Supporting RPGs: Company or Hobby Store?

JoeGKushner

Villager
In talking about ordering from Amazon.com and other dealers, some have mentioned that they wanted to insure that the friendly local game store got their business because it helps promote the hobby.

What about working up that food chain and directly ordering from the company? Is that the better rotue because they are the creators of contnet or is there enough value added in a physical game store that you keep getting product from them?
 

Arnwyn

Villager
I support RPGs and RPG companies as much as I "support" Procter & Gamble or Honda.

In any case, it's all about the distribution. Ordering directly from the company precludes even looking through the product to see if it meets your needs, and you just paid full price for something unseen. Sounds like a dumb consumer to me. Further, it ignores everyone outside of the continental US.

But yeah - ordering directly from the company sounds like the best way to "support the company", for those who feel the need to do so. (Though I think ordering from the LGS is better to "support the hobby", since a physical store increases the hobby's exposure by uncountable magnitudes comared to some website.)

So which is it?
 

Ranger REG

Explorer
JoeGKushner said:
What about working up that food chain and directly ordering from the company? Is that the better rotue because they are the creators of contnet or is there enough value added in a physical game store that you keep getting product from them?
Only if the company is local, which is not much in Hawaii. I rarely order directly from company when they can distribute their products to local sellers, be it FLGS or bookstores.
 
I guess, for me, it depends on the company. Take, for example, my Green Ronin books. The husband and I deliberately waited (quite some time) to pick up a lot of what we bought at GenCon because we wanted to buy it FROM Green Ronin. The same standard applies to all my Privateer Press goodies. My Warmachine and Iron Kingdoms products are almost al purchased in a lump sum at GenCon (partly because I like any excuse to hang around the Iron Lich).

I don't feel the same way about Wizards stuff. Instead, I prefer to buy that from my FLGS.

In the end, I just want to support the hobby, but I *really* want to support the companies that put out the products that I am the most interested in. I'm invested in Mutants and Masterminds, so I do what I can to make sure that Green Ronin gets my support.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
My understanding of the standard argument for using the FLGS is that you are helping to support a place where it's possible for someone to "just happen" to wander in and pick up a game to play. I guess that extra $10 or so that you pay vs. Amazon is a donation toward perpetuating the hobby.

Under that thought process, one should rarely, if ever, buy from Amazon -- or any online dealer, since it's not bloody likely that anyone's going to be thumbing through books there and make an impulse purchase to get into gaming. It also means that, in a town w/o a FLGS, one should probably buy books from B&N, Borders, etc. (brick and mortar, not online) because that encourages those retailers to stock the product, which also increases the odds of someone stumbling across an RPG and getting involved. Again, that extra $10 goes toward sustaining the hobby.

I would think that the answer to your question would be that you should buy locally because that let's the profit go for what basically amounts to advertising. If the theory that you should buy locally vs. from Amazon holds true, then you're actually helping promote your designer more by buying locally than buying directly from them. After all, if you buy from them, they make more money today, but they don't have the exposure to build/maintain a market (because of the FLGS closing or not carrying their product).
 

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