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Old October 24th, 2019, 11:55 AM
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Re: SOV/C3V Feedback Thread

Great question @Dad_Scaper . I started thinking about some ideas last night and came up with some preliminary thoughts. This can hopefully get the conversation started.

When thinking of some possible solutions, my goal was to solve the following: 1) provide a convenient shopping experience for the C3V fan, 2) remove the barrier of entry for new C3V players, and 3) provide a cost effective solution that both supports the efforts of the seller while providing a great price to the customer.

Here are some basic avenues to explore:

The big 800-pound gorilla in the second-hand industry and a retail avenue that should always be considered.
Pros: Great retail presence and your customer base is already present and actively buying Heroscape merchandise. The overhead is taken care of for you and all you have to manage is the inventory and shipping.

Cons: Fees, fees, fees! You’ll have to pay 10% of each sale to eBay and 3% of each sale to PayPal. This is why Heroscape prices, and every other collectible for that matter, continue to rise because if you purchase something for $20 and wanted to resale it and break even, you will probably need to sell it for around $23-25 depending on how much you have to charge for shipping (don’t forget, eBay and PayPal include the price of shipping when calculating their fees).

Possible solution: To avoid the nickel and diming that comes with a retailer like eBay, I would recommend not selling individual figures on eBay and instead just sell entire waves. You could even do bonding sets as well for figures that bond well together (like our beloved C3V wolves).

It would work like this:

1.****** Put aside inventory for every figure you have planned to release for each wave.

2.****** Once the wave is complete, package all the figures and list it on eBay under the C3V name and Wave. (I would include 2 sets of each common in this package).

3.****** Provide double-sided cards for each figure on heavy card stock helping make the set look premium.

4.****** Work with our friend @kevindola to also provide the bases for each figure so they can be rebased.

5.****** Calculate your price based on cost, shipping, print materials and then add another 20% to cover fees and to generate a fair profit for your trouble.

6.****** I would start off by inventorying at least 5-10 full sets for each Wave.

7.****** This solution would work in conjunction of the other solutions I have below.

This option also helps get some of the smaller figures that people would bypass into the hands of the C3V fanbase since they are buying an entire wave. Keep in mind that with this solution, you really are providing a premium service by providing all the figures in a one stop shop. Therefore, you should charge a fair price based on the amount of trouble you are saving someone.

Partnership with outside vendors (Miniature Market)

Perfect for keeping inventory off your books and partnering with vendors who already have a successful shop and who will be happy to move additional inventory that they already own for a little bit of effort.* This solution would require the C3V to become a legitimate brand so that each new release has the C3V name attached to it along with the name of the C3V figure. Here’s what you can try:

1.****** Work ahead of time with whichever major vendor you want to do business with (I would start with just one to get your feet wet before you branch out). Let them know that you are planning to release a new card soon and ask that they stock up a little on said figure.

2.****** When the figure is released, have the vendor create a new inventory item with the C3V figure name. For example: “C3V Brute Gruts.” If it is a squad, make sure they add each figure within the squad to the entry.

3.****** This will truly improve the C3V customer buying experience because instead of having to track down 4 individual figures for a squad that you hope you can buy from the same store to save on shipping, now the work is done for you and you can simply add one item to your basket and call it a day. This is a great selling point to the shop who can move multiple figures in one purchase.

Pros: Helps provide more legitimacy to this custom project allowing more players to take note of it since the figures are actually true releases. It also will save a lot of effort in having to track down multiple figures per squad.

Cons: Working with a business partner will require you to keep to a release schedule which I know some people in the C3V team may not like. The reality is that if you are asking a store to keep a certain amount of figures in inventory, they will want you to commit to a release date. This issue may be alleviated should you pick a figure that they are having trouble moving. Then, whenever you release your card, they can just update their site to help increase sales.

The Disney Movie Club Method – C3V Figure Club

If you wanted to take production in house to remove fees and to avoid having excess inventory, you could take the Disney Move Club business model.* For those unfamiliar with the Disney Movie Club, basically you buy into the club by purchasing movies with a commitment to purchase 2-4 movies within 3 years. For C3V, I envision it working something like this:

1.****** Create a basic barrier of entry for someone to join the club. Some options are: 1)be in good standing with the community with an account x amount of years old or, 2)be an active content creator for Heroscape or, 3) be a site supporter (allowing newer members an avenue to join the club immediately).

2.****** Once they meet the basic entry, they have to purchase their first figure from you all with the understanding that they are committing to purchase 2-3 more figures from you within the next 2 years or so. This step is important because it shows a commitment to the program and will later help you plan your inventory. Once they meet their basic requirements, their commitment is met and they can leave the club in good standing if they wish.

3.****** A month or so before a new figure is released, provide a “sneak-peak” to your club members allowing them to pre-order their figure and commit to buy.

4.****** The remaining inventory is released to the general public for sale at the same great price.

5.****** Provide a membership perk by offering double-sided cards printed on heavy cardstock with their purchase.

This program would help you achieve the following:

1.****** Lower inventory risk. By knowing how many active club members you have, you can purchase that many figures ahead of time and purchase a few extra for the general population.

2.****** The barrier of entry helps protect you from non-committal buyers.*

3.****** Helps bring the community together with a membership program. As time goes on, you can also provide other incentives for joining the community such as behind the scenes access, special PAM access for club members, etc.

Pros: Inventory is controlled and costs are reduced. Helps generate more community involvement and commitment.

Cons: Slightly more overhead management since you will have to generate a system that can keep track of a member’s status if you don’t want to do it manually. The easiest way to do this is to create a new title for their name. Perhaps something like “C3V Club Member Bronze” with “bronze” representing how many figures they still have to purchase to transition to the final tag of “C3V Club Platinum” which is someone who has met their requirement. Each time they purchase a figure, someone can update their tag.

Setting up a standard C3V shop

The simplest solution from a paperwork standpoint but the most costly solution. I think we pretty much know most of the Pros and Cons already so I’ll skip this one.

Secondary ways to move inventory

Facebook Marketplace
: In case you have a figure that just didn’t catch the public’s attention, you can sell it at cost using Facebook Marketplace. I’ve really started to enjoy Facebook Marketplace because it feels safer than buying figures on a forum from strangers since there is more accountability on Facebook. You also avoid the pesky 10% eBay fee.

A note on pricing

One thing I would recommend is that you guys don’t shortchange yourself on pricing. I know that in the past the community has not looked too kindly to any price that wasn’t dirt cheap. However, now that everyone is aging and is either finishing up college or already in the workforce, you should feel comfortable charging a price that covers your costs, your time, and your effort. At the very least, you should break even which should include breaking even in the time you spent putting everything together. More healthy commerce in our community encourages other members to join and to share their talents with all of us benefiting the Heroscape community as a whole.

Just my two (or four) cents.
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