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Approach a Distributor

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narrator
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Joined: 02/15/2009

Hi

I've self published a game that has been selling since the beginning of the year. I've sold direct to gamers via the internet and several stores have also taken some stock. I'm now going to approach a distributor and my dilemna is over what to tell them as regards the stores as the game stores that have taken stock also use the distributor I'm going to approach. Ideally, I'm not interested in dealing direct with stores and would want to deal via the distributor from now on. I see the fact that stores have taken the game as a bargaining chip but will the distributor look at this at all in a negative vein? - i.e. I've been dealing direct so am in competition with the distributor!

Anyone had any experience with this?

Katherine
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Joined: 07/24/2008
I think the answer to your

I think the answer to your question lies in the reason you no konger want to deal with the stores direct.

If sales have increased to the point that you cannot manage, well done, you need a distributor. If sales have dropped and you are tired of door knocking then you have a problem.

I would be more concerned about explaining to loyal customers why there is a possability that the cost of the game is going to experience a price change, you cannot guarentee the this will stay the same once it is out of your hands.

narrator
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Neither of your assumptions

Neither of your assumptions are correct. I'm making steady sales but not more than I can manage - sales haven't dropped off. I'm just wanting to expand and one way of doing this is via distributors. I'm completely willing to deal direct with stores but the majority I've contacted would prefer to deal just with their distributors. This hasn't stopped them ordering direct but they do keep telling me the same thing - prefer going through distributors.

So back to the original question. Should I use the fact that stores have been dealing direct with me as a bargaining chip when I approach the distributor?

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
A quick question...

Is your product bar-coded? Does it have an ISBN or UPC? If it does, that'll help you a lot.

adagio_burner
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Narrator is absolutely right.

Narrator is absolutely right. Most stores will not buy a game directly from the manufacturer because their bookkeeping becomes too complicated. They prefer to deal with one or two distributors, and keep it simple.

There is another factor in the equation: shipping cost and quantities. Stores usually order one or two copies of a new game, and get more only if these two copies sell out. If they order directly from a manufacturer, someone needs to pay shipping for each copy ordered, and that adds up to a huge amount.

When they order from a distrubutor, all these single-game orders come to the store together in a large box, and this way it comes to only cents per copy. Distributors also have large volume discounts with mail carriers.

Coming back to the original question. The ideal situation is when your game is sold in a few stores, gets a couple of good reviews, is talked about, and you get noticed by the distributor. So they contact you themselves.

If you want to write to them, start with this kind of information (in a very short summary): what kind of product you have, what stores carry your game, is it reviewed, where is it mentioned, etc. If they get interesed, they'll ask you for a copy to look at.

I am pretty sure that a short and to-the-point email to a rep at Alliance or ACD will be read. If they get interested, they will reply :)

narrator
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Thanks adagio_burner. I'll

Thanks adagio_burner. I'll get me an email knocked up!

truekid games
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Joined: 10/29/2008
also (and you probably

also (and you probably already know this, but it wasn't mentioned yet so i thought i'd cover the base) keep in mind that a distributor either cuts directly into your profit, or increases the cost of the game, depending on how you resolve their cut of the pie.

adagio_burner
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And when you look at how much

And when you look at how much the distributor pays you, and factor in your shipping expenses... this is when you realize how dangerously close this gets to what the games cost you to produce ;)

narrator
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Yep, I'm all too aware of the

Yep, I'm all too aware of the cut the distributor takes but there's nothing to be done about that! You're only going to shift so many directly from a website and with most stores wanting to deal just with distributors what are you going to do?

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