Folks often ask why we price things the way we do. Here's a little insight into our thought process, and how we price our products
No Matching, No “gouging”
MSRP is Our Standard
Most manufacturers in our industry have a defined MSRP – the price they believe best represents the value of the product they've created.
We use MSRP as our primary guide for pricing an item. For items that are currently in print, and are intended to remain in print, we commit to never pricing above MSRP. That means if a $39.99 game or other product is extremely hot and going for two or three times that price online, you'll find it in our shoppe for $39.99.
Some recent examples include products like Wingspan, which had spiked as high as $80.00 online, but was sold for no more than $60.00 in our shoppe throughout the shortage.
Out of Print Items
If an item goes out of print with no reprint expected, we commit to keeping our existing stock at MSRP until the product has been out of print for at least one year. After that year, we may raise our prices, but even then, if we can reasonably keep it at MSRP, we will. A current example of that is the Netrunner Blood & Water Data Pack. Released in 2017, it is now out of print, and selling for over $35.00 online. Our stock, however, remains at $14.95, the original MSRP. As our stock diminishes, we may increase the price in the future but right now we're content to sell it to our guests at the original price from 2017.
What's reasonable? We've found in some cases, if we price an out-of-print item at MSRP, we get a bit of a run on the shoppe, often from other store owners. They purchase the product and then immediately sell it at a higher price to their own guests. On the one hand, that's fine, because we still earn our profit on the product. However, it creates a poor experience for our guests if the product disappears from our shelves and then reappears nearby at twice the price. In those cases, it's often better for everyone to raise the price a bit to prevent an immediate sell through.
Single Print Run Collectibles
While we strive to keep everying at MSRP, there are some products that make that impossible. These are typically single print run items in the collectible space – like Pokémon premium sets, or the Flesh and Blood “Alpha” sets.
As mentioned in the Out of Print Items section above, listing these items at MSRP causes an unnatural run on the product, leaving our local guests without the items they're searching for.
To address those issues, we've instituted our Local Player Program. This allows us to meet the needs of our local community while still allowing newer guests to take advantage of below-market pricing.
There are cases where we will intentionally buy additional product to save for a special ocassion in the future. These are often collectible or single printrun products that we think will be cool to bring out in a year or two. In those cases, we purchase a few extra copies, and immediately store the extras in our Vault.
Every once in a while we bring a few older items out of the vault, and put them back in the store for sale, or use them as an incentive for a charitable auction.
Vaulted items, having been out of print for at least a year, may be priced higher than MSRP, based on the market at the time. We do not sell these at full market price – we will typically be between 20-30% lower than market at the time we bring them back into the shoppe.
Using the Netrunner example above, if those items were intentionally vaulted and then released, we would probably price them somewhere around $24.95 (about $10 off the current market price).
The Bottom Line
Basically, our goal is to provide quality products to our guests. We price them to respect the value of the products, offer a rewards program to help our guests earn discounts along the way, and never increase our prices to take advantage of temporary shortages in the market.
We recognize that we will not always be the cheapest place to shop for your hobby needs. We will, however, always be transparent about our prices and do everything we can to make your time with us worth your while.