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Working in a hobby store seems like it'd be pretty cool, right? Get paid to play games and read comics all day? That's the dream. . . Unfortunately, most of the people applying to work at game stores have this attitude about the job. In some ways, this is a good thing. When you run this kind of store, hobbies, collectibles, and such, you tend to want to give the impression that you run a "fun" place, and obvious "work" being done detracts from that appearance. Demoing games, painting terrain, opening packs for singles; these are all examples of work that really looks more like fun. Once you've weeded out the potentials, you're left figuring out why these apparently competent people want to work for you. Although it's possible that you break the mold and offer a great health plan, stock options, or a six figure salary, the average game store doesn't, and most likely can't, offer these things.  Although good employees understand that this job really is a job, and not a paid recess, most of them will choose to work for you because they like to be around games, even when not actively playing them. These are the kind of people who run two weekly D&D games, play in professional Magic events, or have an entire basement of painted miniatures. Games are their life, even when not playing. What perks can you offer such an employee? While a simple flat employee discount is a perk found in most any retail job, game stores might benefit from a more aggressive strategy. Cialis women let's examine the motivations for having a store discount policy. Why should a manager give out product for less than it's stated cost? Why should a manager actively lose money on sales? Employee discounts are, first and foremost, a slightly sneaky way of paying an [cialis women] employee a higher wage that doesn't affect the store's cash flow.  If an employee picks up a box of Magic cards every week for their weekend draft with friends, a 20% discount feels like a $20 bonus to the employee, and feels not at all like a bonus to the management.  For most stores, this attitude is as far as it goes with discount policies.  This means that they're missing out. It's an understandable mistake, and the reason that most managers and owners make it is fairly obvious; they're thinking of their employees as also being customers of the store.  Simply buying something is not enough to make someone a customer though; your employees are at all times, even when off the clock or making a purchase, your employees, and not your customers.  As such, attempting to market to them or close sales with them is a waste of resources. I know a gamer who made regular purchases of RPG books.  He worked at a small town game store full time cialis women, 40 hours a week.  On his off time, he ran two games, one in the store and one at his house.  He didn't get paid a lot, but he enjoyed working in his chosen industry.  His employee discount was 20% off any item.  Care to guess how many books he bought at the store?  Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.  Instead, once a week he would drive five minutes to the local Borders and purchase a book there. The discounts on books there were from a weekly emailed coupon, so he could only purchase one, but there are very few weeks during which more than one new source book would be released.  The discounts ranged from 20% minimum to 45% maximum. In other words, he would receive more than double his employee discount just for shopping at another store.  Even when the discount matched his meager employee discount, he'd usually head to Border's anyway; they've got a coffee shop right there inside, air conditioning, all the perks, and there was that one time that he got yelled at for buying the last copy of a book on the shelf at his store. (Yes, Border's is now going out of business. Although we bemoan the loss of coffee at hand while we browse our supplements, Amazon still offers substantial discounts and free shipping on RPG books. ) This is not the place where I talk about whether or not a small store should actually attempt to compete with stores like Borders (Short answer; yes, of course they should, to a certain extent. )  But when even an employee won't buy from you, think what that looks like to the rest of the clientele. Rather than try to lead into things slowly, let's present the Employee Discount policy I would use, and then break down its benefits piecemeal. The Functional Discount Policy

  • For Limited Run and Variant items (These are items that are limited to a certain number from the creator, including but not limited to Comics and Trades with Variant covers, MTG From the Vault sets, store incentives, etc. ): Each employee will have first option to purchase one copy of the item, in order of seniority, before any non-employee is offered the item. There will be no discount given off of the item's price.
  • For Collectible Singles (These are items that the store offers in smaller than retail packages, including but not limited to CCG singles, prepainted random miniatures, etc. ): Employees will receive a 20% discount off of the retail price of any item, to a minimum of the item's buy price at the store. Employee's will receive full retail value minus 10% for any singles given in trade credit to the store, with the approval of a manager pending quantities.
  • For all non-limited, non-single, items: (This includes most products in the store): Employees will be able to purchase any item at the cost to the store.  If shipping is not free from the manufacturer or distributor, the partial cost of shipping for the given item will be considered to be part of that item's cost to the store. If a item's cost to the store changes due to a manufacturer or distributor adjustment, the current price will be used. If an item is received at a discount due to retailer incentive, the price of that item were it purchased normally will be used.
Yes, this policy is advocating charging your employees your purchase cost for most items in the store. In fact, the only items that it doesn't recommend charging cost for are items that you can't replace simply by phoning a distributor. On items that are replaceable at a restricted rate, the policy still suggests an aggressive cost reduction for the employee. The raise in cost over the "price" of these items in some ways accounts for the fact that there is no fixed price for many of these collectible goods, and in some ways represents repaying the cost to the store in time spent sorting through collections and dealing with people looking to unload their goods.   On items that are not replaceable, such as the very short print run promotional items, employees are still given the very large benefit of being guaranteed availability to a copy. What purpose is served by spending the time and effort to order a product just to have an employee pick it up for no profit?  At its core, this policy follows the belief that it is a great benefit to the store to put product in the hands of it's employees. Employees that have actually played a game or read a book have a familiarity with the product that is apparent to customers, and can speak with authority and valid opinion. "I literally played this until 2am last night. " sells a product. "I tried it. I wasn't a fan, and here's why. . . " will still sell more copies of an item than "No, I haven't played it. "  Also, customers in your store watching your employees go grab something off the shelf and give you money for it will get the solid impression both that you employ real gamers, not just register jockeys looking for a paycheck, and also the impression that your employees are happy to support the store. These impressions both lead to increased sales. There are a couple of concerns to address with this policy in place.  For one, you may become frustrated when an employee grabs the last copy of an item off of the shelf minutes before someone comes in looking to buy it. I'd suspect that just asking your employees to make a note to order an extra copy should solve this, but you could also modify the policy to address requiring employees to keep stock of specific items in the store.  Second, you may find yourself with an unscrupulous employee buying items and selling them at a profit to his personal friends. cialis women  Again, I suspect that a simple verbal admonition should prevent this, and I would hope that anyone I hired would not have the sort of attitude to be tempted to do this, but a slight modification could be made to the policy to account for this. Finally, you may find yourself overcome with an abundance of applications submitted for employment. That is, if you didn't already get tons of those from people you'd rather not hire. "But I'm losing money on these sales!" Well, that's not actually a valid concern.  You're not losing money; if anything, you may be losing potential profit. Here are some other things that cost money; advertising, furniture, electricity. Each of these things increases the sales you complete, in effect making you money. Odds are, this will too.


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