A little over a week ago, I was in the videogame section @ Fry’s Electronics when I overheard a conversation involving one of their employees and a Fed Ex deliveryman about the Nintendo Wii console and when their next shipment would arrive. After their conversation ended, I pulled the deliveryman aside, we engaged in a pleasant 15 minute conversation about videogames, and I gave him some advice on securing a Wii for his family.
The most important tip I gave him was to check the FatWallet.com and SlickDeals.net forums on a very regular basis, as many of their members live on the East Coast (what happens there in terms of delivery schedules may apply here later in the day) as well as in Southern California (likewise). At one point, I was checking those forums once every few minutes during that crazy first week the Wiis and Sony Playstation 3s were onsale. Also important is to know when the UPS and Fed Ex delivery trucks arrive, because often times, the consoles are unpacked from their respective boxes and brought over to the store shelves immediately. And finally, when checking to see if a console is available at a particular store, try physically going there and asking someone (in a managerial position if possible), as opposed to calling over the phone. If you’re friendly and not a douchebag in your approach, chances are that said employee will fill you in.
Meanwhile, if you still looking for one of those elusive consoles for Christmas, and contrary to 1Up‘s glum prediction (via Digg/Joystiq) about availability through the rest of the year, Toys R Us announced (via Joystiq) that they will have additional Wiis and PS3s before the end of the year (but probably only as part of a bundle, so be ready for that).
- Online Attack:
- Online Scan.
- Amazon Attack.
- Follow the crowds at FatWallet.
- Follow the availability through RSS Feeds.
- Offline Attack:
- Buy the bundle, (try to) return the games.
- Get there early.
- Scan the shelves anytime you are in Target or TRU.
- Hang around for the random extra ticket.
- Try to purchase tickets from innocent bystanders.
- Poor spelling may save you dollars.
- Unvalidated secret hint [using the store’s price checker].
UPDATE: Added two more important tips.