How to Get Into Distribution

Do you have a game that you want to get into the magical land of “distribution”? We talk about how to make that happen! Some topics we discuss are:

  • What is distribution?
  • What is the structure of the market?
  • Why go through distribution?
  • What profits can one expect?
  • Why do retailers like distribution?
  • How does one get picked up by a distributor?
  • Big consolidators and distributors
  • Minimum print sizes

Audio: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP038.mp3

 

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9 thoughts on “How to Get Into Distribution

  1. Thanks for the episode guys. For those looking for your list, below are the notes that I took from the show.

    Consolidator
    Aldo Ghiozzi at Impressions – http://www.impressionsadv.net/
    PSI – http://pubservinc.com/wp/

    Major Distributers in US
    Alliance games – http://www.alliance-games.com/
    ACD Distribution – http://www.acdd.com/
    GTS Distribution – https://www.gtsdistribution.com/
    Southern Hobby and Supply – http://www.southernhobby.com/
    Peach State Hobby Distribution – http://www.phdgames.com/

    Smaller ones
    Game Salute – http://www.gamesalute.com/
    Indie Game Alliance – https://www.indiegamealliance.com/
    “Once the store’s customers are hooked on the games, the retailers can purchase your games wholesale direct from IGA.” Quote from the alliance’s website
    Greater than games – https://greaterthangames.com/wholesale-distributors

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  2. Gentlemen,

    I would like to really thank you for putting this podcast together. For many people new to this whole industry you really cover alot of key information, some not so readially known.

    Well done and thank you so much for helping expand our hobby by teaching people how to get games into all our hands.

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  3. Hello, Thanks for this informative Videos on your side.

    I got a question about the “What profits can one expect?”
    english is not my native language, so i dont get exacly what distributors do.

    If i design a Game and send a prototyp to Mayfair Games or Asmodee for example, and they say “where we have to sign? ” an produce the Game, and then the consumer can buy it for 40$ in Warehouse or Internet.
    How much of this 40$ would get the Designer of the Game?

    Thank you very much

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    1. Greetings Mathis,

      Ok so the rule most people use is the 40 / 50 rule.

      So distributors want to mark something up 40%, and retail stores another 50%.

      So in your case a $40 game at retail level would be purchased by the store for $20 from a distributor, the distributor would normally pay you $12- in this arrangement however they may expect you to have delivery included in that $12.

      So for $12 you will have to produce, pack, and ship the product.

      Note- this is a guideline, fairly standard but a guideline, unique tweaks are made at the time of negotiation with the distributor.

      Good luck and hope this helped!

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      1. Thanks Bill. You’re right on that the retailer will usually pay 50% of the MSRP, so they will buy a $40 game for $20.

        However, the distributor will buy it for 40% of the MSRP, so they will buy a $40 game from you for $16. So it’s the $16 you get to produce, pack, and ship it. The $4 they take may seem small, but they deal in such a high volume that they make a lot of money on that small amount per game.

        You’re also right that there are exceptions to this, but these numbers can confidently be used for estimating.

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    2. What a great question, Mathis! I’ll explain the profit part. For a big publisher like Mayfair or Asmodee, you’ll probably get something around either:

      • 1-2% of the sales price (in your example, this might be .015 * $40 = $0.60 on each copy sold)
      • 3-5% of the wholesale price (in your example, this might be .04 * $40 * .4 = $0.64 on each copy sold)

      You could expect they will sell at least 4000 copies but their ceiling is super high so if the game catches on, it could be a million copies. Let’s say they sell 8000, you’ll then make around 8000 * $0.62 = $4960.

      If you are published by a smaller publisher, you’ll get a higher percentage (maybe as high as 8% of wholesale) of each copy sold, but they won’t sell as many copies as a bigger publisher would. There are other considerations though, such as being more involved with the process with a smaller publisher or gaining more name recognition with a bigger publisher.

      I hope these ballpark estimates help!
      Brian

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