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The Making of a Game Store

noraxinoraxi Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Hello all, I feel kinda invasive for using this as my post, so I appologize for that. But hi!

My friend and I are from Canada, and we are looking to start up a video game retailer in the near future. We know what kind of capitol, and planning we have to do. And we are aware of our competition (EB Games, Best Buy, Futureshop, Walmart) and this is why I am making a post here. We have both work in the gaming retail industry for a few years now, (myself at 6 years total, 2 years of which being a supervisor at Futureshop, and the other 4 at EB Games), and my friend has a few more years on me for retail. I should mention I am currently getting my degree in Business to further my chances of success.

So onto the question I guess, we are looking for a way to become unique in the market of video retail. We already are looking to train ourselves and our few employees to know about all the games on the market (within reason) so instead of saying 'i dont know' they can actually answer questions, and be nice about it. When I worked at EB, I heard how good our store was for customer service, but how they hated other EB's because they were snooty and know it alls. So we want to keep customer service up. So what we were thinking is to have game rooms, where you can get a cinematic experience that people would pay for, but what I'm wondering is would that be enough? a 154" television, 7.1 surround, and comfy chairs. I dont know if that is enticing enough. If you have any input on this matter, please let me know! as well as any other ideas that you'd love to see in a game store! It is all welcome! Thanks again!

noraxi on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    noraxi wrote: »
    Hello all, I feel kinda invasive for using this as my post, so I appologize for that. But hi!

    My friend and I are from Canada, and we are looking to start up a video game retailer in the near future. We know what kind of capitol, and planning we have to do. And we are aware of our competition (EB Games, Best Buy, Futureshop, Walmart) and this is why I am making a post here. We have both work in the gaming retail industry for a few years now, (myself at 6 years total, 2 years of which being a supervisor at Futureshop, and the other 4 at EB Games), and my friend has a few more years on me for retail. I should mention I am currently getting my degree in Business to further my chances of success.

    So onto the question I guess, we are looking for a way to become unique in the market of video retail. We already are looking to train ourselves and our few employees to know about all the games on the market (within reason) so instead of saying 'i dont know' they can actually answer questions, and be nice about it. When I worked at EB, I heard how good our store was for customer service, but how they hated other EB's because they were snooty and know it alls. So we want to keep customer service up. So what we were thinking is to have game rooms, where you can get a cinematic experience that people would pay for, but what I'm wondering is would that be enough? a 154" television, 7.1 surround, and comfy chairs. I dont know if that is enticing enough. If you have any input on this matter, please let me know! as well as any other ideas that you'd love to see in a game store! It is all welcome! Thanks again!

    I would say those would be a giant waste of money. What with the low cost of big screen TVs and projectors, having gaming rooms wouldn't be an attraction. Notice that no one really cares about cyber cafes anymore. Same concept. Start small and work your way up. Focus on good prices for used games (and good payouts) and customer service.

    Esh on
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    JubehJubeh Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Not sure how much this will help you, but I work at Best Buy and have sort of switched from home theater to gaming and one thing I noticed is that people freak out over bundles. For instance, we had a wii bundle that came with an extra controller, nunchuk, and some other stuff but all in all, you only saved 5 bucks. Still, it sold like crazy.

    But as a guy who buys videogames, I really just go to game stores to get obscure (probably used) titles that I can't get at work, and I don't feel like ordering online. That being said, I'd like to just walk in and say, "Hey do you have this game?" get it and get out.

    Jubeh on
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    sligmastasligmasta Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    something i enjoy about my local game store is that its more than a store, but a center for gamers, they have tourneys, midnight releases with contests and prizes, and they have some arcade cabinets for when you're just hanging around looking at games and feel like dropping a few quarters.

    of course knowledgeable staff and fair prices take precedence, but all those things help make it the store i go to instead of gamestop

    sligmasta on
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    JubehJubeh Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Oh yeah touching on the game room sort of thing, my friend used to work at a little internet cafe sort of place, but they had this big game room with surround sound and a 360 and whatnot.

    But it ended up just becoming a babysitting thing, because parents would just drop their kids off there and leave. Something to think about.

    Jubeh on
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    DiscoZombieDiscoZombie Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I don't want to be a downer, but there's a reason you pretty much never see an independent games store. The profit margins are tiny unless you push pre-orders and used games, both of which are smarmy practices imo. I get the impression it's near impossible to compete with the huge chains. You could try gimmicks like having a big game room or something, and people would think it's cool, sure, but it probably wouldn't sell many more games, and it would end up being a liability when greasy kids treat your equipment like crap.

    Honestly, if you want to own your own game store (and who wouldn't), and you have the capital, just sell your soul and open a GameStop franchise or something. Competing with them is probably not worth it.

    DiscoZombie on
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    TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm going to have to side with Discozombie here. There's no reason you can't encourage your employees to be better about customer service and to keep up to date on new games and such with your own big name franchise.

    The other option would be a general "gaming" store. There aren't many big chains of that kind yet. Things like CCGs, PnPs, and wargaming and the like on top of having a decent video game collection would help differentiate you. But that's a different kind of store and it would probably require more money.

    Terrendos on
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    Cyd CycloneCyd Cyclone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Terrendos wrote: »
    The other option would be a general "gaming" store. There aren't many big chains of that kind yet. Things like CCGs, PnPs, and wargaming and the like on top of having a decent video game collection would help differentiate you. But that's a different kind of store and it would probably require more money.

    I would shop at that store in an instant.

    To the OP, one major untapped market, as I see it, is reasonably priced used games. Since Gamestop is already paying a pittance for used games, you could, depending on overall margins, and such, pay slightly more (maybe $1), and sell them for close to half price on new games. It'd take some time to build up a good turnover, without a massive advertising blitz, but it would certainly make you more popular than Gamestop/EBGames. Reasonably priced merchandise and deals are pretty much the only thing that small businesses have to compete with chain stores. And hippie ideals, but who pays for that, really?

    Cyd Cyclone on
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    OtistheGuardOtistheGuard Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Terrendos wrote: »
    I'm going to have to side with Discozombie here. There's no reason you can't encourage your employees to be better about customer service and to keep up to date on new games and such with your own big name franchise.

    The other option would be a general "gaming" store. There aren't many big chains of that kind yet. Things like CCGs, PnPs, and wargaming and the like on top of having a decent video game collection would help differentiate you. But that's a different kind of store and it would probably require more money.

    I was thinking of a store like this when you asked for additional ideas. A one stop shop for all your nerd needs sounds like a good niche market. If you have the room, add long tables for table top gaming and DnD sessions along with software.

    OtistheGuard on
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    noraxinoraxi Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    To all:

    These are really good ideas, and I really appreciate it. The game room was our most stressing concern because it might be the waste of money like Esh said. Which we are hoping to avoid, same with Jubeh, good call, that is something I never really thought of. Baby Sitting... ugh... I did that enough at EB Games, no thanks!

    We were definitely thinking about some good tournaments, arcade machines, prizes, and the like, but its all about what is reasonable to do.

    I like all the ideas that are coming in, and the game rooms has been the weak link in the chain. And perhaps instead of these game rooms, we could possibly expand into more of a Games Workshop and carry Warhammer and Warmachine and the like for people, but we will still have to wait on our demographic.

    I really appreciate your guy's help!

    as far as tourneys go, what would you all compete in? and do a lot of people play the tabletop games in Canada? I only got into the painting of my models more than playing it. Hmm... A lot more to think about

    noraxi on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Does your community have any hobby/comic/game shops with tournaments like this?

    Improvolone on
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    LailLail Surrey, B.C.Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    My brother is friends with a guy that owns his own gaming store. He pretty much only carries used games (I think he only gets the new stuff when it's the BIG releases). Most of his inventory, I believe, is the older gaming stuff though.

    He spends a lot of his time, from what I've heard, going out and FINDING games at cheap prices so he can make a profit. Garage sales, flea markets, etc.

    I can't imagine you'd ever be able to compete by selling new. You just wouldn't have the buying power.

    I think the gaming room idea could be a good in terms of building a community. And I think you could earn some extra cash by selling pop/chips/etc to people that are sitting around playing games. You could avoid the babysitting thing too with a rule about "Children under the age of x must be supervised by an adult."

    Lail on
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I don't know if the whole rented gaming room thing is actually a moneymaker or just a draw, but a couple places around here have them. While most people have a TV and an xbox, they usually don't have a couple of nice TVs and easychairs and system linked consoles that their buddies can play whatever game they want on.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    ANTVGM64ANTVGM64 Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I've been to a couple of indy game stores in New England, and the people in them have been assholes. So for sure focus on customer service.

    Another neat thing would be to post reviews of games. Print out an IGN or a Gamestop Review and the Score, and it put it next to the corresponding games. Especially for obscure titles people may not have heard of.

    ANTVGM64 on
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    UnterpreizUnterpreiz Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Aside from the issues some others have pointed out with starting your own game shop up, are you sure you know the type of capital you need to get things rolling? Even for a relatively lucrative "mom n' pop" type industry, if you don't have at least 2-3 years of your operating costs in the bank, it is really tough getting a business started. We had an exclusively used game store in my smaller town, that did all the used game practices of the big guys, and they managed to stay open for 8 months before closing up shop. (I think they'd saturated the market of our town with buying up used games and selling them to people who couldn't afford/ couldn't drive 40min to the closest big box store.)

    I know its pessimistic, but if you don't have that kind of upfront cash in hand, and no brand name/franchise attached to you...staying open for 8 months then going bankrupt is a real possibility. Just a really cynical/pessimistic thought.

    That being said, we had a card/miniature/hobby shop that stayed open in the back of a mattress store for over 10 years in my town, mostly because they built a community up who were extremely loyal to the business. I don't know how to make the community/arcade aspect financially viable for a video game shop, but I just wanted to throw a dash of optimism in here, that creating a loyal customer base can go a long way if you have other means of developing revenue.

    It sounds like you guys have a lot of initiative and excitement about this idea, and if you have the funds, I hope you do well with this business venture ;)

    Unterpreiz on
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    Descendant XDescendant X Skyrim is my god now. Outpost 31Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm seconding the hobby/videogame store. We have a gaming/comic store in my town and it does pretty well. It's even in the mall, which isn't cheap for rent. The guy supplements the income with a bunch of fancy toys, but the bulk of the store is games/ccg/p&p. He's been in business for at least 20 years and is now on city council.

    I'd say open up the store with warhammer/warmachine/D&D/etc and videogames. Make sure you have pristine customer service, because the moment someone feels slighted they will find somewhere else to go, even if there's nowhere else local. Make the place cool, not sterile, and ensure you have staff who can work with kids, because the neckbeards are there to look, not buy. It's the soccer moms with the 10-12 year-olds who will provide you with the lion's share of your business, not that I have to tell you that.

    Descendant X on
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    Cptn PantsCptn Pants Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    There was a store that did a whole video game / table top gaming / game night kind of thing in the mall i work at. For the longest time they offered things people just couldn't do at home, lan party gaming, console link games, stuff like that... once broad band and easy network consoles became more common they dropped almost all of the digital media. Every once and awhile he still has a few import, vintage and region free games but that's about it.

    There is another store, just down the street from me, that is primarily comics and board games. They have "game night" every Friday and Saturday. They have food and drinks for sale and it just keeps growing, I can't even park on the street on game nights it's getting so crazy.

    Cptn Pants on
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    JohannenJohannen Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    You could have a system for getting people Imported games.

    Johannen on
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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The problem is, that I don't think the margins on games are actually very high for the retailer. For them all the margin is in the accesories, guides and the cash they make on the interest from your pre-order. I might focus on having a clean and neatly laid out (can't stress this enough, indie game stores are often filthy) front area for games, with new releases well laid out next to their reviews. Behind that, inside the store have a board games area (Settlers, WH40K etc) and perhaps even a painting area for painting figures. Sell chips and drinks, but ban anyone under 13 unnacompanied etc.

    The problem is of course, that I think you'd work very hard and make a little bit of money, you'd have to genuinely love your products and working with customers to want to do this, espesically in this economic climate. Although, you might be able to get a good lease on a decent location store. Decent location is vital of course.

    tbloxham on
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    YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    ANTVGM64 wrote: »
    Another neat thing would be to post reviews of games. Print out an IGN or a Gamestop Review and the Score, and it put it next to the corresponding games. Especially for obscure titles people may not have heard of.

    I'm meh on this idea. It may discourage people from buying games that they were originally going to buy. GameStop did it for awhile, but it must not have been helpful because they don't do it anymore.

    Also a gameroom is a huge waste of money, don't bother.

    Remember PA is a minority among people who play games. 99% percent of your customers won't care about importing for example. The best idea in this thread is holding a lot of events. They can be hard to manage though, but anything that gets people in your store is(especially for pretty much free, depending on the event) is A+.

    Operate under the assumption you won't make a profit for 2 years. Don't be the 90% of small businesses that fail.

    YodaTuna on
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    AwkAwk Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I wish you best of luck but consider how small of a slice of pie of a market you are projecting to.

    Awk on
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    TechnicalityTechnicality Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I agree that reviews and scores in particular are probably a bad idea, but there is a record shop and a bookstore in my city that both put little handwritten snippets about some of the more interesting products on the shelves.

    I think this could work in the context of a game shop. The back of the product is ok for getting information, but it doesn't compare to a handwritten note letting you know why you should be excited about something from someone with a deep passion for the medium.

    Technicality on
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    PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2010
    Yeah the problem is:
    The margin on games is pitifully small.

    The only way to make money is to operate heavily in used games where the margin is much higher.

    If EB is having financial trouble competing with the big boxes and digital distribution, and the used market is so enticing that companies who previously never would have considered operating in it are now rushing to do so, what makes you think you'll carve out a niche you can do well in?

    I think you're being unreasonably optimistic. Still, if you do the used thing well, offer slightly better returns and slightly better prices, you might do okay.

    Trying to offer "expert" advice or a living room replacement isn't going to work because nobody needs either of those and in any case neither will make someone spend money they weren't going to anyhow.

    Pheezer on
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    noraxinoraxi Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    We are not rushing into the market like some companies, we are actually taking our time, looking at the market, and for the most part looking at pooling ideas, and of course asking REAL gamers what they want more than anything. I love all the ideas being thrown my way, and from the looks of it from looking around today, there is next to nothing for table top games, so that might be the way to go! And it was something I wasn't overly focused on, so it's awesome to be getting all this info, its very helpful. I'd have to agree with Tourneys from what all of you have been saying.

    But as far as those go, i cant just build it, they wont come... I'd need to advertise, but there isnt many forums or local internet hubs that people really go on for where we are, and i know that no one really posts in the paper any more. Perhaps if we have professional fliers and good word of mouth would be enough.

    We are trying to to be overly optimistic, as the average new game is only marked up at 5-12 dollars (in some rare cases 25 dollars, like most 70 dollar titles). We are however, very determined and excited to be in the market, we love video games, we love helping people and we're adament that we can carve even a small amout out of a local market and be comfortable. We are not expecting to develop a chain (as amazing as it would be, and could happen if we do everything right) But we're not in the clouds.

    And yes, as far as used goes, and having worked for EB i would rather keep my games, and not trade them in, so offering a better return on a game, and better prices is something that will come down the line when I have a better idea on what i should be ranging my prices in without ripping myself off. Thus the schooling :)

    From the sounds of it, i will be ditching the game room all together, but will be gaining Magic the Gathering, Warhammer, and some how if i can, things like Bawls, and potions!

    Planning, planning, planning. I love you guys.

    noraxi on
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    mooshoeporkmooshoepork Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    noraxi wrote: »
    We are not rushing into the market like some companies, we are actually taking our time, looking at the market, and for the most part looking at pooling ideas, and of course asking REAL gamers what they want more than anything. I love all the ideas being thrown my way, and from the looks of it from looking around today, there is next to nothing for table top games, so that might be the way to go! And it was something I wasn't overly focused on, so it's awesome to be getting all this info, its very helpful. I'd have to agree with Tourneys from what all of you have been saying.

    But as far as those go, i cant just build it, they wont come... I'd need to advertise, but there isnt many forums or local internet hubs that people really go on for where we are, and i know that no one really posts in the paper any more. Perhaps if we have professional fliers and good word of mouth would be enough.

    We are trying to to be overly optimistic, as the average new game is only marked up at 5-12 dollars (in some rare cases 25 dollars, like most 70 dollar titles). We are however, very determined and excited to be in the market, we love video games, we love helping people and we're adament that we can carve even a small amout out of a local market and be comfortable. We are not expecting to develop a chain (as amazing as it would be, and could happen if we do everything right) But we're not in the clouds.

    And yes, as far as used goes, and having worked for EB i would rather keep my games, and not trade them in, so offering a better return on a game, and better prices is something that will come down the line when I have a better idea on what i should be ranging my prices in without ripping myself off. Thus the schooling :)

    From the sounds of it, i will be ditching the game room all together, but will be gaining Magic the Gathering, Warhammer, and some how if i can, things like Bawls, and potions!

    Planning, planning, planning. I love you guys.

    Forgive me if I sound curt, but, if you took your time "looking at the market" you'd realize that your target market isn't "real gamers", it's probably mothers. Therefore, what we want might not be something financially viable.

    edit: I'll give a little more

    Tabletop games and card games might not be viable either. Have you got any statistics on how many people even play in your area? competition perhaps? These are all things you should be looking at.

    There's a game store near me where I go (not to buy games, because they are more expensive), but just to look often, because they have glass cabinets with ps1 games, n64, gameboy, GBA, sega megadrive, toys and figurines/old systems (super nes/nes). All this stuff (like potions) could potentially attract real gamers. More importantly, a mother buying a game for her son, might also decide to buy a keychain/plush toy or whatever.

    mooshoepork on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    You had better learn your customers names when it comes time to open the doors.

    Improvolone on
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    FubearFubear Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    As a mild-mannered video game customer, here's what little meaningful advice I would give:

    Create some sort of online presence... that works (AKA it's not down every other day). You don't need an online store, just something that announces new releases, has the store hours and a contact number and maybe e-mail.

    Try selling games on eBay if your brick and mortar store doesn't sell enough. Or maybe try it before opening a brick and mortar store.

    Have you considered opening a Play 'N Trade franchise?

    Fubear on
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    sligmastasligmasta Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Fubear wrote: »
    As a mild-mannered video game customer, here's what little meaningful advice I would give:

    Create some sort of online presence... that works (AKA it's not down every other day). You don't need an online store, just something that announces new releases, has the store hours and a contact number and maybe e-mail.

    Try selling games on eBay if your brick and mortar store doesn't sell enough. Or maybe try it before opening a brick and mortar store.

    Have you considered opening a Play 'N Trade franchise?

    yeah, play 'n trade is probably the best of the chain stores ive been in. they carry old games, imports, and an actual selection of computer games. were you to go the franchise route, i would recomend them.

    sligmasta on
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    TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    If I were you I would also strongly consider adding DnD 4e stuff to your store. Not only is it pretty popular right now (both with miniatures and books) but a cursory check of the Toronto area on the WotC site's "Event Locator" shows only a single store in the Toronto area for over 40 miles. In other words, it looks like you'd have a relatively exclusive venue, and you could also get a bit of free advertising just by showing up on this Event Locator.

    Terrendos on
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    FubearFubear Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Terrendos wrote: »
    If I were you I would also strongly consider adding DnD 4e stuff to your store. Not only is it pretty popular right now (both with miniatures and books) but a cursory check of the Toronto area on the WotC site's "Event Locator" shows only a single store in the Toronto area for over 40 miles. In other words, it looks like you'd have a relatively exclusive venue, and you could also get a bit of free advertising just by showing up on this Event Locator.

    Though I think it would probably be better to specialize in one area of geekery, this seems like a good idea.


    Just don't half-ass it, I guess?

    Fubear on
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    SamSam Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    something to keep in mind- chains like Gamestop/EB get huge discounts and shipping priority for their games.

    Without the discounts, you're looking at an unsustainable level of expenses if you want to stock new titles. There's no way you can keep up with getting shipments of every new release when you haven't even done enough busines to pay off your original shipments, and if you don't keep up with releases you'll be known as that store that doesnt get games on launch day.

    You need to be a used/trade in store to start out with, and probably for the duration of your store's existence, unless you expand into a chain. you should also consider selling/reselling DVD's and CD's.

    If you build the gaming room though, the people will come. A lot of people for whatever reason won't have access to a HDTV and/or Xbox Live/PSN. Kids whose parents don't let them play on the big screen or don't buy them all the games they want will also show up to spend 4 bucks an hour playing whatever game they want.

    Having a setup for ridiculously expensive shit like Rock Band and Tony Hawk's Ride will also get you some business.

    If you went the extra mile and had something like, say, Steel Battalion, I know I'd show up not just to try that but because anyone who has Steel Battalion in their gaming room is cool.

    More importantly though, this will turn your store into a hangout for gamers and gamer community events like LAN parties and tournaments.

    Sam on
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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Branching out into related media/games would be a better idea than "just video games".

    Pen and paper is a particular niche market that EB, etc would not touch with a 10 foot poll.

    It also lets you host campaigns which is a good way to drive business.

    Selling cards, minis, books, etc...

    Jasconius on
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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    We've got a local store here that competes pretty well with gamestop. It deals in all the new stuff, does system repairs, and sells old hardware (nintendo, sega, atari, etc.)

    However, the bulk of it's profits come from the game rooms. They have four huge game rooms set up, where you can play any game on any console, for $7 an hour ($5 if you're a member)

    Parents can also rent the place for parties and they shut it down to the general public (just the back rooms, the front is still open if you come in knowing what you want to buy)

    They do lock ins as well. Yes, it sucks because instead of running a game store they become babysitters for rich parents spoiled kids, but they make LOT of money doing it. Just food for thought.

    amateurhour on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    We've got a local store here that competes pretty well with gamestop. It deals in all the new stuff, does system repairs, and sells old hardware (nintendo, sega, atari, etc.)

    However, the bulk of it's profits come from the game rooms. They have four huge game rooms set up, where you can play any game on any console, for $7 an hour ($5 if you're a member)

    Parents can also rent the place for parties and they shut it down to the general public (just the back rooms, the front is still open if you come in knowing what you want to buy)

    They do lock ins as well. Yes, it sucks because instead of running a game store they become babysitters for rich parents spoiled kids, but they make LOT of money doing it. Just food for thought.

    $5-$7 an hour is not making a lot of money. Even if those rooms were rented out 10 hours a day at maximum rate, that's still next to nothing.

    Esh on
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    darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I do love "gaming" speciality stores, the one we have here in Calgary (The Sentry Box) does pretty well for itself if I recall. They sell all the PnP RPGs and accessories, CCGs, boardgames, minatures, anime, scifi/cult films, nerdy apperal, novels, WWII models, and other nerdy merch. They do tournaments and they use to have a gaming/lan room(might still be there but I think overall a PC room is a bad idea)

    They also have been around for years and have switched venues a few times. The building they are in now is quite spacious and has a nice area for table top gaming.

    If anything that is the kind of store you want, especially if there isnt one like it currently where you live.

    darkmayo on
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    WeretacoWeretaco Cubicle Gangster Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    One other thing to note about used games is what happens when you end up with 200 copies of last years EA sports title? Sure you're only going to give a tiny amount for them but you will end up with a big stock of now basically useless titles to offload. Large chains like eb and such can at least spread them around and eat the cost as they get you to trade in for the current year but I imagine it's tough for a small company to deal with it.

    Weretaco on
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    RendRend Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Game Empire here in San Diego has a pitiful selection of video games, but they're still there. Mostly they deal in miniatures wargames, board games, and pen and paper games, as well as the old standby's like Magic the Gathering and such. That store is extremely successful for a game store.

    I won't pretend to be an expert on the video game market, but I know of maybe 1 store in all of the 6 or 7 places I have lived that has:
    1. Sold video games as a primary mode of business
    2. Stuck around for awhile
    3. Not been a big retailer like GameStop.

    And that one also has a huge draw with a large LAN room and a bunch of TVs with XBoxes and such. This is just some anecdotal stuff for you to think about, not necessarily help or advice, but it seems relevant and may be of use to you.

    Good luck in your endeavors!

    Rend on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Weretaco wrote: »
    One other thing to note about used games is what happens when you end up with 200 copies of last years EA sports title? Sure you're only going to give a tiny amount for them but you will end up with a big stock of now basically useless titles to offload. Large chains like eb and such can at least spread them around and eat the cost as they get you to trade in for the current year but I imagine it's tough for a small company to deal with it.

    You're not forced to buy them from customers. You can say "Sorry! Got too many copies already!"

    Pick up a couple copies and then stop buying it.

    Esh on
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    SipexSipex Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Sounds good so far, some suggestions on services you could offer.

    You'll be attracting gamers, both table top and video, while a lot of us can get our own stuff online it wouldn't hurt to offer a service where you could order something for them (with an appropriate mark up for transaction fee, you'll have to look up guidelines for that to see what is legal and what isn't). Transaction fees aren't bad, just make sure it's clear that the item will carry the fee.

    This will allow gamers without credit, people looking for easy gifts or gamers who don't know what's out there to see what you can find for them.

    I'd go along the lines of offering to order print copies of webcomics and webcomic merchandise, stuff you'd find at sites like ThinkGeek, PnP game supplies (books, figurines, a grid table), displays (weapons, figurines, etc) and TV season packs (because some of us definitely like our episodes in big shiny season packs). See if you can get a retail deal with a place like amazon or think geek.

    Sipex on
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    DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Have a different Event each night Wednesday-saturday

    Lan party
    Magic the gathering tournament
    D&D night
    ???

    You use the same space for a different community each night. You need as large a loyal customer base as possible who will come out and buy the new release from you. (or new sets, new miniatures etc)

    Don't be afraid to cater to local markets.

    Dman on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Sipex wrote: »
    Sounds good so far, some suggestions on services you could offer.

    You'll be attracting gamers, both table top and video, while a lot of us can get our own stuff online it wouldn't hurt to offer a service where you could order something for them (with an appropriate mark up for transaction fee, you'll have to look up guidelines for that to see what is legal and what isn't). Transaction fees aren't bad, just make sure it's clear that the item will carry the fee.

    This will allow gamers without credit, people looking for easy gifts or gamers who don't know what's out there to see what you can find for them.

    I'd go along the lines of offering to order print copies of webcomics and webcomic merchandise, stuff you'd find at sites like ThinkGeek, PnP game supplies (books, figurines, a grid table), displays (weapons, figurines, etc) and TV season packs (because some of us definitely like our episodes in big shiny season packs). See if you can get a retail deal with a place like amazon or think geek.

    It's 2010. I'm pretty sure there's not a soul outside of 6 year olds and octogenarians who can't figure out how to order something online.

    The only people you'd be catering to are those who don't have bank accounts, and that's not one even worth pursuing.

    Esh on
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