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Author Topic: [GenCon 2005] Retailer Discounts  (Read 3183 times)
Ben Lehman

Posts: 2094


« on: August 04, 2005, 07:16:34 AM »

What with all the discussion going on in the price list thread, and also Tony's comment in Why I sell to retailers, I really think that the issue of retailer pricing at GenCon needs to have its own thread so that we can discuss it.

Basically, here are the issues:

1) Are we going to offer retailer discounts at the booth?
2) If yes, are we going to make Ralph's life easy and offer them in a uniform manner (%30-%50 off) or are we going to make it hard and have them all be seperate entries.
3) Who gets retailer discounts?  The possibilities that have been raised so far are a certian amount of bulk purchasing (3 copies each game), vetting by individual publishers, and a sort of booth gestalt option.

So let's discuss these issues here, in this thread, as they apply to the GenCon 2005 Forge Booth and nothing else.

I'm not strongly personally invested in the outcome of this decision -- retailers are pretty much unrelated to my business plan, but as a new publisher, I'm interested to see what works and what doesn't. 

That said, here would be my personal preference:  We offer a flat %40 discount for retailers, provided that no one is going to be losing money on their books from this.  Who gets this discount and who doesn't should be, in principle, my decision as a publisher.  However, I will vet my fellow publishers to make that call in my absence.  Also, I'd like to weigh in on the side of acting more like Tony talks about in the second thread, because that's just friendly, and friendly is good business.


Clinton R. Nixon

Posts: 2624

« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2005, 07:33:10 AM »

I feel like this discussion (and not you personally, Ben) have now moved into serious "peer-pressure everyone to give retailer discounts mode." If we want to make this Forge booth policy, then we needed to state that upfront, and maybe we should next year. But if I'd known this would be the policy, well, I think I could have swung an opening over at another friends' booth.

If it gets decided that we will, in fact, give uniform retailer discounts, so be it. I'll live and learn from this example. Will I be happy about it? No.

When we got so focused on being businesses instead of going to a convention and meeting friends and selling a few games to people who were creative and looking for something new and interested in the same things that jazzed us, we totally lost the mission. I wish I'd realized that earlier.

Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 2341

« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2005, 07:44:47 AM »

Who gets this discount and who doesn't should be, in principle, my decision as a publisher. However, I will vet my fellow publishers to make that call in my absence.

We had what, three retailers buy at a discount from the booth last year? But yeah, we may be getting into difficult, murky waters. As the profile of the booth has increased year after year, we could find outselves with a lot of self-described retailers hitting us up for a discount. Even with a quantity minimum to qualify for the discount. Half Meme Press terms are for retailers with brick & mortar storefronts. If a retailer told me he does more than 20% of his business via an online storefront, or any of his business via auctions, I'd probably decline to offer the discount. Vetting  each other to make this decision very well could be a cause of frustration/sadness/disappointment for someone. I might turn away an online retailer that you consider to be good exposure. You might approve an auctioneer and piss me off.

And what if a couple of retailers gobble up a lot of stock on Thursday and Friday. Will you be frustrated if you don't have copies of your game to sell on Sunday? Can we put both a minimum and maximum on the number of copies sold to a retailer? Are your minimums and maximums the same as mine?


My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Keith Senkowski

Posts: 725

On A Downward Spiral...

« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2005, 07:48:34 AM »

Good points guys.  Now I am thinking maybe the best bet for dealing with retailers is to do so after the Con on our own.  Take business cards and leave it at that.


Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2005, 07:50:46 AM »

Hi there,

My call (and not really a "seeking opinions" post, either): each game should be listed with its own retailer price, which can include "bug off" as an option.

At the booth itself, a person needs to be able to satisfy the cash register booth member as to whether he or she really is a retailer. It's easier than it sounds and we'll cover how to do it on-site. On-line-only retailers are, frankly, more like competition than service, and I think we should only be talking about storefront guys for this issue.

For people who need a little help with this, recognize that the term "discount" is terribly misleading. It is actually a deduction from the price for your game that a retailer pays, in hopes of selling it for MSRP (what most people think of as your game's price).

So Sorcerer's MSRP is $20.00. Let's say my retailer discount is 50%. The retailer would pay me $10 and hope to sell the game for $20.  If my discount were 40%, then he would pay me $12 (60% of the MSRP).

Make sure you're not counting the discount backwards, thinking that a 60% discount means you get paid 60% of the MSRP, for instance.

One more important note: in actuality, I plan to farm any retailers interested in Adept Press stuff to Key 20, my designated fulfillment service for all things retailer-ish. I strongly recommend that those of us who use Key 20 and/or IPR for this purpose simply indicate, at the Forge booth, that retailers should go to these services (and tell them where).

Clinton R. Nixon

Posts: 2624

« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2005, 07:53:31 AM »

Paul's questions are exactly my problem with some sort of unified retailer position.

In addition, there's a lot of great people paying decent money to come to this convention. I totally want to give them first crack. I might - might - be happy to sell to a reputable retailer at a discount on Sunday, when I know I won't run out of books for real customers.

But, yeah, first question that needs to be answered is "what makes a retailer?" Until we can define exactly who these retailers are that we'd be selling to and how they verify their retail-hood, we've got a problem.

My own personal viewpoint is that any retailer can get my contact info and establish a relationship with me post-convention. I am not there to sell to stores. I am there to meet real role-players who want a new game.

EDIT: My post basically agrees with Keith and Ron, who cross-posted with me. I felt the note about why I'm there was important enough to go ahead and submit.

Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games

Posts: 373

« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2005, 07:58:54 AM »

I still plan to put together a simple retailer handout for the booth.  If you don't have business cards or want to make explicit any retailer options applicable after GenCon, that would be a good source for that information.

PM me with details.


Posts: 3

« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2005, 05:12:21 AM »

OK dealer side putting talking in, I hope this isn't taken the wrong way.

It's not uncommn for booths at a show to limit the times retailers can pick up things, say no retailer sales until Sunday, or 2:00 on Sunday or some such.  So the compnay/booth can sell all it can to customers, and retailers don't buy them out early.  Retailers shouldn't have issues with this.

Overall haveing discounts at the booth allow us to pick stuff up.  Picking the stuff up at one time is a big time and effort saver.  I could tell a big story about how much work our game purchaser does, I'll just say this, he works with 3 games distributers to get everything for the store each week.  He takes inventory, and handles numerous sales calls (many from those distributers).  He invetories, orders and restocks every week.  And he answers a metric TON of questions from costomers (not counting register work and Comic day). Sorry not so short.  It's just dealing with many seperate indie game companies is time and effort consuming, doing all the dealing at once is great.  Having discounts at the booth really facilitates us being able to get the games and not have them slip between the cracks of time...

Oh well, thats my thoughts at the monment...

Shawn Helmueller

Posts: 890

« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2005, 05:48:03 PM »

One more important note for retail fellows: anything Key20 carries can likely be ordered through your main distribution anyway. Alliance? Blackhawk? ACD? All of them are serviced by Key20 (I love opening Game Trade and seeing my product listed ^_^)

Nate Petersen / daMoose
Neo Productions Unlimited! Publisher of Final Twilight card game, Imp Game RPG, and more titles to come!
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