Supporting your FLGS

Supporter

How far would you be willing to go to support a LGS?

I stopped by one of the shops in town after work today and was momentarily excited - they had 2 copies of Wingspan in stock!

Except they were charging $90 for the game. 

So I said nope. I’m getting more interested in picking up Wingspan but $90! 

Sheesh. 

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Supporter9 months ago

I don't have any FLGS but I have wrestled with this in many other areas. Do I support the small hometown store or Walmart, or Amazon. It turns out I'm willing to pay a pretty good premium to support the small store, it they offer good, and/or services that I otherwise use/need. For example, I'll buy a very expensive hammer from the mom and pop store 8 minutes from my house Esther than buying the same hammer at 1/2 the price from Ace Hardware or Amazon. Because it is worth it to me to have them do close whenever I need something. 

But, I have never experienced the benefits of a FLGS. So it would be hard for me to pay a great lot for new games at one. Of course, if they offered other services like a open gaming area, or a used game area, or store credit, or a trade program, or rentals, or actually knowledgeable staff.... Then I would probably commit to supporting them, but even then, they would probably not get all my purchases. 

Supporter9 months ago

I do tend to consider ACE Hardware to be “more” local than the big box stores. At least they are all run as independent franchises, so I feel like a purchase there actually does support your local area. 

Unfortunately none of the LGS in my area offer used games, store credit, or anything that would make them a lot more attractive to use. 

2 of them do offer open gaming areas but I’m just not interested in using those services. 

Supporter9 months ago

Well... That makes it easier. 

9 months ago

I hear ya.  I think I might post a Want Ad on Facebook or something... "Looking for a friend who owns a copy of Wingspan", lol.

Supporter9 months ago

I don't have a lgs but travel quite a bit for work and I've stopped at many over the years. They all seem pretty much the same in that you can expect to pay almost double what you would online and the only gaming that regularly happens is MtG and/or role-playing games. Neither of which appeals to me. 


Supporter9 months ago

Truth. 

9 months ago

$90 is pretty high for Wingspan.  I'd get it at LGS if it was in the $70 range but not for $90.  That being said I like to support the LGS when I can.  We have one here in Denton that offers a buy 10 items get the next purchased item at a discount for the average of the first 10 items you bought.  If someone in my family is purchasing a game I ask them to get it from that store and use my name to accrue "credit".  Thus far and until October I have a credit of 6 games (4 more to get the discount).  At that store its hot or miss what the markup will be.  I bought Marvel Champions last week for $60 figuring that's not too far off cost and if increases my current average item amount.  I'll probably try to get 4 more larger games between now and October but will likely avoid the place next year save a game of two.  

Supporter9 months ago

That’s a nice loyalty program. Makes customers interested in buying from them multiple times. 

Supporter9 months ago

I thought this was about driving distance, because it takes us about 2 hours in several directions to get to a game store, and the one we visited over the holidays to trade in ~30 games is about 5 hours away (we were making most of the trip otherwise). We ended up getting a couple of games and a couple of RPG books with our trade-in credit (plus space on our shelves) without having to sell, pack, and ship them individually and they got a bunch of new games to sell. 

Generally I'll buy smaller games (like HexRoller, Jaipur) from a game store where the online discount is less noticeable vs a big box game, and/or it's hard to find at the moment, and/or paying shipping on one thing would make it the same price anyway. Sam likes to go to early release D&D stores to get things ahead, and sometimes find things that are hard to find. 

The store we go to in Albany, NY (Zombie Planet) has a rewards program, $10 off the next purchase when you spend $100, which is a nice way to roll over purchases. Jupiter Games near Binghamton, NY, has a good game library and a large downstairs gaming space. Millennium Games in Rochester, NY, is where we traded in our used games, and they have tables in the back room.

Supporter9 months ago

Oh, great interpretation of my post! Haha I didn’t even consider that aspect of it. It makes sense though, because you were willing to go pretty far to support a game shop. Which is great! I wish one shop near me allowed me to trade in games. I’d love to move a couple of games out of my collection and use that money to expand my more played games or try some new ones. 

9 months ago

Hey indigopotter - I found myself nodding to everything you wrote.  I'm in the Rochester area myself, so I am very familiar with Millennium Games.  I'll have to check out the others as I pass that way.  I have family in the Hudson Valley and friends in CT... so we pass through Albany all the time.

Supporter9 months ago

Howdy neighbor!

Supporter9 months ago

Nice, I've wanted to share a quick story on this.

So I took my wife to our FLGS the past weekend and I showed her around the board game area. And... I got a very unexpected reaction from her. After telling her that all of the games are at least 30-50% more expensive at the store, as I continued to explain some of the themes and mechanics behind some of the top games on the shelves, she said, "Ooooh let's get this and this." I had to be the one to tell her "Noooo, we're not. It's way too expensive. For the price of those two games here, we can buy three online." She was still saying that we should though, because she thought it's good to support the local store. In the end, we didn't get anything, and she's too dangerous to be in the hobby lol.

By the way, she was interested in getting #Agricola (Revised Edition) and #Sushi Go Party!. We have #Sushi Go! that hasn't come out in ages xD

A little long but this is my answer. I'm all for the idea of supporting the local store but I wish my store offered at least some sort of incentive in buying from them. They're frankly too expensive for my tight budget and doesn't have the "friendly" aspect down either. If my store at least had some friendly (but not over-friendly) staff around then it would definitely put me over the edge to buy from them more often, but it currently just feels like they're stocking up on good games to go with the growing trend of board games. Personally, I'd like to see some sort of "store credits" system where you'll earn points for all of your store purchases (they sell old to new video games, records, and comics as well).

9 months ago

As mentioned above, FLGS stores are also often great for finding used games.  ESPECIALLY after a revised edition or new Kickstarter version comes out - the used shelves usually become flooded with older, perfectly-fine versions.
In some respects, I sometimes find older versions even BETTER.  #Power Grid is a good example - I enjoy it more than the deluxe version.  I also prefer #Terra Mystica (which I picked up just after #Gaia Project was released).
Maybe it's sentimentality... maybe it's because I'm cheap... but there are always options out there if you know where to look for them.

Supporter9 months ago

1. Good on you for resisting some purchases! I don’t think my wife has ever EVER said let’s buy something like that. Board game or otherwise. She’s very careful with our budget. 

2. We are fortunate to have 3 LGS here in town.  The one I stopped by yesterday afternoon happens to be my least favorite. They do offer some gaming tables but that’s it. 

3. One of the other LGS in town does offer a reward program with points that you earn and then redeem to earn a 10% discount. Which is definitely better than nothing. I currently happen to have a 10% discount saved up! Except their prices aren’t really any better. So even a 10% just brings it closer to reasonable rather than a good deal. 

Supporter9 months ago

I am only really able to support one of my FLGS because it offers under MSRP.  If I had all the money I would buy at a FLGS but when your on a budget you have to make smart decision.

And $90! Yikes.

Supporter9 months ago

I’m all for supporting local business. But there comes a point when it just seems foolish to spend that much more money. 

Supporter9 months ago

For sure.  It's hard but if I bought everything at MSRP I'd have very few games indeed.

9 months ago

Not too far, TBH. I don't have enough disposable income to pay double for my games.

Supporter9 months ago

I don’t know if anyone does. If you have that much money I think you’d just buy 2 games. Lol. 

9 months ago

Haha true

Supporter9 months ago

These kinds of posts make me sad... My wife and I moved last year, and where we moved had to have a lot of criteria, but one of them was a good FLGS, and we ended up near an amazing one. Not everyone gets to pick where they live and I know that I am blessed, but I wish more people in this hobby congregated around them.... like a beacon in the night, just inch a little closer to them, feel the pull. 

Supporter9 months ago

It makes me sad too. I want to support a local game store. I want them to be a part of the community. But you need to offer some kind of value in order to achieve this. If you can’t offer value in your prices at least try to offer value in some other kind of fashion. 

9 months ago

Local libraries are also great.  I hear some even carry board games themselves!
I was never into miniature games until my local library started hosting some events - and now I have found a whole new group of people to hobby with.
If I moved and there was no longer a FLGS nearby, I would start a board game meetup somewhere (coffeeshop, library, even my house...) and I would scour FB marketplace/craigslist for used games.  When I found the occasional game pop up on there that interested me - even if I (or someone I knew) already had it - I might also be inclined to reach out to that person to see if they game anywhere.  It sounds weird, but I did this a couple times when I moved to a new area and found a couple great people.
Best of luck to you!

9 months ago

I've never been interested in the benefits they provide, I guess. I have a group of friends to game with, and I'm not interested in joining tournaments or anything like that. A friend of mine likes to go play games at one sometimes, but I'm hesitant to do so because I know I'm not going to buy anything, and I don't think it's ethical to use a small business like that without supporting them. My friend buys things from them sometimes, so I don't have a problem with him playing there.

If I moved and wanted to find friends to game with, I might seek out a FLGS, but I don't know that it'd be the first place I looked. Even then I probably wouldn't want to actually game at the store.