I decided to settle the "which is cheapest" debate once for all by doing a price comparison for 24 popular games between ten different online Canadian retailers. I could use some help in the information I have about shipping costs (and will update this post accordingly), but here are the results I have so far. The numbers in the chart below refer to these ten retailers:

Shipping rates
1. boardgames.ca - $7 flat rate, free (orders $140+)
2. celcollectibles.com -
3. drexollgames.com - $10 flat rate
4. fungamescafe.com - $9 (orders <$100), $14 ($100-200), free ($200+)
5. germangames.com - $7-9 flat rate
6. JJ Superstore - based on location
7. jogocanada.com - free (orders $150+)
8. levalet.com - $5 flat rate
9. meeplemart.com - $15 flat rate
10. rainydaygames.ca - free (orders $200+)

Price comparison (the best price for each game is in green bold print, the most expensive price in red)

A GeekList with the same information: The Online Canadian Retailers Price Comparison Guide
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...

Some overall conclusions and ratings, from the cheapest to the most expensive retailers:

Price Ratings - on a scale of 1 (worst) to 5 (best)
5 star - meeplemart.com & celcollectibles.com - consistently the cheapest, although their shipping costs aren't quite as competitive as some of the other retailers, and their selection of games isn't as broad.
4 star - fungamescafe.com & germangames.com & JJ Superstore - The prices of all three retailers are very competitive with fungamescafe.com having a slight edge, although germangames.com has a cheaper flat-rate shipping charge. JJ Superstore has a much larger selection than what is listed online - contact the owner for a catalogue. Link: http://stores.ebay.ca/JJ-SUPERSTORE
3 star - rainydaygames.ca - prices are slightly higher and the selection isn't quite as good.
2 star - jogocanada.com & levalet.com & thegameshop.ca - larger selection, but comparatively expensive. As a positive, Levalet has the cheapest shipping rate of all retailers and occasionally has excellent specials.
1 star - boardgames.ca & drexollgames.com - large selection but inflated prices.

Also worth a look is the Canadian Retailers GeekList
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...

Feel free to tip me some GeekGold if I've saved you some money!

Note: Chart revised and updated December 1st, 2005 to include some accidental omissions, but prices are those listed around November 17-22, 2005, and subject to change at individual retailers.
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Sue Hemberger

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Re: Price comparison between 10 online Canadian retailers
Yup, shop levalet for the sales and for hard-to-find French games (and also some OOP games you can't find anywhere else -- e.g. WordWhiz). The super-cheap shipping (to the US as well as Canada) means you can buy a single game from them without feeling hosed. Not my main online retailer but a real fave and one I buy from routinely.
 
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Jeff Widderich
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Re: Price comparison between 10 online Canadian retailers
I would love to see this ongoing price comparison between on line retailers be less important. I would rather see all of them charge a little more and make a decent profit. This ensures that they stay around and allow some breathing room for brick and mortar stores. The last thing we need is a (stronger) price war in the board game indusrty. I know shopping around can really pay off, but it would be great to see the prices be stabilized to keep this artform alive.

Production prices for manufacturers are increasing rapidly (plastic, cardboard etc...) this trend might eliminate all big box games if they have to retail for 29.99 or less. The German standard is set around the 5 Euro mark production cost, if it can't be produced at that price the pencil gets sharpened and components get cut. Or a simpler game is produced in its place. (warm up your tweasers and magniying glasses)

So the next time you are buying a game with cheap components blame yourself, not the publisher.

Shillking

(higher prices = better games = the industry stays alive)

 
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Re: Price comparison between 10 online Canadian retailers
There are only eight games on the above list that all retailers sell. If you were to buy all these eight games (Bohnanza, Carcassonne, Memoir 44, Modern Art, Puerto Rico, Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride Europe, Tigris & Euphrates), this is the total bill you'd be up for (not including taxes or shipping), from lowest to highest:

$268.12 MeepleMart.com
$278.60 FunGamesCafe.com
$279.13 CelCollectibles.com
$287.88 JJ Superstore
$291.60 RainyDayGames.ca
$293.25 GermanGames.com
$330.92 JogoCanada.com
$341.95 Levalet.com
$359.70 BoardGames.ca
$385.84 DrexollGames.com

Most of the cheaper retailers do not have the same selection as the more expensive ones however, but these figures do give a rough idea of how they compare in price. The top six in this list are fairly close in price. Of these six, germangames.com and fungamescafe.com have the widest selection.
 
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Brent Lloyd
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
I could not agree more. I would love to see price stabilization between all the stores. A FLGS is my prefered place to purchase games and I would hate to see them all fade away into the internet.

Peace

Shillking wrote:
I would love to see this ongoing price comparison between on line retailers be less important. I would rather see all of them charge a little more and make a decent profit. This ensures that they stay around and allow some breathing room for brick and mortar stores. The last thing we need is a (stronger) price war in the board game indusrty. I know shopping around can really pay off, but it would be great to see the prices be stabilized to keep this artform alive.

Production prices for manufacturers are increasing rapidly (plastic, cardboard etc...) this trend might eliminate all big box games if they have to retail for 29.99 or less. The German standard is set around the 5 Euro mark production cost, if it can't be produced at that price the pencil gets sharpened and components get cut. Or a simpler game is produced in its place. (warm up your tweasers and magniying glasses)

So the next time you are buying a game with cheap components blame yourself, not the publisher.

Shillking

(higher prices = better games = the industry stays alive)

 
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Kevin H
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
Shillking wrote:
(higher prices = better games = the industry stays alive)
Lower prices = more games for me = more fun for me

Maybe you have money to burn to the point that price shopping isn't necessary

Myself on the other hand, knowing I can save TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS on a copy of Tigris & Euphrates, is valuable information...

Who wants to pad the wallets of price gougers anyway? What point does that serve? Let's all pitch in to keep prices high!

"I know you're charging 50% more than the guy down the street, but for the good of the industry, I'll buy from you anyway! It's only money! Who cares! Merry Christmas!"

shake

Also, your claim that this would lower component quality is flawed. This is price competition for the SAME product. People are often more than willing to pay a premium for quality.

Retailers selling products at inflated prices isn't good for any industry. Their demise will not come soon enough. devil
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Kevin H
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
Thunder wrote:
I could not agree more. I would love to see price stabilization between all the stores. A FLGS is my prefered place to purchase games and I would hate to see them all fade away into the internet.

Peace
Having a local store is nice, though mine is tiny with not much selection. I buy what they have. And what they don't, I get online.

Our local mall has boardgames set up in the hall...and I was happy to see a copy of Settlers and a few other Euro goodies...

And it's not JUST price that interests me. I think I'm probably more interested in selection. I don't want to have to order from a half dozen stores, if I can spend a few more bucks to get them all from one. Most important is service though. I've heard that jogo BLOWS, making it possible to order something that's not in stock??? That's just unacceptable.

I've ordered from germangames and had a good experience.
I planned in the future to select from rainydaygames and thegameshop as well.

But I'll definitely keep a few of these in mind as well.
 
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
MontyCircus wrote:
I've ordered from germangames and had a good experience. I planned in the future to select from rainydaygames and thegameshop as well.
I didn't include thegameshop.ca in my price comparison. I just checked some of their prices, and for the eight game package their price comes to an amount between Jogo and Levalet. So they are also one of the more expensive retailers, in the 2 star category along with Jogo and Levalet.
 
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Pat T
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
Hmmmmmmmm ...



$268.12 MeepleMart.com Doesn't look like it has a store front.
$278.60 FunGamesCafe.com Doesn't look like it has a store front
$279.13 CelCollectibles.com Looks like it has a store front
$287.88 JJ Superstore Is a spinoff of a retail location
$291.60 RainyDayGames.ca Can't tell
$293.25 GermanGames.com Doesn't look like it has a store front
$330.92 JogoCanada.com Has a store front (corrected)
$341.95 Levalet.com Has a store front
$359.70 BoardGames.ca Has a store front
$385.84 DrexollGames.com Has a store front

I was wondering if there were some other factors that went into the pricing differential between these retailers. So I checked as best I could to see if each one was also a brick and mortar establishment and I think I see a trend.

I'm guessing it costs more to operate a store front than it does a warehouse/basement???? I know that Chapters physical stores do not honor their own web pricing!!! GRRRRR. I've walked out of their store because when I went to purchase a book I had priced on the web I discovered it was $10 more in the store. The rude checkout girl said, "like, it costs more to run a store, ya know!!" I wonder how Futureshop/Bestbuy manage!

 
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Kevin H
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
EndersGame wrote:
I didn't include thegameshop.ca in my price comparison. I just checked some of their prices, and for the eight game package their price comes to an amount between Jogo and Levalet. So they are also one of the more expensive retailers, in the 1 star category along with Jogo and Levalet.
Good to know!

Excellent thread! I'd recommend it multiple times if that were possible laugh
 
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Mike Kollross
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
I've ordered from Germangames with great results. And the shipping is $9 noy $7 if you live west of Toronto.

 
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
$261.20 Boards and Bits - assuming $20 shipping, but taxes at the border not included. Canadian sellers scored bette rthan I would have thought.


$268.12 MeepleMart.com
$278.60 FunGamesCafe.com
$279.13 CelCollectibles.com
$287.88 JJ Superstore
$291.60 RainyDayGames.ca
$293.25 GermanGames.com
$330.92 JogoCanada.com
$341.95 Levalet.com
$359.70 BoardGames.ca
$385.84 DrexollGames.com



 
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Miguel
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
MontyCircus wrote:
I've heard that jogo BLOWS, making it possible to order something that's not in stock??? That's just unacceptable.
Jogo doesn't "blow" at all. I order pretty much equally from Jogo and German games, and I have different reasons for going to either one:

1) Jogo has real time chat. this means if I have a question, I can ask them and get answers on the spot. That's worth a lot.They are also very courteous and accomodating.
2) Jogo stocks games that aren't "German"... often what I want isn't at German games (Heroscape, blokus, etc)... of course this works both ways.
3) Ordering out of province (Jogo) saves provincial sales tax, which can even out some of the cost difference. Getting free shipping on top of that often makes it cheaper.
4) The comment about ordering out of stock games is valid. Use the chat service before you order, because it can take a while to restock if they don't have what you ordered (although in the past they have sent me a partial shipment when it happened, so at least it didn't tie everything up). The item will normally say if they don't have it in stock, but it's not always accurate.
5) Germangames has good prices and good customer service, but it's by email and so sometimes you have to wait a little to get answers. That said, it's rarely more than a day. My experiences so far have been great.

I definitely recommend both of these places. For a local retailer, I use "Comic Warehouse" in Brampton (They have a good selection, and the prices are competitive with online if you have to pay for shipping, so it's convenient place to pick up single games)

As far as the value of higher prices... well I have always felt that good service is worth paying for. The ultimate result of price squeezing is big box stores full of uninformed staff and a small selection of "mass-market" items. I know I could spend a few dollars less by shopping around all the time, bu anyplace which makes an effort for me will get my repeat business as long as they are reasonable.

(B.T.W. Jogo DOES have a bricks and mortar store as part of their business, though germangames does not)
 
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Jim Pulles
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparis
Trent, at Affinity's here in Regina, beats most of the prices on your list. Besides... if I buy from Trent, I don't have to pay shipping. If he doesn't have a game in stock, I usually only have to wait a week or two before he gets one into his store.

Prices vary from week to week and because of the variable price of the U.S. dollar Trent's prices vary from order to order as well. Some sample prices: Ticket to Ride: Europe = $38-42; Alhambra = $32-36; Saint Petersburg = $24-28. Prices tend to be in the lower end right now. I bought AH's Vegas Showdown last week for $39.

Why would I pay any higher?

The only games I tend to buy online are games that are NOT published in English or published in Europe only, and our club usually makes a LARGE $700+ order to a German online shop once or twice each year.

I'll show your list to Trent... I'm sure that he'll have a giggle or two.
 
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
Another user has pointed out to me that something similar has been done for seven main US online retailers, comparing prices on nine games. Check it out here:
http://www.spielboy.com/retailers.php?compare=prices#prices
 
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Mark McEvoy
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparis
I don't know whether I've just been unlucky in my dealings with Jogo, but I hear you guys say they've been courteous and have great cmmunication, while I've NEVER HAD THEM RETURN MY CORRESPONDENCE. I have politely asked them anbout availability of games, and I wait for a response, and wait, and wait... and then I order elsewhere.

I'm also put off by how many of their games are listed as "Usually ships in 5 - 15 business days" - to me, that's a giant hindrance, when I want to make an order but half the games are in-stock and half the games are "we may be able to get it in a couple weeks" status. And when I ask if my in-stock games can be held back such that they ship at the same time as the rest so I get free shipping? You guessed it, no response.

I also hate the threshold shipping. I don't like to order $150 worth of games at once and I don't appreciate the pressure of that being the ony way that makes their prices affordable.

For failure to communicate, failure to keep most of their catalogue as able-to-ship-within-24-hours, and failure to accomodate smaller orders without inordinate shipping charges, jogo gets the worst possible grade from me.



On the other hand, I've been delighted by the service of germangames.com and I've placed an order with LeValet this week (whose website is horrendous but the staff seems to be quick and courteous).
 
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Valdir Jorge
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In defense of Le Valet d'Coeur
Fist of all, let me say up front that I have no relationship with Le Valet d'Coeur, I don't work there, I'm not a shareholder or anything like that.

I live in Montreal (where Le Valet is located) and when I buy games, it's usually one or two at a time, so a price comparison that bundles up ten games together simply doesn't apply to me.

Other than that, I just love to go into the store and browse the games, I feel like a kid in a candy store.

Le Valet offers game nights at the store at least once a week. I've only been there once but that's due to family constraints, I would love to be a regular.

Le Valet also offers a "fidelity card" (10% discount for every $200). I don't know if this has been applied to the list above. If it wasn't, the real price for Le Valet would be around $310 and not $342.

Anyway, this is just to say that it's not just prices that are important when buying games, there are many intangibles in the equation.
 
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
I get the impression that some of these retailers are the sort that don't actually stock games. Frankly, I've sworn of that approach. My last experience involved a case where Louis XIV simply could not be found by the distributor. It held up my order and resulted, eventually, in a refund. I didn't make a purchase to wait 2 weeks for it to ship while a good 1/4 of the order was actually a short term loan that, via the magic of PayPal exchange rates, I lost money on.

I'm not naming names, but I find this behaviour exceedingly common of eBay merchants despite it being against eBay policy.

...

That being said, I'm also a big fan of supporting real people with real stores as much as possible. If I only want one game, I get the FLGS to order it in and I pay easily $10 more than any of the prices listed here. I will reach out to a bigger store with an online presence like GermanGames and Levalet. (Contrary to earlier comments in this thread I do believe GermanGames has a store) to save a few bucks. While I might be unfairly characterizing eBay merchants (and I'm going to avoid naming names) they don't seem to offer the service I demand, nor do a whole lot to advance the hobby.






Also, this thread is FANTASTIC.
 
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparis
ValJor wrote:
Le Valet also offers a "fidelity card" (10% discount for every $200). I don't know if this has been applied to the list above. If it wasn't, the real price for Le Valet would be around $310 and not $342.
Argh, once again I forgot to get that dang card! I've spent plenty of money at Le Valet, which has had the best euro offerings I've seen in North America. After each visit I realize I should have finally picked up that card, at least then the awful canadian taxes would drop down to US levels.

Le Valet is an awesome store... I could easily spend hours in there if left on my own.
 
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
echoota wrote:
ValJor wrote:
Le Valet also offers a "fidelity card" (10% discount for every $200). I don't know if this has been applied to the list above. If it wasn't, the real price for Le Valet would be around $310 and not $342.
Argh, once again I forgot to get that dang card! I've spent plenty of money at Le Valet, which has had the best euro offerings I've seen in North America. After each visit I realize I should have finally picked up that card, at least then the awful canadian taxes would drop down to US levels.

Le Valet is an awesome store... I could easily spend hours in there if left on my own.
Americans have -3% taxes?! Woah. (7% GST - 10% = -3%, a totally flawed take on the subject)

(I thought Canadian retailers didn't need to charge GST to non-Canadians, just how they don't need to charge PST to non-Quebecers.)
 
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparison
I've made a companion GeekList with the same information, listing each game, and the prices of each retailer from least to most expensive.
The Online Canadian Retailers Price Comparison Guide
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
 
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Steve M.
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparis
I buy all my Euro's from Noel at 5to9Games here in Toronto... his prices are awesome and have tax in AND he drops them off at my place. Killer service! 5to9games.tripod.com

I buy all my non-P500 wargames from Al at Stalag 17 Wargames in BC. Awesome selection, fantastic prices and shipping that would make your head spin (it's that freakin' fast!). www.stalag17wargames.com

Sometimes I will buy off eBay (especially OOP wargames) or from "deals" that come up with other individuals but I always go back to Noel and Al.

I feel blessed to have Noel and Al available for buying games... I never bothered to look elsewhere if I'm shopping retail as I've never been disappointed with several purchases from both of them.

Thanks EndersGame for pointing me to this thread.
 
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Tim Mitchell
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparis
Jogo's okay, but they will string you along if they think they can order a game in. I had an order held up for months that I finally cancelled and the whole way along it seemed to be "one week more!"

As far as I can tell, games marked as "5-15 days" are not actually in their store and should be marked "special order." Maybe they can get them and maybe not. Stick to the 24 hour ones and you're fine.

That said, they respond well to e-mail and include candy bars in your order.

Keep an eye out for sales. Danossia and BoardGames.ca have both had some jaw-droppers in the past.

Yogurt
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Jim Pulles
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparis
Although it doesn't provide price comparisons, here's another good list of Canadian Game retailers:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
 
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Christopher Scatliff
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Re: The cheapest online Canadian retailers: a price comparis
Patt wrote:
$330.92 JogoCanada.com Doesn't look like it has a store front
This is incorrect. I'm from Winnipeg, and am buddies with the owner of Jogo. They have a storefront across from St. Vital mall in south Winnipeg and are looking at expanding.
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