EBGames no longer takes OzTAKU

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EBGames no longer takes OzTAKU

Postby Egofreaky on Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:20 pm

Well, I know most of you guys aren't into Manga, and for those that are, you probably don't buy it from EB, but this is news from my little corner.

Yesterday, I was basically given the brush off, without any reason at all, from EBGames new Magazine Purchasing Manager. This is after 10 weeks of waiting to her to get back to me from an email informing her that the new issue was out, followed by a phone call a fortnight later to ask if she'd actually recieved the email.
The excuses I got for not dealing with me ranged from non-sensical (she had to check with the previous Purchasing Manager) to the downright lame (would have to start the contract process from scratch as the previous contract had expired).
I finally recieved a one line email, without a reason, yesterday, after I left a message on her machine asking her to get back to me as it had been 10 weeks since I initially emailed.

This REALLY pisses me off, as I'd been given the impression from the previous manager, Nina, that it had been going fantastically for them and that she intended to get the next issue. I damn well intend to get a detailed explanation, at the very least, as to why they're not taking it, even if it's only a "You have a repellent personality" kind of excuse.
The worst part is that I'd ordered a specific quantity, with EB in mind for taking 10 cases like they did last time.

There endeth the rant.
At this point, I was wondering if anyone else had any "A Retail Chain fucked me like an ageing pornstar" type stories, and how you dealt with, or possibly even resolved, them.
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Postby practicecactus on Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:10 am

Jeeze, thats rough man.Sorry to hear.
"Shoot 'em in the back!!" as Uncle Fester would say.

Sounds like the new chick trying to stamp her Authority over the position.
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Postby Anomic on Sun Dec 11, 2005 12:53 pm

Ego,
Your options are limited with this situation?? also I???m not privy to the history?? but?? personally I would go for a thank you letter to the purchasing manager and CC???d to the company CEO. Thank them for their previous involvement with the comic and that while your editorial team is disappointed that they no longer want to stock your product, you understand that this was a decision not made lightly and that you hope sometime in the future that they will reconsider this decision and/or involvement with you in future projects. Towards the end of this polite letter mention that while that partnership existed it generated X amount of sales of your comic and that current projections indicate X amount of sales growth for 2006 onward.

There is a hokey saying that goes ???if you want honey, don???t kick the beehive??? which means the minute you criticise or ask for an explanation you put people in a defensive position and anyone in that position will hunker down and justify anything and everything, so its better not to put them in that position in the first place.

By thanking them and making out that their involvement with you was important, they feel important. By then adding the facts about the economic (if there was any) advantages to having your product you have their attention. Then place in their mind the idea that they could be missing out on getting in on the ground floor to something big and that their competitors are already on board.

By CC???ing a thank you letter to the CEO it looks benign but is actually a rocket up the purchasing manager???s arse??

Failing that take Practices advice and shoot em in the back.
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Postby mark selan on Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:32 pm

I agree with Anomic, do what he says.

My fiance works in advertising, specifically she buys advertising space on telly, radio, print. She's a buyer that is wooed by a large contigent of people who want to her to buy their product. They do this by face to face contact; lunches, functions, presentations and meetings. Forget using emails to sell stuff, emails are for chit chat and spam; emails are for intercompany communication and for mass mail outs. Its all about phones, meetings and faxes (the fax thing astounds me but they still are heavily used by all medias).

Not happy with the email response, make a call, your calls aren't retruned, set up a meeting with the person through their assistant or ask if there is anyone else you can deal with. If they don't want to meet invite them to an Oztaku function/ or ask if you can do a presentation to their sales team (give them something at the presentation (emma has gotten cds, bbq kits, folders, cups, movie tickets, vases, frisbees, slat and pepper grinders). if that falls through write them a letter and thank them for their past business and not you'll make contact again in 6 months.

not wanting to be backseat driving asshole, but from the info you've given me/us i think pressuring and/or possibly annoying someone who just started in a new position is probably not the best way to go, especially if (IF) you were repeatedly asking for an explanation. Ask once; if you get an answer great if you don't its because you pissed them off or you didn't make them enough money. but its not school you don't deserve an explanation.

i'm sorry they dropped you but learn from it and move on, 'cause its the only thing you can do.
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Postby Egofreaky on Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:19 pm

Thank you for the sane advice, folks. I was just feeling pissed off and bitter when I wrote that. Which is why I left the writing of a reply to next week, so I had some time to cool down.

In so far as CCing the reply to the CEO of EBGames, I have no idea who they are or what their email address is. That being said, I'm going to devote all Monday to finding out so I can then follow that advice.

Unfortunately Mark, I can't follow most of yours as they're based in QLD, and we're in VIC.
I DID meet with the previous manager in March at Supanova Brisbane, which is where I pretty much got hte oral assurance that they'd stock the next issue.
That being said, which companies/products does she buy space for? Maybe a subtle hint for me? eh? eh? ^_^
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Postby Ian T on Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:11 am

I'd kind of wondered, having asked at various EB Games (I've been buying a few games as presents lately), and being told that it had ceased with #3. Maybe the numbering thing is part of the problem and in need of clarification. Also, each new manager/editor/whatever has to be converted anew and from scratch - just when you get to a happy stage with them, they'll leave or be replaced and it'll have to start all over again...

Cheers,

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Postby Anomic on Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:34 am

Ego,
The issue is that it did piss you off, rude people do that. But there is a need to balance the need to have feelings recognised and grievances heard with the need to maintain dignity and keep opportunities open. Unless the person is a total fuckwit and has insulted you personally its best to keep up an appearance of polite professionalism, don???t stoop to their level. Mark???s right, its an argument you can???t win (even if the desire to do so is very strong) so at worst walk away with your dignity intact, at best leave them thinking they missed out on something that could have been beneficial. Annoying them may also have further repercussions as they may have contacts within the industry and turn your name to mud.

A letter is your best option if you are so far away, phone is good but if you get a prickly personality on the other end its very hard to keep cool and not be drawn into something you regret later. Use nice paper with a letter head and separate envelope for the CC???d one to the CEO so it doesn???t get censored or binned.

The approach as I said does 2 things- 1 keeps doors open and 2 by acting in a polite professional way it will highlight to the CEO the rude and unprofessional way you have been dealt with without looking like your criticising or attacking his/her company.

I???d be happy to read a draft if you???d like otherwise good luck with it.
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Postby jpaulos on Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:34 am

Your post reminds me how glad I am that I don't bother with stores anymore and sell exclusively through my Lulu storefront ... If I were you I'd forget it, she sounds like she's made her mind up and to pursue the matter any further would be flogging a dead horse. Find another indie-friendly retailer or investigate other options (see above) ... wasting your time dealing with unsupportive people can become dispiriting and quickly turn what basically should be a fun activity into a soul destroying chore. Do yourself a favour and move on ... it sounds like she has.
When you eventually hit the big time she'll be lining up with the other plebs for favours and you can take great pleasure in telling her to go fuck herself!!!
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Postby Troy Kealley on Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:38 pm

For some better news Avi - Oztaku sold out completely on the first day of Wai-Con.
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Postby Egofreaky on Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:38 pm

Troy, that's awesome news, and now I feel like a total dick for not listening to you and sending more copies... Should have sent some bags too *sigh* Ah well, hindsight is 20/20. Next time...

Anomic: Mmmm, well, I've gotten on to the whole letter thing with the help of a couple of people around here and on OzTAKU. To that end, I'll be sending a civily worded email to her, and CCing to the person who previously held her position, as well the person I think is her manager (the info I found is 12 months old, could be someone new by now) with her one sentence reply in the quotation section. That's being followed with a Christmas card and copy of the magazine (in an attempt to persuade)...
I'm wondering if I should go whole hog and gift wrap it. heheh.

I think the thing that really pissed me off is that this was the largest single purchaser of the magazine, and they have more stores than ever our distributor gets us stocked in. Removing them from the equation takes out half of my distribution network, which makes it harder to attract all the attendant things like readership and sponsors.
That being said, MadMan is making headway getting Manga into other chain bookstores like Dymocks, and I'm hoping to ride their coattails. So maybe a subsitution is in order... I dunno. :S
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