By Mindy Basi
I confess I am a game collector, and thus have walls of shame – unplayed games, games still in shrink, games I have forgotten why I bought them in the first place. My shelfies are fantastic, but frankly, all those games take up space both in my house and in my brain. When will they get played? Is it worth learning them? Can I fit another game in my shrinking space?
When my friend, game designer David Sheppard (his game Spookre successfully funded on Kickstarter last fall) suggested we split the cost of a vendor table and sell some games at our local game convention this coming weekend, I jumped at the chance. I have no qualms about being an enabler for other people’s collecting addictions, none at all.
I went looking on their website for an entry form. Uh oh, we had missed the deadline. I wrote the organizers an email asking for an extension, and they were nice enough to give us one. Just mail the vendor form to us, they said.
Full steam ahead!
There were some logistical issues. A tax ID number was required to get a table. The con wants no part of tax fraud. That was an easy one for me, I own a small business (nothing to do with games) so I had that covered.
There was the moment when I didn’t get a response from the organizers about getting my form (which I had to snail mail) and I panicked, thinking we were out. Then they posted the floor plan, and there we were. Phew. Calm down.
We are all set to make some dough. I am snagging an ipod “register” from my store (again, not games, we sell cheese) so I can use Square to take credit cards and record our sales. Shep is buying a small cash box from Amazon, since we don’t have one and utilizing a used envelope to hold cash would look mighty unprofessional. Cash boxes are actually under $10, which was a welcome surprise.
Now for the biggest obstacle. Which of my precious darlings should go? Just because they weren’t played, or even opened, wasn’t a sign I didn’t love them! But go they must.
The culling began. As I stacked the “sell” pile (see a photo of just one of the stacks, below), I became more vicious. No way I am ever playing this! Why play that? I have so many dice games. My group hates one vs. many games. It may have been a classic once, but there are better designs now! I never liked you, Dice Forge. Out, out, out! Make me money! Give me space!
In the end, there were almost 100 games that suffered the cut, poised to wing their way to someone else’s collection, and hopefully a game table eventually.
That was fun and somewhat painful (my mantra as I chose was “stop being a hoarder”), but now came the pricing. My partner designed a spreadsheet for both of us to use, a master list so we could keep track of our pricing and inventory. It’s kind of a semi-coop, isn’t it, since we both want to sell our own games but we are working together to get it done. Neat! We only had a couple of duplicates (The Spierschadt is very unloved) which was surprising considering the list in total ended up being over 170 games (did I mention we have one six foot table?).
I was actually behind in getting Shep my list. He had already done his. I virtually pinkie promised I would get it done by Monday night.
Off to BGG I went. For every game, I looked up the price history of what the game had actually sold for, not the wishful thinking of gouging Amazon and Ebay sellers or hopeful BGG users. These games had to move. A couple of titles turned out to be semi-grail games, and I priced them accordingly. My strategy for grail games was if they don’t sell for my admittedly inflated but realistic prices, they will sell on BGG or a larger con that attracts game collectors. Other regular games are rock bottom priced for the bargain hunters and hopefully they will find new homes quickly.
By 11pm on Monday (it was still Monday, my pinkie promise intact), I was done with my list of games for sale.
We now had a working master list of games: their condition, any notes about expansions or promos, and the prices they are selling for-- even a secret column noting a negotiable lowest price for certain games. It’s good to have an idea how much the other will cave in to persuasion. Everyone knows you should always negotiate at a flea market, right?
At this point, each game needs to be inspected and have a physical price on it. Which takes up a great deal of time, if you were wondering. Those little removable (advice: make sure they are removeable!) round garage sale stickers work great for this, by the way. And no taping the boxes! Heaven forbid.
The question still remains how we are going to fit almost 100 games each on a 6’ table. We are going to be playing 3D Tetris to get this thing set up (or more likely,
Villa Paletti -- see above).
Some questions came up – my friends wanted to consign games to the sale. How much to charge for consignment? How many games would we allow? Would it take away from our sales? Would it be too complicated? As of this writing, that’s still up in the air. My partner was inclined to say no, I was inclined to say yes…and we are still talking about it.
What about trades? I am averse to trades at the moment as the idea on my end is cash money and less games, but he’s still open to the idea. Ok.
David wrote a wonderfully funny advertisement for the con’s Facebook page. If that doesn’t get us customers, I don’t know what will:
You may have noticed us on the map… Mindy and Sheppy’s board game market! What is it, who are we, what is this for? Put simply, Mindy and I collect games. Like a LOT of games. This takes up space, physical and mental. So this is, simply put, us selling games from our collections. We’re trying this out to see if there’s a demand for a vendor such as us so we’ll start small, we’ll start cramped, but we’ll start great. How great? How’s over 170 games sound? We have Grail Games like The Ancient World, Castle Ravenloft, and Fury of Dracula 3rd Edition (with hand painted minis). We have Gateway Games like Tokaido, Dice Forge, Monopoly Gamer (with all figures) and Photosynthesis. We have Gamer Games like Horus Heresy, A Study in Emerald, Pillars of the Earth. We even have a large number of games either unplayed or still in the shrink. Many games include expansions right in the box. We’ll have games of every size. Stop on by.. and buy.
The sale starts Friday January 26 and goes through Sunday. Will we sell some games? Will the mostly RPG and Pathfinder playing crowd ignore us and sail right by our extraordinarily full table of great games? Will I make my $30 investment for a table back? Stayed tuned!
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