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Adventures in Frugality



So this past week Best Buy had a buy-one-get-one sale on a handful of 3DS games: Bravely Default, Mario Golf, Disney Magical World, Yoshi's New Island, Tomodachi Life, Zelda: ALBW, Mario Party, Kirby Triple Deluxe, and Pokemon X/Y. As an added bonus, the white Wii U Pro controller was on sale for $30 - $20 off its MSRP. I heard about these deals midway through the previous week, but I was out of town through this Tuesday and was decidedly too busy Wednesday and Thursday to worry about expanding 3DS library.


Come Friday, however, I decided that grabbing Nintendo goodies on the cheap is always a good thing and headed off to Best Buy with the intention of picking up Bravely Default and Yoshi - the former because I've heard little but positive reports about it from the cool people on this website and others, and the latter because I'd played the GBA rerelease of the original Yoshi's Island back in the day and had rather enjoyed it. I already owned Zelda and Y, and the rest of the games weren't of any real interest to me. I also planned to spring for a Pro controller, since I anticipated playing Mario Kart, Smash, and other stuff (Zelda, Mario, Metroid?) with it.


Naturally, both of the games I wanted, as well as the controller, were sold out. No problem - I'd just order them online.




Got home, went to Best Buy's website, and found myself unable to purchase the controller - no shipping options available, it said. Moreover, it also told me that no stores within reasonable driving distance had the item in stock. As for the games: I had, in fact, looked up the sale on Best Buy's site earlier that week and found a category within their online store that displayed the games involved in the sale. When I navigated to this page again, the only thing on the page - inexplicably - was Mario Golf.


I then decided to research the price matching policies of Best Buy's competitors and found that Target would match both online prices and printed prices in sale sheets. Walmart and Toys R Us would only accept the latter, though Walmart's website noted that they would match printed prices even if one did not have the ad in question with him - which was good, since, as I noted before, I was out of town last weekend and thus did not receive Sunday's paper and the Best Buy ad contained therein. I drove over to Walmart - which is just down the street, fortunately - and found that, while they had both Bravely Default and Yoshi in stock, they lacked even a space on their shelves for white Pro controllers. Hoping to accomplish all of my purchases in one fell swoop, I headed back home and looked up the controller on Target's website to ensure that the store I went to had them in stock. However, the white controller was not included in their online catalog (though the black one - which was not on sale - was), and I can only assume that they no longer carry the item. TRU's website produced similar results - though there was a page for the white controller, it was out of stock at all locations. I decided to call it a night.


The next day - today, that is - I had a plan: I would go to Best Buy and request a rain check on the controller deal, grab one of this week's ads, and head next door to Target, where I would purchase Bravely Default and Yoshi. Best Buy, however, was unable to grant a rain check: they could not guarantee that the controller would be in stock again, and, after searching two different systems of inter-store shipping, determined that the item could not be shipped to the store or to my home from any of their locations.


Somewhat disappointed, I headed over to Target, ad in hand, but - as it turned out - Target was out of stock of Yoshi, which made the BOGO pointless. Fortunately, I knew from my adventures yesterday that Walmart did have both games, and so later in the day I returned to Walmart and requested a price match on the deal. After the employee I spoke with asked her manager about the situation - and after her manager asked her manager about the situation - they agreed to match the deal and I headed home $40 poorer and two 3DS games wealthier.


That left the controller. As no physical retailers in my area seemed to have it, I researched online retailers' price match policies and found that Tiger Direct would match other online retailers' prices, including Best Buy's. However, upon calling their customer service, it was revealed that this particular price match would not be honored because it was below the "actual price" of the item - that is, they wouldn't make a profit on it.


Mildly disappointed, I gave up on the hunt, assuming that Nintendo would eventually drop the price of the item in question, given that $50 for a game controller is fairly ridiculous. Besides, I reasoned, it's likely that the cheaper Gamecube controller set to be rereleased alongside Smash 4 will be compatible with most of the same games as the Pro controller in the future. I could just get that instead - and it would serve to replace the malfunctioning Gamestop-brand (bad idea) GCN controller I currently own.


On a whim, I looked up the Pro controller on eBay, expecting perhaps some slightly lower prices that usual from those who had bought them on sale with plans to flip them.


New Black Wii U Pro Controller:




Free shipping.

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