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Subject: Who is the best online gaming retailer for US customers? rss

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John Hines
United States
Noblesville
Indiana
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Who do you think the best online gaming retailer is for US customers? Why do you like them verses others?
Hey, I'm bored at work
Coolstuffinc was my old go to retailer until Miniature Market started offering customer holds. Customer Holds ROCK! Love you M&Mkiss
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James C
United States
McLean
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Amazon.
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George Van Wallendael
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I use Cool Stuff and Minature Market most of the time. As I live in Florida both Amazon and Cool Stuff arrive orders arrive within 2 days. I have to say both have great customer service!
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Mark Pierce
United States
Rochester
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We are fortunate in the US, Coolstuffinc, Miniature Market Amazon, and Cardhaus are all really good. Miniature Market gets props for the best packing. Coolstuffinc has had customer holds for years, and is my preferred vendor. (A lot of people don't seem to know they will hold your order - just choose an in-store pickup option and send them a note to hold and reimburse local tax if applicable) They give loyalty discounts on top of great prices and customer service is excellent!
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Duncan Idaho
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mantra6 wrote:
We are fortunate in the US, Coolstuffinc, Miniature Market Amazon, and Cardhaus are all really good. Miniature Market gets props for the best packing. Coolstuffinc has had customer holds for years, and is my preferred vendor. (A lot of people don't seem to know they will hold your order - just choose an in-store pickup option and send them a note to hold and reimburse local tax if applicable) They give loyalty discounts on top of great prices and customer service is excellent!


I think most people who want an order held will use the pre-order trick! (Order something with a pre-order in it, then shift the order as you want more stuff.)

I occasionally use Cardhaus (just because I started with MM and CSI and haven't had a reason to go to my third choice often). The big differences:
1) CSI is, generally, cheaper (especially with the customer discount program) by $.50 or so, depending on the game (again, more with the customer loyalty discount).
2) MM's customer hold lets you stack up clearance items and daily deals.
3) MM has, when I've checked, generally been "slower" to increase prices on hard-to-find games.
4) If one of the two gets a new release before the other, it's usually CSI.
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Shane
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I prefer CSI.

- prices are usually the best online.
- stock updates in real time, and their re-stock emails go out quickly.
- loyalty pays off; a 4-5% discount rate is not difficult to reach.
- they ship pre-orders the same day they come into stock
- while they do not offer customer holds, they're amenable to adjusting orders, essentially equating to customer holds.
- their shipping rates are fair
- as I live in GA, I usually get my items within two days.

Not to knock any other retailers, who all have their great qualities, but I find MM in particular to be fairly inconsistent with shipping times - which is a deal-breaker for me.

I'd also highly recommend Boardlandia. They are a very small online store with a brick and mortar presence in Wisconsin. As I've gotten to know the owner, I can't help but want to give him business due to his excellent customer service skills. They offer some great deals and discounts. I've found that if I'm not in a hurry to receive a game, I try my best to give business to them. Otherwise, it's CSI all day long.
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Pete Lane
United States
Golden Valley
Minnesota
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I like CSI, but be warned that if you pick the cheapest shipping option you will get your box sent via FedEx Smartpost. This means they send the package through USPS and many more hands touch the package. I ordered something end of Feb and I'm still waiting for it because FedEx lost track of the shipment somehow.

So if you're going to use CSI (or any shipper really) try and purchase enough to hit that free shipping mark and you'll get it quickly.
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Mike Jones
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CSI - for quick 'cheap' popular games. (Customer Rewards at my level is unbeatable by MM customer rewards, plus two days to get my stuff).

MM - does sometimes get an order at Christmas sale.

Gamesurplus - got to place for hard to find imports.

Funagain - when desperation sets in for a hard to find import.

Ultimately, though www.boardgameprices.com is my goto to on-line retail spot.

(I miss you Thoughthammer, Boulder, Boards and Bits and the 'old' Timewellspent)
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David Penz

Rochester
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I've used coolstuffinc more often than others largely because I'm a sucker for great easy to use websites and it has a very useful 'new releases' section. They also historically seemed to attract me the most with sales.

However, lately I've been leaning towards Miniature Market. Since they revamped their website I find it to be the best easiest to navigate site. I also like how they seem to be doing larger sales at one time versus coolstuff's small but frequent sales.

I've never used cardhaus, purely because I don't personally like their web site design at all.
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Damien
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CSI, mainly because I get it the next day (they have a location here in Jax)
 
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Dave Dubin
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Champaign
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ketchup61925 wrote:
Who do you think the best online gaming retailer is for US customers? Why do you like them verses others?


In no particular order:

- One Book Shelf, where designers are willing to take chances. Mostly RPG stuff, but I buy board games from them too.

- The Game Crafter and Print and Play Productions---two other sources of games by independent designers.

- Nestorgames, for the same reason. And his productions look so good!

- Abebooks, for games no one else but me wants to play.

- Yellow Mountain, for games I can occasionally get someone to play.

I used to order a lot from Nobleknight and Le Valet (and still do, but not as often anymore). Blue Panther got a lot of my business, and I'd be happy to see them more active again.
 
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Evan
United States
Longwood
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I'm a CSI guy all the way simply because I can pick things up the same day I place an order as I live 5 miles from their Maitland warehouse. Given that they are the cheapest, I pay no shipping charges, and I get a 3% discount for being a regular customer, it's really a no brainer for me.
 
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Jeff Michaud
United States
Longwood
Florida
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Captain Kirk, Captain Picard, Captain Sisko, Captain Janeway, Captain Archer
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ketchup61925 wrote:
Who do you think the best online gaming retailer is for US customers?

amazing a thread w/this topic never came up before
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An-Jen Tai
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Palmyra
VA
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I have bought from all the major ones in the past couple of years. I used to prefer CSI because I qualified for the 5% discount, but lately I've been buying mainly from MM due to the customer hold feature. I know you can do it at CSI by emailing, but that's just annoying enough for me not to bother, not to mention the restriction on Daily Deals. Lately I've also been buying more frequently from Amazon, specifically for items that are subject to pricing restrictions by Asmodee and its ilk, since both Amazon and third party sellers there have at times been willing to discount more heavily. (Those of you who have been around long enough may remember Boulder Games, which used to be my favorite online shop until the proprietor decided to retire. Jim had some rather firm opinions about "price fixing", among other things. I miss having him around.)

I've had good service from both MM and CSI whenever problems have arisen and MM really went out of their way to fix a problem for me once that was entirely the publisher's fault.
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Andy Andersen
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Michigan
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GameSurplus
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Ubergeek
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Washougal
Washington
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My Top Ten On-line Retailers by buy-buy bucks $$$ bye-bye
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Jeffrey D Myers
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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For Advanced Squad Leader stuff, Gamers Armory, Ritterkreig, and Battleschool.
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Jon Bowker
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I've used CSI the most as they had unbeatable prices for years and the loyalty discount only made it sweeter. In recent years, several other stores have become competitive (Miniature Market, Cardhaus) and I've ordered from them on occasion. But ultimately, I tend to gravitate back to CSI when making a large order as the order total usually comes out lower then it does at MM or CH. It's usually the smaller games that tilt the scale in favor of CSI and not the new hotness..

But as far as who is the "best?" That's highly subjective. There are a lot of great e-tailers, small and large, and they all have a reason to draw preference from different people. Prices, selection and location appear to be the main factors.
 
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Matt Simpson
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CSI and MM. Boardgame Bliss in Canada is competitive as well.

Gamenerdz.com looks like they are trying to step up their competition as well with prices/free shipping
 
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Joes Game and Crab Shack.

A fresh softshell with every game.
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Jon Nall
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Tennessee
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I'm another happy CSI customer. I have had great support from them, the loyalty program is nice also. Just this week I had them move a bunch of items around on a couple of orders due to a pre-order getting pushed back. They responded and set up the orders how I wanted within 4 hours and my in-stock items should ship today or tomorrow.

My friend goes through MM, he has had nothing but good things to say about them as well.
 
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Keith B
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Katy
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In this order:

MM
Cardhaus (would be no. 1, but don't respond to customer issues as quickly as MM)
CSI
Amazon
Boardgamebliss (yes, they're in Canada, but they deliver to the US and with the current exchange rate, some times their prices in US dollar can't be beat. Plus, they get a lot more imports than the others).
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A J
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Miniature Market definitely for me. I really like the customer hold option.

I've purchased sparsely from CSI and Cardhaus, and then Amazon only when it's on sale or when I send as gifts, lol.
 
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Justin Lester
United States
SANTA MONICA
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I ordered from CSI once. Never again! Their customer service is horrible. I don't see why people like them. I guess they just had no problems and therefore didn't have to deal with an actual employee. If there is something wrong with your order, they are not helpful.

Cardhaus, on the other hand, has been nothing but top notch. And, they tend to be cheaper than CSI anyway. Their free shipping threshold is higher, but that just means you have to order another game.

The good thing about Miniature Market is $6 shipping.

I'd also like to recommend Boardgame Bliss. They are Canadian but offer free shipping to the US on large orders and you may even save money because of the exchange rate.
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Kirk Roberts
United States
Jonesborough (will trade by mail)
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I use CSI and Amazon (with free Prime shipping).
Surprisingly, sometimes Amazon has a game listed at a lower price than CSI.

I used to only order from CSI when I could get over $100 for free shipping. But now I see that trying to get over $100 was causing me to reach too much. Now I just factor in the shipping cost when comparing with Amazon. The loyalty program is a nice perk.

Maybe it's misguided, but I really dislike that CSI uses styrofoam packing peanuts. Can make a mess and feels more wasteful than air packs.
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