the old time gaming stores.....
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:12 pm 
 

where did all the old time gaming stores go.   :cry:  One of my modivations for starting to collect and or aquire roll playing stuff is that there not any gaming stores that have a range of new and used stuff and i stress used stuff in the state of Maine.  there are a couple of  stores that sell new stuff d20, war hammer, japanimation ie yu gi yo, minis and paint and simular affair.   ive noticed that there is a big gaping hole in the gaming world for this old tyme swap shop that is able to sustain gamers of all types.  when i do go into these shops they have a limited amount of new stock and nothing used.   furthermore i would imagine thet the margins on used would be better on used stuff since that most people still hold to the old preconceptions about gaming, that it is satan worship,  or at the minimum view it like they would with baseball cards when mom threw them out when the youngster went to college.  
anyway the thought of opening a brick and morter for me, in portland Maine has some appeal even though it would be of limited scope of clientale    thanks for letting me rant on about nothing a little  
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:36 pm 
 

jhstissot wrote:where did all the old time gaming stores go.  :cry: One of my modivations for starting to collect and or aquire roll playing stuff is that there not any gaming stores that have a range of new and used stuff and i stress used stuff in the state of Maine. there are a couple of stores that sell new stuff d20, war hammer, japanimation ie yu gi yo, minis and paint and simular affair.  ive noticed that there is a big gaping hole in the gaming world for this old tyme swap shop that is able to sustain gamers of all types. when i do go into these shops they have a limited amount of new stock and nothing used.  furthermore i would imagine thet the margins on used would be better on used stuff since that most people still hold to the old preconceptions about gaming, that it is satan worship, or at the minimum view it like they would with baseball cards when mom threw them out when the youngster went to college.
anyway the thought of opening a brick and morter for me, in portland Maine has some appeal even though it would be of limited scope of clientale  thanks for letting me rant on about nothing a little  
jeff


I think EBAY was the death of great deals in all the little old book/comic shops.   There is just too much money to be made online nowadays, so anybody who knew anything about old RPGs/comics basically raided those types of stores and dumped the items in online auctions to a much wider base of people.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:47 pm 
 

I would agree with that, one of our local bookstores actually uses Ebay as a price guide to price there old RPG's.  They have great prices like $130.00 for a very used mapless GDQ1-7.

Long live Ebay


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:51 pm 
 

ARGH! EBAY as a reference? Only if you can't find it anywhere else. Makes me glad that I work at a bookstore where the people know of many reference sites.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:36 pm 
 

Well, Ebay was my gaming store when I got back into gaming. The local game store has OOP D&D, but for insane prices. $20 for a GOOD condition B2?! Want X1? That'll be $20. The Rules Cyclopedia is priced at a much more reasonable $40.  8O

Gee, I wonder why they still haven't managed to sell any of that stuff.  :?

  


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:50 am 
 

When my local RPG store moved, they brought their entire stock of used to my bookstore and we bought about 98% of it. It's been about 8-10 months now and we have about 45% of that left.


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:29 pm 
 

Blackmoor wrote:I would agree with that, one of our local bookstores actually uses Ebay as a price guide to price there old RPG's. They have great prices like $130.00 for a very used mapless GDQ1-7.

Long live Ebay


I've noticed this problem in a lot of bookstores/gamestores that sell used RPGs. Ebay is a multi-national selling forum that caters to millions of people worldwide, and some sap in Kuala Lampur may be willing to pay $100 for GDQ1-7 since they have never seen one in the local village, but when you are running a used store you are dealing with a finite amount of LOCAL people.  As an example, a local bookstore had a large run of MERP items at Ebay prices for over two years ($150 for Umbar, $100  for Grey Mountains, you know the drill).   They justified the prices by saying that this is what they were selling on Ebay for, but were frustrated when the items continued to sit for years.  I tried to explain that Ebay is an international market with millions of potential buyers while they were a tiny local bookstore with maybe hundreds of buyers, but they couldn't make sense of it.  It took the store being sold, the new owner marked all the overpriced game stuff at half off, then went half again after a few months, now all the MERP stuff is gone.  A combination of greed and not understanding selling markets.

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 5:44 pm 
 

I manage (and own 8O ) a games store selling both vintage and current RPG books. They cater to a very different clientele. The local fans buy almost exclusively current products: D&D 3.X, Vampire, and so on. The online site for Old Grognards like me  :wink:  sells virtually only vintage D&D and AD&D products to a far larger (in geographical terms) clientele. The two kinds of customers virtually don't overlap, albeit exceptions do exist. Did I mention the age factor? Most of my online customers are in the 20-30 years old, most of my local clientele is around 15-20 years old. It makes me feeling old  :cry: , but nonetheless it remembers me that I must satisfy very different people. One local customer could see a Fine copy of the Rules Cyclopedia at 40 euros as madness (please remember I have to purchase them from the UK or from the US and Canada, with all the expense...): a BLACK AND WHITE book? With bad or mediocre artwork? Virtually no graphic design? Surely a third rate product!  But for an old coot like myself...  :D, just peruse it and think "Aaaah, those were the days of High Adventure..." and - voilà - suddenly you have 40 euros less in your wallet. The point being, I'm convinced you can carry profitably vintage and used games if you live in an urban area large enough and with a long enough gaming tradition to have fans looking for vintage books and willing to pay for them. If you don't (I don't) you don't carry them or look for a market elsewhere.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 12:45 pm 
 

We had San Antonio Hobby shop, which was the largest hobby shop in California.  They had a whole floor devoted to miniatures.  They had every RPG you could find.  Until in the late 80's they were bought by some right wing religious nut that thought RPG's were demon spawned.

They are now the smallest hobby shop in California.

Good business sense?

  


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 10:05 am 
 

jhstissot wrote:where did all the old time gaming stores go.


War Dogs Game Center in Jacksonsville, Florida, still carries about 200 used RPGs, used board games, CCG singles--even painted and unpainted single minis.  Heck, there's a .25 dice jar for dice that primarily come with collections bought in the store.

Being near the intersection of I95 and I10, we get a lot of out-of-towners who come in with a wallet full and leave with a trunk full.  They pick through the used bins for hours looking for goodies.  In fact, I attribute careful management of the used D&D for a large part of the store's success.  It's a market many stores have abandoned with the growth of eBay, but it's something we did well.  It gave us a draw and a higher-margin  sales source.

The stores are still around.  There are fewer of them because the buy-in price for a game store is going up.  I've heard of stores opening on $5,000 on a credit card--but that would be hard to do now.  If I were to start over, I wouldn't do it with less than 60k, and I'd be more comfortable with 70k.  That means there are far fewere people willing to give it a shot.


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 10:15 am 
 

patweb wrote:They are now the smallest hobby shop in California.

Good business sense?


Possibly.  Without seeing their P&L, it's hard to say.

Sci-Fi-City, one of the model stores in the industry with 14,000 sf of gaming and practically every product line out there, lost money for several years in a row at their present location.

In fact, one of their largest creditors, Gameboard Distribution (a game distributor, of course) forgave their debt in exchange for ownership.  Now they have a great business model--buy at 60% off, sell at full retail.  NOt only that, they get first dibs on hot product.  Why sell it to your retail customers when you could sell it in your store for 2 1/2 times as much?  

Oh, and Gameboard will deny this, even if you have documentation in your hand while you talk to them.  You can confirm this at www.sunbiz.org - Home by searching the public business records.  

But the point is that size and inventory levels do not necessarily indicate financial success.


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