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GameKnight vs. Cards Against Humanity

This game frustrates us greatly.

    Here at GameKnight, we find ourselves in a really strange and perplexing situation. We are continually getting requests for the card game, Cards Against Humanity. In general, we get all kinds of requests for games that are old, out of print, have limited availability, have limited distribution, have dedicated retailers, are back ordered, are having supply issues and so on. It is one of the challenges we face daily. We do our best to track down everyone’s request, and keep a record of your requests for when we do.
    The Cards Against Humanity situation is unique. We get more requests for this game than any other game we stock. However, the company that makes it does not sell to retailers or distributors. The only way you can get it is to purchase it through them over the internet. They have been telling us now for over a year that they will eventually have wholesale options to sell to us, and while we have waited patiently for them to do so, there is no indication that this is going to happen any time soon.
    GameKnight has had the game before. We made a purchase and they sent us some games. Then they changed their minds and won’t do so anymore. I have tried to purchase this game under different names, but it would appear they have flagged my credit cards and mailing addresses. I have purchased copies from friends, but this channel of getting games will also close once they see certain people buying multiple copies of the game multiple times. They are sticking to a policy of not selling to retailers like us.

Here are some excerpts from the FAQ on their website:

Where can I buy Cards Against Humanity?
Cards Against Humanity is only available online in the U.S. and Canada. We always sell the main game for $30 and the expansions for $12.

How do I play Cards Against Humanity?

Read the fucking rules.

Why do I see Cards Against Humanity being sold for a higher price than $30?

Sometimes resellers buy copies from us and jack up the price. It sucks, but there's nothing we can do to stop them. We hope you don't buy Cards Against Humanity from a shady reseller - it only helps them buy more of our games and raise the price further.

Is there wholesale pricing for Cards Against Humanity? Can I sell it in my store?

We don't offer wholesale pricing for Cards Against Humanity yet. Our business strategy is to sell the game directly to consumers. If you own an independent game store and would like to sell Cards Against Humanity when wholesale pricing is available, please contact us at cardsagainsthumanity@gmail.com.

What they think of us
    So what we have here is company that is painting all retailers with the same brush. Their FAQ used to say “blah blah blah unscrupulous retailers blah blah blah”. They’ve changed it since I last visited their website, now we’re all just ‘shady resellers’. So they seem to think because we sell things for profit that makes us unscrupulous. Well, they don’t have a very good grasp of economics if they think I can buy it for $30 and sell it for $30. Shipping stock isn’t free, my employees don’t work for free, the City of Winnipeg doesn’t give me free tax exemptions for either property or business, the bank isn’t paying my building mortgage for free, and so on. So yes, we are a for profit business. I need the profit to pay my expenses, otherwise we would not exist.

What we think of them
    Not much. I am frustrated by their policies and frustrated every time I have to explain this to my customers. It is hard not to sound bitter to those innocent folks who just want to come in and purchase this game. I feel like I am constantly wasting my breath with every answer I give to someone about this. What the Cards Against Humanity people fail to understand is there are plenty of people who are perfectly fine with paying for this game in their local game store, even if the price is higher. There are plenty of people without credit cards who can’t buy it online. There are plenty of people who do not trust providing their information to online sellers, and so on. When we had the game, we were selling it for $50, double what they sell it for. But it was all over ebay for $65. So they seem to have a problem with a game store selling it for more than $25, but any individual can buy it and resell it and there’s no issue? Seems they are hypocrites as well.

What we are going to do about it: options
    So here is the crunch of it all – what can we do about it? People are not going to stop asking us for it, and I don’t feel like wasting any more breath explaining it. I would like to sell this game, and any price people are willing to pay for is simply free-market enterprise. If someone doesn’t want to purchase it from us for $50, they can go and buy it online for $25. The same goes for any other game we sell. I look at games like Settlers of Catan, which we sell for $39.99. I’ve seen it in stores selling for as high as $54.99, and as low as $2.00 (Value Village, and it was an open copy). There are plenty of online stores that sell stuff cheaper than we do, but there plenty of problems with buying on line – time for delivery (4-6 weeks or more), saying they have it in stock and they take your money and make you wait until they have it, shipping you the wrong thing, shipping you damaged merchandise, shipping it to the wrong address, and so on. Sure most things show up on time with no problems, but you know when you leave our store with a game that you have it whole, complete, and right now.

So here are our options:
1. Ignore it and hope it goes away – Uhh I don’t think it will.
2. Refer customers to the Cards Against Humanity website and tell them they can download it for free – sure, we’ve been doing this. We’ve been finding most people do not want to do the work of printing and cutting out the cards to make a ‘free’ game. Besides, most people don’t want a bunch of misshapen home-made cards. Most people want a professionally made product that comes in a box designed to hold it.
3. Keep telling customers that we can’t get it because the Cards Against Humanity folks won’t sell it to us – This wastes our time, and in no way helps the customer, and in no way makes us look good at all.
4. Wait for Cards Against Humanity to set up wholesale – we’ve been waiting over a year for them to set up wholesale. While they say they will, and they’ve taken our information to contact as such a time as they see fit in the future, I don’t honestly think they will until the sales of their game start falling. At such a time it won’t matter to us if we do as the hype around this game will be gone, as will the sales potential.
5. Tell the customer we refuse to sell it for moral reasons – C’mon, really?
6. Keep scheming to get some copies of this game – sure. See below for our newest answer to this problem situation.
7. Sell the customers something else – sure , Personally Incorrect is a good alternative.

Personally Incorrect
Personally Incorrect, the appalling game that will make you hate what you think and love what you play!
Ever played a party game that just got more and more offensive through the night? Me too! So instead we decided to start one that way. This game is sexist, ageist, racist, and downright dirty. Basically if you get offended by anything, go play some other lame game!
Not only do you get to make up absolutely outrageous allegations, but you get to make them up about someone sitting right at your table! If you're playing with close friends - watch out! Inside jokes and embarrassing facts might just take center stage.
Unlike similar games where the question reader is king and decides who handed over the best answer, all players except for the reader get to vote with the reader acting only as a tie breaker.

This game sells for $23.99 and is every bit as funny in that appalling sort of way that Cards Against Humanity is. The fact we can sell it for less than Cards Against Humaity and profit while doing so shows you that Cards Against Humanity is really over priced at $25, and they themselves are a ‘shady reseller’, keeping a huge profit margin for themselves instead of letting games store make a few bucks selling it.

Help us out – our answer to the dilemma that is Cards Against Humanity
    So we’ve been waiting patiently for them to set up wholesale with no success, and are having trouble buying it from any source that can get the games to us. We are now turning to you, our customers.
    GameKnight has been buying and selling both new and used merchandise for over 10 years now. Generally we prefer to sell new items sourced from proper distributors, but we also take product in trade as well as buy it for cash. A good example is Magic the Gathering cards, which we also do a brisk trade in. You bring us the cards you don’t want, and we buy them for fair market value. We’ve bought board games, miniatures, hand crafted items, and other things as well. Now we’re going to get a bit more active in this kind of trade, and we’re making a pitch to you to bring us new, sealed games of Cards Against Humanity.

Product Your Cost We Pay We Sell Maximum Quantity*
Base Game $30.00 $45.00 $60.00 50
Expansions 1-6 $12.00 $17.00 $24.00 20 of each
Holiday Booster 2012-2014
(Fundraiser pack)
$12.00 $15.00 $20.00 5 of each
90's Nostalgia Pack $6.00 $9.00 $15.00 5
Bigger Blacker Box $18.00 $25.00 $36.00 20
Science Pack $12.00 $15.00 $22.00 5

    *Once we reach the maximum quantity stated we will no longer be buying until that stock diminishes.

    So what’s the catch? Not much really. We’re going to keep buying them until we have 50 units in our store. At that point I will wait for the game to sell down before buying more. Supply and demand will dictate what we do with this new policy. As the demand for the games changes, we will update this policy and post it clearly on our web site and facebook page. If Cards Against Humanity responds by selling us the game, or giving it to the distributors to sell to us, this policy will change.

Games we are also willing to buy (new, in plastic shrink wrap):

War of the Ring Collector’s Edition - $800