Weekly Store Update: 17 February
We hope everyone had a chance to spend some time with their significant other for Valentine's Day last week, gaming or otherwise. Talking about things we love; it's been busy around here! We received some long-awaited Kickstarter games and have exciting news for our local shoppers too. Plus, plenty of restock and new items. Check it all out!
Welcome to our weekly newsletter! For our new readers I'm Eric, and Wendy and I run Stone Valley Games. This newsletter is our way to share both local and world-wide gaming news of interest that popped up last week. It also provides our subscribers, both local and remote, some information on the going's on around here so everyone feels like part of the action. At the bottom of this newsletter we show you the restocks, new items, and preorders added to the store last week. It's not too difficult to navigate, so let's get to it!
KICKSTARTERS HAVE LANDED
Three Kickstarters have just arrived, and we wanted to highlight them a bit in case you hadn't heard of them. After all, some of these were in the pipe for over two years. You can find all of these down in our New Items section below.
Votes for Women. We were first introduced to Fort Circle Games through their highly entertaining and fun The Shores of Tripoli board game several years ago. When they told us they were working on a game around the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, we were immediately intrigued. We initially thought it would be odd for the player working The Opposition (who wants to be the player working to keep women from voting...), but with all the different game types (co-op, competitive and solo) there's plenty of entertainment value here. We're always up for historically accurate games that are also a great play, and this is right in there.
Everrain. Again, off the back of an exceptional publisher (Grimlord Games in this case), up from the murky depths rises Everrain. We had originally worked with Grimlord Games and their fantastic Village Attacks game. We carried that title and the expansions until the shipping became just too high to cover the costs. That's because Grimlord is based in the UK, and ever since COVID, shipping has become both expensive and uncertain. However, thru their Kickstarter, it allows us to work with them again to get this game here in one fell swoop. Plus, the Kickstarter versions have all the gameplay additions you could possibly need. A miniatures-based exploration game with a nautical theme, this fits comfortably in a rarified place in board gaming today. Yes, the KS prices seem high, but I'm almost certain you won't find better anywhere else.
Rome & Roll. Okay, there's a funny story behind this one. We backed PCS Games' KS sometime in early 2021, and then forgot about it. We didn't even have it listed in our Crowdfunded titles. Then, unbeknownst to us, they lost our shipment. However, because we were so busy and they were so busy, they neglected to notify us that they lost it. Then, out of the blue a few weeks ago they sent us an email informing us that they found our KS in a warehouse and wondered if we still wanted it. I was on the fence, as the game had released so long ago. However, I ultimately told them to kick it out the door. That's because, especially for those who haven't played it yet, it's among the very first (and in my humble opinion, best) roll and write games considered on the heavier side. Compound that with the solo mode developed by phenomenal David Turczi, and the much cleaner play with the Gladiators expansion, it's a must play. Again, folks looking for a light roll and write wouldn't like this, but most strategy game enthusiasts would really enjoy this one. Plus, we're throwing in a free expansion with the Eternal City Pack...so, what's not to like!
Our shop is not in the city. We're actually out in the county, and even though our local gamers are dedicated, we're not in a location one would would call a convenient hop when running around town. So... we've devised a way to get to them.
I had been kicking around a few ideas on this for quite a long time, but finally landed one - white glove delivery. Obviously between Wendy and I there isn't enough of us to go around to be able to deliver ourselves, but there are drivers already on the hook who will help us out. Uber. That's right, we have partnered with Uber for local deliveries here in the greater Huntsville area. Specifically, our delivery range is anywhere within a 10-mile radius of our shop, as shown in the photo below.
What 'white glove' means is the customer will only interface with us. They never have to split their time between Stone Valley Games and Uber as we'll be that connection for them. From a customer's perspective they order from us, and the order is delivered.
Here's the overarching concept:
We will charge an $8.99 delivery fee, which is a bit under half of the actual delivery cost to us. Additionally, as an incentive, there will be free deliveries for orders greater than $100. Ultimately, these costs will be less than our current costs for shipping, so everything should easily fit within our current margins.
We don't plan on starting off with specific 'hourly' deliveries, but a customer selected delivery date instead. The delivery dates will match the store open dates (store is closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday). So, if someone ordered on a day the store is closed, it could be delivered the next day at the earliest. I need to run it like that for a while to see how the timing works between order and delivery. After some time, I can make adjustments as required.
Finally, on the technical side. If a customer is outside the 10-mile delivery radius, they won't be able to even see delivery option in their cart at all. That way we won't have any inadvertent deliveries that cannot be made. However, I'm stuck.
I have tried and failed three separate times this week to get that working on the webstore and get so close! I can get everything working except for the radius portion tying to the cart. Fun part, every time I 'fail' at that section, the entire delivery plugin fails.
Well, heck, third time's the charm. So, after that third fail, I've punted to those same developers who helped tweak the website over the last few weeks. I expect they will eventually have it all worked out, but they are also very, very slow. It could be the better part of a month for them to get it taken care of or maybe even longer. It's not that big of a deal though, I would rather it work properly and take longer than incorrectly by next week. After all, we've been running fine all this time without delivery. Anyway, once it's all set up and working, I'll let you know.
I mentioned this last week, but figured I repeat the story this week about how crazy the first half of March is going to be for us. First, from March 3 - 11 the storefront and webstore will be closed. We'll be on business travel, and from now on while we're away, we're going to start closing everything down to make our home/away transition easier.
Then, from March 12 - 15, which is during spring break for folks around here, we will be kicking off our Spring into Fun Sale. We'll most likely focus on our items that have been hanging on the shelves for a long time.
Also, just like our last big sale at the end of 2022, we're going to host a local giveaway to customers who order curbside pickup to keep the foot traffic down while we scramble to fulfill orders. That was monumentally successful last time, so we'll keep it going.
THE WRAP UP
Okay, enough news for this week! Below are the Restocks, New Items, and Preorders added to the shop last week. You can click on the item to learn more, and many of the products have review and gameplay videos so you can see the game in action. If you're visiting our page and you'd like to keep up with our giveaways, sales, new products, and articles like this one just create an account here. Once created you will be subscribed to our newsletter and become enrolled in our loyalty system, instantly earning 50 Stones that you can use on your very first order. A Stone? One Stone is equivalent to One Cent. That doesn't sound like much, but you earn 2 Stones for every dollar spent and 5 for each product review, so though it may seem small, those savings add up fast! Redeem your Stones upon checkout, and they can save you up to 10% off your cart total. Loyalty Matters!
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