Streamlining the Rental Process with Illusive Comics & Games

Anna Cebrian took the “I’ll do it myself” attitude to the next level when she purchased her friend’s business in 2007. She was able to turn the failing business around during the...

Illusive Comics & Games

Founded

2007

Industry

Board Game Rentals

Location

Silicon Valley, California

Key features used

  • Availability Calendar

  • Online Bookings

  • Inventory Management

Anna Cebrian took the “I’ll do it myself” attitude to the next level when she purchased her friend’s business in 2007. She was able to turn the failing business around during the middle of an economic recession. Illusive Comics & Games is now incredibly successful, and recently, she has shifted focus to digitizing its rental process with Booqable.

Many factors go into the success or failure of a business, but sometimes it all comes down to the owner’s decisions. If they can’t make the right ones, their business is in jeopardy, but they can completely turn their business around if they can make the right ones. When she saw her friend’s failures in running his business, Anna stepped in and bought it from him.

Illusive Comics and Games

In 2007, Anna’s friend was facing problems making his comic store successful. He asked her for advice, which she gave him for over a year, but he didn’t follow it. Eventually, he decided that he needed to sell it, and Anna snapped up this opportunity because she knew what she needed to do to turn around the fortunes of Illusive Comics & Games.

Of the 2,400 comic book stores in the US, only 4% are owned by women. Anna is very proud to be one of them, and she believes that these shops should be “more of a community gathering space than a mere business.” So, she made her store a safe, bright, clean, and welcoming store for everyone interested in comics.

Now, it has a reputation for being the place to go in silicon valley for comic book enthusiasts. This is particularly true among the LGBTQ+ community, who receive more respect than they do in other local comic stores. Alongside comic books, she also rents out board games, which have been a massive success for Illusive Comics and Games since they were introduced.

Spreadsheets and index cards

When Anna introduced board game rentals to her comic store, she faced the question of how to rent out board games. Initially, she started by using index cards and spreadsheets to manage and process rental bookings. This made it difficult to track what games were in stock, which were late being returned, and who was a returning customer instead of a first-time renter.

She also found it challenging to measure the success of each board game. This made it difficult to decide what types of game to invest more in. These factors combined meant that Anna had to find a better way to rent out board games that could track rentals with much higher accuracy than her current system.

Shaping the program

Anna found Booqable while searching for such a solution. She can now keep accurate track of the data required to run a successful operation. The calendar allows her to get orders ready ahead of time and see what is due to be returned and when. Live availability means that her customers can see when games are available online, but it also makes in-store bookings easier to process.

Her customers can now enjoy a smooth checkout and return process whether they book online or in-store. The Illusive Comics & Games staff can quickly pull customer information from previous orders, saving the time previously spent manually entering it. They can also easily add new games to the store’s inventory and track them accurately.

A game-changer

Since implementing Booqable as the backbone of the rental process at Illusive Comics & Games, it has become more streamlined. It is easier to manage from an administrative view, but customers are also enjoying the fruits of the more optimized process. Though it took some time for people to adjust, they are surprised by how easy it is.

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