Pimpcron: Stores Love 40k Clubs

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Pimpcron explains why you need a gaming club at your store.

Well if it isn’t my darling readers. It’s good to be here this week, and I have an important message for you all. If you own a friendly local gaming store, you need a steady 40k club to attract new business. Here’s why.

It Takes Two

It, it, it, it takes two to make a thing go right. It takes two to make it out of sight.

There’s not a person living who can sit still while this song plays.

Sorry, eighties flash back. I was a toddler, but a song like that sticks to your ribs. But now that I’m thinking about it, maybe Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock were on to something. It takes two friendly, supportive parties to make a successful relationship. And that works for any relationship, even romantic ones. Though exchanging romantic relations with your store for discounts are frowned upon, I’ve learned. That one store still won’t let me in.

You need a supportive gaming club that does more than just show up, play for free, and buy everything online. It also takes a store that does more than just try to sell you stuff and offer no incentive to buy from them. Hopefully you can find a friendly local gaming store that is willing to work with you. And hopefully as a store, you have access to a friendly and organized gaming club that has leadership.

Why Are Clubs Good For Your Store?

Well for one, they are good for defense, also you could start a softball team if you had one.

Oh dear.

I will admit that that joke was pretty bad. I apologize for the readers who literally just read that sentence and clicked out of the window. Despite my stellar record of gut-busting puns and head-exploding musings, every once in a while a real carcinogenic one slips out. After exposure to that one, you’ll want to incorporate more anti-oxidants in your diet.

Anyway, for those of you who are still reading: dependable gaming clubs can have many benefits for your income stream. In truth, most gaming clubs are already established gamers who won’t be spending a ton of money with you as a new player will be. But we all know that even established gamers still spend money, and if you make a spending-friendly environment they will gladly spend money with you. But the big money is that people attract people.

Have A Set Day

Store owners constantly have new customers come in and ask if they play X game at the store. These games are social games and while it is fun to constantly play your two friends in your basement, it is even more fun to be part of a larger community. A gaming club should have at least one scheduled day of the week that they play on (if not more often). This allows stores to direct new customers to that night/day so that they can be part of the group.

The store that my group just moved to had a small but not very organized group that slowly dwindled over time due to lack of leadership and organization. Everyone just kind of showed up and hoped to get a game in, and you weren’t ever sure if anybody would be playing the game you play. Once my group (led and organized by this sexy chunk of robot your reading) moved to the store, it has only taken about two months of our weekly meetings to attract a literal metric butt-load of new players. Don’t scoff, I did the math. And metric makes it more scientific.

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In the past three weeks we have had TWELVE new players either show interest in joining us or come and playing with us. And all because we have an organized, communicative, friendly gaming group. We gladly run demos for new people, and our member range from seal pup to Khorne on the gamer ability scale of “Sea pup-to-Khorne”. Now, twelve people may not seem like much to you city-folk, but I live in a barren wargaming wasteland. We have had to do everything in our power to keep a roster of roughly twelve people in our group for the past eight years. So the potential of DOUBLING our group attendance is baller.

I take that back, I feel like I’m too old to use “baller”.

It’s the bees’ knees. Nope. Too young for that.

It’s totally radical, man!

Give & Give, Not Give & Take

So if you want a friendly buying environment, you have to order things on time, have at least some stock for impulse buys, and giving some sort of discount wouldn’t hurt. Online is roughly 20% discount and yes I understand that many of those online guys don’t have a storefront to pay for, but that is the environment you are working in. Just because it isn’t fair doesn’t mean that you can ignore your competition. However you manage to do it, if you can give incentive for your players to buy from you, they will. Most people want to support their home store anyway, so a little nudge won’t hurt sales. And of course all of the new players your club will attracting will bring the big bucks.

So clubs, support your stores and make it fun for new players.

And Stores, incentivize your club to buy form you and be welcoming to new players. It’s as easy as that.

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  • Andrew O’Brien

    Now that I know a butt load is an actual amount, I have to tell everyone!!!

    Oh yea, I’m sure the other stuff in this article was worth reading as well.

    • HeadHunter

      It’s a unit of measure that’s somewhere between an ***-ton and a ****-ton. 😀

      • euansmith

        Remember that a ****-ton isn’t the same as a metric ****-tonne.

  • Timmy McMurderbug

    Finally managed to pull this off myself. Having a ‘learn to play 40k day’ next weekend and have about a dozen people attending. Next month, we’re gonna have a series of painting classes. Of course, those will be me shouting “THIN YOUR PAINTS” over and over again.
    All hail the local gaming club! The community here had been sleeping for longer than Pimpcron’s dog and oh baby is it nice to see it active again.

    • euansmith

      “How should we dress in this cold Winter weather, master?”

      “Why, two thin coats, of course!”

      • Spacefrisian

        And have the coats washed propperly as well.

  • Elijah Herstal

    The issue I had for years was the local stores not supporting war games beyond a bare table and a small dusty shelf of models. We tried to play, but the stores were more interested in giving the tables to card gamers. Setting up days was pointless, as the shops wanted that M:tG money.

    Couple this with the shops banning Forge World (even cosmetic bits) and telling us to provide our own terrain, I’m sure you can understand why we just opted to get our own tables and let the Yu-go-oh mob have the shops (and shift them into the red).

    • CannonBall

      The hardest part is for many stores that suffer from this mindset is they don’t see the look on peoples’ faces when they walk by a nicely done-up board with table-quality painted models and a couple dudesmen (and Ladieses) having a grand ol’ time.

      The first time they see the shuffle of interest by individuals and those same groups asking how they can start (And then the gaming club informing the shop owners how much they could make off of starter armies) the tune changes quickly.

      • Apocryphus

        My WMH group permanently converted about 4 MtG players with this exact scenario. When the hobby is displayed in it’s full splendor, it has a lot more appeal than most people realize.

        • Pimpcron

          Yeah, at our old store we stole a couple MtG players and a Heroclix player just from them watching us play.

          • Apocryphus

            I tried to get some Heroclix players to convert, but they were trapped by the Dark Side. (250 point Superman with Green Power Battery and constructs)

          • Pimpcron

            Man, talk about a “pay to play” scheme. Heroclix and MtG are money hungry to the max. I know our hobby is expensive, but if you bought marines in the 90’s, you can still play with those marines. Not many invalidations with time.

          • Damistar

            Your Pariah friends come to mind.

          • Pimpcron

            Yeah, there are some, but every couple months they disallow a heroclix set. Same with magic. It’s not a “happen to be” kind of thing but built into the game.

      • Spacefrisian

        At ours the MTG players ruined it for all and now that store has no playspace…And we have a better location with a webshop of sorts, and a bar.

    • marxlives

      Tables take up more space and they don’t bring the bucks like MtG and other card games. And it is not unusual for players to donate or provide the terrain. That said, if more people start appearing at the store and buying, most retailers will open up the space. Asking a retailer to open up a space and keep it open just cause is a tall order because that space is money.

      • Elijah Herstal

        Hard to accomplish that when these places have no selection. Even bringing your own terrain meant little, as M:tG play always took priority. One of these places would actually aakbfor a deposit and hourly “rent” for warfare tables.

        Fortunately I left the area, and as I understand these establishments have collapsed

        • marxlives

          No that can be pretty rough. Luckily we have some pretty solid shops in West Texas but there was a time when a guy was basically running all of wargaming from his garage. I say the best thing anyone can do is just show up, let the retailer see interest and see if they will support the product. That way if they don’t do what needs to be done on their end you can always just say, “Hey I tried my best”.

      • Sniddy

        Our local store, while it lasted, chased the MtG cash almost exclusively – had some good opportunities to grow other interests, but decided to try and sell tat like those bobble head dolls to passing trade and closed far too quickly, I’d say about 60% poor management and 40% not supporting systems

  • Yep.

  • m3g4tr0n

    We’re better than those Yu-Gi-Oh clubs.

    • euansmith

      “If you can’t understand the darkness in your opponent’s heart, you will never comprehend the pain and suffering of others.”

  • CannonBall

    I completely agree with the above statements. Any form of an organized gaming club can be a god-sent to a local gaming store. Not only is it free advertising of the actual product, but it keeps the atmosphere fresh and energized.

    Just the same, the club has to have an interest in the store as well, beyond someplace to play. The club I’m apart of has been fairly nomadic from time to time to gather the best relationship for the club itself as well. We also have a tendency to storm major events en-masse….*cough*

    • Pimpcron

      Yeah? Like how you all stormed Shorehammer this year? 🙂

  • Kabal1te

    A sane reasonable pimpcron article that makes sense which I can’t argue with. I fear this may be a sigh of something apocalyptic, a malign portent if you will allow the reference. That said you are completely correct on a lot of factors. The store needs to make itself worth buying at vs other outlets, and the club needs to be consistent and work with the store. My local store has 2 clubs, the one I am a part of which is mostly casual 40k players, and another which I kindly refer to as the game of the month club. It is a group of people who pick some new game that just came out, get unhappy with the store because they don’t have the game on their shelves, order everything they want online, and by the time that the store gets product in they have already moved on to a new game so no one buys that product. Of course this is also one of those groups that goes to events for their games and do terribly because they don’t stick with one game long enough to learn it but will still blame bad rules for their losses.

    • euansmith

      Don’t worry, Pimpcron’s (Lord how I dislike that name) account has obviously been hacked. The use of the words, “…organized, communicative, friendly…” are an obvious give away.

      • Pimpcron

        Haha. How can you hate my name?! It is both regal and professional. 😉

    • Pimpcron

      As time goes on and I keep doing this nonsense every week, more of the real me comes out by accident. Besides drug-running, bank-robbing, and slapping strangers before running away, I’m a pretty okay person. More or less.

  • Shiny Dog

    Solid.

    • euansmith

      Righteous

      • Matthew Pomeroy

        IF your not here for undercover lover??

    • Pimpcron

      Right on.

      • euansmith

        I hep to that, you groovy, kat.

  • Bernd Lurk

    Last time I went there two years ago to buy a pie template for 30k and they immediately tried to hook me up with players and asked me what I play and when and stuff and such… That wasn’t smalltalk anymore that was more like visiting a drug ring. I bought my stuff and walked backwards out of there (I kid you not!) while they still tried to get my mailaddress. Damn this was creepy and requires me to drive half an hour while I have a club next door from my home.
    The only reason I went there: NOBODY here produces/sells those damn pies, even they had to order them from headquarters.
    Nobody there played 30k anyways, it was all Age of Smegma and 40k. Nobody needs them.

  • euansmith

    My little barrel is leaking. I can’t wait to empty my rundlet in to your butt; but enough of my vinicultural problems; on the recent thread about prizes at tournaments, there was talk of store credit. Maybe you could hook up with your FLGS with the idea of running something for a bit of store credit?

    By the way, it sounds like you are spreading the love; standard, blood, innit?

    • Pimpcron

      [almost flagged that post but kind of understood what you meant] 😛

  • jhopkins

    Yeah, sure. And since you are in MD. Having a gaming group is great. What sucks is when your local store is anti-GW from the strange policies GW had in the past.

    https://www.familygamestore.net/fgswebapp/

    Jhop, just drive to another store. Sure, 20 miles takes 4 hours in the greater DC traffic at rush hour.

    • Pimpcron

      I live in the country, so five cars is rush hour. I seriously hate city life. I feel for ya buddy.

  • SiberianVI

    Lion ‘El Johnson was here, brought 1k of death wing, 1k of raven wing along with a single lone wolf in his third detachment.

    • Pimpcron

      There he is! Was waiting for you to show up Lion.

  • Matthew Pomeroy

    I am assuming by this any old game club would work, 40k is straight toxic in most of the stores near me, would drive players away more than help.

    • Pimpcron

      Every group is different. Toxic ones certainly exist. If they do around you, that sucks.