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Boomer_J

Will Miniature Market still be able to sell FFG merchandise?

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I was wondering this because of the Asmodee announcement for 2016 back in December.

I would love to support my local game shop but I refuse to go back to them after they treated me like crap.

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/105284-not-happy-with-my-ffgs/?hl=happy

So now I use Miniature Market. I guess I could try the shop in the next town over but they have a very limited selection.

Edited by Boomer_J

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I have been wondering that myself. I try to make my money stretch a little by buying online. If they cut out MM and others I guess FFG and other Asmodee purchases will be fewer and far between. That's just my two cents worth. We will see here in april when it takes effect. Lets hope that does not happen.

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I was wondering this because of the Asmodee announcement for 2016 back in December.

I would love to support my local game shop but I refuse to go back to them after they treated me like crap.

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/105284-not-happy-with-my-ffgs/?hl=happy

So now I use Miniature Market. I guess I could try the shop in the next town over but they have a very limited selection.

 

Looking like the online prices from mass retailers like Mini Market and Amazon will increase to be more similar to MSRP, but they will certainly still be available.  We just won't get expansions for 40% off anymore, they'll be full price.

Edited by Engine25

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Well, let's face it, when you can save 30-40% online, it's hard to justify buying big ticket things like core sets and expansions, which based on pricing, is the biggest profit margin for the FLGS. Now, I have no problem buying character/figure packs from my FLGS, but it's hard to justify a core set/expansion set when I can save the extra money to buy packs at my FLGS or online.

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I'm having trouble understanding the logic here. If you can sell your product at a discount, why shouldn't you be able to?

Sure Asmodee is a French company, so they may be a couple hundred years behind on things like free markets, but why are meddling in things that are already in place?

Edited by Sam Tomahawk

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They're trying to force convince customers that they want to buy locally (and further line FFG's/Asmodee's own pockets in the process).

 

Local shops will, in theory, gain market share and indirect support for tournaments thereby further increasing the amount of FFG products sold as customers weigh whether or not the current discount makes up for any drawbacks from ordering online.

 

And if people keep ordering online, then Asmodee gets more money.  Win/Win (as long as you're Asmodee).

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I'm having trouble understanding the logic here. If you can sell your product at a discount, why shouldn't you be able to?

Sure Asmodee is a French company, so they may be a couple hundred years behind on things like free markets, but why are meddling in things that are already in place?

 

It is a similar situation (though, not on the scale) to when Magic: the Gathering had deep discounters and local shops couldn't sell any product. 

 

If people buy almost all their stuff online- then how is the local game shop supposed to stay open? Without a local game shop to play at, why get the game? Yes- you can play at home. Or with friends, ect. But the point is, without the game stores, these kinds of games would die. So, they (game companies) need to do what they can to funnel traffic and sales through the game stores- and not online shops that are run out of someone's garage or basement. 

 

Sure, people can run them from there, deep discounting and undercutting local stores that give people a place to play and give a few people jobs.... eventually, without those sales, local shops will close.

 

Why support games that don't make them any money? 

 

It really isn't that hard of a concept to grasp... and just buying a couple of figures isn't going to keep the shop open. 

Edited by NuSair

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True, but with the money I saved buying the core set online, I can now get the Twin Shadows expansion. And I'll probably get it at my FLGS. My FLGS does a lot of MTG and Warhammer/40K tourneys, as well as X Wing, so they are diversified enough. I buy ship expansions at the two stores I play at, so they're getting lots of smaller purchases from me. I'll spend $20-40 every couple of weeks.

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I'm having trouble understanding the logic here. If you can sell your product at a discount, why shouldn't you be able to?

Sure Asmodee is a French company, so they may be a couple hundred years behind on things like free markets, but why are meddling in things that are already in place?

 

It is a similar situation (though, not on the scale) to when Magic: the Gathering had deep discounters and local shops couldn't sell any product. 

 

If people buy almost all their stuff online- then how is the local game shop supposed to stay open? Without a local game shop to play at, why get the game? Yes- you can play at home. Or with friends, ect. But the point is, without the game stores, these kinds of games would die. So, they (game companies) need to do what they can to funnel traffic and sales through the game stores- and not online shops that are run out of someone's garage or basement. 

 

Sure, people can run them from there, deep discounting and undercutting local stores that give people a place to play and give a few people jobs.... eventually, without those sales, local shops will close.

 

Why support games that don't make them any money? 

 

It really isn't that hard of a concept to grasp... and just buying a couple of figures isn't going to keep the shop open. 

 

Your point is that FFG will not make money if FLGS's don't stay in business to host their games competitively?  I am no expert, but the fact that people buy from online dealers enough to make this an issue would suggest that the market share that is being sold by FLGS's must be pretty small (likely due to the online discount) and FFG is still making money.  It seems that people who DO play competitively view the competitive scene as the lifeblood of the industry, and as I said, I don't really know, maybe it is.  But where I live, the only FLGS has a clientelle of about 6 people and they don't stock any items that I would be interested in anyway.  It's more of a club than a business (the owner blogs in his barefeet during business hours and when I asked about FFG card sleeves he referred me to an online distributer).  I would like to play some tourneys, but there just aren't any nearby.  If buying a couple figures isn't going to keep the store afloat, then they better find a different way to make money.  Charging higher entry fees to the relatively few people who compete in tourneys may be the best way to do that, and gamers are the one gaming commodity that cannot be discounted online.

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I'm not sure how not being able to play with strangers would damage board gaming. I play with my friends in try comfort of my own home. I support my FLGS out of more stubbornness than anything. As someone who has never bothered with tourneys, I cannot relate to your assertions, NuSair.

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It's not just tournaments. I used to work for Wizards of the Coast as a regional rep. I've also been very involved with the running of several stores. 

 

In the short term, yes, FFG will makes it's money. But, it kills long term growth and business. 

 

I am glad what works for y'all. But (and I am sure this will come across wrong), you have to realize that there is more than just how you do things- and that is it a very very small part of it. 

 

Stores generally won't carry or support something that doesn't make them money (ie- sell). If most people buy online, why carry it in their shop. A brick and mortar shop has overhead it has to cover that an internet business doesn't. when something is sitting on a shelf on a store- it's just wasted capital. 

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It's not just tournaments. I used to work for Wizards of the Coast as a regional rep. I've also been very involved with the running of several stores.

In the short term, yes, FFG will makes it's money. But, it kills long term growth and business.

I am glad what works for y'all. But (and I am sure this will come across wrong), you have to realize that there is more than just how you do things- and that is it a very very small part of it.

Stores generally won't carry or support something that doesn't make them money (ie- sell). If most people buy online, why carry it in their shop. A brick and mortar shop has overhead it has to cover that an internet business doesn't. when something is sitting on a shelf on a store- it's just wasted capital.

That didn't come across wrong. I hear you, but I think its apples and oranges. Magic is a CCG with a blisteringly fast release, churn, and trash schedule where the point of the game is to prove you have more money to buy wins than the next guy (I played magic for years, BEFORE I had a family).

Were talking about board games though. Slower paced, purchase and play at leasure games where there is no pressure to buy whatever is the most expensive cardboard this week. Your history with WOTC is impressive, and I respect what your saying, but i think this is a very different business model.

MY concern is that, as you say, in the short term FFG will make its money, but it will kill long term growth and business.

Simply put, $100 is a **** lot of money, and that's just the opening step for the core set. Most people don't have that kind of capital to throw down on a "might enjoy" game. I dont buy $100 games, ever. If I wanted to, it would be several paychecks worth of incremental saving to scrape it together, and I'm not gonna burn that time and money on a maybe (that's why I dont own Twilight Imperium yet). If I hadn't been able to get the Imperial Assault Core set for $60 online, I would still be playing Summoner Wars right now. I know I can't be the only person that feels that way, or shares my situation.

(I understand about running a shop, inventory, overhead, all that, and games is a rough market, cause it moves so slow. That's why they often have a web presence in addition to brick and mortar that actually brings in the money. Also Magic. That crap makes *bank)

Edited by Sam Tomahawk

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I use MM and have for a while now. I'm with Sam Tomahawk here in that I play primarily with my group of friends. We have 3 gaming stores in our town: 2 local owned and the Reaper Game Store. I won't mention the other two by name but "drama" has forced me to not patron either of those stores, one of which my group of buddies was key in getting FFG miniatures on the shelf there as the owner doesn't really like miniatures and let's that influence his ordering. The other store is a comic shop and primarily dice master all day every day.

The Reaper Game Store does carry FFG miniatures (X-wing and Imperial Assault) which are my two biggest draws at the moment so that's cool. If I feel the urge to go to a FLGS I buy from them or drive 40 miles to Madness Plano if I want to be sure what I want will be in stock.

That said, nothing beats ordering my plastic crack online at a discount in a leisurely fashion in my undies. :ph34r:

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I have three kids and a full-time job.  There are no game stores in my area that play or stock FFG product, and I only play with my wife and once a month at most with a group of friends.  I know I'm probably not the average gamer, but I'm sure I'm not alone.  I simply have nowhere else to buy these games, and a large part of my purchasing is the price.  I bought two banthas, probably would not have bought the second if I had to pay the full price.  I'm sorry FLGS's cannot compete with online distributors, but coolstuffinc is a great business with great customer service and reliable practices.  They have my loyalty.

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All that's going to happen is that people will buy less for more.  Meaning that, instead of buying Armada, X-Wing and Imperial Assault, I'll drop Armada and stick with the two I like more.  Thus, the playerbase for games goes down.

 

I understand the need to keep FLGSs in the loop, but they provide other merchandise that I buy other than expensive hobby stuff.  I'm still going to go there and spend money, even if I don't buy 100% of my minis at the location.

 

Sure Asmodee is a French company, so they may be a couple hundred years behind on things like free markets, but why are meddling in things that are already in place?

 

Being a French company, you'd think they'd understand what laissez-faire means.

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What FFG needs to do is allow some of these Gaming Stores get premiere content and early access to stuff. So MM/CoolStuff/Cardhaus will be allowed to still sell at discounted prices, they just wont get the product 60-90 days behind these premiere stores. I can tell you, I definitely wouldnt be getting into IA if it was $100 for the core set and $15-$25 for every exp pack.

It also tells me that if MM can charge me $7.50 for Boba Fett and still make money, then why should I pay $15 for it? If I am crazy enough, I could have boughten it for $25-$30 off amazon/ebay. So why should sellers be penalized for "over pricing" if someone out there is willing to pay for it.

FFG and local retailers need to simply create ways to bring people in, not jack them on prices. Bc obviously that little piece of plastic dont cost much to make. The answer is to get more people to play and you do that by running events and special scenarios. Plus those of us who just want to play campaign, we dont care much about skirmish, so maybe FFG should gear some specialty events towards that rather than all pvp skirmish.

~D

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Legally, I don't think they can do that ( give product to some and not others to sell ). They way it used to ( and maybe still is now, I don't know) was that premier stores were able to get a small amount of product directly from the company at a rate cheaper than what stores got it from distributors. I don't think that would be an option here, because of volume.

I understand buying things for cheap. I got the base set off amazon. Saving $40 was just too good to pass up.

But, you need to be able to look past just how things are with you and try to look at the market as a whole.

There are people who will never step foot in a store to play imperial assault. There are people who play magic who have never played in a tournament and just play with family and or friends. But, that isn't everyone and not everyone has that option available to them.

In order for a store to support a game, there has to be something in it for them. Just selling drinks and snacks isn't going to cover it. And FFG wants / needs local stores to support it as well. If people are going to deep discount everything, eventually the support from the stores will die along with the game. So, there needs to be a balance. And in the long run, you want to support the stores, because without them, their sales, and support, the game will die. And the deep discounted will move on to the next thing they can sell. Not caring one way or another about the games, other than pennies they make per transaction.

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Legally, I don't think they can do that ( give product to some and not others to sell ).

FFG can do what they like. Im not saying not to sell to those vendors, but create content for the premiere stores and put it into the leagues so people will want to buy from these select vendors. Big box retailers do this all the time with having the sole rights to sell something, i.e. like a certain music artist's newest album, or perhaps a cooking set of a particular tv chef; or they have certain "free" content that comes with buying the latest bluray/dvd at Target rather than WalMart or vice versa.

~D

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What FFG needs to do is allow some of these Gaming Stores get premiere content and early access to stuff. So MM/CoolStuff/Cardhaus will be allowed to still sell at discounted prices, they just wont get the product 60-90 days behind these premiere stores. I can tell you, I definitely wouldnt be getting into IA if it was $100 for the core set and $15-$25 for every exp pack.

It also tells me that if MM can charge me $7.50 for Boba Fett and still make money, then why should I pay $15 for it? If I am crazy enough, I could have boughten it for $25-$30 off amazon/ebay. So why should sellers be penalized for "over pricing" if someone out there is willing to pay for it.

FFG and local retailers need to simply create ways to bring people in, not jack them on prices. Bc obviously that little piece of plastic dont cost much to make. The answer is to get more people to play and you do that by running events and special scenarios. Plus those of us who just want to play campaign, we dont care much about skirmish, so maybe FFG should gear some specialty events towards that rather than all pvp skirmish.

~D

These buy at your FLGS versus buy online and save arguments always devolve into the same thing, the FLGS supporters point out that the game shop will close if people don't support them, while the online people say "I mostly play at home, so what", and nothing goes anywhere.

But here's a simple fact, FFG promotes their game sales through tournaments, tournaments don't happen in your basement and require a FLGS to organize and host them, and that means the FLGS needs a reason to actually support the game by hosting the tournament.

Your statement that game shops just need to host the games that your going to buy online makes no sense what so ever. Why should a FLGS host a tournament for a game that they're not making a profit off of because people are buying online to save money? If the game isn't selling in the shop, then there's no incentive for the shop to host a tournament, because it's not going to increase sells in the store, and the tournament means the shop needs to devote staff recourses to hosting an event that won't increase their own bottom line.

Bottom line on this argument. FFG makes money from online sales and FLGS sales, FFG loses sales if the FLGS isn't making money by stocking the game, FFG loses sales potential if the FLGS isn't promoting the game with tournaments and the FLGS won't run tournaments if they're not making money on in store sales, and FFG will eventually stop supporting the game going forward if they aren't making money on the game, and that means even the people who are playing the game at home will end up losing out when the game isn't being supported by FFG.

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I am a big support local guy, I do it for my beer, produce and anything else I can justify.  My problem with supporting the local FLGS is the greed.  This might be isolated to my store, but it seems like every time I am in there picking something up, there is always a lot of pressure to grab the next item.  For instance I went in to get a figure pack for IA the other day, Bantha rider was in, they said it was in and was worth grabbing.  I responded with "We don't really have a skirmish community in this city and my campaign group isn't on TS yet, when they get there Ill probably grab it"  (its 34 Canadian, not a cheap price).  This was met with a bit of a smirk between him and the other employee and then he handed me my bag with a flat look on his face.  Maybe he was upset because I, as a IA purchaser and player from his store, am the reason he even bothers to bring these expansions in for a vastly unpopular game (compared to the LCG's and X-Wing/Armada).. but I did not feel like I was being rude nor that I warranted a rude response.

 

Another time my wife was in there trying to pick out an AVP for me for valentines day (bless her heart, hah) and obviously shes really confused trying to figure out which I have and which I don't.  So he goes ahead and tells her to grab me a Leia or Dengar pack cause they are the newest.  My wife says No I know for a fact he hasn't bought Hoth yet because he is playing them in order with his group.  The guy responds with it doesn't matter they all go together.  This is 100% false.  Buying me Dengar when I don't have Hoth tiles makes him 100% useless until I buy the Hoth expansion.  He should know this as the FLGS store owner and should not have fed my wife bad information.  He just wanted the sale.  He then proceeded to pressure her into buying me the Hoth expansion, which is about a 75 dollar difference.  When she eventually grabbed me R2D2 (which I already had but was able to exchange, valiant effort) he again had a snarky look on his face.  He has no idea she is my wife, so it couldn't be that it was was me she was buying it for, just another example of his attitude.

 

So this makes it really hard for me to want to support him, especially after dumping hundreds to thousands of dollars into the store between my group of friends. And especially when the book store chain down the street sells the same products for 20-30% cheaper.   Sorry little off topic I know but the link in the OP made my blood boil slightly :)

 

The short of it is, I think a good chunk of the time the local FLGS have themselves to blame for losing people to online or big box stores.

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The short of it is, I think a good chunk of the time the local FLGS have themselves to blame for losing people to online or big box stores.

In those cases the F isn't really correct. There's no doubt that a number of gaming stores are run by people with less than ideal people skills, but 95% of the time someone talks about buying online it's because it's cheaper.

The problem with online stores is they aren't really fair competition, FFG products for whatever reason are way more heavily discounted than other games.

Dengar for example is $6.89 online vs $9.95 MSRP, but a $10.99 MSRP Infinity pack costs $8.79 online. A $45 Team Yankey pack costs $40 online. I'm not sure why FFG gets such a deeper discount, but it makes it very hard for the LGS to compete.

That means when a LGS is run poorly, they tend to not make a huge profit in the first place, which means someone who could do it better, don't bother. So you're stuck with poorly run store.

Imperial Assault is a somewhat special case compared to X-Wing or Armada, I think it's played on people's kitchen table a lot more than those games are, meaning it's less dependent on a LGS. But without LGS's supporting it, Skirmish is unlikely to ever get off the ground again.

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Your statement that game shops just need to host the games that your going to buy online makes no sense what so ever. Why should a FLGS host a tournament for a game that they're not making a profit off of because people are buying online to save money? If the game isn't selling in the shop, then there's no incentive for the shop to host a tournament, because it's not going to increase sells in the store, and the tournament means the shop needs to devote staff recourses to hosting an event that won't increase their own bottom line.

Bottom line on this argument.

Then youre not understanding my concept. Charging me $100 for a core game and $15+ for every exp pack isnt going to get me to play the game and keep dropping money into it. What keeps me coming back to that gamestore is them running tournaments. And what store doesnt charge an entry fee anyways so they ARE making profit on it. Sure they make more and "do better" by selling the product, but it sure tells me that they dont need to be charging me $15 an exp pack if others can do it at $7.50 and still make a profit. Again, its up to the gaming store to attract people in. I have 6...yes count it 6 local gaming stores in Lexington, KY area. One is a Gamers Workshop, so basically no one else does Warhammer. One does XWing miniatures. Nobody else does Imperial Assault (or at least on a weekly basis where they advertise it). They all do the **** out of Magic though, most even on the same nights (common theme anywhere is "Friday Night Magic"). I know as much that most of those people dont buy locally when buying, they buy online. Sure they buy some randomly when they want to for the convenience or with store credit, OR they want to buy a rare single, but the stores run tournaments and charge $10-15 per entry. They charge $25-30 for sealed events. Thats where they make their money. Getting people in by running tournaments and doing sealed events. IA doesnt have the luxury of sealed events, but my local stores also dont carry a wide selection of product to even entice people that theyre interested in you buying a full priced item from them that theyll support an area for you to play at. So heck yeah Id rather pay half price of "market value." And in the end, FFG wants to make money, so theyd rather sell the product for a lower point cost than not to sell anything at all.

It all comes down to the local stores supporting the games and what players want. Not me supporting the store bc I should support a local business.

~D

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