It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States, and we all know what that means.
Yes, yes, lots of turkey and family gatherings, and maybe some board games with said family (except Uncle Joe, who always seems to cheat).
But I’m not talking about the holiday itself.
I’m talking about Black Friday sales.
All of the online game retailers have started their Black Friday sales already (because nothing says Black Friday like a full week of deals!).
If you subscribe to the Boardgame Geek “Hot Deals” forum, you’re inundated with all of the cool sales stuff, along with those who have to post “Geez, nothing good in this sale. I’m glad I was able to save money. And why does it have to start at 2:00 am?”
One comment made in a thread the other day made me stop and think, though.
And you don’t like it when I stop and think (actually, I hope you do because that means you’ve read an interesting blog post).
Is “free shipping” worth it in all cases?
(Scroll down to the bolded question below if you are feeling “TLDR”)
All of the online boardgame retailers I know have a “free shipping” threshold. Most of the time it’s $99 (Miniature Market) or $100 (Coolstuff Inc). Cardhaus has $125 free shipping. 401 Games in Canada has $150 CDN free shipping
Others have similar policies, but I’ve never shopped with them.
Some of these stores also have flat-rate shipping. Coolstuff and Miniature Market is $5.99. In Canada, 401 Games has $8.95 CDN flat-rate shipping.
This can be a good thing if you don’t want to try and get a bunch of people together to place an order to clear the free shipping threshold (or want to spend that much yourself).
Miniature Market and (maybe) Coolstuff also offer a hold feature which will let you buy a game but have them hold onto it. You can have them hold it until you buy more games to hit the free shipping.
And this is where my question is.
Why would any serious gamer take advantage of this?
Obviously, gamers do because stores wouldn’t offer it if they didn’t think it helped their sales.
But I’m wondering why.
I can see this, maybe, if you think it will only be a week or so before you add enough to make it ship. Maybe a month at the outside, but even that would be pushing it for me.
The comment in question that I saw on BGG made it sound like it had been months (something like “Finally I can get that game shipped to me with the Black Friday sale stuff I just bought”).
The shipping is $6!!!!
You’ve been waiting how many months for that game that you put on hold? A game that you could have been playing a few times if you had received it right away?
How much is your gaming time worth? How many times would you have played that if you hadn’t waited?
I can see if you’re habitually cash-strapped. Six dollars is six dollars. That’s a few bowls of Cup of Soup for those who are short of money.
I realize that this does apply to some people, and if it does, then great. You should definitely take advantage of it.
But seriously, if you’re a regular Boardgame Geek user, willing to put down an order for $100+ in games, is $6 really that big of a deal?
I know I posted earlier about the Power of the Sale and how it can grab you, so I know that financial matters have a weird effect on us.
But seriously…six dollars?
Versus months of waiting for a game that you wanted because you couldn’t find anything else to buy at the time?
What am I missing?
Please enlighten me.
I think people like the idea of them being smart and saving money (which is where the original free shipping threshold comes from). So waiting until they hit the threshold gives them that kind of satisfaction. That they cannot play the game in the one month or more they’re waiting is not all that big a deal to many board gamers anyway – they have more games than they can play anyway, and many a game sits unplayed on their shelves, so maybe they get to play some of these during the wait. (I suspect for many gamers it’s just as much about acquiring and collecting as about actually playing.)
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Yeah, I suppose the delayed gratification since they have so many others is probably one of the reasons.
Maybe I’m the weird one. 🙂
Thanks for the comment!