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Behind the Counter

Business is Business

by Marcus King
May 12,2004


Business is Business

Over the years I have made business decisions that are designed to make my life - as a retailer - easier, and less stressful. Trying to avoid frustration with both employees making bad decisions or with customers complaining.

Things like "No cash refunds" policies. A policy that we don't take a return from someone if the item has been opened. A policy that if you open a game or such, and it is not complete, we will try to help YOU get it straight with the manufacturer - but do not take a return. Other policies designed to allow a clerk - not an owner of our company - handle customer complaints.

Other policies we make concern buying used games, who can use the phone, who can use our bathroom, who can use our gaming area, etc. These policies are, infrequently, a source of frustration themselves. It seems you cannot plan for EVERY darned thing, and there are always exceptions to how a policy is enforced.

But, as TitanGames has grown we have needed more and more written policies, so that we can train people efficiently, so there is a written body of rules for someone to refer to, so that problems can be avoided.

And, now we are looking to grow a bit more - we may have to turn over day to day of the retail store to a manager.

This week we have looked at a 34,000 square foot facility, with 16,000 SF of retail space, 16,000 of storage space, and 2,000 SF of office spaces. That may seem insanely huge to most gamers and even most retailers - in fact, there are few distributors with that size facility. But, we are growing, and are bursting at the seams here with 8000 square feet.

We are looking for a facility that would allow us to have 1000 square feet of "gaming tables" plus our retail store at about 2500 SF, plus our online facility at about 4500 SF plus our offices. That still will leave us with over 16,000 square feet of "empty" space. We are thinking "fulfillment facility" where we would store merchandise for publishers and manufacturers, then ship out to distributors - and act as the sales force for the companies we support. Since we already sell to over 100 retailers, and have accounts with most distributors, we have a relationship with a LOT of potential customers, already.

And, obviously, if this occurs, we will need to concentrate on other aspects of our business. Online sales, our publishing side, our new fulfillment house. We will be looking for someone to take over our retail operations. An experienced retail manager, with some experience in comics would be best. We are going to be taking applications for this position (in case you are interested).

Yup, we find ourselves in exciting times at TitanGames.

Our upcoming events include:

  1. A booth at MotorCity Comicon, in Novi, Michigan, May 14-16th.
  2. A HUGE booth at Origins in Columbus, Ohio, as well as overseeing the Auction, June 24-27th.
  3. Game Fest Milwaukee, Winsconson - July 9-11th.
  4. MichiCon by Foundation in Warren, Michigan, July 16-18th
  5. A nice booth at GENCON in Indianapolis, Indiana, August 19th-22nd.
  6. Our first time at DRAGON CON in Atlanta, Georgia, September 3-6th
  7. Foundation in Lansing, Michigan, September 24-26th
  8. PentaCon, in Fort Wayne, Indiana from November 5th-7th

So, we are staying busy with our online sales (3 people selling online for us, and 2 full time packers), as well as our retail store, convention vending, the magazine we publish (ConTemporal Magazine, which lists hundreds of conventions a year all over the country, Canada, Europe, Australia, and around the world!) as well as our new wholesale operations, and the upcoming fulfillment.

Yeah, we are going to need more help. :)

And, lastly, I am looking for a person to hire in as a buyer. We sell so MUCH stuff nowadays, that we have an insatiable appetite for BUYING games! We need to buy 300-500 used items a week. So, if you have the industry contacts for that type of position, let us know. We are ALWAYS looking for good people to add to our staff, and always interested in buying used game items, too.

I realize that this has just been an update about "TitanGames". Honestly, I am tapped out on idea's for columns. If you have a topic you would like discussed here, please just email me with it, and RPG-NET TOPIC in the subject line, and I will take the time to consider your topic, I promise!

Busy, busy here.......

Marcus King
637 Capital Ave SW
Battle Creek, MI 49015
877-542-6377 (toll free)

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What do you think?

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All Counter Talk columns by Marcus King

  • On Discounting by Marcus King, 15dec05
  • Think Different by Marcus King, 11oct05
  • GENCON, August, and TitanGames by Marcus King, 29aug05
  • Another Month at Titan Games by Marcus King, 06jul05
  • The Past Week at TitanGames by Marcus King, 10may05
  • The GAMA Trade Show by Marcus King, 13apr05
  • Con Jobs by Marcus King, 08mar05
  • Don't Skip The Retailer by Marcus King, 11feb05
  • How To Open Your Own Game Store by Marcus King, 14jan05
  • The Christmas Crunch by Marcus King, 22dec04
  • Light at the End of the Convention Tunnel by Marcus King, 15nov04
  • What It Takes To Open a Game Store by Marcus King, 15oct04
  • The Big 3 by Marcus King, 13sep04
  • Discoveries by Marcus King, 11aug04
  • Con-Man by Marcus King, 19jul04
  • Turmoil by Marcus King, 16jun04
  • Business is Business by Marcus King, 12may04
  • GAMA On! by Marcus King, 09mar04
  • On A Serious Note by Marcus King, 10feb04
  • Predictions for 2004 by Marcus King, 20jan04
  • Game Retailer or Game Club? by Marcus King, 11dec03
  • The Weather Changes... by Marcus King, 11nov03
  • The Deluge of Dead Products by Marcus King, 14oct03
  • The Conventional by Marcus King, 11sep03
  • Solutions to Problems and Good Feelings by Marcus King, 11aug03
  • Two weeks in the life of a retailer by Marcus King, 16jul03
  • In Store Gaming, and our love-hate relationship with it by Marcus King, 12jun03
  • Raising a Good Retailer by Marcus King, 28apr03
  • The customer is always right (right?) by Marcus King, 02apr03
  • Introductions by Marcus King, 24mar03
  • Jumping the Grand Canyon with Pikachu and Friends December 20, 1999
  • GTS'99 April 20, 1999

    Other columns at RPGnet

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