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Slugrage

Entry Fee for 2019 Open Play Kits?

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I'm having a personal issue here.

I've been asked by a local store owner to oversee/run the 2019 Open Play kits for X-Wing, Armada, Legion, and Imperial Assault (yes, we have players for all of them but there's a bunch of overlap). This is good. I like the idea of these kits. However, the store owner also wants to charge entry fees for anyone taking part with them. Nothing steep, but the fact that they wanted to even charge a fee at all kind of caught me off-guard. I was under the belief that these are purely meant for encouraging people to play the games in the shop and the idea of charging for them seems... petty? Am I wrong here? 

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Posted (edited)

Scanning through the OP pages (which are a bit out of date, but it’s all I can find) I don’t see anything that precludes a store for charging. https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/op/x-wing/

Does the store charge for other casual tournaments? Pokémon, Magic, etc? (I know nothing about these games, do they have anything equivalent? They probably don’t charge for draft nights because they are making a lot of sales.)

Will your tourneys take up a lot of room, preventing other patrons from using space?

While in store events are supposed to “incentivize your participation by introducing new prizes each calendar season”, there is also a business to run, and if the owner feels the tourneys are going to reduce other income, charging seems reasonable.

Try to identify their concerns with making it free, and then look for a compromise: maybe $5 or free with a $20+ purchase within the last 30 days? (Values for illustrative purposes only). Find a way to make it work for everyone.

good luck!

Edited by Opsmason
Added bit about draft nights

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Ultimately, running a game store is expensive. You have to put aside significant square footage to have a space large enough to host games. In this case, there are added costs of ordering the kits (FFG doesn't give them out for free, after all), and the extra costs in staffing/running the events. Even if you are helping oversee the kits, the owner will likely have additional staff present to help things run smoothly.

Even with 'encouragement' to go to their FLGS to play, the new kits will not guarantee an uptick in sales there. Charging a small fee to take part in the regular games nights/events helps offset the costs in running.

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15 hours ago, Slugrage said:

I'm having a personal issue here.

I've been asked by a local store owner to oversee/run the 2019 Open Play kits for X-Wing, Armada, Legion, and Imperial Assault (yes, we have players for all of them but there's a bunch of overlap). This is good. I like the idea of these kits. However, the store owner also wants to charge entry fees for anyone taking part with them. Nothing steep, but the fact that they wanted to even charge a fee at all kind of caught me off-guard. I was under the belief that these are purely meant for encouraging people to play the games in the shop and the idea of charging for them seems... petty? Am I wrong here? 

I don't think you're wrong to feel that way. I do as well. Similarly our store charged for the kit... It does cost them money so I concede the store may not want to eat that cost. Particularly when we don't spend much money there on the average night. As long as it's within reason, I don't see a issue, really... I just don't personally like it.

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54 minutes ago, svelok said:

every seasonal kit I've ever played in had a $5 buy-in, even if it was just given back out as store credit prizing

Er, not the seasonal kit tournaments... by my understanding. The other more casual kits intended for standard game nights.

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19 hours ago, Opsmason said:

Scanning through the OP pages (which are a bit out of date, but it’s all I can find) I don’t see anything that precludes a store for charging. https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/op/x-wing/

Does the store charge for other casual tournaments? Pokémon, Magic, etc? (I know nothing about these games, do they have anything equivalent? They probably don’t charge for draft nights because they are making a lot of sales.)

Will your tourneys take up a lot of room, preventing other patrons from using space?

While in store events are supposed to “incentivize your participation by introducing new prizes each calendar season”, there is also a business to run, and if the owner feels the tourneys are going to reduce other income, charging seems reasonable.

Try to identify their concerns with making it free, and then look for a compromise: maybe $5 or free with a $20+ purchase within the last 30 days? (Values for illustrative purposes only). Find a way to make it work for everyone.

good luck!

That's the thing. These aren't for tournaments. Just for the regular weekly casual play nights. I don't disagree that there's space and all that being used in the store. However, we play there on our regular night regardless if there's the Open Play kits or not. Adding the OP kits will have an entirely zero impact on any other space or game events. None. Nada. Zip. On our nights, there's several tables of X-wing/Armada/Legion/whatever on the big 6'x4' game tables, and a few tables of D&D playing. Beyond that, half the gaming tables are empty.

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16 hours ago, AceDogbert said:

Ultimately, running a game store is expensive. You have to put aside significant square footage to have a space large enough to host games. In this case, there are added costs of ordering the kits (FFG doesn't give them out for free, after all), and the extra costs in staffing/running the events. Even if you are helping oversee the kits, the owner will likely have additional staff present to help things run smoothly.

Even with 'encouragement' to go to their FLGS to play, the new kits will not guarantee an uptick in sales there. Charging a small fee to take part in the regular games nights/events helps offset the costs in running.

I know that. I've worked in retail of various kinds for over 30 years, so I understand how stores work. However, with this gaming shop, over half the footprint of the store is gaming tables already. There will be no extra staff at all and I could guarantee that 100%. It's not how they do things. They expect the community to run the events, and the staff sit behind the desk to collect the "fees".

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15 hours ago, Slugrage said:

They expect the community to run the events, and the staff sit behind the desk to collect the "fees".

They still provide the space and the lights over your head. The way you describe it seems a little unfair, though you may just be tossing that out in frustration...

I don’t know, how much they charge seems to be the deciding factor. $5 is high, assuming you get more than two players. Free is unreasonable to the store. Somewhere between is the correct spot, and that’s player number dependant. If that’s too rich you may want to discuss with the store about avoiding these kits in the future.

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