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Retailer 101.

Good day to you, my name is Marcus King, and I am the proud owner of Mad Ox Games & Comics.  I have been the owner of a Games & Comics store for going on 32 years now.  I have also owned other businesses, such as Quick Lubes, a full line Hobby Store, and others.  My resume includes giving seminars at the Game Manufacturer’s Association (GAMA) Trade Show for more than a decade, doing presentations at the ACD Open House, and writing more than a hundred articles and columns for ICV2 and RPG NET.

This will be my new creative outlet source on MadOxComics.com – and here you will see weekly articles on owning a store, product reviews, and Q&A about how to start YOUR own business if you are so inclined.  

 

Getting Started In A New Store Today:

When I started my store in 1986, I did so with just $3000 and a dream.  And, in 4 years I made a fair amount of money, sold my business, and opened my next shop in a different state, much better funded.

Today, that may not be possible.  The business climate, and customers themselves, have evolved.  In 1986 in Anchorage, Alaska I had a captive audience.  My customers could pay my price, or literally drive to Seattle to price shop.  That is 3 days, one way.  Now, of course, the device you are reading this column on is a means to shop the world.  So, a retailer no longer has a captive audience no matter where they are located.  And, customers know that no matter WHAT you are selling them, it is available somewhere, cheaper.

What I used to offer was selection.  A wide variety of the gaming products that was available to me through distribution.  I sold everything at the suggested retail price.  But, that changed in 1994 when it started to become common to be able to buy things on the internet, from viable companies, not just individuals, but actual internet companies.  Of course, today that is extremely common.  In fact, so common that on many product lines that I carry, I sell nearly as much online as I do in my store.

So – while selling online takes business away from nearly every retail store, it also can add to any stores bottom line.  

LOCATION for your retail store is still very important, probably the most important factor – but it is not the only factor in a successful store, because while people need to find you, visit you, find your store attractive, welcoming and inviting: You can reach thousands of other customers every week with a good online presence.

In the coming weeks I will be writing about how to achieve the goals of selecting a location, building a gaming community, and how to build an internet presence.  Following which I will discuss the steps in selecting product, opening wholesale accounts and how to network in your community.

Hopefully, after about a year of writing these articles, we will have a clear pathway laid out on how to go from fanboy/girl to shop owner of a successful business.


I hope you enjoy my writing and find some use in these posts.

Marcus King
Owner
Mad Ox Games & Comics

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