Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. I was originally planning to talk about something else today. However, I decided to instead talk about current events since the Super NES Classic Pre-Orders went up recently… and promptly Sold Out.
??? What happened? How are Super NES Classic Pre-Orders Sold Out?
gone in 20 minutes. Thanks for playing pic.twitter.com/8rTPxs9cf2
— Wario64 (@Wario64) August 22, 2017
Well, what the pessimists expected to happen was exactly what happened, but it was compounded by the weird time at which the pre-orders were released:
- BestBuy was first to release the pre-orders in the early morning of 8-22-2017 at around 1:30 am EST. You were not able to buy more than 1 at a time. However, it sold out in about 20 minutes.
- Amazon was next at around 5 am EST and pulled a fast one by making a whole new page different from the initially released pre-order page. That pre-order managed to last about an hour.
- Target, Walmart, and Gamestop followed suit a little later that morning and early afternoon, also all quickly selling out.
- When it went live on Gamestop, the site actually went down for awhile.
(Click to Enlarge)
I mean, don’t get me wrong, the bundles do have some cool stuff. But to go from a base price of $79.99 to at least $139.99 and up to $329.99 seems a little absurd.
Ok, so how did this happen?
Well, you can read my prior post about “Should I pre-order the SNES Classic” for some background information. However, the long and short of it is that the prior iteration, the NES Classic, was brutally difficult to get a hold of. In fact, it still sells for >$250 on ebay, which is a hefty premium considering its MSRP of $59.99.
Also, to be honest, while I did want an NES classic, it was mostly for nostalgia. The actual lineup of games weren’t all that great to me. It was really just for Mario, Zelda, and Final Fantasy. However, I do admit that the selection of game was broad in order to resonate with the broad NES population.
However, for the Super NES lineup, they pretty much hit it out of the park in my opinion:
The only gem that is missing is Chrono Trigger.
Also, you have to understand that the generations of the NES and Super NES were different. While I am old enough to have some fond memories of the NES, the majority of my best memories came from the Super NES and N64 generations. In my opinion, the Super NES is really the system that ushered in the golden age of gamers, turning many of us into gamers for life, even if casual nowadays.
Wait, I thought you said that Nintendo was going to have more supply?
You’re right. They stated that there would be more supply than the NES Classic. However, as we all know, the NES Classic supply was miniscule at best. When you increase miniscule supply to small, but include better games and have more hype, then you have a recipe for scarcity.
This is compounded by the new technology available to scalpers. Back in the day, scalpers had to stand outside and wait for stores to open and buy as much as they could of whatever was going to be scarce. Remember Furby?
However, nowadays, scalpers have changed. It’s not a guy waiting in line with 10 shopping carts and a truck anymore. Now, it’s someone sitting at their computer (or even asleep in their bed) with a self-made script to pre-order as many of the low quantity item as possible.
It’s pretty obvious (to me) why Amazon created a whole new pre-order page for the Super NES Classic. It was to deter the custom scripts made by scalpers. I mean, the Amazon pre-orders lasted an hour, which is 3x longer than Bestbuy at 20 minutes. Part of that may be that Amazon received more inventory, but I would venture to guess that the scalpers may have missed out on the Amazon pre-orders.
Is it possible that there will still be enough supply?
While unlikely, it is possible that this time scalpers may have ordered more stock than they can sell. It’s difficult to gauge right now because we don’t know how many Super NES Classics that Nintendo is actually selling. Also, we don’t know the true demand for the Super NES Classic.
That said, if you can find one for MSRP and want one, just buy it.
Gamestop has promised that they will have more stock “in-store” outside of pre-order on release day, September 29th. Also Toys R Us has said they will not be doing any pre-orders. Those two places are probably your best bets for scoring an SNES Classic if you want one and didn’t get a pre-order.
The SNES Mini will be available in our stores on 9/29. There will be no pre-orders for this item. TY!
— ToysRUs (@ToysRUs) August 22, 2017
Did you get one?
Yea, I managed to snag one because I was using The Tracker App. No, you can’t have mine.
You will probably find me on September 30th trying to extol the virtues of the Super NES to my kids. I’m not quite sure they’re ready for it, but it’ll be here for when they’re ready.
Also, in case you guys were wondering, people are already trying to sell their “confirmed pre-order” on Ebay for around $250 to $300.
What’s the next step?
Well, I think when it comes to items like this which are limited supply and crazy demand that some kind of address check needs to be done.
“Only one order per address for the first 24 hours” or something along those lines.
Of course, I’m sure people will find a way around this somewhat. For example, change the street address a little from 123 Mulberry Lane to 123 Mulberry Ln or from 123 Happy Street to 123 Happy St. However, there are only so many variations you can do before you run the risk of having your order misplaced. This is much more difficult than a bot/script which automatically buys 100 of an item without you doing anything.
At least give the people a fighting chance.
Sadly, it looks like the Super NES Classic looks like it will suffer a similar fate to the NES Classic: Too much demand. Not enough supply.
If you didn’t get a pre-order, your best shot is to go to Toys R Us or Gamestop on September 29th and hope they have decent stock available.
Is it possible that the scalpers overbought this time around? Maybe.
However, the real question is how retailers will combat these new scripts/bots during pre-order.
I think “Only one order per address for the first 24 hours” is reasonable.
There will be work-arounds for sure… but at least give the people a fighting chance.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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