We are spoiled here in the Greater Cincinnati area by a number of game/comic stores, but not all places are so lucky. I’ve been to lots of places with none, and it SUCKS. So in order to make sure our favorite places survive the pandemic, I came up with one of those amazing, Earth shattering ideas for which I am known and loved. Almost all of these places have a random dice bowl; if you are who I think you are, then you know what I’m talking about. Call the place, tell them you just want to help out during this pandemic, and tell them you want $20 (or whatever you can afford) in random dice for pickup. I just tried this and I got 35 dice. At this particular comic shop they are 65¢ each, which would be almost $25 after tax. I got $25 in dice for $20, and the shop made a fast, effortless sale without paying for shipping. That’s a win/win, and it keeps our local business alive. Tomorrow is Saturday. Call them. Show up. Empty their dice inventory. Mobilize and save our favorite places. Trust me on this, you’ll regret it if they’re gone.
Guitar players, do the same thing with picks at your local music stores. If you lose and break picks half as fast as I do, you probably need to stock up anyway.
Comic book readers, call ahead and ask for $20 out of the dollar bin. Tell them to surprise you. And when they hand you the bag, be genuinely happy with whatever you got. Some towns have no comic shops at all.
Gamemasters, offer your players in-game incentives for supporting their local game stores. D&D/Pathfinder DMs, how about one XP per penny spent? You’ll have to figure out what works for your group, but if every player in your group spent $20 at your favorite shop tomorrow, would that 2,000 XP bonus really upset your game? Probably not. But if 20 random people did this, imagine what that could mean for your local shop’s business.