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Suggestions on selling

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Hey everyone...

Id like to start off by saying it seems like everyone here has both some really good game ideas and really good market information. So I am hoping some one here can shed some light on a few obstacles I have been encountering.

As many of you here, I have invented a new board game. It is a war-strategy game with a new patentable feature. I have been testing it for 3 years and I am currently working with a manufacture to produce the game for October.

We are going to do a run of 5000 copies to start and introduce the game locally and to a few other cities for this years Christmas season. Here’s my problem though.

I have been trying to get leads to sell the game to specialty shops as well as Mass merchants.

1. Specialty shops will only buy the game on consignment and want a free copy of the game first before they will make their decision.

2. Mass Merchants only go through distributors and I have a meeting with two distributors this week but I don’t want to make the game and not be able to seed my next run because of having to lower the price dramatically.

Does any one here have any advice about were to go to sell my first 5000 copies of the game with out taking to much of a hit on dollars coming back to the company?

Thanks guys for reading this over

Frank Zuuring
Savita Games

Suggestions on selling

I might offer, to the small stores, to do an in store demo instead of giving out free copies. That way no matter how many stores you go to you use the same copy for the demo. If you can get people hyped about the game instore than the owner may very well buy a few copies of it, if he owns more than one store he may buy more.

Game store franchises, like the ones in malls, might have a corporate buyer, the manager may be able to get you in touch with that person. Again offer to do in store demo's at stores near your location.

I once signed copies of a small pdf rpg file for a store if they bought more than 20 of them.

eBay is also set up in other countries, translate your game rules into various languages using a free online translator. It may not be 100% accurate but its a simple way to develop a wider audience. The european game market seems to be thriving more so than the American one. Americans seem to like video games more.

A website that does direct sales also works. You may not have the biggest amount of traffic off the get go but if you put a small pamphlet in every game that has the web address and you offer more info online than people will visit. If you have another product than they might buy that one from their experience with the other.


Joined: 12/31/1969
Suggestions on selling

Click the "Search" link, above, and search for "distributor" -- there are lots of great threads on this, including how to find them and how to avoid using them.

Also, I do not recommend using automatic translators for your rules. Game rules are very precise documents, with lots of technical details. Having tried to play games from auto-translated rules, I suggest that you will simply be irritating your customers, not helping them, and word will get around that your rules are worse than useless, that they're downright misleading. You certainly won't get good word of mouth to improve sales, and you'll effectively be ripping off those you sell it to.

-- Matthew

Joined: 10/16/2008
A couple of leads for you

Here are some ideas:

1) ASTRA is the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association. I don't know how useful being a member is. We were a member for two years and are no longer a member.

2) Distributors can be tough nuts to crack. Go to GAMA to try to make contact and break in. There are also consolidators (we use Impressions Advertising) to help.

3) If you're trying to move 5,000 copies, you're going to have to do more than just in-store demos. Get review copies out there. Note that there's a large risk to that. Some reviewers like to pump themselves up by slamming games. Choose your reviewers carefully.

Good luck!

Just a thought

I am in the advertising marketing field so bare with me.

Since you are only doing locally. Call around to the number 2 or 3 radio station in your area. Talk with a local retailer. Talk to a local shopping mall. Then lastly talk to a NON contreversial charity in your area which is for LOCAL people. This could also be let out to the newspapers as a LOCAL Company develops and brings to market a new game to go nationally BUT starting local only so get yours now kind of mentallity.

First the radio.....ask about a discount rate about a NEW game your bringing to market and they are first to have the OPPORTUNITY to advertise for YOU about a game competion and how they could sponsor such if given a discoutn rate or FREE plugs. Mention the charity and local retailer and mall are involved. Prizes will be awarded (YOUR GAME).

Second your Mall..... Talk to them about the space to use for a game review and make sure the mall is NOT the BUSIEST ONE. Let them know you would liek to put on a one day game tournament and will reward the winners. They will get more people in shopping and visiting thus more cash in the doors and plugs on the radio for sponsoring.

Third the Retailer.....They will split for offering the sponsorship on radio plugs and expenses. They could also offer the space if the mall says NO. They get plugs and a new game and more shoppers to gaming industry.

Fourth the charity......... This is a plug to get all ages and beliefsinto the giving or lookers to see what is going on down to your tournament. They get plugs and you get a sponsor looking like a hero for your community which helps with credibilty and in the end results in sales. They also could get the entry fee of 1.00 per player given to them which they would help your community and your company may lose out a bit of cash from the games given but credibility is worth the weight in gold for helpng a LOCAL charity.

Get others involved and the weight of many will help push even further. Donate a game to your local hodpital, hospice, or another facility not for the game to be played as much as the giving a donation will show your company name again. Keep your company name in the limelight as much as possible before the actual unveiling.

Just an idea and you can take it or leave it.

Joined: 08/03/2008
Re: A couple of leads for you

OrlandoPat wrote:

3) If you're trying to move 5,000 copies, you're going to have to do more than just in-store demos. Get review copies out there. Note that there's a large risk to that. Some reviewers like to pump themselves up by slamming games. Choose your reviewers carefully.

That's an interesting piece of advice. There was a complaint leveled at a popular reviewer a while back that his reviews are always positive. The complainent suggests that this could be a way for the reviewer to create a little free game pipeline for himself, by establishing himself as a "go-to" reviewer. Now, I don't think this is the reviewer's intent at all, but you sort of see how this could happen. If the idea is to just send your game to "softball" reviewers to generate good reviews, then reviews really have no credibility from a sales standpoint. Although, it will be a matter of time (or probably never) before the public catches on to that.

Are there examples of reviewers who write harsh reviews just for personal ego reasons? I've not read a review that I thought was doing this, but not saying that it doesn't happen.

My advice would be slightly different: make sure your game is bulletproof. Make it so great that no one in their right mind could possibly give it a bad review. Is this incredibly hard? Yes, absolutely. But I submit that trying to sell a game is a very hard enterprise as well.

I'm no expert on this, but 5000 games sounds like a lot for a wargame. Just make sure you've done enough market research to insure that you can sell that many games. For myself, to take that plunge, I'd want something like 2000 preorders, and/or evidence that other, comparable games have sold more than 5000 copies AND that my game is way better than those games AND a widespread consensus from retailers agrees that this is the case.

Good luck,


Joined: 12/31/1969
similar boat

My 5,000 game order will be here in mid- September so I feel your concerns. As for consignment, that's not necessarily a bad thing. You've already spent the money up front so take advantage of this Christmas season even if it's consigning them to small retailers. You could say the first 6 games or so will be consigned: however, when you sell them (note my optimism), you need to start paying upfront or on agreed upon terms. Good luck.

HR Puff

Jpwoo's picture
Joined: 03/26/2009
Suggestions on selling

I am a bit surprised that nobody has mentioned working the cons. Gen Con, origins, and any and all the local conventions you can.

This gives you lots of foot traffic, of people who are your specific demographic. It is a good opportunity to build up some word of mouth advertising too, as people come to the big ones from all over the country.

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