Loot! vs. the FLGS

Scott Thorne over at ICv2 is concerned that the RPG deal-of-the-day site Loot! is going to harm retailers.

What will concern us is if Army Builder (or any other product) shows up regularly on the Loot website as that will permanently devalue the price of the software (or any other product) in the mind of the consumer and if customers sign up for email delivery of the daily Loot! item., thus putting it right in their inbox, rather than them having to visit the website.

I can’t help but think he’s looking at the wrong place. As far as I can tell, Loot! only does their deals on a one-time basis, and in the months I’ve been receiving their notices (their blog is also listed in my blogroll over at the left, by the way) I can’t remember a deal that has been repeated.

Sure, Scott’s store might lose one or two sales from the (retail price $39.95) Army Builder being offered for $19.95 for 24 hours on Loot! But I really think they’re going to lose a lot more business from it being offered over at Amazon.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for $26.92.

Loot! gives some great deals, often on some obscure stuff that appeals to niche markets. They’re not the problem that FLGS’s are facing. It’s the fact that FLGS’s charge bust-out retail for their products. I understand the margins and everything, and I don’t pretend to have a solution, but I really think fretting about a very minor competitor like Loot! is missing the real threat to brick-and-mortar stores.

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

3 thoughts on “Loot! vs. the FLGS

  1. Loot is similar to some of the 'bundle' deals that software developers come up with.

    Of the utilities/programs/games that I've bought in the last 10 years, at least 75% of them are due to the 'cheap bundle' concept.

  2. Honestly, I think the FLGS has more to worry about Tanga than Loot – Tanga has pretty regularly had sales on hobbiest boardgames like Dominion and Cleopatra's Caboose which often go for $40-$50 in FLGS for $20 online.

    Whereas with Loot!… well, I want to like them, but I've been subscribed for a few months now, I think, and I haven't yet seen an offer that I've wanted to buy from.

  3. For most of the local gaming stores I've been in, their biggest stumbling block is the local gaming store. Blaming Loot! or similar things for their problems is ignoring some of their real issues: overpriced items, limited selection, and poor management. Obviously, this isn't true of every store, just most of the ones I've spent time in. Instead, leverage what should be your greatest assets compared to online competitors like Amazon which should be expertise in and passion for gaming. Blaming Loot! for your difficulties seems rather misplaced anger.

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