The NES Classic is virtually impossible to find in store, thanks to overwhelming demand for the $60 games console and a dramatic shortage of supply. As we get closer to Christmas, stock is slowly trickling into stores like Target and Walmart, but the last-minute rush for presents is making things harder than ever.
My favourite part about covering the NES Classic Edition saga has been the tiny but dedicated community of users that’s built up around the chore of finding Classic Editions in stock. The comments section of websites like NowInStock, which help users find stock of in-demand gadgets has been an unlikely source of insight. There’s tens of comments each minute, and rather than hoarding consoles and acting competitive, people are actually trying to help each other out.
One user, who claims to have found four NES Classic Editions as gifts over the last month, has shared a bunch of helpful tips. If you have time to spare, and the thought of overpaying on eBay terrifies you, gather round and listen close.
– BS [Ed note: Brickseek, another in-stock website] is very accurate if you know when to look and properly plan ahead. Walmart has been dry in my area so had to rely solely on Target, as I wasn’t certain that Walmart’s 11/22 order would go through in time for the holidays. When using BS for Target be sure to watch closely and refresh often from 8-9pm, through midnight. In my experience On-hand Qty was always one NES short compared to Saleable Qty; however, all On-hand products were sold. If you see Target’s inventory light up yellow/green online, don’t go rushing to the store before they close. That stock is to be sold the next day. Instead of running out at night, plan to arrive around 3:30-4:30am. The earlier the better. Tickets will be handed out between 5-7am. Results may vary..
– I’m not sure if Amazon will be selling any more NESC’s but this is how I was able to score one yesterday through PrimeNow. If you don’t already have a twitter account, be sure to create one and follow @ amazongames. Since I’m never on Twitter I had all tweets from @ amazongames sent as text messages to my phone. This has been very effective. It helps to follow other sources such as Gamestops’ twitter account.
-Bonus tip: If you already have an OG NES controller at home. Amazon sells adapter that will let you use your OG NES controllers with the NES Classic. Works like a charm and the cord length is twice as long as the NES Classic controller.
Using Twitter text messages, or notifications from the Twitter app, is a good way to keep an eye on official accounts when you know an announcement is coming. Amazon has been selling the NES Classic Edition through Amazon Prime Now in select cities, and the Twitter account is the best way to keep an eye on stock levels. NowInStock also has Google Group Alerts that you can sign up for to get an email alert when something’s in stock.
If you know that stock is coming for a particular website (like Urban Outfitters or ToysRUs) and you just don’t know when, I can recommend a service like Visualping to keep a virtual eye on things without having to refresh the website all the time.
But for now, it seems that your best bet to get a NES Classic Edition before Christmas is to focus local. Target, Walmart and GameStop all have stock trickling in, and Best Buy is supposed to get more on the 2oth. Use stock tracking websites, but also be prepared to call stores and physically check stock to know when it’s coming in. Once you have that information, there’s nothing that beats putting a coat on, loading up 20 of your favourite podcasts, and waiting in line.
Kinda makes buying an iPhone look easy, right?