Thursday, April 23, 2009

Do You Ever Wonder What People Are Thinking?

So we have this FLGS (That's Gamer Talk for Friendly Local Gaming Store—just say the letters F-L-G-S) that's literally just down the road.

The people that run it are nice, but I just have to wonder what they're thinking sometimes.

This first part is hearsay—via a friend of mine that spends a lot of time there. The Husband wants to sell Magic Cards. (For the uninitiated that's the Magic the Gathering Collectible Card Game) The Wife, who seems to wear the pants in the relationship, doesn't want to be a Magic Shop. The Husband continues to purchase Magic Cards and it is now source of the bulk of their profit, but she is still annoyed at him.

Now, I can understand not wanting to be a magic shop. However, selling Magic Cards does not make you a magic shop. That only becomes the case if you start buying and selling individual cards (likely from a big glass case). So her reasoning makes no sense, especially if their profit is mostly coming from those cards at the moment.

My second observation.

A few weeks ago, I wanted to go to The Game Store. Now, when I say The Game Store, I'm not referring to the FLGS down the road, I'm talking about the FLGS half way across the valley. So I went. My three year old daughter wanted to go with me, so I took her. Driving home she asked me when we were going to the game store. I laughed and informed her that we had gone to the game store. She said, "No, the game store with the puzzles."

The game store with the puzzles is the FLGS down the road. They sell wooden puzzles and have a few open on a short table at the front of the store where kids can play with them while parents browse the larger ticket items throughout the store.

The reason I prefer to drive half across the valley to an FLGS, rather than down the street is two-fold. They have a much LARGER selection of merchandise, and they have lower prices.

For the benefit of my daughter, I went to the FLGS down the road, since that's where she thought we were going.

The wife was not in the store (which I found unusual, and it occurred to me that it had been that way the past three times I had been in there) the husband greeted me and asked if I was looking for something, I told him I was there for my daughter's sake. He casually mentioned that everything in the store was 20% off. So I took a look around and ended up purchasing a game I had been eying for a while (Dicecapades) and then left.

A few days later, while riding home on the bus, I looked over and the store was completely empty. Then I remembered my friend that spends a lot of time there casually mentioning in passing that they were moving locations. Otherwise I would have thought that another FLGS closing it's doors for bad business sense.

But think about this, if my friend hadn't mentioned that to me, I wouldn't know. As it was, I didn't know that the sale I was benefiting from was a Moving Sale, until I noticed they were gone.

Because of that casual mentioning of the moving, I checked out their website when I got home. No new address on the main page. There was a blog entry that stated they were moving and noted the last day of business at the old location, but that was it.

I mentioned all this to my friend the next time I saw him and he told me that the reason she wasn't there, was because she had gone and gotten a job. Leaving her husband to run her store. Then he told me that the sale was technically a going out of business sale, because they knew they couldn't afford the rent in that location, and they did not have a new location. A few days later I checked again out of curiosity, and the front page still had the old address, but at least there was a blog entry with the new address and when they would open the doors.

I'm on their e-mail list, and I still haven't gotten an e-mail mentioning that they have moved. I find that odd.

The old location was half a mile away. The new location is just over half a mile away. So, they didn't move too far. I haven't had a chance to check out the new store yet. It's a pretty high traffic area, and much closer to the road. So hopefully they'll get more incidental/walk in business; and if the rent is lower, that's always a good thing.

I would never want an FLGS to go out of business. Sometimes I'm not surprised when they do.

There was another FLGS a while ago that we frequented, and I was not surprised when he went out of business. His space was huge, but his inventory was small. There was a time when I heard him answer the phone and tell the customer, "that's not the type of games we carry." I seriously wonder what people are thinking sometimes. If I ran a game store, I'd never tell someone that. If they called in looking for Chutes and Ladders—absolutely we carry that and then run to Wal*mart or Toys Я Us if I have to; but I think that I would have at least one copy of each of the run-of-the-mill, find-it-in-most-grocery-stores-or-Wal*mart, games on my shelves already. GET THEM IN THE DOOR, and then introduce them into the new and improved world of gaming.

Okay, that rant is oficcially off my mind now. I can get on with other things.


  1. Yeah, well're thinking like a smarter business owner than they are. You are right about Chutes and Ladders though...some people just like to buy stuff from specialty stores. No reason you couldn't have your Wal-Mart type board-game selection with a modest little markup, and if people want to buy bog-standard Monopoly from you, let em!

    But in response to the original question...yes I do wonder what people are thinking. All the time. Every time I'm reviewing websites for work. I know I've put some wall-of-shame stuff on my blog, but that doesn't even scratch the surface of what I see every day.

  2. I've stopped wonder what people are thinking. now I just read their minds. I was only ever in that FLGS a couple of times. It really wasn't my thing. I liked the idea that it was close and that children were welcome there, it just didn't gel with my personal tastes.

    I think that a good game store should carry a wide assortment of games. I know that it might not always be economic but it sure would be nice.

    I have enjoyed a few good games of Chutes & Ladders with my kids, and its a good game.

    Do these game stores believe that Gamers spontaniously sprout from the Earth.

  3. I went to that FLGS because of my friend mostly. It was about 30 feet from his apartment, so he was always there playing games. I went there to play games. I rarely ever purchased anything.

    Once or twice she seemed reluctant to get certain products of which I expressed interest, so I got them elsewhere. In fact, come to think of it I only once purposely bought something there, right after they opened, before I knew they were a little odd. Every other time, it was just a spur of the moment thing.

    I do like the place half way across the valley. They're the best in town, price and selection wise. I know. I once wrote down the address of every game shop in the valley and visited all of them in a weeks time.

  4. I don't even begin to understand these people. I've been saying we should open a game store for a long time, but I don't have the capitol nor do I want to take such a big risk right now.