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Author Topic: What Do You Look For in a Local Independent Hobby Shop?  (Read 137 times)

Offline GamesPoet

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What Do You Look For in a Local Independent Hobby Shop?
« on: May 10, 2021, 09:03:24 PM »
When you think of independent local hobby shops ... what keeps you coming back?
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"Until death it is all life." Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Offline Zygmund

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Re: What Do You Look For in a Local Independent Hobby Shop?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2021, 07:38:43 AM »
Really, only major discounts & clearances of old OOP stuff catch my attention these days.

Webshops, Kickstarter and second hand almost completely satisfy all my needs. The only things I get from the brick-and-mortar shops these days are paints & brushes. And even these I've started to buy online.

For gaming, I tend to choose the local club, where most of my gaming friends go. But I don't play much, and prefer home when possible.

Really hard times for FLGS these days.

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: What Do You Look For in a Local Independent Hobby Shop?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2021, 10:10:17 AM »
I only buy online if I can't get it in a local store.

Currently there are three shops I buy from.  One gets most of my 40K business and sometimes other things like supplies.  Another gets business if its miscellaneous miniatures like Warcry, Beastgrave, Star Wars Legion, OOP, and they have a rack of used items, plus some supplies that aren't found elsewhere.  And the third for items I might want as I pass through browsing, plus he'll order hobby books too.

These places tend to run magic and card games, roleplaying games, miniature game events, and in some cases painting nights.  All three stores support players coming in to play their own games as well.

In America their are clubs to an extent, but this is mostly historical miniature groups that don't have physical locations that they own or rent, except if they put on a convention or game day open to the public.  Most folks who don't play in stores, whether fantasy, sci-fi, or historicals, have their own tables that they use for gaming at their homes.  In the historical realm, folks typically have whole rooms devoted to their hobby, sometimes an entire cellar.  It is common for people to invite friends over for weekly or monthly gaming, no matter what the genre.

I like to support the local stores.  There is something about driving to or past a local store, and getting to put my hands on stuff when I want it, while not having to wait for delivery.  That doesn't mean I don't do kickstarters, or other mail orders for items I can't get locally, although generally there is just something satisfying about picking it up while I am out and about.
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"Until death it is all life." Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Online Gankom

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Re: What Do You Look For in a Local Independent Hobby Shop?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2021, 04:31:03 PM »
The easy answer is community more then anything else. I only go to a store if I like the people. I could get everything online easier, often quicker and cheaper. So the thing that keeps bringing me back is nice people. Both at the counter and at the gaming tables. My local store is fantastic, has a wide range of stuff to buy but the big draw will be when we run a big narrative event, or a beginners get started tutorial series. Its not really the event itself that gets me coming in, but the fact I'll be seeing some cool folks. Share some nerd news, team up to turn a random battle into some kind of lore/fluff event for our armies, etc.

Magic dominates the store. I've been told by multiple hobby stores in the area that Magic more or less single handidly supports all of them. Makes more money then the next couple of products combines. #2 in the spot is often other card games like Yu Gi Oh. Warhammer is popular as what one owner calls an "Advertisement product". People coming to browse see people hanging out at the table with these sweet models, see all the terrain and it gets people talking. If they hang out in the store awhile they're more likely to buy something, although usually not warhammer. I think its a bit niche these days, but ahead of the pack compared to the other wargames.

My hobby store also got heavily into board games which I think is an excellent choice. Board games are super popular these days, and attract a whole different cast of people to the store.

Offline Rowsdower

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Re: What Do You Look For in a Local Independent Hobby Shop?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2021, 08:45:26 AM »
The tacky, local gaming store in my town is infinitely better than the nearest GW store.