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Author Topic: Support Your FLGS  (Read 3027 times)

Thondor

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Support Your FLGS
« on: January 10, 2021, 06:37:05 PM »
Some folks here may know that I run a small indie RPG marketplace. I also have an enduring affection for FLGS. My masters thesis involve visiting just over 50 game and comic stores in the Greater Toronto Area.

A lot of Canadian retailers are again under lockdowns, so for all of January, 20% all sales (both Print&PDF, and PDF only) from the CDG Marketplace go to support a Canadian FLGS of the customers choosing on checkout. If no particular store is selected then it is distributed among retailers who have purchased from us in the past.
 
I hope some of you will use this to support your FLGS, and if you aren’t in Canada (which is most of you I am sure), that you come up with your own innovative ways to support your local store. I’d love to hear about what you are doing.

If you happen to be a publisher, and you are interested in getting you titles up on the CDG Marketplace,  please get in touch! We expect to have numerous titles added throughout the month.

I just added The Halls of Arden Vul, at close to 1200 pages, it is likely the largest OSR megadungeon ever created!

I’d appreciate your thoughts, and questions! I'd be happy to talk about the titles available and any other relevant matters.
Simple Superheroes #0 is now in print! You can get your copy at the Compose Dream Games Marketplace or at Indie Press Revolution

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JeffB

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2021, 08:54:09 PM »
Yeah.....This came up on DF forums awhile back. I'm not a big fan of the vast majority of LGS I've experienced.

(what I posted over there)

Quote from: JeffB
Haven't had a decent LGS around for 20+ years.

One had a good selection but owner and I had some words after an incident in his store with his pets going after my at the time infant child . Owner was not too happy when I told him I'd be punting his pets like a football if anything happened (child was nowhere near the pets and in an infant carrier and about 6 months old, so it' not like the child egged them on).

A few have been comic stores masquerading as a game store- Pokemon, MTG etc.

One place had every book shrink-wrapped as soon as it came in the store. No way to look through a book to see if it's something you'd want. Asking the owner to open something up in order to see if I wanted to buy it was met with alot of passive aggressive comments.

A couple were just typical gamer funk smells and customers/workers who made you feel uncomfortable with their awkwardness the minute you walked into the store. God forbid I bring in my girlfriend/wife with me on those trips.

Had one place left to be run by young people who were too busy playing MTG or Warhammer 40K with their friends in the store to get up and check you out.

I have no sympathies for most of these places (or any other poorly run retail business) I've been glad to/hope to see these types of establishments go. Most of them are run by hobbyists who have no business acumen whatsoever. Why the hell would I pay full retail for bad service, and other "unpleasant features".

One cool place about 2 hours way from me- I go there when we head to the shore/beach in summertime. That's it.

JeffB

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2021, 08:58:32 PM »
I should add, In nearly every way, my  family prefers to shop local small business, as I grew up working in my family business.  Especially with the plandemic and so many local businesses hurting.  Gaming books are the only purchases I make online exclusively.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 09:00:45 PM by JeffB »

Philotomy Jurament

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2021, 09:04:27 PM »
I'm fully behind supporting small and local businesses. Unfortunately, today's local games stores simply don't offer much that I'm interested in. The exception to that is board games, but all the game stores around me are dominated by RPGs I'm not interested in, comics (which I'm not interested in), collectible card games (which I'm not interested in), and games like WH40K (while I enjoy miniatures wargaming, WH40K isn't my preferred genre and it's expensive as hell).

This is probably more "on me" and my tastes than on the game stores. I'm out of step with the general market, and that is what it is. But it means that local game stores don't get much business from me, even though I'm sympathetic to the idea of supporting them.
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Ratman_tf

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2021, 10:07:05 PM »
I'd like to sneak in a quick mention for one of my FLGS, which had a fire happen in the building. (Not sure about the details yet)
I'll be tossing them a few bucks, and if anyone here feels like chipping in, it would be greatly appreciated.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/mob-games-fire-fund?utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NWwargamers/permalink/3824916200864404
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Semaj Khan

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 10:27:05 PM »
I like my FLGS, which is called Game Goblins. I haven't had a bad experience there yet.

They are well stocked, and if they don't have something you want, it's probably because it's been selling well.

The staff I have met are extremely well versed in the products on the shelves, with helpful advice across the board. They even call me by name whenever I walk in. I like that.

Their main areas seem to be MtG, which they keep behind the counter, WH40K and AoS which is amply represented... other miniature systems are there as well. The RPG section is a little small and is dominated by 5E.

The play area is pretty good sized, and a main attraction for me.

On Sundays, one assistant manager named Chris holds classes teaching various wargames to new players. That's where I learned to play WH40K.

Now, they charge full retail for their books and all are shrink wrapped... some of these books are also in my neighborhood Target and not wrapped, on top of being cheaper. Many of the books are also on Amazon for lower prices. Sometimes I buy at GG, sometimes I buy off of Amazon. It depends.

So yeah, I like my FLGS just fine and recommend it to anyone in the Little Rock area.
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Eirikrautha

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 10:32:25 PM »
Yeah.....This came up on DF forums awhile back. I'm not a big fan of the vast majority of LGS I've experienced.

(what I posted over there)

Quote from: JeffB
Haven't had a decent LGS around for 20+ years.

One had a good selection but owner and I had some words after an incident in his store with his pets going after my at the time infant child . Owner was not too happy when I told him I'd be punting his pets like a football if anything happened (child was nowhere near the pets and in an infant carrier and about 6 months old, so it' not like the child egged them on).

A few have been comic stores masquerading as a game store- Pokemon, MTG etc.

One place had every book shrink-wrapped as soon as it came in the store. No way to look through a book to see if it's something you'd want. Asking the owner to open something up in order to see if I wanted to buy it was met with alot of passive aggressive comments.

A couple were just typical gamer funk smells and customers/workers who made you feel uncomfortable with their awkwardness the minute you walked into the store. God forbid I bring in my girlfriend/wife with me on those trips.

Had one place left to be run by young people who were too busy playing MTG or Warhammer 40K with their friends in the store to get up and check you out.

I have no sympathies for most of these places (or any other poorly run retail business) I've been glad to/hope to see these types of establishments go. Most of them are run by hobbyists who have no business acumen whatsoever. Why the hell would I pay full retail for bad service, and other "unpleasant features".

One cool place about 2 hours way from me- I go there when we head to the shore/beach in summertime. That's it.
We had one really good one about 45 minutes from me.  But, while lots of people played there, they didn't buy very much.  So the store closed in 4-5 years.  Every other one around (2-3 on average) for the last two dozen years have been everything that makes the stereotypical RPG community vile (including being ultra-woke), along with mostly surviving on CCGs.  So, yeah... YMMV...

Thondor

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2021, 10:36:41 PM »
Yeah.....This came up on DF forums awhile back. I'm not a big fan of the vast majority of LGS I've experienced.

(what I posted over there)

There is certainly a wide range of stores; in my thesis I identified some "clusters" of store types: Comic Focussed, Gaming Store, Gift and Games, Miniature Wargame store, The Card Gaming Shop, The Diverse Store, and The Comic Store. This was before board game cafe really took off.

The one's we are really interested in as RPG aficionado's are Gaming Store and the Diverse Store, most other shops have a single shelf of RPG books at best.

LGS do vary in quality. Their are some really fantastic ones out there. As a gross generalization -- based on my retail geography background -- Canadian retailers have been less disrupted by online sales than retailers in the USA, and this helps them to be willing to stock rarer items. There are ~ 20 retailers who have ordered books from our marketplace semi-regularly.



 
Simple Superheroes #0 is now in print! You can get your copy at the Compose Dream Games Marketplace or at Indie Press Revolution

Designer of Simple Superheroes: The Roleplaying Game of Infinite Powers and Possibilities
www.ComposeDreamGames.com

Thondor

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2021, 10:56:39 PM »
I'm fully behind supporting small and local businesses. Unfortunately, today's local games stores simply don't offer much that I'm interested in. The exception to that is board games, but all the game stores around me are dominated by RPGs I'm not interested in, comics (which I'm not interested in), collectible card games (which I'm not interested in), and games like WH40K (while I enjoy miniatures wargaming, WH40K isn't my preferred genre and it's expensive as hell).

This is probably more "on me" and my tastes than on the game stores. I'm out of step with the general market, and that is what it is. But it means that local game stores don't get much business from me, even though I'm sympathetic to the idea of supporting them.

Out of curiosity what kind of titles are you interested in these days? Mostly OSR stuff? I ask because we're regularly reaching out to publishers. Autarch (ACKS) will likely be working with us for their new products for instance.

One of the purposes of the marketplace is to try and get titles that retailers might have trouble getting in otherwise. We have a ship to store option normally as well that helps expose stores to what people in their area may be interested in.

 
Simple Superheroes #0 is now in print! You can get your copy at the Compose Dream Games Marketplace or at Indie Press Revolution

Designer of Simple Superheroes: The Roleplaying Game of Infinite Powers and Possibilities
www.ComposeDreamGames.com

Thondor

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2021, 11:00:30 PM »
We had one really good one about 45 minutes from me.  But, while lots of people played there, they didn't buy very much.  So the store closed in 4-5 years.  Every other one around (2-3 on average) for the last two dozen years have been everything that makes the stereotypical RPG community vile (including being ultra-woke), along with mostly surviving on CCGs.  So, yeah... YMMV...

I run events at stores, and make an extra effort to do so while traveling.

Unfortunately a lot of stores do survive mostly on CCGs . . .
Simple Superheroes #0 is now in print! You can get your copy at the Compose Dream Games Marketplace or at Indie Press Revolution

Designer of Simple Superheroes: The Roleplaying Game of Infinite Powers and Possibilities
www.ComposeDreamGames.com

Charon's Little Helper

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2021, 11:30:16 PM »
We had one really good one about 45 minutes from me.  But, while lots of people played there, they didn't buy very much.  So the store closed in 4-5 years.  Every other one around (2-3 on average) for the last two dozen years have been everything that makes the stereotypical RPG community vile (including being ultra-woke), along with mostly surviving on CCGs.  So, yeah... YMMV...

I run events at stores, and make an extra effort to do so while traveling.

Unfortunately a lot of stores do survive mostly on CCGs . . .

Even if they're not a store's focus, there is basically no reason NOT to stock the most popular CCGs. They take up about 3 sq ft and have a great turnaround. Actually having books of singles is a much bigger investment (primarily in the time/effort to track). But if a store is having trouble surviving, it'd be worth the effort. Singles have a stupid high margin, even knowing that you'll never sell the bulk of them. And simply having singles to browse will bring in a heck of a lot more CCG players to buy packs.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 11:31:56 PM by Charon's Little Helper »

Eirikrautha

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2021, 11:31:35 PM »
We had one really good one about 45 minutes from me.  But, while lots of people played there, they didn't buy very much.  So the store closed in 4-5 years.  Every other one around (2-3 on average) for the last two dozen years have been everything that makes the stereotypical RPG community vile (including being ultra-woke), along with mostly surviving on CCGs.  So, yeah... YMMV...

I run events at stores, and make an extra effort to do so while traveling.

Unfortunately a lot of stores do survive mostly on CCGs . . .

Even if they're not a store's focus, there is basically no reason NOT to stock the most popular CCGs. They take up about 3 sq ft and have a great turnaround. Actually having books of singles is a much bigger investment (primarily in the time/effort to track).
There's a difference between stocking them and surviving on them.  The focus difference changes the response and priorities of the store...

Philotomy Jurament

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2021, 12:14:13 AM »
Out of curiosity what kind of titles are you interested in these days?

I'd be interested in stuff for OSRIC (e.g., XRP's "Advanced Adventures" line), and I'd also look at Swords & Wizardry and Labyrinth Lord supplements. And I think highly of the material for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

When I was growing up, my favorite game stores sold the big games of the day, but also had used and out-of-print material, new and used novels, lots of Avalon Hill wargames and other boardgames and miniature wargames, magazine racks that included things like Heavy Metal and Strategy & Tactics, miniatures (both for D&D and for various historical wargames), et cetera. I'm not expecting modern game stores to carry that exact mix of stuff, obviously, but it's a point of difference between then and now. That is, when I'd walk in one of those stores, I was interested in almost everything they carried -- or, at least, there was something for me in each section. That's not really true, these days, but if I found a store that had a big used/out-of-print section, and that carried a variety of "OSR" RPG material, and wargames/board-games, and novels, and stuff interesting to historical wargamers...well, I'd frequent that shop!

But like I said, I recognize that my gaming interests are no longer mainstream, so I understand why there are very few shops that seem to cater to my particular set of tastes.

That rug really tied the room together, man.

Mishihari

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2021, 04:39:30 AM »
I prefer to shop locally and have been trying to be generous since the pandemic started.  But if I'm going to buy something at a LGS I need to 1)  Be able to look through it in the shop, and 2)  get it while I'm there.  Plastic-wrapped books are a problem, as is the statement "we can order it for you."  I can order it for myself, thanks, and get it faster and cheaper that way.  This is something of a pet peeve.  I expect it's tough to judge stocking levels properly on RPGs, but if my experience at a LGS is inferior to buying online, I'll just buy it over the internet.

Spinachcat

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Re: Support Your FLGS
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2021, 04:46:55 AM »
I prefer to support designers via Kickstarter.

The only LGS that interest me have game events. The best idea I've seen in years is the boardgame cafe where its a combo game store / gaming space / coffee shop.