We have finally turned on our Magic the Gathering sales channel so local customers can pick up their cards from us just as easily as those we ship to. We don't have all our singles in there yet, but we do have over 40,000 now...so a good start. Around the shop we also had a great influx of new games and such you might want to check out, and a few other tidbits to discuss too. Jump on in!
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!
IN WITH THE NEW
A few weeks ago I wrote about the end of an era when our original Magic the Gathering sales channel we used to sell our singles, Deckbox, closed their sales page. I must have felt something in force, as we had already started moving our MTG products to TCGPlayer months before. So, no real issue for us.
We've been doing well since we've been selling on TCGPlayer. No surprise though as it has a lot more customers than Deckbox did. Well, we've gone ahead and taken the next logical step and launched our TCGPlayer Pro website and in-store kiosk now too. This makes it so much easier for our local customers to purchase and pick up their cards here.
We were going to wait until we had all the singles in the system (it's a considerable effort as the catalogs do not match between Deckbox and TCGPlayer; and we're validating card conditions too), but with the demand surging, and the fact we have ~45,000 cards in TCGPlayer now, we figured we had enough of a foothold to get things started. All of our sealed products are set up in the system this way too.
I've updated our webstore, and in the Magic the Gathering section are instructions regarding the new website. Once that new link is clicked, customers will see a screen very similar to the one below:
Once on the site, one just needs to hit the 'Shop Now' button and can browse or use the search to find what they're looking for. They can fill their cart, select pay later, add their name & email and once submitted we'll receive the notification to pull the cards. Then, we click a button once we've pulled the cards, they get alerted and then they just swing by, grab their cards and pay. Easy!
Eventually we'll be able to let local folks pay up front before they even get to the store, but TCGPlayer is still working out the tax for us. In any case, once they have the tax piece working it'll be a seamless transition with both options; pay first or pay when picking up.
The only 'weird' thing for us is we'll have to keep a second screen on our Point-of-Sale system as the two systems don't automatically synch, but it's a non-issue. It's literally just two tabs instead of one... even I can handle that. We're excited with this new capability, and we have already had some great response from our local customers.
The United States Postal Service, or USPS, had recently transitioned some of their mail to Ground Advantage. I had mentioned it a few weeks ago but based on a few questions we've received since then just wanted to clarify what was going on with this new option.
Previously, the inexpensive options for light packages were First Class and heavier packages fell under USPS Ground. Now with Ground Advantage, the USPS basically combined the two - so it's the new inexpensive shipping method for packages from 1 ounce to 70 pounds.
Priority Mail is still a viable option, though it costs more. What does that additional cost get you? Both speed through the system and, in our opinion, better package handling. While we're obviously not USPS representatives, we do push a ton of packages through them. I can easily say the longer a package stays in the system, the greater chance something bad can happen to that package. That's why, even with our 'free shipping' option, we generally will not ship Ground Advantage and will opt to pay more for UPS or Priority Mail. Faster and safer.
However, the customer is always right. So, if a customer chooses Ground Advantage, we'll make sure to ship it that way. I just wanted to give everyone a heads up what these new shipping options meant.
OUT OF OFFICE
Looks like we'll be hitting the road for a bit in September. It's mostly business travel, but we're hoping for a spot or two of fun as well. Our last trip was in March, but that was all work. In any case, we'll have the webstore and storefront closed from 6 thru 17 September. We'll have the closure listed on all of our channels, and our website as well. We've also coordinated to have any preorders that are supposed to release on 8 or 15 September be sent out on time as well. We'll mention it a few more times before we hit the airport.
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!