Local gaming store vs Online buying

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NearbyGamers General
2008-12-27 06:39:34

It feels like I have a moral dilemma everytime I want to buy an RPG sourcebook. They say local stores should be supported, but online sellers always have such huge discounts, and really it's usually more convenient to order things online and not have to deal with whether they stock it, special orders, etc.

Where do you usually end up making your tabletop gaming purchases?

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28th Level Druid Verdant Lord.
2008-12-27 23:43:32

I will almost always buy online, or used on ebay. The only times I don't are when I want it now and don't want to wait...but that is rare. Our money doesn't go as far as it used to anymore, we have to spend wisely. It seems to me that game stores will have to fill another niche (such as allowing people to game there) if they want to stay a float. :)

RPGing since '84, and still loving it!
2009-01-01 04:59:46

hmmm... good question...

I've noticed that most gaming store in my area do have inside gaming groups now a days... but it's true... I can almost always find better deals elsewhere, hell even Chapters has better prices most of the time...

but I do like to go shopping and physically pick up the book, and browse it... I've not had the greatest luck with on-line stores... I usually get the books mangled in some way... which pisses me off, if I'm buying new, I want a pristine book!!! so I almost always buy from a physical store, but not always a gaming store...

Hell my last 2 purchase in a gaming store was at The Gaming Store at the Savage Mill in Maryland... and that's a 10 hour drive from my home LOL

— Leva, Älska, Spel! / Live, Love, Game! / Degero, Amor, Venatus!
Long time gamer
2009-01-07 15:59:00

The local gaming store needs to provide me some extra value if I'm going to purchase something physically in the store - I will buy the game in the store if I can physically look at something that is interesting but I was hesitant to buy just from the on-line description or I will be more inclined to buy if I can play games in the store (compensating them for the space I'm using when I game). Unfortunately, most of the local stores are not geared around that model of providing some extra service, so most of my money is going to the on-line retailers.

The other thing that you didn't bring up are the PDF retailers. Given the amount of space that most of the RPG books take up, I'm switching more of my purchases to PDFs, particularly if I think its unlikely that I will ever get to play the game. For example, I'm really intrigued by the Indy RPGs, but so far my group has really only been interested in playing mainstream RPGs. I might buy a PDF to read the rules and learn the concepts, and if I'm lucky I get the play the game at a con sometime, but most of those games really end up as shelf-ware....electrons don't take up too much room.

Everything new is old again.
2009-01-13 21:30:16

I'm always torn about this subject. Shopping online is easy, convenient, less expensive, and can often procure you things that you just won't find at your local store. Shopping at your FLGS allows you to know the quality of what you buy, lets you browse items *in person* to see if it's really what you want, and gives you the opportunity to meet with the owners/employees/fellow gamers in your community. Luckily, I have a great store nearby (The Game Matrix) which generally has a wide selection of all game types, and loads of tables for open gaming. Now, I've never actually played anything there because I'd rather play RPGs in quieter settings. If I were into the current CCG/TCG/CMG, I know I would be there a lot more often. And if I ever finish building up my WFB Tomb Kings army, I WILL be there more often!

I do go to my local store every other month or so, if just to check out new releases and the bulletin boards. And when I am there, I make a point to buy SOMEthing, be it just a miniature or game expansion, because I do want to support them. I consider the store a valuable resource, and I can't imagine not having this place around. They are usually running some kind of demos or tournaments on the weekend, which makes it feel like a mini-convention. Other stores should learn from this example!

Call me old-fashioned, but I don't buy PDFs (I like the feel and look of a professionally produced book). Maybe if I used a laptop at my game table, I would be more likely to do so. But then, my game collection is relatively small (my wife would say otherwise...), me owning only 4 major game systems. If I were more pressed for space, I would probably go electronic.

RPGing since '84, and still loving it!
2009-01-18 07:07:22

About PDFs...

I enjoy and prefer books, but I do find that PDFs are also very handy to have as well... most of the books that I own I also have pdfs for... it helps a great deal and cuts down on the typing as well when I load stuff into my various tools... not too mention the reduction of wear and tear... I've gone through at least 8 PHBs, none of which were my fault... damned guest players and time... and PETS!!! don't even get me started on the damage that pets can do to your library LOL

I wish that the gaming publishers would include a free download when you buy a physical book, or at least a heavy discount at the online shops, maybe even a CD in the book...

Now to preface this, I have a HUGE library, well over 200 books and boxsets (fills 4 tall bookcases, plus some), and over 6gb of soft copies (some bought, some personally scanned).

And yes I do heavily use my laptop when DMing, as I've created many useful tools to aid and speed up the DM and Player tasks.

Thankfully my wife is also a gamer! I buy the books and she the buys dice and minis... a marriage made at the gaming table... literally!

— Leva, Älska, Spel! / Live, Love, Game! / Degero, Amor, Venatus!
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