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Feedback required: Video game rental ideas

abhi.eternal

In search of light...
Hi guys. First a small prelude.

Many of us love video games but cannot afford to buy the latest titles due to their high prices. So we have decided to invest from our profits from a separate business and bring a tear of joy to all you tight-pocketed gamers out there.

We are planning to launch a video game rental service - for the gamers, by some gamers! Initially we are planning to offer PS3 games but with time, we will get PS4 games as well and support other platforms depending on the demand.

Following is the draft we have drawn so far:

1. Top games will be available based on Metacritic and forum user reviews.
2. Single player games will be given preference as mutiplayer will need users to buy online passes.
3. Mutiplayer games will be made available if it has an engaging single player mode and depending on user demand.
4. User will need to deposit an initial amount equal to the retail price of the game which will be fully refundable - we actually didn't want to do this but this is to protect our business against fraud.
5. User can rent a game for 5 days minimum @ INR 300. The time will be counted from the day courier updates package as delivered till the time user has the disc; delivery and return time will not be considered.
6. User can keep a game for more than 5 days by paying INR 50 for each extra day.
7. Tracked courier service will be used for delivery and returns; it will be prepaid by us. *We already have a contact with our current courier service provider so this should not be a concern or we may need to find other alternatives*
8. Once the disc is returned, the owed amount will be deducted from the deposited amount and the balance will be refunded. However, if the user wishes to rent another title, he/she can pay the owed amount and get another disc. The balance in user's account needs to be equal to the retail price of the game user wants to rent next.
9. Over time, loyalty points will be introduced so that user does not have to deposit the full price - he/she may be given full or partial exemption on the deposit amount.
10. Any damage or loss will be recovered from the deposited amount. We will test the discs systematically to ensure playability at all times.

Now, this is just a draft of our plans. We will appreciate your feedback on our ideas so that you can get the best experience. We are planning to launch the service in the next month after making sure that we will be able to make the gaming community a happier place.

This has been posted on multiple forums to get best feedback possible so that we can provide you the best service.
 
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OP
abhi.eternal

abhi.eternal

In search of light...
@gameranand: We are glad that you like the idea. The link provided is a separate business as mentioned but provided here for gaining trust as a business; we already have something to satisfy our female customers and now it's the guys turn! We are just collecting feedback before the gaming site is launched :)

@others: Come on, guys. Need more feedback!!
 
OP
abhi.eternal

abhi.eternal

In search of light...
@harshilsharma63: We understand your point of concern and have already looked into it. This is from a friend who works in the legal dept. of a Europe based company - SCEE is governed by EU laws which are not valid outside the EU. As long as Sony India is not releasing a game, we should be good as long as we have a business license which we have. This is how Indian businesses like Game4U, Landmark, Moviemart etc. are able to sell used games and offer rental services, and those are some big names! I believe SeventyMM also used to provide video game rental service till a few years back. Trust me, we don't want to get tangled in the legal web.

@
abhidev: We are planning to offer only PS3 games at first and then we will add games for other consoles. A PC game rental model will not work because of the serial key issue that you mentioned.

@Zangetsu: Oops. Sorry. Fixed!
 
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Zangetsu

I am the master of my Fate.
renting console games is good idea & shud work just like it does in foreign countries
but that too depends upon the no of console owners near to rental shop...

just like we had movies rental shop (VCR/VCD/DVD etc) we can have games rental too & its a gr8 idea :doublethumb:
 

theserpent

Firecracker to the moon
Try this,Conduct a survey via online spreadsheets etc, Pass the survey link to all you friends and tell them to share it,try sharing it in some popular pages of bangalore like bangalore memes etc,If you do get a good response like people are willing to rent-At what rate etc go ahead :)
 
OP
abhi.eternal

abhi.eternal

In search of light...
@Zangetsu: We know that the business entirely depends on the number of console owners. That is why we are planning to provide the service all over India.. well, most of it anyway where our courier can provide service taking rental shops out of the equation ;)

@theserpent: Thanks for the advice. We will implement this in the stage 2 of draft and results will be considered in the final draft. At first we just wanted to check what the forums users think and at many times I have received very useful suggestions in these quarters :)
 

Zangetsu

I am the master of my Fate.
^^u will first need the approx data of no of console owners in India to calculate the margin or implementation process
 
@Zangetsu: We know that the business entirely depends on the number of console owners. That is why we are planning to provide the service all over India.. well, most of it anyway where our courier can provide service taking rental shops out of the equation ;)

@theserpent: Thanks for the advice. We will implement this in the stage 2 of draft and results will be considered in the final draft. At first we just wanted to check what the forums users think and at many times I have received very useful suggestions in these quarters :)

Will you have used game or new game sales?! because if the customer like a game and wants to buy one.. your shop would be the better option.. also it would be a way to retain your customers..
 
OP
abhi.eternal

abhi.eternal

In search of light...
@Zangetsu: We will need to get services of a data collection agency to do that and frankly we will not be able to afford the exorbitant prices they charge at present! We will however need to focus on strategic marketing.

@Bhargav Simha: We are considering this. Nothing is finalised though. May be we will give this option few weeks after launch.
 

gameranand

Living to Play
First of all you need some reputation for going online because people won't just deposit money to you. First you should have a good local reputation so that they will buy or rent from you and then slowly but steadily your business will grow.
 
OP
abhi.eternal

abhi.eternal

In search of light...
@gameranand: We very well understand your concern. We do have an established online business (the site is being updated as the main business is mainly through Facebook) and so far we have been able to provide very good service. The gaming business will be launched only after the completion of the mentioned business' website.
 

rakesh_ic

Cyborg Agent
A withdrawable wallet structure to maintain ones balance with you will be much of a user friendly option that gives the user the confidence to trade with you in future.
The user should be able to put in extra amount or withdraw any extra amount that is already in the wallet will be much of a convinience.
Ofcourse the contraints will be that the user can only withdraw the excess amount blocking the amount as per the value of the games he possess.

This will give 2 things to the customer -
1) Trust and tansparency
2) Ease of use in terms of booking for a disk as and when he likes and adding in money when he has (say in small portions).

PS:: I know there is some implementation cost associated to have such a setup. But I am sure this can be considered in phase 2 of expansion

The website must be designed to show the number of copies available and has checkout online options. I know they are obvious but wanted to have a note of it as I dint find it anywhere..

Also, can you please post your plan on transfer of money back and forth? is it payable by CC or is it only bank transfer at the moment?
 
OP
abhi.eternal

abhi.eternal

In search of light...
@rakesh_ic: This can be solved by the way of user depositing a wholesome amount of say 4-5K for any game and pay only the owed amount when returning the discs. The initial deposit will be completely refunded when the user does not want to continue.

Initially, it will be direct bank transfer and with time we will introduce other banking options. Transferring of money should not be a concern though. At start, users will be able to see if a game is available or not but later on, we might display available stock - this will not be that difficult to implement.

@Nerevarine: Thanks :)
 

gameranand

Living to Play
Transferring of money is a big concern. You should have option so that users can pay you online using their Debit Cards because not everyone has a credit card and no one wants to go to bank for depositing money. I know that I won't.
 

rakesh_ic

Cyborg Agent
Transferring of money is a big concern. You should have option so that users can pay you online using their Debit Cards because not everyone has a credit card and no one wants to go to bank for depositing money. I know that I won't.
Bro.. I know we all wanted risk free and easy transaction options. But just to ease out Abhi's task of answering this, implementing various payment options and a security feature to assist the same involves certain cost per annum. Also, the website and other infrastructure must be maintained which incurrs some cost. These costs will add up and in itself is a huge amount (I am not putting down any values here, but remember that I am not talking about few thousands here :D).
For a business that is to be established now cannot produce such amount for maintenance at the start. So for time being brank transfer will be the only option. As it expands, I am sure Abhi and team will put on additional investments on these.
Typically the bank transfer works similar to what we are doing in the trading section. So they themselves have an overhead of checking every order for the payments and approving the transaction.

@rakesh_ic: This can be solved by the way of user depositing a wholesome amount of say 4-5K for any game and pay only the owed amount when returning the discs. The initial deposit will be completely refunded when the user does not want to continue.

one question here Abhi, How are you guys planning to track the rental charges for a user??

Example:: If i put in 5000 into your account, I pick a game worth 2000, play it and return. The rent incurred is (say) 300. Now if I want to pick another game. So ideally my outstanding amount will be 4700. But as we are doing everything as a bank transfer, is there any tracking or soft account system that you are planning on your website??
 
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