Games Workshop’s new Terms and Conditions

By tgn_admin
In News
May 16th, 2011
52 Comments
520 Views

Maelstrom Games have posted details of Games Workshop’s new terms and conditions for trade accounts.

From their announcement:

We here at Maelstrom have received the new Games Workshop terms and conditions and have acted accordingly, basically we cannot ship outside of the EU from the beginning of June so we are offering an 18% discount.

Full details here

  • Will B

    Well this sucks because I’ve been buying from Maelstrom for 2+ years, as GW is around 40% lower than CDN retail once taxes are factored in. This means I will just either buy less, buy more 2nd hand. Probably the latter.

    I wouldn’t like to be in AUS/NZ right now – their pricing discrepancies are even worse than CDN.

    • Zac

      Had to do this just as I was building a Tomb Kings army.

      I’ve picked a pile up locally but was hoping to get some of the more higher end items online. So I now have to either do that now when I wasn’t planning on it, scrap the army or pay GW’s inflated Canadian prices.

      Not a decision I was hoping to be making now.

      • Amarel

        Or tap up a Brit to send it out to you. Although without Maelstroms free shipping, I’d guess it’s a little less appealing…

      • Will B

        US prices aren’t that bad compared to the UK but the shipping to Canada tends to eat a lot of the savings.

      • scottjm

        I was going to start a Warriors of Chaos army, but this nixes that. I’m not paying GW Canada’s ridiculous prices. Where to spend my gaming buck? Why there’s a company in the news posting above that certainly wants my money! And they’ll get it.

      • scarletsquig

        Have you thought about doing the army with Mantic skeletons and catapults, then just adding a few GW monsters and things to finish it off?

        I’m taking that approach and it’s working out really well, their skeletons are only $1.25 each when bought in bulk. Free shipping worldwide, too.

    • cybogoblin

      Here in NZ we’re pretty disappointed, too. I know of at least one guy who was thinking of coming back to 40k when the Necrons get updated, but won’t be now. Good work, Games Workshop.

      It’s nice of Maelstrom to offer one final big discount, and I may just take advantage of that. Good thing they can still sell their other, non-GW products overseas.

  • phoenixman

    good old GW, another knife into their customer base. why do they do stuff like this.

    surely it doesn’t matter where people get their stuff from as long as they are buying GW products. i know that if they buy from their own country GW probably will make more money from them, but if they dont buy at all because of this silly stance, then they make NOTHING.

    the easiest thing to do is buy other makes of fantasy models such as Mantic etc and use the GW rules.

    i have now got rid of all my GW stuff as i dont like their new rules, or the way they treat me as a customer.

    • garscow

      The reason to do this is they have local stores and independent retailers they want to support. They’re the people that grow the hobby beyond what it is currently.

      Of course this does nothing to make it easier for them, it only makes it harder to go elsewhere from my perspective. Wyrd and Privateer are looking more attractive to me now, that’s for sure.

    • Zac

      surely it doesn’t matter where people get their stuff from as long as they are buying GW products.

      GW has a range of brick and mortar stores that carry their products as well as their own stores. GW also has stock that goes through distributors. There is an enormous retail chain that depends on people buying GW products in a store.

      GW has long had a problem with effectively creating a huge market for stores like TheWarstore.com, Wayland and Maelstrom by having differential pricing for their products in different territories.

      GW has to protect their retail sales chain but at the same time they don’t want to get out of the business of arbitrarily charging people more for the same product than they can get it from the UK and US.

      The “obvious” solution for GW is to restrict sales to foreign countries to protect their retail partners and arrangements. How this will do anything to protect these retailers given how grossly out of line with the exchange rates some prices are is something I don’t understand.

      • Psychotic Storm

        The whole situation just means GW failed to sell the product to the local game shops in the correct value to sell it competitively and the local game shops failed anyway to sell the product competitively, Why Mael and all other retailers should pay for this incompetence, while they do what any sensible company does is a mystery to me.

        Well good work GW though, I must confess I was tiptoeing on finishing my 40k space marine project that would be almost a company worth of metal models and was ready to buy a space monkeys force, for the expensive on my part joke to everybody else who took 40k too seriously, but the decision to kill metal minis and then this forced me from “inactive” 40k player to a somebody who stopped.

        Hey good work GW!

      • Well put.

  • unihead

    And from July, customers at any of the Australians stores will have to submit their birth certificate and driver’s licence in order to be accepted as a member of the Games Workshop buying family.

    The only thing this company understands are the tables in the back of their annual report. Just go elsewhere.

  • TheWarStoreMan

    Just to make this all more fun, we received word today that there will be a GW price hike in the US/Canada on May 28.
    There is a place where words just fail me.
    Neal

    • cybogoblin

      I suspected something like that would happen as I was reading the announcement of the new resin minis. Not only are they taking away out avenues for purchasing their product at a fairer price, but they’re increasing said price as well.

      If this keeps up, it’s going to be cheaper* for me to fly to Nottingham and purchase minis from Maelstrom directly. Gah.

      *Hyperbolic, but, considering the current situation, you never know.

  • I don’t like this, but I can see what they are trying to do.

    I understand GW’s desire to protect overseas retail outlets from being killed off by UK based internet stores. It is extremely difficult for a friendly local game shop to compete with a) large discounts off the (much lower) UK price, and b) free international shipping.

    I also understand that prices are higher Down Under because we’re half a world away from Nottingham and there’s shipping to consider as well as fluctuations in the exchange rates, but when that exchange rate is hovering around £0.65 – $1AU there is no justification for a mini costing the price it does here.

    An example: LOTR Elf hero foot and mounted blister £17 ($26) from GW UK, and from the Australian GW store £30 ($46) plus $5 postage.

    At my FLGS I will get 10% discount, which takes it down to $42, but from a UK independent online store, I would have been able to buy that blister for £15.30 ($23.50) with no postage.

    I am all for supporting the local stores and I will buy from them in preference to an online store purely for that reason. But GW’s prices are ridiculously over-inflated to begin with (especially so here in Australia), so there is no way I would buy their products from a local bricks and mortar store – the price difference was too great.

    This seems to be the easiest option for GW though – just pay a lawyer to work out the new terms and conditions and the problem is solved. Rather than sort out the root problem and fix it properly (lower their prices to something more competitive), they chose the short-term quick fix and p*ed off their customers instead. Did we expect anything else?

    Maelstrom and Wayland and other internet stores offered a great service for a number of years, but it’s over now. Sad, but, oh well. I get my gaming fix from other companies now, and any temptations to come back to GW have just been crushed underfoot.

    • Veritas

      Japan is the same way. A Storm Raven here costs about $110 USD.

      I’m debating starting a WH Forge Chaos Dwarf army simply because the prices are at the level of regular GW plastics if I have to buy locally. There is no such thing as a discount retailer in Japan.

      • Sisyphus

        Oh you are soooooo wrong… with a membership point card you can get… umm… 5% off at Yellow Submarine… see there… take that..

        …. … I’m in the same boat as you. I sometimes pass by GW stores in Tokyo and I have NEVER seen more than 1 person at a time in the satellite stores and in the main one in Jimbocho the record was 2 people on a Saturday afternoon. People stop by, they look, they smile, they leave.

        I don’t want to pay US$50 for a box of Eldar cannon fodder Guardians.

        • Muteki (Gareth)

          I wish the Yellow Subs in Osaka were decent! Hobby Metal Iconoclasm’s prices are just ridiculous 🙁 I think GW is done for me now. Their paints and primer I’ll buy, but miniatures.. no thanks.

          • Sisyphus

            Most of Japanese retailers are out of control when it comes to importing anything. Yokohama has Full Metal Planet which sells everything at a 50% markup on what you can order directly at full price and have shipped by the manufacturer to your home.

            Silliness….

  • Hi Guys,

    At the end of last year I submitted a petition of from Australian Gamers to ask GW to bring in better parity of pricing for our local gaming stores in Australia and allow them to at least compete with Sales in the UK and prevent the loss of the friendly local gaming stores here in Australia.

    Despite getting hundreds of signatures GW did nothing. Now their answer is to ban overseas sales and keep the pricing structure the same?

    Even Battlefront has reduced their pricing twice here in Australia to better reflect the current exchange rate.

    Games Workshop releases a great product but it is woefully overpriced! Looking at other newcomers into plastic boxed sets will demonstrate how boxes can be sold in an affordable way (Warlord Games, Victrix, Perry Miniatures, Immortal Miniatures, Conquest etc…)

    Since GW really does not support the local tournament scene I say feel free to use other manufacturers miniature lines.

    There are even some very high quality rules being released at present. GW no longer owns the market and should not feel so secure in their “Business Plan”.

    One thing I found encouraging is the amount of Local Gaming Stores who no longer stock just Games Workshop Product. It is not even their main product anymore.

    Unless GW finds a way to reduce Australian Pricing they will have lost a vast amount of sales and I think it will show over the next few years. You will not get the young gamers coming in without older gamers introducing them to the hobby and helping them to have the most fun playing and painting miniatures games.

    My plans to expand my existing Armies have just gone out the window. If I make any more purchases it will probably be cheap and second hand.

    On the plus side many other gaming manufactures are about to experience a boom of sorts and are probably happy with GW’s business plan 🙂

    Guys let’s show GW they have lost touch with the community by voting with our wallets (rather than by rants which they ignore anyway) and support our Local Gaming Stores by showing gamers of all ages what else is good in the Wargaming World!

    Support your local gaming store by helping them to get other games introduced, including demo games painting display models organised play etc.

    I would say more but I prefer to be constructive.

    Happy Gaming,

    Allan

    • docsid

      Allan has the most sound advice. You really have to vote with your wallet. One can rant and complain, but if you continue to buy GW products, then they have no real reason to listen. Threats of never-buying-again are meaningless unless actually followed up by action.

      And, you can support your local store just as well by showing gamers other properties in the wargaming world. Certainly GW has the advantage of numbers as the vast majority of gamers still play GW games, but that can certainly change if gamers begin to get interested in other games.

      GW’s business practices and general attitude are so disappointing. Every time a new release comes out, I am awed at the beauty of the models. They make such fine products, but it is certainly shame that is not coupled with a better business model and approach to its retailers and its customers.

      • Zac

        You really have to vote with your wallet.

        Yes and I suspect that this is what GW is expecting people not to do or at least do in small enough numbers that it won’t impact their bottom line.

        If people want to send a real message to the company then they need to stop buying GW products. Clearly the company thinks that its remaining fans are price insensitive.

        • Sisyphus

          Too many people have cried “Wooolf”… so no wonder they think they can get away with it.

          The once or twice a year routine is :
          1. Raise prices by 10-20%

          Make 85% of your base irate because of price increases and send them fuming to complain to their friends.
          Lose 5% of your bases while the other 80% just grumbles a lot.
          Score an increase in profit though the small loss of the 5% of base gone to (chuckle) that other cheaper game.
          Increase player base by 6% by recruiting jr high school kids.

          Repeat ad infinitum.

    • Aeon

      At the end of last year I submitted a petition of from Australian Gamers to ask GW to bring in better parity of pricing for our local gaming stores in Australia and allow them to at least compete with Sales in the UK and prevent the loss of the friendly local gaming stores here in Australia.

      Despite getting hundreds of signatures GW did nothing. Now their answer is to ban overseas sales and keep the pricing structure the same?

      Actually I think you will find that GW listened to the petition and from the concerns of local indie stores and this is there solution.

      Dont like it? Then be careful what you wish for

      • Hi Guys,

        While I did submit the petition to Games Workshop I also offered a number of solutions as well as speaking to the Games Workshop Sales Manager on the telephone.

        I did not rant to them. I expressed my concerns that the local gaming stores were suffering as a result of GW’s pricing structure and the strength of our Australian Dollar.

        From my time in the Army I know if you see a problem put it forward but offer realistic solutions to make it better.

        I will admit to being an optimist and hoping for the best. I was advised by Games Workshop that the petition had been forwarded to UK Sales Team that was visiting Australia at the time so they could discuss a solution.

        I was also advised that GW works on a plan based on previous sales as well as the exchange rate and that prices are not changed as our Australian Dollar could drop in value at any time etc..

        I did get the impression that most of the explanation was a standard response to be fed to any retailers who called up the Trade Sales Team.

        I did my best as a gamer and if we don’t try nothing will get fixed.

        If this is the outcome I am disappointed. Having said that maybe GW will surprise us by reducing overseas wholesale prices ?

      • Psychotic Storm

        Actually I think you will find that GW listened to the petition and from the concerns of local indie stores and this is there solution.

        Dont like it? Then be careful what you wish for

        Well what can I say, if I wish a cat to come down from a tree, technically if somebody comes and shoots it with a shotgun, the cat half, or completely dead will end up on the ground, but practically that would not be what I wished for.

  • dburton

    Seems to me this might be a good opportunity for someone in the area to pick up the ball and become a “middle” man for discounting. Would it be a big benefit for people to pay an extra 5% or so over what they currently pay for items to have someone else pick them up and ship them out to them.

    Honestly, GW has suprised me over the years to STILL have a customer base with the incessant unnecessary price rises that they annually do to their product. First its moving to plastic to make things more affordable, yet the prices are STILL close to the metal prices. Now its moving to resin to keep costs down and yet they are doing a price increase.

    Sadly I think these latest moves have all but sealed GW into being a 2 or 3 game company and never again having its heyday of producing fun games like Necromunda, Mordheim, Battlefleet Gothic etc. Sad to see a company have such a massive IP and have it essentially go to waste by only producing such limited games.

  • Marcus Bone

    I thought I’d register to post my comments on this development from what I believe I know (which is likely BS).

    1) From what I understand, Games Workshop isn’t one united entity. Down here in New Zealand (and other parts of the Pacific) GW is actually run by a different master corporation. Yes, they use GW branding and GW standards (such as White Dwarf) but they are their own corporate entity with their own shareholders (and are based, if I recall correctly, out of Singapore). So, it makes sense, on the one hand, why GW UK would take this approach (i.e. support your allied companies to ensure your profit).

    2) On the other hand, I can’t see how, in any legal position, GW would be able to restrict the trade of any retailer, barring not selling them product. And that I guess is the crux of the matter, is it worth a company like Wayland or Maelstrom fighting such a condition at the expense of their entire business?

    All in all it is a shame the GW is such a corporately driven business that seems to readily forget who supported it and grew it through the decades. But then again, they still seem to be the frontrunner in the hobby and until they have some legitmate challenges to the way they do business they will continue to do as they please.

    Thanks for letting me have my 10 cents worth!

    Marcus

  • Sisyphus

    Hahahaa… amateurs. You’ll have to work harder if you wanna implode on a grander scale than Rackham.

    Bwaaahhaaaa haa…

  • McMarlin

    As much as I understand why many people are not happy at all about that move I believe many are looking at a simplified fashion:
    My guess is that with companies like maelstrom who offer free postage all over the world more and more people started ordering there in the past 2 years or so. GW has to somewhat protect their local retailers – possibly now 10% of their total customer base ordered online from UK stores and due to the price difference by next year it would be twice as many. They had to act now more or less or the local hobby stores could all shut down (and if you look at the bigger picture of our hobby I don’t think it is a good thing). I suppose most people agree with that much – gw has to ensure that local stores can somehow compete with international stores.
    The part that most people seem to be utterly missing, the massive drop of the GBP. And it’s not like everyone living in the UK has doubled their annual income or the average canadian, australien… income was cut in half. Relativly to everyones income the prices for GW products are not so that worse (apart from their regular annual price increases). The other thing everyone should be aware of – a GW product is a large part about service and not about its value in material: I know many couldn’t care less about a local GW store, but these costs have to be calculated in the local currency. Unfortunally we’ll likely never get solid data on that, but it would be intresting to know how many customers use the services of a local store (gw or independent) and who doesn’t. For companies who care only for a local distributor who’s got to sort everything else out things are much much more simple. I guess once companies have their own regional support with staff, b&m stores we’d see similar problems concerning the pricing of their products.

    • Veritas

      Then how come companies like Battlefront have been able to take steps to ensure a better level of price parity across markets? Instead of addressing the underlying problem of why their customers feel the need to import models, GW just crushes the customer’s ability to import at all.

      • McMarlin

        If I’m not mistaken battlefront is not a UK based company (New Zealand is it?). Relativly speaking the exchange rates have been much more stable if you compare NZD with most other currencies (other than GBP).
        Even if they’d wanted it (which I doubt too) GW would consider dropping the suggested retail price on older products that show the highest differences, what do you think would a local store in australia think about that: the value of their products in stock would decrease accordingly. Unfortunally that is hardly an option. The only thing GW can do is to adjust the prices of products a bit when they release new models. Maybe the price increase with the new resin line won’t be as strong in those countries as it is in the UK. We’ll know soon enough about that.
        Besides I don’t see a single other company have actual stores – Battlefront, Privateer Press have a few people abroad to deal with the distribution of their products and possibly part of their production is located somewhere else (but most likely in China or alike to cut costs), but the largest part of their workforce is still located in the respectively US, New Zealand etc. pp For them it is much simpler to calculate the costs. You compare eggs and apples here.

        • Veritas

          Well, if other companies can maintain price parity and GW can’t I’m going to do as suggested and vote with my wallet. I’ll use Maelstrom’s “Sayonara GW” voucher to finish off a couple of things and then I’ll simply funnel my gaming budget to Infinity and Nemesis. (And Heavy Gear looks interesting…)

          If you feel GW’s prices are justified please feel free to keep buying their product. It seems you aren’t bothered by them so you must have vastly larger disposable income coffers. I just can’t justify the purchases anymore.

          • McMarlin

            I’m not saying that their prices are justified or anything – that’s not my point at all and everyone has to decide if he can justify spending that amount of money for his hobby. I love all sorts of companies for their products, buy them in my local stores if possible and the part that makes the hobby expensive for me is the simple fact that I tend to buy much more than I paint / play with.
            My point is that if you look at the prices for games such as infinity they have risen extremly in the UK or quite a few other ranges for that matter. It’s always a bit depending on your point of view. And many complains about such changes in policy and pricing are a bit narrow-minded afaik. If a different product offers for you a better value – that’s totally valid and I’m all for more diversity in the hobby. From the PoV of a european customer all other products have risen quite a bit too – GW was and still is among the most expensive lines, but they are the only ones where you can walk into any of their stores and a mother could leave their kid in the store while the staff explains to them how to paint, play etc. pp or where you can simply ask for the replacement of a missing part / miscast part of a product. Concerning service/support other companies cannot compare around here (which doesn’t make their products worse or anything). Support of other games is almost exclusivly based on other hobbyists, which can be at times great, but is highly unprofessional (which sometimes has its own special charm).

    • To play the devil’s advocate:
      Why should GW protect FLGS?
      They earn the same money from a Land Raider sold in a brick&mortar store and from a online discount retailer. Therefore it should be in GWs interest to just sell as much as possible.

      Ah, sorry, I forgot that GW somehow missed almost all of the developments in advertisements since, well, early nineties.

      (To clarify: I love my FLGS and I don’t want it to go down. But as someone living in NZ atm, I won’t spend as much money as I used to on GW products. It’s not like they are the only fish in the sea)

      • People play the games and want product in order to play the games (I have lost count of the number of unpainted models I have seen on gaming tables). The idea is that local stores promote gaming and so increase sales. So without local stores the sales stagnate. Just as Hello magazine would have a hard time if no one cared about the ‘celebrities’.

    • Hi Guys,

      While our Australian Dollar is very strong at the moment , our cost of living has also dramatically increased.

      Other Miniature companies do not seem to have trouble with the Exchange rate, just Games Workshop.

      I have to stop reading this thread 😛

      Happy Gaming,

      Allan

      • Lord Abaddon of Wormwood

        I second this statement – The cost of Living in Australia is higher than most (outside) would expect. Sydney is always rated in the top ten highest cost of living Cities in the World.

        Infinity seem the way to head. Shame as I had just unearthed my Grey knight Army that I was working on back in 2003(?) – was looking at adding to it. Bugger that. Might just sell them

        Lord Abaddon of Wormwood

    • Sevej

      Right. Yeah. Massive drop of GBP. GBP:IDR is 1:14000 now. Yet local stores still charge GBP:IDR 1:20000. I’m glad I made the switch to board games.

  • yes battlefront are NZ…. as for the online vs LGS debate… GW’s moves are not helping this at all, in fact i think the customer backlash will hurt GW…. i hope this means more FoW and WM players in my area to get games in with 😀

  • Kolonel K

    Awesome. I’d been half considering picking up a Necron army from Maelstrom, despite having played 40K about twice since the advent of 5th ed. Now, instead of getting money out of me via a retailer, I’ll go start a second Warmachine army. I will not be told how and where I spend my money, and I certainly have no desire to prop up their ridiculous business model by paying over twice what I should for their products.

    Hopefully Privateer Press have taken notice and will take steps to increase their exposure here in Australia. I’ll be trying to convince as many people as I can to dump Warhammer in favour of Warmachine or Hordes, not just because you don’t have to sell a kidney to buy an army, but because PP actually gives a damn about their customers.

    With luck I’ll get all my GW stuff photographed and up for sale on WargamerAU before the weekend.

  • phoenixman

    i took up more historical gaming as this is FAR cheaper than GW and sold all my GW armies to fund this.

    now i play Hail Caesar, WAB, Black Powder, WECW etc.

    at 40, 50 and sometimes 60+ models per box this makes far more sense tahn 10 for 25gbp as in the case of plastic empire greatswords (IMHO the biggest rip off of them all)

  • kakita

    Here’s some questions:

    1) Will Maelstrom be able to sell the items that we purchase now if it’s out of stock?
    2) Will this happen to all UK, and indeed all US and other online stores?

    • cybogoblin

      I’d recommend email Maelstrom about 1. That offer is VERY tempting, but most of their GW is listed as ‘order now’. I’m hoping we can, though I’m betting the stuff releasing after the cut-off date aren’t included.

      If they are, however…

  • Muteki (Gareth)

    I never thought I would see the day where I am looking to actively offload all my 40k and WFB stuff to start playing FoW.. and I’ve been a GW supporter since the Rogue Trader days.

  • Mooniac

    Three things are happening here, and failing to seperate them isn’t going to do the hobby any good in the long run.

    Shutting down currency arbitrage is, on balance, a good thing for the hobby and all gamers. Clubs have never, and will never, bring the numbers of people to hobby that LGS’s do. Period, sorry, forget about it. Please note the changes in policy by communist states and give it up.

    OTOH, failing to manage currency differences is just asking for trouble. Propping up their prices while reducing event support is just stupid, as well. I can feel Allan’s pain, but I think he needs to thank GW for helping him out on the policy, and then point out that it won’t really work if the currency differences are so high that a grey market is created.

  • Osbad

    Clubs have never, and will never, bring the numbers of people to hobby that LGS’s do. Period, sorry, forget about it.

    Except they do in the UK and, I understand, in Oz.

    Its only the US that is the abberation here.

    • cybogoblin

      A similar situation is true here in NZ, too. Largely because most stores don’t actually have the space and staff to fit in tables as well as product. The ones that do have tables usually have then configured to suit card gaming. The GW stores are, of course, an exception, but then they’re only selling the one product.

    • Mooniac

      I keep hearing all about how great your clubs are. How they have been around for decades, etc. etc. etc.

      As a percentage of the population, has your player base grown? US player base has grown insanely since stores started putting in tables outside of the North East. Miniatures has picked up all the slack left by the shrinkage of the RPG population and then some. In the time my town has grown by 33% population, the miniature gamer population has quadrupled. (Really surprising since the demographic of the players has been pretty stagnant, while the population growth is largely immigrant and first or secong generation).

      If you guys were spreading the faith with your clubs as fast as we are with our stores, half the Queen’s subjects would be gamers.

      Just say’n.

  • Osbad

    Obviously hard data is hard to find. But those clubs I know about are certainly growing, and I keep hearing about new clubs popping up all the time. Really in the UK at least, non-GW stores with gaming space are rarer than hens’ teeth, so any significant growth in the UK independent gaming sector, has to come from clubs and private gaming as it simply cannot come from the small handful of stores with gaming space as there are too few of them.

    Looking at the measurable growth in the size of attendance at Salute (the UK’s largest independent wargaming convention) and the thriving show scene (we don’t tend to have so many multi-day conventions in the UK, more often it is one-day “shows” which are more about shopping than playing) then I would say there is continued growth in this area with new folks coming into it all the tiime. Of course I can’t put numbers on that, but it is doing well.

    One particular area that GW do sponsor in the UK and I will give them the credit where its due, is school and library-based gaming clubs. While they are often primarily about 40k (as this is most popular with school-age kids) they are not tied to stores either and are a good way of recruiting “new blood” into the hobby. Full props for GW (and the GCN) for recognising their value. I think there’s even a school clubs league in the UK.

    Listen to the overlords.co.uk podcast for an insight into UK non-store 40k gaming. And the Worldsendradio.com for a podcast that often talks about the Oz gaming scene if you want to find out how it works.

    O