A Game of Thrones LCG: The Valemen Chapter Pack
One Night: Ultimate Werewolf – Daybreak
One Night: Ultimate Werewolf (Restock)
Monster of the Week
Munchkin: Kobolds Ate My Baby!
Star Wars X-Wing: X-Wing (Restock)
Star Wars X-Wing: TIE Fighter (Restock)
Star Wars X-Wing: Y-Wing (Restock)
Star Wars X-Wing: TIE Advanced (Restock)
Star Wars X-Wing: TIE Defender (Restock)
Summoner Wars: Alliances Master Set
Talisman: Deep Realms
The Lord of the Rings LCG: Fog on the Barrow Downs Standalone Quest
The Worst Game Ever
Ultimate Guard Mini American Sleeves
Warpaints: Zombicide Survivor Paint Set
Xia: Legends of a Drift System
A Game of Thrones LCG: The Valemen Chapter Pack
I figured we’d post our convention list for this year. Come visit us if you are there:
February 27 – March 1, 2015 – GottaCon Gaming Convention, Victoria, BC
March 14 – 15, 2015 – Terminal City Tabletop Convention, Vancouver, BC
October 2 – 4, 2015 – VCon Science Fiction & Gaming Convention, Vancouver, BC
October 16 – 18, 2015 – Fallcon, Calgary, AB
We’re look forward to seeing you at one of these conventions and playing some board games with you.
Ascension: Year 1 Collector’s Edition
DC Comics Deckbuilding Game: Crisis Expansion 1
Elder Sign: Gates of Arkham
Fate Core: Romance in the Air
Fate Core: Save Game
Fate Core: The Aether Sea
Glass Gaming Stones (Qty 23-27): Clear
Glass Gaming Stones (Qty 23-27): Dark Blue
Glass Gaming Stones (Qty 23-27): Dark Green
Glass Gaming Stones (Qty 23-27): Pale Green
Glass Gaming Stones (Qty 23-27): Root Beer
Glass Gaming Stones (Qty 23-27): Teal
HOMELAND the game
Incredible Expeditions: Quest
Marvel Dice Masters: The Avengers vs X-Men Dice Building Game Set-Up Box
Miskatonic School for Girls: Holiday Break
X-Files: The Board Game
So, as mentioned, we’ve created a small Online Game Retailer Group on Facebook. If you’d like to join (as an owner / manager of an eCommerce store dealing in gaming products), you can find the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/754728627968431/
Lots of prep going on for the upcoming convention (GottaCon) and then Terminal City Tabletop Convention 2 weeks after that. I’ll try to get an article up in -between but it’s pretty buys so I have no guarantees on that.
Argent: The Consortium
Argent: Mancers of The University
Argent: Summer Break
Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge
Dungeon Petz (Restock)
Dungeon Lords: Happy Anniversary
Dungeons and Dragons RPG: Dungeon Masters Screen
Star Trek Attack Wing: Federation Attack Fighter Squadron
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG – Lords of Nal Hutta
Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends – Everfrost
Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends (2nd Edition)
Warmachine: All-in-One Army Box – Khador
Yu-Gi-Oh Dice Masters: Series One 2-Player Starter Set
Yu-Gi-Oh Dice Masters: Series One Foil Pack
Just put together a new product list for the Top 10 Family Board Games (http://www.starlitcitadel.com/games/articles/top-10-family-board-games.html). Hope you guys enjoy it!
Thinking about the recent geeklist, one of the comments and one that I’ve echoed before is how lonely running an online store in this industry can be. The challenges we face, and the intense competition, can create barriers to discussion. However, writing this blog has brought about some interesting conversations – there are now a couple of online retailers that I talk to on-and-off via e-mail and/or phone.
I’m wondering if there’s a demand for something a bit more formal? I know Facebook groups are quite popular among B&M retailers in our space, would there be a demand for an online retail store group? Is there anyone else who is reading this blog who’d like to chat but are feeling hesitant?
If there is one, comment below. Let’s chat, be happy to manage that group and we might be able to help one another out.
Addendum and Edit: Would people prefer an actual (private) forum or a Facebook Group?
It’s strange, after reading of the demise of another competitor, one would wonder why you’d bother to build an online store. That’s a very good question, and certainly one that I’ve asked myself a number of times. The profit margins are extremely tight, with both customers and competitors always looking to lower it even further. There are quite literally competitors in Canada who sell products at a loss – as part of their business plan. So, why bother?
Love of the Industry
Let’s be truthful here, most of us could be working in another industry / another business and making significantly more than what we are earning doing this. Heck, from speaking with a lot of B&M owners, the profit levels at B&M stores can be significantly better too. Knowing the industry, at least you don’t need to learn the product (as much) as with starting out in an industry that you don’t know.
Low Capital Costs on Startup
This is a tricky one – it’s easy to start-up the business with much less capital than most brick & mortar stores. Most online stores start running out of their houses / apartments, keeping stock in their spare rooms or living rooms and shipping orders out every few days. So, instead of $50 or 100k, you probably can start up at $20 or $30k. Or even less….
It’s easier to fit an 80 hour week for an online store than a B&M store around other life commitments. It’s still not uncommon for me to get online at 11pm and start working after spending the evening with my family. You can still go out in the evenings, hang out with friends for a bit and then go home and work more on an online business compared to a B&M store. You put in the same ridiculously long hours, but they are more flexible. And when you’ve got family obligations too, that can be extreemly important.
If you aren’t a people person, running a B&M store is going to be significantly more difficult. I know, for myself, that there’s only so much interaction that I can deal with at any one time. Working in an online store puts a ‘wall’ between you and the constant amount of customer interactions, so it’s a lot more introvert friendly. Answering an e-mail is so much eaier than talking to a person.
This is more a theoretical idea than one that I’ve seen yet, but it should be possible to scale an online store much easier than a brick & mortar store. At a certain point, you’ll max out the sales per square foot that a B&M store can handle at which point you’d have to either move to a larger location or build a second store. With an online store, your physical location is much less important so moving should be less of an issue while purchasing should be ‘simpler’. After all, when restocking a game, if you have to restock 10 copies or 2, it’s still a single line on the invoice and search.
I write about the challenges we face as an online store more often than the advantages, so I thought this list might be a nice counterpart. If you can think of something I’ve missed, feel free to chime in.
We just concluded an agreement with Game Salute, so we will now be able to bring in and ship their products in Canada. Due to their tighter margins and minimum pricing policy, the products will be basically sold at Canadian MSRP. We should receive our first shipment from them in a few weeks, in the meantime, if you see anything that you’d like us to bring in, let us know and we’ll add it to our site so that you can pre-order the products.
Castle Dice: More Castles!
Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd Edition – Nature’s Ire
GripMat: Nebula (24″ x 42″, Anti-Slip Play Mat)
GripMat: Starfield (36″ x 36″, Anti-Slip Play Mat)
GripMat: Summer Seas (24″ x 24″, Anti-Slip Play Mat)
Legion Cardbox Star Realms
The Lord of the Rings LCG: On The Doorstep Nightmare Deck
Sheriff of Nottingham – Restock
Spielbox Magazine: Issue #6 (2014)