State of the Wii Market Online

July 17th, 2008

The summer lull is upon us, and Wii seekers can begin to feel hope. This is the best time of the year to find a Wii if you are still looking for one. Once again, I am predicting that this holiday season will be quite competitive in the Wii hunting market.

So where do we currently stand? Typically inventory from July through beginning of October remains in stock longer. This is the result of demand slow downs and the Summer lull. I initially thought that demand as a whole would begin to die this summer, but from what I can tell, the inventory shipments appear to roll with overall demand. Nintendo knows demand is much lower in the summer so less units are shipped, which makes predicting demand that much harder. However, I have noticed that the bundles are lasting much longer and in some instances so are the consoles. This is mainly the result of Circuit City and Best Buy. I would like review the major Wii suppliers, and let you know what I have observed over the last 2-3 months by store. This information should help remaining Wii seekers find a Wii.

Amazon
Still need to be really lucky… even with the tracker emails and TXT alerts (best option). If you want a Wii from Amazon, one of the three places that still sell the Wii console unbundled for $249.99, sign up for the Wii TXT alerts. This is your best option. But, BE QUICK! Stock still sells out in 5-15 minutes.

This past spring Amazon killed the commissions on Wii sales. This was seriously bad news for us trackers, because this is how we pay our bills. Their associates program is one of the, if not, the best one out there.  Amazon felt the trackers, such as NowInStock.net were only contributing to the demand and helping the resellers. Their reasoning was that if we ban commissions on Wii sales, then it will only help inventory last longer. At least this is what they told us in a round about way. If they truly felt this way, how wrong were they? I wasn’t about to remove my tracking of Amazon because they removed commissions. My users want $249 consoles. Since this ban has been implemented, Amazon continues to sell out in minutes. So, removing those commissions really helped, huh? 😉 If NowInStock helps you acquire a Wii, please buy your accessories and games through us! We still get commissions on those items and it helps the site remain active for the next products to be in high demand… such as Guitar Hero World Tour tracker this fall!

Best Buy
After a late entrance into the world of online Wii sales, Best Buy finally did so last fall. However, they took off the 2007-08 holiday season greatly limiting online sales. This past Spring they have made a revival of sorts. At this time, Best Buy remains your best option in snagging a Wii console-only online. Inventory arrives about once every two weeks and lasts about 20-50 minutes. They are one of three stores to still sell the Wii console for $249.99.

Circuit City
One of the shops that still sells bundles, but not at gouging prices, at least in my opinion. You can get a bundle from Circuit City fairly easily, they are lasting for a day or two at a time. And, they replenish stock about once a week. For $360, you can get your hands on a Wii Console, extra Nunchuk, extra Remote, and a game. This is really not that bad of deal unless you plan on playing the Wii by yourself.

Newegg
Newegg has continued to sell bundles on a daily basis, but they do gouge you coming in at the $500 range. This is a little ridiculous if you ask me, but demand is still there for it.

Buy.com
Crazy bundles for crazy prices and not too often. Sometimes the bundles are even sold by third parties. It seems like Buy.com just doesn’t have the connections like Amazon does.

Sears & Kmart
The last store to still sell the Wii console unbundled. Honestly, this one has been a nightmare since the beginning, but it is definitely possible to acquire a console at the $249.99 price point. Their inventory system is essentially garbage, only providing relatively accurate information in a world where we command real-time inventory status. The best time to snag a Wii from either of these stores is after a lull in not having inventory. If they haven’t had inventory for over a week, the next alert you get, hurry as soon as the next one is sent! If there are none, stick around for a while and continue to try; you might just get through. Their inventory system is so bad, I chose to take it off the Twitter TXT alert system to ensure that TXTing fees didn’t get outrageous.

Walmart
One of the other “major bundle” pushers. They continue to pawn off $600 range bundles which is by far the most expensive we have seen in a while.

GameStop
They continue to sell the bundles online which are not that overly priced, however Circuit City still remains the better option in my opinion. The one thing with GameStop which can be of benefit is they always do a preorder sale telling you they will have the unit in a specified time. They never have inventory “in stock” always “pre-orders.” This can have its advantages when looking for a unit that you may want for a birthday in the future and want to ensure you get one without having to monitor the tracker alerts.

Target
Target is a tough one. Recently there has been stock availble in bundle form. The bundles are slightly over priced in the range of GameStop. In the end, it feels like during the off-season, the Summer months, Target will have inventory once in a while to sell. However, come holiday season the inventory appears to just flow directly to the stores and rarely rears its head online. Just the age-old tactic of trying to get you into the stores.

I hope the above information gives you Wii seekers a better look into where you might be able to snag the type of unit you are looking for. As we get closer to the holiday season things will begin to change again, at least in my opinion. However, you can never tell with the recession. Word is that Nintendo is limiting the inventory to the US because of the recession, but the retailers must not feel the same continuing to sell bundles.

In short, best Wii console-only options in order: Best Buy, Amazon, Sears & Kmart. Best options for bundled Wii’s in order of value: Circuit City, GameStop, Target, Newegg, then Walmart.

Looking for a Wii… sign up for our FREE alerts at the Wii Tracker.