The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Some people scoff at brick and mortar game stores. “Why pay retail when I can get it cheaper from an online retailer?” I’ll tell you why: instant gratification.

There is no greater pleasure than being able to stroll into the store, grab that game you’ve eyed for months now and start unwrapping it before the clerk’s even finished swiping your card. With an in-store game night, you can be playing the game — because certainly you wouldn’t buy a game you haven’t already tested and know you’ll like, just as I wouldn’t — in minutes, as sometimes happens at Tuesday night board games.

Unless, of course, the store doesn’t have the game in stock. Then the whole thing falls down. That’s where I found myself last week. I finally decided to throw down for Dominion: Intrigue, only to find Quarterstaff Games was out of stock. Not only were they, but so was the distributor. Intrigue seems to be out of print for the moment. The only copies to be had are those already in the supply chain, which probably aren’t all that few, given the line’s surging popularity.

With instant gratification out of the way, I found myself with two options: wait for the store to get the game in stock or buy it online. Either way, I’d have to wait. Buying online seemed like the quicker option. So that’s why I find myself drumming my fingers tonight, because a silly eBay seller couldn’t mention the fact they ship via FedEx, a service which does not play nice with my current abode. If I’d known, I’d’ve shipped the package elsewhere, but here we are.

Later today, I’ll head out to the FedEx station to pick up Intrigue after what seems like much too long a wait, when really it’s only been about seven or eight calendar days. That’s quicker than waiting for the local game store to restock, but being thwarted by FedEx has still made me cranky about online retail in general.

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6 thoughts on “The Waiting is the Hardest Part

  1. Or, I could play that evening, whip out my phone and order it on Amazon and have it in max two days (or one if I want to bung in an extra four bucks, and still have it cheaper than if I bought it from the shop).

    I know, I know. If you don’t support the store, they won’t be there for you to game at, etc. Honestly, I’ve never gamed at a store, and I can’t tell you the last time they had anything I was looking for (probably the late ’90s). I wouldn’t even game in public, so this isn’t a concern to me.

    • If the online model works for you, I can’t pooh-pooh that. I just know that for me, I’d rather grab something off the shelf than screw around with delivery services who won’t actually deliver the package to my home because it’s too big (USPS) or the front door’s locked (FedEx, UPS) or whatever.

  2. Yeah, I don’t game at a store either, and the price difference is just too much for me to shop at one now that I’ve found a great online store. If I was only saving a few bucks, that’s one thing. But when I’m saving over 20 dollars a game?

    • It’s a balancing act. The local store is not only where I met most of my current circle of gaming friends, but my girlfriend, too. It’s a genuine community hub and worth supporting.

      I understand, though, not every region has a game store or one worth giving the time of day. Online sales are only going to increase, so I think that means the brick and mortar stores that survive are the ones that make the services they provide worth MSRP.

  3. I have a game store that I really like playing at for both miniatures and RPGs whenever I demo them there. Sometimes it is faster to order online but I’m usually a patient person.

    I grew up in a city when ‘game stores’ didn’t exist except in the mall. Our closest mall was an hour away. I literally had to beg my parents to take me to the mall to buy something as minor as an adventure module (1st ed D&D when they were NEW). There was no ordering online or by phone.

    When I finally moved to a city with a game store I was in Heaven! Not just a Things to Do store but an actual war-gaming and RPG store. Since that day, I support my local stores as much as I can. They cared enough about the hobby to open for me, I can wait a few days/weeks to get my fix.

    PDFs are the one thing that I don’t have an option to buy locally. I do have over $200.00 in PDFs that I’ve bought from DriveThruRPG.com.

    James / Nezeray

    • Right there with you. Quarterstaff’s always been around from my perspective, so it’s hard to imagine living in a town with no game store at all.

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