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Subject: Game Stores in South Africa rss

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Mark Farr
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I had promised to post the details of games stores in South Africa. I'm sure few of you make it out here, but it may be of some use, or interest, to someone.

Please move this to the appropriate place, if there is one. I could not find a regional forum for Africa, let alone South Africa, so I went with "General".

Bas, you may want to link this thread to your fantastic compilation of game stores around the world. My apologies for the delay. I did scoot over to the store yesterday to personally take (rather poor) photos of the two stores myself. Hey, it's the thought that counts.

In my opinion, these two chains are the best choice for board games in this country, in that order.

Wizards Books & Games:
The owner of Wizards, Chris Legg, is a gamer himself. They have the widest range of games in stock of any of the stores in this country. If they don't have it, and it can be ordered, Chris will order it for you.


Shop G4, Colony Shopping Centre
345 Jan Smuts Avenue
Craighall Park
Johannesburg, Gauteng
2196
Tel: +27 11 880 9252/3
Fax: +27 11 880 9757

Shop G19, The Stadium On Main
Main Road
Claremont
Cape Town
7700
Tel: +27 21 683 0360 / 1
Fax: +27 21 683 8666

Shop L18, Windermere Centre
163 / 177 Windermere Road
Morningside
Durban
4001
Tel / Fax: +27 31 312 8271


Outer Limits:
Outer Limits have a small selection of board games, but they do bring in some games that no other store does, making them a good place to stop by every now and then.

Website: http://www.outerlimits.co.za


8 Main Road
Melville
Gauteng
2017
Tel: +27 11 482-3771
Fax: +27 11 482-9999

Hatfield Forum West
1067 Arcadia Street
Hatfield
Pretoria
Gauteng

Tel: +27 12 342 4360

1st Floor
33 Waterkant Street
Cape Town
Tel: +27 21 418 5394

There are a few other stores that carry board games, but you would want to visit one of the stores above, if you get the chance.

It might be worth checking out http://www.boardgames.co.za, staffed by wonderful people, who distribute games to most of the smaller stores. It is also possible to order games from their website, for delivery to your door in a couple of days, should you be staying here long enough. They have a list of retail partners on their web site.
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Noord Brabant
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Great list!
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The only problem with boardgames.co.za is that they often have titles out of stock for months at a time, they can never give any indication of when they are expecting to have them back in stock and they won't order anything in.

Wizards on the other hand are great.
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Mark Farr
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It's difficult for boardgames.co.za, I think, because they need to keep their retail partners happy too. I have made several purchases from all the stores over the years, and the crew at boardgames.co.za, Barbara in particular, have always been fantastic. Chris has been very nice too, even bringing two games and some goodies back from Essen for me, going out of his way to visit the stands concerned.

You are fortunate, kaytel, in that you will probably have Wizards around for some time. Chris is unlikely to sell the Claremont store for a while, whereas the store here in Craighall is up for sale (again). The prospective owner plans to bring in computer games, should the deal go through. That will leave my gaming group looking for a new supplier, and Outer Limits just don't bring in enough. I hope Chris decides not to sell just yet.

The more stores we have here, the better. It's a pity to see them closing down so frequently. I recall the stores here that started up and didn't make it - Helm's Deep, Otherland, Future Fantasy, Phantamania, etc. It's clearly a tough market to be in.
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Ziegreich
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Chris Legg of Wizards is great. It's wonderful to see he's still going.

I bought many games from him in the mid-1980s when he still had Gamma Games, a mainly wholesale business hidden on the fourth floor of an old office building in Cape Town. He had this store room at the back with Avalon Hill, SPI and later Victory Games titles. It was a world of wonder to me then and had a lot to do with my ongoing involvement with games.

He deserves all the support you guys in SA can give him.



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Marco Fuini
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The Windemere store, in Durban, was bought from Chris a while ago (its now called Destiny Books & Games). It still stocks a few games, but the stock is very limited and doesnt change frequently.

Edit: Forgot to say thanks for posting the list of SA stores.
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Mark Farr
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Thanks Marco.

I have never seen the Durban store (or the Cape Town one, for that matter).
That's ominous indeed. Seeing as he has sold/closed the Durban and Edenvale stores, it seems likely that he will eventually accept an offer for the Craighall shop. That's sad, as it has hosted game nights on the first two Thursdays of the month for close on a year now. There's a small community of gamers thanks to this. We could always meet elsewhere, but I would be sorry to see this change.



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Tobold wrote:
It's difficult for boardgames.co.za, I think, because they need to keep their retail partners happy too. I have made several purchases from all the stores over the years, and the crew at boardgames.co.za, Barbara in particular, have always been fantastic.

My problem with them is that I wanted a particular game and they'd been out of stock for a couple of months. Their response to my query as to when they would order more was a essentially we'll order them when we order them. I did however fill in a request to be contacted when they had stock. Many months later I received notification. All told probably 6 months had gone by. At least with Wizards I can say I want this game and it will get ordered, and I'll be given an estimate as to when it will arrive.

Another place to look at is www.zaps.co.za. They seem to just have Fantasy Flight games listed, but their prices are quite good.

Quote:
The more stores we have here, the better. It's a pity to see them closing down so frequently. I recall the stores here that started up and didn't make it - Helm's Deep, Otherland, Future Fantasy, Phantamania, etc. It's clearly a tough market to be in.

I think cost is a big factor. Although in Cape Town the only place I've ever known to have a fairly wide selection is Wizards. Outer Limits had basically nothing.
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Nicholas Hall
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Thanks for the list Mark !
Sad to hear the edenvale shop closed, that was my staple back when I lived in Jozi (and had a Warhammer addiction modest )

I also want to vouch for Chris and Wizards in Cape Town, it's awesome and we've got a games night every Thursday night (unfortunately this is the same nigh that my scout group meets, so I'm rarely able to go). Best of all he gets new games and replenishes stocks regularly
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Mark Farr
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kaytel wrote:
Another place to look at is www.zaps.co.za. They seem to just have Fantasy Flight games listed, but their prices are quite good.

...

I think cost is a big factor. Although in Cape Town the only place I've ever known to have a fairly wide selection is Wizards. Outer Limits had basically nothing.


I did check out zaps.co.za. That is a relatively new development. Their physical store is located in Randburg (in Brightwater Commons, the old Waterfront). That was very close to where I worked for years and I have been buying computer games from them for a very long time. I know the guys well, but haven't been there for a while. It's fantastic that they have decided to stock board games. I hope it works out well for them.

Outer Limits here in Melville have been increasing their stock of board games significantly over the past year or so. Initially, they had very little. Now, they typically have a decent selection. They brought in Middle-Earth Quest a few weeks ago, which has yet to arrive at the Wizards store here. They had Small World in stock months before Wizards as well, and there are several items that they have stocked that I have yet to see at Wizards. Perhaps they are gearing up for being the only real option here in Jhb, as I know Grant and Chris talk to each other, so Grant must be aware that Chris is scaling down operations up here.

Outer Limits has also stocked HeroScape for several years. Chris has the base sets, and has ordered some stuff for me, but Grant has brought in plenty. If not for him, my HeroScape collection would be a lot smaller. It's good to have options.

Hey Nicholas. It's good to see more SA gamers here. So, you lived here and moved down, eh? I was born there and lived there until we moved here (when I was about 13). I reckon you have the better arrangement.


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Nicholas Hall
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Yeah, I love Cape Town, much better than Benoni But it seems I might have to move back up, apparently Cape Town has too many lawyers, and don't need any more, Jozi on the other well... it's Jozi
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Roger
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This is Wizards in Claremont, Cape Town:



I met Chris and he was very friendly and helpful.

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Mark Farr
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Thanks for that, Roger! I have never seen the Cape Town store. I will have to get down there some time.

Were you visiting the country? I get the impression you don't live here. Tell us more. Did you buy something?

Edit: Ah yes, I remember now. You're in Mozambique. Nice!
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Roger
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Hi Mark,
Yes, just passing through, picking up a "real board game" to complement a few card games for 3 weeks travel around Mozambique and Malawi. There was quite a good range. In the end we walked out with smallworld under our arms.
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Denver Le Roux
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I find wizards to be expensive? Or is that just me?
 
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Mark Farr
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vir0 wrote:
I find wizards to be expensive? Or is that just me?


If you compare Wizards prices to those in the US then, yes, but a lot of things are more expensive here by comparison.

When I was last in Australia, I picked up games from Mind Games in Melbourne and Games Paradise in Sydney. Their prices are extremely close to Wizards, if you do the conversion. I think it may just be the shipping costs to get them here that push up the prices. Also, being a really niche hobby, they can't work in bulk.

I have purchased quite a lot online, directly from AEG, Days of Wonder and Fantasy Flight, but mostly on eBay. You can get games cheaper this way, but not much, once you add the shipping costs.

I have been buying from Chris for years now, and I'm quite a big spender (addict). They look after loyal customers. I get a 10% discount on anything I purchase and the good are couriered to me free of charge (I am in Jhb). This has made Wizards cheaper than ordering from overseas, for me (although I still do it for stuff they can't get), and they are generally cheaper than Outer Limits (in Melville, anyway).

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Denver Le Roux
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With 10% off, that would change things quite a bit. I bought my first game from boardgames.co.za, settlers of Catan, They were R60 cheaper even though that product was on special at wizards for R450.

I guess it comes down to shopping around and then making a decision.
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Mark Farr
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vir0 wrote:
With 10% off, that would change things quite a bit. I bought my first game from boardgames.co.za, settlers of Catan, They were R60 cheaper even though that product was on special at wizards for R450.

I guess it comes down to shopping around and then making a decision.


Too true. I bought my first few games (Memoir '44, Lord of the Rings Confrontation, War of the Ring) from boardgames.co.za. I only discovered Wizards later on. If I can get it from boardgames.co.za, I will, as Barbara and the team are wonderful people, but their selection is much smaller than that of Wizards. I still check there, to see if they have it, but it's very seldom that they do. Of my last 30 game purchases, only one was carried by them (Yspahan). I would love for boardgames.co.za to carry a really wide range, but I understand that is not feasible for them.
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Denver Le Roux
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So I am keen to try this, just not sure how risky it is.

Buy bulk from this site: www.gateplay.com

Ticket To Ride
9209 1 $34.99 $34.99
Carcassonne
822 1 $19.99 $19.99
The Settlers Of Catan 5-6 Player Extension
2807 1 $16.00 $16.00
Pandemic
30549 1 $27.99 $27.99
Arkham Horror: Dunwich Expansion
21059 1 $39.99 $39.99
Forbidden Island
65244 1 $12.99 $12.99
Subtotal: $151.95
Shipping & Handling: $81.32
Tax: $0.00
Order Total: $233.27

The games work out quite cheap then. Some of my concerns are then:

1) will the order arrive
2) will it arrive in one piece
3) will I have to pay duty on that

Thanks

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Mark Farr
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I have found that the post office has improved with regard to foreign parcels. Back in 2006/2007, it was fairly common for parcels to go missing.

For more than a year now, I have had no items go missing. That includes many that were sent regular mail (not tracked). The SA post office creates a tracking number for every foreign parcel. I am quite confident that you will receive it.

As far as duty (customs) goes, I think you will be extremely fortunate to evade that. It used to be somewhat random, with some parcels being charged and others slipping through. Along with the clean up, it seems that you cannot get away with it anymore. You will most likely be charged customs duty on that shipment, I'm afraid.

It should still be cheaper than purchasing them locally though. It always worked out that way for me. Even with the duty, and shipping costs, it has been cheaper when I order directly from overseas. What buying from Wizards gives me is ease. I can make a local Internet transfer, when the items arrive, and I don't have to visit the post office at all (the items are couriered directly to me).

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck and happy gaming.

Edit: I neglected to address the issue of damages. I have not had any problems in this regard. The parcels are sometimes a little ragged, but the contents have always been undamaged.

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Denver Le Roux
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What else can I expect to pay on a package that I Import for say R1700 (the contents + postage)...

i.e. would it be that plus 14% and then import duty. How does one work out what the import duties would be?

Thanks for answering all my questions Mark!
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Mark Farr
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Hey, it's no problem. Yes, it's generally VAT, so that's 14%, plus a set "processing/handling" fee that is around R25.

It can be erratic though. I have been charged more for customs than the value of the package before, but that was many years ago. They seem to have got a fair bit more organized since then.

I must say, getting game parcels in the post is the closest I get to feeling like a kid at Christmas. There is something special about opening up a box of new games.
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Wizards now also have a web site - www.wizardsbooksandgames.co.za. Nothing fancy, but current price lists can be downloaded
 
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Andreas Pauley
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+1 for Wizard's, they are my first choice.

Outer Limits and boardgames.co.za are also nice, if they happen to have the game you're looking for in stock.

There is also a game shop in Mountain View, Pretoria North: Alladin’s Cave.
They seem to be mostly a PC Game shop, but they stock a limited selection of board games.
I bought two Days of Wonder titles from them.

http://www.boardgames.co.za/retailers.htm
 
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Marco Fuini
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Tobold wrote:
Hey, it's no problem. Yes, it's generally VAT, so that's 14%, plus a set "processing/handling" fee that is around R25.

It can be erratic though. I have been charged more for customs than the value of the package before, but that was many years ago. They seem to have got a fair bit more organized since then.

I must say, getting game parcels in the post is the closest I get to feeling like a kid at Christmas. There is something special about opening up a box of new games.


Boardgames are free from customs duties, however South African's are only allowed 2 parcels of R400 value or less per year. Anything over this is deemed as commercial purchases (even if it is a gift), and hence VAT is charged + the R25 handling fee.

If there is no invoice attached, then this price is determined by the price/value marked on the outside (which is often the insured value). Be careful if the sender includes the cost of sending in the insured value as this inflates the price/value. This still applies on gifts and trades, so either take the risk on not insuring the item (for more then R400) or make sure the item is marked gift with R0 value.
 
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