What Does a Game store need to Succeed In The Modern Day?

wingzrow

Galford's Armourer
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Posts
463
Besides a time machine. I might be able to rent out a small store in a decent neighborhood for somewhere around $2000 a month & figured I would ask. :oh_no: Has anyone here tried? What was your experience like?
 

Syn

There can be only one.
10 Year Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Posts
8,319
It'll be hard as a stand alone store. A pizza joint, with a few cabs, maybe get a redbox, lotto and games. Replace pizza joint with laundromat.

Your biggest problem will be inventory. Everyone will want top dollar. You could also try being a store that does eBay auctions for people for a fee.
 

supergoose

Die Gans,
20 Year Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2001
Posts
3,978
Besides a time machine. I might be able to rent out a small store in a decent neighborhood for somewhere around $2000 a month & figured I would ask. :oh_no: Has anyone here tried? What was your experience like?
You want to compete with Amazon and digital downloads? Good luck. Seriously. I'm sure it's too late but the more people who are willing to fight that scumbag Bezos, the better.

Anyway, not exactly a huge fan of Pat but what Ian says makes sense to me:

 

mjmjr25

Critical Damage!,
10 Year Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2010
Posts
2,621
Upfront money and volume. Successful game stores make their money a buck at a time. Places like LukieGames and JJGames sell a few hundred $5 carts a day. They pay paypal fees, they ship free, they pay their staff, they deal with hassles. They're getting those $5 games for $1.50~ and making about a buck apiece on 'em.

Stores that are successful don't need to overpay for their inventory. They're going to offer someone 20-30% of what they are going to sell it for and they'll be more than ok if you say "no" and walk away. To be able to do that you need upfront money to load up and you need a lot of small sales every day.

If you are paying 2K in rent, paying staff, buying inventory - you'll need a lot of sales. Yes, you're gong to have those moments where get in a $100 game that paid $20 for, but those are few and far between. It's being the go-to on that $7 cart that's same price as ebay, but easier and faster to come to your store.

tl;dr - you probably can't and you definitely aren't going to make a good living.

EDIT: don't click the video link above. Holy cow that's painful. That guy can't talk. It's brutal. Stopped after 90 seconds. Don't link that stuff. It's dreadful.
 
Last edited:

supergoose

Die Gans,
20 Year Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2001
Posts
3,978
EDIT: don't click the video link above. Holy cow that's painful. That guy can't talk. It's brutal. Stopped after 90 seconds. Don't link that stuff. It's dreadful.
He has first hand experience and that's what matters. Also, I'd rather listen to him than wait for madman to share his endless wisdom.
 

Rocko

Galford's Armourer
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Posts
466
Running a game store of your own is a pink fluffy dream. Considering how many of these there used to be, and how many there are right now. I'd say let it stay a dream.
 

oliverclaude

General Morden's Aide
Joined
Feb 3, 2013
Posts
7,687
It's possible, enthusiasts only, though. Like a run-of-the-mill art gallery: you won't get the hot pop-art stuff and nobody cares for reproductions. Prices will be too high and you'll still have trouble to pay your rent. Your customers are nerds or snobs and the only girl you'll see is old Martha from the salvation army. The only game you'll play? Solitaire on your Windows... and so on.
 

wingzrow

Galford's Armourer
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Posts
463
You know I wonder, would gamestop going bankrupt be that final red Flag to never open a game store, or would it be the perfect time to try since their market share would disappear? As far as just selling games goes, yeah, I know I probably wouldn't be able to do that. Physical games have another 5 years or so at best, I wouldn't be targeting people buying the newest maddens. Realistically I think a "Retro Resale" store COULD work though. VHS, laserdisc, cassettes, video games obviously. I'm sure it's doable but I would have to cast a very wide net as to what I would buy. I wish I could come up with a decent name for the place but I'm drawing a blank. They say to always throw away the first 5 ideas you come up with, so these are right out.

The Money Pit
My Mom's Basement
Retro Resale
Outer Heaven Gaming & Resale
No Refunds
 

LoneSage

A Broken Man
15 Year Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Posts
41,417
What can a physical store offer that selling online can't?
 

oliverclaude

General Morden's Aide
Joined
Feb 3, 2013
Posts
7,687
What can a physical store offer that selling online can't?

Rhetorical question... physicality, of course, the look and feel. The zeitgeist collector uses gloves, though. So, what can China offer, that Chinatown can't?
 

BIG BEAR

SHOCKbox Developer,
20 Year Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Posts
7,655
The Retro store I've been to basically BUYS low and uses eBay as a price guide. They also offer a repair and mod service....
BB
 

Lastblade

Friend me on Facebook!,
20 Year Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2001
Posts
5,726
Running a retail store is basically jail time for pennies. No thanks.
 

wyo

The Cable Guy
10 Year Member
Joined
May 22, 2013
Posts
7,961
These places can't be making much money. I bet it's a struggle just to break even. Only reasons I can see to consider opening a store are as a passion project (ie. you love games, have lots of money, don't care if it's financially viable) or you watched Ozark and want to get into money laundering.
 

Thierry Henry

NAM-75 Vet
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Posts
1,024
What Does a Game store need to Succeed In The Modern Day?

To even have any type of a shot you need to concentrate beyond games sales, right off the bat.

Peripheral merchandise is key. Statues, plush dolls, whatever. One of the key upsides to selling items other than games is they work well as impulse buys.

Offering hardware repairs as well will get you more traffic. Basically, offer what you can to get people in the door, then find related items or services to sell once customers show up.

And of course even if you somehow make it past first base and the longer you stick around, down the road you'll have to contend with rent, payroll and insurance going up.

It's a tough gig.
 

neo_moe

Been There., Done That., It Was Shit.,
15 Year Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Posts
8,643
How about instead of opening a store you open a school to train professional videogame players?

HDRchampion could be one of your teachers.
 

sr20det510

Street Hoop Star
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Posts
1,408
The game shop a few miles from my home advertises heavily on Offer Up, Craigslist, and Let Go. In addition, when I see something of his on Let Go or Offer Up, I notice he also mentions that he purchases classic games and systems. I rarely go to the store, but about 50% of the times that I have gone, people have been selling him items.

I know he also advertises on Facebook, because people have mentioned, "I'm so and so, and sent you a message on Facebook." I'm not sure how thay works, because I've never used facebook.
So you might have to use apps and Facebook to market the business.

I also know he pays about 1/3 - 1/2 of an items value, and gives 10% extra if you accept store credit instead of cash. People seem content to get that amount, because they probably haven't touched these games in years.

Finally, what I feel helps the most is that he rents probably 1/3 to 1/4 of the space inside of a comic book store. So I imagine his rent is very cheap.
The thing I find most interesting about this arrangement, is that when I'm there, at least 75% of the customers are there for the videogames as opposed to the comics.

Maybe you can share a location with a business, in order to save a bit on overhead?

Goodluck
 
Last edited:

LoneSage

A Broken Man
15 Year Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Posts
41,417
Rhetorical question... physicality, of course, the look and feel. The zeitgeist collector uses gloves, though. So, what can China offer, that Chinatown can't?

Zeitgeist in this situation often brings more lookie-loos than cash.

Sure, I'd like to experience what it was like again when I was 7 years old and in a Toys R Us seemingly filled to infinity with games, and pulling the ticket and taking it to the desk where a guy would come back out with it...yeah, I get it.

Unless you're a millionaire and have an odd fondness for game stores I can't see how this will work out.

Also of note is it's 2017 and Gamestop is not only still in business somehow, but they practically have a monopoly on the retail games business. What a shame.
 

madman

Blame madman, You Know You Want To.,
Joined
Jun 1, 2007
Posts
7,518
Have guest appearances by YouTube stars like Metal Jesus. He will bring in the crowds due to his ability to rock.
 
Top