Comments: 138 • Responses: 44  • Date: 

MyLawyerPickedThis65 karma

The Jump to Conclusions mat was a much better idea. I go to a lot of dinner parties and I play games like cards against humanity all the time. I guess that's sort of the idea you're going for? I still don't understand much about your games but honestly their esthetics, rather than draw me in, push me away.

There's also nothing cool about them. A block of wood with fancy script with cheesey actions being hocked by a desperate dude. Not exactly a panty dropping situation.

mookx-45 karma

Well, that's like your opinion man. May be right. But may not.

RandPaulsBrilloBalls55 karma

I think that the thing is that these look more like knick-knacks you'd sell at some knick-knack shop next to a yoga studio in some little liberal town, maybe alongside some wine glasses shaped like fish or something or some local artisan ceramic tea cups or something.

Like, I could see these selling, but not for use as a board game. More for use as a knick-knack lazy susan/chopping block/cheese tray.

In fact, your original idea of calling them "keepsakes" and selling them on a heavily pink cookbook website was far better than trying to market them as board games.

If I were you, I'd start calling up New England gift shops and unloading inventory on them. These look like mid-aged women-focused knick-knack impulse purchases for gift shops at seaside towns. Without a heavy discount, that's probably the best way I can think of for you to move these things. Otherwise, I'd say cut your losses and drop them on a discount retailer. The board game angle just isn't going to fly, I think.

mookx8 karma

AWESOME. You are dead on in what demographic I think wants this as well. Yoga studio old moms/young granny Mercedes drivers.

Maybe board game is the totally wrong concept. I think think I need to focus on people who host not-too-swanky dinner parties.

7thDRXN16 karma

Yeah, I was going to say that I'm a boardgame fanatic who ravenously reads boardgamegeek.com every day, have 100 boardgames in my house, and 300 on my wishlist... and this isn't a boardgame. I think this person nailed your demographic and that's what you have to aim for.

Cooking / games is an interesting combination and I think it could do well in the right market or store, but you are not selling a boardgame and just by using that word to describe your product you are fishing with the wrong bait. Good luck re-orienting!

mookx5 karma

Thanks. Sometimes it's just a matter of getting the wording right.

cat_nosed4 karma

On that point, friendly critisism, i find the font hard to read, bit too fancy in places.

mookx2 karma

Thanks. Recurring theme here. Very valid.

TheTechReactor44 karma

WTF is this bullshit?

mookx2 karma

It's a "Jump to Conclusions" mat.

The60138 karma

This is an honest question so I apologize if it comes off sounding mean. At this point do you attribute your lack of sales more to the product or to the advertising/promotion?

mookx25 karma

It's a fantastic question. It's exactly why I'm posting this here. I'm hoping some really insightful questions point out some sort of product flaw that I can resolve.

I haven't promoted it much. But I'm not sure they are worth promoting too much. Maybe I get some more enthusiasm after this.

Perhaps it's just a bad idea. I can't help but feel like that guy in Office Space talking about his Jump To Conclusions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlA9bNk3b5Q

VROF15 karma

Do you have a video of people playing and having fun? Have you played the game and had fun?

mookx13 karma

I don't have a video of it. That's a pretty good point. Somebody else brought that up. Seems to be a recurring theme, which as a marketer is something I should probably follow up on.

Butthatsmyusername3 karma

Personally, I don't know about the games as I do not drink, but have you advertised your other lazy susans? They look really nice (and I plan on suggesting them as a christmas present for my mom). There are several websites that offer custom lazy susans, perhaps you should try that. I hope this helps you a little bit.

mookx2 karma

Thank you. Yes, we are advertising the custom lazy susans. I appreciate the kind feedback (and of course you suggesting them as a present to your mom!) I designed all the lazy susans on our site, so it's very gratifying to me to hear you say you liked them!

theiorax34 karma

Hi there! I think board games are great. I collect old editions of the game of Life. I think the issue here is that your games aren't really board games except in the sense that they are made out of boards.

The magic susan just strikes me as a lazy/dangerous magic 8 ball. I wouldn't let children play with it, but I don't know that an adult would be so amused as to validate keeping the block of wood. What is your demographic? Why should people spend money on this instead of a (cheaper and more recognizable) magic 8 ball? I liked the idea of the Repartray more. I think the name is not descriptive and I'm not sure how to pronounce it. The concept is fun as a way of breaking the ice in a large group setting, but again, why should I keep the big chunk of wood? Why not just write categories down on paper and place them in a circle or a hat if you need conversation starters?

Do these boards double as cutting boards? Is that a feature? I think an added level of complexity would be helpful! I hope you don't take any of my comments as discouraging - I am impressed by your motivation. It would be easier to let your games languish in your web store than to ask strangers for advice. Best of luck!

mookx8 karma

Thank you for your input! I appreciate you taking the time to think through the idea and troubleshoot it.

Yes, it's a Magic 8 ball sort of concept. Yeah, it may be stuck between two age groups as you say.

Repartray is supposed to be a clever play on word of "tray" and "repartee". But it may be too clever for it's own good. People here seem to get the idea of Spin the Bottle. Maybe I need a name that plays off that instead?

Thanks for your reply. Good points.

The_Celtic_Chemist5 karma

Off the top of my head, The Lazy 8 Ball and The Crazy Susan. Not saying they're better, just throwing it out there. Also, I wonder if people are concerned with the idea of having a lazy Susan on the table with nothing on it, or having to remove the items off of it to use it for its novelty. Personally I don't even have a table to put it on, but the lazy Susans I can remember seeing have had something on it, so I wonder if that's been an issue.

mookx3 karma

I personally don't the the Magic Susan is that bad of a name. Your names are ok, but I don't think it solves the real problem.

Repartray, in hindsight, kind of sucks. I need to think of a better name that involves "spin the bottle.". Open to ideas?

IslamicShibe16 karma

How do you play?

mookx18 karma

Well, you put it on a table at dinner and you spin it with drunk-ass friends. Mirth ensues. Or at least that's the idea.

The fact that you are asking, though, makes me think I'm missing something in how I'm trying to sell this.

East_Threadly10 karma

So, it's like spin-the-bottle with more options? What is "more cake"? I need a cake to play?

mookx7 karma

Yes! Spin the bottle. Exactly. Well, I thought "more cake" was just the idea that you get a second serving at the dinner party. Cake or booze or whatever it is that looks nice but you feel bashful about taking. But maybe I should say "Second serving for me!"

East_Threadly10 karma

Thats kind of cool. People demand kind of a lot from board games anymore though, might label it a novelty cutting board instead of a game.

mookx7 karma

Could be. It's not terribly complicated for a board game--but it's terribly complicated for a cutting board. lol.

East_Threadly5 karma

How about a cutting board that shows where to cut for a serving of cake? I'm always cutting a bigger piece than I can eat Lol.

mookx10 karma

DUDE! I made that shit! Right here yo! http://store.cookbookpeople.com/cake-roulette-spinning-platter/

I called it Cake Roullette. You win if you get the clover leaf. But I clearly show how you should slice your cake.

That's AWESOME that you suggested this. Makes me think that idea doesn't suck so much.

spoonmouthface3 karma

I like the idea of "winning" if you get the clover leaf. I'll take any sort of win.

But wouldn't the cake cover the lines?

mookx0 karma

The lines run up all the way to the border of the board. So you'd see them as you cut.

VROF4 karma

Have you played the game?

mookx8 karma

Yes, I've played both. We seemed to have a good time, but you know, I don't know that the others weren't faking it to make me happy. But that could just be the insecure male in me talking...

SunlightVector10 karma

What you really need is to bring it to the local board game shop along with some snacks. Don't tell them you made it, tell 'em you found it! Those people have a way lower chance to like it "for your sake."

mookx-2 karma

Hmmm. Maybe.

MysteriousBeing8 karma

What else do you sell? I think it's an achievement just having made your idea a reality.

Don't look down on it cause of sales. There's millions of people who have ideas which never get anywhere.

mookx3 karma

Daaaawww. You're much kinder to me than I am to me.

I sell recipe binders and recipe boxes mostly. We sell a lot of those (well, considering how few people buy them annually.) I'm trying to get us to branch out into other things like engraving cutting boards.

Success so far has been limited, but I'm trying to be upbeat. My job as owner is to be Happy Energy Guy.

Kind of like Ed Wood sometimes.

ansible473 karma

Dude, how did you miss calling this a Cutting Board Game?

I would say that these function much better as boards than as board games. It doesn't seem like you've put much thought into the game part, but quirky meme cutting boards could probably sell OK.

mookx2 karma

Cutting Board Games. That's great. I like it! I'm using it! You just invented a new niche for me.

If I hit the big time with these email me and reference this link. I'll hook you up with more cutting board games than you could possibly use.

ansible471 karma

It was right there, man! They're cutting boards. With games. I just said the words in order :p.

There are a lot if public domain games that you could engrave into the board. Or reach out to existing popular games and see if they have an idea that would fit.

A wooden set of thin, laser engraved cards against humanity cards would definitrly sell. Not a ton, but it's better than trying to invent a brand new game.

mookx1 karma

Cards against humanity. I like that. Why invent a following when it already exists?

cardboardcrusader6 karma

Have you thoroughly researched boardgamegeek.com, bgdf.com, and played hundreds of modern board games to understand trends, how board game design works, what makes a game fun, and done market research and studied kickstarter campaigns and how to make them successful before wasting money making crappy board games?

mookx0 karma

Well, kind of. I got drunk one night and fucked around with Illustrator. That's kind of the same, right?

mookx2 karma

Seriously, though, that's some solid advice. I'm mostly going off on gut here, and your question is pretty insightful as to how superficial I've been in developing this. In general I try not to overthink things too much and just throw a ton of ideas out and hope something sticks. Perhaps more investment in research would pay off.

kiky235 karma

I may have poor eyesight but I honestly can't read anything on the picture of the Magic Susan. I looked at both of your pictures to get an idea of what you have and I honestly am so confused by what both are supposed to be. Is the first a spin the bottle? I just don't get it I guess.

Edit: I actually looked more at your website and thought I'd expand a bit. I actually am a former buyer for a home decor store and a lot of your designs come off hard to see at a glance. They seem to be too detailed if that makes sense. I think somewhat simpler designs that you can take in at a glance might help. I'd also expand your personalized designs. They'd make fantastic wedding gifts. You should do like a June special for wedding gifts and put those on sale for like 20% off or something.

mookx3 karma

I do think people buy by the thumbnail picture, which is a hard lesson I've learned at an incredibly slow pace. So yeah, I need to do simpler, bolder designs. Give the people what they want.

Mikeydoes5 karma

Don't get discouraged. Come up with new ideas and continue to to do what you are doing. Good things will happen.

What sells the best on your site?

mookx3 karma

Thanks! I get discouraged at times but not for long. We sell recipe binders and recipe boxes very well. But it's a dying business, so we're trying to develop new stuff.

Mikeydoes3 karma

Did you SEO the shit out of your site and products?

mookx1 karma

Yes, on our core stuff. I haven't really worked on SEO for the board games. It's a big project on a crowded keyword like "dinner game" but I need to get on it.

Mikeydoes1 karma

If I were you. You can go on your own website or a site like Hubpages and make an article about like "best new board games 2016". Try to get it as close to the top of search results.

Stuff like that works great.

mookx1 karma

Devious. I like it!

fordprefect761 karma

Your SEO can definitely use some work. What is required is a great understanding of relevant keywords to get customers to your site. Those keywords need to then be implemented onto your site so search engines understand what your page is about. Currently you are missing an h2 and are losing out on lots of places to add possible keywords. If Google does not understand what your page is about it wont index it correctly and you will never reach your customers.

Here is a quick breakdown of seo issues on your Lazy Susans page. (Please keep in mind that I am not a copywriter but a technical implementation type guy so my copy suggestions are to helping get the ideas across only.)

URL: http://store.cookbookpeople.com/lazy-susans/ Suggestion: Add more keywords to your url Possible Update: URL: http://store.cookbookpeople.com/custom-engraved-lazy-susans-for-online-purchase/ Reason: add pertinant keywords to your url. Google really likes this.

Browser Title: Engraved Keepsakes - Lazy Susans - The Cookbook People No Comments. This is actually an ok browser title.

H1: Lazy Susan Collection Suggestion: Add more keywords to your H1 Possible Update: Custom Engraved Lazy Susans available for purchase online.

H2: We ship to the following countries: USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia

Only one I found was in the currency converter widget at the top. This tells google the second most important thing on this page is. (Right now it is that you ship.)

Suggestion: Update the structure of this page so your currency converter is not using an h2 and make sure your page has one.

Possible Update:We offer a wide variety of custom engraved lazy susans available as keep sakes or even games

First Paragraph: We custom-engrave all of these lazy susans, ensuring you are getting a fantastic product not available in any store. Suggestion: Don't be shy here. Add a full paragraph of information about your products.

mookx0 karma

Totally valid. I haven't SEO's this page because I was looking for feedback here on what keywords I should go for.

Clearly "dinner party game" is closer to my niche. "Board game" is way off. Maybe "drinking game" as well might work.

SunlightVector2 karma

Have you posted to any product or design subs to get their take?

About the appearance: I tend towards a positive impression of it, I'm certainly intrigued by the cut-wood appearance and I could see how it would look sleek in my house. However, the text which creates the game itself is too under-emphasized, particularly in the case of the Magic Susan. I believe this was a valid decision for the sake of minimalism, but it inhibits the board's ability to communicate, "I'm a game!" The arrow board in particular is very attractive, so I think it's a tweak away from its final form.

I have a few ideas for how to increase the sales. One, like /u/Mikeydoes[1] said, SEO the shit out of your site. Also in the vein of what others said: there needs to be some footage of this thing in play, to get the idea across to a casual viewer. My additional idea is that the arrow board (the Repartray as you call it) gives me a strong fantasy, storybooky kind of vibe. I'm not sure exactly how you would work that angle, so I say it for what it's worth.

Ultimately I think the appearances are not the issue, but rather the exposure, and the fact that the board games just a little abstract at first glace. If you hadn't told me they were games, I might not have known. You might be able to work this with rebranding, calling it a drinking game, calling it a cutting board that's also a game, whatever you end up doing. Maybe a supplementary rule book (rule CARD?) could add needed context without cutting into your bottom line too much. Hopefully something here is useful to you.

mookx2 karma

Yeah, I think Magic Susan is probably to artsy. I should probably use design cues from the Magic 8 Ball. It needs to pass the eye test of understanding at first glance.

A drinking game. Hmmm. Maybe....

I wonder if the Repartray concept could work as a teenage-y kind of game in a way. I'll have to think about it.

nogueiradcg2 karma

Are you Lily's father?

mookx1 karma

I don't know who Lily is, but if she is exceedingly wealthy then yes, I am. Bring her back to me so that our fortunes might be rejoined.

Otherwise I've never heard of her. If she's broke, more so.

Ghostaire3 karma

How I Met Your Mother reference. The character Lily's estranged father makes objectionable board games that don't sell very well.

mookx1 karma

Ahhh. I ought to watch that show.

nolocomprede2 karma

Who is your target demographic? Seriously though. Who do you think is going to buy this stuff?

Some people have been outright mean in the comments. Your products are not shit. They're not bad. They actually look nice, will probably hold up well, compared to one bought off Wal-Mart.

With that said, Reddit is largely my demographic, the 18 to 30 group. Most of us don't have time to cook, and we probably don't have dining room either. My friends and I all live in single or double bedroom apartments. Your "games" are not games at all, unless you count spin-the-bottle. I only wound up in this thread, because I thought by "board games", you meant something like Risk or Catan.

Your products remind me of most of the merchandise available at the big flea market, a county over. I could see middle-aged women buying these things, and grandparents might like it, but the majority of the people on this site, don't need that item. This is not something you can fix with SEO.

Your product is fine, and it's actually useful. It's just not relevant in the light of a culture that doesn't sit down to dinner. Maybe if you got your item stocked at Hobby Lobby, you could make some more money, but your market is small and dying. Best of luck friend, you'll need it.

mookx1 karma

Thanks for the reply. I've made a lot of money so far off old ladies, so I have no doubt I can continue to do so. But you are right, Reddit really isn't my demographic. I do appreciate you optimism. Thank you!

PieterPlopplop2 karma

So, uh...you made an AMA. What's that like?

mookx1 karma

Tiring at this point. I've responded to tons of questions and I'm getting kind of tired. But thanks for asking.

PieterPlopplop1 karma

So you wanna just talk about Rampart?

mookx2 karma

Huh? Have I been trying to steer the subject away from something? Because it doesn't seem that way to me. I've replied directly to--I just counted--35 different questions. I'm not Woody Harrelson here.

It's kind of tiring--you try it sometime.

bitza2 karma

Have you considered visiting the subreddit /r/boardgames?

mookx1 karma

Not until this second, but I will do now. Thanks!

mandilovie1 karma

Who is your target market? I am a mid twenty something female for context of my analysis.

These are really pretty lazy susans! And having a built in game is neat. That is the order I place value. As a game this is not something I could easily tuck away. That's fine, it's functional. So now I have a lazy Susan, ok cool...I guess. I don't need one, but I buy lots of shit I don't need. I'm not sure of what people use them for other than spices. So I'll put spices on it. Now friends are coming over (yay)! Let me just remove all my spices off this mildly amusing game so we can play for a minute before we move on.

Basically it's a really expensive lazy Susan that young people probably don't need. I think the commenter who suggested selling to New England gift shops completely nailed it. That's who would buy this. Middle aged house wives would love this!

mookx1 karma

Thanks! Yes, I don't think it solves all problems for all people. But maybe it does have a little more utility than the average board game (as a spice shelf in your instance) and a little less utility as a board game (as it's pretty primitive).

grimgnaver1 karma

Have you though about doing a collaboration? Top of my head would be something/someone like http://offermanwoodshop.com/shop/ in the sense that they make deluxe products with a novelty twist. So my question is actually something along the lines of: Have you thought about making this into a more 'deluxe' product with really nice packaging, 'narrative' (like a video with people having fun with it, like others in this thread have suggested) and overall sense of luxury? It would seem your products have great potential as novelty gift, or gifts that seem a little more special. People love to give gifts they can use right away with the receiver. I'm just brainstorming here :-)

mookx2 karma

Hmmm. I think what you are saying is "offer a more marketed package that includes a story and video and somesuch". This sounds like a much better idea than what I've done.

nogamenoplay1 karma

How much have you invested in these products? Have you tried selling them on ebay or etsy?

mookx1 karma

We do have an etsy store for our recipe boxes: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CookbookPeople

We haven't put the susans up there. So much going on, but I suppose we should.

phlegmbotz1 karma

You do the engraving yourself? Or do you send it out?

mookx2 karma

We do it at our shop in Idaho. My brother does all the engraving for us. He's a cool guy.

StartupTim1 karma

Hey there!

I am a small business owner who sells software for PC gamers on various platforms/websites. I understand and appreciate all the time, money, and mental energy that goes into making something.

My question: How difficult was it for you to get your product listed on Amazon? Do you do product fulfillment yourself? How is the experience? Are you selling well? Any numbers you can share?

Best of luck!


mookx2 karma

It's shockingly simple to set up new products on Amazon. Give it a crack. We ship everything ourselves. It's been pretty good for us, although the vast, vast majority of our sales come off our own site. I think Amazon is good for giving visibility.

StartupTim1 karma

Hey there, thanks for the response!

I sell software online and I was wondering how this might translate into Amazon. I don't suppose you know anything about selling software on Amazon?

Cheers :)

mookx2 karma

I've been selling software on Amazon for about 8 years: http://www.amazon.com/Matildas-Fantastic-Cookbook-Software-Windows/dp/B000TVXNGS

We do ok selling on Amazon. Not getting rich, but making a buck or two. We have very friendly customers from there--I see no reason why anybody selling software shouldn't throw up a shingle on there and make some extra bucks.

mookx1 karma

If you'd like us to distribute you software on Amazon we can do that. We burn disks and ship ourselves.

nonnonsequitur1 karma

Do you have any plans to market online (Facebook, Adsense, or reddit) or at board game conventions (I imagine they exist)?

mookx2 karma

Not really. I have plans in too any other places for other things. But perhaps I should.

KazuoKuroi-2 karma

Eh I would say its a neat idea but more a novelty than anything else. I would recommend, if you want good board game sales, to do a pen and paper RPG game, as long as the creativity is good.

Would you do a pen and paper RPG? What are your plans for future games?

mookx1 karma

Well, I can see your point. But you are describing a round peg and I'm sort of a square hole. I'm as likely to develop an RPG as I am to join ISIS. I'm about as qualified to do either.

I'm quite all right with making a novelty. Do you know how much money is in fake vomit? I don't, but I bet there's a lot. If I could make money sticking fake vomit on a lazy susan, I'd do that.

A lot.

KazuoKuroi2 karma

Fake vomit is already taken over by China my friend. I think the problem is that the niche you've developed is simply unsustainable.

mookx-1 karma

Well, maybe. You mean the niche of dinner party games? I think lots of people are always looking for something to do at those. I think it's sustainable. Whether my idea fills that niche, however, ain't a certainty at all.

I was joking about the fake vomit. Unless somebody out there wants to spend money on that, in which case I'm totally serious. Call me.