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Wumby

Curiosity about our hobby.

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Although, I'm not a frequenter of my 2 FLGS in the Richmond area, I am curious as to why none of the four stores in this area carry Reaper Paints. The new mecca in the Richmond, VA area is FTW. The guy who owns it, used to work with Neal at The War Store, honestly this store is HUGE and is quickly making a name for itself for gaming tourneys, supplies, camaraderie, etc.... But nothing Reaper related. The next store I like is much smaller, also new, and on the Far West End, much closer to my house and you don't have to fight over crowds of "stereotypes" to the gaming store to get products...also nothing Reaper. The third store carries reaper miniatures, well stocked in Reaper miniatures, but no paints. Then there's Hobbytown, with its 2 square feet of GW. I'm not anti-GW, nor PP. All of these non-chain stores carry much selection from those two companies, I'm just curious as to why they wouldn't stock RMS paints. (I know best bet would be to ask the owner.) Any thoughts? Is it a licensing thing? The primary reason I am curious, is that while I absolutely love on-line shopping and finding deals on paints, brushes, minis, supplies. I am one of those folks who is Ok with paying a premium to shop local and support the local business owners. Just wondering out loud, well, not out loud, just via keyboard.

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Each paint line a store buys into is something like a $2000 investment. (Assuming six of each SKU and 200 SKUs.)

 

When you consider the total capitalization of an ordinary small game store, that's a major investment. If the stock turns fast enough, paint can be a great profit center. But if you over-commit to a single part of your product mix, you can kill your store. Unfortunately, if you under-commit to the wrong part of your product mix, you can kill your store too. Small retail is a tough business.

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That makes sense. The PP lines is relatively small, and the GW is such a large company, they probably place certain requirements upon amount of stock carried. That in conjunction with the popularity in this area of WarMachine and 40k, Cater to those systems holistically, and that would squeeze out RMS paints.

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You can always ask your game store about ordering paints for you when they place a distribution order or asking them if they might try to carry a few colors and see what happens.

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I know GW does have a minimum order/stock policy.

 

Often I have been told that the shop doesn't carry something because they have a competing product that already fills the niche. So they may feel that if they already carry Citadel and/or PP paint that picking up Reaper isn't going to add significantly to the bottom line.

 

Add to it, if they support tourneys by certain manufacturers, they are supporting their playing customers by carrying the other brand of paints. Reaper doesn't do game store tournaments and Warlord has a weak presence. So why carry it when the tourney players want the brand that goes with their army?

 

I have also been told that Reaper has such wide market saturation that it is no longer, by itself, a major draw. You can buy it anywhere, including over the internet, sometimes at discount.

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I think Inarah got most of it.

 

And it's still cheaper to buy our paint over the internet with shipping than buying GW paint at the store. So we do often get orders for our paint directly from the consumer.

 

The gamestores in question, do they carry P3s and GW paint already?

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@ Inarah, you support my speculations. Especially with the stocking of products from GW and PP since the folks that go to these stores go to play 40k and WM & with the market saturation. I've not adapted myself to RMS paints, even though the three bottles I have are my favorite paints. (I've hindered my artistic development with various excuses.) In the end I would rather paint with these than the GW paints or PP paints.

 

@fieldarchy, yes they already carry these paints. Along with the entire complementary line of products associated with each.

 

In the end, if they already carry two lines of paints, there really is overkill with carrying a third line, especially when most of the customers have probably not come into direct contact with Reaper products. There is the mindset of Oh, I like Warhammer so I'll buy the paints that coincide. Same with PP products. I basically feel that I had the answer to my own question, but enjoy further discussion, especially since in my experience I prefer Reaper products.

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The problem with buying paints online (at least for us northern folks) is the freeze issue. If I buy from a store and the distributor had allowed a shipment of paint to freeze, it is their problem and I can return the bad paint for an exchange and the dist will have to watch their procedures better. If I order myself, then the freezing becomes an issue between me and UPS or USPS.

 

Thus I prefer to buy in a store, at least in the winter.

 

Andy

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I know for my FLGS the simple truth is that RMS just didn't sell so the store discontinued stocking them and declined to order the expansions as they were released. They did and still do special orders if asked.

I do know that in the first release when the bottles had the labels taped on instead of self adhesive labels a lot of people had bad experiences and maybe as they say "first impressions are the most lasting."

The most prolific of painters in my locale use either P3 or a mixture of GW, P3 and Vallejo Model Colors so that's what the store stocks.

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It may be worth going to a more general hobby store to see if they do, or will stock Reaper MSP. A lot of hobby shops - the kind dedicated to things like trains, RC planes, models, cars, etc - can and do stock multiple paint lines.

 

The hobby store I frequent most carries not only gaming stuff, but RC planes/cars, model trains, model rockets, models, slot cars - pretty much everything. With the large variety of customers wants/needs they have there, they have an entire paint aisle (about 12' long, both sides). They carry all the Testors lines, Pacta, GW, Vallejo and several others. They used to carry the Reaper Pro Paints, until the reformulation. If they had enough room to get a painting group going there, I'm sure we could convince them to carry MSP, too. For them, offering the many lines of paint is necessary & desirable because of their wide customer base, and they've become known for it.

 

You may find you have a general hobby store that's better equipped to carry multiple lines of paint than a game store is, or is willing to switch what mini-oriented paint line they do sell in order to better compete in the local marketplace.

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@fieldarchy, yes they already carry these paints. Along with the entire complementary line of products associated with each.

 

In the end, if they already carry two lines of paints, there really is overkill with carrying a third line, especially when most of the customers have probably not come into direct contact with Reaper products. There is the mindset of Oh, I like Warhammer so I'll buy the paints that coincide. Same with PP products. I basically feel that I had the answer to my own question, but enjoy further discussion, especially since in my experience I prefer Reaper products.

 

Yup pretty much what happens. Plus the retail business split between three paint lines is likely not high enough for the business to justify the expense.

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Another thing that could be in play is exclusivity agreements. This may no hold in the hobby world, but it does other places. For instance, Coke or Pepsi will sell its products to a store or restaurant on the condition that they don't carry the competitor. The possible benefit to the store is they may get a discount on their paints/minis.

 

GW is a big enough company, I could see them doing that, boxing out the competitors they fear most, and allowing those that they aren't concerned with. Well, at least, that is what I would do.

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If that were the case TW I don't think the store would be allowed to carry anything other than GW. This store in question carries both GW and P3 paint.

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GW only did that with their own stores. They aren't big enough to demand that any store only carry their products especially after closing so many of their own.

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GW can't demand that privately owned stores carry only GW products, but I have it on good authority they do have a minimum order -- per month -- for FLGSs, and that they can be mighty aggressive about pushing that minimum. So much so, in fact, that one string of FLGSs in San Antonio does not carry GW products for precisely that reason.

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