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Subject: Online store comparison or recommendation? rss

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Rob
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Has anyone put together a comparison of the online stores where games can be purchased? I'm far from a FLGS, and it looks like I'll be ordering online.

If not, can you guys give me a brief rundown of the best sites around? I'm mostly looking at major aspects like:

Price
Customer Service
Return Policy
Number of items in stock

Thanks.
 
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Brad Fuller
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http://www.michaelareed.com/boardgamesearch/

is the one I use, though there is another that I am not sure of the link to.
 
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Rob
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Excellent! A metasearch engine for games. And it has a locator for FLGS's. Very nice!
 
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Brad Fuller
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In addition, I have used Timewellspent.org, Thoughthammer.com and Boardsandbits.com. All of them had excellent service and quick shipping. Timewellspent is the cheapest (only slighty cheaper than thoughthammer) but thoughthammer has free shipping if you spend 125.00. Boardsandbits is good for hard to find stuff and imports. Funagain is highly reguarded on this site I may order from them next cause of their point system, which I won't detail here but you will see it on their site.
 
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Sir Cumference
United States
Unspecified
California
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http://www.boardgameseeker.com/
 
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Have faith
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Timewellspent.org
Thoughthammer.com
 
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The Games Are About Glory
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cull wrote:
Timewellspent.org
Thoughthammer.com

Ditto. I've only ordered from TWS but my next order will be from Thoughthammer because TWS doesn't stock any of the Pitchcar games. It won't be hard to get free shipping considering Pitchcar + Extension is $108.

Dave at TWS has been one of the most helpful people I've ever dealt with and has gone well out of his way numerous times during the last two years since I've been ordering games.
 
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Mike Marshall
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I'm a big fan of gamesurplus.com. Great prices and great customer service...
 
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Jon Greisz
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McKinney
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I've been very satisfied with both Boards and Bits and Fairplay. Both have delivered timely, packaged well, and have a good price. B&B has flat rate shipping of $10 which I like if you make large orders.
 
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Sir Cumference
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They're all pretty good though I have to admit a particular liking for Boards and Bits. If you live in California orders from them come wonderfully fast. Like all of them, the packing is superb. I order from different places depending on price, availability of what I want etc. Generally if I can get it from Boards and Bits at a competitive price, I prefer them.
 
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Joshua Lobkowicz
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Thoughthammer.com is a peronal favoite for me, the service is great. Always quick to answer any question, good selection great prices....I love 'em

Josh
 
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D S
United States
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http://www.gamesurplus.com is my favorite by far.

I always spent a lot of time comparing prices before I bought my games (or told others where they could find the games I was interested in), including running through checkouts to make sure I knew how much shipping was going to be (some of the discounters are notorious for overcharging on S&H), and the one time in the past three years that I found what I wanted for less (at ThoughtHammer), three of the four boxes had noticeable dings/dents upon arrival. Now, normally I'm not so picky about the boxes, since it's the games inside that matter, but two of the damaged items were to be gifts from me. I learned my lesson the hard way that price is just one of many important factors to consider, and considering how negligible the price difference ends up being anyway, the best retailers separate themselves by being great in all aspects, including merchandise quality -- the one aspect you can't judge online like you can in a store.

GameSurplus may not have a free shipping offer, but their shipping prices are very low, turnaround time is short, the service is friendly and responsive, selection is outstanding, and they'll order games for you that they don't carry if you just ask. Oh, and they may not have the absolute lowest price on particular items, but since all their prices are always very competitively low, if you're ordering multiple games, you're bound to save both time and money by looking there first.

That's my opinion. Best of luck to you in your search.

[EDIT] I'd like to add a long overdue update concerning the dinged/dented games I received from ThoughtHammer based on what has transpired since then. After some consideration, I decided to give them another chance after they offered, despite it being well beyond the usual timeframe, to rectify the situation of my original order. They did so in impeccable fashion, and my subsequent order was filled promptly and accurately, arrived quickly, and with the only dings/dents being on games I had chosen from their ding/dent discount list, the imperfections requiring close inspection to discover. It's nice to have another reliable, trusted retailer, even if it's still just my back-up.
 
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Jon David Faeth
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I've ordered from a few of the more popular sites, and out of the stores I've used I'd say that Fair Play is the one store I'm most loyal towards. I've never had a problem with the order getting goofed up. It always comes promptly. The only times I go elsewhere is if they don't have what I'm looking for, which does happen from time to time. That's when I usually go to Thoughthammer.
 
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Seamus Kleissler
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I'm very loyal to Gamefest. They've been real good to me and every time I do an order I do a lot of comparison shopping but Gamefest always seems to have what I want and at the best prices.
 
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Rob
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Thank you for your recommendations. I'll check them out!
 
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Richard Davis
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www.cardhaus.com has been great since I live near them - order it online and then walk in to pick it up - always have it ready for me upfront, no shipping charges.

I second the recommendation for www.boardgameseeker.com - works great!
 
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David Rauscher
New Zealand
Mount Victoria
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Best of luck. I'll also put in a positive word for ThoughtHammer. Not the prettiest site, but it's easy to find what you're looking for - easy browsing, so to speak, as well as a list of all the hot upcoming releases - and the prices are great. The service has also always been excellent. No complaints!

I've also had some good experiences with Funagain games. Funagain has special features and a nicer site, though it's not quite as easy to find the hot games as it emphasizes the family games instead. Not quite as cheap as ThoughtHammer, but I don't mind spending a little more if I'm supporting a business that's important to the hobby/industry, and spends so much time ensuring a quality experience.

Can't say anything bad about the others, as I've never bought elsewhere, though I never liked the navigation or feel of CardHaus (it's really geared toward the card game market, not the boardgame market), and I think GameSurplus could use easier navigation.

Speaking of which, I try not to let price drive my decision as to where to buy games. I expect to order my games on-line at a discount, but it doesn't have to be the 35% you sometimes see - when on-line retailers cut their margins that low, they do so by providing no other special services, or they generally make it almost impossible for people to make a living at selling games unless they cut out all but selling. Basically, I try to stay away from the "on-line wal-marts" that in the long run hurt everyone over a few pennies.

But that's just my opinion. I certainly don't want to drive anyone away from any on-line shops they currently visit - I want to keep the hobby robust!
 
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Mike Marshall
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I'd like to add one more comment to what dgstone said about Gamesurplus. I want a copy of Q-Jet. I contacted the publisher in Japan to buy a copy and was told that they don't sell to the US--at least not to individuals. I emailed Thor at Gamesurplus, and told him about the game. He contacted the publisher in Japan and ordered a case on my word alone. They are on a slow boat from Japan, but they will be available here. That's what I call customer service!
 
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Sue Hemberger

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Thor got me Bunte Runde, a Knizia kid's game from Germany that adamspielt wasn't carrying. And because I'm in the mid-Atlantic (from a parochial US perspective, LOL!), when I'm ordering stuff that's already in stock, my gamesurplus orders often show up the day after I make them.
 
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Cameron Williams
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Has anyone used the site www.yourgamesdomain.com? The prices look good, especially for Canada, but the site isn't really referenced anywhere on the net. They do appear to have a physical address though, so it isn't too suspect.
 
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P. Al Williams
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You might find this list helpful...

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
 
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Trevor Franklin
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Timewellspent.org is fantastic. The lowest overall prices and very friendly and quick service. Unless you are spending enough to get free shipping, I doubt you'll find better deals. If you are spending $125, thoughthammer.com is great. (just backing up what others have said).
 
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Rodney Loyd
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Quote:
Thoughthammer.com is a peronal favoite for me, the service is great. Always quick to answer any question, good selection great prices....I love 'em

Josh


Ditto. And Cindy in Customer Service is awesome.
 
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Tim Mitchell
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Wasgo wrote:
Has anyone used the site www.yourgamesdomain.com? The prices look good, especially for Canada, but the site isn't really referenced anywhere on the net. They do appear to have a physical address though, so it isn't too suspect.


Their site did look kind of dodgy (just a template, not even complete in places) and some of their eBay sales raised my eyebrows too (games going for half price but triple shipping). But the physical address reassured me enough to try them out.

I ordered RoboRally for CDN $40+$12 shipping and paid with PayPal. I didn't get a tracking number.

The game arrived very quickly and in good shape. I was quite pleased and will probably try them again. The storefront is updated regularly.

I think the owner could polish a few rough spots to reassure customers, but otherwise, I think they're a good new option for Canadians to consider.
 
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Swood
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dgstone wrote:
http://www.gamesurplus.com is my favorite by far.


I second or third http://www.gamesurplus.com. They will get all of my business unless they happen to not have something I'm looking for.

Previously, I ordered from Funagain.com. Great website but:

Prices + Shipping = CRAZY EXPENSIVE
 
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