In the last blog post we discussed the reasons why we decided to build LiQD, the One Shelf, Thousands of Games concept, and our vision for the ideal collection, a LiQD Collection. In this post, we want to dive depper into the idea of the LiQD Collection and discuss the components that help us achieve it.
From personal experience, discussions with friends in the hobby, and polling of fellow hobby gamers, it is evident that many of us:
· Feel our collections are too big.
· Only love a fraction of what’s in them.
· Continue to add new releases to our already overflowing game shelves.
· Are frustrated that there’s no easy and efficient way for us to downsize what we no longer play or love.
As a result, our collections typically demonstrate the following growth pattern:
I know first-hand that owning a collection like this is very frustrating for all of the reasons we discussed in the previous blog post. To address this frustration and gain control over our collections, we want to fundamentally change the way gamers feel about, manage, and interact with their game collections. That is what underlies our vision for the ideal game collection: the LiQD Collection.
Our vision for an ideal game collection is a relatively small “infinite” shelf of games that would:
· Be a lean, nimble, and constantly rotating set of games, all of which we love and play often.
· Contain a more permanent small set of sentimental favorites and/or collectibles that we don’t see culling.
· Free us from the anxiety of FOMO because we know we can get virtually any game we want at a good price whenever we want it.
It would look something like this:
What’s important to note here is the following:
· Collection size stays relatively constant and under control.
· The games in the collection are ones that we love and want to play.
· Once games no longer fit that profile, we can easily, efficiently, and with minimal effort replace them with ones that do by:
o Selling them to fellow gamers who want to play them.
o Using the proceeds of these sales to offset the cost of new game acquisitions.
o Purchasing new games that we want to play at the best prices possible.
As a result, we:
· Save space
· Save time
· Save money
· Improve the overall quality of the games we own
· Reduce FOMO because:
o We no longer have space limitations.
o We know we’ll be able to acquire that next must have title when we want it and try AFTER we buy.
o Plus, we can offset the costs by selling games we’re done with.
But, how do we get there. How do we get from this:
From our perspective, there are six components necessary to deliver our vision:
Everything revolves around the Collection. What’s in it. What’s not. What used to be. What will be. What should be. Being able to easily create it, import it, slice it, dice it, filter it, sort it, search it, and have instant access to videos by your favorite content creators is key.
Your collection should provide you with valuable insights: How much it’s worth in total, how many fellow gamers are looking to purchase every game in it, what they are willing to pay you for them, and the current retail prices for each one. Having this level of data at your fingertips allows you to make more informed selling decisions.
Listing a game for sale should be easy and only take a couple of clicks. Selling games, whether it be one, five, or ten, should be a simple process and not require hours of time and effort to create listings on multiple platforms. A “Sell List” directly linked to your collection can achieve this.
Your Sell List should also provide you with easy access to market prices (retail and resale) to help you price your games to sell quickly and ensure your items are not priced too high or too low.
Most of us do some level of research before buying our next game. That can take the form of reading or watching reviews, watching how-to-play videos, reviewing top 10 or top 100 lists, listening to podcasts, etc. It’s enjoyable, but time-consuming.
To further support and facilitate our vision, we need something that will help us more quickly and efficiently discover and identify our next target games. Something that will help us improve the likelihood that our next purchase will be something that we will love and play regularly and not just be a one-and-done that sits on the shelf taking up space. That’s where recommendations come in.
Like the Sell List, adding a game to a list of those that we’re interested in should be easy – one click. Other sites have wish lists that merely serve to remind us of what we want. Our goal is to transform the tired old wish list into something new. Something that works for you around the clock, hunting for the best deals on the games you’re looking for while you sleep. With this new type of list:
a. You can see who’s selling a given game and the price they’re asking.
b. You set a price range that you are willing to pay for each item so that we can let you know when a game falls into that range. Think of it as a bot watching the market for you!
c. For every game on it, LiQD will tag these games across the platform so you'll always know if a game is on the list.
d. For each game on it, we let users with that game in their collection know there’s demand for it (i.e. that you are looking to buy it).
This is the LiQD Buy List.
WHAT ABOUT SHIPPING? Shipping is a reality in an online marketplace – whether it be resale or retail. But what we feel is key is to provide the buyer with estimated shipping up front before they decide to make a purchase. An enormous amount of wasted time is spent between buyers requesting shipping costs from sellers and sellers having to use several shipping vendors web sites to calculate estimated shipping costs – all just for the buyers to say – “never mind, that’s too expensive.” Automatically calculating estimated shipping up front before committing to purchase provides the buyer with this critical cost component and a final total price that they can use to make their purchase decision – all without involving the seller.
It goes without saying that having the ability to execute easy, fast, and secure game purchases and sales from fellow gamers is absolutely foundational. A reputation system is also a prerequisite to keep everyone honest. But there are three other aspects that need to be built in: a dispute resolution process, integrated shipping, and a mechanism to maximize supply and maximize demand.
A dispute resolution system is another no-brainer – necessary just in case. Most options for reselling board games take a “hands off” approach, leaving risk entirely up to the buyer and seller. A marketplace without a safety net is only as good and trusted as its last non-fraudulent transaction.
With the exception of eBay, the current board game resale options ignore shipping and require the buyer and mostly the seller to deal with it on their own. Unknown shipping costs at the start of a purchase can be a deal killer and lead to a bad experience for both parties. The first step to alleviating this is, as mentioned above, to provide the buyer with automatically calculated estimated shipping costs before they decide to purchase. The second step is to eliminate the need for the seller to do anything related to shipping except print out a pre-paid shipping label and bring the box to the shipping vendor. That’s exactly what LiQD does.
Maximizing supply and demand for board game resale involves a laser-focus on board gamers and tailoring an experience specifically to their needs. Providing an easy to use intuitive platform to manage their collections, time-saving methods to discover new favorites, and a fast, secure, and transparent system to sell former-picks and purchase new crave-worthy titles is exactly what LiQD is striving to achieve.
The underlying fabric that ties all of these components together is LiQD’s artificial intelligence. The platform uses AI to facilitate the LiQD Collection by encouraging and maximizing purchases and sales. Some examples include:
· Combining aggregated content creators’ reviews with a user’s personal gaming preferences to generate game recommendations.
· Letting a user know that it may be a good time to sell that un-played former favorite.
· Informing a buyer when a good deal has materialized.
· Notifying a seller that a buyer has interest in a purchase for just a few dollars less than their asking price.
· Keeping transactions moving forward by ensuring both parties are engaged every step of the way.
· And more…
Now that we’ve laid out LiQD’s key components, over the next several posts we’ll discuss each one in more detail and how they all work together. Until then, happy gaming!
What are some of the challenges you have with your game collection?
What are your thoughts on the LiQD Collection?
What kinds of collection management tools would you find helpful?
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