I want IPR in Europe!

edited July 2010 in Story Games
This past year, I've passed on three or four printed games because shipping to Europe is fricking expensive. I wanted to buy "Why We Came To Live Here", print+pdf for 20 bucks, but postage is 30 bucks, so I just bought the PDF... which really isn't the same thing, I think.

I wish there were an European online store selling these games. Or that IPR had a European warehouse. Or something.

Comments

  • Yep, same here (France), the shipping costs went through the roof (around the double of what I pay at Nobleknight), so I stopped ordering from IPR (now going through Nobleknight or Leisure games).
  • edited July 2010
    Hi Matthjis, take also a look at Sphaerenmeister

    I bought the preorder of the Dresden Files RPG from them, plus other games, and the guy that handles the customers (Roland Bahr) is super-helpful and efficient, pretty much always available on Skype chat, too, and speaks perfect english (oh and also the site can be set in english).

    Shipping is a flat 10 EUR for all Europe, too.

    They have a lot of stuff from IPR... obviously games will not always be in stock but it's better than spending 110% of the value of books on shipping.
    It's a pity, I know the authors get less money like this but damn...
  • Stopped ordering as well (to the Netherlands) when shipping starts to cost more then the games itself ....

    I ordered some games from Leisure Games (Uk based) as well. Have had only good experiences with them.
  • Heh.. I feel your pain.

    I'm in double trouble, as shipping from europe is just as bad as from america - when you live in iceland...
  • Posted By: renatoramHi Matthjis, take also a look atSphaerenmeister

    I bought the preorder of the Dresden Files RPG from them, plus other games, and the guy that handles the customers (Roland Bahr) is super-helpful and efficient, pretty much always available on Skype chat, too, and speaks perfect english (oh and also the site can be set in english).

    Shipping is a flat 10 EUR for all Europe, too.

    They have a lot of stuff from IPR... obviously games will not always be in stock but it's better than spending 110% of the value of books on shipping.
    It's a pity, I know the authors get less money like this but damn...
    Wow. Shipping is actually really cheap there, it seems - if I order How We Came To Live Here from them, the total is 166 NOK, instead of the 303 NOK I'd pay to IPR. I will definitely be checking out Sphaerenmeister.

    (It took me a little while to find out how to get the site in English - there are some tiny flags in the bottom right of the screen).
  • I've made only positive experiences with Sphaerenmeister as well.
    However, for all you non-German Europeans, have a look at IPR's retailer list here:
    http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/retailers.php
    There seems to be at least one store carrying IPR stuff in NO, SWE, DK, IT, NL, and in other places.
    (at least that's what the list says.)
  • I don't understand this. I charge $5 to ship anywhere and it works out fine for me. Since it doesn't for everyone, though, I think it would be pretty sweet if someone were to pick up Euro fulfilling (and, I suppose, Iceland). Eero is probably best positioned.

  • Brennan Taylor wanted an IPR in America... so he built one.

    Step up and make a European IPR!

    -Andy
  • You can sometimes get Indie titles from www.leisuregames.com, but not an awful lot compared to IPR alas. I too wish there was an IPR over here, if only because it would make it so much easier for people to send me review material for the column. Sadly I am a poor unemployed schmo so there's no way I can afford to start such a business, and I can't say I'm too confident there would be enough custom to support it.

    -Ash
  • I'll second the vote for Leisure Games in the UK. They've always had a good selection. They're also willing to order stuff specially.
  • edited July 2010
    Posted By: Joshua A.C. NewmanI don't understand this. I charge $5 to ship anywhere and it works out fine for me. Since it doesn't for everyone, though, I think it would be pretty sweet if someone were to pick up Euro fulfilling (and, I suppose, Iceland). Eero is probably best positioned.
    This has been under consideration for a while, I agree that I'm probably best positioned to do something about it in terms of expertise. Haven't had the time for it with all the more urgent projects, though. A basic challenge is that while we're talking of fulfillment here, the real interest is in retail options; it's a public secret that if any of you really wants European fulfillment and wants to smuggle some stock here somehow, I'll set you up via Vincent's system or some such at reasonable rates for fulfillment only. Asking me to create a merchant interface like IPR does is a whole different ballgame.

    The specific expenses associated with European fulfilment make me personally believe that it is probably more feasible at the moment for European access to small press American roleplaying games to happen via retail arrangements and direct sales over the Atlantic as opposed to American publishers paying for European fulfillment. We can talk costs, but I expect most publishers to not be interested in paying the high up-front expenses of shipping their stuff to Europe and then paying intra-European postage rates in fulfilment. People like Joshua will find that indeed, they can offer the same or similar levels of shipping cost by fulfilling directly from the US instead of having an European fulfillment service in his operation. I imagine that this is mainly why IPR hasn't been that interested in taking up the various suggestions about starting an European branch.

    Due to the limitations of direct sales financial structures my own current focus on the matter of European access to American small press roleplaying is more along the lines of translating my webstore into English than copying IPR. Expenses that are impossible in a fulfillment service are doable in retail due to the higher mark-ups, basically. We'll see if I get off my keister at some point and really do translate the webstore - it's a bit of work, as I have a bit higher standards for the store than just putting up a bunch of random games for sale. Would have to learn to program a real Paypal interface for the store transactions, too. I suppose introducing an English-language store would work well with the booth we're supposed to have this fall at Essen Spiel.

    EDIT: What didn't come through in the above is that unless you already know about it, you might not get why "translating my webstore" has something to do with this topic at all. The thing to know is, our Finnish webstore has probably the best Forgie game selection in the world (the sold-out section), easily rivalling IPR if you're not that hot on the more mainstream fare. For this reason my own strategy on this matter is mostly about making my already existing infrastructure available in English whenever I get around to it.
  • Posted By: DestriarchYou can sometimes get Indie titles from www.leisuregames.com, but not an awful lot compared to IPR
    I always thought LG had a pretty good selection. Certainly when Angus was there, and as far as I know they've continued it. LG is one of the biggest orderers from IPR. As someone mentioned, the return to the auhor/publisher is 44% rather than 70%, but at least it gets the books out there. (If you're local you may be able to sell direct to LG, but the rate's similar.)
  • LG have an excellent selection compared to most any other UK-based bricks-and-mortar store I've ever been to, and good compared to most online stores, but they don't order everything and they don't keep very much of it in stock at any one time for obvious reasons. Don't get me wrong, I think LG is a great store, but as a fulfilment house and sales venue specifically for Indie products, IPR has the edge. LG has to balance its Indie stock with its (generally) more profitable mainstream goods.

    -Ash
  • My advice, with Indie Games, it's to always check the author's homepage/blog/forum before ordering. Often, the postage will cost you a lot less than buying from a shop elsewhere (ordering Shock: from Joshua cost LESS in postage that having it shipped by a shop in my country!) and the author get more money. Win-Win
  • The irony is that Under the Bed costs more than Shock: to ship. The non-irony is that Shock:Human Contact will cost more than either. It's a challenge to figure out how this stuff works.

    Eero, translate that shit!

  • Posted By: Eero TuovinenFor this reason my own strategy on this matter is mostly about making my already existing infrastructure available in English whenever I get around to it.
    Indeed you should.

    Also, what Moreno said.
  • I'd like to see this, but the numbers might make it impossible. Retailers get a big, big margin which eats up the transatlantic shipping costs. Someone, somewhere has to pay shipping. We are trying to make it so that it's not the consumer. There are a number of approaches, for example, getting publishers to ship to the non-US location too or having IPR consolidate and ship the goods to Europe and then charge each publisher by weight, or just increase the overall percentage to compensate for this. You could, potentially have two store fronts with publishers opting in or out if they wished, and accepting a worse percentage for non-US orders. It would perhaps be better than the retail margin, but not necessarily. So, in principle, a good idea, but it depends on the numbers and the wishes of the publishers. In any case, the existing indie friendly retailers are doing a sterling job taking up the slack.
  • I regularly order of books from the US to Europe -- and the IPR shipping prices/options are really terrible in comparison to everything else. Only an unnamed print-on-demand service has comparably insane default shipping method, but even they have cheaper options available now.

    My favorite bookseller uses USPS flat rate envelopes and boxes for international mail, and I've always found those rates pretty reasonable.[*] Eg. Dictionary of Mu had $32.50 shipping fees from IPR, but would have easily fit into a $13.45 flat rate envelope.)

    [* They get extra bonus customer service points for letting folk know if a relatively cheap/small order needs a bigger box so that you can decide to order something more for the same shipping fee. No, they don't sell RPGs, unfortunately...]
  • edited August 2010
    I'm not IPR in Europe, but I'm selling copies of Apocalypse World online. The shipping is pretty cheap: $3 to the UK, $5 to Europe.

    I also have some other things from GenCon, which I'll put on the website shortly.
  • I am considering making my game available at a Print on Demand shop or two in Europe, to cut down on shipping and get it in the hands of fans. Any reason why this _couldn't_ work?
  • Posted By: DestriarchLG have an excellent selection compared to most any other UK-based bricks-and-mortar store I've ever been to, and good compared to most online stores, but they don't order everything and they don't keep very much of it in stock at any one time for obvious reasons. Don't get me wrong, I think LG is a great store, but as a fulfilment house and sales venue specifically for Indie products, IPR has the edge. LG has to balance its Indie stock with its (generally) more profitable mainstream goods.

    -Ash
    Huh, I had a hunch about this but Sean from Leisure Games confirmed it.

    Leisure Games actually have more choices of Indie Games than IPR. Leisure Games carry most of the stuff that's on IPR, as well as things from the unstore (like Dogs, Sorcerer, etc.), other independents (like My Life with Master and Kagematsu that are normally only direct) and small Indies from the UK and Europe that aren't on IPR (like, uh, your books, Ash!).

    I found their shipping rates pretty good, I'm sure they charged something like 10% as shipping (or they did when I last ordered). I recommend them highly. Angus may be gone but Sean Buckley really knows his indie stuff too. I had a good chat with him at UK Games Expo about How We Came To Live Here.
  • Oh, and I only have positive things to say about Roland Bahr in Germany!

    For the latest stuff from US GenCon I recommend Graham too.
  • I cannot say enough good things about Leisure Games, as a publisher. Sean is fantastic and really passionate about making sure LG can provide a huge variety of games at very reasonable prices. If I lived in Europe I would totally be buying from them all the time.
  • You can buy Graham from Leisure Games!

    *watches little universe collapse*


    Plush walmsleys ftw.
  • Posted By: AndyBrennan Taylor wanted an IPR in America...so he built one.

    Step up and make a European IPR!

    -Andy

    Im really interested about the possibilities of starting up a webstore that stocks indie games here in the Netherlands / Europe. Any pointers on where to start a journey like that ?
  • Talk to Piotr at Ludik Bazaar, he started on eBay about 5 years ago and now he's enormous. That said, with shipping it's expensive dealing in American games that are only available in small quantities.
  • edited March 2011
    Since we are going to have a new website soon I wanted to reiterate something that was pointed out earlier in this thread. Leisure Games offers all of the print titles available from IPR (which we restock every 1-2 months), many from the Unstore, and others that we seek out for ourselves. I don't think there is any other indie games stockist in the world that offers what we do? Postage within the UK is 10% of the order value (max £5/ free over £80), within the rest of Europe it is at 20%. Our website doesn't really do our indie credentials justice. The new website should fix this.

    So, although we may not have an IPR Europe, with regards to printed books we have something better. Leisure Games.

    Sadly we are unable to stock Plush Walmsleys. They failed to meet EU safety standards, and had to be destroyed in a brutal cull. It is rumoured that customs officials stole a few which may have escaped and are possibly roaming the wilds all full of vengeance and chutney. But that's just a rumour.

    Sean.
  • I did not know that. I am pleased. I feel I can look the people of Europe in the eye again without making excuses about why they can't get Microscope at a reasonable price.
  • I sell games in Europe too at Thieves of Time. I deliberately don't stock everything: everything I have is something I've played and would recommend.

    Often, I'll give something extra away with games I sell. For example, if you order Fiasco, I'll add some playsets into the envelope. One of them, at least, is one that's not generally available.

    Plush Buckleys coming soon.
  • There are even rumors that Graham will be carrying Microscope. Rumors, mind you.
  • Did someone say Microscope? Microscope by Ben Robbins? Microscope the 80 page 6"x9" perfect bound book? :) Hello Ben. Yes, looking forward to it, and we will be stocking it. As soon as it comes off of pre-order at IPR I will order some.

    Sometimes Graham also pops a few actual diamonds into the envelope. He put loads in with my copy of The World of Synnibarr.

    There was real interest in the possibility of a Plush Angus several years ago.
  • edited March 2011
    Fuck. I wondered what had happened to those diamonds.
  • Hey, what about us at The Rest of the World? So close to Europe, yet not, a part of Asia yet can't even benefit from those shipping options (when I order from Japan). Heh.

    But Leisure Games is an option. These days I usually do a combination of ordering direct from the producer or going on eBay.
    Or not buying.
  • Posted By: Thunder_GodCommentAuthorThunder_GodCommentTime4 minutes agowhisperquote# 35Hey, what about us at The Rest of the World? So close to Europe, yet not, a part of Asia yet can't even benefit from those shipping options (when I order from Japan). Heh.

    But Leisure Games is an option. These days I usually do a combination of ordering direct from the producer or going on eBay.
    Or not buying.
    Have you tried Yellow Submarine in Tokyo? I'm not sure about the kinds of things they stock, but I guess it's worth a try. There is a boardgame/cardgame collective in Japan to, Japon Brand.

    If you are ordering relatively lightweight packages (e.g. a handful of indie games) from us then we might be able to reduce the postage, so email us if you have something in mind.
  • Has any publisher tried (or considered and abandoned the idea) empowering someone in Europe to print copies of his game for him? A foreign distributor, so to speak.
  • edited March 2011
    I'm in Israel, thus my comment. We're part of Asia, yet we get "Rest of the world/Middle East" treatment. I order from Japan, not to Japan. Sorry for the confusion :) (Then again, I can order a pretty large box with SAL...)

    I will consider emailing you, cheers!
  • edited March 2011
    Posted By: Robert BohlHas any publisher tried (or considered and abandoned the idea) empowering someone in Europe to print copies of his game for him? A foreign distributor, so to speak.
    We've considered it (although only briefly). Based on our shipments to Graham in the UK, it seems like it's probably cheaper to print in the States and send it over in bulk. Either way, I think the real issue is about warehousing and distribution, which brings us back to "IPR in Europe" territory.
  • Posted By: Robert BohlHas any publisher tried (or considered and abandoned the idea) empowering someone in Europe to print copies of his game for him? A foreign distributor, so to speak.
    The Leisure Games exclusive version of Jason Blair's Little Fears Nightmare Edition, was printed in Milton Keynes in the UK.
  • Posted By: Sean BuckleyDid someone say Microscope? Microscope by Ben Robbins? Microscope the 80 page 6"x9" perfect bound book? :) Hello Ben. Yes, looking forward to it, and we will be stocking it. As soon as it comes off of pre-order at IPR I will order some.
    Excellent. The Microscope invasion of Europe is proceeding as planned...
Sign In or Register to comment.