As an online game store, it sometimes feels like the entire industry is out to shut you down. We’re the evil demon in the mists, the boogieman destroying the fabric of the gaming universe. We are the bad guys.
We’ve had publishers refuse to sell to us, restrict sales of certain items, issue pricing dictates and offer Brick & Mortar (B&M) stores additional retailer incentives. We’ve had distributors refuse to do business with us, or attempt to dictate how we run our business if they do sell to us, or selectively refuse promotions to us because we are an online store.
Other retailers have attempted to get us discredited, refused to talk/work with us in their industry forums and been actively hostile in person. We’ve even had some predatory marketing practices targeted directly at us. And the purchasing public can be just as hostile (if not more so) than any of the above.
What gets me is the hypocrisy often shown by the above. Many of these publishers will sell online & direct themselves and/or sell to big box stores. They’ll go to Kickstarter (another online sales method) and provide incentives to customers but not provide them to retailers, cutting directly into a retailer’s customer base. Yet they’ll state in their very next breath that they are all about supporting ‘the gaming industry’.
The public will complain about online retailers, but then refuse to pay more than MSRP or for the space they use to try out games and socialize in B&M stores. They’ll buy from Amazon, yet continue to talk about ‘supporting local businesses’. Retailers complain about online stores but then use eBay to get rid of their additional stock or run online stores themselves.
Distributors at least are mostly up-front about their motivations – they just want your money; and often would sell to you if they could.
If There’s One Thing…
Can’t we all just get along? There’s a lot to love in this business, but this aspect of it is just frustrating and disheartening. Some days, I really do just want to go evil. Then I take a deep breath, tell myself it’s just business and get on with being the best damn game store we can be.