Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Maelstrom & Ponzi, sitting in a tree...

So... the latest "We have everything on sale" came from Malestrom Games. This time with some sort of explanation. Let's read that and then discuss...

Here at Maelstrom Games we have decided to clear as much of our hard-earned stock as we possibly can over the next few days - and therefore generate some much-needed cashflow - in order to ensure we can fulfil the orders that you, our valued customers, have placed over the last few weeks. To that end, we have decided - in consultation with our trading partners - to sell our remaining stock of [list of manufacturers]. All other ranges' stock will now be sold at 40% off UK RRP - we hold good stocks of Gamezone Miniatures, Dark Age, Cool Mini or Not and Scibor Miniatures, and there's a fair bit of Privateer Press and Malifaux left too. As well as that, from this moment onwards we have decided to stop any customer from placing orders for items that are not in stock, simply so that we can clear the orders that have already been placed. 

We have not made this decision lightly, and please note that we have absolutely no issues with any of the above manufacturers or suppliers; we are simply trying to sell off stock in order to clear older orders and ease any worries our customers may have regarding the speculation that is currently rife on the internet. As well as that, we believe that our retailing model must now change to selling products that are in stock at the time of purchase, and as such that will continue to be in place in the future, once our orders are cleared and our stock is sold. 
I would ask all of our customers to remain as patient as they can with Maelstrom Games and, indeed, our staff, for we will use the money generated by the sale of our stock to ensure all of your orders are fulfilled in their entirety as quickly as possible. We remain committed to servicing our customers first and foremost and will continue to do so in the future. 
Now... this I guess is all good unless you have an interest in economics and can see a Ponzi-scheme for what it is. As I read it it says: "We have no money so we cannot fulfill orders placed earlier. Please spend more so we can fulfill orders already placed" And then? 40% discount doesn't really give much profit in order to re-stock your [new] warehouse?

So, what happened Maelstrom? I can only guess. This newest information sounds a lot like the "speculation" that Maelstrom had lost their credit from distributors were true. So in order to fulfill orders placed a couple of weeks ago they actually have to buy it instead of request it on credit from their distributor. Clearly not an indication of a healthy and thriving business.

Couple that with Paypal not being a payment option anymore(!) and my advice is to abandon ship before it sails away with your money. -.-

I really hope all this is a giant misunderstanding. I really really do.


  1. Well I went off the ship with thefirst rats..

    I smell scam far

  2. Not having any skaven in stock points to all the rats having abandoned ship. :(

  3. I never liked skaven... but I do like to hope it's a huge misunderstanding. I'm not going so far and presume them being rogues, because I liked the store and never had a unfriendly guy on the phone, when I needed to call them. Maybe it's just bad marketing sense, which is bad enough.

    I can understand the urge to clean a warehouse, incl some lines you don't want to stock in the future, to generate a nice cash-flow. But I don't think it was a wise move to offer a freaking 18% voucher for models not in stock, when you can't work through the orders fast enough to keep your customers satisfied.

  4. Skaven, rats, abandoning the ship, you know? *nudge nudge* :)

  5. I got the rats pun...*dodge dodge* :)

    I simply hope they "just" have some problems and are trying to sell all their shelf-warmers to get the money to change from their "order on demand" to a "sell whats on stock" system, instead of cold-hearted pulling a Ponzi scheme or transferring all the money into some Cayman-island bank account and buying some tickets for a flight to Bahamas... :)

    I mean any line that doesn't sell fast is bad asset twofold. It's money they invested and may not get back and it takes up space in the warehouse, which could be either used to stock items that sell like crazy or to get a smaller warehouse, which lowers their mortgage costs.

    Oh and since we talked about ships: They shipped the last batch of my templates, now they only need to respond to the complain PayPal raised, cancel my remaining orders and refund me my money.

  6. Yeah, I don't think this is a "proper" Ponzi-scheme. I'm more leaning towards the Hanlons razor; "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity" in this case.

    If it were just a sale to get rid of old stock – which is perfectly acceptable to do without making any profit – I wouldnt be so worried. But when it's coupled with having absolutely no other items in stock...

    So, the ship hasn't sailed in your case. Not yet at least :)