Occasionally, I get e-mails from independent publishers asking me to stock their games. Many times, I’ve replied to these publishers and more often than not, the deals have fallen through. for a number of reasons.
It’s worth noting the average number of games I sell from any independently published board game I’ve stocked is between 0 to 1. Occasionally, these games sell between 2 to 3 copies. A rare few have sold more than 4 copies. I’m much more likely to stock a game if I can add it to my usual order from a distributor than if I have to buy the game myself. The cost of shipping these games (from you to me) impacts my margin quite significantly, so if I can allay that in any way, it makes sense to do so.
With that said, here’s a list of things that will make it more likely I’ll stock your games:
- Be polite & professional.
- Include all the relevant information you can, in an easy to read format. This includes:
- Name of your game
- Age range & no. of players
- Theme / Setting of the game
- Target audience (party, wargame, eurogame, etc.)
- MSRP of the game
- Awards won (if any) or reviews (by a notable persona; e.g. Drake Flames, Board Games with Scott, etc.)
- BGG listing (I’m going to look it up anyway)
- Who your distributors are (if any)
- Images of the game itself
- Your contact information and website
- Provide a decent discount. I can’t sell a game if my discount purchasing direct from you is 15%. Industry standard discounts from MSRP are between 45-50%
- Be willing to ship one or more copies. Especially with independent games, I am not likely to stock more than a few in my first purchase.
- Follow up. Sometimes, I get so busy I don’t reply because I’ve put aside your e-mail and them promptly forgot about it. If I haven’t told you no, there’s a shot. Just make sure to give me at least a week though.