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Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ??
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TOPIC: Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ??
#7624
Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ?? 9 Years, 1 Month ago  
Hi

My first posting here - and I really like the forum. Please don't flame straight away if I whine a little bit - but I feel a little bit like it.

My love to DF started nearly 4 years ago. On a visit to the Spielertage in Essen we saw the DF stall. I had married 6 weeks earlier - my wife is also a gamer and we fell in love with DF. We quite some money left from the wedding as gifts ment for the 'household'. My wife had insisted we would spend it all - so when we saw all the nice Dwarfenforge sets my thought was - lets spend it on something crazy.

A cavern set, a deluxe room set, and a passage set and a wicked addition set I later and we left the Spielertage with a lot less money but happy.

This were the good times. From there it would mainly go down - with some ups inbetween.

Was it a year?? We went to the fair in Germany again, the first trap set had just appeared. Arriving 2 1/2 hours after the fair had opened (it takes a while to travel from the UK even if you start early) and we had to realize - we were too late. Sold out. I think we bought the Ogres Den - you had to buy something having travelled 8 hours and to be told nothing was left.

Inbetween we had ordered a set with a shop North of London. It took ages to arrive, postage was horrendous, but what are the alternatives ??
Was it the 15 short passage set ?? Don't know any longer.

So next time on holiday - traveling from an Airport nearby we ordered in the shop three sets (Wicked II, Small passages, and Diagonal Wall set). Hey - just 30 km detour. Too bad I had to leave the sets in the car on the airport carpark for two weeks - off course only after we had opened them and admired each piece.

Oh - a last time I met Stefan at the Euro-GenCon in London - too bad - I wasn't aware of that before. Got a few small bits and pieces - nothing majpr.

And the two trap sets - as well as the Advanced builder set. Oh - I got them in the end. They were not cheap - but what do you d when you are deperate. My wife went in Berlin into a shop which was selling DF. They didn't have the sets she wanted - but he was sure he could order them while she was still in Berlin.

Poor guy - it never reached him in time in his shop. 4 weeks later his sister (or was it girl-firend) had to carry the three boxes by plane to the UK to post them from the next post office as postage from Germany would have cost him more as his margin was.

The cavernous passage set ?? Oh - that was no problem. I bought in on E-Bay US. Had to convince the seller to send it to a small company where I was on business trip a year ago.

To bad we are now saving and my next visit to the US might not happen that quickly again.

So when I visited the DF pages again approx. 2 weeks ago and the Floor Set was sold out I was devastated. Well - got it on E-Bay US again. Had a friend who wanted to send me a board game - in exchange for some games from the UK. Stopped his shipment in time - will now be a combined shipment once the floor sets arrives.

This was when I though - hey - DF doesn't ship outside the US. Why not add a few more bits and pieces. Some extra long cavern passages, a 4-way passge way. With current prieces this is a bargain - until I was refused check-out. What is a > $10.000 credit card limit if the card isn't from the US - and you can't pay the small amount of $53.50.

A message from Jeff Martin was prompt - at least this is good service - unfortunately it started:

Sorry…you are not going to like this answer.

Since then I'm looking for alternatives. Ordering in the UK ?? A quick look at the price says for the first shop I found - $6.00 currently at DF, £8.99 in the UK which is approx. $16.30. Not really a great bargain ...

A money transfer ?? £10 are not too bad - have done it before for some big transfers. But we are talking $18.00 in bank charges for a total of a $50 order. Not that appealing.

Convincing my friend not only to send on the order but to pay for it as well ??

I mentioned PayPal as a good alternative to Jeff on the phone. I know - it incurs extra costs to the seller. Just add a fixed sum and we gamers from abrod will be more than willing to pay for the extra cost. It will be way, way smaller as all alternatives. I jope some other might chime into this and I'm not the only one.

And please do it before the Den of Evil comes out. There are customers out here in Europe who want the DOE - but I doubt I will ever see it as a limited edition anywhere in a European shop.

What do other DF fans from abroad think ?? What are their experiences. For all the US customers - well - we try to to our bid to keep DF a healthy business. But there are limites to what we are willing to pay. 20-30% extra is okay. 2-2.5 times the US price if there is an offer is too much.

Greetings from the East of Kent

Thod

PS: some of the purchases might be not in order - and no clue when I got the furniture and treasure pieces ... Too low on the radar screen to remember
Thod
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#7625
Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ?? 9 Years, 1 Month ago  
Ouch -- well, I can sympathize, though I have not had anything like your experiences. This is what happened to me:

I'm in Boston. There are two major gaming stores in the area. Neither carries DF, though one did have some backstock. That's what got me hooked. AFter I cleaned them out, I asked about new products.

Store A -- where this began -- said they were getting the new sets in (traps set, Advanced Builder) They were run by a couple who also run other stores out of state. But they WERE getting it. Just a matter of time. I'd stop by twice a week to check -- nothing. Months went by. Nothing.

Finally, I gave up and ordered from Store B. They had to special order, but I went ahead. First, they had a fight with their distributor, so no orders came in. Then they got 1 of the sets I ordered, but not the other. No explanation. I waited to see if they'd ever get around to ordering the other set, but they sorta lost interest, I guess.

So eventually I ordered from Store C. They got the order in a week. After waiting around 6 months, I finally had my sets.

And that was IN the US! Distribution on these sets can be pretty awful.

I attribute it to two factors:

1. Niche market. It's just too small, not enough people care. Sad but true. If DF were flying off the shelves, this wouldn't be an issue. But it doesn't. Too many gamers don't think terrain is significant enough to be worth ANY money, let alone the big numbers you see on DF.

2. Irresponsible managers. The people who run game stores, sadly, are often just kids with no real interest in being managers and businessmen. They simply let things slide and don't pay attention and don't really care about expanding their business or bringing in customers. They just want to hang out with their friends and make enough to break even.


I think DF distribution is always going to be messy, and it sounds like in Europe it's going to be a REAL nightmare. Maybe, if all else fails, something could be added to the forum, a Marketplace, where people can trade and sell. That way, there could be people in the US willing to ship to Europe so long as they get Paypalled first, or something like that. It's not ideal, but it might be the only workable option.

L
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#7626
Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ?? 9 Years, 1 Month ago  
My experience is similar to Thod's - to a degree. I have found a really good bookstore/gaming store here in Stockholm, where they are extremely good at special ordering stuff. But they use a limited number of distributors, and for DF they only have Alliance.

A US dollar is approximately 7 SEK (Swedish kronor), but with transportation costs and whatever, the actual price I pay is about 10 SEK to a dollar.

The fact that I can't order direct from DF, which is strange, as I can order direct from any number of companies in the US and elsewhere, I missed out on many of the sales items, but also on a number of individual pieces I would have bought, if I had had the possibility.

Now we are talking about money I would have _liked_ to spend on DF...

Is it really good business practice to _not_ grab the money of the customers at every opportunity?

(If you think I whine too much, just hit me on the head!)
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#7627
Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ?? 9 Years, 1 Month ago  
I fully agree with you. after years of painfully admiring the df ads in the monthly dragon i found my first pack (room set) in a small shop (and they did not know how they got it.??!!!!) in hamburg/germany back in 97 or 98. could not get my hands on anoher set till i found out last year that another shop here in town offers almost the full range of df stuff and orders regularly - the new floor set was here 6 or 8 weeks after release- they are really nice persons and are in the business for quite some time. they do mainly mailorder and have combined their small shop with a postoffice (no joke) so i do not see any problem to send out stuff to somewhere in europe. i do not know for shure though but will ask them on monday and inform you, or you give them a call/email its always nice to chat with them. www.dragonworld-shop.de
i just hope he manages to organise the doe!!!!!i keep my fingers crossed but this limited ed. gives me bad dreams allready. maybe we can convince jeff if we do a privat europan collect order via one person and organise the further distribution ourselfs?not always just for limited sets.
correct me if i am wrong, but most of us "european outsiders" would no hesitate to pay a little more if they just find a secure way to get their own doe.?
camoudragon
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#7628
Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ?? 9 Years, 1 Month ago  
It's no better for us Australian customers either.

What I find... humurously annoying.. is that being a DF customer and Forum poster, I get sent the $25 voucher from DF, and am unable to make use of it... sigh.

I truly wish there was a way I could purchase directly from the company. At $220AUD for a cavern set... DF is too pricey for me. I'm not saying I won't purchase it locally, but I am only able to do so on VERY special occasions.

Yep, being outside the USA definitely bites the big one sometimes.

Darkfather
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#7629
Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ?? 9 Years, 1 Month ago  
I may be able to help out fellow maxminis users if DF is unable to resolve this. Let's see how it goes with them first, barring that we'll figure something out.
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#7630
Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ?? 9 Years, 1 Month ago  
All

Thanks for all the support by lnowing I'm not the only one with such problems.

2Darkfather - after your post I had to realize that I complained about the US not caring for Europe - but never thought about all of the rest of the world still out there as well.

This leads to the question - what do you do when you are really stranded somewhere with no access to any Fantasy Shop nearby ?? I lived myself in Africa for three years while my father was working there as an ingeneer. I heard India now starts to recruit from Europe for their IT - as they need language skills (sorry - other languages as English) - so some gamers sooner or later will get stranded there.

2Tdaraa - I really hope DF manages to sort something out. At least for payment I suggested to them PayPal as an option. This should work from most places as long as you have internet access.

Shipping is a different issue - but again - at least it would be good if it is offered for a price only shorthly above costs. On e-Bay I don't like to take the surface option from the US - takes several weeks and I won't trust most sellers enough. With DF - fine - probably still faster as getting it local.

Thod

PS: Just think about the irony if you would start working in China where all the nice DF stuff actually gets painted. DF currently wouldn't send anything to a Chinese player - tough.
Thod
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#7631
Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ?? 9 Years, 1 Month ago  
My experiences are almost identical to Thod's. I managed to find some reasonably priced DF in the UK, and bought it. I asked DF about shipping to Europe, and also got a prompt and polite reply saying "sorry, we don't".

If your looking in the UK, Forbidden Planet carry the newer fantasy sets (starter and floors), as does Orc's Nest (London). Leisure Games (London) and Legend Games (online) sell the whole range on their websites, but have been out of stock of nearly everything for several months. Hidden Fortress (Southampton) are official stockists, but are also out of stock.

It's especially vexing because we've got a strong pound and euro against a weak dollar, so it'll be economical to order from the States even with shipping charges. I have heard (fourth hand) that some people have had high customs duties slapped on DF imports, from those who've bought at GenCon and shipped the sets themselves.
hugh
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#7632
Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ?? 9 Years, 1 Month ago  
Well i am struggling to find a descent uk supplier and presently have to purchase my sets via a nice friendly table topper who has a few links.

But it does puzzle me that DF dont allow purchases from abroad, there is clearly a strong interest and with the strength of the pound to the dollar i am sure the prices would be great.

So far we have no regular UK supplier/stockist that i can find. Most only purchase once an order has gone in.
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#7633
Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ?? 9 Years, 1 Month ago  
I am working with our shipper now to get a comprehensive shipping program to Europe. I hope to have the info posted by the end of June.

We can use Paypal for the payment, but the shipping costs are quite high for Air delivery. I hope we can figure something out for all our European & Aussie collectors.
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#7634
Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ?? 9 Years, 1 Month ago  
Sounds great!

And I personally wouldn't worry too much about high airmail rates, as I pay a little more than 10 SEK to a dollar as it is for the full retail price on the stuff I get by way of Alliance and the store here in Stockholm. Normally the exchange rate is more like 7 SEK to a dollar...
willypold
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#7635
Trying to get DF abroad - what are your experiences ?? 9 Years, 1 Month ago  
Jeff

This sounds really great. I think quite a few of the Hard Core DF fans around the globe will thank you for that - especially as this seems possible prior to the DOE release.

I'm aware - the main sales will still come from the US - but I hope there will at least a significant amount sold that way. I pledge a DOE and to renew my bounced order once I can go ahead.

Thod
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