Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Tale of Zip Zap (Tradecraft)

Zip Zap is a fine little speed card game by Gamewright. Sure, it's got a depressingly low 5.67 on Boardgamegeek, but that's because it's a family game, perfect for 4-5 year olds. The snobs at BGG do not like family games intruding upon their geekery, so you always have to keep that in mind. We had it because it was a top family game in the San Francisco Chronicle in December, 2012. It was described as rollicking. Who doesn't like rollicking? I had to look that up. It's exuberantly lively and amusing. Cool! The man in the chair was clapping, although he admittedly wasn't doing cartwheels in his seat. So it was no surprise we had some left over.

On December 26th of 2012, I had five copies of Zip Zap that I stubbornly held onto. Zip Zap may have been the muggle mid level choice of 2012, but on December 26th it was adrift in a sea of much better card games. So those Zip Zaps sat on the shelf for two years. I let that happen. A couple sold the following December, some of those same returning customers. A couple sold over the Summer of this year, and finally the last one sold this month, a full two years later. This was quite dumb. Zip Zap should have been dumped like a bad habit starting December 26th, 2012.

That's the lesson here. After the holidays, if you've got "muggle specific" games you brought in, dump them immediately. Dump them hard. Dump them without remorse with a clearance tag that covers your cost, but not much else, and less than cost if that doesn't work. Ignore the talk of how it looks or what it teaches your customers, get your money back now so you don't wait two years to recoup it.

What did Zip Zap cost me? You could do some complicated math, since we know the sales points, but lets keep it simple. Doing some bistro math, if my average turns on card games is three per year, and I've got $11 (the MSRP of Zip Zap) times 5 copies ($55) tied up, it means over two years I lost $275 in potential sales ($330 minus the eventual $55 of the 5 Zip Zaps). That's nothing but stubbornness on my part. If you look around your store, I'm guessing you'll find half a dozen or more Zip Zaps, probably with much higher price tags, reminders of your bad purchasing. Tell the little man to sit down and take a nap. What I find exuberantly lively is seeing dead inventory walk out the door. It's a rollicking good time.

1 comment:

  1. Wanna take some time and figure out that exact cost of 'money later vs money now' ? This might help, lessons 1-3 :-) (the reference book is of course rather dry but the video lectures are a hoot.)
    It's basically a matter of timelining your 2 years, and some simple math.