Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
07 January 2006
Embrace the Net
You may have heard that 73 Toys R Us stores are closing around the country. Toy and game nuts are rushing local stores to see if they can catch some good deals as their local TRU vomits clearanced merchandise and then dies. Currently people are piecing together reports on which stores are going down and what kind of deals might be had.

Now, I don't know what kind of prices we'll see on games, but I've been wondering why more shops don't use our global network to drive people to their brick-and-mortar stores. Maybe the margins on games are already too thin or the price controls set by game companies are too rigid, but here's the idea.

Say you've been selling a game for $50 and you aren't moving enough copies anymore to justify holding on to your remaining stock. You could blow it out at $20 and get people as they trickle in by random or let places like Cheap Ass Gamer figure it out on their own. But it strikes me as a better move to just drop the price not so much, but below whatever the competition is offering, then actively put out the word that you need to move remaining stock. The CAG people will probably soak up a good bit of your stock, and if you lure them to your retail stores then you'll also pick up some other impulse buys while they're there. Moreover, from my own life, a better online experience translates into a higher likelihood of visiting physical stores. (I'm thinking EB Games and Target, specifically. YMMV.)

The key is to tell everyone you can that you have dropped the price, are undercutting the competition, and want them to get in on the deal by stopping in the store.

Sure, a lot of the real skinflints aren't going to jump. But there are a ton of people out there, myself included, who would love to get official word on price drops at my local stores. Even if it's just a $10 cut in a $50 game, that's often enough, especially if it's a game like Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. If I spot a DVD I want in your store, well, that's what you wanted anyway.

And if you're having a big clearance, then that's even better. Set a fire on the 'net, feed it with details, and let the "good deal" sites do their thing. It's just silly to make people compile lists on forums gleaned from multiple trips to retail locations. More information on good deals will mean more people headed to your store.

Give us the information, and if your deal is worthwhile, we will be there. It doesn't have to be extraordinary like the $5 game deal like Circuit City had a while back. Rather, it needs to be enough to justify my instinct for finding lower priced games just down the street.
--Matt Matthews at 15:17
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