Home Gaming Why independent retailers struggle to offer the best prices

Why independent retailers struggle to offer the best prices

2 min read

First you get the money

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably already been bombarded with Black Friday marketing. It seems every retailer the world over is jumping on the excuse to mark down games and hardware, looking to offer consumers the best prices, get feet through their doors and hopefully sell off a bunch of old stock just in time for the holidays. As much as I prefer to support independent retailers, I do find myself browsing the offerings from the major outlets who are increasingly able to offer the best prices, squeezing the independent guys even more.

Over on MCV, independent retailers from the UK bemoaned the issue of trade pricing. While it’s always been an issue, it has gotten way worse:

“This year it is worse than before, because everyone is trying to have a £40 price point for the games – which is much lower than the £55 RRP,” stated one indie retailer. “It’s just not happening.”

It’s the same with hardware, too. Another store manager said:

“We tend not to buy consoles direct from any major distributor, because it pays us to go to GAME, buy one of their bundles, sell an Xbox One for £300, take the games out and make an additional £90 by selling them separately.

“That’s our profit margin. If we were to buy a console direct, we’re only making £25 if we’re lucky.”

I’ve heard of this locally as well – some smaller retailers will take advantage of the same deals that consumers can during major sale events only to resell the various offerings. It’s not ideal, but with competition so tight, sometimes it’s the only way that they can make a decent profit.

Locally, it seems that there is more fair play between brick and mortar retailers – I tend to see about the same pricing. It’s in the online space where things get really tricky. As consumers increasingly buy online in South Africa, retail outlets struggle to match the pricing offered. Add in the convenience factor of being able to make purchases without needing to put on pants, and it becomes that much harder for retailers. I still support the smaller stores, mostly because their service is fantastic and I end up picking up extra items in store that I probably would never have been aware of otherwise.

Add in all the logistics of running a store and paying rent and salaries as compared to distributing over the internet, and it makes sense why online retailers generally can offer better prices, especially during high volume events like Black Friday. I’m not saying that we should avoid purchasing those great deals – some of them are truly worthwhile – but perhaps to be a bit more aware of why those other stores simply can’t compete in the same way, focusing on value- added services rather than lowest prices.

Last Updated: November 27, 2015


  1. HvR

    November 27, 2015 at 09:17

    Even die big ZA corporation’s Black Friday sale can GITS.

    Dion Wired midnight BIGGEST sale in the world: PS4 with Driveclub and party game for R6500


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      November 27, 2015 at 09:20

      I’ve looked at some of the specials today. They don’t seem especially speciallier.

      A 3.5gb 970 on special for R5.5k? Isn’t that the normal price?


      • HvR

        November 27, 2015 at 09:23

        Actually stayed awake for it and the HiFiCorp one, Only good special was Philips Airfryer for R999, but didn’t buy it because Rockstar haven’t released GTA yet for the Airfryer,.

        HifiCorp had a few good ones between the normal BS but the site never stayed online long enough for a full page to load.


        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          November 27, 2015 at 09:25

          It’s like going to a factory shop these days & the prices are basically the same as regular retail. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. :/


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 27, 2015 at 09:18

    They struggle to compete because they don’t have to purchasing power to compete with the big corporates – who in turn gouge their suppliers for even more savings for fun & profit. Then they go out of business when corporates decide even minimal competition is bad, they tell everyone it’s good for everyone, and then all we’re left with is corporate profit centre 17.2a. And then the prices go up. It’s the circle of business, slowly congealing into one giant blob. Yay unrestrained capitalism and free markets!


  3. Sageville

    November 27, 2015 at 09:35

    This black friday thing is a joke.

    Basically SA shops are just using the event to push their normal prices and consumers have fallen for it.

    Heard on radio people at checkers are fighting over soap???/


    • Hammersteyn

      November 27, 2015 at 09:40

      LOL fail


    • HvR

      November 27, 2015 at 09:40

      People slept in the street for 5 x 2l Coke for R50, probably to go with the old Krispy Kreme doughnuts they camped out for 2 days.


      • Hammersteyn

        November 27, 2015 at 09:41

        Id’ do the same for those prices…. we’re talking about cocaine right?


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        November 27, 2015 at 09:43

        If people got violent would it be Mortal Kreme-bat?


        • HvR

          November 27, 2015 at 09:48

          As long as there are no DOA Extreme style bikini malfunctions between the tannies fighting for the soap.


          • Sageville

            November 27, 2015 at 10:41

            “tannies” in bikinis? – HvR exposing his dodge fetish right here….

  4. Raptor Rants

    November 27, 2015 at 10:49

    Black Friday is a bleak afair in SA at best. All it does is make me realise that even on “special” most tech is out of my grasp anyway


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