Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tower of Power

Our D&D 4 display sits in front of the cash wrap area, waiting to be unwrapped tomorrow. The pre-orders are in one of the display cases: 38 gift sets and 3 Player's Handbooks. The freight company delivered everything right to the floor of the store, so the delivery went as smoothly as possible. I had to order more books, however, since the Baker & Taylor order didn't ship any Player's Handbooks or Monster Manuals. They said they were back-ordered until sometime in June. I canceled the order, but man, with 5 months advance notice, you think they could have pulled it off.

This release should give you an example of what it's like in a small retail store. You take a big chance on a giant release. That release is sold by a variety of very large competitors, both online and brick & mortar, who may or may not sell them early or at a gigantic discount. As far as I can see, any attempt at a huge profit on anything is tempered by these competitors. It's like a release valve when the pressure gets too high. That's great if you're a consumer, but it's a tough way to run a business; many down sides, no longer many upsides. It works well when you get lucky, but any of the players along the way can screw over the small store without recourse.