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Old 09-12-2018, 01:45 PM   #1
trekkypj
 
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Default Considering starting a pop-up specialty games store

So, I have been thinking about creating a small pop-up store to sell specialty board games and sci fi/fantasy books. The idea would to be to travel to conventions in the state I live in and run a stall as a convention merchant, at least to begin with.

I don't expect to make my living out of it (yet) - this would initially be a weekend operation to see if it is feasible. I do have some knowledge of the paperwork side of creating a business and sales taxes and all that fun admin. And I plan on registering as a corp if I go ahead.

I know that there are guides for opening a FLGS and I did order a recommended handbook on opening specialty stores by Dave Wallace a few days ago but I wonder if anyone here has done a pop-up outfit similar to what I'm looking at?

What I am thinking of selling are:
- Curated mix of Sci Fi /Fantasy novels
- Board games like Ticket to Ride/Carcassone/Acqurie
- Card games e.g Munchkin, Fluxx, and similar

I might look at other categories but my main focus would be the above.

I don't plan on starting for a few months yet - I want to do this right. So any thoughts or recommendations or warnings would greatly be appreciated.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:43 PM   #2
baakyocalder
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sacramento metro, California
Default Re: Considering starting a pop-up specialty games store

Lloyd Brown, who has published RPG articles and written RPG books and has a long-running column 'The Business of Gaming Retail,' has a book called The Flea Market Way. That might fit your needs.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/lloyd-brown...-20305914.html

The latest of his RPG.net column is here:
https://www.rpg.net/columns/business...etail100.phtml
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:49 PM   #3
baakyocalder
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Default Re: Considering starting a pop-up specialty games store

I am looking at how a game store would operate for small business classes as part of my studies to become a Certified Public Accountant.

I would inquire into the following costs of attending the convention as a vendor:

1. Cost to rent space. What options are there for sharing with other vendors if say, you do not need a big space but they only have big spaces?

2. Parking costs and other fees to access the convention site.

3. Transportation costs. Are you renting a truck to fill with games? Do you have to rent dolleys? Will you be driving your own vehicle? What is the fuel cost?

4. Food and other personal care costs. You can't work all day without eating and maintain brainpower and good cheer and you mind need some hand sanitizer if you're shaking a lot of hands.

5. Advertising costs. How do you start getting people to notice you at the convention and buy from you? How much will that cost?

6. Tax collection. You say you know this, but it's a good idea to figure out how you'll implement this on site so customers can easily buy.

Good luck!
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:21 AM   #4
The Colonel
 
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Default Re: Considering starting a pop-up specialty games store

Your location is going to be very important - some locations are very friendly to pop up businesses, others very much not so. Hopefully you are in one of the former.
Also, demographics - if your chosen location has, or is accessible to, the right kind of people, you are more likely to succeed. I have no idea how you work this out.
I would guess, maybe, you look for local comic cons and similar things, see how big the fantasy sections are in local bookshops and what have you... perhaps find local advertising clubs and ask people?
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:37 PM   #5
baakyocalder
 
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Default Re: Considering starting a pop-up specialty games store

At least in the U.S., the Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the Small Business Administration offer help to small businesses on a volunteer or low-cost basis.

Definitely talk with people who have had pop-up businesses in your target market. Even if they aren't game businesses, they might know about issues with pop-ups.
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