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View Full Version : Need all X360A members opinions...any insight greatly appreciated!


EOU Findub
04-07-2009, 07:44 PM
First off, I know what you are thinking...he is probably going to ask which game to buy or which game he should get the next 1000 in. This will not be the case. I am just trying to gauge interest in a new business opportunity that I plan on implementing very soon.

I am NOT advertising anything yet...actually, that would be quite impossible as the business doesn't even exist yet. If this is against the terms on the boards, I will completely understand, but I am just trying to see if my idea would even be feasible. This business is still in the planning and acquiring funds stage and I want to see if the members, as gamers, would enjoy a service such as this.

THE IDEA:
-Many of you have Gamefly. It is an excellent service to have. You don't even have to go the movie store and you get games automatically delivered to you. However, most of the time, games take FOREVER to get there. With only four shipping centers that I am aware of, this is completely unfair. Most people in the Pacific Northwest get screwed as their closest shipping center in the Southern California. I didn't like this and want something to change.

-I would charge a cheaper fee for 1, 2 and 3 games out respectively but would mainly, but not exclusively, offer my services to clients in the Western part of the country. We are talking anywhere from 3 to 15 dollars cheaper depending on the number of games you have out at a time.

-This would have all the essentials. Pre-paid envelopes, sleeves and cardboard holders so the games come unbroken. Disc-cleaning kits so you would get a game ready to play instead of having to waste a cycle on sending it back. In regards to the cleaning kits, they wouldn't come with the games, I would have them on hand if they get too scratched up.

-I would only be offering Xbox 360 games. I need to start out small before I can expand. Don't want to lose too much money if I am going to lose much money at all. ;)

-My queue would be different (as I probably couldn't call it a queue due to copyright reasons). It would actually show what place in line you were to receive a game. I would try to keep the most popular and newer games as stocked as possible. That is also one of my chief complaints...I can NEVER get new games on Gamefly. It always has a "low" or "very low" availability. I intend to change that. You will know exactly where you on the list and if the line is too long, simply switch it over to another game.

-Instead of offering free spacebucks for being a member for a certain amount of time, I would offer a free game in itself. While there would be some limitations on the games that are available, they would be constantly changing.

-I would post the expected shipping times on an easy-to-read graph so there are no surprises if you live in Maine and it's taking a 10-day turn around. Canada is a possibility...depends on shipping costs and customs.

Any feedback would be appreciated. I mainly would want to know if you would be willing to change over from a current service. I just need to get enough interest to be willing to go through with this idea. I can't be throwing down hundreds of thousands of dollars on a bunk idea. :)

Thank you for reading and look forward to your feedback!

AmishFury
04-07-2009, 07:55 PM
you can call it a queue... nobody has a copyright on the use of the word

Wii187
04-07-2009, 08:39 PM
Is this the only community you approached? Are we the guinea pigs?

How much research have you done? Are you looking at almost complete automation of the system now or in the future?

J eVeRy DaY 514
04-07-2009, 09:32 PM
well i think you're going to have to ask your clientelle because i'm not from the west. but i really like your idea about seeing how many people are ahead of you, recieving the game. i always wished gamefly had something like that back when i had it.

DudeWithTheFace
04-07-2009, 09:53 PM
If you could get it to work of course that would be great. Having it just to the west kinda sucks. I am in Louisiana, close to their shipping center in Texas, and it takes at least 6-7 business days to turn around a game many times, not to mention I rarely get new titles as well, so I think the region really has nothing to do with it, and chances are you could run into the same problem gfly has.

Do you have someone to build the site, as that would probably be insanely complex. You would need tons of money just to buy the games, much less get everything up. You are going to have to advertise, because otherwise you wouldn't get enough members to bring in any profit, which is always expensive. I believe the reason gamefly sucks right now is because the demand is huge and they can't keep up yet, and that in way are they doing it on purpose. They are relatively new in the grand scheme of things.

They have also opened up 4 shipping centers, which I bet are fully staffed. Thats excluding marketing, accounting, and web employees as well. They probably have something worked out with the post office too, to track their games, as well as some contingency plan for theft, whereever it may happen.

If it were simple, I think there would be many more gfly companies out there, but there aren't so keep that in mind before you embarq on this endeavor. That's NOT to say that there isn't a market for another brand at all either.

I'm not trying to topple your dreams or anything by posting this and I hope you have thought of these aspects.

Another thing to consider is that, so far gfly runs unopposed in the US for mail order game rentals, and probably have a good chunck of change saved up to smother competitors with advertising. And, if Netflix had any one working there that plays video games, they would be foolish not tap into the market at some point, obviously with a HUGE upperhand due to the partnership with Microsoft.

As far as a "queue", no one can copyright a word like that. Gamefly has the "GameQ" which I bet would be trademarked. You'll think of something clever I'm sure, but if all else fails you probably won't have a problem with the word queue. Just have a laywer check legal aspects of everything before launch.

I believe it can be done, and I hope you can do it, and I'll be one of the first to sign up even, especially if you can make it cheaper in these times, but I'm just stating points you probably have some solution to already. It could be risky, but I imagine you would have great reception and it could be very profitible, despite what will most likely be a very rough launch just because breaking out it hard.

Whoo. That's all of what came to mind. Just my thoughts, and personally, I'm rooting for you if you go forward.

Tele-Rock
04-07-2009, 10:28 PM
As a Gamefly subscriber who resides in the West, I would be very interested in a competitor to Gamefly.

That being said, you would have to prove your viability to me in order to get my business as a consumer, and especially my credit card number as an individual.

But yes, if you were able to create a company to compete with Gamefly, I would likely become a customer. And so would at least 3 of my friends and colleagues, probably more. I think it's smart of you to address the user base directly, as people on x360a would be people who would initially sign up for your service.

Good luck and let us know if this ever becomes a reality.

EOU Findub
04-07-2009, 11:06 PM
If you could get it to work of course that would be great. Having it just to the west kinda sucks. I am in Louisiana, close to their shipping center in Texas, and it takes at least 6-7 business days to turn around a game many times, not to mention I rarely get new titles as well, so I think the region really has nothing to do with it, and chances are you could run into the same problem gfly has.

Do you have someone to build the site, as that would probably be insanely complex. You would need tons of money just to buy the games, much less get everything up. You are going to have to advertise, because otherwise you wouldn't get enough members to bring in any profit, which is always expensive. I believe the reason gamefly sucks right now is because the demand is huge and they can't keep up yet, and that in way are they doing it on purpose. They are relatively new in the grand scheme of things.

They have also opened up 4 shipping centers, which I bet are fully staffed. Thats excluding marketing, accounting, and web employees as well. They probably have something worked out with the post office too, to track their games, as well as some contingency plan for theft, whereever it may happen.

If it were simple, I think there would be many more gfly companies out there, but there aren't so keep that in mind before you embarq on this endeavor. That's NOT to say that there isn't a market for another brand at all either.

I'm not trying to topple your dreams or anything by posting this and I hope you have thought of these aspects.

Another thing to consider is that, so far gfly runs unopposed in the US for mail order game rentals, and probably have a good chunck of change saved up to smother competitors with advertising. And, if Netflix had any one working there that plays video games, they would be foolish not tap into the market at some point, obviously with a HUGE upperhand due to the partnership with Microsoft.

As far as a "queue", no one can copyright a word like that. Gamefly has the "GameQ" which I bet would be trademarked. You'll think of something clever I'm sure, but if all else fails you probably won't have a problem with the word queue. Just have a laywer check legal aspects of everything before launch.

I believe it can be done, and I hope you can do it, and I'll be one of the first to sign up even, especially if you can make it cheaper in these times, but I'm just stating points you probably have some solution to already. It could be risky, but I imagine you would have great reception and it could be very profitible, despite what will most likely be a very rough launch just because breaking out it hard.

Whoo. That's all of what came to mind. Just my thoughts, and personally, I'm rooting for you if you go forward.

Ah, thank you so much. To everyone who is writing, I AM reading absolutely everything that you put down.

One thing to keep in mind, is that I plan on talking to the Postal Service on a potential deal with them. I also made sure not to discriminate against the East Coast as I honestly believe I could get my games out to them faster than Gamefly would. If I have to pay a little more for shipping, than so be it. Shipping times are everything in this business. I will bold the major points as to strike home these particular ones.

EDIT: I will definitely prove to be a viable company before I EVER start asking for CC numbers. No one wants to get scammed, especially me. Trust is everything in business. You have none...you have no business. I appreciate the kind words Tele-Rock.

Is this the only community you approached? Are we the guinea pigs?

How much research have you done? Are you looking at almost complete automation of the system now or in the future?

So far, you guys are the only ones I have seen if this would be a good idea for.

The only research I have done is how much things are going to cost. As far as automation, the website will be, but the physical aspect will still be there, such as putting games into envelopes. That will probably never be automated. I still want a little bit to do with my company rather than just run the finances. :)

Kaiyo
04-08-2009, 12:02 AM
Well for honest sake, I don't expect this to work. But seriously..... are we test subjects?

Wii187
04-08-2009, 12:50 AM
So far, you guys are the only ones I have seen if this would be a good idea for.

The only research I have done is how much things are going to cost. As far as automation, the website will be, but the physical aspect will still be there, such as putting games into envelopes. That will probably never be automated. I still want a little bit to do with my company rather than just run the finances. :)

Hehe, automated in the sense that once the returned game gets scanned by USPS, the envelope for the next game is printed out automatically. Everything is scanned so there's no need for data entry.

Watch out for patents. they're everywhere.

Evil Demon55
04-08-2009, 04:01 AM
I like it, do not include a cleaning kit for all games, only for special members and send them one once a month. If you do that it will be cheaper and if needed, the kit should last 1 whole month on every game (which would be rare to need to clean every game).

Also, start out in 1 state, then 2 states, then the area (as in Pacific Northwest) then expand (to the West Coast) and keep expanding. Do not try to start out in the whole USA because it will most likely just fail.

Maybe later on in the buisness, ship consoles and what not.

CLET8
04-08-2009, 04:23 AM
Could you ship some games to canada for me?

eskEMO
04-08-2009, 04:33 AM
I'd sign up if it as viable and cheaper than Gamefly. I live in Idaho and haven't bothered with 'em yet. I have a feeling that it'll be very expensive to get games to the East coast faster if you only have one center on the West and that you may not be prepared for a large user-base if it so happens to occur.

Just make sure that you're prepared for the stress/hassle of promotion, integration, etc....And if you need an IT guy, let me know. I graduate in a year with certs for CCNA, Server 08, A+, Vista, etc. :D

GhOsT SLaYeR
04-08-2009, 04:45 AM
Could you ship some games to canada for me? yea that would be a good idea as Canada does not have any "gamefly" company in it.. if you could do do BC/AB canada you'd have a half decent group if people sign up

EOU Findub
04-08-2009, 05:53 AM
yea that would be a good idea as Canada does not have any "gamefly" company in it.. if you could do do BC/AB canada you'd have a half decent group if people sign up

I would be happy to try to plan the West side of Canada into the plans...the only problems I could forsee is dealing with the Canadian post office. I don't know the inner workings and the like and also I would have to deal with customs. Chances are, shipping would be extraordinarily high. I will look into it though. You guys do get jipped with no online rental service.

gatorbait
04-08-2009, 06:27 AM
I understand your complaints of Gamefly but unfortunately, I fall into that category of people who conveniently live near a shipping center. Either way, I've stopped renting on a regular basis and just buy used off of ebay or other places having sales and resell my games.

When it comes to your idea, it sounds great in principal. I'm assuming you've invested a good amount of time and research into this because it seems like a hefty project to undertake. With that aside, I would just have a few questions.

How many games from the 360 library will you have available?

Within that selection, how many copies of each game will you likely have ready for rent?

I just hope you have this all planned out before you jump into anything. I understand you're not expecting to be in the same league with a Gamefly but it seems like they have the video game rental business cornered pretty well. Do you have other friends/partners helping you out? With the cheaper prices and incentives you're offering, I hope you still have an idea of how to remain profitable and in business. With anything, it's the start up costs that will probably set you back the most. If you do get this up and running and it sounds as good as it does, I would certainly give this a shot. Best of luck!

SHOTO1981
04-08-2009, 07:20 AM
Also, start out in 1 state, then 2 states, then the area (as in Pacific Northwest) then expand (to the West Coast) and keep expanding. Do not try to start out in the whole USA because it will most likely just fail

That sounds like very solid advice to me.
Also if ther is no "competition" in Canada, then maybe a change of location would provide a new business with a better start. If the US is your goal perhaps an established business expanding south would be in a stronger position to challenge Gamefly. IMO not very much is more important than reputation and everyone knows Gameflys name.

Just my thoughts, ignore at will.:)

CienPR
04-08-2009, 01:28 PM
I like your idea and I agree with Evil about starting out with the state in which you reside and see how it goes from there.

Gathering a handful of copies for recently released games will set you back a couple of $$ so you should focus on games that arent so expensive to get a hold of, until you have a steady clientele. For a community of score whores that keeps on growing old games will never go old.

Also, you could advertise on other gaming sites so you have a greater chance of finding potential customers in your area.

If I come up with anything else I'll edit this post. Hope this helped.:)

rvlution
04-08-2009, 02:32 PM
Although it's a good idea, it's going to be really hard to even try to compete with Gamefly. I'm sure on into the future they will have opened more shipping centers too.

EOU Findub
04-08-2009, 06:27 PM
Although it's a good idea, it's going to be really hard to even try to compete with Gamefly. I'm sure on into the future they will have opened more shipping centers too.

They have said that they were going to open a shipping center in Seattle. This was supposed to be in the first quarter of 2009....I haven't heard any more news on that and if they opened a shipping center there, I would be more inclined to NOT open a business like I am thinking of. However, they have four shipping centers.
1. Los Angeles...which is in Southern California
2. Tampa, benefits essentially NO ONE on the west coast
3. Pittsburgh, same as 3...funny thing is, I have gotten games from Pittsburgh
4. Austin, middle of the country, still takes a long time to get to west coast.

With my shipping center, I could hit Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Colorado, and Utah.

With the little research I have done, we are looking at a MAXIMUM turnaround of 6 days to these states. Much better than the 10 DAYS it takes me to get games from Gamefly. I will make a guarentee to ship a game the same day that I receive it. This is another major gripe I have with Gamefly. Sometimes they sit on shipping a game FOR NO REASON. This infuriates me, especially since I am paying for a service.

Don't get me wrong, I may appear I am bashing Gamefly. I love the service...it is extremely convienent and they have done an EXCELLENT job thus far. I just see improvements. I think I can get out a better product with a quicker turnaround. :)

gamerguy69
04-08-2009, 08:28 PM
Where are you that it is taking up to 10 days to get games from GF? Perhaps it is with the shipping rates they are using but you should also take into account the huge volume of mail processed by the USPS daily in that region alone.

I'm in TX and I once mail a book to MA by Media Mail rate and it left here on a Saturday and arrived there on Monday. There are many factors that come into play when you use USPS shipping.

I was using GF back in 2004 and I was getting games from their LA shipping center usually about 3 - 4 days after they were mailed.

EOU Findub
04-08-2009, 08:36 PM
Where are you that it is taking up to 10 days to get games from GF? Perhaps it is with the shipping rates they are using but you should also take into account the huge volume of mail processed by the USPS daily in that region alone.

I'm in TX and I once mail a book to MA by Media Mail rate and it left here on a Saturday and arrived there on Monday. There are many factors that come into play when you use USPS shipping.

I was using GF back in 2004 and I was getting games from their LA shipping center usually about 3 - 4 days after they were mailed.

I am talking about a 10 day turnaround. From the day I send it away, it takes 4-5 days to get to them. Then it takes another 4-5 days to get sent to me. 8-10 Day turnaround is unacceptable to me. Like I said, if they opened a shipping center in Seattle, this would not be a problem at all. That time would be cut in half, if not more. Oh yea, I'm from Oregon...little po-dunk town in Oregon.

DudeWithTheFace
04-08-2009, 10:00 PM
I am talking about a 10 day turnaround. From the day I send it away, it takes 4-5 days to get to them. Then it takes another 4-5 days to get sent to me. 8-10 Day turnaround is unacceptable to me. Like I said, if they opened a shipping center in Seattle, this would not be a problem at all. That time would be cut in half, if not more. Oh yea, I'm from Oregon...little po-dunk town in Oregon.

Don't forget Gamefly has that really cool feature that doesn't work very well. They get notice from the PO when a game arrives so that they can send out the next one sooner, but I see it scanned, and it STILL usually takes them 2-3 after I sent it out anyway, resulting in a 5-7 day turnaround again, which is very frustrating to see them recognize that you have returned a game, and still take forever to ship it out.

If you could work with the PO to get this feature working the way it was meant to, that would be a huge plus for you.

EOU Findub
04-09-2009, 12:31 AM
Don't forget Gamefly has that really cool feature that doesn't work very well. They get notice from the PO when a game arrives so that they can send out the next one sooner, but I see it scanned, and it STILL usually takes them 2-3 after I sent it out anyway, resulting in a 5-7 day turnaround again, which is very frustrating to see them recognize that you have returned a game, and still take forever to ship it out.

If you could work with the PO to get this feature working the way it was meant to, that would be a huge plus for you.

The problem with that service is, it is ALL on the post office. I believe they clearly state that not all post offices carry the hardware to scan the envelopes.

I was thinking that I could start a service that the client clicks a button AFTER they have sent a game back and I could send the next one when this has been clicked. The only catch is that if I don't receive a game in a certain amount of time, it will be charged to their account and I would receive compensation for them either lying or losing the game. It would be an optional service but would cut down on shipping times by A TON.

dakisbac
04-09-2009, 03:03 AM
As a Canadian I support this plan since I don't have access to Gamefly.

While the button thing sounds good, if something happens to the game en route your customers aren't going to be very happy since they did their part and sent the game,

gamerguy69
04-09-2009, 08:05 AM
The problem with that service is, it is ALL on the post office. I believe they clearly state that not all post offices carry the hardware to scan the envelopes.

I was thinking that I could start a service that the client clicks a button AFTER they have sent a game back and I could send the next one when this has been clicked.

I'd probably click the BUTTON on a Monday when I'm fairly certain that I'd be going to the P.O. on the next day, Tuesday. ;)

Similarly, Blockbuster has the "no late fees" policy whereas they print on your receipt an OWN IT date. If you don't have the game returned to them by that date, you are then charged the price shown.

Well, I have actually been returning my games on the very next day and I have not had an issue with Blockbuster charging me any kind of fee.

Oh, I need to have my games back today since my receipt has "OWN IT on 04/08". :)

As for your business, aren't there licensing fees that you'd need to pay to have the ability to rent out games? Then there's the matter of collecting taxes. You'd have to deal with distributors and buying games wholesale. You'd probably need a P.O. box. There are probably fees associated with accepting credit card payments online. Setting up a storefront website, etc., etc. Physical office space for the business since zoning laws/deed restrictions could prohibit you from running any business out of your home.

Ryot Control
04-09-2009, 04:32 PM
Honestly if the bottom line means I pay less than 22 bucks a month for two games, I might consider it.