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By Kris Decker
January 1, 2003
Store Location: Online
Owners: Jim Stern
At the offices of Internet retailer AreYouGame.com, it’s not
unusual to find employees immersed in the rules of Stratego, or see
a jigsaw puzzle coming together in the customer service department.
Explains company president Jim Stern, “We keep a large percentage
of the products here so employees can help customers with questions
about rules, or make recommendations to people searching for just
the right game for their child. Plus, all our employees are pretty
much game addicts.”
Brick and mortar retailers are struggling right now. How is business
for an online retailer like AreYouGame?
Jim Stern: We’ve noticed a 30-35% increase
in sales over the last few years. And this has been an amazing year.
The orders have been coming through like crazy. We got in 600 copies
of Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Game last week. They sold out
in five hours.
TD: What draws customers to your site?
JS: If they want customer service and attention
for specific needs, then AreYouGame.com is the place to go. We get
products in faster because we’re Online, and we don’t
have to worry about distribution to 50-60 store locations—we’ve
got it in one spot. Then we immediately let our customers know about
it via email and the website.
TD: How do you market AreYouGame.com?
JS: Online marketing campaigns, affiliate programs,
click through links on Overture and Google, newsletters to our customers,
links from partner sites like Hasbro, Pressman Toys, and University
Games. We also change our home page about once a week during the
holidays, every 3-4 weeks at other times. We’re always adding
Has the popularity of electronic games adversely affected the board
JS: No. As a matter of fact, there’s been
a resurgence in the popularity of board games because they tend
to get the family together. I love that!
What makes your Internet company different from all the rest?
JS: A strong emphasis on customer service and product
diversity. We have the largest selection of games and puzzles—over
2000, all available on our website. If customers want a game they
don’t see there, we try to track it down for them. And we
have the “Game Attic” where we offer older games or
ones that are out of print. We’ve got employee and customer
reviews, and price comparisons with other retailers so customers
really get topnotch service. We try to go the extra mile. This morning
we had a customer call who’d wanted Pokemon Sorry, but had
ordered a Sorry game instead. It was the one thing her son wanted
for Christmas. She was really disappointed to hear that we hadn’t
had Pokemon Sorry since June. So we looked around, discovered we
had a copy that had been opened but still had all the pieces. We
told her we could shrink-wrap it so it would look new and send it
to her. She was thrilled! Our customers are people to us and we’ll
do whatever we can to help them.
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