Game Stores In North Carolina: Bill & Ogre’s Games

Bill & Ogre's in North Carolina
There are several game stores in North Carolina. Bill and Ogre’s captured above is one such store. (Photo Credit: Bill & Ogre’s Facebook Page)

“Nestled in the mountains of North Carolina” is Bill & Ogre’s Games, as described on their Facebook page. Matthew Stevens (a.k.a. “Ogre”), along with his co-owner, Travis, did not launch Bill & Ogre’s Games as a traditional storefront in Murphy, North Carolina. Instead, the storefront came later with the primary focus on wholesale-to-wholesale distribution. Once requested, the owners agreed to launch a storefront. The storefront, located two hours north of Atlanta, Georgia, is only 8% of the business and appears to be the only store in Murphy. According to the Wizards of the Coast Store & Events Locator, there are no stores in the town of Murphy. Rest assured, though, you will find Bill & Ogre’s Games.

Travis and “Ogre” both have a background working in the gaming industry. Travis used to work for both Star City Games and Channel Fireball while “Ogre” worked for Troll & Toad. Both owners aren’t working out of their store often as they have a manager – 4 employees total – who manages the day-to-day operations. At its peak, the store had 12 employees. Currently, Travis works out of the warehouse – of which there are three – facilitating large-scale transactions. He travels minimally while “Ogre” is on the road more often. One can find “Ogre” traveling throughout the Midwest buying and selling collections of bulk cards. Additionally, during the summer of COVID, they bought five game stores in two months.

The One Sale That Started It All

Before the current store, “Ogre”, had stores he previously owned. His foray into the business started with selling a Timewalk Magic: The Gathering card for $50 after buying it for $25. At that point, he decided he wanted to do this as often as he could. “Ogre” notes that he likes to buy and sell immediately as opposed to conducting transactions on TCG Player. In the first year in business, they doubled in size, followed by years two and three showing increases of 50% and 33% respectively, according to “Ogre.”

Regarding the player base, Dungeons & Dragons events can fill the store. In fact, “Ogre” would like to create a unique Dungeons & Dragons experience for players that will feel “like [they’re] walking in an old tavern.” As for trading card games, Magic: The Gathering is the most popular at the store with Commander and Draft as the predominant formats. “Ogre” notes that as a business they like to be aggressive when acquiring new players. With several game stores in North Carolina, one of the ways they accomplish that goal is by getting products players want to buy, says “Ogre”. By doing so, he notes that the more energy put into these initiatives, the more community that comes out of it as a result:

With Many Game Stores In North Carolina, What Are Some Unique Marketing Strategies To Acquire New Players?

From a marketing standpoint, Bill & Ogre’s Games has a few particular campaigns they run to attract new customers. They work with other businesses by offering incentives like receiving a booster pack for drawing a Pokemon. Customers would have their drawings featured in the store. Additionally, “Ogre” shared they invested $400 in digital billboards which has paid them back each time they do so. Additionally, What Not streams have assisted in selling products live in real time. These efforts have resulted in customers expressing their desire to return to the store as noted per a review on Bill & Ogre’s Facebook page:

If you are in the Murphy area and like TCG games highly suggest you check them out!! Awesome staff. Alex was so friendly and helpful. Was even able to play some games!! Can’t wait for our next trip up to come play again!!

Christy Smith, Bill & Ogre’s customer

In looking to the future, “Ogre” desires to have a larger dice selection for the store in addition to shelves for larger items.

You can follow Bill & Ogre’s Games on Facebook.

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