How Would One Own or Help an Independent Game Store?

coreykun667

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Lately I've thought about owning a game store one day. You know, one that would be a decently priced alternative to buying online.

-OR-

On the other hand, There's a used game store in town where I live, but the location is awful and the store looks like it could use heavy renovation. The guy who owns it is pretty nice from what I've heard, but I'd like to possibly help out a small business so it can flesh out and become a store that people love to come to.
 

LoneSage

A Broken Man
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May as well try your hand at opening up a Blockbuster, too!
 

Syn

There can be only one.
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An easy way to start up is at a Flea Market. Part time work and you can build up your customer base & back stock. You don't have to worry as much about the start up money needed, lease, insurance, utilities, etc.

If you're doing well enough, you can open an actual store.
 

Cylotron

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I had my own game shop long ago. It didnt last very long unfortunately. Culdnt beat the prices of the big chain stores on new items(couldnt even afford to match the prices a lot of the times). This was due to them buying in bulk and getting better prices. The only times I ever made any money was off of the used stuff.

If I were to open a store again, I would focus primarily on used as well as repairs. I've been a PC tech for some time now & repair all kinds of things(PC's, Mac, cell phones, tablets, tv's & even video game systems). We get in almost as many game systems as we do cell phones & tablets. I wish I was the one making all the money on these repairs(I just get paid hourly)
 

100proof

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Unfortunately, the mom n' pop video game store isn't really a viable business any more. You can't compete with big-box chains and online retailers because you can't get the bulk prices they get on new product and people have gotten a lot more savvy about the value of older/used games.

That said, if you live in a major city/college town, there would probably be enough of a customer base to carve out a niche if you sold the right kinds of product (used/retro games, import stuff, gaming paraphernalia) and could find a location that was inexpensive/in a decent part of town.
 

andsuchisdeath

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Today any slob off the street can assess the current "value" of something they have never heard of before in seconds.
Flea markets are more expensive than ebay, craigslist is scoured by vultures, yardsales are "cooler than ever" and of course the majority of these patrons bring their computer phones.

How would it be possible to be able to sell large quantities of older games at fair prices while yielding a profit? Maybe if you've been sitting on old stuff you bought for pennies in the early part of the last decade. But once that stuff is sold, where is your new stock going to come from? There's never been a worse time for collecting video games. You'd think this would imply that the sellers benefit. Many do, but I'm sure they're not paying for an overhead.

Unless you want to function as ebay with a store front and a limited selection, the best route IMO would be having a repair focus like cyclotron mentioned.

There's a joint in my area that sells games at decent prices. Their selection is alright too. The only way they're able to do this is by making the video game component of the store a small gimmick. Their meat and potatoes is phones/tablets/pcs/ sales and repairs. They seem to do well, and they're one of the very few joints I don't resent having stepped foot in.

So although I still maintain that it's a terrible idea to open a video game shop in 2014, if you're going to do it, your primary source of revenue needs to be derived from something other video games.
 
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Zangrief

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Move to CO and also sell weed. If you've already done that, you smoke entirely too much weed.
 

NeoSneth

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The market is going digital.

As a classic store, you would have to offer unique services.
It would be awesome to have a local modder for sound, video, and repairs.
 

Cylotron

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As a classic store, you would have to offer unique services.

Exactly. Although then you'd need to find a crooked cop to bribe who'll make sure you can continue those "services"

:spock:
 

Dr Shroom

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Lately I've thought about owning a game store one day. You know, one that would be a decently priced alternative to buying online.

-OR-

On the other hand, There's a used game store in town where I live, but the location is awful and the store looks like it could use heavy renovation. The guy who owns it is pretty nice from what I've heard, but I'd like to possibly help out a small business so it can flesh out and become a store that people love to come to.

Don't be a josh.
 

Phyeir

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With a large bank account that can absorb years of losses for a passion project.

A classic game store just opened in a mall near me. Loose Genesis was priced at $80 for a console with controller and hook ups. No lie. That stuff will still be there if I go back in 3 months and the store is still there.
 

cdamm

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real advice: carve out a unique niche so people come to you for something special.

real talk: stay the hell out of my niche.
 

Phyeir

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territory.gif
 

coreykun667

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Welp, there goes one of my dreams.

As a classic store, you would have to offer unique services.
It would be awesome to have a local modder for sound, video, and repairs.

That's also a major part of why I wanted to have a shop. I'm currently unaware of places in Central/Northern California that mod consoles other than new stuff. Since people are realizing that they want better video quality, I'd think it'd be safe to say that there's a niche that could possibly sell, but I don't know. Of course on the other hand if I sold games, I wouldn't install modchips for backups. I don't want to kill sales. Refurbishing consoles usually breathes new life into the aged systems. I imagine people would also want cartridges to be cleaned and have the batteries replaced. In fact, I'd be better off just having a repair shop...
 

neo_X7

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I like how these stores always start out great, able to find rare and great condition retro items at dirt cheap prices. Then everybody finds out about the store and buys their good stock up and sooner or later they are left with crap sports games and a bunch of over priced poor condition Genesis and SNES games. And why is it none of these stores ever have any Saturn stuff?
 

cdamm

Trust the French?
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And why is it none of these stores ever have any Saturn stuff?

because it is (saturn and snes in particular) stupidly expensive. and when a shop even makes an agressive shop buy price the owner scoffs and demands full retail.

i have passed on many a lot from my customers because they come to me wanting cash, but demand it at a price that i could not make money on.
 

coreykun667

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I like how these stores always start out great, able to find rare and great condition retro items at dirt cheap prices. Then everybody finds out about the store and buys their good stock up and sooner or later they are left with crap sports games and a bunch of over priced poor condition Genesis and SNES games. And why is it none of these stores ever have any Saturn stuff?

That's how thrift stores around here used to be. I found a complete in box Genesis model 2 in the original box plus some Genny games thrown in and a mint Zelda 2 last year when one of em fist opened. Now all I see are sports, racing, and those awful singing games.
 

IcBlUsCrN

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i know someone who opened up a retro shop a while ago and a few years ago opened up a second shop. Doing pretty well for himself. 98% used stuff but carries the big new releases. from what i gather his success was sell at ebay prices and buy at less then half for store credit and even less for cash. people will pay for convenience. location is the big key. it does not have to be pretty but near a college has great benefits. The other key is the start up collection you need to have many copies of games like mario/ pokemon and for all systems you can buy a bunch of game lots from ebay. repairs are good money and bring new people in but its a hassle to do yourself.
 

SNKorSWM

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Give it enough time, and the stuff left on the shelves will be almost all Madden.
 

BigFred

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Personally, I wouldn't consider any shop. Even if you plan on being there every day, you'll wear yourself out. If not you'll soon grow a dislike of your staff. Being a business owner blows ass and it's a lot of hard never-ending work. But maybe things are different in the US.
 

Late

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Torch it and commit insurance fraud.
 
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