The drawdown we announced a few months ago is now complete. It's...surreal to say the least. However, while we are significantly diminished, we're not gone yet! In this newsletter, we'll let you know how the drawdown went, and what we have planned for the future.
As you may know, we first announced our financial problems in the October 13th newsletter, which was released on a Friday. Good thing we're not superstitious or anything... In any case, the broad-brush idea was to liquidate everything we carried in the webstore over the course of three sales. Anything remaining was to be donated to the Madison County library system here in Huntsville. We planned to transition from brick & mortar to online, leaving the storefront behind. While some specific details in the plan changed a little throughout, the main points in that plan have come to pass. It's been exhausting, but we've now made it to the other side. Check out our final donation to the library in the photo below - it all fit in a single cart. Y'all did great supporting our sales! That second picture is where the donated items will go - the Teen Lounge at the main library branch.
We have also made significant changes to our website, keeping the bare minimum for security and use. We've modified our server to match the anticipated traffic, there isn't a Stones program anymore, and things like the search bar have been removed. Searching was important when we had ~4,000 titles in the webstore, but not so much when we have a single page of items. If you've seen the website lately, you've noticed how concise and streamlined it has become. I went ahead and update the 'My Account' page while I was tweaking too, making it a bit easier to see.
We've modified our always free shipping to AE/AA/AP to mirror what the regular Free Contiguous US shipping policy is - free at $100 or greater. In a strange shipping twist, we've finally added Canada as the sole international country we sell to. Better late than never?
We've rolled all of our operational changes through our Terms and Conditions page too - which, if you're ever having trouble sleeping, you should really check out 😀
It's true that I'm out there in a regular 9 to 5 now, thankful to have a wonderful job. Even so, now that the store is so much smaller, there is still plenty of time for Wendy and me to keep up with what's happening here. And what is that? Well, our collectible card games, especially Magic the Gathering, continue to do well. We sell all of that through TCGPlayer, and it's where our card sleeves, boxes and other card gaming supplies can be found too.
Our other focus is on the crowdfunded items from Kickstarter and Gamefound that have yet to arrive. It's the main reason I've kept the Wishlist alive. That way, if there's a title you're interested in, you can add it to your Wishlist and in the settings have the system send you an email when we add quantity. You'll be among the first to know!
Talking about crowdfunded games, we should have a small surge right at the beginning of the year! We have shipping confirmations for three board games: Atlantis Rising, Glory: A Game of Knights, Hunted: Wode Ridge, and several roleplaying games: Stealing Stories from the Devil (a zero-prep roleplaying game of saving the universe by bending reality as you pull off the perfect heist), Devil's Dandy Dogs (a zero-prep roleplaying game about magic, mystery, teamwork and the desires that drive us), and three or four adventures for the Old School Essentials roleplaying system. Starting the year out with a bang!
I've kept the membership live and newsletter active too. It's the best way I can keep everyone informed on what's happening here. The newsletter will not be released on a set schedule. Instead, I plan on sending one out upon game arrivals or significant store events. Heck, you might see one as early as next week with this surge of games I just mentioned. Other than that, we're going to do our best to keep your inbox as clean as possible.
Here we are at the end of 2023, finishing out the year in a completely different fashion than what I imagined at the beginning of the year. Our medium-sized game store has become something much, much smaller. Based on my experience with 2023, I really cannot even begin to guess how 2024 will go, so we'll just have to wait and see. You know though, if we can actually turn a profit in 2024, we might just keep this shadow of our former selves going. In any case, I just wanted to assure you that, though so much has changed, we're still the same people with the passion for what we do that we've always been. Thank you for all the kind words and support throughout the weeks, months and years, and we look forward to whatever the future might bring.
Happy New Year!!