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Prices Will Be Going Up

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16 May 2019 09:53 #297147 by Shellhead
"Toys, Board Games, Dice Included in Proposed Tariffs"

www.tabletopwire.com/toys-board-games-an...CTUVkwrY9p739LVLeAM4

Unless this trade war ends soon, we can look forward to games getting even more expensive. And some current Kickstarters may turn suddenly unprofitable for the publishers.
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16 May 2019 10:16 #297151 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Prices Will Be Going Up
This has been an interesting topic to watch reactions to. What I've learned is that folks in the states are very unfamiliar with tariffs.

The math on it could shake out a couple of ways, but based on similar tariffs elsewhere we can expect about a $2-5 increase in purchase costs until/if the tariff is resolved. If they inflate significantly beyond that I'd be very curious as to how publishers are handling their internal finances. Margins in board games are thin, but not typically that thin.
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16 May 2019 10:35 #297155 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Prices Will Be Going Up
It's wild how this could affect kickstarters/preorders. Now we get to see who priced trade barrier risk into their estimates. Preview: probably no one.
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16 May 2019 11:03 #297160 by disgustipater

Vysetron wrote: The math on it could shake out a couple of ways, but based on similar tariffs elsewhere we can expect about a $2-5 increase in purchase costs until/if the tariff is resolved.


Assuming it is just a small increase like that, what are the chances they never lower the prices back after the tariffs end? Or does it just depend on how much consumer backlash there is?
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16 May 2019 11:09 #297161 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Prices Will Be Going Up

disgustipater wrote:

Vysetron wrote: The math on it could shake out a couple of ways, but based on similar tariffs elsewhere we can expect about a $2-5 increase in purchase costs until/if the tariff is resolved.


Assuming it is just a small increase like that, what are the chances they never lower the prices back after the tariffs end? Or does it just depend on how much consumer backlash there is?


This is going to vary publisher to publisher, but I'm actually predicting a mix of the two. Publishers bump costs up higher than needed in order to make a bit of additional profit using the tariff as a justification. Customers complain. When the tariff goes away prices drop a bit to please said customers, but not back to where it originally was. Said publishers continue to make a few bucks more on every box from then on.

Of course, none of this really matters if almost every game ends up on sale a month after release.

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16 May 2019 11:12 #297163 by hotseatgames

Gary Sax wrote: It's wild how this could affect kickstarters/preorders. Now we get to see who priced trade barrier risk into their estimates. Preview: probably no one.


It's not hard to imagine a very unluckily timed Kickstarter completely blowing up in someone's face over this.
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16 May 2019 11:17 #297164 by WadeMonnig
Replied by WadeMonnig on topic Prices Will Be Going Up
Here's a radical idea. Maybe manufacture games somewhere that isn't basically slave labor? The high horse "I'm not buying games until the trade war is over" posts on Facebook already are making me sick.
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16 May 2019 11:19 #297165 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Prices Will Be Going Up
MMP not worried about this one, for example. They print in the US.
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16 May 2019 11:32 #297169 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Prices Will Be Going Up
If this ends in a large shift towards domestic manufacturing and not churning everything out of China it'll be a net good. If cards get 1mm thinner or minis are slightly less detailed, so be it. I'd rather people not be exploited for my amusement.
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16 May 2019 11:46 #297170 by hotseatgames
That's a nice thought, but probably not very realistic. Companies like money, and consumers like low prices. China's manufacturing environment is all set up.

Let's say some enterprising American wants to open a new board game manufacturing plant. This requires a great deal of investment, ramp-up time, etc. Things get rolling, some companies take a chance on it, maybe even get great results, albeit at a higher price, of course. You get some back on lower freight, but probably not a lot.

Then the tariffs end. Guess what happens then?
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16 May 2019 11:51 - 16 May 2019 11:52 #297172 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Prices Will Be Going Up
I'll just mention that the tariffs proposed are on China, not all non-US countries. It's more likely that production will move to Thailand than to Kentucky. There's already a fair amount of non-China publishing, so it's hard to pick winners and losers very easily. Prices could change 1%-20% (of printing cost, not MSRP) depending on who is tapped to fill the gap.
Last edit: 16 May 2019 11:52 by Sagrilarus.
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16 May 2019 11:57 #297173 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Prices Will Be Going Up
You're both probably right. There are a lot of variables to consider once this actually hits. It'll be interesting to see how publishers adapt.

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16 May 2019 14:57 #297178 by Msample
Replied by Msample on topic Prices Will Be Going Up

Gary Sax wrote: MMP not worried about this one, for example. They print in the US.


Other than GMT I am pretty sure everyone else in the wargame biz prints domestically.
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16 May 2019 17:28 #297186 by Michael Barnes
Next time you are at a con and are hob-nobbing with the celebrity game designers, ask them what kind of research and due diligence they have done to make sure that their games are being manufactured in humane, environmentally responsible and financially viable conditions. Just be careful, they might summon their fan clubs to shout you down.

I don’t really give a shit about how the tariffs are going to affect board games- why would I when people who make less money than I do and would never have the spare income to finance a hobby are going to get hit the hardest?

I’m also at the point where I couldn’t care less about just about every board game coming out any time soon. Endless streams of more-of-the-same. I can count the new games I am currently interested in taking a look at on one hand. So if they go up $2, who cares.

The truth of it is that once the tariffs go away, the prices will not adjust back down accordingly.

The fact that some in the industry are calling this “apocalyptic” is telling. The dependence on Chinese factories, driven by customer demand for massively overproduced games at the lowest possible price, could in fact hurt a lot of folks. Nobody wants that. But this is a “made your bed, now lie in it” situation. Ideally, this should drive makers to look at domestic options and reducing productions down to reasonable, more modest levels. But it probably won’t because Joe Gamer has gotten spoiled and now demands that games be on the quality level of Scythe and no lower.

Chinese manufacturing is unavoidable, I get it. I buy made in China stuff, we all do. But this is an area where positive change could be made, driven by these tariffs,and won’t be because white boys gotta have their fun.

I’m willing to pay more for games made in better political conditions and by manufacturers that are environmentally responsible and treat people fairly.
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16 May 2019 20:10 #297191 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Prices Will Be Going Up

Michael Barnes wrote: The fact that some in the industry are calling this “apocalyptic” is telling. The dependence on Chinese factories, driven by customer demand for massively overproduced games at the lowest possible price, could in fact hurt a lot of folks. Nobody wants that. But this is a “made your bed, now lie in it” situation. Ideally, this should drive makers to look at domestic options and reducing productions down to reasonable, more modest levels. But it probably won’t because Joe Gamer has gotten spoiled and now demands that games be on the quality level of Scythe and no lower.


If Joe Gamer can't get what they want without exploitative practices and ruining the environment, then I hope everyone who caters to Joe Gamer fails. No sympathy.

Board games are still gonna exist after this. They never won't exist. Anyone pushing the gamepocalypse narrative is someone you should be seriously suspicious of going forward. That goes doubly for the people who's first reaction to all of this is to complain about having to pay more for their bloody luxuries.
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