You know, board games are a wonderful way to get folks around a table, thinking, laughing...just being together. When things seem to be going crazy out there, that togetherness means everything. Here at Stone Valley Games, we've put another busy week behind us. New games and restocks hit the shelves, and a few preorders have been added as well. Check out our March Board Game Giveaway happening right now, and there's other news too!
Hello there, and 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 discuss both local and world-wide gaming news of interest that popped up last week. It also provides our customers, 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 our restocks, new items, and preorders added to the store last week. Anyway, enough of an intro, let's get to the news!
BOARD GAME GIVEAWAY
It's time again! Our March board game giveaway is live! CLICK HERE to go to the sign in page and find out more about it!
We are teaming up with Meeple, Myself and I for the March board game giveaway. What does that mean for you? Well, instead of one game, we're giving away two! How's that for quickly doubling your chance to win?!
What title is it? Well, it's none other than Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition! Highly playable and quickly climbing the Board Game Geek rankings, Ares Expedition is the more approachable Terraforming Mars experience. Being card-based, it keeps a high level of strategy but lowers the complexity quite a bit - and it's a solo friendly game too!
We're drawing the winners on 12 March, and we wish you all the best of luck!
We've modified the webstore again, fairly significantly this time. You might not have even noticed, but we've removed the tags from all of our products.
The tags allowed us to categorize all of the games by their game mechanics. So, a game could have several tags, like Variable Player Powers, Solo / Solitaire Game, etc. Then, by selecting a tag, the site would take you to a page with all of the games with that tag in one place.
It had been running well for years, but now that we're close to 2,000 products things are just not working the same. After doing a bit of research we discovered that each of those tags literally represented a web page that now only couldn't we modify or control, but that the web-bots would have to crawl through individually.
A quick count later and we had over 600 tags! So, eliminating all of the tags became my number one 'spare time' task last week. After finishing, I did notice that the backend was running more smoothly too. So, we've lost a bit of functionality, but all of those tags are still there - in the product description itself - so can still appear in a search. In the end, that will keep things so much cleaner and smooth!
BY POPULAR DEMAND
If you had seen our newsletter last week, you saw our first iteration of what we're calling the cute dragon. We received a few suggestions to make it even cuter... and it's not like we couldn't listen to constructive criticism, so here's an updated version:
Is that just the cutest thing ever?
There are several other things in the works too. For the webstore there are a few artistic touches to sprinkle around...like, have you seen our current 404 Page? Hey...hate to break it to you, but that's about the extent of my artistic abilities. It could probably use a refresh. By refresh I mean complete replacement 😀
However, now that we're starting to get our workflow and processes figured out, I want to tackle some of the physical products first. We need to spice up our envelopes, develop more engaging customer-facing letters, and I have a few other surprises too. I'm fairly sure I'll have things to show off here for some time to come.
As we're a physical store that also sells through our webstore, we keep our pricing very competitive. When we first started the shop keeping up was fairly easy. However, over the years we started to fall behind due to all of the numerous price changes required to stay competitive. It was easy when we had a few hundred titles. Now we're encroaching on 2,000. Eventually we just stopped trying to keep up with the price gun and left physical stickers off of the products altogether.
So, our local customers know that our solution is to provide the price of a game upon request. Or they could check those prices in the webstore on their phone while in the physical store. After all, the webstore prices remain the most accurate.
However, that's just not right. Even if the sticker price is different, it really wouldn't be 'that' much different. So, we are once again putting that price gun to work and getting price stickers back on our games. It's like a song that never ends though, because even once we catch up, I anticipate keeping up will become difficult. We will have to remember to hang a sign that states the final price will be the one in the system and not on the label. In the end though, it's better for the customer to see the price on the product and not have to ask every time.
Additionally, with the new Point of Sale system, we have easier access to not only the products, pricing, and payment...but the potential for scanning barcodes too. I'd say it's way too early to see if that is an investment we want to make. To me, at least right now, the 'that looks like a lot of work' outweighs the 'that's cool!'
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!