our transition plan 231020

Our Transition Plan

Now that we've had a little time to absorb our bad news, we can better explain what's going to happen with our operations and when. Ultimately, we will be a shadow of our current selves come the new year - but there's fun (and sales) to be had until then! 

TRANSITION HIGHLIGHTS

Here are the major events scheduled to occur between now and January 1, 2024. Make sure to mark your calendars with anything you might not want to miss. We will explain specific details later in this newsletter.

  • October 29. Storefront closes. Will still support curbside pickup.
  • November 10 - 11. Members Only liquidation sale. We will provide a 50% off code to our Newsletter followers for everything in the webstore. This event will not be broadly advertised.
  • November 13. Closure language flowed to website, Google, etc. as our first general public announcement. 
  • November 24 - 25. Black Friday liquidation sale. 50% off the entire webstore for the general public.
  • December 16 - 17. Final liquidation sale. 50% off the entire webstore for our last sale.
  • December 20. Donate remaining webstore items to Madison County library.
  • December 22. Fully transition to online only. 

TRANSITION DETAILS

Here are some operational specifics you may find interesting. They really aren't in any specific order - kind of my mind mapping exercise. 


This will be the last weekly published newsletter. Here are the anticipated future newsletter release dates:

  • November 9. Reminder, details (like hours), and code for Members Only sale.
  • November 23. Happy Thanksgiving announcement and details on the Black Friday sale. 
  • December 15. Reminder and details on the final liquidation sale. 
  • December 29. An after-action report on how the transition went and a reminder on what the online-only store will be. 

All other future newsletters will correspond with a Kickstarter title hitting the store. Considering we'll not be providing a lot of 'goodness' to folks in our weekly updates anymore, we anticipate a significant drawdown on newsletter participants. However, if you are interested in those future Kicsktarters, hang on for eventual news!


We have yet to broadly advertise our situation. It's been announced in this newsletter and our distributors know, but that's about it. I don't plan on announcing on our website, Google or Facebook to the general public until after our Member's Only sale. 


We are going to close the storefront before all the sales activity begins. As we are going to physically be rearranging everything, it will not be a safe place for customers. That will take some time which is why we're giving ourselves a few weeks between closing the storefront to the first sale. 


You may be wondering about the sales percentage of 50% and not greater. There are two primary reasons. First is the gap between wholesale prices and sale prices. I can tell you that wholesale prices are not that good. If we sell items too far on the wrong side of what we paid in wholesale, it significantly impacts our liquidity. Even though we're basically shutting down, we cannot 'owe' more than we make on these sales or my concept of online-only will never come to fruition. We'd simply go out of business. The second reason is we also have to clear enough to cover the free shipping thresholds too. 50% should 'just' get us there. Fun fact, it's actually better on the books to donate than to sell too far below wholesale. However, we'd like to give folks a chance to get the games at sales prices before we do donate the rest. 


End Goal: When 2024 begins, we will be an online-only store selling MTG singles thru TCGPlayer and the occasional Kickstarter board game. All other reporting and functionality will be eliminated. This includes our PDF repository, the Stones program, review history, etc. from the website. So, don't save those Stones you've earned - use them in these upcoming sales! The website will ultimately be as bare-bones as possible and function 'just' to sell those last few Kickstarters. In this timeframe we will also remove our Google footprint. I will have transitioned fully to a day job and plan to run the store as a side business until the Kickstarter games are sold - at which point I'll most likely eliminate the store and its online presence entirely. I'm guessing this will be sometime in late 2024.


As I've said before, it's been a fantastic ride, and I've enjoyed every bit of it. Now that the general shock has worn off, I've had plenty of time to reflect. What might come as a surprise to many, I'm actually looking forward to working normal hours for someone else for a time. There aren't many things I've ever done that have been this rewarding, or exhausting 😀 When they say small business owners never sleep - it isn't a lie. I'd also like to thank all of you, as we never would have made it this far without you. I honestly can't say now what the future may hold, but my experience here will definitely shape what that future is. Take care everyone, and make sure to grab some games in these upcoming sales! We're looking forward to the excitement these sales will bring before we ultimately hang up the saddle and brush the horse down one last time. 

 

39 Comments

  1. Michael Ramoneda on October 20, 2023 at 1:24 am

    Thank you so much for everything. You really went above and beyond in all you did. I was so impressed by your customer service from my very first interaction with your store, you instantly became my first suggestion to anyone looking for great boardgame titles. Sentimental though it may be, I’m going to miss reading your newsletters and even just their familiar presence in my email folder.

    May your next life adventures be joyful, peaceful, memorable ones—from one small business owner to another, you’ve without a doubt earned that much.



    • Stone Valley on October 20, 2023 at 7:45 am

      Thanks Michael! It’s only thru folks like you that we ever made it this far. Much appreciated! –Eric



  2. Anonymous on October 20, 2023 at 12:41 pm

    I have thoroughly appreciated the professionalism and personal touch that you all at Stone Valley have always brought to any interaction. I will certainly miss having you all as my Friendly Online Game Store, but I want to wish you much joy and happiness on the next step of this journey we all call life. Thank you again and Godspeed!



    • Stone Valley on October 20, 2023 at 3:12 pm

      We appreciate the note, and it just confirms in our minds that we ran this shop exactly as we wanted to. Customer service was always our top priority, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Take care, and hopefully you can snag a game or two in our upcoming sales events! –Eric



  3. Kyle on October 20, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    This news is sad and exciting at the same time. Fantastic customer service and kept me current with my board game addiction while I was stationed overseas. I will miss your newsletters for sure. Best of luck in all your future endeavors! Thanks Eric and team!



    • Stone Valley on October 20, 2023 at 3:11 pm

      We were happy to do it Kyle! You were one of many we were able to support in our small way – thanks for all you do! –Eric



  4. Anonymous on October 20, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    I am sad, but I understand. You are and will remain my favorite board game store ever! I could have never gotten into this hobby without you.



    • Stone Valley on October 20, 2023 at 3:10 pm

      That will always mean so much to us – and thanks for sending the note. We wish you the best in your growth in the hobby! –Eric



  5. Christina on October 20, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    You always had the weird titles that couldn’t be found on that “river” site, but without the judgement and elitism of my LGS. I will really miss ordering from you, especially the personal notes! Good luck in your next adventure, and thanks for the games.



    • Stone Valley on October 20, 2023 at 3:09 pm

      You’re very welcome Christina! We’re looking forward to what’s next and are excited too. Take care! –Eric



  6. Anonymous on October 20, 2023 at 12:58 pm

    Sending you good thoughts, have enjoyed having you part of our gaming life and reading your newsletters.



    • Stone Valley on October 20, 2023 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks so much! Good thoughts definitely help right about now 😀 –Eric



  7. Anonymous on October 20, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    This is my first time commenting on one of these but I’ve read pretty much all of them since I subscribed and have enjoyed how personal they are. It’s refreshing reading updates written by what feels like an actual person/gamer then just an employee tasked with writing up a newsletter. While I’m looking forward to the sale and hoping to snag some good games, a part of me will be sad knowing why.

    Best of luck to yall!



    • Stone Valley on October 20, 2023 at 3:08 pm

      We appreciate it! Sometimes it felt like I was writing into a void, but folks kept telling me they enjoyed the newsletters – at enough interval I figured it had to be true 😀 Make sure to enjoy that sale, we’re going to be happy packing everything up just as we always had. –Eric



  8. matt712013 on October 20, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    I will also miss these newsletters, like Michael said above. I am glad you are confident about the job hunt, and that the experience as the owner of a small business sounds worthwhile!

    Looking forward to the sale!



    • Stone Valley on October 20, 2023 at 3:07 pm

      I’m looking forward to what’s next, and we hope you grab some great games at great prices during the sale! –Eric



  9. Anonymous on October 20, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    Sorry to hear this. I have ordered from you guys several times and even picked up some things while I was in town visiting family, I believe you were recovering from surgery at the time. I have always had excellent service and wonderful prices from you guys. It has been a real pleasure shopping with you guys.



    • Stone Valley on October 20, 2023 at 3:06 pm

      We were more than happy to help! We appreciate the support you gave us over the years too. Take care! –Eric



  10. Anonymous on October 20, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    It is really sad to see you guys go. Every interaction I’ve had with your store has been nothing less than stellar, and I always recommended you guys wherever possible.

    Best of luck in your next endeavor!



    • Stone Valley on October 20, 2023 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks so much! We’re so happy you enjoyed your experiences with us, and for us that was always job one. –Eric



  11. Anonymous on October 20, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    I was always glad to give y’all my business, you always packaged my orders with care and they always arrived quickly, and the little messages you would include were always nice. I will try not to be sad that it is ending, but instead be grateful it ever happened. May the future greet you warmly and generously!



    • Stone Valley on October 20, 2023 at 4:30 pm

      That’s our attitude too! Thanks for the note, we appreciate it! –Eric



  12. Anonymous on October 20, 2023 at 5:31 pm

    God bless



  13. Anonymous on October 20, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    Sorry to hear about the closure of my favorite FOGS/FLGS! Thanks for everything over the years. Good luck in whatever comes next!



    • Stone Valley on October 20, 2023 at 5:39 pm

      We’re sad to be going too, but we are looking forward to the future! Thanks for the well wishes, and take care! –Eric



  14. Steven Bollenbaugh on October 20, 2023 at 8:04 pm

    With your transition, I’m feeling a bit like I did when I found out Firefly was canceled after 1 season. 😞 I wished I could have supported you more, but I’ve been pretty much up to my limit over the past year in the number of games and space. However, I went over my “eventually to buy list” and placed an order for several items rather than wait for a sale — it provides a little extra support to an excellent business (and avoids finding an item I want has been sold out 😉).

    Again, I hope this transition provides new opportunities and hopefully some really pleasant surprises!



    • Stone Valley on October 21, 2023 at 8:14 am

      Steven, you have been one of our most steadfast customers, and your support over the years has been really appreciated. And…here you go again, helping out even at the end 😀 We’re looking forward to what comes next, and we wish you and yours the very best! –Eric



  15. Anonymous on October 20, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    I really hated to read this. You were so nice to me when I randomly showed up one weekday afternoon in August not realizing you weren’t exactly a “traditional” brick and mortar. I couldn’t believe there was another game store in town that I didn’t know about and was looking forward to buying from you again. That Anachrony purchase is still my last game purchase but was planning on shopping you first as I got Christmas money. I truly hope you continue to have success in the MTG side hustle and find a “regular” job that you love.



    • Stone Valley on October 21, 2023 at 8:12 am

      We appreciate the message! We were glad to have been able to help so many find joy in board games, especially how seemingly more difficult things tend to trend every year. It’s a great escape. Hopefully you can find a game or two in our upcoming sales!



  16. Anonymous on October 20, 2023 at 9:50 pm

    Man, really going to miss ya’ll Eric. God bless!



    • Stone Valley on October 21, 2023 at 8:08 am

      Appreciate it! I’ll tell you…we’re going to miss it too! –Eric



  17. Anonymous on October 21, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    This is such sad news, but I’m glad you guys are feeling upbeat and ready for the next season. There is something deeply gratifying about finding a store where you’re glad to get the weekly emails. I always fished through my Promotions folder to pick out the Stone Valley updates squeezed in the crush of impersonal promotional material. We live out of town but enjoyed hearing about the store and buying our games and gifts from you all. Thanks for all of the hard work and the kind words. All the best moving forward!



    • Stone Valley on October 22, 2023 at 11:27 am

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the weekly newsletters! For a long time I thought I was just ‘writing to myself’, but no – people were reading 😀 We are looking forward to the next, but will miss what we had. Take care! –Eric



  18. Anonymous on October 21, 2023 at 10:21 pm

    I will miss your great service and friendly attitude. Take pride in the fact that you are responsible for my Arkham LCG and Marvel Champions addictions. 😉 Best of luck in your future endeavors. It has been a lot of fun doing business with you.



    • Stone Valley on October 22, 2023 at 11:28 am

      Two of our favorites too – we’re so glad you caught the bug! Thanks for the note, and we enjoyed it too – let me tell you! –Eric



  19. Eric Byrom on October 23, 2023 at 6:50 pm

    I was sad to see you are transitioning because you have really done an amazing job with customer service and the newsletters. Wish you the best in the new endeavors my fellow ‘Eric’.



    • Stone Valley on October 24, 2023 at 6:18 pm

      Thanks so much! Power to the ‘Eric’s’!!! –Eric



  20. Anonymous on October 25, 2023 at 10:51 pm

    Hi, like many others I’ve bought games from your store and treasured the games and the experience it provided. You went above and beyond with customer service. Sad to hear about the transition, but I hope you keep bringing more people into the hobby one way or the other.
    -Jason



    • Stone Valley on October 26, 2023 at 12:47 pm

      Thanks for the kind words! We’ll continue to do what we can, that’s for sure. –Eric