Inventory is fun – after all, spending hours every few weeks counting board games again and again is what we were hoping to do. Hopefully, now that we have a better handle on things, we should be able to keep our inventory counts to once a month (maybe even less!) but it’ll still be a chore.
Amusingly enough, it’s not even the counting that makes inventory such an interesting business. When we first launched, we had 270 products (board games and role-playing games). We quickly realized that we were selling our board games much faster than role-playing rulebooks and decided to put our major efforts into expanding our inventory there. These days, we have about 450 board games that we try to keep in stock. That’s a 67% increase in our product line.
And we are nowhere near the product line other stores like Funagain have. At some point, we shall have to have a discussion on the best option for our line of games. While the long-tail (i.e. holding stock for every game possible) is a viable plan, it also requires sufficient capital and traffic to make it viable.
It is also a substantial chunk of our capital – in fact, that is where nearly all our starting capital is tied-up in. At roughly $20 per game, 450 board games means we keep nearly $9,000 tied-up in inventory at any one-time (if all board games are in-stock and we only keep 1 game in-stock!). Rather obviously, that is not the case – while there are a few games we keep only 1 game in-stock for (normally our first test on those games), we normally keep at least 2 games for others and in some cases up to 20 games.
That makes figuring out how much stock of each board game a running headache. Settlers of Catan might sell 20 copies this month, but next month might only 8. However, Carcassonne
Compounding the problem is our inventory runs. We only have two distributors, both outside of
As you can guess, all of this is a new and interesting little experiment for us. Unfortunately, as customers you get to feel the brunt of our learning curve! Hopefully, you have seen a marked improvement since we started, and hope you will stay with us as we continue to improve and expand.