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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Variant: Where do you get your games?


I have sort of a lot of games (though by no means "enough").  Among my regular gaming group, I have the clear majority by far.  In fact, when my friends do purchase a game, they often leave it at my place.  I think they do this so that it can grow up among friends and not stay home alone - like taking a child to preschool.

Anyway, where do you usually get your games?  I like the idea of supporting the local game shop.  In fact, if more people supported them, maybe they wouldn't all be closed in my area.  Buying at the local shop means you get to open up the game and tear into it right away.  But, it also means you have to pay tax.  Sales tax is the devil.

The alternative is an online retailer.  Maybe even (cough, cough) boards and bits or funagain. No tax and they usually have significantly better prices than the local shop.  The downside is that paying for shipping tends to cut into the savings on the price and you have to wait a week to get your game.  A whole week!?

Another avenue is the second hand game.  Looking around on different websites (even craigslist) can net you some pretty good deals.  Second hand games tend to be far, far cheaper than even the online retailers.  And you can pick them up in person.  But, with these pre-owned (like a fine automobile) games, you have to be careful about missing components or broken pieces.  Plus, for me, half the fun is punching the chits and tokens out of the boards.  And second hand usually means you miss out on that.

The same is true for ebay or other auction sites.  There is another potential negative that you can't really inspect the product until the deal is complete.  And, you're paying for shipping again.  On the plus side, you can get a very good price and it's easier to find a desired game on an auction site than spending time on random listings hoping something good shows up.

For me, it depends on the price point.  Less expensive card games I'll grab at a local shop.  Weightier games, I'll grab through one of my sponsors (and you should, too!).  I've been pretty pleased with the second hand games I've picked up, but it's rare that someone is selling something I want. 

What about you?  Which is your preferred method?

(Note: I had a poll placed in here, but it changed the formatting of my page.  Anyone know a good way to add a poll on blogger?)


  1. I go to the local shop for almost everything. It costs more, but I've lived through enough comics/D&D/gaming/etc. stores closing to know it's hard for them, and I'll waste that $10 on more frivolous stuff anyhow.

    Also I seem to remember you alluding to being in Southern California, the store I go to is called Gameology in Claremont. They have a ton of games for rental in store, or you can take them home for $10 and put that towards your purchase if you decide to buy the game. It's a sweet deal. Plus the people there are cool and have showed me how to play a bunch of games and are generally good folk

  2. I just checked it out online. It's a bit of a drive for me (about an hour), so I'm not sure that it can be my regular game shop.

    But their idea of game rental is super sweet. I may have to check it out. Thanks for the tip!

  3. This is a dilemma for me. I have mostly gone to FLGS's but recently shopped at While I had to wait for my games it was less than a week. Also, my FLGS prices are more like $10, $15, or more higher than online retailers. I want to support them but my desire for games... and food... is higher. It is a sad state I know, but I can only afford to visit them when they have sales.

  4. I don't have any game stores in my area at all (rural western Kansas) so mostly I get things online. However, when I lived in Portland there were several stores there and I tried to buy things from them some. Just this past weekend I went to Kansas City and spent some money on games there even knowing it cost more, because I want to support the local stores. But, as with shopping at Walmart or buying everything from Amazon, it's very hard to pay more when you know you can get it cheaper. But then, online stores aren't going to host game nights.