Thursday, April 07, 2005

Buying games in Sweden

In the latest years it have become increasingly difficult to buy board and roleplaying games in Sweden. The pattern is probably similar in most parts of the world. Game retaliers shut down and stores who previously had a good selection now focus almost exclusivly on computer games. Online shops are probably a big part of this and it seems like it has become an evil circle for face to face retailing. As the range of products is decreased more people buy online resulting in lower sales, further reduced assortment which in turn drives more people to the internet. I guess this is the way of the future and even if it is a bit sad I don't think it heralds the end of the market for these games.

As going downtown for you fix is no loger an option unless you live in a big city the online stores is your only hope. Depending on how soon you need your stuff there are many options. The first is the "normal" mail order service. You order what you need, pay it in some manner and the product is delivered in short notice as they got a well stocked store room. The main problem is that when adding postage and packing you usually end up paying as much as in your now defunct local shop.

An alternative to this is Hobbygames. They were originally a classic mail order store but are shifting towards only taking orders for a set date about once each month. If you order at this time you get a discount as they do not need to keep the products in stock. They place their order to the distributor based directly on the orders they got. I have used this service several times.

The newly opened Azimogames has further developed this concept. They keep very low prices but there is a slight catch. When you place your order the products are placed on a public list along with their weight. The games are not ordered from the distributor until the total weight adds upp to 120kg (~260lbs), as a large order is a requiremt for their low prices. It will be very interesting to see if this model is sucessful and I will probably try them out in the near future.

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