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New Tariffs On RPGs Printed In China

ICv2 is reporting on new tariffs on imports to the USA from China, which include various categories of items including toys, comics, and games... including tabletop RPGs. The tariffs are up to 25%. Many game companies print RPG books in China, so this will affect them.

ICv2 is reporting on new tariffs on imports to the USA from China, which include various categories of items including toys, comics, and games... including tabletop RPGs. The tariffs are up to 25%. Many game companies print RPG books in China, so this will affect them.


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The New York Times reports on it in more depth.

So, here's a simple breakdown of it as I understand it -- while tabletop games are not currently under any tariff, they will be affected by the 25% rate coming in a couple of months. There's a grace period of about three weeks for items in transit.

The tariff doesn't necessarily mean the games will cost 25% more. It's based on the manufacturing and shipping costs, which are only a part of the cost of producing a product. The price increase to consumers, therefore, will likely be substantially lower than 25% (although it's completely up to the companies how they handle it - some might even just absorb it, while others will pass it on).

It'll likely start showing in prices in games in Autumn or so.

This, of course, only affects games printed in China and shipped to America. And lost of other things, apart from games!
 

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G

Guest 6801328

Guest
Tariffs are not necessarily a BAD thing.

It's all about perspective, right?

I mean, you could say that a global pandemic that wiped out 90% of the human population isn't necessarily a bad thing.

If you are, say, a rhinoceros. Or a tree.
 

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Big companies like WotC/Hasbro will just absorb the extra cost. After all, when Amazon is selling a $50 book for $30-35, I doubt they are taking a loss on that book, so there is plenty of room between wholesale and retail price for the big boys to not raise prices. But those $50 core books from smaller, indie publishers may soon be $55 instead to cover their increase in cost. And the bad thing is, while these tariffs may go away in a year or two, that price increases from smaller publishers may not.
 

ced1106

Explorer
From Reddit: "I am a licensed Customs Broker in the US. I literally deal with these tariffs ALL day long. People sit here and complain that "Well a 25% price increase is going to kill businesses".

Here is some news for you to get a better perspective on this situation: So let's say a game publisher has a game with an MSRP of $60.00. The actual cost they declare to Customs is around $8-$11, on average. The rest of the cost goes to paying for things like ocean freight charges (which are non-dutiable and thus, the tariffs do not impact), and warehousing and trucking and profit and labor costs and other local charges, none of which are dutiable and thus the tariffs do not affect. That means, on a game that has an import cost of $8.00, the tariff adds $2 to the price of importation of that copy of the game. $2 to a $60 game is a total increase of 3.33%. That sort of cost can be absorbed with barely any notice to the consumer.

And if you think I making things up, these tariffs have been in place for virtually everything from China since September. How many things have you noticed huge cost hikes on? Anything that jumped 25%? Any small businesses that were thriving prior to Sep 4 that are now out of business? Most people here seem to think of this like a VAT, or a Value Added Tax, which is a flat tax added at the time of sales tax, which means you are taxed on all the freight and trucking and warehousing and whatever charges. That is not how tariffs work. So that $95 copy of Gloomhaven, were it imported from China after these tariffs, would (assuming the cost was fully passed on) cost about $98-100. Again, not a 25% cost increase. And the reality of this is that the additional tariffs they take in from China and a few other countries help offset the ridiculous runaway spending that Congress does so that it offsets some of the money we end up borrowing from China to pay for their nonsense."

https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames...oard_games_dice_included_in_proposed/enhgp0r/
https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames...d_games_are_about_to_be_hit_with_a_25_tariff/
 

Staffan

Legend
I posted this as a comment to the Reddit post, but I think this place could use it as well:

I don't intend to cast aspersions on the Reddit poster's expertise regarding tariffs and customs, but I think they're missing how games are priced and sold.

Let's say I pay $60 for a board game at my FLGS. And again, let's say that that game is manufactured in China at a cost to the publisher of $8, including shipping. So a 25% tariff should increase the cost to the publisher by $2, so my cost should go up to $62 assuming the cost is passed on, right?

Wrong. Because games generally aren't priced based on all the stuff that happens along the way to the customer - that's all simplified to a general markup at each step along the way. The distributor sells the games to the retailer at a discount based on MSRP, and buys from the publisher at a steeper discount. So the distributor might buy that game from the publisher for $15 or so.*

If the publisher sells the game for $15, and it costs $8 to have it made and shipped from China, that leaves $7 for the publisher's own costs - R&D, customer service, marketing, and a bit of profit. Assuming that the publisher decides to pass on that cost because they still want the same profit, that means that they will have to raise the price the distributor pays to $17. And the distributor and the retailer are going to keep the same markup, so the price for the consumer will be $68. Or probably $70, because nothing's priced $68.

So yeah, that 25% tariff doesn't turn into a 25% price increase for the consumer. It'll probably be more like 15%.



\* I don't know the exact ratio - the 25% figure comes from an article about pen-and-paper RPG pricing that's about 20 years old, so it might be different for a board game made today. But the point stands regardless of the ratio - a cost for the publisher of $X is multiplied by some factor by the time it gets to the customer.
 



Soon we will see more news about China, for example complains and a boycott against Chinese industry for the pollution they cause (do you remember the ozone hole? now it is their fault), and about that stupy censure. They don't like fiction with time travel, showing corpses or pre-Mao Chinese History. This may mean fantasy RPGs set in a fantasy China could be forbidden. Maybe the Chinese economic burst and companies would rather other zones.
 

mopa9000

First Post
Soon we will see more news about China, for example complains and a boycott against Chinese industry for the Youjizz Pornhub Tubegalore pollution they cause (do you remember the ozone hole? now it is their fault), and about that stupy censure. They don't like fiction with time travel, showing corpses or pre-Mao Chinese History. This may mean fantasy RPGs set in a fantasy China could be forbidden. Maybe the Chinese economic burst and companies would rather other zones.

Hopefully companies will either move some of their business back stateside or China will negotiate. Either way would be good for our economy.
 
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Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
The book "Making It In America" (the author owns a furniture factory) has a chapter describing what US manufacturers were being offered under the Free Trade treaties.

When the foreign manufacturer has a guarantee from his government of financial support to cover any/all losses until the US manufacturers give up or go broke, a tool like tariffs - which drive consumers to seek other sources of supply - are one reasonable response. Being a good bad or indifferent tool, is a discussion for another website.
 


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