Thursday, December 31, 2020
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
We are working on our list of the Used board, card and RPG games in the store that are not expensive enough to justify listing on eBay. The list separates the games into board and card and RPG and gives the title, publisher , price and if there is anything special about the games, such as missing or extra pieces. We endeavor to add a few items to the list each day so if you do not live in the area, here is a hand way to check our stock.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Got an email from my friend Mary Alice Wilson, who owns Dark Star Books in Yellow Springs, OH on how he store is handling the epidemic
? I received the following response, reprinted with her permission, from Mary Alice Wilson, owner of Dark Star Books in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
“Dark Star is doing ok with ebay and one employee. Our comic guy whom we laid off, is getting the unemployment boost to his check . The check is for more than his salary. he was hinting it would be good thing if he stayed laid off. and that we hire a newbie. Kate wasn't good with that idea!
Our Gov. De Wine just announced plans for the future. First doctor, dentist and then veterinarian. then construction and factory work. and on May 12, WE can open. Already have the $335 plastic shield at cash register. trying to buy a large hand sanitizer dispenser for at the front door, which is hard to find. However, i could see Magic and Pokemon games with a plastic shield between the players across from each other. I don't really know much about gaming, but it might work.
One of our staff has been making masks like a demon - and today i saw one with clear plastic over the mouth area, so folks a little hard of hearing, like me, can read lips a bit. i either have to have visitors lift the mask up or have someone tell me what they said. Getting folks to just talk louder doesn't seem to be in my skill set. Our staff mask maker said, “oh yes, I know about those”. Well, MAKE some, for goodness sake. i wouldn't know how. I said, there is one thing a comic book store has, is plastic, and Mylar.
Hoarding is great! I don't know why I bought - and much less KEPT - bathroom decals from the 30's; a whole box full of boxed 12" figures from the 70'S (well i know NOW it was a good idea - best one sold for $400); boxes full of mads and cracked and warren mags like elvira.....we have a double house. The other side was was where we put stuff we didn't know what to do with after we bought it. or stuff that came in while buying things we DID know what to do with. but along comes our staff member Kate and her pop culture know how, and all that stuff now has price tags. Being in the book biz means we had hoarded lots of first editions for when we got an on-line presence. Well we have that now, and 1700+ items currently listed. Some of the things that sell are from early days. we sold something the other day that had been on eBay for 10 years, maybe, and i cringed at the way it was listed and the price - too low - but hey, it sold, that's all good.
Where do I sell online? Ebay, baby! and abe and amazon. Gary does abe, which is strictly books. He also does amazon - and Kate and staff do ebay. and the latter does amazingly well. if there is someone out there that wants to pay some outrageous price - and remember this is being available to everyone in the world with an internet device - that person can find us. They would NEVER find us on our website. The most looked at items on our website are cat pictures. (They are really cool; kate finally put up a video.) Really glad to hear from you.”
Monday, December 28, 2020
WOTC has been doing a pretty good job of weekly disseminating both basic and novel ideas used by other stores to keep their customers coming back and making customers feel special. However, even though it is far easier to generate additional sales from existing customers, at some point you need to get your name out in front of new potential customers and get them into the store. Without a flow of new customers, a store will eventually tap out its existing customer base and see flatlined sales. I wanted to suggest three ways to get your name in front of new customers. As a savvy store owner (or publisher) you are likely already but just in case you’re not:
1. Social Media—the great thing about social media is that it is free, to start. Set up an account on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, maybe even Vine, Snapchap and Instagram. Unfortunately, due to the ways in which the various social media sources have tweaked their software, you now really do have to spend money in order to get your name and posts out in front of potential customers. The great thing about social media it that you start out for as little as 5 bucks to boost a Facebook post and have a lot more control over who will see it than you would with advertising in traditional formats. Facebook, and other forms of social media, allow you to have friends and friends of friends see your boosted posts or you can keep them from seeing them and spend your money to reach a targeted market that’s not already familiar with your company. I know stores spending 4 figures just on monthly boosting of social media.
2. Join Civic Organizations—Become a member of organizations like your local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club or Kiwanis or Jaycees or Main Street. Not only do they work to better the community, and he better your community is doing , the better your business will do, but becoming a member allows you to take advantage of the services the organization offers. For example, as a member of our local Chamber of Commerce, I can send out promotions and notices to all other Chamber members , many of whom would have no idea what the store sells. Also, if you have some sort of negative event take place, a position as a recognized member of the local community helps mitigate the effects of bad publicity.
3. Press Releases—The local media is always looking for local news and your store (or company) is newsworthy, whether you are hosting an event, are hiring new staff or even have a list of the top 5 games in your community for the year. This last one is one we sent out and we got a spot on local TV as well as mentions in two local papers, all for about half an hour’s work and another 5 minutes or so emailing them to the local media. Remember, you may not follow local news much but there are a lot of people that do, people who may not know you exist but have money to spend on what you are selling. Don’t know how to write a press release? Search for “sample press release” on the interwebs or hire a local journalism student to write one for you.
Sunday, December 27, 2020
Well, that didn’t last long. The $349 billion appropriated for the CARES act and the Paycheck Protection Plan, which was a major component of the Act, ran out after about 2 week. Of course, it did not help that several chains, such as Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Potbelly Sandwich Shop applied for loans/grants under the program and received $10 million each ($20 million in the case of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, since the corporation had two different subsidiaries apply), the maximum allowable under the PPP. Under the plan, the government considered any business employing fewer than 500 people a small business. I would wager that is 450 more than 95% of the companies in the game industry employ. With the average loan, according to the SBA, running just under $240,000 and over 1.3 million loans, at least, approved, it is no wonder the program ran out of funds so quickly. I do find it interesting that, since the CARES Act does not require the SBA to release loan/grant amounts, it has declined to do so. The only reason we know about the $10 million loans some corporations received is because they are publicly traded corporations and required by law and their charters to make that sort of information publicly available. Privately held companies and corporations are under no such requirement and have no legal obligation to do so. Several members of Congress are pushing the SBA to release the names of organizations that received CARES loans. We will see if their badgering of the SBA, which gave out more money in the past fourteen days than it had loaned out in the past 14 years, pushes the SBA to make public the names of other companies that received loans.
Meanwhile Congress is looking at putting more money into the PPP but the plan has run into an impasse with some members of Congress wanting to just appropriate more money for the PPP as it stands, while others want to add wording to a second funding proposal that targets more new funds towards more specific parts of the economy, including hospitals , state and local governments and food assistance. Until some agreement is reached, which will probably include adding the extra funds for hospitals and state and local governments, we should not expect to see any more money coming immediately from the Federal Government, unless you are someone who gets your tax refund in the form of a check, in which case you can expect to see those funds show up anywhere from early May through mid-September.
Saturday, December 26, 2020
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
We are open regular hours today and Christmas Eve and will offer free gift wrapping both days. We still have a pretty good stock of games and graphic novels with copies of Wingspan, Root and Everdell in stock as of last night.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Monday, December 21, 2020
We have one of the Advent Dice Calendars left, which is th eonly plac eyou can find the set of Q-Workshop Santa Dice. We have the D&D Adventure Begins Boardgame, which teaches people the fundamentals of D&D as well as the Heroes Feast D&D Cookbook
Saturday, December 19, 2020
According to a post on her Facebook page, The lawsuit against WOTC by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman has been voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs, Weiss and Hickman. This likely means that the parties have come to some sort of agreement which we may or may not learn more about depending on if there is a NDA or not
I know some of you have seen that our lawsuit against WoTC was dismissed. I can't say anything yet, but watch for exciting news in the weeks to come!
Thursday, December 17, 2020
For those interested, Free Comic Book Day in 2021 will take place on August 14, the 2nd Saturday in August. Typically the event takes place the first Saturday in May but the hope is that the pandemic will be enough under control by mid-August that people will be able to congregate in the size of crowds that FCBD normally brings, without increasing the likelihood of spreading COVID-19
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Just a reminder that we are still getting restocks in but if you want something from Games Workshop that we do not have on the shelf, we likely will not be able to get it until after Christmas. This week's new releases will arrive on time and we do have restocks coming in from Asmodee and Army Painter, so you can paint your new miniatures.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
We put in our weekly order for Games Workshop products on Tuesday about 1 to 2 p.m. One we put that order in, our order for new releases, which hit the shelf on Saturday, is locked in and we cannot add to it until the following week. Due to COVID-19 and shipping problems, orders for new products releasing each week will arrive by the Saturday they are scheduled to release. GW is very good about that. Unfortunately, this means that restocks are running 1-2 weeks slow. In normal times, we put the order in on Tuesday and both new releases and restocks arrive in time for Saturday release.
Currently however, new releases ship first and get here by Saturday. Restocks are treated with far less priority and will arrive a week or so later. If you see an item announced on the GW website that you want to be sure of getting on release date, please let us know by Monday evening so we can get it on the Tuesday order and have it here on time on Saturday
Monday, December 14, 2020
Looks like Chris Pine, next appearing in Wonder Woman 1984, may have attached himself to the long gestating D&D movie. Two previous D&D movies were made, both pretty bad, and a third one has remained in limbo due to legal disagreements over who had the rights to the D&D property. Sounds as if they may have that sorted out now
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Just received a restock of comic supplies including current sized bags and boards as well as hard toploaders, which have been out of stock nationwide for months. as well as the Betrayal line, including Betrayal at House on the Hill, Betrayal at Balder's Gate, Widow's Walk and Betrayal at Mystery Mansion.
Thursday, December 10, 2020
We did get 3 more Battle Forces from Games Workshop: Chaos Space Marines, Tyrannids and Tzeentch. So if you wanted one and missed out, now is your opportunity. The Warhammer 40,000 sets are selling for for 20-30% above MSRP online already.
Starting tomorrow, we will offer free gift wrapping on purchases made here. We will wrap items purchased elsewhere but the price will depend on the size and complexity of the item.
Feel free to leave a tip for the staff member doing the wrapping. They get to keep any and all tips.
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Monday, December 7, 2020
Remember, we are a drop off point for the Scouting for Food program. Until Dec. 13, drop off half a dozen food items (no ramen or tomato sauce) and we will give you a set of dice. Note that abusing the program, such as bringing the minimum amount of food several days in arow to get a set of dice, will cause us to end the offer.
Sunday, December 6, 2020
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Releasing December 12th
This week we release Warhammer Underworlds: Direchasm, the latest version of the award winning tabletop game, together with a themed Direchasm Counter Set, Deck Box and two Grand Alliance Dice Packs – Order and Chaos.
We also go big on Warcry, with four brand new Warcry Battletomes – one for each Grand Alliance!
And that’s not all, as we also release the Tome of Champions 2020 expansion, four new Warband sets (of existing miniatures), and four new Grand Alliance Dice Sets.
Black Library join the occasion with Warhammer Underworlds: Direchasm, the official tie-in novel to the brand new game, as well as Ephrael Stern: The Heretic Saint, only previously available as a limited edition novel.
It can be added to your orders starting Thursday 12-03-20.
The new releases have a street release date of Saturday 12-12-20.
Friday, December 4, 2020
Apparently Carbondale Main Street will host a downtown cookie walk tomorrow. Cannot find any information about it on their website or Facebook page but we will participate. The plan is to have a map posted somewhere and tables with cookies set up in front of participating businesses. No idea what time though. However, while they last, we will have cookies inside the store.
Thursday, December 3, 2020
You are welcome to use the game room as long as you are playing in one of our regularly scheduled events.
If you want to use the room for other play we ask that you contact us at least 2 hours ahead of time so that we can make sure that you do not conflict with one of our scheduled games. We also ask that you keep the group to less than 4 people and that at least one of them has made a purchase from us of something other than snacks within the past month. It does cost us to provide the gaming space, after all.
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Well, the release of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything reinforced my long held belief that player accessories outsell DM accessories by a factor of, oh about 10 to one or so. Case in point, we blew through our order of 25 copies of Tasha’s Cauldron in about 2 days and have yet to sell one of the Wilderness DM Screens.. Wizards, more player sourcebooks, fewer $50 campaigns.
The lawsuit filed by Gale Force 9 against WOTC is the second high profile lawsuit filed against Wizards in the past few months. https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/47010/gale-force-nine-sues-wizards-coast The first, a lawsuit by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, was filed last October and alleges that, after entering into an agreement to publish a new series of Dragonlance novels with Weis and Hickman in 2017, WOTC notified the authors that it would no longer approve any future drafts, effectively killing the project. You can read the Weis and Hickman lawsuit here https://www.scribd.com/document/480740675/Margaret-Weis-LLC-and-Tracy-Hickman-v-Wizards-of-The-Coast-LLC?campaign=SkimbitLtd&ad_group=66960X1516586X335a223495fd2afffb96e5e4c7f7c54f&keyword=660149026&source=hp_affiliate&medium=affiliate#from_embed&referrer=polygon.com&sref=https://www.polygon.com/2020/10/19/21523673/dragonlance-authors-weis-hickman-sue-wizards-of-the-coast-dungeons-and-dragons&xcust=___pl__e_21287714__r_jenniferrpovey.medium.com/so-
Both lawsuits come on the heels of moves by Wizards to ban controversial Magic cards https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/45914/rolling-for-initiative-another-week-turmoil-discuss and to eliminate the concept of inherently evil races as well as cultural stereotyping (see Vishanti for example) from Dungeons and Dragons materials https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/diversity-and-dnd and one could be excused for thinking that the decision not to publish the contracted Dragonlance novels could have something to do with Wizards desire to eliminate the concept of inherently evil races from its published materials. After all, the concepts of good, evil and neutrality are core concepts in the Dragonlance mythos and draconians have been presented in the series from the start as an inherently evil race, something that Wizards is disavowing and actively working to distance itself from. Speaking as a non-lawyer with no inside information about the situation, since the first novel was completed before Wizards’ change in view of evil races, it is reasonable to assume that the ethical views found throughout the previous Dragonlance novels would appear in the new ones, leaving Wizards with a few choices, kill the project completely, publish the first novel as presented under contract and risk backlash or go back to Weis and Hickman and ask for a rewrite of the approved first novel to bring it into line with current Wizards/D&D standards none of which are a particularly cost0-effective option. My bet is this drags out for a few years, like the long gestating D&D movie, and then the parties quietly settle https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/32214/d-d-movie-set-move-ahead
The Gale Force 9 situation has more direct impact on the game industry, especially game retailers. While the Weiss Hickman lawsuit deprives stores of an additional property to sell, the Gale Force 9 suit threatens to put an end to the sales of their more profitable ancillary product lines, the D&D 5th edition spell cards. These, and the D&D/Pathfinder miniatures from WizKids are our best-selling non Wizards Dungeons and Dragons products. As noted above, I am not a lawyer but from my reading of the complaint, it appears that WOTC has seized upon something that could easily be rectified by GF9 and is using it as a justification for getting out of the contract. Why? Maybe 6th Edition on the horizon and Wizards is cleaning up its licenses? Your thoughts on either lawsuit? Email email@example.com.