10 days have passed since my big FAKE announcement that I am going to close down the shop. Since then I have had warm replies in various forms ranging from “thank god it was a joke” to “you’re a dick. but at least the store isn’t closing”. Some of you were genuinely worried, because all that I wrote actually made sense. The financial problems and all that. It’s true. That is how it really is. I make much less compared to the 9-5 dude who gets his 2000€ at the end of the month. I only start caring about how much I make when I see that I don’t get payed anything. If it’s something, a few hundred euros so I can, you know…eat, I am ok with it, since I realize that I started with this from scratch and it takes time to build up.
But I have been open for 6 months. Can you believe that? Half a year already. How far has my store gotten? I have improved the inventory a lot! Compared to when I opened, I am stocked quite well. Displays of MtG and YGO cards are waiting to be purchased, a bunch of board games are also screaming to get opened and be played over and over again. I have enough Warhamer products for people who want to get started and not only. The events have multiplied considerably. Ingolstadt had its first ever MtG PPTQ (Prelimanry Pro Tour Qualifier)! I think I am doing a good job considering I just started out. Not to speak ill of previous shops, but I really pride myself with the level of professionalism I offer compared to what was going on here before Arena.
“Oh look. He’s complaining cause he isn’t making enough money. Corporate pig! He wants to get rich of our backs! Where are the pitchforks and torches?!”.
That’s how I feel every time I raise the “not making enough money” subject. It’s a tricky spot to be in. I want to keep the community happy. But does the community keep me happy? I recently got an email from the Gratisrollenspieltag (GRT) organizers. They asked for 10€ from each participant who got their products because they worked one full day to pack everything and ship it everywhere in Germany. I already sent them the money a month ago. Over 40 people didn’t pay though. Those GRT dudes worked hard to provide people with the books they needed to have fun. But few people decided to pay them back. He wrote something like: “Do you think 400€ means nothing to us? We do this because we want to, but that doesn’t mean we do it for free”. I feel like those guys. Just because my passion is intertwined with my work shouldn’t mean I am happy with making nothing. Ask an artist to paint something for free for you just because he likes painting…
Should I be the same as other stores and ask you to leave if you don’t pay? Should I go with “those tables are only meant for paying customers”? I read that about stores from Germany. They simply want to make profit. I also want to make money from my job. But I don’t want to do it that way. Everything can easily be done in a proper manner. In the previous article I said something about people helping out with shares. Just sharing stuff from my shop and telling people about the Arena, would help me quite a lot. I understand that people don’t have money, but I also don’t understand when you come to my shop and you don’t buy anything and you stay for 4-5 hours. Is 2€ for a Spezi too much? Or 1€ for a Snickers? Try going into any bar and not pay for anything to drink for 4-5 hours. I try to see the best in people and not judge them. But being nice isn’t getting me and my store anywhere.
Then there’s the lack of people for every FNM that I have organized. I have had FNMs for the past 3-4 months. There are only 2-3 people interested. How could that be? What is it that is so bad about FNM? Is it because it’s 5€ with one booster in the prize pool? But wait…I can’t make it more expensive because you feel like I am cheating you out of 1€? What about the chairs some people broke by sitting on them for ages? How do I pay for those? From the increasingly fewer money I get each month? I don’t want to continue with how things are…Maybe people realize this. Maybe they don’t. But if you don’t pause for a second to think, what was a fake announcement could as easily become real. One day you come into my store and the next, the door won’t open and there won’t be the Arena sign above it anymore. Just think about it. Take as long as you need.
But as always, see you in the Arena 🙂