Hitchhiker’s guide to Game Distributors

 

dont_panicMy post about Manufacturers was very well received and I got a request to do one about distributors. I do get asked from time to time to provide this info anyway, so I might as well make a page about it, right?

There are a couple types of distributors and just a few large ones that dominate the US market. There are also fulfillment/consolidation services that help you get easy access to all these distributors and a warehouse to store your products. So it’s important to note the differences.

At the same time, many of them have alternate forms of doing business with you (a publisher). Some will allow you to do what’s known as “Flooring” – which means they will charge you a fee for space in their warehouse and will buy from you on consignment (thus only paying you if / when your product sells). The advantage of Flooring is that the distributor doesn’t run out of inventory – which is a major problem in this short-order front-line driven marketplace we live in today.

I do not recommend working directly with the distributors unless you’re a larger publisher. If you use a consolidator they will more then pay for their services by getting your game sold more often and to more companies than you could ever do on your own.

Also, see my post on how to get into distribution as a new publisher:
http://www.jamesmathe.com/how-to-get-into-distribution/

Consolidators

COMPANYSERVICESPROSCONS
Game Salute
Dan Yarrington
website
Full service: Kickstarter, Layout, Printing, Warehousing, Convention support.One stop shop.Limited market penatration
Impressions
Aldo Ghiozzi
website
Warehousing and direct to distributor sales.Access to most distributors world wide.Storage fees.
Publisher Services, Inc
website
Warehousing and direct to distributor sales.Access to most distributors world wide. Access to Target and Barnes & Noble and other mainstream outlets.Isn't taking on new clients

 distributors

US Distributors

COMPANYSERVICESPROSCONS
ACD Distribution
website
Midwest, East & West coast locations.
Aladdin Distributors
website
Regional
Alliance Game Distribution
website
Flooring. Fulfillment.Midwest, Eastern, Southern, and West coast locations. Plus one in London, ON CANADA
Diamond Comic Distributors
website
Mostly just comics
Flat River Group
website
GTS Distribution
website
9 locations. Heavy on CCG. Light on RPG
Mad Al Distributors
website
Regional
Premier Hobby Distributors
website
Light on RPG
R&M Distributors
website
Southern Hobby
website
Mostly MTG and supplies. Light on RPG
WarPath Games Distribution
website
Heavy on the miniaturesRegional
WorldWise Imports
website

 

Worldwide Distributors

COMPANYREGIONSERVICESPROSCONS
Arcane Tinmenvery small
Arcanus Distribution
website
Mexico
Avalon Trondheimvery small
Bergsala Enigma
website
Denmark
Boardgamecafe
website
Malaysia
Boosterboxvery small
Brain Games SIA
website
Latvia
Brave New World
website
GermanySmall
Coiledspring Games
website
UKTargets younger market
Distrimagenvery small
El Duendevery small
El Viejo Terciovery small
Esdevium Games
website
EuropeLarge
Everest Wholesalevery small
Fantaspielpelitvery small
Freakvery small
Good Games Distribution
website
Australia
GROSNOR Distribution
website
Canada
Grosnor Sports Cardsvery small
Jolly Thinkers Centre
website
China
Kaissavery small
Kangavery small
Lion Rampant
website
CanadaLarge
Millenium
Paradigm Infinitumvery small
Pegasus Spiele
website
Europe & Germany
Pixel Park
website
New Zealand
PixelParkvery small
Raven Distributionvery small
Spiral Galaxy Games
website
UKFulfillment & Distribution
STGS Edwin Gamesvery small
Swan Panasiavery small
Ulisses Spiele
website
Germany
Universal Distribution
website
Canada
Ventura Int'lvery small
Vincitvery small
Wargames Clubvery small

I also found this great list of non-USA distributors and partners on Gigamic’s website:
More Non-USA distributors

 

Fulfillment Centers

These services will help you ship your game around the world to your end customers (like Kickstarter backers). They are good to use to help avoid your customers paying import/VAT taxes on the goods as you can ship within the EU. This is usually called being “EU Friendly”. Also, since shipping out of the USA is so damn expensive, your costs in the end (even though you pay the VAT on the wholesale price of your goods) ends up being less in the end. But it is more work / logistics.  My company, Minion Games, ships to only USA backers and has one of these services send to all the non-USA backers (even Canada).

COMPANYCONTACTSHIPS FROMNOTES
Aether Tower Inc.aether.tower@gmail.comMexicoMail to Texas
Aetherworks
website
kickstarter@aetherworks.com.auAustralia
Agility
website
CAChen@agility.comChina
Amazon FBA
website
Multiple CountriesIssues with product listings changing. Requires barcode on everything.
Attacke
website
andreas.miksch@attacke-agentur.deGermanyReliable but expensive
China Division
website
michael@chinadivision.comChina
Collext
website
hello@collext.comUK
Floship
website
steve.suh@floship.comChina
Fulfillrite
website
info@fulfillrite.comUSA
Funagain Games
website
fulfillment@funagain.comUSA
Game Surplus
website
games@gamesurplus.comUSA
Games Quest
website
fulfilment@gamesquest.co.ukUKCheap yet great service. Tracking only in UK
Good Games
website
lucene@goodgames.com.auAustralia
Happyshops
website
projekt@happyshops.comGermany
IdeasPatcher
website
vcullot@morningplayers.comFrance
Logistico
website
rz@logistico.deGermany
Quartermaster Logistics
info@qmlogistics.com
USA
Send From China
website
fulfillment_sales@sfcservice.comChinaOnly good for small packages. Damage on larger packages.
Sendwich Logistics
website
maxi.ebert@sendwich-logistics.comGermany
Ship Naked
website
USASometimes poor communication and delays
Shiphopper
website
info@shiphopper.comEurope
Simple Global
website
sales@simpleglobal.comSouth Korea
Snakes & Lattes
website
games@snakesandlattes.comCanada
SpainBox
website
manuel@spainbox.comSpain
Spiral Galaxy Games
website
sales@spiralgalaxygames.co.ukUK
Starlit Citadel
website
trwong@starlitcitadel.comCanada / USA
Unicorn Games
website
info@unicorngames.com.auAustralia
VFI
website
coyotegames@live.comChina
Wayland
website
chris@minervagames.co.ukUK
YesFulfillment
website
hello@yesfulfilment.comUK
ZhenHub
website
vincent@zhenhub.comUSA

Also, see Jamey Stegmaier’s detailed blogs about fulfillment and his experiences:
https://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter/lessons/shipping-and-fulfillment/

Check out this very detailed Google worksheet that has a bunch of shippers listed on it (not it has several tabs at the bottom):
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bx2h-oZ-ZcNdKw-yyAUfl-BbWOjmqP6tYu9jTKPxfnI/edit#gid=1844848505

7 thoughts on “Hitchhiker’s guide to Game Distributors

  1. UK also has ourselves and we do distribution and fulfilment, we’re working on a tie up with Game Salute and have been their UK Distributor for a while.

    Coiled Spring are ideal if your game is targeted at the younger market.

  2. Louis Angelli on

    Really rookie questions here from someone just trying to figure out this industry.

    If I was to work with a Consolidator and Manufacturer. Do Consolidators handle initial order fulfillment if we did a Kickstarter?

    What about future order fulfillment if we set up a website for online order? Do Consolidators handle those or do they just handle working with distributors to get games into stores?

    Thank you so much for all this great information!!!

    • Some consolidators do, most don’t. Online orders are on you, not your consolidator. They really only help you get into distribution. There are fulfilment companies like Games Quest that can help you ship Kickstarter.

      • Louis Angelli on

        Thank you, I can’t tell you how useful I have found your site to be so far. Thank you for the time, experience and wisdom!

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