If you’re a geek who likes gaming then you probably have tried Dungeon and Dragons at least once. I played it once myself, but we used it as a supplement to the LARP I play to create a mod to flesh out some backstory.
Now, seeing as I know little to nothing about D&D, I was lost when I learned about minis. I have some Star Wars minis I collected, not to play with, but to display and just have in a collection. This is where my friends, Gold Dragon Horde come in.
I met them on Facebook a while back and became friends because they seemed to be an awesome female run gaming site/profile with a huge love for D&D gaming. Even though I know hardly anything about the game, I wanted to friend them. I did so because not only do you get to hear stories about their Gaming Table misadventures, they are very awesome and sell the aforementioned minis.
I had a long chat with one of the ladies from GDH and got some answers to some questions to help me, and by extension you, on what we need to know about these awesome people and their business.
My first question was to establish how they came to be, and boy was it a long answer. The passion behind this was something you rarely find in people. I think I’ll let her explain how they came to be though because I simply don’t see a way of paraphrasing this.
“GDH was the seed of an idea, planted on eBay. Being old-school gamers, we were a husband and wife who collected old lead figures…approximately 4,000 of them, and actively used them in our almost daily gaming sessions. In 2006, we discovered the WotC line of D&D minis. We actually debated about collecting them at all. My husband was a die-hard lead fan so I picked up a lot behind his back on eBay so we could check them out in person. It was a match made in Heaven. We both LOVED them and decided then and there to collect every one of them ever made.
With nothing more than the desire to complete our collection as quickly as possible, I continued buying the largest lots I could buy, picking what we needed and selling the rares on eBay. I was also the pioneer of selling “Choose Your Own Minis Lots” where the winning bidder could pick from a list of about 500 minis to create their own grab bag. Before long, I had amassed over 8,000 of them and selling anything other than the rares was not worth it due to the fees associate with selling on eBay.
As time went on, eBay fees got higher and higher. I was paying nearly $400 per month in fees, even getting the Powerseller discounts. I decided enough was enough and in February of 2009 had my first website built. The name Gold Dragon Horde was chosen because the Gold Dragon character is most like how I do business. Honesty, integrity and a desire to do the right thing, treating others as I would like to be treated, is paramount. The flip side is that dragons are hoarders. Due to the large number of minis in our inventory (over 10,000 at launch), it was both a hoard AND a horde.
The first site was just a hobby; testing the waters to see how it would do. By the middle of 2010, we were getting so many orders it was sometimes tough to keep up. In August of 2010, it was decided that this really was a viable business and was taken to the next level. We hired a web designer, obtained all appropriate licensing, set up for credit card processing and started advertising on a larger scale.
By the website launch in March (after numerous system failures and missed deadlines), I was really struggling with handling things all by myself so enlisted the assistance of a two part time helpers and a business advisory board consisting of an attorney, an accountant, a tax rep and the CEO of a local International-level business.
Now, we are just working on getting our name out there. Our superior customer service and Referral Bonus programs are helping a lot. Since we were customer first, we spent years learning what to do and what not to do for customers to keep them happy. It’s why we maintain our “bend over backward” policy. It is our commitment to our customers to never lose site of the “customer matters” philosophy that is lost with most larger businesses. Of course, having a huge inventory that is second to none and a “Low Price Guarantee” also help.”
See, I told you it was a doozy of an answer, but it certainly shows the passion GDH shows for not only its business, but its customers. I also asked about how long gaming had been a part of their lives. She tells me her playing D&D came in the 80’s while her husband had started in the late 70’s. They raised their children around the gaming table and found a passion that not only brought husband and wife closer, but brought them closer to their children. She stated during our talk: “Now, it has grown into an obsession (and what better way to make a living but making money doing something that you love and have a passion for?). We now have minis decorating nearly every wall in our house, as well as various dragons (my own personal, life-long passion, long before I played the game) and various D&D-related artwork and literature.”
Now, for you intrepid gamers looking to find GDH and get some D&D mini goodness you can go to DandDminis.com. I asked her about the naming of the website and this was her response: “When I took my first business class, over 20 years ago, one of the first things discussed was the importance of a name. Well, I believe that still holds true but it extends further now, with the internet. If your name isn’t indicative of what you do, especially starting out, people will pass you by. Well, Gold Dragon Horde doesn’t really say who and what we are but DandDMinis.com does. Also, since we had been eBay Powersellers for so many years under the name Gold Dragon Horde, we wanted customers to easily find us and associate the website with the same extraordinary level of customer service seen on eBay. In truth, though, http://www.GoldDragonHorde.com will also get you to our website.
Eventually, when we are more well known, we will officially adopt the use of only http://www.GoldDragonHorde.com. Until that time, we will be using both to promote ourselves.”
So either way my friends, you can find them using both URLs. They use simplicity with sophistication and this was another thing that drew me to them. But the website isn’t the only way to meet these fine people.
I asked about conventions seeing as I knew they had attended DragonCon.
“We do attend DragonCon and this year we created company mascots for our costuming and walked around the gaming areas passing out free minis, dice an discount cards to gamers (the highlight was being stopped by Edward James Olmos in the hall because he wanted to take my picture). While not attending other conventions this year, we do support several smaller conventions across the country, by donating prizes or money. We tried to become involved with a couple more conventions to attend, including giving a presentation on how to photograph miniatures, be it Reaper, WizKids, Mage Knight, WotC or whatever. However, both with both conventions we planned to attend, we got no response to our inquiry at all so will not be going. Eventually, we will have someone who’s job it is to just attend various conventions. We just need to grow up a bit before we can make that sort of commitment. No matter what, though, we will never stop supporting the little guys. We know full well what it’s like to start something new and having support can make a world of difference. I am all for supporting things that support the game!”
And that my friends is Gold Dragon Horde and their wonderful mission to supply you with your D&D mini needs. If you like D&D, or collect minis, check them out.