Some US Mail Order Game Dealers

I originally wrote this ten years ago. Then, on-line sales were just starting; Adam Spielt was the best deal out there. Now, with the rise of the Euro and ease of setting up on-line stores, the competition has driven Adam Spielt out of the on-line business. They'll be missed.


Funagain Games used to be the best source of used and import games in the US. They haven't changed much, but nowadays used games are readily available on EBay, and many other sources sell imports at bigger discounts than Funagain. They still have one of the most extensive catalogues out there, but their prices are not competitive with some of the other dealers. They are sometimes the only folks who carry an item, and usually offer about a 20% discount over retail.


Boulder Games has the best prices on newly-published games; they even offer price matching (on newly-published games only). Their discounts run around 40%. They use UPS Ground, but they have a drop shipper now for the West Coast. They offer a rebate coupon for the price of shipping if it is over $125, half back for over $75. When things have gone wrong, they have been quick to fix them. Their stock of older games is not as large as most of the other dealers on this list.


Once in a while, I use other stores, but since I'm normally looking to buy games just as they come out, I tend to use Boulder. Others I have used include: Boards & Bits, Time Well Spent, Thought Hammer, Fair Play Games, GameFest, Game Surplus, RC Hobbies, and Troll and Toad.

Comparison Shopping pulls price comparisons from several dealers, including most of the above.

I did an experiment, checking the prices of 8 games I picked, somewhat at random. I averaged the discounts by title (not by total, so the higher priced games do not dominate) to produce the table below.

DealerDiscountShipping Cost
Boulder41.0%Rebate over $125
Boards & Bits38.4%Free over $125 (Limited time)
Thought Hammer37.6%Free over $125
Time Well Spent36.0%Free over $150 (Limited time)
Fair Play35.1%Free over $125
Game Surplus34.9%Actual
RC Hobbies30.0%Actual

Most of the discounts are pretty comparable. Which store to use mostly depends on which has what you want in stock. Being close to one helps cut shipping time, but it's not generally more than a week from any of them.

Shipping and discount policies change. These were a snapshot taken one morning. Shipping listed here is to the continental US.

Oct. 13, 2007