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Online Retailers and Distributors

Tell the world your Dropfleet related trials and tribulations!
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Lordprinceps

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Online Retailers and Distributors

PostTue May 09, 2017 9:43 pm

I'm sure this has been noticed and discussed before, but it's slightly worrying that online retailers for Dropfleet have been out of stock for a good long while on certain products.

For the two larger US/NA online stores, The War Store and Miniature Market, I've noticed that the battleships, starter fleets, and corvettes have been out of stock for quite a while (with the exception of the Scourge, interestingly enough).

Additionally, the command cards on The War Store are still listed as preorder, despite being released over a week ago.
Does anyone know if there are any current issues with US distribution?
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W0lfBane

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Re: Online Retailers and Distributors

PostWed May 10, 2017 3:10 am

So I'm pretty sure the war store "lies" about what they have in stock.
They said they had no battleships in stock so i put them on wait list order. A month passes they are still out of stock. I see amazon has them. I call the war store and cancel my order and order them on amazon. They arrive with a pamphlet in a couple of days. The pamphlet was from the war store thanking me for purchasing from them through amazon and that next time i should try using their website directly. I was quite miffed.
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Nobody

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Re: Online Retailers and Distributors

PostWed May 10, 2017 3:12 am

I'm pretty sure War Store is tied to E-figs, who has always been bad about getting stock in for Hawk stuff, they just got worse after the Kickstarter.

My theory is that either:

A). Distributors still think Hawk is embargoing restocks (like during Wave 1)
B). Distributors have decided it's not worth their while to carry a lot of stock on it (perhaps due to reduced orders during the Kickstarter.

Can't prove either one though as I doubt have any links to distributors. I may consider reaching out to Miniature Market to see if they can give any more info on restock issues (if somebody else hasn't already done do).
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Nobody

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Re: Online Retailers and Distributors

PostWed May 10, 2017 3:16 am

W0lfBane wrote:So I'm pretty sure the war store "lies" about what they have in stock.
They said they had no battleships in stock so i put them on wait list order. A month passes they are still out of stock. I see amazon has them. I call the war store and cancel my order and order them on amazon. They arrive with a pamphlet in a couple of days. The pamphlet was from the war store thanking me for purchasing from them through amazon and that next time i should try using their website directly. I was quite miffed.


I know a bit about this: Warstore's Amazon store is (or at least was) run separately from their main website stock. I had called them when I was ordering a blister of Archangels from their Amazon storefront because I had a question about availability (their own webpage said they were out of stock), and they were very open in telling me that their stock is separate.
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wdarkk

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Re: Online Retailers and Distributors

PostWed May 10, 2017 3:56 am

Miniature Market restocked pretty well until sometime this spring where it got hit by the same thing.
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W0lfBane

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Re: Online Retailers and Distributors

PostWed May 10, 2017 2:59 pm

Nobody wrote:
W0lfBane wrote:So I'm pretty sure the war store "lies" about what they have in stock.
They said they had no battleships in stock so i put them on wait list order. A month passes they are still out of stock. I see amazon has them. I call the war store and cancel my order and order them on amazon. They arrive with a pamphlet in a couple of days. The pamphlet was from the war store thanking me for purchasing from them through amazon and that next time i should try using their website directly. I was quite miffed.


I know a bit about this: Warstore's Amazon store is (or at least was) run separately from their main website stock. I had called them when I was ordering a blister of Archangels from their Amazon storefront because I had a question about availability (their own webpage said they were out of stock), and they were very open in telling me that their stock is separate.



Ahhh. That's a bit obtuse but reasonable. I'm still mad though
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Kelbesq

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Re: Online Retailers and Distributors

PostWed May 10, 2017 8:02 pm

I've seen several sites have ebay stores with different stock. Something will be out of stock on their website, but they will have an ebay posting up. The prices aren't really different (they are almost always But It Now), so I'm guessing it's just different arms of the same company.

I have noticed that when I ask my FLGS to special order something, their distributor inventories typically shadows most of the major online retailers mentioned here. They could be sourcing from the same middle man. Or it could just be the case that once one distributor is out of inventory, buyers just jump to the next until they are out as well.
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J.D. Welch

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Re: Online Retailers and Distributors

PostFri May 12, 2017 3:15 am

The distributors are the middlemen -- Hawk deals directly with them.

And your last point is very true, it's what a lot of brick-&-mortars do -- the good LGS's don't limit themselves to working with just one distributor, if they can help it (sometimes they can't), and there are now quite a few US distros who carry Hawk Wargames product.

I keep a light touch on the pulse of Hawk's stock levels in Birmingham, and as far as I inow, they've had no production problems, and have plenty of stock on hand to send out to whichever distributor feels like ordering it and getting a restock. It's really an old story, that the distros don't keep up with the LGS's demand, but Hawk has plenty of supply (obviously the period of the Kickstarter distributions doesn't count in this generalized scenario). It's still not 40K, or WarmaHordes, so the distros just don't want to put out that much capital to stock up on a game they don't know for certain is going to sell well. They really don't keep up with what's going on in the various gaming communities, they just have their limited sales records to go by, and they're gunshy about getting stuck with a bunch of inventory that nobody ends up buying -- even though we're definitely buying it! It's a constant struggle for Hawk, and the LGS's.

The online retailers have their own set of issues, but bottom line for me is, they don't supply floor space and gaming tables for me to go to and throw down on, so I tend to not buy from them. I know not everyone has a FLGS that they can go to, or rely on to get the product they want, but when you do, it's always a good idea to show them some sales love, IMO...
I love my job (well, I love having a job), but a bad day of gaming beats a good day of work every time!

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Kelbesq

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Re: Online Retailers and Distributors

PostFri May 12, 2017 2:36 pm

I think my FLGS has a struck a great compromise. They have fairly limited shelf space, but offer a fairly good discount on anything they don't have in stock but can order. Half the store is dedicated to game tables and on top of it they have beer on tap. With the discount, I'm not really saving much by ordering online, especially if I don't order enough to make shipping negligible. I am more than happy to game there, have a beverage, and order anything through them that I can. It's a great balance for me, and I know it relieves the shelf space and inventory pressures for them.

All of that said, there have been some hickups. They have had corvettes on pre-order for months. I found an online vendor with them in stock, I canceled my order order at my FLGS, and they were at my doorstep in 3 days. I wanted another UCM cruiser box, and my FLGS told me that it might be awhile (but the frigate box was in stock in the warehouses).
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J.D. Welch

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Re: Online Retailers and Distributors

PostSat May 13, 2017 8:26 am

I asked Hawk Louis (Dave's partner, the business side of the Hawk management team) about this last night, and his answer was, "When the distributors order stuff, we ship it out to them." In other words, Hawk is not the bottleneck, they have plenty of stock on hand; the problem is, and always has been, the distributors.

It's just going to take time, and proven sales, to get the distros to order and carry enough stock to meet our demand.

Sounds like you have an awesome FLGS there, Kelbesq. More power to ya. I've been blessed to have decent game stores around me, even tho they can come and go quite quickly (I'm on my seventh one in less than twelve years here in the East Valley of Phoenix), but I know a lot of folks aren't so lucky, even in good sized areas. LA/Orange County, CA, for example, just doesn't seem to have nearly the right density of stores (and consequently players) for a metro area of its vastness...
I love my job (well, I love having a job), but a bad day of gaming beats a good day of work every time!

http://www.theroadtovalhalla.blogspot.com

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