"Privateer Press Supports Brick-and-Mortar Retailers With New Free Rider Policy
Bellevuer, WA, March 29, 2016 - To support the successful health and growth of independent brick-and-mortar retailers in the hobby game industry, Privateer Press has announced a new "free rider" policy with its distribution partners. Online retailers who have little meaningful contact and offer few or no services of value to player audiences undermine the stability of the market by selling products at discounts well below the retail value. They are depending solely on the efforts of independent brick-and-mortar retailers to offer those services that they do not in order to keep their business model alive. This model of business is widely recognized by experts and the justice system as "free riding" and is viewed in the hobby game industry as crippling and anticompetitive. Free riding practices undermine the efforts of Privateer's brick-and-mortar partners and the services they offer that nurture the audience and grow the market."
"Upon enacting this policy, Privateer will monitor the market for free riders and provide a confidential list to its distributors regarding which retailers are offering Privateer Press products at an unsustainable deep discount while offering little or nothing in the way of services."
"We also recognize that online retailers provide product availability to some customers who do not have ready access to a local brick-and-mortar store. We hope those online retailers-with integrity and the foresight to protect the longevity and availability of the product line providing their income-will swiftly adjust any retailing practices that are counterproductive to the health of our industry."
You can read the whole press release here.
This policy puts them in line with Asmodee, Games Workshop, Mayfair Games and Wizkids.
Unfortunately, it doesn't spell out what is considered too much of a discount or how they will handle hybrid stores, that have both brick-and-mortar and online retail space. What will happen to a hybrid store that gets a dog product in and then marks it down to cost online to get it out of their inventory?
Ambiguity...is not anyone's friend.