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The Reverend
2011-10-28, 02:28 PM
I live in a mobile,al a city of about 200k with a metropolitan pop of 600k. We have no game stores at all, except one hobbytown usa. We haven't had a reliable one for about 13 years. They popup for a couple years, then close. The last one was sad and its last three months charged 8bucks a head to get in as they became a Pokemon babysitting service. Our nearest cities of biloxi/gulfport and Pensacola each have several gaming and hobby stores almost all of them independent.

Has anyone else noticed a die off in RPG/wargame/gaming stores? I was thinking about possibly opening store here since competition is nil, but I dont know about how the state of the industry is? Are online sales killing the industry? I

The Dark Fiddler
2011-10-28, 02:52 PM
I don't have any concrete data, but I would imagine that the internet is causing a good bit of competition.

I also want to point out that you seem to have not finished your post.

MlleRouge
2011-10-28, 03:01 PM
There are two in the town I've lived in for most of the past five years...Population roughly 103,000. I live in the deep south where gaming is not only less common, but also taboo in many areas... fortunately, there are a couple collages nearby to offset that problem a bit.

Both gaming shops are located on the same street and are independent/fairly small. They're surviving, but I know that one of them is hanging on by a thread and they both get a good amount of business from doing their own online sales.

If these two can manage to hang on around here, I imagine the industry itself is at least doing okay, but I'm sure online sale is cutting in to their business. I know that the more successful of the two shops hosts a lot of gaming, which seems to really help.

Yora
2011-10-28, 03:13 PM
Since I can remember our city (200,000+ people) always had only two shops. One was mostly a board game shop, but that one closed years ago.
The other one is quite good, they usually have whatever I wanted to get, but ordering on amazon was always both cheaper and they send it to my home. I went there ocasionally when I was in the area shopping for clothes or when I wanted something that was no longer in print but might still be hidden at the top of a shelf. (Got my KotOR Campaign Guide that way, yay!)

DefKab
2011-10-28, 03:26 PM
I live near a 300K metropolitan area. I have to drive for 30 minutes, but in a small radius, I know of 3 completely different hobby shops. One is kinda lame, another is Pretty huge, and the last is BRAND new, and amazing... It seems to be growing in Ohio...

Mr.Moron
2011-10-28, 03:29 PM
There are a few game shops fairly close to me, say within a 20 minute drive.

However, I really don't use them all that much. The internet is cheaper to buy things, and I'd much rather play with my friends than a bunch random of creepers. I really only go to a store when I need something right away.

The Reverend
2011-10-28, 04:03 PM
Ha clipped my post weird

Was going to say I would live to run such a store, but it needs to be practical.

we used to have The Golden Dragon and was a great gaming shop, had immense amounts of books, minis, paint, tables to play on, and regular events. The owner just shut down one day never found out why.

Since then they come and go pretty quickly. I think its because the portion of the population that enjoys this kind of thing isn't encouraged to stay here. Typical geek jobs aren't prevalent, cultural pressure, and a lack of a typical college. The Univ of South Alabama is a big enough school, but its students are like 70% returning, dont live on campus, have kids and a spouse and no time.

There is One gaming store across the bay but that's about a 50min drive for me. Its supposed to be really nice and I see their meetup info.

If I did do it I'd do it right. I think the stores since the golden dragon haven't survived due to complete lack of advertising, I mean complete. No ads in college paper, no billboards, no Google click thrus, its like they weren't even trying. Especially that last place, became afternoon and weekend daycare for middleschoolers and highschoolers playing Pokemon and some magic.

INDYSTAR188
2011-10-28, 04:30 PM
I live in Indianapolis, IN and despite hosting GENCON there are really only three or four game shops and two of them focus much more heavily on board games. It is much more practical and affordable to buy online (I really enjoy http://www.trollandtoad.com/). However, there are invariably those times when you just want to go out and buy something RIGHT NOW! Its amazing though that I can find something like 4E PHB1 on Amazon for $14 bucks but at the game shop its $35 or something. I think it would be smart for the game shop to buy and sell used gaming supplies as well as new.

Velaryon
2011-10-28, 11:21 PM
I live in the suburbs of Chicago and I've noticed a bit of this going on as well. There was a store like 5 minutes from my house called Astro City. At first it was mostly comics, but they also sold various card and miniature games, and they had a token supply of RPG books and action figures. Problem is, there was a regular crowd of guys hanging out there but they never actually bought much of anything. The original owner sold out to someone else, who made the store almost exclusively card games (primarily Magic), but he only lasted a couple years at most.

Going further back, there used to be a Gamers Paradise or two within a reasonable distance, but that entire chain disappeared. I've heard that the one at the local mall reopened under a different name recently, but I haven't been back there yet so I don't know what it's like.

I can go a little further away to Games Plus, which is a great place with a lot of variety. I can browse around for hours just looking at all the cool stuff. Problem is, they don't have much of anything left in the two systems I play most (D&D 3.5 and Star Wars Saga) except for the stuff nobody wants. They also sell Magic packs, but not single cards which is how I generally prefer to buy when I spend money on that.

So they're not all closing, but I have definitely noticed a trend.

Anxe
2011-10-29, 12:35 AM
There used to be two game shops right next to each other in my town (Palo Alto), but they closed several years ago. Granted one of them closed because there was a fire in the store that burned most of their inventory, but still... Every time I drive by there I am slightly hopeful that one of them will have moved back in, but I am always disappointed. There's a damn Foot Spa in both places now. Foot care is a more successful business than games? Seriously? I easily spent $1000 dollars in those stores every year! I basically stopped buying gaming products after they left.

And yes, gamestores are probably dying out due to online sales (and online thefts). The closest Comic shop is still close by, but the closest game store is about half an hour away.

EDIT: However at my university town of Davis, CA there are three very successful game shops all in the same downtown area. Probably has something to do with the fact that the town's entire economy is dependent on college students.

Fhaolan
2011-10-29, 01:11 AM
At one point in the past, hobby stores would carry crafts, games (especially wargames), comics, trading cards and the like. Then hobby stores specialized due to an uptick in the hobby market. It was possible to have a hobby store that specialized in airplane models, and another in trains, and another in RPGs, and another in knitting, another in artificial flower arranging, etc. There was a *huge* market in hobbies.

That's not true anymore. The market for hobbies has shrunk, the cost of brick-and-mortar storefronts has gone up, and mailorder/web stores have pretty much absorbed what market there is. Most of the game stores that were around here tried to convert to mailorder-only, and have disappeared from even that when they couldn't compete with Amazon, RPGDriveThru and Section 9. The only evidence of their passing a few seller accounts on eBay.

The only surviving stores around here are a couple of Game Workshops who survive renting tables to wargamers and charging tourney fees, and a couple of Uncle's Games who mostly sell 'mundane' board games and puzzles.

starwoof
2011-10-29, 01:54 AM
Thankfully the game store near my home is a giant warehouse full of nerds that regularly hosts tournaments for multiple games of upwards of 50 people. They also have about a dozen wargames tables, a roleplaying corner, half the store is comics, and there's a huge area for magic people to smell bad in. They also get the local movie theater's cast off's so, there's a big plastic silver surfer hanging from the ceiling and the walls are plastered in giant plastic transformers.

So no, I've not noticed a decline in game stores. :smallbiggrin:

The Reverend
2011-10-29, 06:11 AM
Nice starwoof! Where the heck do you live?


I think some of the business will come back should the feds get their stuff together and pass some kind of sales tax on the internet

Yora
2011-10-29, 06:29 AM
I think I never was the kind of person who was a frequent customer to such shops, but from my point of view there seem to be few reasons why anyone would need them.
The one advantage I see is that you can flip through books before you decide to buy them. But these days you can get a dozen reviews online within one week of the release and those will tell me more about if I will enjoy the book than what I get from flipping through it.

I imagine one very big problem is that there are many people like me who don't see a point in visiting these stores.

Unseenmal
2011-10-29, 07:41 AM
I live in a small town...Hillsborough, NJ...and we have a shop that has been around for a few years, "The Only Game In Town". I like their sense of humor on the name. It does very well for itself and is owned/run by a younger guy, maybe 30yrs old. It has multiple rooms for the various games. Wargame tables and terrain. A D&D section for the RPGers. It's made me happy the first time I walked in. I have yet to play Warhammer 40k there but I have been there on the 40k night and there is a good 2 dozen people. I still have to talk to the GM to see if he will accept a new player in the on-going D&D campaign since my game group disbanded. I miss playing...it's been sooooo long...

OK back on topic....
There are some other stores around but they are like 1 or 1.5 hours drive.

From what I've noticed, most game stores bread and butter is, sad to say, Magic players. They want their crack fix and will go where they can to get it. We RPGers and Wargamers are like second-class citizens. An afterthought in the game world. But that's just my opinion :smallsmile:

bloodtide
2011-10-29, 07:48 AM
Game stores, much like Comic book stores are a true 'Mom and Pop' type business. No corporate mega big box stores can fill that role. And the mom and pop stores have been hit the worst by the economy in general.

And with the economy bad in general, most people don't have the extra money to spend on recreational things like gaming. Further contributing to the problem.

And that is related to the whole price of books issue. When money is short it's hard to spend even $30 on a single book.

RPG's in general are also odd from a sales perspective too. After you buy the 'core rules', you don't really need and thing more. You don't 'need' to buy stuff every month, but a game shop does need to sell stuff every month.

And I think WotC does get some blame here, as both D&D and Magic were huge 'gateway' games. The loss of both games hurt lots of stores. Back in the early 2000's lots of game stores were over full with gamers playing D&D and Magic. You don't see that anymore.

Friv
2011-10-29, 10:01 AM
There are several gaming stores where I live, but there's also three million people where I live, so there you go. Even then, every store in my area that sells RPGs also sells comics, board games, and trading cards (and usually also comic- and video-game based action figures and stuff) as well.

Quietus
2011-10-29, 10:13 AM
I'm in Toronto, live five minutes from one gaming store, a 5-10 minute bike ride from a dedicated comic shop, 10-15 minutes from a different gaming store, and Yonge Street is a couple minutes past that with at least three others. This is just the ones I know of. Gaming stores are alive and thriving, here, and there's a great mix between the Silver Snail's "Clean and professional, maybe a little too much so" to the Hairy Tarantula's "This place is what non-gamers think of when they think about gamers and shudder, but I love it anyway". Poor lighting, creaky stairs, the store's cat running about unchecked, game books piled on old bookshelves and stacked in bins.. It speaks to me, in a very tangible way.

prufock
2011-10-29, 10:15 AM
I live in a smaller town than you, yet we have 3 gaming stores that have been around for years. There is also a big chain that sells D&D/Pathfinder books - but I don't consider that a "gaming store." I would say that, yes, the internet is a big factor. Why go to the store when you can probably find it online for cheaper, and ship in a few days? Another is that perhaps there just isn't a big enough demand in your area, and the people opening these stores don't do market research first.

Also, the game stores in my area sell comic books as well as gaming supplies. This might be an important factor keeping them alive.

DrBurr
2011-10-29, 10:35 AM
Sadly I got into the Hobby to late, there use to be like three shops in my area but two of them closed down and the third dropped RPGs because they weren't selling unlike Comicbooks and trading cards. SO now I just get all my stuff online and if I require something immediate I go to a Borders or Barnes & Noble

Ravens_cry
2011-10-29, 11:20 AM
Within a 5k town, we got two hobby stores, one of which is owned and run by friends of mine. One more concentrates on sports, comics, and collectables, while the other more on Magic: the gathering, wargames, and role playing games. The one that is owned by friends actually only started up a few years ago.

cthulhubear
2011-10-29, 06:52 PM
I live in North Little Rock and there's only one specialized gaming store, it's in Sherwood and only contains maybe 30 or so 3.5e D&D books. There's a few RPG's at our book stores, but it's mostly just D&D 4e.

Gamer Girl
2011-10-29, 07:47 PM
I work at a Game Store and can tell you the economy has hit them hard. While just a couple years ago we had 21 game/comic/hobby stores in our general area, today that number is down to just five.


The cost of game products is a huge issue. A shop can't afford to buy very much unless they can sell it. Otherwise they just have shelf's full of products. A lot of shops to to order stuff per person by request, but that can be hard as a vast majority of gamers are anti social at best(I can tell lots of stories of guys coming into the shop and simply pointing at something behind the counter that they want to buy and not saying a single word throughout the whole transaction, for example).

A lot of shops tried to offer a place to play, but most cities were quick to shut them down with laws. It's amazing how nit-picky a city gets about such things.

And the economy hurt indirectly too. A lot of shops were located in shopping malls. And as other stores closed, the owner of the land was forced to up the rent on the stores that were left.

Reluctance
2011-10-29, 08:19 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I can usually find a fair selection of books in my local B&N. It's not just online. Specialty gaming stores are competing with the fact that the hobby isn't quite as niche as some people like to think.

It's a bit annoying that the game shop as place to network is gone. Still, you'd be surprised what you can find if you just call local comic/hobby shops and ask if they have open gaming. Most often that translates to magic or miniatures, but at least it's something of a lead.

Kerrin
2011-10-30, 07:54 AM
From what I've noticed, most game stores bread and butter is, sad to say, Magic players. They want their crack fix and will go where they can to get it. We RPGers and Wargamers are like second-class citizens. An afterthought in the game world. But that's just my opinion :smallsmile:
This is true around here as well.

I don't stop into our area's most prominent gaming store often, but when I do, pretty much everyone there is playing either Magic the Gathering or Warhammer 40K miniatures. There's not much in the way of roleplaying games or hardcore wargames being played. The store's inventory reflects this as well - lots of those two games, plus bunches of boxed/board games, with little in the way of roleplaying games or hardcore wargames.

Of my friends who are hardcore wargamers, they've declared the store dead because of the lack of inventory of that style. But let's face it, how many people these days are interested in buying games like Advanced Squad Leader, World In Fames, etc?

Kerrin
2011-10-30, 07:57 AM
Game stores, much like Comic book stores are a true 'Mom and Pop' type business. No corporate mega big box stores can fill that role. And the mom and pop stores have been hit the worst by the economy in general
In addition to this, the lower prices from ordering on-line has had a huge negative impact on locally owned retail stores of all types.

gkathellar
2011-10-30, 08:20 AM
I live in New York, where one of the major games stores closed down fairly recently Neutral Ground. Great store, with an incredibly diverse catalog of stuff, a helpful staff and a long history, but they closed nonetheless.

Compleat Strategist is just about the last proper gaming store in Manhattan (not counting Forbidden Planet, which doesn't count).

Eldan
2011-10-30, 09:04 AM
In Zurich (500k pop, probably more than a million with suburbs included), I know only one shop, and that one's more or less a warhammer shop, except they have one shelf with a few board games and RPG books on it (usually just half a dozen each of Shadowrun and Dark Eye, that seem to be the big two).

I still go there quite often, it's more or less the geekiest place I know.

Though the reason I go there is rarely buying stuff... I either go to play Warhammer, or because it contains the only other handful of people I know with hobbies and interests similar to mine. I.e. the only two real world people, other than me, I know who have ever heard of, say, Doctor Who.

One advantage they have is that every month or so, they do collective orders. The store owner would put up a list somewhere saying "This Month: Forgeworld!" and people could start a big collective order in some online shop, so they'd all save on shipping costs.

I wouldn't call that "Gameshops closing", however. I would call it "Gameshops never really existing".

Tyndmyr
2011-10-30, 01:07 PM
Here's the problem. The payoff for supporting your local game shop just isn't that large. I like having game shops, and have thrown...rather ridiculous amounts of money at them. But honestly, I would almost certainly have been better off making all those purchases online.

Place to play? Meh. Essentially all of my games are either at home, or at a rented location(for larps, etc). This has been the case ever since I started gaming.

Find people? Meh. I'm social. I've never lacked for people to play with. The people you find in stores who DO lack for people to play with...well, it's hit and miss at best. There is often a very good reason they're without a group. Hell, my local store convinced me to DM a game since they recently had a problem with getting enough games in store. Turns out, I know exactly why they have this problem now. The only thing they do is toss your name and email address in a book they keep under the counter. Unless someone comes in and knows to ask, it isn't at all obvious that they even support in store gaming at all. # of players referred from store to the game IN the store: 0.

They'll order items for me? This is a kinda sketchy thing. I can order items myself. They will get to me faster, they'll be cheaper, and they'll arrive on my doorstep. Also, there's one less person in the chain to bungle the order.

Variety is often poor. Sure, they'll have 4e, pathfinder, and perhaps a bit more. The regular bookstore has that. My local Books a million has 4e, PF, exalted and rogue trader in stock at minimum. If you can't beat the regular bookstore, you have very little to offer as a specialty place. About the only thing they offer is a better selection of unusual dice. That's not spectacular.

Honestly, I have a couple game shops around me, but they have some fairly basic issues. The only time my friends and I really tend to go to them to buy stuff is as a group, for a social shopping trip. Given how social many gamers appear to be, I can't imagine it's a common thing.

Dimers
2011-10-30, 02:18 PM
Here's the problem. The payoff for supporting your local game shop just isn't that large. ... Unless someone comes in and knows to ask, it isn't at all obvious that they even support in store gaming at all ... I can order items myself. They will get to me faster, they'll be cheaper, and they'll arrive on my doorstep. Also, there's one less person in the chain to bungle the order ... If you can't beat the regular bookstore [for variety], you have very little to offer as a specialty place.

Add in what TheReverend mentioned about advertising, and you get the impression that game stores are rarely run by people with decent business savvy. They don't advertise their presence or what they can offer, they sell product but don't try to sell themselves, they do little to ensure customer retention (I mean for themselves -- gamers will generally remain gamers either way), they don't try to find out more about their consumers. When I go into a brick-and-mortar game store, the employees and managers almost never engage me. Their loss, considering I have a tendency to buy things just because people have enthused to me about them.

I don't think there's any inherent disconnect between gaming stores and success. There are challenges (like the aforementioned online sales and competition from big chains), but those are challenges that can be overcome. If I could walk half as good as I talk, business-wise, I'd start a store myself and "show 'em how it's done".

@OP: Since moving to my local area (north half of Boston including immediate suburbs), I've known of three locations. One faltered, got bought by another, and was closed. The remaining two are somewhere between "struggling along" and "fine"; neither is booming.


I like having game shops, and have thrown...rather ridiculous amounts of money at them.

You listed a lot of reasons you've been disappointed. Can you point to anything particular you felt they got right? I mean, what led you to write that first sentence?

For me, the main reason I shop locally is because it makes my local area a better place to live, not because I get better service or goods. Making the sacrifice lets me feel like a good person. Before I got into that mindset, I would shop at local stores because I wanted to feel like I fit in (I was an outsider's outsider as a kid), and seeing an entire store filled with stuff I love made me feel like maybe I wasn't so weird after all.

starwoof
2011-10-30, 02:21 PM
Nice starwoof! Where the heck do you live?


I think some of the business will come back should the feds get their stuff together and pass some kind of sales tax on the internet

Olympia WA, home to Olympic Cards and Comics. I dunno if its the best game store in the world but I know its the best game store in the state.

PrinceOfMadness
2011-10-30, 02:23 PM
I live in Fort Wayne, IN (pop: 200,000) and I know of at least five gaming shops in the area. One just opened this year, one is run by a friend who's still getting set up, and the other three have been open for years. They're usually pretty empty except for tournament play and game hosting, but they all manage to stay in business.

Eldan
2011-10-30, 02:36 PM
The regular bookstore has that. My local Books a million has 4e, PF, exalted and rogue trader in stock at minimum. If you can't beat the regular bookstore, you have very little to offer as a specialty place. About the only thing they offer is a better selection of unusual dice. That's not spectacular.


You lucky bastard. My local bookstores don't even have comic books.

As for customer relations: I know the store managers (both of them) are on a first name basis with pretty much everyone who has been in that store more than once. So, they are doing that much right, at the very least. They also had a two page article in a local newspaper a while ago.

turkishproverb
2011-10-30, 02:49 PM
Yea, both my local game stores are dead too. Of course, neither were run by remotely good businesspeople.

Kaun
2011-10-30, 04:02 PM
Yeah bookstores in general are going the same way, its just cheaper and easier to buy online.

Winter_Wolf
2011-10-30, 07:54 PM
There used to be a Hobbytown USA a couple towns over, but they elected to move a couple counties over, and I'm not driving for an hour and trying to find parking in the crappy part of the city to patronize them. The fact that their selection of RPGs was small really offered me no incentive to spend a lot of time there, it was more of a "well it's on the way between home and the good grocery store" situation. I purchased at most two products there, but probably only one, over the course of a couple years.

The game shops I tended to support in the past had large selection of RPGs, and carried old editions and out of print stuff. They did get my money because they had what I wanted. Now it's cheaper, easier, and generally safer to just shop around online and do it that way. Sure it bugs me that I can't flip through the exact book I plan to buy to make sure there aren't any major flaws with it (like missing pages or horribly mangled ones), but as I haven't encountered that situation from online buys yet, it's not a major concern.

When I lived in Anchorage, I'd patronize Bosco's and I hope very much that it's still there when I get back that way, but then again, they had generally a very large selection and catered to my interests. Even then I bought stuff roughly one out of every five visits (under $40), and binged (over $100) one out of every 20. Honestly the only reason to buy local vs. internet is because people seem to think it's okay to screw Alaskans on shipping charges. It's a FACT, the USPS does NOT charge more to ship to Alaska than it does to Florida. :smallannoyed:

gkathellar
2011-10-31, 08:03 AM
From what I've seen, it seems like the two things game shops can do to survive are: a) also be comic shops, and b) have unusual stuff in their selection, so that people will discover new games when they come in.

One place game shops are doing fine, though: Austin, Texas. It's almost surprising how much sf/fantasy and RPG stuff you can find in even regular Texas bookstores, far more than I've ever seen anywhere else, and the game shops I've seen have enormous, well-displayed selections.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-31, 08:10 AM
Add in what TheReverend mentioned about advertising, and you get the impression that game stores are rarely run by people with decent business savvy. They don't advertise their presence or what they can offer, they sell product but don't try to sell themselves, they do little to ensure customer retention (I mean for themselves -- gamers will generally remain gamers either way), they don't try to find out more about their consumers. When I go into a brick-and-mortar game store, the employees and managers almost never engage me. Their loss, considering I have a tendency to buy things just because people have enthused to me about them.

That's not uncommon in my experience. There's one local game shop where, unless you're in the "in crowd", and by that, I mean a specific guild of wow players, you basically get ignored and/or treated as a distraction.

Terrible business sense.


You listed a lot of reasons you've been disappointed. Can you point to anything particular you felt they got right? I mean, what led you to write that first sentence?

The biggest one? I like the hobby. I want more people in it, and I want more publicity for it. Stores dedicated to that is a good thing...but I would prefer they are good stores. Not all of them are good at engaging new people in a reasonable fashion.

The Reverend
2011-10-31, 11:43 AM
Variations on the gameshop/x theme: comic book store, hobby shop, book store, craft store, and one case the other half was a bar/cafe that did very well and the gameshop was his hobby.

eepop
2011-10-31, 01:18 PM
I wonder if someone could find a way to make a run at turning a game store into less of a store and more of a subscription service.

The large potion of the main target demographic regularly pays $15 or more a month for an MMO subscription.

I know I would consider paying a monthly fee to get access to a library of RPG books, board games, etc.

And if you can get people in the store and endeared to you, they will be more willing to order the things they want to buy through you instead of online.

In theory anyway.

Winter_Wolf
2011-10-31, 01:22 PM
I would love to see more game store/cafe (with food!) combo shops. When we played at the shop, there would always come a time when FOOD and drink were an issue, as in being totally unavailable even through a vending machine for soda pop. The owner had an "open door" policy on bringing in your own food and drink as long as it was A: Non-alcoholic, and B: you kept it on the side of the room that was gaming tables and not on the side where merchandise was. I can see why it's a hassle, since you need permits and inspections from the health department, and depending on the place, zoning requirements are a bit "harsh", shall we say. Still, bookstore/cafes are winning combos and as long as you're not Borders, seem to be money makers. :smalltongue: I will often buy something I don't even really need if there's a cafe in-shop, just to have something to read while I sip and munch.

The Reverend
2011-10-31, 02:28 PM
I really like the monthly subscription thing. RPG library.



I recently got into making cast metal models and I was shocked how easy they were to do, at least say coping space marine models then casting a couple dozen at fraction of the GW price. Heck I even made metal copies of plastic .minis as repayment to the guy who let me copy his units.

MlleRouge
2011-10-31, 04:13 PM
From what I've seen, it seems like the two things game shops can do to survive are: a) also be comic shops...


Both of ours here are also comic shops. One of them seems to focus on comics, and the other (more successful one) used to, but when I went last, they'd really branched out. I suppose they realized that the other place had the comics under wraps and decided to move in another direction. Now they have FAR more RPG books, dice, MtG, etc...


Tyndmyr also touched on a problem that the first shop suffers from, too...In this case, replace 'wow guild' with 'obsessive baseball card collector". The shop owner ignored me every solitary time I went in there, and others have reported the same...Unless they're talking baseball cards. The guys at the other place are super friendly.


And another thing that seems to be pushing the second shop past this one: they actually accept credit/debit cards. Anyone else have that problem at any of their local shops? That alone deters me much of the time.

Pyromancer999
2011-10-31, 08:30 PM
I've lived in a few areas in my life, and all of them have had a different status with hobbyshops:

The first place gained a Magic hobbyshop after I moved away from there, but I still managed to frequent it some when I visited. However, it shut down after a few years, as the area was mainly just too small for Magic players.

The second place, where I lived until I went to college, had almost literally no hobbyshops in the area. If you wanted minis, D&D books, or Magic cards, you had to go to Borders or Barnes and Noble to get the first two, and if you drove for around 40 minutes or so, you'd find some Magic cards at Target. MAYBE. Apparently local game shops have been pretty much run out of business.

The third place, the town where I'm going to to college, has three hobbyshops, with mixed results:

1) The main hobbyshop in town. Offers a better price for comics and Magic cards, which are basically its bread and butter, so it's pretty successful. Mainly gets clients from my college. Also carries some board games and Munchkin and the like. However, it's a bit lacking on RPGs(only a small rack in the store dedicated to books for that, and it's mainly filled with a couple 4e books and a lot of Pathfinder material), and when it comes to skirmish games, mainly only carries Warhammer40k material, but strangely carries the rulebooks for many skirmish games while not selling even one mini for those games. So, a good place for Magic players, and definitely would recommend it, but sort of screws you on the RPG side.(Also, special note: If the manager catches you cussing once, you get a warning. The second time, you're banned for life. As one may guess, I'm on the first side). Excellent place to bring the kids if you're concerned about that kind of thing, and also if you don't mind playing board games, has some good games for kids. Is also the place for Friday Night Magic drafts and the like. Best gameshop I've seen yet, although given the local competition from Barnes and Noble, may or may not have to worry about staying open.

2) A defunct hobbyshop. Cheapest comics around, but not necessarily of the newest kind. Still, not too bad if you're on a budget.

3) A comic shop that carries Magic cards. Done.

So, yeah, mixed relationship with hobbyshops and their closing. Definitely needs to be more local game shops out there.

Tetsubo 57
2011-11-01, 01:55 PM
There are a few gaming shops in my area. But I don't buy new books from them. I can *always* find a better price online. What I do like about them is the ability to find used books and games I have never heard of. Such as Everstone. Great game that I found in a bargain bin. I think one of the keys for a gaming shop to stay open is to foster the gaming community. gave play space. Host regular games. Encourage the hobby. Don't just offer things for sale.

Asgardian
2011-11-02, 12:56 PM
As soon as D&D books became available in barnes and noble, I knew the game stores were in trouble

Tetsubo 57
2011-11-02, 12:59 PM
As soon as D&D books became available in barnes and noble, I knew the game stores were in trouble

But D&D does not mean all of gaming. If the Big Box book dealers actually carried a variety of material, it would be great. But they don't. We are a niche market at best.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-02, 01:02 PM
I really like the monthly subscription thing. RPG library.



I recently got into making cast metal models and I was shocked how easy they were to do, at least say coping space marine models then casting a couple dozen at fraction of the GW price. Heck I even made metal copies of plastic .minis as repayment to the guy who let me copy his units.

Yeah...I have a guide on the internet. It's really pretty easy. GW is ridiculously overpriced.


And another thing that seems to be pushing the second shop past this one: they actually accept credit/debit cards. Anyone else have that problem at any of their local shops? That alone deters me much of the time.

Ugh, I hate that. My local shops now do...but they don't accept all of them, like Discover. Other stores I've been to don't accept any. I, a random dude, can accept credit card payments without fees by putting an app on my smartphone. Why can an actual business not be bothered to do this?

eepop
2011-11-02, 01:27 PM
Credit Card companies charge businesses a percentage per transaction to use their cards.

This is the reason why some places only support some types of cards. Each card company sets its own rate. Its generally proportional to the amount of "bonuses" they give the cardholders. So thats why Discover which gives a pretty wide spread of incentives for card holders is accepted in fewer places.

For a place that doesn't support cards at all, they probably just made the estimation that its more in their interest to deal in cash and lose some sales from it than to lose the little bit of each sale that they would to the credit card processor. In particular in places where competition is sparse, and an ATM is not far away, the amount of sales they lose to not supporting cards can be pretty slim.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-02, 01:38 PM
Credit Card companies charge businesses a percentage per transaction to use their cards.

This is the reason why some places only support some types of cards. Each card company sets its own rate. Its generally proportional to the amount of "bonuses" they give the cardholders. So thats why Discover which gives a pretty wide spread of incentives for card holders is accepted in fewer places.

I'm aware. This means that they instead expect me to go to an ATM and grab cash. So, the extra fee is still paid, just by me. This makes the effective cost higher AND adds inconvenience for me.


For a place that doesn't support cards at all, they probably just made the estimation that its more in their interest to deal in cash and lose some sales from it than to lose the little bit of each sale that they would to the credit card processor. In particular in places where competition is sparse, and an ATM is not far away, the amount of sales they lose to not supporting cards can be pretty slim.

I would argue that there is no valid reason for a permanent business location to avoid taking credit cards at this point in time. The internet is available everywhere, and it takes cards.

Merchant accounts are honestly not that expensive, either. It takes a very, very small amount of lost sales to make it worthwhile. Customer satisfaction and convenience is also something of value in the long term.

MlleRouge
2011-11-02, 01:46 PM
I would argue that there is no valid reason for a permanent business location to avoid taking credit cards at this point in time. The internet is available everywhere, and it takes cards.



I agree. My parents' restaurant is only able to accept certain cards right now, so I'm familiar with the fees that are charged and whatnot...But I do know quite a few people around this area who will NOT shop somewhere that doesn't at least take Visa and Mastercard. It just doesn't seem practical these days...