Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Games Workshop Purchasing

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a post on Games Workshop pricing. As we are all aware two and a half years ago games workshop put in place an embargo on UK retailers selling product outside the European Union.

Presumably the aim of this was to get ROW gamers to buy their GW product from their local supplier, preferably their Games Workshop Hobby centre.

For me, the upshot of this policy has been threefold. Firstly, I tend to buy less Games Workshop product. In the past I would happily drop significant sums buying the latest release albeit from a UK internet retailer. Now I am more likely to buy alternative figures – particularly Mierce and Kromlech – or Forgeworld (still GW but not embargo) or old metal GW figures (eBay/Trade Me). Overall I’d suggest my Games Workshop purchases have fallen by 80% over the two and a half year period. Secondly, my trips to my local Hobby Centre have got less and less. Over the past few years Games Workshop’s direct influence on the hobby of a veteran gamer has decreased as they focused their marketing activities on the new gamer. Whereas previously I’d direct a certain percentage of my purchases through the shop now with the advent of digital products there is little need for me to go in and get new books on the day of release. These were generally accompanied by hobby supply purchases, the odd new model or the must-have purchase; I’ve now got well and truly out of the habit.

The third thing has been to source what Games Workshop product I did buy from offshore sellers who generally offered a 30-45% discount (including postage charges). For eighteen months this was through US bits resellers who sold complete sprues. However eventually stock problems and US postal price hikes have made that less palatable. Enter NZ Post. Who would have though the NZ postal service would accommodate local gamer needs. I now own postal addresses in both the UK and the US and can access UK pricing once again. Sure GW has belatedly realised Asia-pacific pricing is out of whack and insulated us from recent price increases – see cross border relativity of Lizardmen and Dark Elves compared to earlier releases – but using UK retailers I can source my GW product from the UK for 65-75% of retail (depending on volume).

Of course all this comes at a price. And that price is instant gratification. Purchases take around 3 weeks to arrive but this has an upside as well. Gone are the impulse purchases I use to make. Now I generally wait until I have sufficient product I need and then place an order.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a niche for a local supplier willing to split the difference between offshore pricing and full NZRRP.


  1. This is still quicker than purchasing locally for many items. I recently had to buy some figures through the GW site to be shipped in store as the local store(s) only stock some of their figures.
    It took over a month. this is the normal NZ buying process, go figure.

  2. The Hobby Stop in Kilbirnie give 10% off GW retail on models and books. or drop in to see Rick. They are on Rongotai Rd just by the main traffic lights.

    I'm not associated with them in any way - apart from being a happy customer.


  3. There's a reason why local retailers can't match or even split the difference with those offshore prices- GW's wholesale price is also region specific and the local retailer can't make any money by doing so.

    1. Yep, understand that David though there do appear to be some retailers that can offer some discount.

      Personally I'd happily guarantee a local supplier $2000 of purchases per annum if I could get a 20% discount with free postage over $150 order value.

  4. I feel sorry for local retailers who are shorted by bad pricing. GW are not the only products that it's much cheaper to get out of the UK. Osprey make great reference material but local retailers are 25-50% more expensive. It's like they pay UK retail price and then bring it to NZ and then try to sell it.

    but when my nearest NZ retailer is an hour drive and the nearest UK retailer is one click away and is open all night it's a no brainer.

    GW UK also ship to remailer accounts so it's easy to get direct only models at UK prices.

  5. It doesn't make sense at all, the biggest magnet place in NZ is on the North Shore I can get rare earth magnets shipped from the UK at about half the price they can sell them to me including postage which just seem nuts. GW is the same, my Forgeworld order from the UK was quicker than ordering Tetto Eko through the local store. Ball ache

    1. Have they already reversed the ban on sale of rare earth magnets within New Zealand, or does that company see the law more as just guidelines?

    2. I'm using them for trade purposes Charlie..

    3. Charlie wants them to feed to babies

  6. True words Pete.
    My buying habbits over the last couple of years have develped much the same yours.
    Where we are I know the lads try run misc purchases where we can through our local hobby store, new army books, paints, odd model or two. Becuase the store has always been good to us and we get 15% off generally becuase we know the owner.
    But even with that its still cheaper and most of the time easier to click a few buttons on the computer and have it delivered to my door.
    I think your are 100% right that veteran gamers are no longer even trying to battle GW about this and are happy to buy from alternative retailers.
    Even paints - Used to allow myself to buy GW paints thinking it was my contribution but with 'Slave to painting' in NZ, apart from a single odd pot why would I even do that now.

    Alternatively move to the UK like me
    Order from Element games get 50% or more off shelf price in NZ and next day delivery.