As we find ourselves a few weeks into the new year, it’s time to start looking forward to the releases set to come out in this first quarter. These releases are an exciting time, as they come with the promise of hype and the increased sales. There is one obstacle that stands between you and those sales though: getting your hands on that product. This can be difficult for some sellers, especially online-only retailers. I want to talk about how those online retailers can foster positive relationships in the community, and make acquiring new products just a bit easier.

We all have a local game store that we call home. You know the employees, you know the owner, walking through the doors comes with a level of comfort. Depending on the comfort level you have with each other, this can open up the opportunity for a business relationship.

Before I delve further into this, I want to point out that this is simply a potential avenue to go down, and not every game store may be interested in this type of partnership.

Let's take a look at a couple of facts:

  1. A brick and mortar store likely has greater access to sealed product through distributors than an online-only retailer.
  2. An online-only retailer is likely to purchase more sealed product than the average customer.

Talk to your local game store, and explore a partnership to help you acquire sealed product. Work with them to understand when they place their orders for new sets, and see if more product can be added in for you to purchase. When you settle on a quantity and price, this will allow the brick and mortar store to place an appropriately sized purchase through their distributors (and potentially lower their cost per item if you are able to sufficiently increase the amount being ordered). This can be a win-win situation; you get the product you need, and the store gets a guaranteed return on the extra product they are ordering.

A couple of things that you will want to keep in mind when striking up this partnership:

  1. Don’t poach the store’s customers. If the store is helping you get product, they are doing it with the good faith that you are not selling to their local customers.
  2. Don’t order more than you can reasonably afford. To keep this relationship, both ends need to be confident that the other can hold up their side of the bargain.

This is just one way to build your inventory as an online-only retailer. If you would like to talk with a Customer Success Manager about this, or other ways to grow your business on TCGplayer, please book a meeting with one of us on our schedule.