“If you’ve picked the right people you will get invaluable advice, and you will get it free” Jo from Red Herring Games

Red Herring Games was started by Jo in 2007 in Grimsby and built from the ground up. Red Herring Games is a fascinating business all to do with mystery murder, dinner events, party accessories, gifts, bits and pieces, and it was all because she wanted to raise money for her own coffee shop!

Hi everyone, Jo from Red Herring Games shares her incredible journey on SellingOnlineToday! Download Link


Some thoughts from the interview

“We are an online retailer of murder mystery games, gifts and accessories.”

“We got into it by chance. I was hoping to run a coffee shop. I decided to leave work and I thought, I know! I’ll run a coffee shop because I am really good at cooking. We decided that we had no money so we went to a bank and they said that we needed a deposit of a ridiculous amount which we didn’t have.”

“I was already writing. I had already started with murder mystery games because the church I was working with, the youth group wanted to run one, and all the boxes you could buy in the shops didn’t have the content on any of the boxes.”

“I started writing games just for church youth and when we went to approach the bank about the coffee shop and they turned us down because of the deposit, friends of ours said why don’t you sell your games because I had already got 5 I had written about at that point. I thought ah! Well! I suppose it might bring in a little bit of pennies to help with the deposit. So I started selling the game online through another platform that wasn’t actually mine I just worked for another company and after a couple a year of two I though goodness I could actually sell these myself and make a bit more money than I am currently as an author and approached a firm locally to set up with.”

“They joined forces with us, provided the website initially on a commission basis and we set up selling murder mystery games.”

“I started with 12 and now I have got over 100.”

“We do several different formats. We do the games that we play at home… they lead you from A to B”

“We also do full script to run in restaurants.”

“We are probably the only event management company that provide murder mystery that also provide our scripts to use.”

“People always want up-sell these days.”

“We also do event management so we are doing business to business on event management side of things with team building and the corporate entertainment but we also sell to trade so you can buy our products to stock in your own shop.”

“It’s not static. People assume that they put a website up but it’s actually not a static thing. You have to keep looking at your website, tweaking it, changing it, adjusting it. We started off with an OS commerce website which is very 1980’s almost now, people don’t have them any more. We were looking around for a replacement t and ended up with Prestashop which kind of sews a hole in the middle of Magneto and Drupal but we are looking at changing again into Magneto.”

“People are always changing their websites they don’t just put one up and leave it there for 80 years, it’s never going to sell anything.”

“We looked at bringing a team but we actually decided it was more cost effective to outsource it.”

“I think it is very important to outsource it to someone who knows what they are doing because website work is much harder than you might think and to get it right is much harder than you might think.”

“I don’t have the skills to get all the SEO right and what Google is looking for.”

“We also have got a shop/office in Grimsby itself.”

“There are a lot of people looking to buy from us abroad.”

“We didn’t start with any of them. We initially focused on getting our website right. We didn’t have a bricks and mortar shop before getting we started our website.”

“We were just originally getting rid of old stock on eBay.”

“We thought we really ought to look at having an eBay presence all the time.”

“It doesn’t generate a phenomenal amount of income month in month on eBay but it ticks over and it brings people back into the website which is what it was there for.”

“Amazon we launched probably about 3 years ago.”

“A lot of our products we create ourselves the difficulty we had with Amazon when we first looked into it was that we don’t have any barcode-able products. So what we had to do first was register with GS1 to obtain barcoding and then once we had a barcode for our products we could then list on barcodes.”

“Amazon does generate a phenomenal amount of sales for us.”

“We do have products we shift on Amazon that are barcoded that we have brought in but we never generate enough return on those. You are always competing with people that are offering it at half the price and you can’t maintain that.”

“The best thing we did was get the barcode and the barcode wasn’t expensive to sort out. I would certainly caution against people buying a barcode they really need to register with GS1, there are so many scams out there.”

“Amazon is definitely better. We have a product that is a luxury product, people wouldn’t search for a murder mystery on eBay.”

“I tend to find that the people that shop on eBay are they people looking for a bargain they are not the people looking to spend on a quality item.”

“Because of the price point our product is at Amazon will sell much more eBay will ever sell on there.”

“We have joined fulfilled by Amazon in Canada and USA so rather than try to do the international one from the UK we have actually sent stock over to Amazon in the sates and we do fulfilled by Amazon in the states and Canada as well.”

“I have got a good team around me, we just keep pushing all the time.”

“We tell everyone what our email address is, what our telephone is and where you can find us.”

“There is a huge generation of silver surfers out there that whilst they are quite happy to surf they don’t want to buy online they want to ring up and buy.”

“We do Facebook and twitter; I haven’t really got my head around Google plus or Pinterest or Instagram or any of the other ones. So, we focus on the ones I understand.”

“Twitter has been very good to us business wise.”

“Google ad words we use and you have to know exactly what you are doing with Google ad words to have it make the most money. I am not a wiz on Google ad words and it something I would outsource to get support on, which we haven’t done yet because Google ad words outsourcing is very expensive.”

“The blog is primarily there for SEO.”

“Get the right advice. There are an awful lot of business advisors out there who are business advisors because their business failed or because they thought that it would be the next logical step in their business and quite often business advisors aren’t the best people to advise in business.”

Best advice: “Customer service is never good ever. I went to training course once on customer service and he said your customer service will never, ever, be good enough. Always look at improving your customer service always think of some way to make your customers more excited about the service they have received.”

What do they offer?

Red Herring Games  stock a huge range of small group dinner party games and the widest selection of large group murder mystery games you will find  anywhere on the internet.

How to contact Red Herring Games!

Twitter      Website      Facebook    Or email: games@red-herring-games.co.uk


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