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Thread: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

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    Junior Member SUUUPPPAAA is on a distinguished road SUUUPPPAAA's Avatar
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    Default Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    Hello everyone! I'm new here and I'm going to open an Anime & Gaming store (As per the thread title). I was originally planning on opening a comic book store BUT this idea seems more promising to me and the people around me... and more fun actually haha. SO! Onto the details:

    - Two owners. My friend and I. He has a Bachelors in Science and I have an Associates in Arts. (Education covered.... from what the loaners told me.)

    - Our start-up cost are about 95,000. Inventory, retail space, signage, advertising covered.

    - It will be in New Jersey in the U.S. Very few stores of the like around and in a high income area. And around the sites of some conventions. So It's a good spot, I hope.

    Now here's where your opinions come in!

    - We will sell Anime, Manga (ofcourse), plushes, wall scrolls, necklaces, keychains, shirts, figures/statues etc.

    - Board games (D&D, warhammer etc.) and card games (Yugioh, Magic, Vangard etc.) As well as space to casual play with weekly tournaments/events.

    - Now for a special idea. It will be library of sorts. Everything in this library section will be free to read and watch in store(it will be filled with anime and manga...duh) BUT they will be available for take home rent on either a subscription or non-subscription basis. I have prices in mind but, if I may ask, what prices do you think would be fair/good for both the non-subscription and subscription deals? i.e. Subscription is monthly of course.

    -There will be a mini-arcade of sorts as I plan on buying 4 cabinets as well as a quarter machine. A dance-dance, a fighter, a shooter and a multi-cade with 50+ classics on it.

    -I plan on having events such as cosplay contests, movie/anime showings, local art showings etc. One special one I came up with is what I call a "Mini-Con." The weekend of a convention (certain ones) there will be a set of unique deals, new items and special events etc.

    SO! What I'm asking is if you lived near enough, would you frequent this store? Does it sound appealing? Interesting? Terrible? I want honest opinions. Also, I'm completely serious, just to let people know. Like 40+ page business plan serious. I never want to make one again -____- haha.

    Well thank you very much for reading and I hope to hear some good opinions!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    You will need a decent size store to fit and do all that with it. Plus what are you planning to do about advertisement and competitive pricing? It's hard to beat other stores and online prices which people will fall back on.

    As for the hire pricing, no idea. xD
    Maybe just a bit cheaper than DVD's or something and make them chuck down a deposit or something which they get back upon return so they don't steal them and never return?


    I've always had a secret desire to do something like this also, just the money, intellect and drive needed makes it hard. :P

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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Zainox View Post
    You will need a decent size store to fit and do all that with it. Plus what are you planning to do about advertisement and competitive pricing? It's hard to beat other stores and online prices which people will fall back on.

    As for the hire pricing, no idea. xD
    Maybe just a bit cheaper than DVD's or something and make them chuck down a deposit or something which they get back upon return so they don't steal them and never return?


    I've always had a secret desire to do something like this also, just the money, intellect and drive needed makes it hard. :P
    The only real competition is the online competition. Physical competition is limited. Some store here and there but nothing dangerously close.

    It's going to be a mandatory credit card on file type thing. Just in case of what you mentioned... maybe I'll think of something else xD.

    The size I'm looking at/for is between 2700 and 3200 sqft. It's quite large, I just need to haggle it reasonably so I won't be starved with paying rent.

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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    Where at in NJ? I know Cherry Hill has a really big convention scene, I have a lot of friends in my hobby that do a lot of conventions there. Make sure the demographic for anime lovers is decent there, because some areas it's really not that popular at all. As far as the subscription thing goes, I don't know if that'll really go over that well. Why do that when it's so easy to pirate or watch online for free? I think you should just offer the DVD's and Blu-Rays for sale at a decent price. We all know that new they're extremely expensive on Amazon and Ebay for these sets. If you could get a hold of a distributor and buy it at a discounted rate. Other than that, I know personally I'd probably be a regular at one. There used to be one here but it went out of business and it really sucked because it was an awesome little shop.

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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Яequiem View Post
    Where at in NJ? I know Cherry Hill has a really big convention scene, I have a lot of friends in my hobby that do a lot of conventions there. Make sure the demographic for anime lovers is decent there, because some areas it's really not that popular at all. As far as the subscription thing goes, I don't know if that'll really go over that well. Why do that when it's so easy to pirate or watch online for free? I think you should just offer the DVD's and Blu-Rays for sale at a decent price. We all know that new they're extremely expensive on Amazon and Ebay for these sets. If you could get a hold of a distributor and buy it at a discounted rate. Other than that, I know personally I'd probably be a regular at one. There used to be one here but it went out of business and it really sucked because it was an awesome little shop.
    We will be in Middlesex County, more specifically looking for space in Sayreville, NJ. I live in NYC and this seems to be a prime location. 800,000+ people. around 20% of which is of asian decent, which is a good thing haha.

    The subscription is an idea that I feel has some promise. It hasn't been done for Manga before (although it has been done for anime). I feel it's the most basic ideas that people look over as ones that will fail, given the contrary that they might actually succeed, if pulled off correctly. Dumber ideas have been successful haha. But the library items will also be available for sale at a discounted price (because they are open) so if they wish to buy them, then they can. Either way is fine be me xD.

    And I appreciate your sentiments of wanting to be a regular, it proves that this idea has promise given it's in the right area .

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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    I think you should really give the customer a really good reason to return... Maybe if you created a point system? For example you buy a pack of Magic cards... you get 100 points... if you save up 5000 points you can get a pack of Magic cards for free or exchange the points for a different item or something like that. I wouldn't know the exact number you would place on how much they would get and how much an item should cost in points wise.

    Or you could instead of giving out free items you could use the points for something more recreational. I dunno like errrrr... You get "x" points you get first dibs on the new "x" manga coming to the store you know what I mean your ideas with a point system could probably be more creative than mine haha. That way if you had a Magic The Gathering tournament you could give out a pack of cards as a reward and store points.

    Also there is an anime store close to me and they make the one mistake I think most stores do. They come up and only ask me "Anything you are looking for in particular?" I think the best anime store close to me is the best for one good reason. They actually talk to you about anime! Instead of coming up and asking what I need they just strike up a conversation about anime and I end up talking to them for a good 10-15 minutes then eventually buy something.

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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    Sounds like you plan on renting only. When I get stuff I prefer to buy. I don't know where your store is, but I won't be going there if I can't BUY my DVDs.
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    AF's Annoying Weeaboo Yoko Littner has a reputation beyond repute Yoko Littner has a reputation beyond repute Yoko Littner has a reputation beyond repute Yoko Littner has a reputation beyond repute Yoko Littner has a reputation beyond repute Yoko Littner has a reputation beyond repute Yoko Littner has a reputation beyond repute Yoko Littner has a reputation beyond repute Yoko Littner has a reputation beyond repute Yoko Littner has a reputation beyond repute Yoko Littner has a reputation beyond repute Yoko Littner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    I have a question. Why should I visit you instead of buying on Amazon or rightstuf? My intention is not to be rude, but rather prepare you for such a thing. You will need to do something big to have people coming it rather than buying off websites.

    So yeah. Let's say I'm about to buy Girls Und Panzer off Amazon, but notice your store from the corner of my eye. Do I have a reason to come in? Will the product be cheaper? Will it be a legit item and not a bootleg?
    Last edited by Yoko Littner; 04-17-2014 at 09:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    I am a retail manager, and I find the best way to compete with online is to give your customers the kind of service they CAN"T get online. I would gladly pay a bit more to shop in a store where I can interact with like-minded and super friendly staff, and see things in person before I purchase them. Your customer service needs to go above customers expectations. In my town there is a small store that sells anime DVD's, merch, manga etc. but I usually shop online instead because I don't feel they offer me any more in store. Also because most of their merch and figures is Naruto, One Piece, Bleach and Fairy Tail. Boring.

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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasanime View Post
    I am a retail manager, and I find the best way to compete with online is to give your customers the kind of service they CAN"T get online. I would gladly pay a bit more to shop in a store where I can interact with like-minded and super friendly staff, and see things in person before I purchase them. Your customer service needs to go above customers expectations. In my town there is a small store that sells anime DVD's, merch, manga etc. but I usually shop online instead because I don't feel they offer me any more in store. Also because most of their merch and figures is Naruto, One Piece, Bleach and Fairy Tail. Boring.
    I completely agree. If you plan on opening a shop you need to have a variety of different anime and not just focus on the mainstream anime. Focusing on only mainstream anime will be a big turn-off. At least for hardcore fans like myself.
    Last edited by Yoko Littner; 04-17-2014 at 09:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    @Dfwn20 - Of course! I don't think a retail store can survive without a points/rewards system. It's gotta be a staple nowadays haha. I'll give a sneak preview of my idea (Even though I don't think it's ready to show just yet.) The rewards system I have in mind is an EXP based system. Every $1 equates to one EXP point, the more they spend the more EXP they gain and to "Level Up" as a customer. With each level comes perks, prizes and a sort of sense of accomplishment. I feel that something like that would keep customers engaged, willing to spend that extra dollar without regret and, above all, would discourage them from going to another store after "Leveling" for a certain amount of time. That's just a prototype though, still working the kinks out xD.

    Also, boring conversations will never be had in my store. All "Yes or no" questions will be avoided (That's actually a big retail no-no).

    @animedude - All anime will be available to buy. ALL!!!! Haha. But one section, the "Library" section will have anime that is available for rent as well. If you were to buy that particular anime, it would be set at a discount because it has been previous "Used" and is opened. It would be poor business practice not to have every single item in-store for sale.

    @Yoko - One of my favorite red-heads. That might be the best question I've received thus far. The real question is would you really be buying things off amazon while walking around outside? xD. OK all jokes aside. I, as a human being, know for a fact that curiosity will usually get the better of us. It's my job to make the storefront as appealing as possible to best peak that curiosity. Large signage stating deals, events, an attractive logo, interesting items in the window, perhaps customers enjoying themselves; all of this prior to your entrance. I can;t give you a reason to buy from me if you don't even so much as stop in right? You then come through the door to a "Welcome, is there anything in particular you are looking for today? Perhaps a certain anime or manga series?" Note how to leave the question as un-open ended as possible. You tell me you're looking for Girls und Panzer and the amazon price is (for arguments sake) $10 not including shipping. I tell you that we have it in stock and walk you to it, on the way asking what your favorite series are ect. Our copy is $15 and you ask the question previously posed. I tell you that you can have the series without having to wait or paying the shipping costs AND if you sign up for a cost free membership you get 10% off your first purchase. Now you tell me, how would you react? Assume I've been nice, casual and as non creepy as possible (I'm not a creepy person I promise!) xD. Mind you I am also doing something I love so I would be enthusiastically helping you. I'm sure many would owning an anime & games store haha.

    @Jasanime - I don't plan to sell all mainstream but it will be fairly stocked as it is mainstream because it's popular and sells well, but it is no where near the key to success. I plan to have a varied stock with many different kinds of anime/manga and merchandise. Mainstream alone is boring and has no real mystery to it.

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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    I like your passion. Not many people who have told me they are opening up an anime store seemed as ready and pumped up as you. Firstly, allow me to thank you for keeping the idea of purchasing anime in a non downloadable sense alive. I worry eventually the download only fans will ruin us hardcore collector collection dreams.

    Conversation is good. I hate the stores with boring workers. Sure, they may be present in person, but are they really being as solid worker who is trying to please the people who walk in?

    I'm worried though. You'll have all anime? I for one find that pretty doubtful. How much anime do you intend to stock in your store? How much do you know about anime?

    Oh. I can use amazon on my handy dandy phone by the way!
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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoko Littner View Post
    I like your passion. Not many people who have told me they are opening up an anime store seemed as ready and pumped up as you. Firstly, allow me to thank you for keeping the idea of purchasing anime in a non downloadable sense alive. I worry eventually the download only fans will ruin us hardcore collector collection dreams.

    Conversation is good. I hate the stores with boring workers. Sure, they may be present in person, but are they really being as solid worker who is trying to please the people who walk in?

    I'm worried though. You'll have all anime? I for one find that pretty doubtful. How much anime do you intend to stock in your store? How much do you know about anime?

    Oh. I can use amazon on my handy dandy phone by the way!
    I appreciate the complements, they really mean a lot. People like you, who would at least give someone the time of day give me hope. When I do eventually hire (WAYYYYY down the line... have to be out of debt first xD.) they will have to have adequate knowledge of anime, people skills and the like. I hope that won't be too hard for people >.<.

    I may have mis-stated when I said ALL anime. That is downright impossible. What I meant to say is all type of anime, anime for everyone. The kids, teens, boys, girls, fans and those new to the medium. Something for all to (hopefully) enjoy. Manga as well and all sorts apparel associated with the two. Also, I am lucky to not be alone in the endeavor. I do know a lot about anime, yes. But a lot is never necessarily enough. We are two minds stacked with different and similar anime knowledge alike. I believe we cover a lot of bases together concerning knowledge.

    Given my current stock, out of $23,000 of inventory, about $4500 to $5500 is anime. Trust me, it's A LOT, more than I thought it would be actually. But that's just initial, I'll be able to accurately order anime based on customer needs when open, as well as stocking other items as well. Some Anime I can't get either unfortunately, some are just not available at marketable prices.

    For example: To make money off of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (I'm sure you're familiar :P) I would have to sell it for at lease $170 because I am buying it for about $85. While MANY other anime series I can sell for $20-30 because I can get them for $10 or even less. No one wants to casually buy TTGL, no matter how amazing it is (It's one of my favorites) just off a whim for that much. That's where the library comes in. Those series you can't get at a reasonable price any longer you can still watch for an extreme fraction of that price. It works in theory, I just need the implemented practice.

    And my apologies! I own a smart phone as well, I should know these things! How silly of me :P

  16. #14
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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    Just throwing this out there randomly. The people working behind the counter should totally cosplay. That would be awesome! ^_^
    Attractive ladies in cosplay behind a counter is pretty damn likely to draw in quite a few nerdy guys into the store. x3
    Last edited by Zainox; 04-18-2014 at 03:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    It seems like opening up such a store would be a daunting challenge.

    Online shopping is taking a heavy toll on most brick and mortar stores.
    Book/Video stores are particularily hard hit because streaming and eReaders are potentially going to send DVDs and books the way of VHS tapes (R.I.P. Blockbuster and Borders)

    And it would seem like Anime and Managa would present additional challenges. For popular US shows and movies that media sometimes becomes availible for purchase prior to rent, free sources like Hulu often either don't have them or only offer five episodes or something, and there are at least threats to illegial distribution. In contrast Hulu has hundreds of full Anime series and you'd always be lagging well behind the fansubbers and scanlators who can have at least questionable legality depending on the title.

    Now there is at least a draw to the store for things like Warhammer and CCGs as long as those still exist despite video games. You could play those games home, but you need another person, and a stores can have a great variety of high quality tabletop terrain that doens't need to be cleared for dinner. Anime and Manga are often enjoyed in a very antisocial way however.

    I think you might need to have some sort of events or other draw. Maybe have a coffee house thing going where people come to hang out with like minded individuals? Besides which that could be a solid revenue stream. I find people will balk at buying something like a manga, but will pay just as much for a mochiatto and a scone every day and not think anything of it.

    Heh. And since we really don't have hostess/host clubs here you might be able to get some heavy draw with that. Though since they aren't common here there could be a creepy factor.

  18. #16
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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    Quote Originally Posted by SUUUPPPAAA View Post
    I appreciate the complements, they really mean a lot. People like you, who would at least give someone the time of day give me hope. When I do eventually hire (WAYYYYY down the line... have to be out of debt first xD.) they will have to have adequate knowledge of anime, people skills and the like. I hope that won't be too hard for people >.<.

    I may have mis-stated when I said ALL anime. That is downright impossible. What I meant to say is all type of anime, anime for everyone. The kids, teens, boys, girls, fans and those new to the medium. Something for all to (hopefully) enjoy. Manga as well and all sorts apparel associated with the two. Also, I am lucky to not be alone in the endeavor. I do know a lot about anime, yes. But a lot is never necessarily enough. We are two minds stacked with different and similar anime knowledge alike. I believe we cover a lot of bases together concerning knowledge.

    Given my current stock, out of $23,000 of inventory, about $4500 to $5500 is anime. Trust me, it's A LOT, more than I thought it would be actually. But that's just initial, I'll be able to accurately order anime based on customer needs when open, as well as stocking other items as well. Some Anime I can't get either unfortunately, some are just not available at marketable prices.

    For example: To make money off of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (I'm sure you're familiar :P) I would have to sell it for at lease $170 because I am buying it for about $85. While MANY other anime series I can sell for $20-30 because I can get them for $10 or even less. No one wants to casually buy TTGL, no matter how amazing it is (It's one of my favorites) just off a whim for that much. That's where the library comes in. Those series you can't get at a reasonable price any longer you can still watch for an extreme fraction of that price. It works in theory, I just need the implemented practice.

    And my apologies! I own a smart phone as well, I should know these things! How silly of me :P
    You don't need to thank me. I for one feel us hardcore collectors need to thank you. The digital age has already started and who knows when it will completely take over. When it does, I have no intention of buying my anime in a digital format.

    By the way, is this Gurren Lagaan on Dvd? I sense it will be extremely difficult to sell that for the price you said it would be. You may find someone, but good luck doing that. I believe you covered that, but had to re-point it out. The library is a great idea, but I personally wouldn't find any use in it.

    Will you be selling hentai? Believe it or not, good hentai will sell. Though, you'd need to put those in a more mature section and make sure kids won't be able to buy them.
    Last edited by Yoko Littner; 04-18-2014 at 09:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoko Littner View Post
    You don't need to thank me. I for one feel us hardcore collectors need to thank you. The digital age has already started and who knows when it will completely take over. When it does, I have no intention of buying my anime in a digital format.

    By the way, is this Gurren Lagaan on Dvd? I sense it will be extremely difficult to sell that for the price you said it would be. You may find someone, but good luck doing that. I believe you covered that, but had to re-point it out. The library is a great idea, but I personally wouldn't find any use in it.

    Will you be selling hentai? Believe it or not, good hentai will sell. Though, you'd need to put those in a more mature section and make sure kids won't be able to buy them.
    You are too kind xD I just have to pull it off the correct way, there is no room for error.

    And yes, Gurren Lagann is a rare find in the states, it's expensive as all hell. As is Code Geass, Cowboy Bebop, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Durarara!! And others. Good anime too, it's a shame.

    I do plan on selling 18+ items (Hentai, hug pillows, boobie mouse pads, etc.) I just have to find a good distributor for the hentai. I have yet to find one nor can I find good prices for hentai in general. I need that for my store though, as creepy as that sounds haha

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    Default Re: Opening an Anime & Gaming store! Would like customer feedback :D

    Quote Originally Posted by SUUUPPPAAA View Post
    You are too kind xD I just have to pull it off the correct way, there is no room for error.

    And yes, Gurren Lagann is a rare find in the states, it's expensive as all hell. As is Code Geass, Cowboy Bebop, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Durarara!! And others. Good anime too, it's a shame.

    I do plan on selling 18+ items (Hentai, hug pillows, boobie mouse pads, etc.) I just have to find a good distributor for the hentai. I have yet to find one nor can I find good prices for hentai in general. I need that for my store though, as creepy as that sounds haha
    Gurren Lagaan may be rare, but keep in mind you can buy it from amazon for 75 dollars and from sellers for 56 dollars. I'd rather wait out the shipping rather than paying an extra 100 bucks, but you may find an odd person who has never browsed other buying places for Gurren Lagaan. I'm not trying to derail your way of pricing just to clarify, but just offering a friendly view at the price.

    I can't help you find a good distributor for hentai, but its good to know you will have that genre in stock. Body pillows? I've never bought one, but I'm sure others do.
    Check out Anime Globe for the latest in anime reviews and anime news!


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