Disappointment on Free RPG Day


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

blope wrote:
I live about the same distance from that compleat strategist store mentioned in the first post. SO glad I did not drive 2 hours for that treatment.

I went to the Compleat Strategist in NYC and had the same thing. Last year I got some crappy stapled photocopy pamphlet when I rolled the d20 and was really disappointed. But then I called on Monday and they said they still had a bunch of D1.5 and I went in to pick one up on my lunch break. This year I offered to run a Pathfinder game to try to increase interest in the upcoming rules and in return they guaranteed that I could get the Bonus Bestiary without rolling the die.

Their reason for the random roll was that a few years ago, when there were more participating stores in the area, people used to make the rounds, going to each one to get the same stuff from each (usually the WotC product, which tends to have the highest resale/production value). So they instituted the random roll so that anyone had an equal shot of getting the good stuff, not just the people who get there first and travel with a large group of friends.

Liberty's Edge

Bladesinger wrote:

OK, this is something of a Rant, but I'm a little miffed, to say the least. What gives ? Arghhhhh......

Sighs. Anyhow, Despite my disappointment, I love Paizo and I'm seriously looking forward to the Pathfinder RPG. It looks great and my group can't wait to try it out.

Sorry for the Rant.

Please sir, don't apologize. I too found that the way my local store handled things was crap. I buy Paizo stuff from them alot; stuff I missed out in in the past and could have ordered it from Paizo (as I do with a lot of stuff) but thought I'd like to pay a little bit extra and support my FLGS. So after my order of stuff arrives I decide to pick it up on Free RPG Day and it turns out I spent $400+ AUD on Paizo products and was told that they only had one Beastiary and that they (the shop) were keeping it. They gave me another free product that I had interest in whatsoever that sadly will never get played 'cos I love my Pathfinder and 3.5 D&D. I constantly spend $220+ AUD a visit in that shop maybe twice a month sometimes more so if my loyalty and spending doesn't count as a valid qualifacation for the Beastiary than I don't know what does. My FLGS can go jump and I'll continue to get all my stuff from Paizo and as for Free RPG Day? Well, I'm over it.

Liberty's Edge

SirUrza wrote:
I personally don't support FREE RPG Day. It's never free. You either have to buy a book, play in an event and not get what you want, or do something else and likely not get what you want. Why? Because most of the "free" stuff is crap. People only want certain things from certain publishers, everything else no one cares about. Thus, those items are premium and high in demand, and since they can satisfy everyone, they'll find a way to benefit from it.

I guess your milage may vary. As I said, I was able to walk in the store, grab several things (especially the Paizo product I went there for), and I didn't have to buy anything, play in any event (not that there was any event to play in), roll dice, or even ask for one from behind the counter. It was all lying out on a table, free to be taken. I walked in and out without paying a cent, and ended up with a bag full of swag.

Needless to say I really like my FLGS. They were the ones who gave me my first heads up about Pathfinder when I was complaining to them about 4e, too, so two big thumbs up.


I hope stores read these boards to see how their actions affect the attitudes and behaviors of their costumers.

For me, I walked in Lone Star when they unlocked the door, the manager directed me to the table and told me about the one per customer policy, I picked up my bestiary, looked around, and walked out as he thanked me for coming in. Did he think I was a bloodsucker he'd never seen before scooping up a freebie? Probably. Does he know as soon as I can justify a $70 purchase I'm going back there to pick up something? No, but the way stores treat folks matters.

Dark Archive

SirUrza wrote:
I personally don't support FREE RPG Day. It's never free. You either have to buy a book, play in an event and not get what you want, or do something else and likely not get what you want. Why? Because most of the "free" stuff is crap. People only want certain things from certain publishers, everything else no one cares about. Thus, those items are premium and high in demand, and since they can satisfy everyone, they'll find a way to benefit from it.

I feel sorry for you if that's the case where you are. There are two stores that participated this year (not sure of both did last year) within about 50 miles of me, both in the same city.

Last year I picked up literally one of everything, with no problem, this year I got 3 books and a CD.....

The whole point of this is to give loss leaders to get people who play into new game systems.....limiting what people can get is stupid, it gives the publishers *no* information about who liked/wanted what, or what quantities to produce in next year, and it compleately screws over the customer....

Liberty's Edge

The FLGS where I live didn't manage to get signed up in time for free day stuff (being on the moon makes him sort of a low priority) but last year he just let us grab whatever we wanted from the assorted things. He does have the advantage of a captive audience seeing as the nearest game store is about a seven hour round trip.
In a way I'm happy I had nothing around rather than having to roll dice and jump through hoops for a few small books.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

Well, I had no time anyways (motorbiking around with a few friends of mine), but as the nearest participating shop was like three hours away, it did not matter much. Going to Berlin, Cologne or the Ruhr area to pick up some free stuff? Well, ordering from paizo is cheaper than that most of the time. Last year, a shop half an hour away participated, but not this year.

Stefan


Mikaze wrote:
Bladesinger wrote:
and when I got there, the clerk made me roll a D20

That's @#$%ing stupid. That's so @#$%ing stupid I want to find this store and tell the owner that it's @#$%ing stupid.

Sweet Christmas, it seems some game stores want to honk off their customers.

Damn straight! You shoulda picked up that d20 and in your best Clint Eastwood voice said, "I'll tell you what I'm gonna do...punk! I'm gonna roll this "20" and anything I roll above a "1" means I get to kick the $#!+ out of you and take what I want."

Freakin' stores pulling stunts like that! Or making you pay to get stuff that is supposed to be FREE!!! After all it's FREE RPG DAY!!!!


I went to Compleat Strategist too.
The d20 roll got me a pretty useless item, from a game i never even heard about.
They did that last year, and also the year before, if i recall correctly.
I understand why they do that, but it is still frustrating.
I wish i could have picked an item, as i am a regular customer, and also the fact i came to the counter with two books for purchase.
Anyway, i wouldn't go the counter just to pick some free stuff and leave.
My only comfort was that the two books i bought were 50% off, like all d20 products.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:

Was non-participation up this year? Game Chest in Valley View didn't participate. (I would have rather driven to Gen X in Bedford, but Lone Star is so much more convenient, and my time is at a premium right now.) If so, I wonder what might be behind it? The selection at Lone Star was not impressive, and neither was the supply (unless they were keeping more behind the counter.) Of course, with a one per customer policy, the selection didn't need to be wide for me.

in the last two years, the price of the packages has more than tripled in price... my store did it the first year, when a box cost $30, but couldn't justify it @ 90+ for something that they give away for free.. especially when

1) The web page says "The cost for one shipment (set of sponsors) will cover the shipping and handling of new, never-before-seen RPG products to be given away at your store, in addition to a promotional packet of a poster and postcards" it doesn't cost $90 to ship that box USPS

2)they ship it with the store's diamond or allience order which gets free shipping if they buy over $300 in product

3) Free comic book day, which the store gets over 10,000 books for, only costs them about $30.

With the economy, I'm guessing many other stores though the same way.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
yoda8myhead wrote:


Their reason for the random roll was that a few years ago, when there were more participating stores in the area, people used to make the rounds, going to each one to get the same stuff from each (usually the WotC product, which tends to have the highest resale/production value). So they instituted the random roll so that anyone had an equal shot of getting the good stuff, not just the people who get there first and travel with a large group of friends.

If they knew this before last year, than it was D0 that was being taken multiple times.... WOTC did not participate in the first Free RPG Day

Silver Crusade

I went to the Compleat Strategist in Boston, and I obtained a copy of the Bonus Bestiary, plus I bought a copy of the Elves of Golarion Companion. (I wasn't surprised that the 4th Ed. stuff went quickly). Not bad.


We had two stores taking part in my community, and what a contrast.

MY FLGS cleared off a table and set out the free offerings in neat piles so we could see what was available -- including some products they'd thrown in that were not specifically released for the event. They had a limit of three items per person. The store staff was (as always) very helpful -- answering questions, pointing people in the direction of the minis, and keeping a genuine smile on their faces the whole time. Oh, and 25% off ANY RPG product in the store as well. There was no required purchase, no random d20 selection -- just good old-fashioned freeness and goodwilled promotion of RPGs.

In addition, they were holding a number of games in their basement adjunct -- they had DMs running Pathfinder, Eberron 4E, Castles & Crusades, Geist, Corporation, and Paranoia. (If only a prior commitment hadn't kept me from staying to play -- I really want a chance to play the Pathfinder rules, and Eberron 4E looks cool). Even less than half an hour after opening (and with rain pouring down outside), there were a number of people in the store --looking at the free products, checking out the other RPG materials in stock, perusing the comics on the shelves. I caught snippets of conversation about the merits of 4E versus Pathfinder, whether MTG was still going strong, and the return of "the one, the only, accept no imitations" Captain America (as one guy put it). Overall, a successfully planned and executed day.

=========

The other "participating" store (which I only visited because I wanted some new dice and my FLGS had none that appealed to me) had just tossed the FreeRPG product in a casual and teetering pile on the corner of the sales counter, in amongst any number of other random bits like invoices and an empty pop can. I had no idea they were even participating until one of the only other two patrons in the store (which was deathly quiet) asked about it. The owner just said, "Yeah, just grab something from there" and waved in the general direction of the mish-mashed "display" before returning to whatever held his attention (and it certainly wasn't the patrons).

When the other patron asked about minis, the owner just said "Yeah, back there somewhere" without even looking up. Then, as I paid for the dice, the owner said, "Yeah, this Free Game Day is really good for places like mine, because I can always sell what I don't give away, and make a profit." All I could think was, "Unbelievable. Just one more reason not to come back to this place again." If I hadn't already given the guy my money and taken my change, I'd have left the dice on the counter and stormed out. Suffice to say, I'll never shop there again, and I'm going to spread the word.

When I finally got a chance to really look at the FreeRPGDay stuff I'd picked up, I noticed that every product had the FreeRPGDay badge on the cover with the word "FREE" clearly visible (though the Pathfinder Bestiary had it on the back cover, so as to not spoil the gorgeous art any more than necessary). I'd like to think this will keep the "other guy" from actually being able to charge money for this stuff, but I'm sure he'll find a way. I doubt my FLGS will have any left-over product from the day, but if they do, I'm certain it will be given away for free (to the DMs who ran the games, for example)

As I said, a study in contrasts.


SkyGuard wrote:

I am amazed at some of the stories people have posted no wonder the FLGS are having such a hard time competing now. The whole point of this is to get people into the stores and to get people to try new products so they will come back and buy them if they like it.

I guess I should be thankful that my FLGS gets it (Myriad Games in Salem, NH) was only asked to please limit myself to up to 5 items with no duplicates. And for the record the idea that Free RPG day is a promotion work as it got me in the store today and I ended up buying a new board game to go with my shiny new pathfinder bestiary.

I was a little disappointed in the overall selection this year there wasn't a ton to pick as compared with past years. The bonus bestiary and the q-dice I thought were the best things I saw, and yet again as in 2007 the paizo product wins free RPG day in my opinion. I'm guess the economy play a big part in it this year,

My husband actually seems quite pleased with the Eberron adventure so far, and I didn't notice a significant decline in the quality of the offerings this year. I did note, however, what seemed to be a significant decrease in participation this year. Last year I could have chosen between six different participating stores. Three of those stores were not only not participating, but have closed in the last six months.

This economy is hurting stores badly... kudos to those that actually used the freeRPG stuff as a way to get people to the store. Whenever I get stuff for FreeRPG stuff, I always buy something at the store too... usually something I've been looking at and on the fence about but haven't managed to pick up yet.

- Ashavan


Knightsfyre wrote:
The other "participating" store (which I only visited because I wanted some new dice and my FLGS had none that appealed to me) had just tossed the FreeRPG product in a casual and teetering pile on the corner of the sales counter, in amongst any number of other random bits like invoices and an empty pop can. I had no idea they were even participating until one of the only other two patrons in the store (which was deathly quiet) asked about it. The owner just said, "Yeah, just grab something from there" and waved in the...

Yeah, one of my area stores is like that too. Last year they declined to offer any of the Free RPG stuff on Free RPG day, keeping it instead to give as promotional giveaways later in the year (thus completely screwing people who went there ON freeRPG day for stuff.

I haven't shopped there since, though strangely they are one of the stores around me that has managed to stay open.


Koldoon wrote:
Knightsfyre wrote:
The other "participating" store (which I only visited because I wanted some new dice and my FLGS had none that appealed to me) had just tossed the FreeRPG product in a casual and teetering pile on the corner of the sales counter, in amongst any number of other random bits like invoices and an empty pop can. I had no idea they were even participating until one of the only other two patrons in the store (which was deathly quiet) asked about it. The owner just said, "Yeah, just grab something from there" and waved in the...

Yeah, one of my area stores is like that too. Last year they declined to offer any of the Free RPG stuff on Free RPG day, keeping it instead to give as promotional giveaways later in the year (thus completely screwing people who went there ON freeRPG day for stuff.

I haven't shopped there since, though strangely they are one of the stores around me that has managed to stay open.

In addition to my earlier rant the new FLGS was going to do the same thing with any leftovers, as part of their gamer reward program. It's online for me.


If I may fork this thread slightly, the next time someone asks why Paizo can't offer a free/discounted PDF if a book is purchased from a Game Store, point them to this thread.

I know the economy is bad, and the Game Stores were never that big a business to begin with... But damn. Some of these stories are truly nightmarish.

I wish there was something I could do to make it better for those that got hosed...


Seldriss wrote:

I went to Compleat Strategist too.

The d20 roll got me a pretty useless item, from a game i never even heard about.
They did that last year, and also the year before, if i recall correctly.
I understand why they do that, but it is still frustrating.
I wish i could have picked an item, as i am a regular customer, and also the fact i came to the counter with two books for purchase.
Anyway, i wouldn't go the counter just to pick some free stuff and leave.
My only comfort was that the two books i bought were 50% off, like all d20 products.

Sorry to hear you got hosed too. I go the little Paranoia game pamphlet, and since they decided to stop supporting that game, its about as useful to me as a case of VD. I DON'T understand why they do this, as if you give the customer what they want, they WILL come back for more. I'll never shop there, even though their stock was great. The clerk was completely disinterested, and could have cared less. And to give away a free DIE 6 ? Really ? I planned on buying something from them even before I walked into the store, figuring if I got the book I was after, I'd be kind enough to give them some business in return. Not ever, now.

The store I frequently go to is Cyborg One in Doylestown, PA. These guys are mostly into comic books, and do have a low selection of gaming stuff, BUT, they'll get me anything I want, have great sales to help your pocket, a great staff, and in general is a great place to go. He didn't do it this year due to economic reasons, but he said he'd do it next year if there was interest, and I certainly hope so.

Liberty's Edge

Bladesinger wrote:
OK, this is something of a Rant, but I'm a little miffed, to say the least. It turns out the only store doing Free RPG Day around me was a store called the Complete Strategist. My normal store, Cyborg One, which is fantastic btw, wasn't doing it this year, so I drove all the way out to King of Prussia PA

How far away is West Chester, PA for you? Next time, hit up the "Games Keep" in WestChester (Good store, Good owner, Paizo products)

Liberty's Edge

zylphryx wrote:


Asheville ... and envious of someone living on the Outer Banks when it gets to be summer time. ;) You on the northern end around Kill Devil Hills, Duck, Salvo, etc. or further south?

I think Durham was the closest NSLGS (Not So LGS) ... I guess I could have gone to visit my folks in Chapel Hill, though I wouldn't haven't gotten to the area until after 5pm and would have had to do an almost immediate about face.

I love the mountains, too, though. You have a great area up there - some of my cousins live out there. I'm about 12 miles south of Salvo in Avon - well, from there anyway. Right now I'm stuck in Connecticut for a while. At least I have a great gaming group here.

Hmm. Apex/Cary is where All Fun & Games is ... not too far from Durham or Chapel Hill. (I went to Carolina.)

At least we're able to grab the books from here though - I haven't found a shop I like as much as my local shop back home. Paizo and the community has helped fill that void.


cyrusduane wrote:
Bladesinger wrote:
OK, this is something of a Rant, but I'm a little miffed, to say the least. It turns out the only store doing Free RPG Day around me was a store called the Complete Strategist. My normal store, Cyborg One, which is fantastic btw, wasn't doing it this year, so I drove all the way out to King of Prussia PA

How far away is West Chester, PA for you? Next time, hit up the "Games Keep" in WestChester (Good store, Good owner, Paizo products)

West Chester isn't right around the corner, unfortunetly. KOP was an hour away, the other is at least 2 hours, so, I'm not doing that, LOL. But thanks anyway !

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I actually had the exact same experience as gamer girrl. The -exact- one actually. I live much closer to game empire and game town in the San Diego area, but I work up near Vista. Had never heard of Pair-a-Dice before, but I saw they were the only retailer listed on the website in the area so I thought I would head up there and check them out.

Myself and a couple folks from my gaming group made our way up there to check them out. It was a really great store and I had the same experience they did, two items of your choice for free, three if you sign up as a 'preferred customer'(also free), and they were holding a contest that day. If you make a purchase and fill out a form, you were entered to win a big thing of goodmans game stuff.

I too mentioned Paizo stuff to them and let them know that I had simply never heard of the store before and there was talk of them starting to stock it once the final came out, so with luck we'll see it then and they might just become my regular store. Doing some browsing, they have a great selection of other systems though, as well as board games, current rpg-like novels(one shelf devoted to fantasy stuff, dragonlace, faerun, ect), and a wall of graphic novels and manga. Very clean store, very friendly staff. The books I don't pick up as a subscriber I will probably start to order through them, hopefully we can get them keeping some paizo stock and they will have a new solid customer.

As a side note, when I asked about Paizo stuff, someone there cheered me on and we chatted a bit. I guess he is doing CotCT and we had just finished it and moved on to second darkness. I'm just curious, was that you Xaanon?


DitheringFool wrote:
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
DitheringFool wrote:
I went to one store which wasn't doing it and noticed a dusty box behind the counter that had a Revenge of the Kobold King poking out...
Where did you go, DF?
The store above was the Comic Asylum in Richardson off Jupiter. I also went by Lone Star Comics (the north Plano one) and Madness (who also was not participating).

Gen X was quite good about it this year - free 1 per gamer, your choice, no pressure. Last year it was 1 with $10 purchase, 2nd choice at $20 (I think that's how it was) - which wasn't too bad.


Really? Really, people?! OK, I'm going to be the jerk.

www.freerpgday.com wrote:


Your friendly local game store controls whether or not they participate in this event!

Each individual store determines how the free items are given out on the day of the event.

First, until FreeRPGDay.com stop charging for these bundles, it's not going to be free for anyone. For those that are miffed that they had to pay for something else to get one, here's your reason. Walk, or talk, to a comic book store about their Free Comic Book day. My local one said because they jacked the price so high on this year, they had to cut back and only offer 1 per person.

Second, for those random opponents, talk to the people that came in the afternoon and there wasn't any of their favorite to be found.

Third, although stated generically on their website, the real goal is to get new people into the store. Sure, you spend hundreds of dollars per year on game stuff. And that makes you any more special than the person coming in off the street and opening thier eyes?

Fourth, I applaud the one that required you to play a game to get more than 1. Why? Because it's a perfect opportunity for other people to say "Wow! That looks cool!"

Fifth, Merchants are Merchants for a reason. Take this into consideration. A publisher creates a $20 book. They send it to a distributor for $5. The distrutor sends it to the merchant for $10. The merchant sells it to you for $20.

Now, don't forget that each one of those people is also charging shipping and handling. The merchant is likely going to be paying for 2 day shipping.

If you have a beef, make it to FreeRPGDay.com. Here's the solution to the whole problem: Free PDF. Open up a download link on the day of the event where the merchant can point the customer can download a copy (which is served from the game companie's website). What's that? No internet connection? Well, offer to burn them for $1. Merchants world wide can participate for free. Sure, you have to contact the merchant to get the address. If the merchant wants to have some copies on hand at the store, they can order a package (and pay for it) to give out as they see fit.

OK, fire away. I don't care what you say. I won't be checking this link again. As a former co-owner of a game shop, I know I'm right.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Free RPG Day was created to help out brick and mortar stores by bringing traffic into their aisles. The participating publishers provide their material as a way to market their product, while in turn, the stores get to market their shops. It’s a marketing event that helps two related industries. I strongly urge anyone who had trouble to send an email describing their experiences to the Free RPG Day people. I’m sure they would love to have some feedback about how things played out.

Sovereign Court

I.Malachi wrote:

Hmm. Apex/Cary is where All Fun & Games is ... not too far from Durham or Chapel Hill. (I went to Carolina.)

At least we're able to grab the books from here though - I haven't found a shop I like as much as my local shop back home. Paizo and the community has helped fill that void.

LOL, a fellow UNC-CH Alumnus! I got out of there with a BA Biology/Anthropology back around '94 (graduated mid year so I'm not sure if I'm class of '93 or '94 ... so confusing when one does not follow the set plan for coursework).

We used to have a killer shop up here, Sword and the Grail, but they shut down last year (not economic, the owner was just tired of the retail world). How I miss that shop ...


Tried e-mailing to the freerpgday link and it bounced. Not worth pursuing for me.

The new store got me in, then proceeded to get me out. Their loss. If they had product to interest me I'd have been fine buying it to get the swag. Maybe I'll go back someday, but their chance at a 1st impression fell flat.

Nothing to do with the socio-economic issues of Free RPG Day, just a business owner who's more of a print shop than a gaming store.


tdewitt274 wrote:
OK, fire away. I don't care what you say. I won't be checking this link again. As a former co-owner of a game shop, I know I'm right.

Umm...doesn't seem to be a great model for listening to your customers.

"You guys are wrong; I don't care; I'm settin' you straight, then I'm not listening."

LOL


I too was denied on Free RPG Day!

^_^

PDF of the Bonus Bestiary whould be up tomorrow!

The Exchange

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
tdewitt274 wrote:
OK, fire away. I don't care what you say. I won't be checking this link again. As a former co-owner of a game shop, I know I'm right.

Umm...doesn't seem to be a great model for listening to your customers.

"You guys are wrong; I don't care; I'm settin' you straight, then I'm not listening."

LOL

Sounds about like mine, who I used to buy everything from, but now 4e is the only thing he'll carry "'cause that's what everyone plays"... uhm I don't. He happens to be my neighbor and asked me the other day "How come I haven't seen you down at the shop in a while?".... figure it out. :S


Honestly, as someone who'd like to actually own a game shop some day, I rather appreciate the Free RPG Day and Free Comic Day events. The idea is to get people in the door, then wow them with your selection/specials/service and hopefully encourage them to come back. I can get behind that. I intended on purchasing something from my FLGS when I went up yesterday, but we got to participating in a game, and then we had to bug out quick to get my wife to work on time, so I wasn't able to pick through the Reaper minis and find one I wanted to paint/use. Rather a shame, because it's way out of my way to just go up there and buy something. I'll have to wait until the next time I've got money.

Silver Crusade

I found it ironic that I spent the whole day at my FLGS, judged one PFS module, and played another. I had completely forgotten about Free RPG day until I got home and realized I missed it, even though I spent the whole day gaming.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Shadewest wrote:
I found it ironic that I spent the whole day at my FLGS, judged one PFS module, and played another. I had completely forgotten about Free RPG day until I got home and realized I missed it, even though I spent the whole day gaming.

I'd put that in the win category. ;)

The Exchange

Shadewest wrote:
I found it ironic that I spent the whole day at my FLGS, judged one PFS module, and played another. I had completely forgotten about Free RPG day until I got home and realized I missed it, even though I spent the whole day gaming.

Sounds like a damn fine day all in all.

Silver Crusade

I didn't meant to imply that it wasn't a day well spent, but darnit, I would have been there anyway. Why didn't I pick a participating shop?


Moorluck wrote:
Sounds about like mine, who I used to buy everything from, but now 4e is the only thing he'll carry "'cause that's what everyone plays"... uhm I don't. He happens to be my neighbor and asked me the other day "How come I haven't seen you down at the shop in a while?".... figure it out. :S

Yeah, so much for my "I hope store owners and managers read these threads" post.


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
tdewitt274 wrote:
OK, fire away. I don't care what you say. I won't be checking this link again. As a former co-owner of a game shop, I know I'm right.

Umm...doesn't seem to be a great model for listening to your customers.

"You guys are wrong; I don't care; I'm settin' you straight, then I'm not listening."

LOL

Exactly! My response to tdewitt274 (not that he's ever going to read it since he "won't be checking this link again") is WTF-ever!

As others have stated, the purpose of FREE RPG day or FREE Comic Book Day is to bring patrons into your store...period. And hopefully while they are in the store, they will in turn buy something from you. Thus, it is very important for stores to kiss ass a little bit in appreciation to their regular customers and to get new ones. After all, no customers, no business, no store...right?

FREE is FREE or it should be. And yes, I'd contact the folks at Free RPG Day if you had a problem. Be persistent, if this board is indicative of what's gone on in our small portion of the country, we can only wonder what happened elsewhere. They are probably getting a lot of emails, calls, etc.

Sovereign Court

I'm really saddened by the stories I'm reading in this thread. It sucks to take the effort to go out to the FLGS and get denied; particularly when the product is the beautiful Pathfinder Bestiary Preview. :(

I spoke to the owners of my FLGS, and they were telling me why they've been getting stricter with their Free RPG Day policy. When they first participated, there was a big line-up for the products, but they hardly recognized anyone. They found that many of the people in the line had never shopped there before, walked in to get some Free RPGs and then left, ne'er to return.

They even had a case where a group of five people came in and demanded that each of them receive one of every product available. When the store-owner replied by saying that that's a quarter of the entire bundle, the "customers" became belligerent and some harsh words were flung. I leave the specific words said as an exercise to the reader.

Needless to say, they were feeling pretty miffed about spending money to buy products that they would give away to people who might not even be returning customers, let alone the few who actually verbally abused them. It's understandable that they were hesitant to participate again, but in the end they did (though they limited to one product per customer, I think).

(I lucked out, they reserved a copy of the Bestiary for me since I'm a regular and they know my buying habits) :)

Basically, I'm saying that I can see why some store-owners are hesitant to participate. If you want Free RPG Day to continue at your FLGS, I think the best advice I can give is to buy some stuff while you're there, ask for the Free RPG Product when you're checking out, and thank them for participating in this awesome event.

It's amazing how a few kind words can go a long way in erasing sour memories.

Sovereign Court

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
tdewitt274 wrote:
OK, fire away. I don't care what you say. I won't be checking this link again. As a former co-owner of a game shop, I know I'm right.

Umm...doesn't seem to be a great model for listening to your customers.

"You guys are wrong; I don't care; I'm settin' you straight, then I'm not listening."

LOL

Could be the reason behind being a "former co-owner" perhaps? No way to know for certain, of course, unless he hops back into the thread.

The one thing I have never understood is a LGS (or any brick and mortar business for that matter) that does not focus on customer service. In the age of online shopping, the best thing a BaM business has going for it is to make an impression with the customers by actually caring what they think of the establishment and inquiring how they can improve their services, product selections, etc. Folks do need a reason to actually hit a physical location instead of an online store in this day and age.

Contributor

Gamer Girrl wrote:
Thanks to Free RPG day, we discovered another gaming store within a pretty reasonable distance to us. Pair-A-Dice in Vista, California was my closest store doing the Free goodies...

Hey, I used to live a couple miles from there. :)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Nameless wrote:

I'm really saddened by the stories I'm reading in this thread. It sucks to take the effort to go out to the FLGS and get denied; particularly when the product is the beautiful Pathfinder Bestiary Preview. :(

I spoke to the owners of my FLGS, and they were telling me why they've been getting stricter with their Free RPG Day policy. When they first participated, there was a big line-up for the products, but they hardly recognized anyone. They found that many of the people in the line had never shopped there before, walked in to get some Free RPGs and then left, ne'er to return.

They even had a case where a group of five people came in and demanded that each of them receive one of every product available. When the store-owner replied by saying that that's a quarter of the entire bundle, the "customers" became belligerent and some harsh words were flung. I leave the specific words said as an exercise to the reader.

Needless to say, they were feeling pretty miffed about spending money to buy products that they would give away to people who might not even be returning customers, let alone the few who actually verbally abused them. It's understandable that they were hesitant to participate again, but in the end they did (though they limited to one product per customer, I think).

(I lucked out, they reserved a copy of the Bestiary for me since I'm a regular and they know my buying habits) :)

Basically, I'm saying that I can see why some store-owners are hesitant to participate. If you want Free RPG Day to continue at your FLGS, I think the best advice I can give is to buy some stuff while you're there, ask for the Free RPG Product when you're checking out, and thank them for participating in this awesome event.

It's amazing how a few kind words can go a long way in erasing sour memories.

Did we go to the same store this year, Nameless? Last year at this time I wasn't too impressed with them but it was nice this year to see them whip out the Bestiary before I got to the counter. It isn't that hard to win over customers, is it? Just takes a little charisma.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber
zylphryx wrote:


The one thing I have never understood is a LGS (or any brick and mortar business for that matter) that does not focus on customer service. In the age of online shopping, the best thing a BaM business has going for it is to make an impression with the customers by actually caring what they think of the establishment and inquiring how they can improve their services, product selections, etc. Folks do need a reason to actually hit a physical location instead of an online store in this day and age.

QFT. My FLGS specializes in board games mostly, with RPG and TCG thrown in, but the owner is an RPGer himself. They seem to have played every single board game they offer, and can give you sound recommendations based on their experience - I went in a while ago and asked for a simple board game that allows for more than four players, and they whipped out four or five games and showed me every one in detail and explained how it worked. Nothing like a games department in a department store with uninformed und unmotivated clerks and all game boxes sealed.

Stefan

EDIT: Now I only have to get them to participate in the Free RPG day...

Dark Archive

Wow, sorry to hear these stories. I arrived shortly after the doors openned and found the table. I was delighted to find the Bestiary and was dwelling on whatelse I could pick up if allowed when I saw on the table the most amazing sign. "Limit of one of each item per customer." The only thing I didn't take was the Paranoia. I stayed for an hour or so and after buying a book I looked over the table again and even organized it for the manager. There was still quite a bit left, but mainly Goodman, Paizo, and WotC, all of which seemed to have contributed the most product.

When I went to leave I put my stuff in the car and told my girlfriend I'd be right back. I ran inside and thanked the manager for participating.

As far as customer service goes, they are pretty good. If they don't know something about a product they will tell you, but if there's a regular customer who does they aren't above asking them to help answer questions. I've done that many times, helping them get sales. Still it amazes me how some LGS act, viewing things like FreeRPG day as a hassle or waste of money when it is just as much an investment as any other form of advertising.


I went to my FLGS (Pandemonium Games near Boston), and they had a table set up right by their main display window. I asked the clerk about the rules and he said "one each from the big publishers, one total from the small publishers". I grabbed the 4ed adventures (for the tile) and the Bonus Bestiary. I didn't see any dice, or I would have grabbed those. I wandered around the RPG section of the store for a bit, but I go there often enough that they didn't have anything new I wanted.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I went to Books Galore in Erie, PA. They're about an hour and a half drive for me. They really advertised FREE RPG DAY and talked it up for weeks in advance. They allowed everyone who walked in to pick one item, and their comic and game club members to pick two. They were taking photos of everyone with their goodies. They were also running a 10% sale on all game products that day. It's a nice store with good people. They stock a lot of Paizo stuff! They don't have room for gaming in store, though.

I hate to hear about bad LGS experiences, but they are out there. There are also still many awesome game shops who know how to treat customers.

Liberty's Edge

Andrew Betts wrote:
I got to my local store doing Free RPG Day. Their box had no bestiaries ... double the amount of something else. The only thing I wanted and drove over 2 hours round trip and left with nothing ... I nearly cried.

wouldn't hve been chearper just to buy it from paizo? :S

Sovereign Court

Tarren Dei wrote:
Did we go to the same store this year, Nameless? Last year at this time I wasn't too impressed with them but it was nice this year to see them whip out the Bestiary before I got to the counter. It isn't that hard to win over customers, is it? Just takes a little charisma.

Did you go to Fandom or Wizard's Tower? I went to Fandom this year, and that's pretty much my game shop ever since the Wizard's Tower at Ottawa U closed down.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

I went to Flights of Fantasy in Cohoes, NY. I walked in, walked up to the counter and said "I came here for that," pointing at the Bonus Beastiary. The clerk handed to me and said "There you go!"

I then left the store as I had somewhere else to be. No issues, no b~*$*&**. It was great. I also saw some people playing Warhammer 40K there with possibly the largest army and coolest terrain I had ever seen. That army must've cost over $1000. There were at least 4 vehicles and 100 minis per side. Seriously huge. I was impressed.

Grand Lodge

Montalve wrote:
Andrew Betts wrote:
I got to my local store doing Free RPG Day. Their box had no bestiaries ... double the amount of something else. The only thing I wanted and drove over 2 hours round trip and left with nothing ... I nearly cried.
wouldn't hve been chearper just to buy it from paizo? :S

I was meeting friends there too. We were going to sit and discuss the bestiary. But since none of us were able to get one, we couldn't.


I got pretty lucky. The first store I hit is only 15 minutes from my house. Its a small store and focuses more on board games. Even though they were listed as participating they had nothing. Their selection of non 4E stuff was pathetic so I ended up leaving empty handed. Fortunately the greatest gaming store I have ever had the pleasure of seeing is only another 15 minutes away (The Sentry Box).

I arrived 15 minutes after they opened and they had all of the free stuff in a rack beside the cash. Anyone could take any book they wanted. I felt cheap just grabbing a free item and leaving so I picked up the Katapesh book since we are in the middle of LoF as well as the Beastiary.

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