will post a PDF so that we can print fliers. Then we can put them on bulletin boards, or on tables at conventions.

Are there gaming magazines that have wide European distribution, but aren't published in the US? Post their names -- when the time comes, perhaps DF can run a print ad.
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#34370
Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
Jackattack is right about needing to go with containers.

However, if something does happen, we won't go the way of European Distribution...there may be other alternatives.....
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Stefan Pokorny

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#34371
Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
smuggling?

;)
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#34372
Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
However, if something does happen, we won't go the way of European Distribution...there may be other alternatives.....
Here I think finding someone to stock the products and send it directly from the euro country is a good idea.
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#34373
Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
Jackattack

I'm absolutely aware that there have to be seperate containers - otherwise it isn't worthwhile. There is only a benefit to the american market if the european market grows enough and you can ship containers the 'same' time - meaning that you can do one production run at factory and split it - this way allowing a production run which is too big for american market plus crazy collectors like me alone.

The bit about promotional items - well - they could be added the same way as in the US. All I want to state early is - Stefan and Jeff need to take these into account. As long as they have a solution - fine.

And yes - flyers would be great. Once there is a distribution or other solution - we need to spread the word to make it a success. DF is a great product - people who have seen it, handled it, played with it - they tend to love it. But most gamers in Europe have never seen DF and are not aware of it.

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#34374
Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
I think it isn't necessary to waste money or make publicity.
We already did it on youtube, forums, websites and game shops.
DF in Europe is already known for years but as a expensive hobby into every place.
And most of the eurogamers visit the french site of Tom too.The stats talk itself.

But the sticker "expensive" is given mostly to the douane tax & high postage & package fees from the USA.
The day DF announces euro customers can save money, believe me but more & more fans will appear suddenly.
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#34375
Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
HeroQuest

Sorry if it looks like I want to 'waste' money - the contrary is true. But small incentives which are cheap might go a long way. So I would be really against any big advertisement for lots of money - but a few free shutters - or whatever the 2010 equivalent is for someone like Tom for all his work in case he can't get it in Europe - that in my eye is not money wasted but rather well spend.

About publicity - I haven't seen a single RPG player who played at my house who has known DF before I showed them my collection. Well - I'm not representative - there are only around 10 players who have been and played at my place - but as I said - so far there are 0% of them who have known it before.

These are more mature players - players with good jobs - no longer students - players who have money - but who won't go much to conventions. And there is no role play shop anywhere close.

About Tom's webpages - they are GREAT - I love all the pictures - and no - I hardly ever go there at all. I don't understand French. To me it is too depressing to go to the pages and being unable to read them - to navigate by trial and error.

So in my mind - more publicity can't harm. So who are most of the Eurogamers? I heard there are 6 million D&D players (worldwide ?). I doubt even 1% of the European D&D players have ever been at Tom's pages. Maybe they should have been there - and I'm suprised to learn about new Europeans picking up DF. Where have they heard about DF - would be great to find out.

Once you know DF - once you are looking for it (and if you understand French) you probably will end up on Tom's page. But is there something similar in Germany - I haven't heard anything at all about a UK group which is meeting up, promoting DF. If they exists - either in Germany or in the UK - I'm unaware of them.

Don't take me wrong - there is great work being done - this is exactly why I said that the biggest asset to Dwarvenforge are they great collectors who promote it for them. But getting some incentives or organization behind it - even a print-out-yourself flyer - this hardly can hurt and it won't cost a fortune.

Nope - it would not be free - even if we only talk about time to get a flyer together.

Thod
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#34376
Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
Well, the old addage of "You have to spend money to make money" holds true as ever.

If DF is looking to expand into a viable international market, there will be expenses ... but those should easily be offset by the added sales volume.

As far as promotional advertising items (flyers and such), DF could always offer to work a barter deal with their customers who have a graphics background. That way, there's no outlay of cash, only product, and they get their flyers.
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#34377
Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
Thanks for the interesting discussion. We plan on going with full containers to Europe -- if it all works out.

I do want to point out that prices for sets in Europe will be higher than the USA site as we have to pay extra taxes (like the VAT) that we don't have to inside the USA. A $100 set here will probably cost around $125 in Europe. But you will see great savings in shipping cost and time.
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#34378
Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
I don't know if this would be... rude, I guess... but you might post the price of the sets on one line and the tax on another line, just so that it is clear to the European customers WHY the price is higher.

The intent is to show that the same goods are being sold for the same price on both sides of the ocean, but that there are also taxes/fees that have to be paid in Europe. I realize that it could be taken as a "dig" that European taxes are somehow "unreasonable" -- which is fine for someone in Europe to say, but might sound different when an American says it.

Or am I being overly... whatever.
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#34379
Questions / suggestions in regard to a European ditributor 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
Our VAT in France is 20,6% but even if the price of the sets is a little bit higher, even if we have a VAT higher even if blablabla we will pay no more douane fees which is a true liberation. (le roy est mort !! ^^)

I really hope it will be possible !!
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