Monday, October 24, 2016

Question for people who shop at Lulu...

Despite the essential monopoly of online game sales enjoyed by OBS, I actually get a very significant number of sales from Lulu. I think there are a few reasons for that. The first being that Lulu was the main place for publishers to early adopt POD distribution, so it is a significant retail source with history and awareness for customers in that way. The second is that Lulu runs some great sales sometimes that make it very competetive for shopping print books.

My question for gamers who shop at Lulu is this. Are my assumptions correct? Why do you sometimes shop at Lulu rather than OBS (or in addition to)? How do you find the shopping experience at Lulu in comparison to OBS?

I'm just thinking about some things and am interested in peoples' thoughts and experiences.


14 comments:

Kelvin Green said...

I do sometimes buy things from Lulu, although I must admit it's only because those things are not available on DriveThru; if they were I think I would stick with DT because I use it most often.

Lulu is fine. The books are decent quality and the site is easy enough to use, although I have had problems in the past with localised printing; I know for a fact that there is a UK printer because I've had things from them before, but I've also bought books that have been printed in the US for no apparent reason, and have had to wait ages -- and pay more -- for them to be posted over to me.

Rob Conley said...

1/3 of my sales for Bat in the Attic comes from Lulu. Definitely worth the time to keep stuff up there as an OSR publisher. The only thing I don't have up is Blackmarsh and that because Lulu doesn't have an equivalent pricing to the format I use on OBS. (16 page full color letter size)

Reese Laundry said...

Its absolutely due to the coupons on shipping in my case. I'd prefer to keep all my PDF purchases at OBS and in one library, but their shipping on print products is crazy. I've never seen a coupon from them. in comparison, I can order print products from Lulu at similar pricing to those on OBS, but with free or reduced shipping if I hold out for a coupon that will inevitably show up in my inbox if I'm patient. I can also upload a PDF of a product that isn't otherwise available in print and get a privately-printed copy if I want one.

Kelvin Green said...

That's an excellent point. The Lulu discount codes are plentiful and useful.

Stuart White said...

I prefer to use Lulu. I'm leery of some of OBS's content policies, and wary of any retailer that is has so dominant a position in the marketplace. Additionally (and as mentioned above), Lulu offers regular and generous discounts, which makes loyalty to the service much easier to justify financially.

Andreas Davour said...

Discounts is nice, but POD is the thing. OBS was a latecomer to that.

paul said...

OBS is way too expensive for shipping. Lulu free shipping codes makes POD reasonable.

faoladh said...

In addition to the above, I've found that Lulu books seem to be generally of better quality than those at OBS, especially hardcovers. When I have the choice, I tend to prefer to buy from Lulu.

faoladh said...

Of course, the downside is the failure of Lulu to provide easy book/pdf combo deals, so it's not always as simple as that.

Tom said...

You pretty much nailed it. I opened my Lulu account because I could get pod titles from it when I couldn't from OBS. Since I have the account there, I'm willing to keep using it. And the frequent coupons help keep me coming back.

Chris C. said...

I keep using Lulu because a have as long as I've been buying OSR stuff, and there hasn't been a title I wanted that I couldn't find there.

Chris C. said...

"...because I have..."

Hisel Power said...

the coupons on shipping in my case. I'd prefer to keep all
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Stu Ordana said...


I get POD books from both OBS and Lulu, both for the same reason, sales on OBS and discount codes for Lulu. I can't say I have seen any difference in the quality of the books from either POD source. An OSR Rpg book I got from Lulu one time had someone's vacation pictures and commentary printed in it. But the customer service quickly confirmed the mistake and sent me a new book. I like Lulu as there is rpg stuff on there that is not on OBS but their interface makes if difficult to browse for stuff. You need to know what you are looking for on Lulu. OBS is made for browsing. But I prefer print books to PDFs so that limits my purchases from OBS. And I have to say, without shipping discount codes, I think Lulu's shipping costs seems higher than OBS.