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How Important Are Redemption Game Prizes?
Playmeter Articles by Steve McCaul

Q. How Important are Prizes and Display in Redemption Game Operations?

A: The most powerful segment of a successful redemption operation are the prizes and how they are displayed. Even if you're just getting started, there are ways to accomplish creating an eye-appealing, attractive product display. There are product suppliers who have starter kits available, or you may want to call in many suppliers and develop your own mix of goods.

A good product supplier will know what is hot and trendy so that you can keep your counter fresh with new items. Rely on the merchandise suppliers to help you purchase the product you want and that best suits your customers. They can also provide you with the information you need to get that product at wholesale prices.

Of course, even if you get the best prices on your prizes whether from a merchandise supplier or discount houses and wholesale clubs, you need to know what items are hot. Visit your local malls and pay attention to the products you see on display. You can get ideas from your newspaper's pull-out ads.

Pay attention to the movies destined to be popular in your area. What child wouldn't love to win a character from a hit movie like " Star Wars" etc.? These items can be given away for gifts or become collectibles. There are electronics, household appliances, tools, and similar items that can be very useful and functional in the home.

You don't have to offer exotic prizes to lure customers into your location. But you need to have items they will want and that they'll feel they're getting a good value. As your redemption business builds, you should and will want to experiment with unique products.

When you first open your redemption counter, you can get away with only low-end prizes (candy, knick-knacks, ceramics, etc.) But within one or two months (if not sooner) it will be time to mature your prize counter. In the beginning your customers will be satisfied because of the newness of your operation.

However, since you want them to come back again and again, you must offer your customers more than low-end products. This brings up the question of how large an area should be dedicated to the prize counter. The answer is that your display can never be too large. The more display area you dedicate to the prizes you offer, the more revenue you will generate.

That's why your customers are there playing the games to redeem their tickets for the prizes you have on display. But remember, you should be buying wholesale and receiving retail (or a little better) for every product redeemed at your counter. This is accomplished by the money deposited in your cashbox.

Your redemption business will build over time. As I mentioned, you should plan to get into larger prize items as your redemption business matures. However, you can't have large gaps between your point values. Always have gradual increases so your customers have attainable goals. For example, if your customer is focused on redeeming a $10 item, and he reaches that level, he'll see that with a little more effort and accumulation of a few more tickets, he can go to the next level of prizes (a $12 or $15 item). This keeps them frequenting your game area.

You can go to any level of prizes your imagination takes you. I have customers who have given away skimobiles and go-karts, which their customers played for over and over again. These types of prizes have to be attainable and cannot be priced out of reach. The success of this type of prize give-away has been overwhelming.

When purchasing prize items, keep in mind that items not seen by the customer are not generating future sales for you. By this I mean, do not store items in a storage room. Get them out on display anywhere you can. Have a go-kart mounted on the ceiling, or display a huge, irresistible stuffed animal over some of your games.

If you have to buy multiples of an item, it doesn't hurt to have these same items on display to entice customers. Look at the effort major retailers put into displaying their products so that customers will purchase them. That same rule of thumb should apply here. Make your items as appealing as possible.

Another thing to consider is placing other display areas throughout your game room just for show (under lock and key, of course). These auxiliary cases do not have to be large and they can feature anything you want. This will generate excitement while your customers are entertaining themselves playing their favorite games. If they can see the product they're playing for nearby, it gives them an extra incentive.

Summary of a Successful Redemption Prize Display

Always keep your display fresh with new product; change it constantly.

Don't be afraid to add more display area (the more display, the more revenue generated).

Buy only good, name-brand, popular items.

Make sure all your items are priced reasonably.

Be very generous with your ticket awards.

Try to make your displays as varied and professional looking as possible.  Make your redemption merchandise look like a retail store.

Don't store your prize items in a storage room; keep them in plain view.

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Steve McCaul
Steve McCaul
Global Coin-Op Equipment
Amusement Arcade Redemption Game Specialists
Contact: [1] 617-688-6889

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