PDA

View Full Version : Charging money to play



Shadow Reaper
16-03-2014, 16:25
Anyone ever heard of a FLGS charging to play on their tables?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

Bloodknight
16-03-2014, 16:28
Yes. Makes sense, too, because usually the people who use the tables the most buy their expensive stuff online and the FLGS gets the crumbs (paints and stuff) that he can't live off.

IcedCrow
16-03-2014, 16:30
Yes i have and i agree with it. Its caused by people that come in but never buy anything, instead buying things online etc

People treat flgs like a rent-free place they can play and expect it to be there forever without contributing financially.

Shadow Reaper
16-03-2014, 16:31
What have u seen being charged, I'm at a shop that wants to charge 5 bucks per person, per game, I'm OK with it but some people are bitching

Sent from somewhere, someplace, and sometime

Bloodknight
16-03-2014, 16:32
5 per person per game seems a bit much, 5-7.50 for the table for a game sounds good.

Wolf Lord Balrog
16-03-2014, 16:33
The shop I am currently frequenting charges $1 per hour per person for a table. Mostly just to keep scrubs out and help keep the lights on.

Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk

IcedCrow
16-03-2014, 16:33
$5 is reasonable. Its like buying a paint pot. Our store waives the fee if you buy something.

Pssyche
16-03-2014, 16:39
Put your hand in your pocket and cough up and stop being a cheapskate.
You seriously expect somebody else to pay for a games table, terrain, heating, lighting and a safe environment for you to play in and on for free?

I pay 100 for a 12 month pass where I game and buy models, and I'm more than happy to do so.

Shadow Reaper
16-03-2014, 16:41
Put your hand in your pocket and cough up and stop being a cheapskate.
You seriously expect somebody else to pay for a games table, terrain, heating, lighting and a safe environment for you to play in and on for free?

I pay 100 for a 12 month pass where I game and buy models, and I'm more than happy to do so.

Lol, I agree

Sent from somewhere, someplace, and sometime

BTJ
16-03-2014, 16:46
My LGS charges €14 for the table for the night. But gives a 10% discount for purchases on the night

Rogue
16-03-2014, 16:47
I have actually. The policy of the store was that you needed to pay a table fee or buy something from the store. I don't remember the details, but it was something like 10.00 worth of items or pay them 5.00 flat rate. I make sure that I do buy paint and the occasional box when I am in the store, but I don't like the idea of paying for table space. If they are having that much trouble selling their product, I suggest that they host tournaments or leagues with store credit as the prizes. I am not a Tournament player, however, I would rather play in a tournament than just pay to play. It may be semantics, but it feels different to me. Likewise having a repeat shoppers punch card is a good idea to drum up business. Paying a table fee is not a palatable concept to me, especially when you can find people online to arrange a "play date"(I hate the term play date, but in this case it fits) at someone's home.

Menthak
16-03-2014, 16:49
Put your hand in your pocket and cough up and stop being a cheapskate.
You seriously expect somebody else to pay for a games table, terrain, heating, lighting and a safe environment for you to play in and on for free?

I pay 100 for a 12 month pass where I game and buy models, and I'm more than happy to do so.

Alright Pssyche, jump down of that horse.

I think that charging people to use the tables is fine to a degree, keep the cost reasonable, maybe have a free starter game or a loyalty card system as well to encourage people to come back.

IcedCrow
16-03-2014, 16:50
Imo if someone doesnt want to pay anything, doesnt buy things from the store etc then they should be playing at home.

ObiWayneKenobi
16-03-2014, 16:52
I've never ever seen this, and quite frankly I'm not sure how I would react. Most game stores only give a cursory nod to 40k players anyways, since it's mostly Magic that keeps them afloat and they compensate this with almost daily MtG events with if you're lucky one day for everything else. I'd be more inclined to buy from a FLGS if they offered a discount, but with the high price of 40k I can't justify paying full retail other than impulse buys, especially when they barely stock anything (although that might be in part to GW's restrictions)

I kind of see the reasoning, but like I said I've never seen a game store charge to use tables for wargaming so it doesn't affect me and therefore I can safely say I would take my business elsewhere if I were to encounter it.

Inquisitor Shego
16-03-2014, 18:30
In one regard, I'm against charging people to use a table. On the other hand, I'm against those Sweaty Gomezes who come into my local GW day in, day out, who I've seen aged 15, and now they're 25, and not once have they had a bath, and the last thing they bought was 4th Ed.

A store is a store, and should be doing business, but it works both ways. A store gets greedy, and customers could go elsewhere. Must be tough for an independent manager to balance

Lorm
16-03-2014, 18:44
I would probably never go playing in a club that charges tables, simply because this hobby is already so expensive that i would feel robbed, but there are also other reasons: limited usage (you have to ask if the tables are free, because sometimes there are also magic tournaments; the game stores mostly rely on those), not the best tables in the world (i'm not saying they're horrible, but they haven't spent much to make tables...), pretty low number of players (wouldn't make sense drive back possible customers), high overall cost of life (nobody really has too much money around here) and me and my friends may not be the best customers, but if we got something to buy we do at the place that let us play the best (we feel it's right to support such places).
Anyway the same stores that let tables be used for free also organize many tournaments in which we are happy to play and pay in order to do so.

NemoSD
16-03-2014, 19:15
I've seen stores where you have to buy something to play, pay to use a table, or unlimited table use. I have seen more people buy stuff off the shelf when people are playing though. Here is my theory why.

How many times has someone come up to your table while you were playing, and started to ask questions? They watched the game, liked your models, and then they walk over and look at the starter sets, or the battle forces. Sometimes the sticker shock gets them, so they look at the other stuff, sometimes looking at Warmachine which hides its cost better, or they see a board game that fascinates them. They then pick up item and buy it.

Anything that draws people into a store can and will generate sells. Anything that draws people into the store, and with no effort from the staff, sparks curiosity, generates sells.

IcedCrow
16-03-2014, 19:19
Thats not always true. In fact this very issue was an epidemic in my area some years ago. Tables were free, people would play there - hardly any would spend money ever.

They bought on ebay or barter town or online stores that gave huge discounts.

In addition they would brag about it and use the store as a place to trade or sell but again never buy.

It is to me the same as expecting software devs to work for free and give them $5 if you feel its worth it. Or ripping off musicians by not wanting to pay for music.

Or expecting graphics artists to work for next to nothing "for exposure".

I know about all of the above as i am in all of those industries.

RocketFired
16-03-2014, 19:21
They're businesses providing a service at a venue to the public. They've paid the rent, paid the public liability insurance, outlayed for the materials and all the bits and pieces that allow it to function. Look at it like a pool table in a bar or tavern. You don't have to eat or drink there, you dont really have to buy anything, you can even bring your own cue and alternatively you can easily just play on a table at someones house - but if you choose (being the operative word) to play at the venue its extremely common place to pay a couple of $ per game.. Nobody gives a second thought to throwing a couple $ in per game of pool that can last 10 mins so $5 for a game of 40k that can last over an hour seems pretty cheap and reasonable especially when compared to other mainstream table games..

DeathGlam
16-03-2014, 19:23
My local club charges 2 for a nights gaming whatever your playing be it 40k, Fantasy or Blood Bowl, im happy to pay it as it keeps this social hobby alive.

Retrospectus
16-03-2014, 19:24
My club rents a room in a community center, without us paying 4 euro each we have no club

NemoSD
16-03-2014, 19:57
Thats not always true. In fact this very issue was an epidemic in my area some years ago. Tables were free, people would play there - hardly any would spend money ever.

They bought on ebay or barter town or online stores that gave huge discounts.

In addition they would brag about it and use the store as a place to trade or sell but again never buy.

It is to me the same as expecting software devs to work for free and give them $5 if you feel its worth it. Or ripping off musicians by not wanting to pay for music.

Or expecting graphics artists to work for next to nothing "for exposure".

I know about all of the above as i am in all of those industries.

This is a problem with management. If players are bragging about buying online, they should be asked to leave. If they are selling and trading in the store, the store could lose its business license, so it should require them to leave or do it through the register anyways. What you described is bad management by the store, and failure to seize the opportunity the unlimited table use is.

IcedCrow
16-03-2014, 20:27
Perhaps they are failing at management but the policies in place today at several of our stores dictate that table space ultimately is not free and that to continue to enjoy using the tables means support in return.

Other than our gw store the other four local stores all follow this policy in some fashion.

Sir Didymus
16-03-2014, 20:47
I don't see why table space should be free. A good table costs money, staffing, cleaning, heating etc. costs money too. Sure the store has an interest in people playing the game, but theres no point in being a shelter for deadbeat bums and smoochers.

Camman1984
16-03-2014, 22:20
Totally agree with it, have seen a guy go into a GW store and ask if they minded him playing a game of warmachine with his friend, i dont know the full situation so am relucant to say too much on that specific circumstance, but those tables are paid for, built, painted and maintained by GW and the guy could potentially never have put any money into the 'pot' .

The owner of my LFGS has to have a second job to make ends meet, he is a great guy that is an active part of our local gaming community. The detailed tables he builds come out of his store profits and therefore his pocket, so i am fully willing to pay a bit to play there.

Camman1984
16-03-2014, 22:21
I don't see why table space should be free. A good table costs money, staffing, cleaning, heating etc. costs money too. Sure the store has an interest in people playing the game, but theres no point in being a shelter for deadbeat bums and smoochers.

You get smoochers at your club? Maybe you need a less risque gaming community :p

Beppo1234
16-03-2014, 22:24
simply yes. someone built and painted the table... and someone has to maintain the table (which is a really annoying but necessary job)

SimaoSegunda
16-03-2014, 22:36
We pay 2 for the store's gaming evening. That covers the use of the table, use of the store terrain, but the store has to do this to make games night viable, because the income for games night already lags a long way behind MtG. However, the store will also give discount on big purchases, offers bottled pop and chocolate at a subsidised rate, and runs regular events. I'm more than happy to pay the price, because without it there wouldn't be a regular place to meet new opponents.

Losing Command
16-03-2014, 22:46
The place where I go to play a match of 40k charges a small entrance price. Though that was also partially because of the large number of Magic TG players that came there who never bought any cards or comsumptions. As a tradeoff the GW stuff sold there is 20% cheaper. At first lots of people stopped showing up, but now there are more people each evening than I've seen before, and the GW models actually get sold :cool:

BrainFireBob
16-03-2014, 23:13
This is the norm in my experience, though the amount varies on how much GW specific stuff they're using for terrain.

The 1 club and 5 (6?) different stores I've gone to over the years are all like this, sometimes with an alternate purchase clause (ie, half price with a $10 purchase, that sort of thing). The only "exception" was my most regular store for a number of years- I spent at least $10 a week every week, even if just on paint, and he wouldn't take my money the once every other month or so I was in to game (Don't have the space at home for really big games). That's more because I was a paying regular, and he told me that as far as he was concerned, I'd prepaid for table time. Plus, over 70% of my stuff is painted and based. That guy is now out of business.

Colonel Alexi
16-03-2014, 23:20
No I completely disagree with it. I understand a store has to make money, and ultimately yes a store that sells nothing but has 'customers' is bad. I can't speak for the rest of the world, but here in Australia its already ridiculous. Yes people complain about how the hobby is so expensive, but a simple glance at Australian prices and you know how much we're being overcharged. Games Workshop even knew this and put an embargo so we couldn't get from even their own store overseas. When its cheaper to buy a games workshop model from England (from the games workshop site) and ship it to my house, you know they're overcharging. On top of that the condition of our stores is to me lackluster compared to how it used to be. There's barely any stores now (at least in Sydney), any these stores have been reduced to 1 person only works there. There hasn't been a proper tournament at my games workshop in forever, any store games (like apocalypse etc.) is run by customers, because obviously the only person there can't as they have to juggle sales, questions, painting lessons etc. I understand not having 5 people on a Wednesday during school time. But one person on the weekend? that's ridiculous. I remember when I could go into the store, say hey I'm not too familiar with the rules can I have some help and a staff member would run me through an introduction game. Nope not anymore, its oh well find someone new for you as well. On top of that so often have I seen here people posting about how they support their local even though it only offers 5% discount whereas online stores offer 10%. Count yourself lucky there's no such thing as discount in Australia, so it's really hard for me to go yer I'll spent $500 on a new army at my local store, when I can go up the road to the independent and buy it for 10% off, or go online and get 10-20%.

I'm more than happy to support my local store, but at the moment it offers very little in terms of service. If I'm buying a new army and spending $100s in one go why not throw on a 5% discount. I don't care if the discount is less than other places, but have some discount for supporting your local instead of buying online where its the exact same price from the online store. Maybe run some proper events, get I don't know another person to run games on a weekend so its at least a staff of 2?

So no unless GW in Australia is going to offer a better service I'm more than happy to spend money supporting them. But for not I'm just being robbed by GW.

Beppo1234
16-03-2014, 23:22
Plus, over 70% of my stuff is painted and based.

I honestly would never pay to play on a table that was 30% unpainted... unless I got 30% of the admission price.

Spiney Norman
16-03-2014, 23:37
There are no shops local to me (and by local I mean within a 90 min drive), other than GW hobby centres that provide space to play tabletop games. There is one that has a few small tables which are just big enough for a 2 player game of mtg but that is it.

Our gaming club charges admission (kind of inevitable when you have to rent a room and buy boards/terrain etc) but doesn't charge for table use.

Scammel
16-03-2014, 23:53
No I completely disagree with it. I understand a store has to make money, and ultimately yes a store that sells nothing but has 'customers' is bad. I can't speak for the rest of the world, but here in Australia its already ridiculous. Yes people complain about how the hobby is so expensive, but a simple glance at Australian prices and you know how much we're being overcharged. Games Workshop even knew this and put an embargo so we couldn't get from even their own store overseas. When its cheaper to buy a games workshop model from England (from the games workshop site) and ship it to my house, you know they're overcharging. On top of that the condition of our stores is to me lackluster compared to how it used to be. There's barely any stores now (at least in Sydney), any these stores have been reduced to 1 person only works there. There hasn't been a proper tournament at my games workshop in forever, any store games (like apocalypse etc.) is run by customers, because obviously the only person there can't as they have to juggle sales, questions, painting lessons etc. I understand not having 5 people on a Wednesday during school time. But one person on the weekend? that's ridiculous. I remember when I could go into the store, say hey I'm not too familiar with the rules can I have some help and a staff member would run me through an introduction game. Nope not anymore, its oh well find someone new for you as well. On top of that so often have I seen here people posting about how they support their local even though it only offers 5% discount whereas online stores offer 10%. Count yourself lucky there's no such thing as discount in Australia, so it's really hard for me to go yer I'll spent $500 on a new army at my local store, when I can go up the road to the independent and buy it for 10% off, or go online and get 10-20%.

I'm more than happy to support my local store, but at the moment it offers very little in terms of service. If I'm buying a new army and spending $100s in one go why not throw on a 5% discount. I don't care if the discount is less than other places, but have some discount for supporting your local instead of buying online where its the exact same price from the online store. Maybe run some proper events, get I don't know another person to run games on a weekend so its at least a staff of 2?

So no unless GW in Australia is going to offer a better service I'm more than happy to spend money supporting them. But for not I'm just being robbed by GW.

I think you've slightly got the wrong end of the stick - I gather the debate is on independent retailers charging for tables, not GW stores. Typically the former provides a much better environment than the latter, so I'm willing to hand over the occasional 1.50 where I am (that said, we also have a university club).

Shizzbam
17-03-2014, 00:34
Is this an American thing or something, the normality of free gaming tables? Where I live in Nottingham, the very heart of the hobby, charging for tables is normal and almost uniformly expected in order to keep the lights on and the venue above water. I wasn't aware there were places where not paying to game was the norm. :D

IcedCrow
17-03-2014, 00:34
We are an entitled lot over here :-)

Gorsameth
17-03-2014, 00:36
There are no shops local to me (and by local I mean within a 90 min drive), other than GW hobby centres that provide space to play tabletop games. There is one that has a few small tables which are just big enough for a 2 player game of mtg but that is it.

Our gaming club charges admission (kind of inevitable when you have to rent a room and buy boards/terrain etc) but doesn't charge for table use.
Doing both (charging entry fee and table fee) would be over the top and something I would not approve.

However for a store to charge for a table is something I can fully understand. They provide a table and terrain for it then its only fair you give them something in return and as others have said there is a lot more sales being made online these days.

JPThunda
17-03-2014, 00:36
At my LGS, they don't charge for table space or time, and there's a very simple reason for it.

We're not exclusive to Warhammer players.

When we convinced the owner to go from an online service to a brick and mortar locale after the depression and poor management killed off the last shop, we set about spreading the word about to shop to all the comics/board games/Magic the Gathering/TCG players about the new shop. We built a thriving community based on all of those aspects, and now the Magic group brings in so much money that if everyone else stopped buying altogether we would still be in the black. We Warhammer players built our own tables and terrain, and buy most of our things locally with few exceptions (climate is not conducive to shoddy resin, so we go online for older metals from time to time). We hold events and spread the word to anyone who's interested to bring them in, and they buy paints and refreshments, and that all adds up.

Sure, we don't get free reign of the place, and on Friday nights the Magic crew has their days, but we all work together to keep our shop open, and it works out beautifully for us.

Memnon
17-03-2014, 00:51
This has been an interesting read...

I'm days out from opening my own store, and I'll have 3 tables available initially, with space upstairs to expand into a full club should demand prove high enough. The one thing I've wrestled with is charging for tables. It seems from reading this thread that charging is quite common, which I found quite surprising.

So I'm wondering how I'll go about making it a fair system for all without driving customers away. I'll keep checking here and see if any good ideas crop up.

Cheers to the OP for this thread :)

Memnon

CrownAxe
17-03-2014, 01:08
Is this an American thing or something, the normality of free gaming tables? Where I live in Nottingham, the very heart of the hobby, charging for tables is normal and almost uniformly expected in order to keep the lights on and the venue above water. I wasn't aware there were places where not paying to game was the norm. :D

Is the venue's only source of revenue table renting fees?

Abaraxas
17-03-2014, 01:39
I think a small fee is entirely reasonable (at an LGS) if you're not buying anything.

When I go down to the pub it costs a few dollars to play pool :p

AndrewGPaul
17-03-2014, 01:59
My club charges three quid a night for a five-hour session. Tables and terrain included. There's another place in Stirling which charges the same for a full day's gaming - that's per person, not per game or per table, so you're free to hang around a get a few different games in if you like. It's a converted snooker club, so it's got a large gaming venue and attached sales area.

For those sorts of venues, I'm happy to pay the charges. Not sure I'd bother in a shop environment, but then all the shops round here are rather cramped and small, so it's perhaps not a good sample.

Son of Morkai
17-03-2014, 03:20
A venue would have to offer something unique to get me to pay a table fee. All of the nearby shops have plenty of table space for free, but they are not worth going to (for me, plenty of others enjoy it) because the culture basically requires prearranged games and the shop rules actually make Chaos Marauder impossible to play. If all the venue offers is a table and terrain and a place for me to meet up with my friends for a game, I have a house for that, where I can drink and yell and swear at my Dreadknight for being a worthless PoS. Or make a nice pot of tea. Whichever is appropriate at the time.

rocdocta
17-03-2014, 04:25
+ + REMOVED BY WS -=I=- + +

well even in a large country such as Australia with lots of space, we expect to pay for a table in a shop. Its better to pay $5 each and cover the table or else the same space may be more profitable as shelving with product. intrigues me that people expect someone else to pay for their free time. You can always play at your home if you don't want to pay. its interesting that you raise the "high tax and socialism problem". We pay slightly more tax as we want to help our community and pay our fair share. Same as the tables really. I think that only in the US is socialism seen as a bogey man. Everywhere else sees it as everyone helps and everyone is helped. But anyway...don't be tight and support your local shop!

Kingly
17-03-2014, 05:02
+ + REMOVED BY WS -=I=- + +.

Lol, AMEEEERRRRRIIIICCCAAAAAAAAA!

that made me laugh, thanks Dkoz.

Ozendorph
17-03-2014, 05:23
I don't know any shops in my area that charge to play. I always tell people though - buy where you play, or you won't have a place to play for long.

Btw, don't take the "socialism problem" bait, because that's exactly what it is

Importman
17-03-2014, 05:41
I am perfectly okay being charged to play and use their table and terrain. Plus maybe sometimes shops charge a monthly fee for storage etc.
If the shop is cool then yeah I will pay whatever.

Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk 2

Baaltor
17-03-2014, 05:57
I think a small fee is entirely reasonable (at an LGS) if you're not buying anything.

When I go down to the pub it costs a few dollars to play pool :p

At a pub? I think that's silly, unless your culture's different from Canadian in a way I don't know. Here in America we typically base a business around a single product, and have no holds barred in selling it to the customer. In Canada more than the states, there's a lot more 'screw the customer' because we have US style laws to encourage competition, but at the same time have so little competition businesses usually just set up de facto monopolies re: Cellphone and internet service. We have some of the highest prices in the free world for those, AND the lowest quality, because screw the customer, they have 3 of the same choice.

/Ranting over




+ + REMOVED BY WS -=I=- + +.

The socialist thing's silly, IMHO, no offence; but the space thing is spot on.

I'd bet it varies a lot across the Americas, but real estate costs vary from European here in Vancouver, to cheapest on the globe. The cost of tables should usually vary from location to location. That said, even the cheapest locale can be worth the cost of admittion if they offer something like terrain, service, good store etc.. They might include deals like free gaming time w/ purchase that makes table space literally free for people who actually buy stuff often.

JPThunda
17-03-2014, 06:02
Failings of socialism aside, if you expect me to pay for something you had best make it worthwhile. If you custom built tables, they have cup holders for my drink, the best terrain outside of Warhammer World, and a waiter walking around asking me if I want a new drink, or some new dice, then I'll pay to play there. If I built the table, built & bought the terrain, and bought my army at your shop, and you expect me to pay to play on that table using those things that I have so graciously donated to the shop to build it as a locale, then you're tripping something fierce. I'll just take my things and go home.

The bearded one
17-03-2014, 06:08
Amusing, when I saw the title of the thread the first thing that came to mind was some GW charging for tables, surely to be followed by thousands of comments comdemning it. I didn't know there were so many shops charging for tables. Despite the incessant, horrid plague of socialism the nearby flgs's tables are free, the GW's tables are free, and all the other places I've been are free. We charge a couple bucks on the clubnight that we have on a different (non-store) location, in order to pay for the location and to invest in club material, but that's it. In the nearby flgs it's standard procedure to buy something whenever you come in to play; at least a drink or somesuch.

Dkoz
17-03-2014, 06:20
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with paying to play at your LGS especially if you don't buy anything from them and especially if they offer excellent terrain. As for the socialist problem I was just pointing out that it must be hard for a business man to make a profit with an unfair share being stolen from him.

Losing Command
17-03-2014, 06:26
Ask yourself this ; would you rather see the LGS close or pay a little something and still enjoy going there ?

Also not everybody has enough room in their house for 8+ friends to play a 1850 point battle of 40k while they discuss the latest atrocity from GW at the same time :p

JPThunda
17-03-2014, 06:36
Ask yourself this ; would you rather see the LGS close or pay a little something and still enjoy going there ?

Also not everybody has enough room in their house for 8+ friends to play a 1850 point battle of 40k while they discuss the latest atrocity from GW at the same time :p

The last LGS we had in my area (prior to the current one) was in the situation you outline. The owner wanted to start charging for tables because his business was going under. He started charging, people stopped showing up, nobody was playing games, his sales tanked, and his shop eventually closed. Of course, the reason it closed is because he had alienated everyone that did not like Marvel comics, alienated all Magic the Gathering players, alienated all Heroclix players, and fully half of the various Warhammer/Warmahordes groups before it ever got to this point.

If the difference between having a shop stay open and having it close down is paying for table space then there is something seriously wrong at the managerial level that needs to be evaluated, and paying a few bucks to use a table will not solve it.

MadHatter
17-03-2014, 06:45
I think 5 bucks for a day to play and use the gaming tables is reasonable. They need to constantly maintain the terrain and tables. Cleaning up after the people who refuse to throw their garbage away. I have seen first hand, those people who refuse to buy anything in the store but expect to have free gaming space. What was worse he sat there trying to convince the other customers to buy on ebay and other online stores. So yea, a little fee is nothing in my mind.

Gilfred The Iron Knight
17-03-2014, 06:51
If the difference between having a shop stay open and having it close down is paying for table space then there is something seriously wrong at the managerial level that needs to be evaluated, and paying a few bucks to use a table will not solve it.

This is based on the more general principle of supporting the location. If everyone is buying from another party and using this shop as their gaming location, but are not putting any money back into the store, ofc it will close down.

IMO, I don't mind making a gold coin donation (1-2 dollars) to a venue to hire a table and terrain for a game. I also believe that loyalty to the venue should have rewards linked to their services. While mine doesn't have space for a gaming table, it does off various discounts to the members of groups/clubs it supports and discounts for bulk buying (which is enough for me to buy my new shinys through them rather than GW 1-clicks).

Gorbad Ironclaw
17-03-2014, 07:40
Here is really what it comes down to. Supplying table space is a service. Lots of businesses charge for supplying services. Now you might not feel that its a services you need, or that its what the asking price, but its really just a simple service transaction.

I think we will increasingly see shops (and clubs possibly) go towards a service provider model rather than just relying on selling physical products as that just won't generate enough revenue. That includes paying for tables.

I don't see how it is in any way controversial. If you want a gathering point and a social meeting space then it needs to fund itself. If people are unwilling to fund it, it will go away.

Pssyche
17-03-2014, 08:20
Alright Pssyche, jump down of that horse.

I think that charging people to use the tables is fine to a degree, keep the cost reasonable, maybe have a free starter game or a loyalty card system as well to encourage people to come back.

High horse?

I effectively pay 2 per week, which allows me to game until midnight five days a week at a place that has food, drinks and enough tables and terrain to accommodate 130 players at one time.
I get a discount on my purchases.
Example.
When Codex Eldar came out last year I bought 450 worth of models in one go.
It cost me 337.50.

If I didn't buy or pay for anything else all year, they effectively paid me 12.50 to game there for 12 months.

High horse indeed...

philbrad2
17-03-2014, 08:42
Lets keep the comment on non US socialist gaming out of this shall we and discuss the OP topic.

PhilB:chrome:
+ =I= + WarSeer Moderation Team + =I= +
WarSeer Posting Guidelines (http://www.warseer.com/forums/faq.php?faq=rules#faq_posting_guidelines)
The WarSeer FAQ (http://www.warseer.com/forums/faq.php)
The WarSeer Moderation/Posting/Forum guidelines (http://www.warseer.com/forums/faq.php?faq=the_forums#faq_rules)

dooms33ker
17-03-2014, 08:49
A $5 fee for a night of warhammer is just fine in my books, especially if I don't have to feel sodden with guilt that I purchase much of my GW product elsewhere. I think even better is a club membership fee, where you pay monthly or yearly for all you can play.

Chem-Dog
17-03-2014, 09:13
Use it or lose it. If you're not willing to spend money with an intendant retailer they will fold (or not exist in the first place) you'll be left with the options of finding and funding your own venue or using the ones provided by the large multinational company on their terms (my way or the highway).

I am neither surprised by or critical of an intendant who wants to reserve the use of his shop space for people who pay his bills. Owning an army entitles you to nothing.

Freakiq
17-03-2014, 09:48
I support my store by buying from them, if they were to charge for table use I'd just start ordering online to cover the difference.

Lorm
17-03-2014, 12:06
High horse?

I effectively pay 2 per week, which allows me to game until midnight five days a week at a place that has food, drinks and enough tables and terrain to accommodate 130 players at one time.
I get a discount on my purchases.
Example.
When Codex Eldar came out last year I bought 450 worth of models in one go.
It cost me 337.50.

If I didn't buy or pay for anything else all year, they effectively paid me 12.50 to game there for 12 months.

High horse indeed...
Wow, I would love a place like this in my area, that is totally worth paying for; unfortunately there isn't and as things are i would hate to pay for gaming space (2 tables that aren't always available and aren't really maintained since they're pretty simple).


I support my store by buying from them, if they were to charge for table use I'd just start ordering online to cover the difference.
This, since service isn't neither too bad neither too good i feel that buying from my store is more than enough to support it.

Anyway if i was going to pay for gaming space I'd like a reasonable weekly/monthly/yearly fee that counts for services and quality.

Yowzo
17-03-2014, 12:36
Our grup of gamers formally established a club, and we got a deal with our LGS to let us play for free in exchange for running the GW and FoW side of their activities (tournaments, painting events, etc.) and generally being on-call if someone wants to get an introduction game, advice on getting new minis, etc.

Everyone else pays 1 per person, per game, which is ridiculously low, but still keeps the "I buy everything online but still need a table to play" types. They're THAT cheap.

I don't mind paying 2 to 5 euro for a good looking table and access to drinks/coffee/tea and maybe some snacks. All the better if there are a decent number of tables around and you can get a little wargaming/miniaturing talk on the side and maybe get a game for next week.

Abaraxas
17-03-2014, 13:07
Ask yourself this ; would you rather see the LGS close or pay a little something and still enjoy going there ?

Also not everybody has enough room in their house for 8+ friends to play a 1850 point battle of 40k while they discuss the latest atrocity from GW at the same time :p

Pretty much how I see it.

If you like the LGS and you have a good group it's sort of in your best gaming interest to chip in IMO.

Shizzbam
17-03-2014, 13:48
Is the venue's only source of revenue table renting fees?
No, it has a shop but like many have mentioned many come in to play but buy nothing from the store. The only places I know of that don't charge are the one's making their money off MTG.

Sir Didymus
17-03-2014, 14:06
It really comes down to this; is the experience worth paying for?

A shop that provides cool tables, terrain, a vending machine and someone to clean up the mess from the worst slobs, can easily justify charging a little bit for the privilege of playing.

A couple of bucks for a few hours, or the option of a monthly fee (with added discounts to encourage more spending), seems like a pretty sensible way to go :)

ObiWayneKenobi
17-03-2014, 14:14
I don't think it's an American thing, it's that most FLGS here don't cater exclusively to miniatures, in fact most of them cater to MtG and throw everybody else a bone. My local store, for example, has like almost every day some kind of MtG draft, with one day for board games and one day for miniatures (which includes everything, not just 40k). So I wouldn't pay for a table at a store that doesn't focus on my game.

If it was a club or something that rented out space, that's another story entirely, but I have never seen a game store charge for the "privilege" of playing there.

Bloodknight
17-03-2014, 14:25
So I wouldn't pay for a table at a store that doesn't focus on my game.

Dunno, obviously the tabletoppers are just not a big factor for the shop (which is not very astonishing; the only nerd hobby for which people are even less happy to spend any money for what they get than tabletops, but complain even worse, is PnP RPG; being both a tabletopper and RPG player and having met tons of others over the last 20 years, I feel comfortable saying so). I would be afraid to base my income on a single product as a shop owner, but if that's what keeps the store afloat, what will you do?


It really comes down to this; is the experience worth paying for?

Well, it's worth paying for for people who don't have their own playing space.

anchorbine
17-03-2014, 15:13
Really easy solution.

When you buy product or products at the gaming store, they give you a voucher for 1 hour of table time for every x amount of dollars you spend. Good customers will have plenty of vouchers and if a friend comes from out of town, it will still be easy to play with your buddy since you have saved plenty of vouchers.

If you are "that guy", who buys off ebay and never supports the store, but expects to hang around there day after day, you either have to pony up the table fee, whatever it is, or actually support the store for a change.

I have zero issue with a store charging a fee.

All that being said, the store should still run fun events that require no purchase, apocalypse, new player gaming, etc.

Sir Didymus
17-03-2014, 15:55
Well, it's worth paying for for people who don't have their own playing space.

Exactly.

Also, a good gaming table with flock and terrain will also set you back a tidy sum (or a lot of work), so paying a symbolic amount for someone else to do the hard work and storing it seems reasonable.

shelfunit.
17-03-2014, 16:33
Really easy solution.

When you buy product or products at the gaming store, they give you a voucher for 1 hour of table time for every x amount of dollars you spend. Good customers will have plenty of vouchers and if a friend comes from out of town, it will still be easy to play with your buddy since you have saved plenty of vouchers.

If you are "that guy", who buys off ebay and never supports the store, but expects to hang around there day after day, you either have to pony up the table fee, whatever it is, or actually support the store for a change.

I have zero issue with a store charging a fee.

All that being said, the store should still run fun events that require no purchase, apocalypse, new player gaming, etc.

This all over.

Brother Haephestus
17-03-2014, 17:57
Anyone ever heard of a FLGS charging to play on their tables?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

When it comes to business, anything that is not making you money is costing you revenue. Game tables take up space that isn't directly generating income, are often not being used, and purchasing army upgrades is such a long-term process from purchase to table that does not inspire impulse buys.**

$5 per person is probably a bit extreme. One of the local stores here sells packaged treats and drinks to pay for the tables and says that actually does pretty well. One of the shops I worked in ran leagues with fees for games. The funds would go to discount-purchased store items that would be auctioned at the end, but the owner still got a little $$ out of it.

I always considered it 'care and feeding of my FLGS' instead of player gouging. If the FLGS is healthy and happy, my gaming is going to be healthy and happy!

** CCGs do well for stores in inspiring sales if the store is knowledgeable and capable of supporting them. Singles card sales and booster packs are excellent impulse buys because they go immediately from shelf to gameplay. I've attended several league nights where there is constant sales going on. Made more than a few purchases myself.

Hite
17-03-2014, 18:14
I think charging for tables is a mistake. I know my customers would never pay to play. I have 5 8X4 tables with lots of terrain and I never charge for people to use them. I also host free weekly league nights and the occasional free tournament. The tables and terrain are tax deductible so it makes sense to get new terrain every so often. Having new terrain also lets customers get a good look at it and that may lead to a sale. I also offer a 20% discount for all of the guys who stay active in league nights so I don't worry about internet buyers. A game table will only cost about $75.00 US to build. A store can also get some free terrain by talking to their GW rep. I know here in the U.S. a store only has to stock the bare minimum to get some product support from GW. Battlefront miniatures also offers some help with terrain.

General Veers
17-03-2014, 20:25
My FLGS doesn't charge for table use. The owner (it's pretty much a one person store) has 6 wargame tables with terrain available for use. Even with all that he still has a hard time filling up table use at times. He does admit this; when the tables are used he sells more product. Unrelated directly to the table use; this guy sold 12 Imperial Knights at full retail. I suspect he's doing something right to sell that many which for him is a lot of a single GW product these days. Note that he claims to sell more Battlefront FoW than GW product, he can't keep X-Wing on the shelf (again at full retail) and of course Magic sales beat out everything.

Verm1s
17-03-2014, 22:25
Failings of socialism aside, if you expect me to pay for something you had best make it worthwhile. If you custom built tables, they have cup holders for my drink, the best terrain outside of Warhammer World, and a waiter walking around asking me if I want a new drink, or some new dice, then I'll pay to play there. If I built the table, built & bought the terrain, and bought my army at your shop, and you expect me to pay to play on that table using those things that I have so graciously donated to the shop to build it as a locale, then you're tripping something fierce. I'll just take my things and go home.

I couldn't help reading that in Frank Doberman's voice. "Oi! LGS ownah! NO!"

Does that date me?

Yowzo
17-03-2014, 22:41
I think charging for tables is a mistake. I know my customers would never pay to play.

You said the key word: customer.

A LGS provides a service and charging for table use is the best way to keep freeloaders off the tables you want your actual customers to be using.

AmBlam
17-03-2014, 22:45
Charging for tables seems sensible in a way but making the fee anything other than a no brainer cheap fee seems to cheapen the hobby imho. I think it would leave a bad taste in some people's mouths.

MusingWarboss
17-03-2014, 22:53
I think charging for tables is a mistake. I know my customers would never pay to play. I have 5 8X4 tables with lots of terrain and I never charge for people to use them. I also host free weekly league nights and the occasional free tournament. The tables and terrain are tax deductible so it makes sense to get new terrain every so often. Having new terrain also lets customers get a good look at it and that may lead to a sale. I also offer a 20% discount for all of the guys who stay active in league nights so I don't worry about internet buyers. A game table will only cost about $75.00 US to build. A store can also get some free terrain by talking to their GW rep. I know here in the U.S. a store only has to stock the bare minimum to get some product support from GW. Battlefront miniatures also offers some help with terrain.


My FLGS doesn't charge for table use. The owner (it's pretty much a one person store) has 6 wargame tables with terrain available for use. Even with all that he still has a hard time filling up table use at times. He does admit this; when the tables are used he sells more product. Unrelated directly to the table use; this guy sold 12 Imperial Knights at full retail. I suspect he's doing something right to sell that many which for him is a lot of a single GW product these days. Note that he claims to sell more Battlefront FoW than GW product, he can't keep X-Wing on the shelf (again at full retail) and of course Magic sales beat out everything.

Just out of interest you guys, how do you get people off the tables? Do you have a time limit? How do you stop one group of people playing all day, just on a rotating basis, like winner stays on and not buying anything in your stores? This is often a pet peeve with pool tables in a pub as a group of people decend on it and take it up the whole night. In pool halls its limited, you book slots. Slot over, you move off for others to play. You also have membership to said halls. Do you book slots? Membership fees to a club?

I'm not bothered about paying a bit of money towards decent upkeep of tables and terrain (provided said table isn't just a bit of MDF painted green with some polystyrene hills on and a few bits of unpainted plastic scenery) if the owners offers that service for free then that's cool. I know of no shops near me that offers either service. I know of some clubs that have a membership fee and then you go along on some nights and they put out tables in a pub back room. That's still paying for tables though, even if it does go in a roundabout fashion.

I'm sure people playing games in store does gather some interest in products which then shifts them but equally it can put some people off buying or going into stores if it feels like you're entering someone's private club and you're the outsider - so it can work both ways.

Menthak
17-03-2014, 23:31
High horse?

It means looking down on people.


I effectively pay 2 per week, which allows me to game until midnight five days a week at a place that has food, drinks and enough tables and terrain to accommodate 130 players at one time.
I get a discount on my purchases.
Example.
When Codex Eldar came out last year I bought 450 worth of models in one go.
It cost me 337.50.

If I didn't buy or pay for anything else all year, they effectively paid me 12.50 to game there for 12 months.

High horse indeed...

Yes, you're still on your high horse, I agree with what you're saying, just not how you're saying it.

When you go to a gaming store you should either pay for the table or there should be a tacit agreement about buying from the store first.

ObiWayneKenobi
18-03-2014, 00:15
Just out of interest you guys, how do you get people off the tables? Do you have a time limit? How do you stop one group of people playing all day, just on a rotating basis, like winner stays on and not buying anything in your stores? This is often a pet peeve with pool tables in a pub as a group of people decend on it and take it up the whole night. In pool halls its limited, you book slots. Slot over, you move off for others to play. You also have membership to said halls. Do you book slots? Membership fees to a club?

Every place I've ever seen, people play a game and then either hang around talking or leave. Sometimes they'll play against another person, but it seems to be rare with the length of time a 40k game takes. Nobody has ever cared at any store I've been to.

Hite
18-03-2014, 01:34
Just out of interest you guys, how do you get people off the tables? Do you have a time limit? How do you stop one group of people playing all day, just on a rotating basis, like winner stays on and not buying anything in your stores? This is often a pet peeve with pool tables in a pub as a group of people decend on it and take it up the whole night. In pool halls its limited, you book slots. Slot over, you move off for others to play. You also have membership to said halls. Do you book slots? Membership fees to a club?

Normally there is no problem with freeloaders most of guys are good about sharing the tables. If it ever became a problem I wouldn't have a problem telling some one to clear off. I also have no problem with card players taking up table space because I don't carry MTG or any other popular CCG. My store is set up for Miniature War Games and the occasional RPG group.

Whitwort Stormbringer
18-03-2014, 01:55
I'm not opposed to the concept of paying a nominal fee for table time, or club dues, or whatever, but it does seem to be the exception rather than the rule in most parts of the States where I've lived. On principle, I generally try to buy all my models from one of my local stores as long as they stock whatever it is that I'm looking for. I'm really not a GW gamer anymore, though, and increasingly interested in smaller companies' stuff, so it's kind of a crapshoot whether or not a store will carry them. Even so, I always buy whatever hobby supplies I need at the store.


Just out of interest you guys, how do you get people off the tables?

There are often also nights designated for certain things, like 40K Tuesdays or Skirmish Thursdays or whatever. Doesn't mean you can't come in and play whatever you want, but often priority is given to people who are there for the nightly flavor. You can also often call ahead of time to ask if there are likely to be tables open, or use a store's online forums, if they have them, to organize and coordinate games.

Brother Haephestus
18-03-2014, 05:54
Unrelated directly to the table use; this guy sold 12 Imperial Knights at full retail. I suspect he's doing something right to sell that many which for him is a lot of a single GW product these days.

I don't think the Knights sales are him. These have been selling pretty hard - can't even get them within 100 miles from home (I was too slow). New army, useable as allies for 3/4s (approx, I didn't count) the armies, look amazing AND fun to paint? Yes, please, I'd like three myself ...

williamsond
18-03-2014, 11:49
I have never had an issue paying for table space in independent retailers. seems fair to me, if they are providing space, good tables and utilities then wouldn't even bat an eyelid. In the past I've seen places sat open late night and sundays just so guys could game and while your gaming they need staff there, so i doubt it's a great money maker.

leopard
18-03-2014, 23:01
Suggest charging for the table makes sense, as perhaps if you have enough people having drinks for sale - nothing too expensive but a shade over what the shops normally sell them for - pay a small premium of walk further to get one - not enough to cause people to resent it but a service if you have enough people to shift it.

Perhaps have a paid for club membership option, e.g. pay 'x' for a table, as maybe a day rate so no clock watching and gets people to loiter and play games with other people. perhaps reduced to 'y' for club members who pay an annual/monthly membership fee - cheaper if you are there a fair bit, perhaps combined with a shop loyalty scheme?

Its a step above a table in the garage, needs to be enough to be worth doing, but no so much it puts people off - more about building a community of regulars thats easy to expand and join - and brings business in for the rest of the enterprise.

Spider-pope
19-03-2014, 20:27
Anyone ever heard of a FLGS charging to play on their tables?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

Yup and i have absolutely no problem with it. As others have said, it becomes necessary when you have the same people coming in week after week using the facilities but buying nothing. One i encountered even had the nerve to criticize the stores prices, while boasting of how they saved X amount online, all while using their tables and scenery.

I'm in the process of trying to open a FLGS myself, and believe me the profit margins are far smaller than some people think.

I've always adopted the same policy no matter where i play: If i'm going to use the facilities, i will spend money while i am there. These stores are not charities, and without support pretty soon they disappear.

ObiWayneKenobi
19-03-2014, 21:11
Opening a game store has never seemed liked something you did as a primary career anyways. However, a place that charges full retail for an already expensive game has to come to grips with the fact that a lot of people are going to buy their things elsewhere to save money; that wasn't such a big deal 10 years ago when prices were manageable (I had little or no problems paying $20 or so for a box and only buying from my game store), but $40 when you can get it cheaper elsewhere is a little harder to swallow. Personally I'd only purchase at a game store for impulse buys or single purchases (e.g. I want another squad of X); any major purchases (as in bulk purchases, say for a new army entirely) I would all but be forced to buy online for the discount.

SimaoSegunda
20-03-2014, 10:30
Opening a game store has never seemed liked something you did as a primary career anyways. However, a place that charges full retail for an already expensive game has to come to grips with the fact that a lot of people are going to buy their things elsewhere to save money; that wasn't such a big deal 10 years ago when prices were manageable (I had little or no problems paying $20 or so for a box and only buying from my game store), but $40 when you can get it cheaper elsewhere is a little harder to swallow. Personally I'd only purchase at a game store for impulse buys or single purchases (e.g. I want another squad of X); any major purchases (as in bulk purchases, say for a new army entirely) I would all but be forced to buy online for the discount.

A valid point. However, if you're planning a bulk purchase, it might be worth speaking to the owner of your local FLGS about it. I know when the new Wood Elf stuff gets released, I'm planning on speaking to the owner of my local, and basically say "look, I want one copy each of all the new wood elf bits, which is probably going to run to a couple of hundred quid. It would be cheaper for me to get it online, but I want to support the store, so if you can offer me a discount, I'll buy from you instead."

Spider-pope
20-03-2014, 16:11
Opening a game store has never seemed liked something you did as a primary career anyways. However, a place that charges full retail for an already expensive game has to come to grips with the fact that a lot of people are going to buy their things elsewhere to save money; that wasn't such a big deal 10 years ago when prices were manageable (I had little or no problems paying $20 or so for a box and only buying from my game store), but $40 when you can get it cheaper elsewhere is a little harder to swallow. Personally I'd only purchase at a game store for impulse buys or single purchases (e.g. I want another squad of X); any major purchases (as in bulk purchases, say for a new army entirely) I would all but be forced to buy online for the discount.

Don't get me wrong, i have absolutely no problem with people buying online. The issue i had was this guy buying online, and still turning up week after week to use the facilities while contributing absolutely nothing to the stores finances. That to me is not on.

Part of it also comes down to loyalty to the store. FLGS are rarely just places to buy, spend any amount of time there and inevitably you get to know the owner and staff, you get to know the regulars. And if you are as lucky as i've been, you find them decent people who you want to help stay in business. Paying 10% more than i would for an online buy for a great environment and great people to hang out with is a bargain as far as i'm concerned.

Coldhatred
21-03-2014, 16:22
A valid point. However, if you're planning a bulk purchase, it might be worth speaking to the owner of your local FLGS about it. I know when the new Wood Elf stuff gets released, I'm planning on speaking to the owner of my local, and basically say "look, I want one copy each of all the new wood elf bits, which is probably going to run to a couple of hundred quid. It would be cheaper for me to get it online, but I want to support the store, so if you can offer me a discount, I'll buy from you instead."

Indeed, that's what I do. Most owners will be more than happy to work out a deal that works for everyone. Then again, my store owner regularly offers little bundle discounts if you are starting something new or you are somewhat of a regular. Regardless, as many have said I pay where I play and I play (and therefore pay) at my FLGS.

jack da greenskin
25-03-2014, 15:32
If I'm dropping 200 on an army and countless hours painting, I'm really not too phased about paying 2 to play a game with it, if somewhere is providing somewhere convenient and warm, with good terrain, to play.

Terrain is expensive to make and preserve. Shop rent is expensive. I'd rather pay 2 and play a decent game in a gaming store with a fun opponent, than a game in a GW store, have to watch my language and being looked at sternly for talking about non GW stuff (99% of my hobby) along with being tied to the managers interpretation of the rules.