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CCG House Interview

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Today, we've re-connected with long-time supporter of our MTG Realm blog, Shane with CCG House and took some time to yatter with him. Not surprisingly, after a truckload of interview questions, he turns out to be a very decent fella with a passion for Magic the Gathering and making MTG fans / customers pleased . . . here we go.


MTG-Realm (MTGR) : And now we have Shane of CCG House, one of the leading on-line retailers of Magic the Gathering cards and gaming supplies. Welcome Shane.

Shane of CCGHouse (CCGH) : Thanks for the welcome and the opportunity to connect with your blog readers.

MTGR : First off Shane, we have to get the obvious out of the way . . . Boxers or Briefs ?

CCGH : haha, Interesting way to start things off. I like your style. Looks like Boxers today.

MTGR : Most escellent. Seriously now Shane, can you tell us a bit about how you first got into this business - were you a MTG player before you went into the retail business ?

CCGH : Yeah, I started playing MTG when I was 11 yrs old. I learned how to play on the bus ride home one day. My best friend is the one that taught me. Took me about 15 minutes to be completely hooked! This was about the time Revised was in print.

MTGR : Cool - Revised was waaaay back in 1994, and Richard Garfield was king of the collectible card game world. Personally, our first build was Urza's Legacy in 1999. Now tell us a bit about CCG House - you know - vital stats such as inventory, number of customers, number of annual sales, etc.

CCGH : We here at specialize in MTG. We do our best to keep all cards in stock from all sets. It seems to get harder and harder as time goes on, and as new formats come out such as EDH/Commander, and with Legacy getting support from WotC now. We continue to grow as far as gross sales, and number of customers daily. We just recently opened a larger retail store in July, and we got set up with the WPN and we are now running tournaments on a daily basis. Its amazing how quickly we have established the player base that we have. We are already getting an average of 40-50 players for our Standard FNM, and another 12-20 for the FNM Booster Drafts.

MTGR : That's impressive - a very healthy player base for Friday Night Magic like yours makes for great gaming. Where do you see the business going and where do you hope it will be in another 5 and 10 years from now.

CCGH : I see it continuing to grow like it has been. I would assume that the growth will slow down a bit at some point, but should continue to grow as long as WotC continues doing things the way they have been. The game has evolved so well over the years, and I am just so impressed with pretty much all things WotC does to improve and promote the game. I would love to see Worlds back on ESPN like it was before, but as long as it just keeps going the way it is then I wont have any complaints.

MTGR : We were tentative at first with the changes Wizards of the Coast were implementing but have to admit they've done a great job and almost every player we've talked to love the improvements. Anywhoos - Where are most of your customers coming from currently ? What's the breakdown ?

CCGH : We do quite a bit with International business, but I would say that the majority of our business is still done inside the US. Its getting closer and closer to 50/50 though.
We are quickly growing in the Portland/Vancouver area as our store has just blown up as I mentioned earlier. Growing much faster then I ever thought it would or could.

MTGR : We're thinking the players in your area must appreciate having a great store to buy and play at. Now a jump back into your past. What was the best thing that a customer ever said or emailed you ?

CCGH : We frequently get compliments from our customers and this is what we thrive on. Our number one priority is customer service as we know that you can shop anywhere online, but we want to give people a reason to choose us and then come back to us.
As far as a specific instance though, we had a customer call us up just screaming at us about some issue he had with the order we sent him, and he was cursing at us, and demanding all sorts of things. He was transferred to me, and after talking to him for a couple minutes he finally told us his order number.. It turns out the order was made from another store, and the order that was made from us was sitting on his table unopened. His whole attitude changed, and I assume he felt a bit embarrassed about the whole freak out that he had just done. He opened his order from us, and couldn't stop saying how great the order was packaged and the cards were in better condition then he ordered. I have never heard someone's attitude change so drastically in a matter of seconds. He then asked me what he should do about this other order and I walked him through the steps he should take with the other company. I suggested not yelling and screaming at them or it would be possible that they wouldn't do anything for him. He now calls us and makes orders just about every month. From what he tells me we are the only store he will shop at after that one phone call. I don't know if this is the best thing I have ever been told, but it was a pretty interesting store, and it is a pretty big compliment for someone to order from us once a month after all that happened with that first phone call.

MTGR : Dang. Very nice - We're thinking that you went above and beyond a typical level of customer service and won a loyal patron. Right - And how about one of the worst things that may have happened with a customer ?

CCGH : We were training a new shipper, and we normally upgrade packages over a certain value to UPS as its a safer and more secure service. Well we had a situation come up with the order should be upgraded, but it was to a PO Box. Well our shipper had forgot that UPS doesn't deliver to a PO Box so he shipped it out UPS to the PO Box. The order was then returned to us, and the customer called up very upset. After talking to him for a few minutes I calmed him down and explained the situation. The biggest problem was that he needed them for a tournament that was that weekend (2 days away). I told him we would reship the cards back out with express mail so that they would get there the next day. We did, and he got the cards as we promised. He called us back, and told us that we had dealt with the situation better then any other store he had ever had an issue with.

MTGR : Nice - Are you folks building a CCG House time machine next to get your orders out quicker ? Erm - never mind - your competitors may be reading as well.
Anywhoo Shane, thank-you very much for taking time out of your business schedule to talk with us and the very best wishes in continued business success.

CCGH : Thanks for having me.
You can connect with CCG House on Twitter and Facebook. Check out their on-line store HERE or their eBay store, or drop by either of their bricks 'n' mortar stores in the Vancouver / Portland, Washington area. They are open Tuesday to Saturday from noon to around (or often after 8:00 pm PST) and run tournaments almost every evening of the week. Use the handy Wizards of the Coast Store Locator to get directions.


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