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Sometimes you get what you pay for

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sedjtroll
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Joined: 07/21/2008

As you may have seen on BoardGameGeek.com, the production of Terra Prime and Homesteaders was, shall we say, less than optimal. When choosing a manufacturer there are many considerations... when we met them in April I had a really good feeling about Panda (the company that manufacturers many of Z-Man's games), but one of the big considerations of course is the price. Panda seems to be a really good outfit, and as a result they cost more. For a fledgling company like Tasty Minstrel, cost is a really big consideration.

The company we chose was MUCH cheaper than Panda and other options. They are the same company that manufactured our own Andrei Burago's (adagio_burner) Galaxy's Edge. I am not privy to every detail, but I do know that TMG didn't just choose the cheapest option possible! Mike ordered a copy of Galaxy's Edge to check out the company's work, and from what we could tell they seemed to do a fine job. There weren't complaints online about the quality of that game either, so it was something of a surprise when we received our shipment and started to find the production quality... lacking.

The moral of the story, and of this post I guess... Sometimes you get what you pay for. I'm not sure how one can tell when or whether a deal is "too good to be true" - but it may be important to note that price isn't everything. TMG's trip to Atlanta to attempt a quality control effort for Homesteaders cost upwards of $2000, and replacing missing or damaged parts isn't cheap on the wallet or the reputation... amortize that over the 2000 copies of Homesteaders printed and it increases the unit cost of the games by over $1.00! I don't know how much more it would have cost per unit for one of the more expensive manufacturers, but if you're making the decision it's worth comparing apples to apples - I'm not saying that the lowest bid will necessarily give you a bad product, but it may at least be more likely - so it might be worth figuring some extra potential cost into the price when getting bids for production. If you luck out and get a good product, then more power to you - you could really save some money! However there may be a greater chance you'll receive mis-aligned, mis-cut, moist, and otherwise not-to-spec games as well, so be prepared to deal with that.

- Seth

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