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Buy direct from Reaper or local Hobby/game shop?


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#1 warped72

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:58 PM

Recently went to my new local gameshop. It was kool they had reaper dark haven, P-65,& Chronscope line there not alot but enough, I bought couple a wizard & couple dire wolves and ordered some too, the new biker dude and familar pack 8. Still have yet to get been two weeks, kind of sucks, when I order direct there here 3-4 days, so I think I'll stick to the online store instead, was just trying to support local gaming store. whats everyone thought on this subject. Please reply, thanks

#2 Heisler

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:16 AM

If your FLGS is reasonably good at either stocking stuff or getting it relatively quickly when you order it then I would support the store. Now if you start getting a bunch of excuses on why something hasn't come in yet then you might want to go online. You have to gauge the situation yourself. We are losing a frightening number of brick and mortar stores so you should support them whenever possible.
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#3 Darsc Zacal

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:24 AM

Well, I've been buying Reaper paints and minis from local gamestores a lot longer than I have been ordering direct.

Most stores around here carry at least a small assortment of Reaper, and one store in particular carries quite a large selection on one of their walls. All laid out by line and in order by product number. It's very shopable plus they'll have a 25% off sale 2 or 3 times a year... Not that I always wait for that.

I do like being able to look at the actual mini. Plus if something's been badly bent during shipping, I can always pick out another copy or just wait. The downside is that sometimes their prices on some minis are more than Reapers online prices, plus they don't often stock many of the bigger sets, like the dragon.

Ordering online from Reaper directly is something I've only been doing the last couple of years. As I recall I started ordering direct because Reaper was offering some minis with limited availability, and I wanted to make sure I got them.

Since then I've placed a lot of orders direct, usually for special online offers, older figures that I can't find locally, and newly released figures that I just can't wait for. Getting those bonus paints with my order is a treat, and the odd surprise included is always very welcome. I alway make sure my order is big enough to take advantage of the free shipping too.

The downside is that my order can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to arrive here(Canada's West Coast) after I ordered it. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to the length of time it takes. The other issue ordering direct is that about one third of my orders arrive with a bill from Canada Customs requesting additional taxes and duty.

Going forward, I see myself continuing to mix my buying.
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#4 Lyn

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:24 AM

When I was back in NYC, I always still ordered from Reaper directly if I needed something and it was not available at the local stores.
Did your local store give you any reason for the delay? Sometimes stores wait until there is a minimum order and then add your items in.
I also totally agree with Heisler to support local stores when possible. =)

Hope this helps.

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#5 Bruunwald

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:22 AM

Remember, your FLGS is not getting stock directly from Reaper. They are likely getting it from a wholesaler, who is getting it from Reaper. That wholesaler might or might not have the item in stock when the order comes through. That is not the fault of the FLGS.

What you do want to do, though, is ask the store why it is taking so long to get the item from their wholesaler. Communication is key, so that you have the best info to make a decision, and so you do not go away thinking the store is messing with you. I doubt they ever would. Their ability to perform is reliant not only on themselves, but also on a distributor and Reaper. Anybody in that line could be suffering a shortage.

I also think you should support the store whenever possible. Obviously, if they have what you want in stock, you get it much more quickly. That's a great resource to have. A little more work on your part, asking when a thing will be available, and then asking for detailed info when there is a hold up, will be a great benefit to everybody involved.
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#6 Adrift

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:46 AM

I get friendlier customer service from Reaper directly than I have ever received at a LGS where I live. It seems like most proprietors of LGSs don't know the meaning of "give them the pickles" but the Reaper folks do. So I order direct and pick up random pieces at stores as I happen in from time to time.

#7 MiniCannuck

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:44 AM

After I got my club into Warlord, I had a talk with the owner about stocking the Reaper line. Reaper makes it very easy for a store to sell their stuff. He ordered the top 50 display plus some special orders for our club.

It was gone in a week.

The challenge we are having with him is that instead of going directly to Reaper, he is trying to use a distributor here in Canada to get the figures. The reason being that he wants to support a local company and it only takes 2 days to arrive compared to the 10 days from Reaper. The only problem is that he has been getting only a 20% fill rate from the supplier and their prices are higher than going directly to Reaper. This caused his prices to be higher than the MSRP.

What we did, as a group, was tell the store that we want to support him but we are not willing to pay more than the MSRP for a figure. It is his choice on how he gets the minis into the store but it is our choice whether we buy them. After a few days, he decided to order directly from Reaper again.

I own my own business too (nothing to do with minis). I don't understand why a company wouldn't go direct an cut out a middle person who doesn't add anything to the equation except take a cut of the profit. I would love to know if Reaper actually has a Canadian distributor as this person claims to be.

#8 TaleSpinner

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:31 AM

I typically check the FLGS first to see if they have what I want. They try to stock everything that Reaper has in distribution. If they don't have it, I order direct from Reaper. The distributor that services our FLGS is notoriously slow at filling special requests, usually taking a couple weeks to a month. In the time it takes to get a mini special ordered through the FLGS, I can order it from Reaper myself, get it, and paint it.

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#9 joshuaslater

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:47 AM

Support your local store if you want it to stay in business.
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#10 Loim

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:29 AM

Unfortunately there are only a couple of stores in the entire state of Arkansas that seem to stock Reaper minis. One of them is fairly close to where my parents live, so I try to give them business when I can, but they have a very, very limited selection. The only hobby store in Fort Smith I have been able to find that sells minis only carries GW. Most of their stock is really old, and very expensive from what I've seen. I would love it if I had a lgs to go to. Having said that, I've never had anything but great experiences shopping directly with Reaper.

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#11 72moonglum

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:31 AM

After I got my club into Warlord, I had a talk with the owner about stocking the Reaper line. Reaper makes it very easy for a store to sell their stuff. He ordered the top 50 display plus some special orders for our club.

It was gone in a week.

The challenge we are having with him is that instead of going directly to Reaper, he is trying to use a distributor here in Canada to get the figures. The reason being that he wants to support a local company and it only takes 2 days to arrive compared to the 10 days from Reaper. The only problem is that he has been getting only a 20% fill rate from the supplier and their prices are higher than going directly to Reaper. This caused his prices to be higher than the MSRP.

What we did, as a group, was tell the store that we want to support him but we are not willing to pay more than the MSRP for a figure. It is his choice on how he gets the minis into the store but it is our choice whether we buy them. After a few days, he decided to order directly from Reaper again.

I own my own business too (nothing to do with minis). I don't understand why a company wouldn't go direct an cut out a middle person who doesn't add anything to the equation except take a cut of the profit. I would love to know if Reaper actually has a Canadian distributor as this person claims to be.


Doesn't RAFM do stuff for Reaper in Canada? I've seen their site and it talks about ordering Repaer products from them, but you can only do it if you're in Canada.

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#12 Bruunwald

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:39 AM

After I got my club into Warlord, I had a talk with the owner about stocking the Reaper line. Reaper makes it very easy for a store to sell their stuff. He ordered the top 50 display plus some special orders for our club.

It was gone in a week.

The challenge we are having with him is that instead of going directly to Reaper, he is trying to use a distributor here in Canada to get the figures. The reason being that he wants to support a local company and it only takes 2 days to arrive compared to the 10 days from Reaper. The only problem is that he has been getting only a 20% fill rate from the supplier and their prices are higher than going directly to Reaper. This caused his prices to be higher than the MSRP.

What we did, as a group, was tell the store that we want to support him but we are not willing to pay more than the MSRP for a figure. It is his choice on how he gets the minis into the store but it is our choice whether we buy them. After a few days, he decided to order directly from Reaper again.

I own my own business too (nothing to do with minis). I don't understand why a company wouldn't go direct an cut out a middle person who doesn't add anything to the equation except take a cut of the profit. I would love to know if Reaper actually has a Canadian distributor as this person claims to be.

I wasn't aware that Reaper distributes directly, without any third party involvement whatsoever, and I would wonder how that mechanism works. As it is, I have to go through a wholesaler, but the MSRPs are the same as seen on Reaper's site. You can't take your one example and make it general for everybody. These things are contracted, and contracts with different distributors will allow for variable costs.

Meanwhile, though I love Reaper, they seem to make it hard to get their stuff. My distributor is a major one for this area, yet there are simple, common minis in shortage for both myself and my FLGS, that remain backordered for weeks, sometimes months.
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#13 Heisler

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 11:18 AM

Reaper can only do so much. They work with all the major US distributors, I can't speak to the Canadian ones. Just because a local/regional distributor or LGS doesn't keep good stock doesn't mean that Reaper is making it difficult. Store owners and distributors all manage to create their own problems and they like to turn around and blame it on the manufacturer (sometimes this is true, most of the time it is not). I can state this from personal experience having worked in a hobby shop, worked for game distributor and with a manufacturer over the years. There is a reason I'm now an IT person.

Reaper has always been willing to sell directly to stores, however, I do believe that they prefer stores to go through distributors.
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#14 kit

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 11:57 AM

We love FLGSes! Many many retailers are stuck with ordering from distribution for whatever reason, but more are discovering that they can order directly from us. This is an exciting trend that we're working to inform retailers of. It's a real benefit to them and you as a customer if they know that they can place any special order with us and we turn it around in about 24 hours.

For whatever reason, there's often a breakdown in communication between us, distributors, and retailers. This leads to stories about how we don't manufacture such and such anymore or are all out of something else. We're working on that, too, though there's only so much we can do to influence the practices and methods of middle-tier sales associates.

If you need your FLGS to special order something for you, have them give us a call. We have lovely terms for retailers, and we try to always be quick and friendly. ^_^

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#15 MiniCannuck

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:10 PM

To follow up with what Kit said, my FLGS has had NO issues dealing with Reaper directly and found setting up an account as easy as it was for me to buy from them directly. Just check out their vendor page on the site.

Sorry if some of you misunderstood what I was trying to say with my post. My FLGS uses a Canadian distributor to get some of his other products. They also carry Reaper products but don't have a very good fill rate. This isn't Reaper's fault.

I don't know what Reaper does for distributors but the owner of the store told me that it is a better margin directly from the supplier - you just have to wait a little longer for the order to come in unless you want to pay the surcharge (which is pretty expensive to Canada).

The only generalization I'm making is that there is bound to be more margin for a store if it can get the product direct from the source.




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