Once again I'm going to have a bit of a rant. Buying Mali-crack is something we all do. (I'm assuming you do other wise you're just reading this for my charm and wit). So if you buy it then you've at some point had a decision to make as to where to buy you're faux.
Now I'll say again this isn't a guide it is a sad angry man having a rant so don't base any major life decisions on what I say.
The choices for buying new toys is greater than ever. You have the official store, various online stores, eBay, Facebook groups, friends who aren't as big of mini hoarders as you and of course if you are lucky you have a friendly neighbourhood game store.
So how do you decide where to buy and why are you wrong?
First choice is the Wyrd Wide Web store. Now the web store is great it has plenty to choose from and if you buy around Black Friday or GenCon you have the added joy of limited, Miss and nightmare edition to add to you pile of things you don't need but have to have. The big problem with this is most of us ( I haven't counted just guessing) don't live near Wyrd HQ so we have to pay postage and customs and then we have to wait fingers crossed that it will actually arrive. I am both poor and busy so this option is wrong. I still do it but it's wrong.
Option two is the mass of online stores. I'm not going to start naming websites you all know where Google is so you're more than capable of finding them yourself. So web stores have a great range and often a nice discount and if you buy enough you can even get free postage, great what could go wrong?
Well the first problem is just because they have a picture doesn't mean they have the stock. Second problem is if you just need one little thing and you need it yesterday then you will be paying too much for postage. And then you have the little niggle of guilt for not buying local if you can. So wrong, wrong and wrong. And yes I do this too.
The third option I will lump into one bag. Independent online sellers be it eBay, Facebook or anywhere else where people sell stuff they don't want. The major problems here is trust and knowledge. You don't know the person you are buying from and most people are trying to rob you (once again haven't counted but I'm sure I'm right). And even if they aren't trying to rob you on purpose there is alway the chance they might rob you by accident. Not everyone can know as much as us, if they list a "BNIB Ramos crew" and you've don't ask you could have one of two very different boxes show up. So to sum up WRONG! But we all still do it.
I'll throw buying from friends in with the above as well the only difference being it's probably you trying to rob them. No sells to their friend at a proper price so one of you will always feel cheated. Wrong and mean and yes it was a bargain.
Now the last option, buying from your friendly local games store.
Now this will be the main point of this post a rare case of me actually knowing what I'm taking about ( despite my youthful glow I've worked in retail and sales for 18 years from market stalls to luxury boutiques).
So firstly are you one of the lucky people with a friendly Local game store? Yes, are you sure? Does it tick all four of those boxes.
Friendly. Now just because a shop doesn't tell you to fuck off doesn't mean they are friendly it just means they want your money. Retail lesson 1 be nice to your customers. Consumer lesson 1 just because someone is nice to you they are not your friend.
Some gamers (not you) can have trouble judging social situations and most game shops are staffed by gamers and used by gamers this will lead to confusion.
Simple test does this person only talk to you when they are being paid? Yes, then they are not your friend.
Local. Now local doesn't just mean your closest shop, it's the shop that your community revolves around. (If you've ever had a "local" pub you've probably walked past that other snobby/rough/old man pub on the way there).
If the shop doesn't support you community then they're not your local.
Game. This one should be obvious but have a look at what they stock, if they don't stock what you play then they might as well be an Ann Summers for all the use it is to you (once again not you, I'm sure sure you have plenty on opportunities to use lube).
Shop. Well of course it's a shop it has a till and stock and it sells stuff. Okay on the surface yes that's all it needs but not all it should have. Going back to the point that game shops are staffed by gamers, this doesn't alway mean they are any good at retail you wouldn't eat in a restaurant just because the chef is fat or drink in a pub because the landlord is drunk. Addicts do not make good dealers.
If you've never been sold anything by the staff it's just a vending machine with a slightly more human interface.
Do you really want to be supporting this level of denial. You are basically aiding an addict. Shame on you, you're wrong. again!
So to sum up you're dammed if you do and bored if you don't. Buy where you want to buy and support who you can.
Also I'm angry and bitter, but that's not news to anyone.