Alright, I haven’t blogged about this yet but it’s been in development for at least a month. Actually, the dream has been there for years but I saw an opportunity and the voice in the back of my head told me to run with it. It’s something that will either be made of win, or it will crash and burn like the Hindenburg: This week, I’m opening a game store.
Starting a Business the Dirty Cheap Bastardo Way:
It’s definitely not going to be the standard orthodox game store. While I had some extra funds in my nest egg to try this, the budget I have laid out for this is roughly a fraction of what others would recommend starting with. So, I’m taking an alternative approach in this. We have a local marketplace (read: Flea Market) that has been bought out and is getting fixed up. They’re attracting vendors into the place who are trying to do more than the “junk items on tables” approach to selling. The place already has a computer and electronics dealer, a video game & skate board store (who owns a real store a town over) and many other cool shops. What I found was an empty booth, dirty as sin and the front of it was chicken wire and a gate. I rented the sucker out….$95 a month, utilities included.
What followed this past month was an overhaul. I paid the handymen that worked at the place to install pegboard walls, an actual door and I’ve swept the place out. The concrete floor was still, well, a concrete floor at a market stall…so the largest purchase I made fixing the place up was buying a nice rug to cover the bulk of the shop. After that, I managed to cut some deals with vendors inside the place (including one packing up to leave) and managed to buy me a nice dinner-sized gaming table, a smaller round table perfect for 2 player stuff like chess/cards, and a ton of nice wooden chairs all under $100. I’ve also managed to find some good shelving at cheap prices, including a bulky magazine shelf that was just given to me from a friend.
So, fixing the place up didn’t set me back but a couple hundred bucks (sans the rug I bought…that was probably silly of me.) Next up is inventory…which has been tricky. I haven’t been able to apply to a wholesale distributor yet since I’ve been busy fixing the place up to at least look like an honest to god brick & mortar store. Now that I have that part finished up, I’m actually just waiting for my business card to come in so I can submit that for payment. In the mean time, I have an entire living room filled up with assorted boardgames, rpg books and dice. Thank you eBay and your bulk gaming auctions!
- Keeping the local gaming scene alive. I have setup a place where people can show up and play whatever, and that was the most important part. The marketplace is stoked about the idea, and now I have a spot for local gamers to meet up at.
- Deal in both New & Used, in print and out of print. Despite me being a 4E fanboy, the demand in my area is actually for out of print D&D books or continued support for their systems. So, I’m actually on the right track with the eBay thing. We already have an entertainment & book retail that can sell the new stuff….finding older stuff is the challenge which I seem to have a knack for.
- Maybe, just maybe, in all of this…..break even. Possibly even profit….as long as I make enough to keep the doors open, I’m looking at this as more of an extension of my hobby then an income to live off of.
- If I don’t break even, at least I have a shit ton of books and games to add to my collection.
- Keep my feet planted on the ground. My school work still comes first; this is purely my weekend gig.