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Retail Cost

7 replies [Last post]
Joined: 11/26/2011

Hi I am hoping someone could assist in what must surely be an old hat question.

I have finally got my game to print, self published ( of course!) and whilst I was hoping to sell retail price at £10 and make the board game at £3, I have been rather stuck on the cost of the game and it will hit the £5 Mark.

I realise that small runs of 100 for this price is pretty good actually and I have found favour with a printer who is quite excited by it all, so is only charging me minimal cost, but I am now wondering whether I can raise the retail price to £15 for a well produced board game.

I realise that there are many answers to this, and it does of course depend on so many things, but I am keen to make a margin of £10 on each game.

I am concerned about spoiling the ship for a haporth of tar, and also about having 100 board games made and then being stuck with them!

I would be really grateful for opinions about how much a sticker the £15 might be against the £10.

Thanks, in anticipation.

Joined: 09/20/2009
I recently self-published,

I recently self-published, and the answer I came up with was pre-orders. I got half of the games sold in pre-order before making them this took a few months, and gave practice at advertising and getting people excited about the game. I understand this is not always possible, but it is how I raised the capital, and am now almost sold out of stock.

I did, however, price myself out of the retail market by making the product a higher value that the price point people would expect to pay for it at, so I would look into distribution if possible, the more you can do to get a real sense of the market (beyond friend and family etc) the better the gauge of what the demand in your game's niche is.

I wish you all the best, and even though excitement urges you on, taking the time to plan can save time and money in the long run.

Joined: 11/26/2011

Thanks Kirioni,

What sort of price were you taking pre orders at?

And what was the margin, if you don't mind sharing!

Cogentesque's picture
Joined: 08/17/2011
Timpenrose, First of all:


First of all: Well-bloody-done mate! Getting a game to print is cracking good work.

Second of all: £5 for 100 units; what-the-hell-bargain-discount-super-printer-awesome - is your game not very component heavy? Is that for the box and all?

Third of all: You used the pounds key not the Dollar Key! Through sheer Brit-Jingosim, I love you and you are a British hero.

Fourth of all: What the hell is your game man? Links n'shit yo!

Fifth of all: I have heard that a general rule of thumb for all any commercial release is manufacturing cost times FIVE. so £5x5 your RRP should be nearer to £25 than £10.

Sixth of all: If your game is cheap, I think your game is cheap. This means if I have less money I will more readily buy it. This also means that I think it will be "worth less" than a bigger game. If your game is more expensive, I will therfore think it is worth more. This is a hard line to play aruond with though,

Last of all: You are cool. Well done. Tell us more <- am interested :)


Joined: 09/20/2009
Well, I had planned on only

Well, I had planned on only having about 50% profit, so I knew I would not be able to get it into stores. I had people preorder for 30$ and the game cost 20$ to make (my initial estimate was between 10-15$ per unit... but the little things caught me), so I made around 33% on each sale, and charge a flat shipping of 5$ US, and around 15$ internationally (sometimes cheaper some times more expensive) So, I funded the print before going ahead with the project. That being said, I turned a profit on my first game, which is a plus, no debt, and the game is all wood, so it is high quality components... so the value was there to drive investment.

papastucker's picture
Joined: 12/20/2011

That is awesome you are putting a game out into the market! This read has also helped me understand a little bit more on how to get a game published. I'm just curious how you started off? You created a game and then what? How did you find a good publisher and how do you go about putting the game into the market? How do you know your game will do well when it hits the market? Just some questions about how you went about this. :D

Lance - papastucker

Joined: 11/26/2011
Encouragement is good!

Thanks Guys!

This is all so encouraging.

A bit of background. I have always liked to think I am good creatively and thought about the possibility of combining my old job (I was a funeral director for eight years) with a board game.

When I got home after a long business trip away I had thought a lot about how it could map out. I sketched it onto a piece of old wallpaper to start with and we had a few hearses (pawns) to move around the board. It was a traditional roll and move game.The game was OK, but it didn't really do much. You landed on coffin nails from time to time and went back to the funeral home, or took someone's handles of one of their coffins. All the nail events had actually happened to me as a fd when I was much younger. it started to develop when we introduced an inner board where the equipment for the funerals had to be purchased. Once your funeral was complete then you had to get to the crematorium or cemetery and conduct the funeral to get the money. Then out again to get more funerals and play on.

We called the game 'Hearses In A Hurry'.

I introduced 2 'Hurry up' spaces, where if you land on them, the 30 second sand timer is turned over and you have as many turns as you can do in that time. it rather developed a mad sense of urgency to the game. We ended up playing it for a time of 45 minutes on a countdown timer as this was the best from our experience.

At this stage (2007) we just had bits of paper for equipment tokens and although we had printed out good quality money it was obviously still a home made game.

We spent a lot of time getting friends around to play it and made them fill out a proper written questionnaire about the game and forced them to say what they didn't like about the game. This brought a number of changes. I then endured the harsh experience of many people no doubt, when I started to ring around some game companies. Generally and not surprisingly they were not very positive. Argos direct expressed an interest, but wouldn't sign and NDA, Paul Lamond Games brought me to a meeting in London and then announced that board games didn't really do well these days and I two other rather forgettable meetings with board game publishers, all of which hacked me off as they wouldn't play the game!

Gamesplay UK have said they will promote another game I have made (much less prototyped) but for this they require me to stump if £4,500 for a prototype professionally made....Ha Ha!How about No.

So, back to my funeral game. As part of my business I speak to ladies meetings, business clubs etc and rather foolishly on a talk entitled "From Hearses To Hostas" about a month ago I said as a throw away comment that I had a home made board game about funeral directing and if anyone wanted to order one for Christmas (home made) then they were available at £10. I was rather surprised to take 4 orders and landed myself in a right pickle trying to get them done. Big Fool I am.

My wife was fantastic, she hand drew a new board as the one we had been using had baked bean stains on and coffee over it and was very wrinkled. We then took this to a printer expecting him to photocopy it and laminate it, but he rather inspired by it put it all onto a screen and reset it in proper print and then printed out the equipment, nails and funeral cards. We have since made a few more adjustments, the board is now in 2 pieces, scored down the centre and joined with thick tape at the back. The pawns, sand timers and dice have been bought fairly cheaply from a really helpful board game company in Suffolk ( These cost about 70p and the print job came in at around £4, but that included a lot of setting things up as a one off cost.

We struggled a bit with a box, but the printer gave us some and we branded it by sticking a bank note and a nail card on to the top.

We have sold only 15, but have orders for about another 15. All at £10.

Future adjustments, I have sourced a telescopic box company that will print and make the box in the shape of a coffin and shrink wrap them as well. Still waiting for final costings on this. Reckon that it is going to come in at around £5-£6 a game in total when we are finally done, but want to charge £15 for it.

Probably not interested in large wholesale quantities at present. Would rather sell a few here and there. In my other business (selling plants) wholesale always seems attractive, but the margins are so much less and the hassle greater. Selling to the public is much more attractive as I can control it and take it at my pace. It is after all at this stage a bit of fun.

If I can prove to myself that I can sell 500 in a year, then I would be greatly encouraged and look at a larger number for the following year.

Selling to people I now is always of course far easier, but I have realised that in order to sell in a shop, then the game box must look a million dollas (well it has to look half decent), otherwise no one will ever understand what a fantastic game you have created.

I hope this answers some of your questions and helps somebody a little.

Still learning huge amounts and desperately want to work on the other game we have created, but need to get this properly up and running and profitable first.

Hearses In A Hurry is available from me at:

or call
01837 851590


Joined: 07/28/2008
General rule of thumb on the

General rule of thumb on the game manufacturing side if you want to have enough flexibility to be able to wholesale the product and still pull some kind of profit is that your manufacturing cost should nto be more than 1/6th of the suggested retail price.

$40 MSRP board game

Wholesale is ~60% off MSRP, so $16
Production Cost at 1/6 = $6.66

It can be a lot harder to achieve on smaller production runs, but still a worthy goal if it can be done.


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