Connects TCGplayer to Shopify and Square
Posted by Milton Griepp on February 12, 2021 @ 4:08 am CT
TCGplayer, the largest online platform for TCG collectibles, processed over 12 million orders on behalf of 2,500 game retailers in 2020. The new service will integrate the TCGplayer services, which include in-store kiosks, collectible card image scanning software, channels for in-store and marketplace inventory management and pricing, and the TCGplayer marketplace, where collectibles are bought and sold, with POS systems that support in-store and online sales.
"What this is really doing is that last mile of ringing the customer up, removing that manual process, and making sure that this becomes one entire connected system," Hampson continued. "So if they want to ring up a Mountain Dew and a pack of sleeves, but they also want to ring the singles cards in sync, that can now happen. It's all within one system."
POS Plug-In will eliminate the need for retailers to allocate separate inventories for the store and online sales via TCGplayer. "Maybe their inventory for TCGplayer is separate from their inventory for in-store," Hampson explained. "Now it can be connected; they can set prices on it; they can manage it. When they do their buy list and purchase items off a customer, it will flow right into their inventory and be immediately available to sale for other customers."
The service will be free to use; the only revenue for TCGplayer is commission on online sales. "It's a zero dollars fee, no flat fee. There's no installation fee. There's no fee for anything that happens inside the store," Champson told us. "We do charge a commission of sales that happen online if they're connected off to our marketplace.
The free-to-use model is a long game for TCGplayer. "Because we have the online marketplace, our first thought is about leveling up these stores and getting them everything they need to run a great local business," Hampson said. "If they don't run a great local business we don't ever have a chance of having them think about selling online. This is our way of putting our actions front and center that we're going to build these incredible tools we're going to give to these stores. We're going to hope that they change their lives and help them run better businesses. Eventually, if that does prove out, then they can think about if they want to also sell online and take advantage of online sales."
The flexibility to use any of multiple POS systems will also speed adoption, Hampson believes. "That gets to the hallmark of why we think it's going to be a success," Hampson said of the model. "It's because we're not asking them to shovel or get rid of software choices they've made. We're saying, ‘Hey, keep those software choices, keep those hardware choices, and just use us to enhance them,’ as opposed to most systems are, 'Hey, replace those entirely if you want to use us.’"
In a statement accompanying the announcement, Hampson boiled down the new retailer tool to his experience in game stores. "Having spent a decade managing local gaming stores myself, I founded TCGplayer with the goal of developing a technology platform that could empower small businesses to simplify operations so they could focus on what really matters – their customers," he wrote.
TCGplayer has been in a rapid expansion mode, adding 100 employees in a one-year period (see "TCGplayer Hiring"), and recently recruiting its first Chief Marketing Officer (see "TCGplayer Adds CMO").
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