European Board Games and How I Got Started Selling Them
Two Classic "Gateway" Games
It all started with an 8-year old girl...
About two years ago, I was looking for some board games I could play with my daughter - at the time, she was 8-years old. She was into the games like Monopoly Jr. and Clue. I wanted something with a little more meat, but still something she could handle. So, off I went to Toys R Us to see what I could find.
Typical Board Games At Toys R Us
I saw the usual board games (Monopoly, Operation, Life, Cranium, Scrabble), but nothing really caught my eye. Then, I saw a couple of games by a company called Avalon Hill. These were not your typical games - now I know their origins are eurpean games. They were different, but I could not place it. They looked to have a liitle more to them. There was Betrayal At House on Haunted Hill, Sword and Skull, and Monsters Menace America. I have to say, being new to this type of game, I was intrigued by all three.
I Researched on Amazon
So, I did what most people might do...I went home and researched these games on Amazon. I was not about to spend $35-$40 on a board game for my daughter if she was not going to be able to really play it. I really leaned on the Pirate game - Pirates of the Caribbean was pretty popular at the time and the idea of bringing home a pirate-based board game was kind of cool. Then, I noticed something in the Amazon reviews...
I First Hear of Settlers of Catan
You know those lists people make about their favorite this and their favorite that? Well, I kept seeing these lists about board games and one game kept showing up - and I had never heard of it. That game was a designer game called Settlers of Catan. So, I did some more research to learn about this game. At that point I was in. I would eventually own what everyone was calling the best game on the planet. How could you not want to at least try it.
Well as life has its way, I bought the pirate game at Toys R Us. I said I would eventually come back and try Settlers, but you have to buy it online because it was not at any of the stores I typically frequent. Time goes by and it is about a year later. We have only played Sword and Skull about twice. We really should break it out again.
I Found Out I Could Sell Settlers of Catan
I ended up leaving the job I had now work for a company that is THE wholesale supplier directory for online retail. I was playing with our software to learn how the research tool worked and on a whim, I plugged in "Settlers of Catan". Well, we did not have any suppliers in the database for it, but it came back with a 75% chance of success as a product for selling on the internet. WHAT!? I needed to know more...
So, I hunted down a supplier and set up an account. I posted a few games on eBay and bang! I was off and running.
I Have a Co-Worker Who is a Huge Settlers of Catan Fan
Now, the plot thickens, because I got an extra push of confidence in my decision. We have an office with about 25 people - not a large crowd. We are all a little on the geeky side though. Starcraft The Board Game had just been released and I was telling a coworker that we were going to sell that on eBay also. He tells me "You have to sell Siedler! It's the best game ever! My family plays it every time they are together." I am in research mode, so I key in on what he is telling me and I start to type "Siedler" into Google. Then I say "What is that in English?" He responds..."Settlers...Settlers of Catan"
Now, what are the chances that I would find a die hard working WITH me that loves this game that nobody has heard of? How is this possible? I am now feeling more confident in my decision.
At this point in the story, I had still not actually played the game...just working on research and hunches. So, he brought the game in and we played the German version of the game and I was in! The game was great, the interactivity was like no other game I had played. The addiction begins. If all the european style games were this good, I was about to become a dealer and a user - oh man - that usually leads to bad things.
I Have Yet Another Friend Who Is A Settlers Fan
Well to round out my suspicions, I went to lunch with some friends from my previous job recently. I am telling them about my new adventure selling board games and introducing them to our site, http://www.bestdanggames.com. As I am naming some of the games we sell, I mention Settlers of Catan. One of the ladies just recently was in Germany and was obviously introduced to it there. She starts rattling off how much fun it was and how she would love to get a copy because she did not buy one while she was there.
Now, I do try most of the games we sell, but I do keep coming back to Settlers and because of its role in me starting my first online retail business, it will always have a place on my shelf.
By the way, the little 8-year old girl is now 10 and her face lights up when we say "let's play some Settlers".
Don't miss out on a one of the best games ever created. If you are looking for something a little different, check it out. Your life will be different and you will not be sorry.
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