It’s no secret that I own a lot of games and RPG books. Much of which I have acquired through trading or selling my games to buy other gently used games and books. The primary reason for this course of action is my very limited disposable income, can we says thanks to the government for all the furloughs in 2013? My local game stores are frustrating me as of lately! I was in the market to purchase the new Fate: Core System book. With a price tag of $25 I was prepared to buy it locally for two reasons. 1) I do like to support the local stores periodically and 2) I wanted instant gratification. My area has 3 game stores and they all cater towards different segments of the hobby, but the one thing they all have in common is they will order any game provided it is available.
I went to the largest of the three stores and the one most likely to carry any of the new Fate books. Well as luck would have it they had the books in stock. That is, all but the core book and the one I was looking for. Given the popular nature of this system I wan not too surprised that they were out of stock. The employee said “hey, we have some on order”. I figured I would check back in a week or so, I could wait a little longer! About a week and half later I stopped int o see if it came in. Much to my dismay it had not and the owner blew it off to simply not coming in. I wasn’t buying the explanation since I follow Evil Hat and Fred Hick’s comments about ample quantities in distribution. I suspect they just didn’t order any.
What frustrates me the most, is that while the local stores all have target audiences which is great, but they seem to miss the boat on many products. Not keeping the new and popular Fate (at least the core book) in stock seems silly. When 50 percent of your of your inventory is RPG and you have only supplemental books for many of the system your sell, there might be a problem. The same can be said for these stores carrying boardgames or miniatures games that only seem to sit and collect dust.
Back to the point I was trying make. I wanted to buy the book as a matter of local support and instant gratification, but was unable to. In the end I decided to piggyback on a friend’s CoolStuffinc.com order to get the book and while I was at it I saved a few bucks. In the end I got my book, but had to look elsewhere when I wanted to purchase locally.
For those that might be wondering why I didn’t ask for a special order to ensure I got a copy. I opted to not request the special order based on the owners response about not coming in when they last said it was ordered. I knew it was available, but if he suspected there was a supply problem he may delay ordering it for me. It was safer and quicker to order it online.
3 Comments Add yours
Why would the owner delay ordering it for you because there was a supply problem?
I know locally they almost always order but never actually hold it when it comes in. Any problems I have had from a game store usually are born from incompetence and not malice.
Chris, Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe there was any malice in this case. Just poor ordering and inventory management. I chose not have them order the books for me because if they can’t manage to order inventory that is popular and in demand all the while giving me the impression there was a supply problem. It as faster and cheaper to order online.
A lot of my second-hand and online purchases are driven by the high cost of some of the boardgames and wargames that I play. I think I just find it easier and cheaper to do it that way. Though when it comes to RPGs, I like to go to the store and thumb the pages and really get a sense of what I am buying. These are the purchases I make locally these days and for a store to not have better controls of their inventory management is frustrating. For the record, this is not the first time I have run into this issue with that particular store.