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Answerman - Why Do Companies Only Sell Some Shows Through Their Own Stores?


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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 2698
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:52 pm Reply with quote
I have noticed that the Funimation Store's pricing typically tracks with Right Stuf, which I'm sure is no coincidence. Like Justin said, the few times where I've ordered directly, rather than through Right Stuf is when there is some sort of exclusive item, and even then, I might not do that if the price wasn't the same.

I basically settled in as a dedicated Right Stuf user years ago for all the reasons Justin mentioned at the end, plus they are located in my state, so buying from them has a certain "shop locally" feel to it.
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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 1747
Location: Leiden, NL, EU
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:38 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Sales for releases that are self-distributed nearly always dwarf that of similar shows released through normal retail channels.

I think you meant that the other way around?

Another aspect, licensors' own shops can't sell to customers from other regions, while retailers don't have that obstacle.
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Mr. sickVisionz



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 1805
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:45 pm Reply with quote
Kimiko_0 wrote:
Another aspect, licensors' own shops can't sell to customers from other regions, while retailers don't have that obstacle.


Thats more an issue of a poorly setup shop than a real limitation of selling via a self-owned store.
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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:10 pm Reply with quote
Isn't it because they can only sell in the region they have the license for?
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Blackiris_



Joined: 06 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:47 pm Reply with quote
I don't think this always backfires. Square Enix, for example, has a number of products only available from their store, including limited editions and merchandise. Same goes for NIS America – I think their limited editions are commonly only available in their own online shop.

As for peppermint, as far as I know they belong to Aniplex (or it's at least a joint venture), and they're trying hard to push their online shop and their streaming platform with exclusive stuff at the moment. Not sure if it'll work out eventually, but it wouldn't be the first time.
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Psycho 101
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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
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Location: Chora's Den
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:26 pm Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
I have noticed that the Funimation Store's pricing typically tracks with Right Stuf, which I'm sure is no coincidence. Like Justin said, the few times where I've ordered directly, rather than through Right Stuf is when there is some sort of exclusive item, and even then, I might not do that if the price wasn't the same.

I basically settled in as a dedicated Right Stuf user years ago for all the reasons Justin mentioned at the end, plus they are located in my state, so buying from them has a certain "shop locally" feel to it.

Sentai's prices are much the same at their store. Same with Robert's Anime Corner Store. The latter hardly gets mentioned by people compared to Right Stuf. Which is sad cause they do a good job at RACS.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 2698
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:48 pm Reply with quote
Blackiris_ wrote:
I don't think this always backfires. Square Enix, for example, has a number of products only available from their store, including limited editions and merchandise. Same goes for NIS America – I think their limited editions are commonly only available in their own online shop.


I'd say it probably backfires without offering some sort of added incentive, like being the only option for limited editions. Then again, they also have to go into it not expecting to sell lots of units since it requires the shopper to go out of their way to find something. Also, I've picked up limited edition NISA products from Right Stuf, though I have no idea if that applies to their other products since I can only think of three NISA shows that I've purchased.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 3207
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:10 pm Reply with quote
And then, you have Viz selling the remaining post-dub volumes of Maison Ikkoku only through their own site, Amazon or RightStuf.
Not so much because it was a "prestige" item, or because of rights, but because they still had such a personal company grudge against the VHS release, they wanted to "prove" to the fans that it Was Never Going to Sell In Retail Anyway, by burying it under the radar for the two or three fan-nitpicking "eccentrics" who were planning to buy it on disk.

Sort of the same reason Warner keeps banishing all its old classic movies to the Warner MOD Archive instead of retail, since they wish to convince us that "everyone knows nobody buys disks anyway".
("Everyone knows" that except the home-theater fans, apparently.)


Last edited by EricJ2 on Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Giolon



Joined: 16 Jan 2009
Posts: 50
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:23 pm Reply with quote
Kimiko_0 wrote:
Quote:
Sales for releases that are self-distributed nearly always dwarf that of similar shows released through normal retail channels.

I think you meant that the other way around?


Haha, I came to post the same thing. It should presumably be:

Quote:
Sales for releases that are self-distributed are nearly always dwarfed by that of similar shows released through normal retail channels.
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himeji



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:44 am Reply with quote
It's overdue that production committees set up a download site for each show.

Completely dispose of all middle-men.

This is the internet, FFS.
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Shiroi Hane
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Joined: 25 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:44 am Reply with quote
Mr. sickVisionz wrote:
Kimiko_0 wrote:
Another aspect, licensors' own shops can't sell to customers from other regions, while retailers don't have that obstacle.

Thats more an issue of a poorly setup shop than a real limitation of selling via a self-owned store.

No, it is because they don't have rights to distribute out of the regions they have right to distribute in. Here's an email I received from Funimation's Z-Store a decade ago:
Quote:
Dear Anime Fan,

Due to the limitations of our license agreement with TOEI Animation, we can
only sell merchandise to people in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
South Africa (for SA customers, choose US Minor Island for the country), and
APO addresses.

Although I don't have any contact information for them, the AB Groupe
handles DBZ releases in Europe.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you for contacting us,

Customer Service
ZStore/The FUNimation Store

(No, I wasn't trying to buy anything DBZ-related, I was trying to obtain the pre-coloured Kiddy Grade figures exclusively available from them. I later got one from RightStuf when FUNi shuttered the Z-Store and handed everything over to them)


Psycho 101 wrote:
Same with Robert's Anime Corner Store. The latter hardly gets mentioned by people compared to Right Stuf. Which is sad cause they do a good job at RACS.

Except when they cancel orders due to lack of stock, while still somehow having stock to sell at inflated prices...
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Loveless100



Joined: 18 Sep 2008
Posts: 59
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:12 am Reply with quote
From what I'm aware Sentai is now using RightStuf for their fulfillment. That's why RS has similar pricing to Sentai. Plus I think it's a lasting relationship from the ADV days.

Funimation might be selling their own items, but I believe they still use a third-party fulfillment service. It's cheaper but from what I know of fulfillment services anything outside the norm is extra. I don't know how much benefit they get from going through their service versus going through a channel like RS or Amazon.

That said Funimation still goes through their normal distribution channels since their titles tend to branch into the mainstream compared to Sentai.
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Zalis116
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 6199
Location: Kazune City
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:15 pm Reply with quote
himeji wrote:
It's overdue that production committees set up a download site for each show.

Completely dispose of all middle-men.

This is the internet, FFS.
Well, it's good to know that Japanese companies have the staff and budget available to provide service and support in every language and in all time zones, and that "the Internet, FFS" has eliminated all economic disparities and cultural differences around the world.
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Puniyo



Joined: 08 Oct 2015
Posts: 83
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:43 pm Reply with quote
Blackiris_ wrote:
I don't think this always backfires. Square Enix, for example, has a number of products only available from their store, including limited editions and merchandise. Same goes for NIS America – I think their limited editions are commonly only available in their own online shop.


It works for NISA because only their special editions are available exclusively, but you can still just go to a game store and buy any of their games. They also actually advertise their store in their game boxes, with internet ads and game site partnerships - basically everything that anime companies don't do.
Also with how well-known Square Enix is, I don't think they really need to worry about no one knowing they exist or checking if they have a store.

I've used NISA shop before for exlusive versions of Atelier games, but I've never even thought to buy a standard edition game from them. Why when I can go to GAME - the site has free shipping, I can go and walk to the store and get it, and the rewards points system is actually pretty good.

Nowadays I pretty much exclusively buy anime from HMV. I never made a decision to, it's just what's most convenient and cheap. It's local and points. Anime is already pretty expensive - buying elsewhere means price drops are unlikely and I'll probably have to pay postage.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 10202
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:09 pm Reply with quote
Man, I wish the Berne Convention didn't have it's members copyright span ending at least 50 years after a creator dies. As such, I think copyright should limited universally to 50 years from when the work was published/made for non-photo works. This is because then we could overcome these licensing barriers with legal fansubs.
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