We are told to support small business, and deep down I do want to help them, but as a consumer, I need to get the best product for the lowest price. Not only has the internet led to the demise of good grammar, but it has now put one more nail in the coffin for small business; I cannot blame the internet too much, for although it was partly responsible, I not only let it happen, I helped.
The store I am speaking of was known as the Adventurer’s Guild, and it sold supplies for table-top gaming, i.e. Dungeons and Dragons, WarHammer, Magic the Gathering, and the like. I visited the store on average once per quarter, but usually only spent a few dollars each visit, more out of guilt than anything else. The items I perused at the store were accessories for my Dn’D campaign, mostly books. Being priced between 25-35 dollars apiece, I rarely bought them. I typically download PDF’s off the internet (sorry Wizards of the Coast, but you guys price your books too high). If I really want a physical copy of the book, I will break down and purchase it…at Barnes and Noble where I get a discount. The Adventurer’s Guild existed mostly for me as a place to get more dice, which was my usual purchase.
Occasionally, an event of some kind would be at the shop, and we would spend an afternoon there, playing Dn’D or just observing the other games going on, and every table in the place would be filled, and not one of us was required to pay any type of rent to use the space. This seemed like a missed opportunity on their part to get some revenue; some people would be there all day playing, and never spend a dime in the store. The second financial mistake, and the most glaring, was that there was no soda or snack machine in the store. If you wanted a beverage, you went to the Circle-K on the corner. With idiocy like that, the store kinda deserved to fail. As I’ve already said, the store is now closed; they recently moved to a bigger space, but I guess the rent was too much, because they have abandoned the space and there are notices on the window detailing the property owner’s displeasure with their failure to pay rent in a timely fashion.
Less than a week after learning of the implosion of the Adventuer’s Guild, I learned that one of my aquaintances was the son of the owner of table-top gaming shop at the other end of town that I was previously unaware existed. We played Dn’D there the other night to scope the place out, and it’s nice: the space is bigger, there are more tables, and there is a soda machine and snack machine. We spent about 2 hours in the shop, and I spent $1.40 on dice, and another $1.30 on soda, so all told they got $2.70, which isn’t bad for me sitting at a table. We happened to be at the shop on Yugi-Oh night, and being a trio of 30-somethings amidst a horde of teenage boys was a bit awkward and smelly, but it’s a sacrifice we had to make to support our local small business.