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Questions Regarding buying out a Game Store UPDATE PAGE 6

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  • stampingseostampingseo Registered User new member
    Running a game shop is really a difficult task. my cousin was running a game shop in home town, india. games price are little high for indian customers

  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    @ziac45

    Any updates on how your meetings / review of the books over Christmas went? I'm interested to hear if everything was as it seems and you're going forward or what.

    davidsdurions
  • Ziac45Ziac45 Registered User regular
    zagdrob wrote: »
    @ziac45

    Any updates on how your meetings / review of the books over Christmas went? I'm interested to hear if everything was as it seems and you're going forward or what.

    Since there is interest I will let people know how it has gone. Everything was as it appeared to be. When the previous owner went to get his stuff out there was some personal tension between us on the time frame, and how much stuff he had (he seriously had a ton.) Plus there was some angst from him when I cleaned up the shop, which included throwing out a ton of useless stuff. But after that was all said and done my opening day was a success. Cleared 800$ in sales on the first day, this is a very small shop so that was way beyond my expectations. Today was not so hot due to weather and no event, and I don't expect everyday to be as good as my first day was but if anything has shown me that this is something that can succeed I think that did.

    cabsyzagdrobbowenoldmankenNova_CThe EnderSCREECH OF THE FARGWulfCambiataJaysonFourGonmun
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    If you can keep it up to $800 a week, at least, you're in a good area.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    PsykomaJaysonFour
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    Congratulations. Assuming this is now entirely your company, here are some things to keep in mind to help grow.

    1) Pay attention to taxes and the IRS. Of all of your potential creditors, the IRS is the one you do not fuck with. Distributors, utilities, and so on, usually offer credit terms and will work with you if you're late on payments. Similarly, if things go south, you can go into bankruptcy which will protect you from debts you may have with your creditors. However, the IRS will always get their money, even if you become an LLC and are shielded in some way. They are also happy to apply fees and charge interest if you decide to ignore them. Do not ignore the IRS.

    2) Have a plan to recoup any expenses before spending capital. If you have cash to spend on product, ensure that it's product that there is demand for. Don't be afraid to ask your customers what they want to buy, or offer to order in products for them. Tell them you will match Amazon or other online stores, and have a computer at the store that lets them check. Tell them that they'll save on shipping and you'll charge the same price for those direct orders (assuming that you can still get them for less through your distributors). The same is true for events or marketing. Make sure you have a plan to earn money before you dive into anything. If you spend $1000 on marketing and it results in a net gain of $500, it's a waste.

    3) Since this is a small company, and you seem to be doing it yourself, don't overlook the value of your own hard work. My wife's mom owns her own business, and she works a LOT but she ends up reaping the benefits of the success. For example, if there is a demand for you to be open on Sundays, your new weekend day may just be Monday. Or you may end up with no days off until you're large enough to hire an employee. However, since it's your business now, if you want to spend your time at the store marketing it on Facebook, Twitter, etc., or devise potential events for the future, do it.

    4) Be sure to plan your purchases. Ideally, you never want to be out of stock on your key sales items, but you also don't want to be sitting on a ton of inventory. Again, don't hesitate to talk to your customers to see what they're interested in, what their plans are, and what they're excited about.

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
    bowenPsykomaEsseeNobodytapeslingerJaysonFour
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Having your own website where people could place orders wouldn't hurt either, and be pretty minimal in terms of cost.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    bowen, you don't know offhand of something sort of off the rack, but with a bigger inventory space than something like, say, shopify or the like for such a website do you?

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited January 2014
    Start out with a website that gives a map to the store, the hours of opening, and the dates and times of special events (updated regularly.) The online cart can come later.

    This can be done in Wordpress, by you, on a slow day in the store.

    CelestialBadger on
    bowen
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Start out with a website that gives a map to the store, the hours of opening, and the dates and times of special events (updated regularly.) The online cart can come later.

    This can be done in Wordpress, by you, on a slow day in the store.

    To go with this:
    http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-e-commerce/

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    JaysonFour
  • oldmankenoldmanken Registered User regular
    Start out with a website that gives a map to the store, the hours of opening, and the dates and times of special events (updated regularly.) The online cart can come later.

    This can be done in Wordpress, by you, on a slow day in the store.

    A mailing list so you can push event and new arrival notices would probably be a good idea as well.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    oldmanken wrote: »
    Start out with a website that gives a map to the store, the hours of opening, and the dates and times of special events (updated regularly.) The online cart can come later.

    This can be done in Wordpress, by you, on a slow day in the store.

    A mailing list so you can push event and new arrival notices would probably be a good idea as well.

    A bit old school, you can probably just have a news section on the website, and post it on twitter/facebook.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Essee
  • oldmankenoldmanken Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    oldmanken wrote: »
    Start out with a website that gives a map to the store, the hours of opening, and the dates and times of special events (updated regularly.) The online cart can come later.

    This can be done in Wordpress, by you, on a slow day in the store.

    A mailing list so you can push event and new arrival notices would probably be a good idea as well.

    A bit old school, you can probably just have a news section on the website, and post it on twitter/facebook.

    True. Just figured you would want to cover all bases and get maximum exposure.

    bowenEssee
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    oldmanken wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    oldmanken wrote: »
    Start out with a website that gives a map to the store, the hours of opening, and the dates and times of special events (updated regularly.) The online cart can come later.

    This can be done in Wordpress, by you, on a slow day in the store.

    A mailing list so you can push event and new arrival notices would probably be a good idea as well.

    A bit old school, you can probably just have a news section on the website, and post it on twitter/facebook.

    True. Just figured you would want to cover all bases and get maximum exposure.

    Yep, and sometimes emails are a good prompt, as it's push as opposed to pull, and some of us fucking hate facebook groups and twitter.

    bowentapeslinger
  • Ziac45Ziac45 Registered User regular
    I am not at all willing to get into web selling at this point. The Facebook page is filling my needs and a lot of the companies I deal with have extremely strict policies in regards to online sales, so strict that should I inadvertently break one I could be refused product and ultimate go out of business. My entire goal right now is to grow my in shop sales.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Ziac45 wrote: »
    I am not at all willing to get into web selling at this point. The Facebook page is filling my needs and a lot of the companies I deal with have extremely strict policies in regards to online sales, so strict that should I inadvertently break one I could be refused product and ultimate go out of business. My entire goal right now is to grow my in shop sales.

    I don't really think you can do online sales of mass market releases as a sideline. You won't be the cheapest source and the items aren't that rare. Unless it's your primary focus it's probably not worth getting too into.

    I would absolute get a nice website that clearly lists what events are, when they are and make it obvious it's updated. Open up a browser you don't ever use (like IE) and check out your Facebook page without logging in. Can you see event info? If you can't be wary about using that as your only web presence.

    Also since I haven't said this since you took the plunge: Best of luck.

  • Liquid HellzLiquid Hellz Registered User regular
    Ziac45 wrote: »
    I am not at all willing to get into web selling at this point. The Facebook page is filling my needs and a lot of the companies I deal with have extremely strict policies in regards to online sales, so strict that should I inadvertently break one I could be refused product and ultimate go out of business. My entire goal right now is to grow my in shop sales.

    Even if you can't do online sales, I would suggest creating a great shopping experience with the products you have in store. People LOVE shopping online and it is only gaining in popularity. If you could put current products on your website, with great descriptions, prices, allow others to review them etc. I am sure a lot of people would be browsing that before they came in to purchase.

    What I do for a living:
    Home Inspection and Wind Mitigation
    http://www.FairWindInspections.com/
  • oldmankenoldmanken Registered User regular
    Online registration for events might be a good idea as well. Maybe not taking money until they get in the door, but it would at least give you a good idea of what kind of numbers to expect.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    oldmanken wrote: »
    Online registration for events might be a good idea as well. Maybe not taking money until they get in the door, but it would at least give you a good idea of what kind of numbers to expect.

    This is what Facebook is made for!

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    oldmanken wrote: »
    Online registration for events might be a good idea as well. Maybe not taking money until they get in the door, but it would at least give you a good idea of what kind of numbers to expect.

    This is what Facebook is made for!

    If you have a Facebook account and want to sign in.

    I hate companies that hide their business behind FB. I'm not getting spammed and cataloged by FB because I want your store hours. Maybe in the minority, but it's a horrible practice.

    Jokerman wrote: »
    If sigs were still a thing this would be mine.
    EncCaelum MilitisTofystedethLovely
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    And, hard as it to believe, not all of us even have Facebook accounts.

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
    bowenNijaEnczagdrobNaphtaliCogJaysonFourcurly haired boy
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited January 2014
    Are there any rules against giving a plug to the shop in this thread?

    There may be some PA peeps in the area and getting a couple extra customers couldn't hurt?

    zepherin on
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    Are there any rules against giving a plug to the shop in this thread?

    There may be some PA peeps in the area and getting a couple extra customers couldn't hurt?

    Think it'd be OK if someone asks. So where's this hip new shop of yours?

    Of course maybe best if you don't mention it, since this thread will get indexed with other search results.

    Jokerman wrote: »
    If sigs were still a thing this would be mine.
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    oldmanken wrote: »
    Online registration for events might be a good idea as well. Maybe not taking money until they get in the door, but it would at least give you a good idea of what kind of numbers to expect.

    This is what Facebook is made for!

    If you have a Facebook account and want to sign in.

    I hate companies that hide their business behind FB. I'm not getting spammed and cataloged by FB because I want your store hours. Maybe in the minority, but it's a horrible practice.

    For event attendance, not store hours. Info that doesn't change, such as location and store hours should be on the website.

    Sure, to keep everyone happy he could use a variety of methods to allow everyone to use their favorite method of RSVP but he's just one guy who is a complete noob at this. He needs something fast and cheap. Such as the Facebook event system. It's not as if he's going to turn away people who turn up without RSVP and I'm sure techno-dinosaurs could directly phone the store and ask for event times!

  • oldmankenoldmanken Registered User regular
    So here's a question that may be slightly out of the scope of the thread, but is industry related.

    Other than Magic, which is a behemoth, what's the sales and catch-on like for other TCG/CCGs? How badly is digital/tablet offerings affecting physical sales?

  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Blight on Discourse Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    Ziac45 wrote: »
    I am not at all willing to get into web selling at this point. The Facebook page is filling my needs and a lot of the companies I deal with have extremely strict policies in regards to online sales, so strict that should I inadvertently break one I could be refused product and ultimate go out of business. My entire goal right now is to grow my in shop sales.

    I don't really think you can do online sales of mass market releases as a sideline. You won't be the cheapest source and the items aren't that rare. Unless it's your primary focus it's probably not worth getting too into.

    I would absolute get a nice website that clearly lists what events are, when they are and make it obvious it's updated. Open up a browser you don't ever use (like IE) and check out your Facebook page without logging in. Can you see event info? If you can't be wary about using that as your only web presence.

    Also since I haven't said this since you took the plunge: Best of luck.

    Protip: You can just open an Incognito tab in Chrome for this purpose. It has the added benefit of not setting off previously downloaded malware that requires an instance of IE to run.

  • Ziac45Ziac45 Registered User regular
    Many of you guys asked for a year update and as November marks one year since I decided to take over the shop I figured I would report back and share what happened. Some of the advice I received over a year ago was really good, and more accurate than I knew at the time, some of it was god awful though. The store went from being open Wed-saturday 6:30-10 to being open my original hours of Wed-Friday 2-10:30 Sat 12-11 and Sunday 12-8. This worked for awhile the store was doing pretty well, I was making payments on my debt and everything seemed really good.

    At some point I decided that if I was really going to do this I was going to go all in for it. I started buying up singles with help from a buddy who knew what he was doing, this turned into a HUGE profit driver for the store. I also decided that the store was not running enough events and moved to be open 7 days a week with events on every day but Saturday. I had no employees at this point so for about 3-4 months I was working 7 days a week with no one else. Thankfully I didn't get sick and I think only closed up one day during this period.

    This really catapulted the business and had the store packed almost every single night of the week. During this seven day a week period I had picked up a side job doing Landscaping that I would do one day a week before work. I was exhausted almost all the time and generally pretty stressed out at this point. But it did lead me, with income being reinvested into the business, to pay off the loan in full in early September.

    Since then I hired someone on to work a day and a half of the week for me to get some time off. The old owner and I are still firm friends to this day after we got past the personal tension of the store changing hands in the beginning. The inventory in the store was really bad when I started and one of the things people were right about was the amount I paid. I overpaid for the inventory I was saddled with and am still working on clearing out some of the old stuff. Overall though this was a pretty minor drop in the bucket and I am glad I didn't try and beat my friend down to 50% of his asking price for everything. I would just rather have paid the larger amount then ruin a friendship.

    Things are going so well right now that I am looking at opening a second location in a different area. To give you guys an idea of the figures in my first post I was told to expect an income of about $17,000 from the shop. As of today I have made $30,000 on the shop this year. With two months left in the year and my inventory getting better every month I expect to do really well this year and hopefully transition the success here to the new location.

    ceresdavidsdurionsSanderJKCauldMrDelishMrVyngaardschussSharp101Lord PalingtonHahnsoo1NobodyL Ron Howardmotti886AngelinaXaquinsee317Inquisitor77DevoutlyApatheticPsykomaEvil MonkeyIrukaJaysonFourSkeithA Dabble Of TheloniusdjmitchellaCreaganBaron DirigibleWiseManTobesbowenCelestialBadgertapeslingerzagdrobwrong_buttonRhesus PositiveDr. FrenchensteinBrainiac 8Disco11AngelHedgieTofystedethPriestPlatyEvigilantHeartlashLovelyMichaelLCSmrtnikcrimsoncoyotefightinfilipinoTehSlothCambiataKyouguJebus314LykouraghGonmunBobbleNaphtaliBouwsTDerrickEndaroKetar
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Cool story, but did you price your soda and snacks properly?


    :)

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    JohnnyCacheJebusUDbowenSmrtnikCambiataBobble
  • tarnoktarnok Registered User regular
    I'm really glad things are working out for you. Is the 30k profit? Presuming that's after paying off your debt then it sounds like you're doing really well. Good luck with the new location and be careful not to over-extend yourself.

    Wii Code:
    0431-6094-6446-7088
  • DaimarDaimar A Million Feet Tall of Awesome Registered User regular
    tarnok wrote: »
    Good luck with the new location and be careful not to over-extend yourself.

    This is a pretty important point. There is a comic book store here which did great when it started up since there was only one other major competitor who was really complacent and overpriced so their initial store took off. Since it's a large city they eventually expanded to three stores but now they're back down to one. Part of the reason the expansions didn't work out is the new stores cannibalized customers from the original location, existing customers just went to the closest store and they didn't pick up much new business since the people who were interested in their product were already customers.

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    Daenristapeslinger
  • Ziac45Ziac45 Registered User regular
    Daimar wrote: »
    tarnok wrote: »
    Good luck with the new location and be careful not to over-extend yourself.

    This is a pretty important point. There is a comic book store here which did great when it started up since there was only one other major competitor who was really complacent and overpriced so their initial store took off. Since it's a large city they eventually expanded to three stores but now they're back down to one. Part of the reason the expansions didn't work out is the new stores cannibalized customers from the original location, existing customers just went to the closest store and they didn't pick up much new business since the people who were interested in their product were already customers.

    The new location is about an hour away from my existing one so it shouldn't be an issue.

  • motti886motti886 USARegistered User regular
    Very glad to hear that things are working out pretty well. Moreso to read that throughout the whole ordeal that your friendship with the previous owner has survived. Should we take it that it turned out he was being pretty straight up with you, then?

  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    Glad to hear your store is doing so well.
    Ziac45 wrote: »

    The new location is about an hour away from my existing one so it shouldn't be an issue.

    Even so, you'd likely be better off waiting another year or two before attempting to open a new location. Expanding prematurely could easily end up tanking both the new and current locations.

    GaslightJaysonFour815165bowentapeslingerzagdrobPriestLilnoobs
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    Two downsides to having another store an hour away:
    1) Anyone who lives 30+ minutes away will go to the new store. Try to poll your customers to see how many that would be.
    2) You'll be commuting an extra two hours everyday the first year you open the new store, because the new store will need that much help. That's a long enough commute that most who do it end up moving or changing jobs, just to get their life back.

    iTNdmYl.png
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    Two downsides to having another store an hour away:
    1) Anyone who lives 30+ minutes away will go to the new store. Try to poll your customers to see how many that would be.
    2) You'll be commuting an extra two hours everyday the first year you open the new store, because the new store will need that much help. That's a long enough commute that most who do it end up moving or changing jobs, just to get their life back.

    I'm going to strongly underscore the first point. You really want to understand your current customer base to make sure you know where they're coming from and why. For all you know, you are making assumptions that aren't true.

    As for opening up a second location, that's a fantastic goal, but right now it sounds like you only have one employee. As an owner-operator, your ideal work balance should be that the business can run at least a few days without you. If you get sick or a family emergency pops up and you need to leave town for a week, then the shop closes for a week. Business owners underestimate the value of being open consistently, especially once they no longer have a local monopoly. You should be training up the first employee to take over the first store and potentially even manage it on his/her own with one or two of their own employees (if that person isn't suitable, then you may need to find someone else who is a better long-term prospect). Then you can focus on the second store, get it up and running, and train the staff there. Once that's done, you can split your time evenly between watching both stores and making sure the quality stays the same. It also gives you the option longer-term of opening up yet another location because now you have an institutional base from which you can operate, instead of having everything falling on your shoulders.

    JebusUDtapeslinger
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    First, congratulations!

    Second, just remember that the current store is your baby and you are there like 90% of the time. If the other store is gonna be an hour away there is no way you'll spend as much time with each store. This is definitely gonna change how things work out. It seems you are awesome at making your store work, now you gotta get at least one somebody to also be awesome at making another store work like you would. That is a different challenge that what you've done before.

    Walk in knowing this is different and I'm sure you can handle it.

  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Think of it this way- you know the market can support one store. You don't know if it could support two of them- could both of your stores survive on half the first one's business each? If not, it's not the time to expand.

    steam_sig.png
    815165DaenrisGabriel_Pitt
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Think of it this way- you know the market can support one store. You don't know if it could support two of them- could both of your stores survive on half the first one's business each? If not, it's not the time to expand.

    I really have no idea what math it is y'all are trying to do, but an hour away around here is about 60 miles, and yeah, given the game store selections out that way, having two stores ~60 miles apart is noooooooooooooooooooooot really something that's going to make you worry about cannibalizing your own sales.

    Ziac45
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Think of it this way- you know the market can support one store. You don't know if it could support two of them- could both of your stores survive on half the first one's business each? If not, it's not the time to expand.

    I really have no idea what math it is y'all are trying to do, but an hour away around here is about 60 miles, and yeah, given the game store selections out that way, having two stores ~60 miles apart is noooooooooooooooooooooot really something that's going to make you worry about cannibalizing your own sales.

    Depends on how rural you are.

    OP, I hope that $30k is after you've paid yourself. The smart thing to do would be to stash away all that money until you have enough money to start it outright without loans. And then, take out a loan to do it, and have enough to cover a possible failure.

    You might also want to see if the employee is willing to move into partner status and run this other store. You need someone who you know can run the store in your absence, and willing to learn. You also need to keep tight grips on inventory, and sales. Make sure things going out match the money going out. It's not uncommon for someone to bleed the owner dry like this. Not saying it'll happen but protect yourself.

    Maybe do once a month meetup to make sure everything's going good, and go over the books and cash.

    If you haven't already, get a credit card machine, square has a good system.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Wonderful to hear. Thanks for updating - so few people do!

    tapeslingerXaquinDisco11
  • PriestPriest Registered User regular
    Nice to see an update!

    Having worked for a small business for 10 years in my past, I would caution against opening a second store until you have an associate/manager that you completely and utterly trust.

    bowenHeartlashMichaelLCCambiata
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