The Power of Convenience

Nintendo Power Strategy Guide - Super Mario Bros. 3
Nintendo Power Strategy Guide - Super Mario Bros. 3

As a result of being born in 1979, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many of the ups and downs of video games over the last 30 years. I was in Jr. High School during the early 90s and was always thinking about how I’d get rich. Spending less of my lunch money and saving just wasn’t going to cut it. I remember having a subscription to Nintendo Power and receiving the special Nintendo Power Strategy Guides as part of the subscription. These guides sold in retail stores for $10-$15 if I remember correctly. As a result, I remember reading them and then showing them off at school and selling them. It was like free money to me and I could usually get around the same price as retail for them.

I knew how to market this stuff to the kids at school and would even have kids in bidding wars on occasion. My money was in their pockets and I just had to figure out how to get it. Was I popular? Not at all. I often think that if Facebook, Twitter and MySpace had existed when I was in grades K-12, things may have been different, but I had enough close friends that being the most popular kid in school never really concerned me. When I wasn’t rollerblading or playing football or basketball with my friends, my free time growing up was spent in front of a computer monitor. I started a BBS in Jr. High and I learned quickly that I was great at talking my way around the net in the days of IRC.

The tools have evolved now and the computer is no longer just something geeks use. Now companies are just using these new tools as ways to reach their audience and make more sales. The process is still the same. Resale and consignment is still a huge business and companies like Amazon and eBay have proven that they can deliver. It seems that making buying easier for the consumer is a key business strategy as well. Amazon and Apple have devices on the market that connect you right to their stores so you can purchase items on the go. The eBay Apple iPhone app allows you to be in a bidding war while you’re relaxing at the beach.

Making it convenient for people to buy your product is the key thing that 7-11 and other convenience stores learned long ago. It’s what online companies have learned and it’s what I learned in Jr. High. A good balance of being in the right place at the right time, having a product with good margins and as little inventory as possible is what makes the perfect resale company. Being a middle man of sales like eBay is also a good solution. Everyone has something to sell and eBay helps facilitate that connection to a wide audience. How will your company combine the power of resale and convenience?