[Archive] Monster Hobbies Build a Monster Contest Question

Tarrakk Blackhand:

Hi everyone!

I’m in the process of making a new You-tube video for the “Build A Monster Contest” which happens at my hobby store Monster Hobbies every October.

Now this is the lead-up to my question:

I want to have the contest for both people online AND my regular walk in customers.

They can enter any catagory and enter any amount of models. The idea is that the customer would purchace a model from my store for the contest and then enter it in the show.

Entry fee is $2.00 a model (Which seems to be a standard price compaired with other model contests in Alberta, Canada). The normal Walk in customer will pay this without a problem.

Here’s the question :

To cover the cost of prizes, and mailing out trophies, etc, I need to charge $2.00 per entry for everyone, including Online Customers. I don’t have Paypal, so it would have to be either Money Order or phone in Credit Card. However, how do I get the online people to pay the $2.00 for their entry and send it over to me? And would they want to?

Keep in mind that the Online people would have to send in pictures of their kit.

My wife had an idea - When I sell a kit, just add on the $2.00 for the entry fee right there. However, if a contestant just wants to send the pics and not buy a model from me, then I still need the $2.00. So how does it work?


Imo you need to start paypal.  It is very simple to use.

What is the prize?


I don’t think many people would pay for the opportunity to enter the contest. Not to be a downer, but if I walked into a store and they asked me if I wanted to spend another $2 to enter a contest, I’d say no. And online? I’d say no immediately, because the whole thing would reek of a scam.

Instead of asking for them to pay for the priviledge of entering, why not make a condition of entering that you could display the models entered in your store for a period of time after the contest is judged, and be able to use photos of the models entered in your advertising (both print and online - properly credited, of course). This may make running the contest worthwhile to you, instead of charging people for the opporunity to showcase their models, which they may have purchased at your store in the first place. I’m not trying to be negative, and I may be in the minority, but the I think trying to get customers to pay for your advertising directly, through the use of an ‘entry fee’ - is pretty bad form.

Why not have the prizes be ‘store credit’, or x% off your next purchase?

That way, after you run the contest, your results would be: a) you’ll make a sale (or sales), b) acquire a large image archive to use in present and future ad campaigns, c) acquire a database of warm leads to market to when new events/offers/specials are available and d) hopefully, have fun!

Just a thought…

Hashut’s Blessing:

I think zobo1942 has some excellent points. Don’t make it blatant that you’re using the competition as a booster for you/sales.

Advertise the event as a competition in which their models will be showcased to the public as a show of skill and used in your advertising to bring in new opponents for them to play against.

As for the prize - store credit, a voucher or some sort of “buy one get one half price” or similar may be worthwhile to you and ensures their prize is something to do with you instead of allowing them to sell it off or something…


Imo you need to start paypal.  It is very simple to use.

What is the prize?

Yes, Paypal easiest way. As I've learned from the dice order payments lately, you'll have to make sure people entering flag the payment as "Payment Owed" (or what ever the exact wording is) or mark it as a Gift. Otherwise you'll pay service charges on that $2.

There's also service charges to take money out from Paypal unless you're transferring over $150. Keep in mind too that Any US funds that you receive Paypal only pays something like $1USD = $1.004CDN, so terrible exchange, so that in addition to any fees you've paid, etc they're also scalping you for an additional 5-to-6-cents on the dollar. Yikes.

So there's some headaches associated with Paypal, but it makes other things so much easier. And it's become quite ubiquitous.



Off-topic idea:

Another idea for an in-store promotion as a way to grow your business and offer a benefit to the players in your area would be to have a membership card for people who play games in-store. Membership is free. They could recieve a ‘stamp’ or something similar, which would equate to a discount in GW product, for example, 1.5% per game played in-store. Have a maximum discount size - for example, like 15% maximum discount per transaction, and after a few months of playing weekly games in-store, they could get a 15% discount on a product of their choice. There are already lots of online retailers who offer up to a 30% discount off of GWs SRP. You could also talk to your supplier - maybe they could knock your cost down a bit to help promote ‘The GW Hobby’.

This way, people would be rewarded for playing in your store and you’re getting to know them while supplying them with the materials they need to further explore their hobby. They will most likely be buying new miniatures and modeling supplies along the way, making new friends and (hopefully) providing some good word-of-mouth advertising. Maybe you could offer double stamps for ‘bringing in a new player’, or for being an instructor at a painting demonstration or terrain-building tutorial.

This is a different type of promotion than the ‘Spend $20, get a stamp’ type because it encourages participation and community-building, not just spending.

Tarrakk Blackhand:

@ Grim - The standard prize is your typical Gold, Silver and Bronze plack and top prize for best model in show (Choosen from all 12 catagories) is $100 in gift certificates.

@Zobo - 600 miles ahead of you.

The entry fee is pretty universal in all contests in Alberta, reguardless of what contest it is. The Rocky Mountain Modler’s Club charges $2.00 per model. They’re not a store or anything, just a private model club. This covers the costs of trophies, etc. I’d hate to be out of pocket for those items, which are irreplaceable.

Also, if someone enters a model that they DIDN’T buy from my store, why should I GIVE them $100 in gift certificates if they won? I’d at least want the minimum $2.00 to cover it.

Actually, on September the 26th, we had the River City Car Show in High River. There were over 1100 cars from 1910-1990. I ran a model car contest and charged $2 an entry. No one complained! i had a few guys enter 5 models at $10!


Why should you GIVE them the prize? I’m thinking because they have the best peice of work entered.

I’ve never heard of having to buy a ticket to enter a contest and I never would - especially online - and particularily if it were being put on by a commercial entity, like a store. It reminds me too much of short story compilation publishing where aspiring writers pay a fee for their ‘entry to be considered’. Which is how firms like that line their pockets. I can understand a ‘Modeller’s Club’ having a fee. After all, there is no commerce involved there - but you’re talking about a store.

Regardless of whether or not I agree with your principles, I hope it works out for you. I’d be curious to know how many entries you get.

EDIT: OK, wait a second. That sounds really harsh - I didn’t mean it to. When all is said and done, it is only $2, which is a cup of coffee - which can be rounded off to nothing. I think I just got riled up thinking about the ‘fiction contest angle’ I mentioned above - where a business takes thousands of ‘entry fees’ from people, chooses the top fifteen stories, and puts together a book, spends half the money on producing it, and pockets the difference. I hate that sort of thing - a lot - and I think that really coloured my response. If people are OK paying the entry fee, than good for them. They’re OK with it, and I should shut my mouth and shouldn’t be grumpy about it on their behalf. Apologies.

Tarrakk Blackhand:

Not a problem. I see where you’re coming from. However, I’m just a little “Mom and Pop” store. I’m not out to make a billion dollars, but just to cover costs of prizes, shipping, etc.

Appology accepted! :smiley: