Games Workshop Punishes Their Vendors for Being Naughty

This one absolutely blew my mind, and I didn't realize this happened. I've been a defender of GW's free market tactics from the beginning. I've always been of the mind that they work for their shareholders, not their customers. Other companies actually use good public relations to further that responsibility, but I can't fault GW since no matter how much they hike their prices, people buy more and more even while complaining.

But this made me to a double take...

I deal with several FLGSes. One particular one is fronted by a really nice person. So nice that I try to buy from her at retail price every chance I get. I'm not going to buy a battleforce for $120 when I can get it for $85, but I try to buy paint, single figs, etc, when I can. She's accommodating, generous, and kind.

So with these Eldar rumors, I saw that one of the models is limited edition (or so I thought). So I sent off and email requesting that one of these be put aside. Here's a redacted version of the email. I'll leave it to you go guess which parts have been changed:
Hi Barack Obama,
I saw this little blurb on a rumor site. I think it's from a GW email to vendors:
"Warhammer 40000: Eldar Spiritseer· A clampack that contains one highly detailed Citadel Finecast resin miniature sculpted by Mike Fores. Armed with a Witch Staff and spirit stone wearing a distinctive eyeless helm. Available While Stocks Last. These Items are highly limited, please request the quantity you require and we will supply you as close to this number as we can."
This may be early, but can you reserve one of these for me? Thanks.
Pretty standard right? Here is (an excerpt of) her response:
 I looked on the product lisitng for the Eldar Spiritseer (MSRP $19.25) and the item will be available until the initial stock has run out. However, after that, the Spiritseer will still be available as a special order item from GW still in print. 
Unfortunately, I am on punishment from GW for breaking a street date for White Dwarf almost 6 months ago. This means that I cannot get new releases direct from GW until one month after the new items release. This punishment from GW is almost over on July 13th. Now, I can get most new items from my other vendors a week later after GW releases their items, but I won't be to get the Spiritseer until the start of July. I wanted to let you know upfront what my current GW situation is until July 13th. After July 13th, no problem I'm back to normal. Sorry, Zero. In this instance, I would suggest buying it direct from GW to make sure you get one before they run out of the initial print run. I apologize for this inconvenience. 

So let's recap. Not many game store owners are going to retire early due to the massive profits they've accrued selling MtG and 40k to neck beards and nerds. So what GW does when some store sells a White Dwarf early is punish them by denying them access to new releases in a timely manner, which makes the store less competitive. So Gw still reaps the profit and store owners have to...what...behave?

Now, I'm not saying that a manufacturer should not have remedies when their marketing and release schedules are messed with by a vendor. But this is a tiny store in a relatively tiny market, and now that crucial  initial release window is not available.

I'm not one for hyperbole; I'm no doom and gloomer. But this may finally make me reconsider this hobby that I love so much. I have five 2500 point armies that are in various states of completion, and I'm certainly not alone. Forget the money...it's the time and effort expended that's keeping me in this hobby...maybe those are the wrong reasons.
Obviously, I do not want to get anyone in trouble, so I may be taking this post down at any time. Sorry.


  1. Guess she won't be breaking a contract again any time soon. Sucks for sure but how many times do you think there will be repeat offenders. Personally I think they could have handled it differently, but. It gets there point across

    1. Sure. It gets the point across to the relentless GW apologists that GW sure is a real savvy business and for some reason that seems to really satisfy a subset of their fandom. She sure did learn her lesson. Yeah! Take that independent retailer for trying to sell GW products! GWs relationship with independents are strange at best. They seem not to want to have independent retailers but deign to allow them to continue selling their product, though from what I've seen they're making that increasingly difficult.

  2. I have to wonder how GW became alerted to said situation, and how serious the violation was- a day is one thing, a week is another.

    Additionally, many of their products are infuriatingly difficult to street date because the information isn't included anywhere on the invoice. Many times you have to hope the sell sheet has the info AND it hasn't changed since they sent it to you. And that you still HAVE the sell sheet.

  3. It's a very strange thing because I can't imagine this store sells more than a dozen White Dwarf magazines, and the group is tightly knit. There's also no GW store around for at least 30 miles. Also, this store barely gets GW stock in time to get things out at the release date.

    Just puzzling overall.

  4. Yet another reason not to buy GW or play their games. I'm considering doing Oldhammer, as 3rd was the only edition I ever played. But I think it's ebay or nothing for me.