Jan 22, 2008

The Great Wii Hunt

My wife and I recently decided to get a Wii. My parents got one for Christmas, and we’ve been over at their house playing it and waiting for the novelty to wear off. And guess what? It didn’t.

So when we found out we’d be getting a nice little chunk back on our taxes (we switched to the “married filing at single rate” payroll deduction option) we decided to get one. Well, it’s not like you can just run down to Wal-Mart and pick one up. We’ve been casually looking for about a month, but we’ve never spotted one.

On Friday, we started the aggressive searching. Of course, everywhere we went was sold out: Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart.

On Saturday, we expanded the search by turning to the phone. Some of the replies were less than energetic, and I had severe doubts that some agents were even looking. So, we used a two-pronged attack: we called, we drove, we called as we drove. Still, nothing. Though we did start putting some pieces together: Wiis arrive via UPS, not the regular store delivery trucks (this was confirmed by a couple of different retailers). I found out that UPS usually delivers to Wal-Mart late in the morning, around 11 or 12. This was a big relief – I was glad to hear that going to a store at 7am wouldn’t help.

On Sunday, we started enlisting the help of family and friends. We asked those close to us to keep their eyes peeled and their ears open. If they heard or saw anything Wii, they should notify us immediately. We continued the fruitless search online, but found nothing at the major retailers – all were SOLD OUT. We found a couple of package deals at EBGames.com, but we would end up paying around $475 and we’d get some games and accessories that we weren’t really sure we wanted or needed. Plus, the orders wouldn’t ship until 11 days later. EBay was no help at all. The Wii consoles alone were “buy it now” priced at $400. And some idiot was out there buying them all up on the live auctions with X***X profiles that were created two days ago (X being a random number or letter). We even tried searching EBay for nearby locations (to save on shipping) and found some creep in Chipley who had a sickening picture of a number of consoles all stacked up against a wall. He was selling bundles for some ridiculous amount. Cleary, a few “enterprising” morons are buying all the available stock online and in the stores to increase demand and garner a hefty markup.

By this time, the phone list had expanded to include Sears, K-Mart, FYE, and other lesser-known retailers. Still no luck.

On Monday, we found some Wii-tracking websites (like this one, or this one) that monitor online availability. We found out that UPS was delivering on the holiday, so we made another round of calls. Net result – nothing.

Today we had to go back to work. I’ll continue the search at lunch break.

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