One year later and here we are again: There’s a pint-sized morsel of gaming nostalgia from Nintendo that everyone wants and no one can buy.
Everyone’s big shot to score a Super NES Classic came and went on Sept. 29, the day it came out. It’s currently selling on eBay for around $130 to $160. That’s the same basic range as NES Classic pricing on eBay right after launch, but don’t forget: The NES also cost $30 less at retail than the SNES. This one’s selling for less, comparatively.
All of that said: There’s a good chance you’re still looking for an SNES Classic at its $80 retail price.
Nintendo has promised to be more forthcoming with shipments this time around — and, for what it’s worth, launch day definitely felt that way to me — but there’s no longer a “they’ll be in stores today” guarantee like there was at launch.
So, what can you do to ensure you get one without paying $100-plus for it?
Hit up your local brick and mortar over the internet
This one might seem obvious, but your first move should be to call some local stores and just ask. You might be surprised at how forthcoming the responses you get will be.
I just now spoke with a GameStop near my home in upstate New York. The gentleman I spoke with told me that more are coming, though they haven’t been told how many, or when they’ll be arriving. However, before we hung up he added that they received an extra 20 units on launch day, beyond what was expected — that’s a great sign.
If you’ve got extra time on your hands, you might even want to try visiting some local stores. Many retailers offered limited pre-orders but ended up shipping late, which led many people — myself included — to line up on Sept. 29 to nab an SNES Classic on launch day.
Again, asking goes a long way here. Find out what your preferred store’s policy is regarding cancelled pre-orders. You might even luck out right there and find one in stock from a recent return.
You might also try looking for stores that would stock an SNES Classic, but aren’t as accessible for one reason or another. Maybe they’re located in the boonies; maybe there’s no convenient public transit nearby. Whatever the case, look for off-the-beaten-path stores that draw fewer customers.
Check your Amazon resources
If you absolutely must buy your SNES Classic online, your options are unfortunately fewer. The fact is, a hot item like this is probably going to disappear very quickly if/when it does surface again online.
One option is to sign up for Amazon Treasure Truck notifications. You’ll still need to leave your home to pick the mini-console up if you end up scoring one, but these roving Amazon stores could be your savior.
There’s also Amazon Prime Now, which is a local delivery variant of Amazon’s popular subscription service. It’s not a perfect solution, as you’ll need to live in an area serviced by Prime Now. But this is how I managed to get an NES Classic last year; I spotted a tweet about Prime Now having them in stock in New York City, and I promptly ordered one.
Follow Twitter accounts and others for word on retail availability
Hey, Twitter is a thing. You can keep an eye on any number of accounts that track retail availability in the gaming world, but my personal favorite is @Wario64. That account had a lot of insider info to share regarding shipment numbers before SNES Classic launched, and it was also right on top of the limited pre-order opportunities that surfaced over the summer.
One final option for online-only buyers: NowInStock.net. There may be other sites out there that perform the same function, but this one lets you sign up to receive alerts when a specific product is in stock from a range of stores. You can set how the alerts are delivered and which products/stores to track, and the website does the rest.
There’s still no guarantee that you’ll manage to grab an SNES Classic, but you can up your chances considerably with these tips.
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