Thursday, October 23, 2008

Less than Special Edition

It's not common for a product to get a deep discount on release day, but that's what we did with the special edition versions of the D&D 4 Player's Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide and Monster Manual. Like the 3.5 special edition versions, this one was supposed to be "pleather" bound, with gilded pages and, most importantly, the errata (rules corrections). 4th Edition has a lot more errata than 3.5, so that's significant. For this you will pay the premium price of $75. Some laugh and scoff at this price, but the 3.5 versions were steady sellers.

Unfortunately, someone at WOTC didn't get the memo. According to my sources, they planned to to do the full 3.5 special edition treatment to the 4.0 version, but management decided at the last minute that the fancy fake leather cover was too expensive. However, they retained the $75 price tag, much to everyone's consternation. At $75 for errata and gilded edges, the book is horribly overpriced. We knocked it down to $50 in the store (close to the Amazon price), and offered a $10 trade in for bringing us a regular 4.0 version of the SE book. We did this in hopes of not getting stuck with them, but guess what, they're almost gone.

The dilemma that I have now is that the books are selling too well. When I restock them today, I'll be deciding if I want to keep one of each on the shelf at $75, or if it's worth it to sell a bunch at $50 or so with our trade-in promotion. People do want the book (I'm getting one), but the price is the sticking point. I still make $12.50 a book at the $50 discounted price, but I'm not sure it's worth it.

Holiday Stocking: My big dilemma right now is what to do for the holidays. I've got a list of pros and cons about stocking up. Pros include the "counter-cyclical" nature of the game trade, closings of our various competitors, the possibility that distributors understock, and the proof that things aren't all that bad: healthy October sales. Cons include an erratic economy with horrendous consumer confidence, problems with the credit crisis that might smack me (and my customers) around some more, the failure of recent in-store sales for toys, and the recent change in customer buying habits. Right now I'm leaning towards hedging: bringing in only stock I know I can sell later, and only about half the usual amount. Items that sell only during the holidays will end up as "just-in-time" inventory. The advice I have for shoppers is to shop earlier than normal. The same advice as last year.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This blog is kinda acting weird.

    What up?

  3. I would stick with the trade-ins and cheaper rate. Take a lesson from GW and crack dealers, sell starters low and get them hooked.

    You were complaining about growth before. Maybe you an use this opertunity to get new D&D players (or at least new 4th ed players)