Tuesday, March 19, 2013

GW: The more things change...No Online Sales

The first thing I do when I wake up is grab my phone and check mail and my blogs.  Not because I am addicted to the interwebs but it helps me wake up.  I get up a little after 4 AM to go to work and any little bit helps.

This morning I noticed a post by Faeit on GW's no internet sales policy.  It said you can't sell things by GW online.  I immediately became angry and my cackles were raised.  I swore that I would search for alternative models and buy as few GW models as possible.

How would this affect my favorite online stores?  Would I be forced to curtail my hobby?  Get back into Warmachine?  What is a hobbyist (i.e. addict) to do?

After settling in and before my work day began, I looked at the documents that were posted.  I became less and less concern then I once was.  Looking at it basically says the same thing I assumed.  You couldn't allow streamlined and customer friendly way to order GW miniatures.  It also applied to those that directly buy from GW.

While I am not a lawyer nor do I run a retail business, but I have read my share of contracts.  This looks to shore up their existing policy and give it more teeth.  It also ups a few retail requirements but I would need to read previous agreements.

How does this affect the consumer?  Besides being boneheaded, very little to US consumers.  It hurts exports to consumers from places like Australia.  Looking at my favorite online store, Miniature Market, I don't see much difference.  I call them up and make an order.  Same with The War Store.  NOTE: You can also email them an order.  It may effect places like Spiky Bits because it forbids their shopping cart and their bits sales.  That is if they buy through GW.

They talk about buying through GW.  I haven't read the past agreements but they have verbiage about not selling to other retailers or distributors.  If places like Spiky Bits buy through a distributor, is the distributor allowed to sell to retail stores or is GW not selling through distributors any longer?  I don't know and haven't read past agreements. 

Brick and Mortar stores will see some benefit but not enough to make a new trend.  My two main stores are Dream Wizards and Chuck's.  Both give small discounts but don't sell online.  I usually buy through Chuck's when I need to get a "GW" only piece.  I will usually pick up a box of something from DW every few months (same with Dropzone). 

What is the impact of these changes?  Not sure.  There will be teeth gnashing and screams from people that will never buy from GW or play their games.  Some will do that.  Too many of my friends play 40k and I enjoy it. I also have a lot invested.   If I have to buy some other brand to save a few bucks, I may just do that.  Not like GW runs tournaments any more. 

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