Shelf Life: Level Up Games, Canterbury

Shelf Life: Level Up Games, Canterbury

MCV speaks to Alex Bowness of Canterbury-based retro specialists Level Up Games about why the store has been selling lots of Dreamcasts this summer, and what they use Ebay and Amazon Marketplace for 

How has business been recently?

It’s been very decent actually. It’s an odd climate for gaming at the moment, especially when you are dealing primarily in retro as there’s no rhyme or reason to it, but there’s enough health in the retro scene right now so we’ve been rocking along quite nicely. 

What’s been selling well?

SNES consoles have had a massive resurgence recently. We’ve also done really well with Sega this year – we’ve sold 20 Dreamcasts in the last week.  That’s entirely down to the announcement at E3 this year of Shenmue III. All of a sudden, people are asking where they can play the first two Shenmue games.  

Have you seen many trade-ins for the newer consoles?

Not really. That’s because there are a lot of good releases coming up so people are holding on to what they have got. We can ride those trends but we don’t see as much of the new stuff. 

You have a Facebook page. What’s your social media plan?

It’s more for awareness  – a conversational thing and stock advertising. 

You have some Pokémon card giveaways advertised on your Facebook page. What other areas have you diversified into? 

Only into associated products – anime, manga, figurines, that kind of thing. We dabble in other areas without being specialists in them. 

You also have a website – what’s the plan for that?

It’s rubbish. We started that up with the intention of doing grander things like opening a store. But we never got around to affording the EPOS system for the shop or updating the stock inventory, so nothing is linked and everything would have to be manual. We got half way through one section and by that point the stock list was out of date. So we wrote it off. It’s more of a contact portal. 

In lieu of an online store, do you sell over any third-party sellers like GAME Marketplace or Amazon?

We sell over Amazon and Ebay for the more esoteric pieces. It’s the weirder pieces that won’t be picked up by people in store normally. 

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