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Anyone else DONE with their LGS (Local Game Store)?

hyphz

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All of this "economics of game stores" and "promotion" talk is really interesting.

Curious: what are some tried and true (maybe not always, but in your experience) methods of incentivizing promotion and play of non-D&D/PF roleplaying games at a game store?

The place I play tends to do its best with regards to board/mini games. And there's a busy card game night(s). But RPGs have an interesting mix: Encounters was big, but has tapered off (for obvious reasons), and the only other RPGs I see played are being run by one or two champions of "the little games" (at least one of whom designs and publishes games themselves), so it's not entirely all that diverse in terms of GMs for non-D&D/PF games.
I would be really interested in hearing suggestions on this. As I mentioned, my FLGS (I guess I can just come clean and say it's Eclectic Games in Reading) is generally very good at varying stock and does have regular promotions, but few of them are for RPGs. Their latest schedule is:

Monday: Board games and Go
Tuesday: Netrunner and X-Wing
Wednesday: Magic and (soon) D&D Encounters
Thursday: Non-magic CCGs
Friday: Board games
Saturday: Board games
Sunday: YuGiOh / Cardfight Vanguard

But other than D&D Encounters the only other thing they do for RPGs is that the staff and some friends play an Earthdawn campaign in the store on Wednesday nights (they're good about breaking when customers come in but it's interesting to see how that system plays). There's a local pure gaming club where some people play RPGs but again they are in the minority with most playing board games or Warhammer (there is a GW in town too)

(I'm also guessing part of it is that based on what I read above about US distributors, UK FLGSes might have it easier - every one I've ever known, even the ones that didn't otherwise do well, got a weekly delivery of new stock from Esdevium and customer orders fast-tracked. Evidently the minimum orders weren't too obnoxious.)
 
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Whiskeyjack

New member
Banned
There are two things, that I have noticed, in regards to LGS's that I have visited over the years, that simply leaves me puzzled. One is certainly reflected in reading this thread.

The first is being greeted with annoyance/hostility, that you've torn them away from playing a game or some other activity so that they have to interact with you. Why this is so prevalent with game stores is beyond me.

Second is their refusal to put old games, that aren't selling, on sale. They are happy enough to leave the game, taking up valuable shelf space, at full price in hopes that someone, this decade, will buy it for full price. Sure, most of the time games are non-refundable, but shelf space is a valuable commodity. Get what you can for that game you gambled on, then use that shelf space for something that will move quicker.
 

Griffon Games

Game Store Guy
Validated User
The problem I have with your logic is that all of the gaming stores in Boston are more or less right next to each other so I find it hard to believe that it will really matter all that much.
EDIT:
Hell I'm flabbergasted that there are as many gaming stores as there are in Boston.
Visit Western Mass some time.. it gets crazier out here.
 

MacBalance

Registered User
Validated User
My local area had a cool store where I was on good terms with the owner, friends with the manager, and was a 'known entity' enough to help them move twice. Admittedly, once was a poorly planned quasi-merger with a failing second-hand record shop across the street and the second was into a truck to store stock 'until they could reopen'... I've got their open sign in my basement, so not holding my breath there.

I miss that store. Good people, just had a string of bad luck and a few decisions I don't think were wrong so much as not optimum like being located in an area that wanted to be an upscale open-air mall.

The other local store is still around and has been, in some form, for decades. I used to go there until I found the other store. I've gone back a few times and it's just not worth it. Always lots of people, mainly CCG players, and the selection of stuff I want is generally poor. I want to support local stores, but in this case, it's just not worth it.

(There was a 3rd store for a while, and they were reasonably cool, but they burned me by completely forgetting about special orders two or three times, then closed downa nd took a friend's painted display 40k minis with them, so that soured things for me.)
 

Dracones

Registered User
Validated User
I would be really interested in hearing suggestions on this. As I mentioned, my FLGS (I guess I can just come clean and say it's Eclectic Games in Reading) is generally very good at varying stock and does have regular promotions, but few of them are for RPGs. Their latest schedule is:
I think most rpg game makers are complete and utter crap when it comes to supporting organized play at game stores. Here's how Pathfinder does it and I think it serves as a pretty damn good model:

Find one or two people who are willing to GM Pathfinder. Pick up a couple scenario modules(around 15 pages each for 3-4 hours of gameplay). Set a date and post it on the event website at Paizo: http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/events Also post it on your game store page. Print out some starter characters, event sheets and society member cards.

Show up, divide the tables into 3-6 players each, give newbies some characters and explain the game and play. After the session fill out the event sheets and hand new players their member cards. They can then go onto Paizo's website and register their character. The GM also goes online and registers the game session(which counts towards his own character's advancement at other tables).

It's easy, it's simple, it flows really well, newbies just have to show up, and it's organized very well. In addition to the RPG Paizo is also going to be doing the same thing with their adventure card game in a couple months. You buy a character deck box of 110 cards, play the game and build out your character from the character deck. I'm really looking forward to that.
 

rooneg

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Validated User
I'll just chime in to agree, yes, there are some awesome game stores in the greater Boston area. I'm a huge fan of Battleground, both their Plainville and Abington locations are fantastic and they do a great job at everything they do. If I didn't have a long commute and a young child at home I'd be spending a lot of time in their Abington store (it's the closest full service FLGS to my house). The Whiz is also great, I've been going there since I was a kid buying lead battletech miniatures, and I actually go out of my way to drive out that way when I've got a day off with nothing going on. Good selection, good people, and they host good events. If you drive up north there's also Myriad Games in Salem, NH. It's about an hour north of Boston, but that's not really further than The Whiz, just in a different direction. Good people, reasonable selection, lots of in-store events and a huge amount of game space.

That's not even close to all the stores, just the ones that stand out in my mind as examples of what a FLGS should be. There are plenty that don't make the grade, although I'll swing by for a magic tournament or whatever.

As for my shopping habits, I buy things whenever I'm in one of these stores. They're worth supporting. Do they get all my dollars? No, but the way my schedule works I'm not actually at them all that often, so I don't lose too much sleep over it. As my situation changes, hopefully I'll find more time to actually get out to regular events again, and I expect the amount I buy in-person over online will grow as a result.
 

Knarf

Registered User
Validated User
I haven't been to my local LGS in over 5 years. The guy who ran it was nice enough to me, but didn't seem to think my wife was a gamer. Even when she was running games at his shop. Once she stopped going, he would refer to my wife as "the old ball and chain," even when I was in there to pick up something for her.

I hear there's a new store opening within a month or so. It's a bit out of my way, but I definitely plan on taking a look once it's open.
 

ScooterinAB

Retired User
Second is their refusal to put old games, that aren't selling, on sale. They are happy enough to leave the game, taking up valuable shelf space, at full price in hopes that someone, this decade, will buy it for full price. Sure, most of the time games are non-refundable, but shelf space is a valuable commodity. Get what you can for that game you gambled on, then use that shelf space for something that will move quicker.
This is an odd one, because if they discounted even $5 off of the price, someone would probably spend more than that. There have been times when I've wanted to buy a few out of print books, but chose not to because the store was still charging cover price. Even offering a small discount probably would have generated a higher dollar amount than me buying just one book or not making a purchase at all. I get that they need to make their investment back, but anything that isn't selling simply isn't selling. Anything you can reasonably do to move something should be done.
 

Qualidar

Registered User
Validated User
Not to derail the thread with too much talk of Boston-area game stores, but two stores in Coolege Corner?!?? Where are they?

Also, just found out that there's a new game store in the Kingston Mall. My family's checking that out tomorrow.
 

frankcastle1975

Registered User
Validated User
I'm lucky there are quite a few stores within driving distance.

Some I will shop at out of pure convinence. Others I make a point to go to for price. Others for the stock that they carry.

But honestly internet shopping is the ideal intersection of all three of those things.

Sure the internet lacks the social contact but depending on the store I could do with or without it.

For those where the LGS is a meeting/gaming space I totally get why it is vital to you.
 
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