Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Price Increase! What's it in Retrospective: Comment

I was surfing the web and say a post over at d6wargaming.com. In it, he compare the price of gas, movie tickets, and sneakers to the price of GW products. I could not see how to comment so I am just doing it here.

It is costing some people 75 dollars to fill up their tanks. He might consider gas a luxury but many people have no other options than a car. I think a large part of the country was up in arms when gas was 4.25 a gallon. I know I was not happy and I have only a 2 mile commute since when I moved into my house it was not long after Katrina and I knew gas prices were not going back down to the 1.15 a gallon I paid in college. So the choice people are facing is they can fill the gas tank so they can go to work for a week or they can buy a plastic toy tank.

Next the discussion was that movie tickets are about 15 dollars each. This really adds up to a tank if you take your wife and your kids but guess what movie grosses are down. Also tickets where I live are about 10 dollars and I never go at night usually matinee or twilight where they are like 7.50. Then again I also have pretty much cut movies out of my life already with only 2 in the last year one of which we got free tickets through my wife's blog. So I can get a tank or take my wife and daughter to the movies (ignoring drinks) like at least 2 times

Next was 75 dollar tennis shoes. I might spend 75 dollars on shoes but I would hope to get 2 pairs that should last about 3 years total with BOGO half off. So I could buy a tank or get like 1-2 years of every day wear out of my shoes.

GW likes to see themselves as luxury goods but they are still just toys. Inflation is starting to show up again even outside food and energy but many buyers have essentially flat income for several years. Consumers are being squeezed and are looking for value even in their fun purchases. Any individual players makes these choices for themselves but GW is essentially pricing themselves out of the casual purchase level for many people especially with 20 dollar blisters, almost 40 dollars for a basic troop choice, 75 dollar rulebooks and 99 dollar starter boxes.

I think the GW customers would be more willing to accept the price increases if we had not gotten them like 4 years running when inflation was actually pretty flat. They raised prices and it netted them more revenue, then they raised prices again and it left revenue flat, the data from the last price rise seemed to have them generate less revenue from their half year report even though they released a new edition of Warhammer. They appear to have already crossed the point of diminishing returns in revenue as well as volume but they press on.


  1. As I have said I have pretty much left GW as a customer. Maybe they can win me back but my last 40K purchase was a venomthrope I pick up at my former FLGS because GW messed up my specialist games order so the owner gave me the misshipped item since GW was not charging him for it.