THE Frequently Asked Questions (Updated 2-12-2024)
Q. Who are we?
We are Matt & Emily of Las Vegas, NV
Boarding School Games was established in mid 2019 as a retail store heavily focused on in-store play and education about games in general. Our audience was treated to free play all the time, a nightly learning game to bring in new players to the hobby and frequent special events such as costume parties, murder mystery dinner, jackbox trivia parties and more. We established an atmosphere attractive to couples out on the town for date night as well as families coming together for time out of the house, while encouraging cooperative play as well as low-intensity competitive games. We were forced to close for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic and as such developed an alternative way to reach our audience while face-to-face play wasn't an option. Thus, we repurposed our space for counter service and local delivery while developing our website as a basis for which we would learn what features our customer base wants. We've recently moved into a new warehouse space and have temporarily put a hiatus on in person gaming until we find a new, more permanent spot that meets our needs! Locals, keep an eye out for gaming events on our Facebook page!
Q. What sets us apart?
Steeply discounted board games with a focus on unique services and customer satisfaction
Emily and Matt are both excited to bring BSG to you because it's a brand we have envisioned for a long time. Extensive previous experience in marketing, SEO, online sales, and of course our passion for board games led us from our initial experiments with selling via online marketplaces to a deep desire to establish our own brand, where we could change some of the things we didn't enjoy about shopping for games both in person and online. Locals can expect free and flat rate delivery fees (based on location) and online you can expect timely shipments, amazing prices, and prompt, friendly, and thorough customer service communication. We are a family business enjoying rapid growth due to our principles and a few of our unique offerings in terms of services, such as our special order program, detailed in a future question. We appreciate our customers and do our absolute best to put as many games on your shelves as possible without hassle, stress or MSRP.
Q. How do you sell with such steep discounts?
Because we choose to. It's as simple as that.
Unlike other entertainment products (books, music, video games, etc.) board games are typically marked up 100%, which is....insane. If stores are charging MSRP it is because they are choosing to. We chose not to. We know board games can get expensive and we don't think they should only be for the privileged. We want to see board games in all sorts of homes and friends and families learning new skills, stepping outside their box and having fun doing it.
Q. What does it mean?
Special orders are a means by which you can pre-purchase out of stock items and eliminate the stress of watching prices go up on marketplaces between reprints or having to try to catch sales, elsewhere
These items are frequently just not in stock on our shelves but available at distribution, where we will immediately translate your order into an incoming product that we can provide for you. However sometimes these items are awaiting a reprint and unavailable everywhere. In these cases, we use incoming special orders to establish a baseline backorder quantity to put in with our distributors. In large part, our customers choose our inventory with their buying habits.
Q. When it says "Rush processing not available for this item, as it is not stored in our shipping center and must be internally transferred. Minimum 3-5 business day additional handling expected." what does that mean?
Exactly that. Once ordered, we will initiate a transfer between our facilities and turn your order around to you as soon as each item arrives.
This will take a MINIMUM of 3-5 days to do. These items are in stock at another location however this is not a perfect system and we are still continuing to refine.
Q. How do I purchase special order products?
First, load your ZBag (wallet funds) with enough to 100% cover the cost of the game(s) subtotals. All special orders must now be placed using ZBag funds and will be declined if included in an order not placed using ZBag funds for the entirety of payment. Credit card payments are not accepted under any circumstances for special order product!
Our special order program has always been a unique offering to our business and as such has required some unique policies to make it a thing that we can offer. Special orders previously were offered with a long document of policy requirements and necessitated an email of acknowledgment to participate. We now simply require that you purchase using ZBag funds. Our policies were meant to protect the program for those who use it responsibly and understand that their purchases are not available immediately and that we must not allow cancellations after we have taken money for these items, as we are retained weekly to perform work to provide the game by the customer. All we ask is that we get to sell you something for our time and thus retain the income. This is not a straight sale of product so refund policies that govern more traditional transactions do not apply. You are purchasing our time and work to secure a product if/when it becomes available and splitting the transaction into a purchase of ZBag funds and then the use of those funds to place a special order as directed indicate an understanding of the policies that govern both.
Q. When will my special order arrive?
This is our most commonly asked question, and we do not have an answer for it, even in regards to specific products most times. The answer is that as soon as our sources provide product to us, we begin to fill our outstanding special orders from oldest to newest.
Furthermore, this means that when you place a special order that item is reserved for you. You've purchased it and when we get the items restocked if there aren't enough to cover all available due to a shortfall with distribution for some reason, we will be focusing on those oldest special orders first. So it’s best to get yours in as early as possible to make sure you get a copy for coveted and underproduced items. Again, we can't tell you what those will be or when reorders are arriving to us. It’s unfortunately the nature of this business that we don't hear much in regards to when reprints are arriving at all, so we have no information to share regarding timeframe. Think of it as kickstarter, you're placing an order for an item that you know is coming in the future, and you're willing to be patient for it so as to not have to pay more from the marketplace when it launches. You place your order "set it and forget it,” and at some point in the future, the item arrives to you.
Q. I placed my order with both special order product and shorter turn around product, what now?
Your order will be automatically split and processed for what can go now, from what must wait to go.
In-stock items that are ready to go will wait for transfer items that we expect to arrive in short order (within 2 weeks or so). Anything special-order that doesn't arrive by that time will be placed into a separate order. As items arrive you will be notified and offered a choice. 1) Place a new order and the item(s) that have arrived will go with that order at no additional charge (as long as the shipping priority level is the same as your original order) as you've already paid for shipping for those items. or 2) Pay a $6.19 shipping origination charge that basically covers the additional cost of originating an economy shipment that will combine with your already paid shipping portion for that item from the original order. We will hold any arrived but unclaimed items for approx. 6 months from this notification before notifying again of these options. If we haven't heard back within 2 weeks of that notification we reserve the right to return the product to general stock and grant you store credit less 15% of the value of the items returned to stock to cover our storage and potential loss in equity in the game.
Q. Can I cancel Special Orders that have not come in yet?
Your special order can be restored back to store credit prior to our being invoiced for it by our supplier. In-stock product is non-refundable, we reserve the right to refund in store credit under certain circumstances at our sole discretion, but once you've ordered an in stock product from us, we have reordered it from distribution or partner stores and are unable to cancel the product even for store credit in most cases, so please carefully consider your purchases.
When it comes to special orders you're able to request a restoration of the spent wallet funds as long as the item hasn't been invoiced to us by our supplier. At that time, the item is already on the way to us and is considered in-stock. If your item has not been invoiced to us, we are able to offer the store credit refund (ZBag) for the item so you may pick out a new item if you've found the special order item elsewhere or don't wish to wait longer. Please request cancellations of these products via email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. How do I place a pre-order?
Please see above regarding placing special orders as the process is identical
Q. When will my preorder arrive?
We ship product to arrive in accordance with published street dates but never guarantee arrival to you on or before street date
Publishers set street dates and, unfortunately, are frequently unable to get products to us to even have on our shelves in time for street date, much less ship out to arrive to you by then. We do our absolute best when product arrives to us on time to prioritize these new release items for shipment to get as close as possible, but again too much of that is out of our hands to make guarantees as to date. Typical is within 1-2 days of release but we will ship as early as 2 days prior to street date for distant customers when the product is on hand so you have a better chance of timely arrival.
Q. Will you be getting enough of preordered product x?
We place our preorders based on forecasted volume of purchase as well as preorders
Preorders are always filled before releasing product to others. While we have no direct control over production or distribution, our level of buying does grant us the ability to get higher allocations for products than most stores and we work with every US distributor as well as a few international distributors so that we can source as much product as is available to be had. We place our preorders early enough with these vendors to ensure as much product as is possible, but at the same time not all distributors or publishers allocate the same way so from time to time there will be shortfalls. We encourage customers to place pre-orders for product as early as possible as then you will have the best odds of receiving your item on time for products with tight allocations. We do not have an end to most preorder windows until we've been given definite information that our allocations will be limited to a certain quantity. This is also exceedingly rare, more often we will find out once we are invoiced what our actual allocation is, so unfortunately we don't have that information to share, though we always do our best to inform via our facebook when we have such information. In short, preordering doesn't guarantee product on release day, but as our entered preorders are based on demand we absolutely do our best to fulfil all orders, and will close a preorder window when there is enough information to do so. In any other cases we will treat preorders as special orders, filling them as product becomes available as quickly as possible. Cancellations for pre-orders work exactly as they do for special orders.
SHIPPING (policies - https://www.boardingschoolgames.com/policies/shipping-policy)
Q. Why don't you offer free shipping?
As you know, free shipping is never free.
Instead of free shipping, we offer steeper discounts on product and at-cost shipping. We pass on our shipping discounts to you and don't charge retail rate. With free shipping, those closest to us were subsidizing the cost it took us to ship "free" to the farthest reaches from our Las Vegas location. We don't think that's fair to our locals and our closest neighbors. Another perk of paid shipping is pristinely wrapped games so your games are guaranteed to make it to you safely and securely and white glove service in the off chance that UPS or USPS drives a steamroller over your package. Please see our shipping policy for claims process.
Q. Can I place an order and combine it with an older order?
Can I add to my order?
Yes, place your additional order and we will combine instock items, automatically, on our end
Orders are shipped as soon as possible after we get payment notification, typically same day or 1 business day. If you decide you'd like to add more to your order, simply place an additional order and if both orders are fully in stock, or we expect for them to be soon, we will automatically hold your order for those special orders that should be arriving shortly and then automatically combine and refund the excess shipping costs. In cases where special orders are involved, please see the above question "My order is held up by special order products that didn't place separately, what can I do?"
Q. What does "Hold for Shipping" mean?
"Hold for Shipping" is a service offered so you can ship an order as efficiently as possible. "Hold for Shipping" is NOT free shipping.
By ordering and holding product, you can combine orders and be invoiced for them to ship together. "Holds" for instock product can be held for up to 90 days. At which point a team member from BSG will reach out and ask if you'd like to be invoiced for shipping or add to the order then be invoiced for shipping within seven days. After seven days, BSG reserves the right to cancel the order and provide a credit to be put toward a future order.
Q. What's the deal with CCG preorders?
CCG Games such as Magic and Pokemon are highly allocated and in high demand for preorder quantities, thus we have a few special policies regarding them.
Due to our pricing on these products in particular there has been massive upswing in demand for these items. These items are allocated at distribution based on previous purchase. Until recently we didn't carry these items and we're still building up our ability to purchase larger allocations. Because of this, at this time we do not accept preorders for these products as the end result would be many unfulfilled orders as we frequently aren't able to know what we will be receiving until very near to release, and it tends to be far less than what we order. This combined with the huge demand would result in most preorders being unfulfilled to satisfaction. We had considered going forward with a disclaimer but realize that the headache to consumers and ourselves wouldn't be worth it at this time. Thus we've elected to release these products for sale to the public when they arrive to us and are in-hand so we can accurately market the products. We will allocate these products based on internal criteria in the case of large purchases, meaning if you're hoping to receive a large order of magic on release day, we're likely not going to be able to completely satisfy your order. You may still place large orders for these products but recommend as always that you contact us first for availability as you will likely be allocated and receive a portion of your order from our second wave of arrivals. These products tend to be much more easy to fulfill after the initial preorder surge, a week or two after release, so we are aiming to satisfy the patient with our policies until which time we can reliably fulfill preorders to the majority of our customers satisfaction. Thus any orders placed in excess of our internal allocation (determined solely by BSG and at the time of fulfillment) can be converted to a special order and will be filled as soon as product arrives to us, respecting all other standing policies for special orders. The good news is that the more we sell of Magic, the more this issue becomes alleviated and the better we can serve you. Part of the reason for our internal allocation of product is that we want to reward the most, those who have supported our magic product as we grow our community, so there is most certainly going to be better allocation for those names we are seeing for each and every release, and who purchase from us not only on release day, but as the product life cycle goes on. Our recommendation is to get on with us for the long haul, be patient, and enjoy the benefits of helping us to grow our availability of your game!