FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS!

 

Why don’t you ship games out every day?  

The short answer is that I am the sole employee of Upstart Boardgamer and I am trying to create a retired lifestyle that moves at a slightly more relaxed pace than my previous full-time-work lifestyle. My current storage and receiving facility is 45 minutes from my home… and so, daily trips to ship games might quickly consume my universe! In addition, I’d like to travel a bit more in my retired life… and so, with my current “end of the month” shipping routine, I can easily travel during the first few weeks of a given month.

Mind you, I often set the shipping dates more frequently than once each month, and on top of that I ship games whenever I am near the facility that holds my inventory.  So, usually things move along at a decent clip!

With all of that said, I am happy to try and make a special trip to the storage facility to get your games moving faster if you’re trying to get them to the table that weekend or you need them for a birthday celebration or other holiday!

Just shoot me an email, and if I can make it happen – I will! That is… if I’m off on some Caribbean vacation I might not be able to help out as readily…  🏝❤️

Oh yes.. one other quick thing! I will ALWAYS ship on the date that I list on the site. I have not missed one of these shipping dates yet (4 years of Upstart at the time of this update – SEP 2022) and I don’t plan to start anytime soon! I literally build my calendar around the shipping dates so I can be certain to be home to get your games moving.

The site generates an automated email with tracking info (sent to the email you used when you made the order), but sometimes that gets stuck in a spam folder <sigh>. So, if you don’t see your tracking info by the end of the day (Eastern Standard Time) on a given shipping day, check the ol’ spam folder and if you can’t find the email – please reach out! I never want anyone worrying about a shipment!! 😊

On the actual shipping day, after I’ve shipped everything off, I adjust the website to now list the new shipping date for orders going forward.

I have had one case where someone didn’t see the automated tracking email and then they saw the website changed the shipping date and they thought I had changed when I would ship their game! I will never do that folks… barring a life-altering crisis of some sort (and in that case I would email each and every customer to let them know – that’s just my way (smile)).

ANywho… in this case I reassured the person that I had already shipped their game, sent them the tracking info personally, and all was right with the world! Whew. You know me… I worry about these things.

Still, I want to do better and I don’t ever want someone stressing that I might have pulled the rug out from under them or messed something up. I’m not infallible of course… hehe… but I do try to get things right!

 

If a board gaming convention is coming up and you and I are both going to be there, would you be willing to carry my games to the con to hand deliver them?

Yes!  I would!  And, I’ll do it free of charge.  Please reach out to me so we can make specific arrangements BEFORE you buy the game!  Otherwise, you’ll get charged shipping or tax (if you select local pick-up, for example) and I’d like to keep it smooth.  My only caveat is that this is on a first come first serve basis… since I’d prefer to not check a dozen suitcases… Hehe.  I usually check an empty, hard-sided suitcase (or two) full of bubble wrap in anticipation of bringing home new games from any convention… so I’m happy to load those suitcases with your games on the way to the convention!

If you’d like to see if this is possible, shoot me an email before you purchase, and we’ll work it out!  If I’m attending the convention, and you contact me before you order, I’ll shoot you a one-time-use free-shipping coupon so you can order the game without paying that pesky shipping charge. Easy.

 

Why don’t you offer free shipping on all of your games?

To keep my prices as low as humanly possible, I keep my margins ridiculously tight. If I offered “free” shipping I would simply have to add the shipping fee back into the cost of the game.  Otherwise, I would take a loss on most of the games I carry. Sorry everyone!  Perhaps in the very distant future I’ll be able to work out something better, but for now I hope the super fair pricing is at least somewhat of a consolation….

 

I can’t find a game and I’m not sure if you have it. Is there any chance you’d be willing to help me locate the game?

Absolutely!  I love a good search and acquire mission and I’d be happy to help!  Just shoot me a note! 🎉

 

Do you ship games internationally?

Yes, yes, and yes! Upstart Boardgamer ships everywhere that the US Postal Service, FEDEX, and UPS will deliver. With that said, I must mention that international shipping prices (even to our nearby neighbors in Canada or Mexico) can be rather expensive. To see a real-time quote of the shipping rates to your address just place the game you would like to purchase into the cart.

On the cart page, enter your country, province/county, city, and postal code and my website will return an exact quote of shipping to your location from the different carriers. These amounts are exactly what I am charged by the shipping companies and there is no plus-up or handling fee or otherwise! Any retail shipping discounts are passed along to you. If you have any questions please reach out to me. I am happy to help!

 

Are all of your games new and in shrink wrap?

Yes they are!! From time to time, I am asked this question by potential new customers who simply cannot believe my price points! This question always makes me smile… as it reminds me that I am sticking to my mission of supplying hard to find games at very fair prices.

It is awesome to be able to help wonderful people bring new games to their tables… and knowing that for some people, the pricing makes them wonder if the games are used or “ding and dent,” just makes it even better! So, to all of you who have asked this question – thank you!

And again, YES – all my games are new and in shrink wrap! 😁

 

How do you figure out your prices? And, can you tell me what a future game might cost?

This is another question I see quite often (smile). And you know me… I love a good question!  OK… let’s see.

As to my pricing… my primary goal remains to be the most fair price point out there… and in that regard, I will always come in under eBay. With that said, please note that it might be hard to find my exact bundle on eBay… but on each game listing toward the bottom I have a little grid with some info on the game and links to BGG to read about the game, etc. And in that grid is the price-point I found on eBay at the time of listing the game. I note the date here so that people looking at a listing 2 years later aren’t thinking, “that’s not the price on eBay right now! What is this?!?!” 😬

For those of you who have visited Upstart before, you know that this is the whole reason I actually created the shop (there’s a longer explanation of this I’m the “about us” section of the website.  I’m trying to prove games to people where they can snag Kickstarter and Gamefound games that they missed… without getting price gouged.

But I’m also not competing with either the original campaign or the pre-orders… or the late pledges… as I don’t think that’s fair to the publishers.

So I won’t even think about price until the games are in my hand (which means basically all campaign related things are done).

Then I go online and look at eBay and any other sites that may have carried that specific game.  Then I set the price as low as humanly possible (and always under current eBay listings) but also somewhere where I can try and make enough money in a year to sustain the company.

At the time of this FAQ update (SEP 2022), I’m in year 4 of the company/s existence and I have yet to break even… but I’ve gotten closer each year!  Hooray! All I want is to not have to put my own money into the shop just to keep it afloat. So, on the bigger games (Nemesis, Great Wall, Foundations of Rome, etc I will try to set the prices fairly (and again, under eBay) but at a point where I’m not giving it away because those game keep the company afloat.

Usually my mark up from my cost settles or at 20-30% over what I paid (whereas the traditional retail model is that retailers in any field charge double the wholesale price… that is, a 100% mark up.  This is why stores can have sales and stay afloat. Haha)

On smaller games, I’m carrying them because I think they are cool, I realize they may be hard to find at some point, and I want to support the designers and publishers of those games. But, after the details are considered, I might make $4-8 dollars on a small game. That’s not a complaint (in case you were wondering… hehe). I’m simply trying to explain some of the constraints on the ol’ pricing of the massive games.

Anywho.. my very limited understanding of economics and finance aside 😬, that’s the basic gist… but, as always, if you have additional questions – shoot me a note!  I am always happy to chat!

Oh, I almost forgot one other thing… I almost exclusively will never sell games for less than the original KS price because that would be unfair to the backers of the original campaign. Of course, in maybe one or two cases out of hundreds or games, if everyone out there is selling below the KS price and if I am running out of shelf space, I will adjust to the market pressure.  But I think that’s happened maybe once… or possibly twice… in 4 years.  Which I think is pretty good.

Granted I’m a bit biased.

And argh… one more small thing. I have tried in the past to “predict” what a given game might end up listing for on Upstart and I have NEVER guessed even close. So, sadly, I can’t tell you what a game will sell for in the shop until I actually look at the market, compare other sellers’ prices… and then set the Upstart price. And, I don’t do any of that until I have the games in hand and the time to get them uploaded. Sorry for that folks!  All I can tell you is that on the day I list the game, it WILL be the best price on the web. That part is for sure. It’s guessing what those other prices will be that is the hard part… Thank you for your patience with my “I’m doing the best I can” methods. 😉😊❤️

Your question could create FAQ Number eight!!

Send any questions to drew@upstartboardgamer.com or find me on facebook or twitter.  My info appears on the “Contact Us” page of the website as well.