Sunday, October 13, 2013

Time to Pony Up

Time to Pony UP

In a time of a tight economy and ever increasing prices within our hobby, we hobbyists often look around for the best deal before surrendering our hard earned money.

What many of us don’t realize is that the majority of the time, the best deal is right around the corner at our FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store).

See, it’s not all about how many models we get for our dollar.  It’s really about the value we get for our dollar.

Here in Michigan, we are blessed to be surrounded by a ton of great game stores who go out of their way to have the square footage in their stores to give us a place to play.  These game store owners keep our tables lit so we can see our awesome paint jobs while keeping us cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  The only value of this square footage to the store is giving us gamers a place to hang out and enjoy our hobby.  Sure it benefits the store by having gamers there laughing and rolling dice, but who is the real winner here?   Sure we put up the money and time in our armies, but our FLGS are putting up the tables and terrain on which we get to enjoy our armies.

These store owners step up when they hear a new release is coming and load the shelves with the latest models, and when they don’t have what you want on the shelf, they’re eager to get on the phone with their distributer and get that special item in your hands as soon as possible, and they don’t even charge you shipping.

They happily host tournaments, staffing their stores early on tournament days and give out prize support to the attendees.  When the inaugural Michigan GT comes to them and ask for support, they step up providing ridiculous amounts of prize support to award all the gamers who frequent their stores.

As gamers, we have a lot of options out there on the internet to get our gaming products for a little bit cheaper. 

As gamers, we have a responsibility to spend our dollars in our local stores.  Sure we could save a

few dollars by purchasing online, but are you really saving anything if your online purchases drive the FLGS under?  Those online retailers aren’t taking any risk for you.  They’re just pocketing your money.  Your FLGS is fighting for you.  They’re fighting for your money, they’re putting a roof over your head.  Don’t look at that 15%-25% more you’ll pay in a brick and mortar store as a loss to you.  Look at it as an investment in your hobby.  That store is where your future opponents are going to be bred.

Pay where you play.


  1. I couldn't agree more! The owner of my own FLGS (here in Germany) has brilliant service, offers a small discount and does his best to create a place where tabletop geeks, roleplayers and all kinds of hobbyists can hang out and game. Plus whenever I read about shortages of the new GW kits online, I can only shrug because I've always managed to get all those oh so rare items at the FLGS. The owner once told me this: "People who buy only online can also play and paint online." And he's right: The stores deserve our support!

    I, for one, buy everything I can realistically get at the FLGS. The only exceptions are special bitz (which I get through a seller on ebay) and stuff he absolutely cannot stock or order for one reason or another.

  2. Well said! I would do this if there was a decent game store around. Small demographic, and the niche popularity of this style of gaming, has thus far prevented a game store from staying open more than a year or two :(

  3. I've never played in my local store, but I still supported them for a couple years. Then they started treating a couple of my friends like crap (don't know if that extended to other customers as well) and so we no longer buy there. Sad really, but I guess I'm fine with getting things cheaper since I didn't really lose out on a place to play.

  4. Orzhova Auren, was it the store owner that treated you this way or an employee? If it was an employee, you should take your complaint to the owner and inform him he's losing business due to his employee's actions. Business owners need to know when their customers are dissatisfied and why.

    If it was the owner, that's just unfortunate he's so short sighted that he is unable to put customer service at the top of his priorities.

  5. There is a local game store I used to frequent but have stopped going to because of a change in ownership. There are all sorts of problems but I will share the most humerous one: Nearly every time I enter the store (9 of 10 times), no matter the hour or day, the owner and his friends/employees are eating. My wife actually brought it to my attention and noted how difficult it was to ask about product and/or get help with a purchase.
    Aside from that, I agree whole heartedly. If you play at a store, you need to be buying from that store. It's crazy how we just love to pinch pennies on stuff like this but we totally spend like idiots on other stuff like cable, cell phones and fast food. All of that stuff we insanely overpay for but we do so usually without concern. But another $4 for a Heldrake! NO WAY! I'm going online!
    Pay where you play!!!

  6. Great article. There was a game store right near the University of Rhode Island that started my love affair with GW way back when I was little. I went there every year during vacation until I was 16, and always just loved the tables they had and the setup, it was the stuff of dreams. When I grew up and went to school at URI, I found out it had closed a year earlier. It was so sad.

    Taught me a lesson though. Since coming back to the hobby, I have only played at my FLGS twice (in ~4 years, they play on fridays, i haven't had free time on friday night since high school...), but I still go there to buy everything.