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Advice on wholesale pricing?

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 11/20/2010

Hello fellow game designers,

I've been reading posts here for the past few months while working on developing and self-publishing a game. The information is quite helpful. Well, I'm expecting delivery of the game and need some advice on wholesale pricing. I'm targeting small independent stores and internet stores that sell similar games, primarily in the US but overseas as well. The game is a card game with 64 cards in a box.

This is what I'd like to know based on your experience.
1) What is the best way to structure wholesale prices (what % for wholesale, starting with how many games, etc)
2) What is the best way to collect payment (have the company pay before shipment, allow 30 days to pay, etc.)
3) Who pays for shipping?
4) What is the best way to approach these companies initially (phone, send brochure about game, email, etc)

Also, while on the topic, would you recommend sending samples of the game to these companies - seems like you could end up giving away a lot of games this way.

Thanks everyone

Joined: 04/18/2009
Some answers?

There is basicly no right way, or wrong, to do this. It al depend on how larg youre printryn is and what type of margins you got. If you have a larg printryn with good marging then I would recomend targeting distributors. Here you will get 40% of wholesale. But if you have a smaler printrun and lower margin this is not realy a good option. Then I would recomend selling the games at local conventions or international conventions. This becaus sellinf to spesific stors is not a good way to go. You basicly will have to contact all stors by youre self. And most of them willjust tell you no, or to sell to yone of there distributors and they will pick it up there. Also you ar basicly expected to pay for shipping so this will severly cut into your margins. And shipping one or two games at the time is almost always not worth it. Probobly the shipping will cut in to youre higher margin for targeting a stoor directly and you will end up with the same or lower margins than you would have if you sold to a distributor directly. What people miss often is the amount of work it will take to contact this amount of stors. This is basicly a full time jobb in of it self. Even if you use a distributor you can still contact stors and ask them to carry your game, you just tell them what distributor they can get it from. You willl probobly get a hogher siccses rate this way, but it sill still be low. I know Jack from Reiver games did this one. But I can not rememer how manny stors he contacted. He went with shipping him self. You should read his blog. Lots aof usefull information ther in al the old blog posts.

So in short:
1. There is sort of fixed nimbers you should not go lower then. But I think it is al a question abot what the deal is. But I have a hard time thinking that anny one will make that type of deal with you. The more likley senario is that you will just end up cutting into your own margins. 40% to suplier and 50-60% (I am not realy shore what is the normal one here) to stors directly.
2. This a question of negotiation with you as a company and your customer. This can sometimes be uses to help a deal along. The normal here, ans this is the case for most buisnises, is 30 days. Wictch basicly means, in my contry atleast, that you should not count on having the money befor 44 days. This becaus 2 wees is the leagal minimum befor you can take out intrest and other delay fees on the companiey. But again this in my country, and I am not shor how the international rules are.
3. You are, almost always you will be paying for this. The exeption would be if you bring youre games to a convention and a stor/distributor aprotches you and wants to buy some games directly there on the spot. Them they will pay for there own shipping.
4. Realy no best way as far as I know. If you email you just have to be aware that youre email might be caought by the spam filter so you should be carfoul on what you say in it. There is certan word that the spam filter looks for ans sutch stuff. _You can probobly find information on this on the web.

I would not recomend sending samples to stors. But do send them to difrent revu sites or popular podcasts. You can have a deal that is simular to by 5 games and get a free democopy to your stor. This is simular to your initial thought but from a buisnis standpoint a better deal to make for you.

I hope this helps. And do take a look at Jacks blog over at reiver games. Very helpfull on most of your questions.

Good luck to you on your future endeveors.

Joined: 11/20/2010
Thanks for the very useful

Thanks for the very useful information. I will also visit Jack's blog as you suggested.

rcjames14's picture
Joined: 09/17/2010

For a game with 64 cards in a box, your price point for MSRP will be $10. If you go higher, you will likely lose sales faster than you gain profit since the margin you will seek will almost certainly be 40%.

Even the experienced publishers do not deal directly with retailers, so you will have two different paths to sell your game:

1. Distributors - you will receive between $3.50 - $4 per game and be required to ship it to them. This will account for approximately 90% of your sales.
2. Players - you can sell games directly to your players through your website and at conventions for full price and you do not need to ship it. But, you will have to collect sales taxes where applicable, pay to have a booth at a convention and you will only sell approximately 1/10 of what you can sell through distribution.

You can find out the shipping requirements, payment schedule and interest by contacting the distributors. Likewise, convention organizers will tell you about any policies they have regarding sales. But, if this is your first and only game, expect to spend more money to be there than you earn.

If you plan to sell to a place like Walmart, Target or Barnes & Noble, you will have to acquire about $1k worth of licenses, UPC codes and credit reporting before you submit your game to them. However, they all have online submission mechanisms to handle manufacturers. But, it will benefit you greatly to go through a rep. As they have working relationships with the buyers and act as a filter of content, having representation will likely make you much more successful than not. But, then you need to convince the reps to sell your product. On the upside, if they choose to take on your product, the best will do so on commission only... so you only pay when you get paid.

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