Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Trading Card Games: The Perfect Gift

Speaking of the desire of the gift-giver to give the gift-givee something they don’t already have, this is when Yu Gi Oh, Pokemon, HeroClix, Magic, Cardfight Vanguard and any other collectable game is the perfect gift for those people who do not want to give someone  a duplicate product.  Fairly regularly, I have a customer come in, usually a parent or friend looking for a birthday or other present who doesn’t really know what to get them. That is when I put on my salesman’s hat and do a little prospecting to find out why they came in here to look for the present rather than one of those stores out at the mall.  

 Generally, if they come in here, they may have little to no interest in the game we sell but they have heard from the person they want to buy for that they can get the game here and what they want, much like the Christmas buyer, is to get them something they do not already have.  Collectable or trading games are made for this very situation but they generally require a bit of explanation, since the typical gift buying customer is not familiar with the concept of a collectable game. This is something that is very valuable for game stores to remember.

The gift buying visitor to a store is most familiar with “traditional” board game.  They know chess, checkers, Monopoly, Clue, Life, Sorry, etc.  Thanks to mention in the mass media as a favorite game among millennials, they likely know Cards Against Humanity and Settlers of Catan as well. However, the concept of a game that does not have fixed components is alien to anyone who has played any  traditional boardgame. 

This is when you have to explain the concept of the trading card (or miniature) game, how it differs from traditional games and why it makes a great gift since booster packs by their very nature differ one from another. The hardest thing, I have found, is to get the customer to understand that, although the packs all differ, every pack of Pokemon or Magic or DiceMasters works with every other pack. Once I make that clear, I can easily sell 5-10 packs with the assurance that getting so many packs will delight the recipient.  I always have to remember that the collectable concept, so familiar to game stores is still unfamiliar to hundreds of thousands of people.

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