Help Me Find A Wii
August 11, 2007 3:49 PM   Subscribe

I want to buy a Nintendo Wii, but I STILL can't find one in stores.

This is a very simple question: I live in Los Angeles. No one seems to have a Nintendo Wii system available in a store. Why not? Are they really STILL sold out after all these months? Does anyone have any ideas? I'd rather not buy one online. I want to just walk into a store, buy one, and start playing right away. Help!
posted by JPowers to Technology (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not in LA, but I know my local Wal-Mart and Target are out. Costco had a bundle available, but once it was gone, they haven't gotten any more. However, my local Game Stop said they had them in stock when I a few weeks ago. I wasn't ready to buy, so I didn't.
posted by The Deej at 3:53 PM on August 11, 2007

May not be the case in LA, but there was a huge box o' Wii when I walked into Costco this morning (on Tax-Free Weekend here in MA, no less!).
posted by scblackman at 3:54 PM on August 11, 2007

There's a ton of them on LA craigslist, and that's not technically buying online...
posted by bizwank at 4:05 PM on August 11, 2007

All you can do is make the rounds to all the electronics stores in your area. Hopefully, you'll get lucky and hit one of them on a day when they get a shipment in.
posted by chrisamiller at 4:15 PM on August 11, 2007

The games store here in Westwood (at the 5-way intersection of Broxton/Kinross/Westwood) has some used ones in the window. I don't know if they have any new ones, though.
posted by equalpants at 4:17 PM on August 11, 2007

I live in LA too, and though I've got a Wii, I've yet to see one in a store anywhere within a 20 mile radius of here (I always check just for kicks).

What I did, however, was go on Ebay and look for Wii auctions that were close to me. Usually, the people selling have like 10 of them at a time. So, I contacted several of them and asked if they were willing to meet at a public place for an exchange.

Luckily, I found someone to meet me at a Starbucks that night around Midnight. It was a creepy scene, pulling $350 out of my wallet for the most sought-after game system of the year (I bought it in January, in fact) but it was WELL worth it. I paid that price cause they were throwing in extra nunchuks/wiimotes and I'd been looking around for one for like 3 months straight.
posted by revmitcz at 4:19 PM on August 11, 2007

If you know someone who works in a retail outlet, see if maybe they could give you a call when new stock comes in.

Alternatively, you could go online and subscribe to the weekly circulars (Target has RSS feeds, I bet they all have email versions). Read those every Sunday morning. If a Wii shows up in the circulars, there's a good chance that they'll have at least a token amount in their stores. Of course, it might still be sold out by the time you get there.
posted by metabrilliant at 4:21 PM on August 11, 2007

Call the stores and ask when their shipments come in. They know when the next set of Wiis are coming in. If they're not willing to set any aside, show up promptly when the store opens on delivery day (shipping & shelf stocking tends to be done at night so it'll be ready for store opening the next day).
posted by jmd82 at 4:23 PM on August 11, 2007

There's a novelty-type store at Ventura & Cedros (southeast corner) in Sherman Oaks, and I almost always see a dude outside with a big "We have Wiis!" sign. I've never actually verified that they have any and it seems suspicious given the overall shortages, but that's what they're claiming. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name, but maybe someone else will know it.
posted by dhammond at 4:33 PM on August 11, 2007

They are still selling out. I got one at Fry's by showing up before they opened on a tip from an ex-employee who said that if they are advertised in the weekend sales newspaper ad that they will be available in store. That morning, Fry's had 12.

I called everywhere before I had that stroke of luck, and some places were able to tell me when they might get some. As in Best Buy's "Call again at 5pm tonight." or Game Stop's "We get them most tuesdays."
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:38 PM on August 11, 2007

dhammond: Is it Aahs? There's one of them in Westwood, too, right across the street from the store I mentioned earlier, and they have the same sign. But, yeah, it seems a little suspicious, because that sign's been up continually since about 2 weeks after the Wii came out.
posted by equalpants at 4:38 PM on August 11, 2007

Seconding the call around. I was in Best Buy a while back and asked out of curiosity. The guy told me they were getting a few the next day, and to be there when they open at 10, and there might a line. I called my friend (who was ready to buy) and he got there about 15 minutes early and got one when they opened.

Plus you have to compete with the oldsters who are buying them for their retirement homes. They don't have jobs so they have more time to hang around and wait. You could trip one of them to get ahead.
posted by The Deej at 4:46 PM on August 11, 2007

A friend ordered one from Amazon a few weeks ago and it only took about 10 days to shop up. YMMV.
posted by SpookyFish at 4:59 PM on August 11, 2007

Is your aversion to ordering online an issue of time, or credit card?

If the former, drop me a line. Email in profile. Through work, I've got access to Wiis. Approx 7-10 day deliv + whatever shipping time from Toronto to LA.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:08 PM on August 11, 2007

That's definitely it, equalpants. I just called the Sherman Oaks location and they said they have them in stock for $369. Here's their website.
posted by dhammond at 6:17 PM on August 11, 2007

Agree with calling around. We called to all our area wal- marts (metro ATL) and got one very quickly. Just bought wii boogie!! It's a great game!! Great system!! Good Luck!
posted by pearlybob at 6:52 PM on August 11, 2007

I got one at Target on Memorial Day weekend. The last 2 or 3 times I've been in there (and looked) since then they've had them.
posted by sevenless at 10:33 PM on August 11, 2007

I called EB Games today and got lucky. It's all fate. The guy at the store said he never has them in stock on Saturdays, but it just so happened that they did.

I'm getting ACL surgery on Wednesday and I wanted to beat Zelda while stuck on the couch. Keep showing up on the days when the game stores get their shipments and I'm sure you will find one!
posted by jstef at 11:15 PM on August 11, 2007

I kept calling Target, WalMart, BestBuy, CircuitCity and a couple of game stores until one was in stock, and paid list at CircuitCity.
posted by theora55 at 6:12 AM on August 12, 2007

My wife and I discussed the probable impossibility of getting one at Christmas and decided to just get one when we found it. She was in BestBuy two days later, commented on the difficulty of getting one, and was told they had a dozen in the security cage. She got one. The next day they were gone. So calling/dropping in is the way to go. They're out there, you just have to get lucky.
posted by lhauser at 8:54 AM on August 12, 2007

Just go to your local Best Buy, be friendly and nice with someone working in the CD, DVDs and Games Dept. and ask them if they can let you know when the next shipment arrives. They can check in their system and know exactly what day it arrives.

Then just figure out if they will sell 'em right away or hold it for the weekend, once you know, just go and get it.

Or you can find one at my Target, last I checked there were two there.
posted by riffola at 9:13 AM on August 12, 2007

Just keep trying; that's the answer. I found a good cluster of big boxes near me - an intersection with a Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, and Toys R Us all within a short distance from each other - and visited them almost every morning for about a week before I got mine (at a Target 15 miles away).

At Target, they can put in the stock code for the system and it will tell them what stores have them, and how many. (From my search, here it is: 207250001). It is imperfect, especially if the store says 1 or 2, but if you get a number over that amount it is a fair bet that they've got 'em. On the morning I got mine, each Target had 0 or 1, with the exception of one that listed 15. I hurried down there and got one of five left.

This is tangential, but when I got there a guy was buying two of them and tried to buy all five. He clearly was a reseller, and the Target guy told him to get lost. That made it possible for me to get mine.
posted by Duluth?! I Hardly Know Her! at 11:54 AM on August 12, 2007

A few other things to try :

- iTrackr. They keep tabs on any store that would sell Wiis. It requires a free registration (use a throwaway e-mail addy if you'd like), but they claim there's 34 available across 6 stores within 10 miles of my zipcode (90028).

- Yahoo's Wii Buyer Guide. They list some online retailers that have them in stock

- This place says they have them for $317. Caveat Emptor.

- Wal-Mart has a bundle in-stock. You get to pick up to 3 games, an accessory, some other crap. It's pricey, but at least there's actually good games to buy for the Wii now that aren't just lame ports.
posted by revmitcz at 3:44 PM on August 12, 2007

couple of sites like xpbargains, wii tracker etc will index different sites and refresh every 5 min for availability

google search for wii tracker and you should find a couple of sites.

Iam surprised that the wii is still in so much demand even after 6 months
posted by radsqd at 8:03 PM on August 12, 2007

Here's a foolproof strategy, akin to what metabrilliant was saying:

1. Buy the Sunday paper on Saturday and look at the circulars. Any store that's advertising them is going to have stock Sunday morning -- Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart, whoever. Alternatively, you can look at the circulars online via those stores' websites or via a site like

2. Show up 1 hr 15 min before the store opens. I recommend this because as recently as a few months ago, Circuit City was handing out vouchers at exactly 1 hr before open to whoever was there for a Wii. Plus, this is kind of the obvious strategy so there might be other people there competing for limited consoles. I think you're pretty safe if you show up an hour early.

Et voila. Now, it may not be that any stores are advertising them, say, this Sunday, in which case it might not be any faster than looking online (although Amazon et al is out of stock too). But I think most if not all shipments of Wiis to stores are timed to coincide with the Sunday circulars, so you'll save yourself a lot of labor this way.
posted by blueshammer at 7:12 AM on August 13, 2007

I kept looking anywhere I was near figuring eventually I would get lucky. You know, if I was near Circuit City I'd take a peek, and so forth. Nothing.

Then I read somewhere or other that the thing to do was go to Target right when they open on a weekend morning. I went to my local Target about 15 minutes after they opened last Saturday and they had a pile of 6 Wii. I bought one. I love it, it was so worth the wait.

By the time I went back to Target to get the component cable the Wii were all gone. 2 hours later.

Maybe I just got lucky, small sample size and all that, but it's worth a try.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:52 AM on August 13, 2007

I'm in Philly. Same problem. No where has them. Meh.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 8:33 AM on August 13, 2007

I just bought one for my boyfriend for his birthday, and I was amazed at how much trouble I had finding one (I'm in NY, not LA, but still.) I visited a bunch of places and called around and stuff, and everyone was really cagey about when they'd be delivered. And even when someone got some in, they would sell out superfast. For some reason, though, the folks at Toys R Us were really nice and told me honestly when they were getting a shipment. When I went, they had an ENORMOUS stack of them. I guess maybe bigger stores are able to request more units? I dunno. But I would call the biggest Toys R Us around.
posted by audrey the bug at 11:18 AM on August 13, 2007

This is late - but I found one yesterday at Sears. None of the gamer/electronics stores had one in stock, and I went into Sears not expecting anything. They had four in stock.
posted by wearyaswater at 10:55 AM on August 25, 2007

They were at Costco yesterday.
posted by mzurer at 2:15 PM on September 3, 2007

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