SELF PUBLISHING 106: Board Game Fullfillment

self publishing 106

FULLFILLING BOARD GAME ORDERS

After your board games are manufactured, they have to be shipped to somewhere.  If you are starting as a publisher, I don’t recommend your garage or basement.   Other than the obvious household tensions that this could cause, there are other factors to consider:

  • How will you ensure prompt delivery of games out of your warehouse all year long?
  • Will you integrate the shipping systems of FedEx, UPS, or USPS to automatically produce labels, pay for shipping, and so forth?
  • Will you have a sufficient discount from retail shipping charges when sending out a handful of packages from your garage every week?
  • Do you have existing relationships with retailers or distributors?  (Fulfillment companies do)
  • Are you prepared to send out invoices and perform collections?
  • Can you order shipping supplies in large enough quantities that you get competitive discounts?
  • Is your storage area secure?

Fulfillment is a business in and of itself.  There are large commercial operations that solely perform fulfillment services for other companies.  When done at its best it is logistically complicated and technologically intense.  It is highly recommended that any and all board game publishers utilize fulfillment services of some variety.  For example, Amazon now sells their fulfillment services to other companies on a self-serve basis.

Days of Wonder has an exclusive relationship with Alliance distribution in which Alliance handles their warehousing and fulfillment.  Steve Jackson Games has relationships where other companies ladle their fulfillment, at least one of which is PSI.  These companies sell large numbers of games, and they are not interested in performing their own fulfillment, why should you?

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