#RPGChat Archive, 29 March 2012: The FLGS
#RPGChat Archive, 29 March 2012: The FLGS
The topic for the March 29 chat was the FLGS (Friendly Local Game Shop) with special guests @EndGameOakland and @labyrinthdc two fantastic game shops.
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Tweets of Note:
Greetings, gamers! Tonight is a different format with special guests in our discussion of FLGSs. @labyrinthdc and @endgameoakland#RPGchat
The discussion began with some comments and questions:
It’s like running any small retail business. You should know business and this industry in general as a starter.
@EndGameOakland and don’t think you can just sit and play games all day, there’s work that needs to be done.
@Nakedhobo Yes, that’s one of the more irritating parts of working the counter. Honestly, no “I am not bored.
How long did it take to be profitable?
@TriskalJM It has the same vector as any small business you research carefully, and implement.
@EndGameOakland do you play games yourself before giving it shelf space and recommending it?
@Alpharalpha We have more SKUs than a costco: so no
The issue of shelf space and filling it efficiently was a recurring theme:
@EndGameOakland and @labyrinthdc hello and welcome, how much of your store space is the tabletop RPG section? is the genre dying?
@Alpharalpha Dollarwise or floorspace? To play, or to sell? Dying? No, but moving away from paper, yes
@Alpharalpha A very small percentage of the space in my store is RPGs, but it is a large part of my business.
@EndGameOakland In this era of MtG and other card games, do you feel pressured to stock them or welcome them in? Or miniatures?
@RDNottingham We do not carry minis, but I special order. I was pressured by customers to carry Magic. Otherwise we carry few CCGs
@TriskalJM Experience. I read what i can through sell sheets, vendor websites, then reviews if possible
The one or two stores here seem afraid to keep stock, but will special order stuff weekly. Thoughts / opinions on that?
@TriskalJM We rely on special orders. Then again, we are pretty good a fulfilling them. We simply _cannot_ stock it all
@d20Blonde We are still a full line game store only. We haven’t branched at all (that I can think of)
@TriskalJM We do LOTS of special orders, because I am rather new and cannot keep a lot. We give 20% discount to make it worthwhile.#rpgchat
Asking questions from the indie game designers side:
It was great to know that there are FLGSs that support indie publications like School Daze
@Rolling20s Please tell your indie friends to help us find them! I can’t always find you (as they say)
@EndGameOakland I think that a lot of indie publishers forget that brick-and-mortar is still a valid mode of sale
@Rolling20s @endgameoakland other side of some indie publishers is that they need to talk to retailers and ask what sells
@Rolling20s May be a bit more nuanced than that. I think just as often, they can’t figure out how to sell to the retail channel.
@Rolling20s @endgameoakland there are games I’d love to carry in my store but the packaging is such a negative in some cases.
RT @labyrinthdc: I think getting back to RPG part. The future of RPGs in FLGS is indie RPG – at least for us
Expanding the market and attracting new customers:
I’m very curious to know about effective FLGS marketing techniques. How do you get new people in the door
@d20Blonde we run a lot of demos of both new and older games
@d20Blonde Social Media, and more importantly word of mouth
@d20Blonde Events, events, events. And word of mouth!
Something I need out of my FLGS: The willingness to teach me to game. If I express interest in a game, teach me to play it!
Making note of the great aftercare program at LabyrinthDC:
RT @labyrinthdc: Parents pay us to teach their kids strategy and social skills thru game
RT @labyrinthdc: Almost everynight we have a beginner friendly game night. Sometimes D&D, some board games, some indie RPGs.
We close with general observations:
RT @EndGameOakland: @labyrinthdc Preach, sister. Thats cause you actually sell games, not just stock them
What I’m getting from you guys is that the key component to FLGSmanship is the “local” part. Maybe even translated to “area-unique”
I can’t hammer this home enough. Just because something works in one game store, it simply may not in another. Period
@EndGameOakland Soooo true. I think game stores must be responsive to customers to survive
This was simply a great chat, and many thanks to our guests.
As always a complete transcript is available as a spreadsheet, here.