Thoughtcast #16

New Store, Who Dis?

It's been a bit over a month since our big move. We've finally settled in (more or less) and hope you like the new space as much as we do! It's a bit cozier, but we can still comfortably seat 48 tournament players, and the increase in quality of life is definitely worth it (no more lugging cases of boosters up and down two flights of stairs!).

For those who haven't had a chance to visit the new store yet (or aren't able to), we've taken a few snaps for you.


Change to Shipped Orders

We all get super excited when new TCG Singles arrive. Sometimes we get so excited that we'll submit a cart and realise we've forgotten a staple or two. As a result, we do get the occasional request to combine orders together so all your cards can arrive at once.

As our humble little business has grown, the frequency of these requests has  increased to the point where keeping track of them has started affecting our logistics team's productivity.

... And that's not even counting the requests we get via e-mail!

Starting from 1 June 2022, we will no longer be taking customer requests to combine multiple orders together. Each shipped order must have its own shipping paid (though we reserve the right to combine these orders together at our discretion).

Writing business policy is a bit like writing comprehensive rules text; we have to find a solution that satisfies certain goals across the widest range of scenarios. We hope this change will encourage our customers to think before they submit their carts, speed up our order fulfilment, and avoid cumbersome scenarios where we have to refund multiple instances of shipping or ask for additional shipping to be paid where a request to combine orders has been missed.


Changes to MTG Pricing - Dominaria United and Beyond

On 20 April 2022, Wizards of the Coast announced an 11% price increase across the Magic: the Gathering product line which comes into effect in September 2022. 

The first Magic set to be affected by the price increase will be Dominaria United, slated for release at the beginning of September.

Starting with Dominaria United, you can roughly expect a 10% price increase in all MTG products going forward. At this stage, we have no plans to raise prices on existing Magic stock; though prices for existing sets may increase once current stock runs dry and we restock.

You can read about the price increase in more detail by clicking here


Mailbag #1

Do you guys sell Wargaming stuff (Warhammer, Bolt Action, etc.)?

We know trading cards and trading cards are what we do best, so we're going to stay in our lane on this one and say 'No' to wargaming products for the foreseeable future. There is another store on the coast that can sort you out though; Kapiti Hobbies, nestled in the corner of the Paraparaumu Beach Pharmacy.

What we do have is a range of Scale75 Acrylic Paints to go with our Dungeons & Dragons Figurines.

We're also where the Kapiti Wargames Club currently calls home; we'd definitely recommend giving them a buzz if you're keen on getting some games in.


Do you guys sell posters?

Unfortunately the fantastic promotional posters you see on our back wall are not for sale; Hasbro sends us a fantastic 18"x24" print with every new set release. We've been holding onto them since we opened concurrently with the release of Throne of Eldraine. We think it illustrates the history of our store in a way that the fantastic artists who work on Magic know how :)

If you'd like to buy some prints that directly support the artists, we highly recommend you check out the Original Magic Art Store for high quality, authentic prints.


Do you sell TCGs other than Magic: the Gathering and Flesh & Blood?

Short Answer: Not for the foreseeable future.

Long Answer: Wizards of the Coast (MTG) and Legend Story Studios (FAB) have policies in place that give certain advantages to stores which opt into their organised play initiatives (such as WotC's Wizards Play Network), or choose only to supply stockists with a physical store front (in the case of LSS).

Because Calico Keep is a physical store that has to pay its staff, overheads, GST, and other taxes, we need to sell stock with a decent margin in order to operate financially sustainably, which Wizards of the Coast and Legend Story Studios allows us to do.

The makers of other cards games (Digimon, Dragon Ball Super, Pokémon, Final Fantasy TCG, to name a few) don't have policies in place that favor brick-and-mortar game stores like ours. This allows online-only stores operating out of someone's garage to sell at razor-thin margins due to their low operating costs. This isn't even taking parallel importing into account, which is a whole other can of worms.

Because we cannot compete with these online-only stores in a way that is sustainable for our business, we have made the conscious decision not to do so. There needs to be a balance between buying at the cheapest prices and paying more to support the local spaces provided by your local game stores to grow your gaming community. Vote with your wallets for the kind of businesses you want to see more of.

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That's it for this edition. If you have a question you'd like answered, feel free to leave it in the comments below, and we might get to it next time :)

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