Earlier it was reported that the Wii U would be in short supply, and if you didn’t learn from the Wii’s original release, the item is selling like hotcakes. Many kids, families, and gamers want it, and because of the demand you see people taking advantage of this by pre-ordering multiple systems online or heading to stores that do not take pre-orders like Target and Kmart. Thanks to massive demands, the selling of the Wii U online is in abundance.
If you don’t have a pre-order right now and want one before 2013, here are a few ways to raise your chances. I’ve worked at a few game retailers so hopefully these will help you on your quest. It still requires devotion, free time and luck, and while you are at it make sure you have the Legend of Zelda chest opening theme on your phone when you finally pick one up.
When the Wii released demand was crazy. It was actually tough to find a system for about a year. While it was not impossible, the system was still flying off the shelves at $249.99 after a year of it being released. People were selling them online for up to $500. When I worked at Gamecrazy, the Wii would be gone in less than an hour with people asking if I got any in.
Don’t be picky. You might want the 32gb version, but unless you want to wait, you might only find the 8 GB version available. Aside from the black finish, the copy of Nintendo Land and the few extra accessories for an extra $50 dollars, even people who buy the 32GB version will eventually have to shell out extra money for an external hard drive if they want to download games. If you only plan on buying Wii Ware games, then you don’t have to worry anytime soon. 5 GB does hold quite a bit of smaller items.
Gamestop is a place you shouldn’t spend too much time trying to hit up. They filled all their pre-order allocations to the point some customers who already pre-ordered may also have to wait (plus there is a Power up Rewards Member waiting list). So even if they restock anytime between release date to December, chances are there are hundreds of people waiting at that store on the list.
Wal-Mart had an interesting way of doing it. The layaway plan they have worked similar to a pre-order system to the point people were paying it off slowly. Chances are you can still get on that even after release, but it’s best to check now if you can get on a later order. They might have a few extra for sale on Sunday.
Best Buy is planning on having a launch event at midnight for any extra systems they get. There may already be a line of people waiting to get them, and they may be mixed in with the Black Friday shoppers (yes there are already people lined up at some BBs since early last week). You might get lucky and have a store with a good amount.
Kmart/Sears doesn’t have any pre-order system at the physical stores, so go in early and you might find a few.
If you have a local mom and pop game shop, talk to the people there. They should have some knowledge of when they might be able to get some. I talked to one of my favorite local shops and told me they weren’t getting any right away, since it looks like Nintendo favored big retailers. They did, however, have tons of people who pre-ordered it and even more calling daily. Their expected shipments will be available within the week of release.
Also make sure to pre-order a game/accessory with your system, even if you don’t want it. Most of the time people who are just looking to make money off the system only buy the system with no insurance or add-ons, so the workers watch them and eventually black list them because they have a tendency to go back often. They may possibly refuse to sell to them, which can be in your favor. Just say you want to pre-order a game and put like 5 dollars down and pick up the game when you also get the system, this way they see you really want it and aren’t out to buy a dozen of them to resell online.
Restocks are random, even if you ask, an employee won’t know when the next shipment is because Nintendo sends them out randomly. Once they have shipped again to stores, try calling every few days, not everyday. Since the system releases right before Thanksgiving/Black Friday, there is a good chance any other shipments of systems will be held until Black Friday, so waiting in line might be your only hope.
If you have a system on pre-order, be prepared to enjoy your it next week. For everyone else I hope this post helps.