Nintendo just announced its follow-up to last year’s mini NES, the SNES Classic Edition. Nintendo’s newest retro console comes fully loaded with 21 games, two wired retro controllers, and enough nostalgia to transport you straight to 1991. But if previous product shortages are any indication, getting your hands on one may very well be a challenge. Although Nintendo has assured the public more SNES consoles are being made this time around, there’s still a good chance that demand will far outweigh supply. That’s why it’s best to be prepared, and we’ve got you covered with the tools and tips you need to increase your odds of nabbing the SNES unicorn.
Creative Commons | James Cridland
As the name suggests online in-stock checkers such as NowInStock and Zoolert track product inventory at popular retailers such as Walmart, Target, Amazon, Best Buy, and GameStop. Totally free to use, these services will send you emails, text messages, or browser alerts when your target item—the SNES Classic Edition—is available to purchase. Nowinstock and Zoolert auto-update every minute which is as fast as you can get beyond manually spamming the refresh key.
Creative Commons | Sean MacEntee
Google Chrome Extensions
If you’re a Google Chrome user, there are a number of extensions that will give you an edge during your quest for the SNES Classic Edition; my favorites are Keepa – Amazon Price Tracker and Savelist. The former adds a little box to each Amazon product page with a fancy graph and tons of useful info. Ignore that for now, all you need is the Track Product feature.
Keepa will monitor any Amazon product and send you an alert when it comes in stock. Alerts are deliverable through email, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, desktop notifications and more. Its notification speed is just about on par with the in-stock checkers, but what really sets Keepa apart is the sheer amount of information it provides such as how popular a product is during any given period and price history reports from both Amazon and third-party sellers. It’s great for deal hunting and buying limited merchandise.
Where Keepa only works with Amazon, Savelist works virtually everywhere. It has similar notification features but it’s most valuable for keeping all your most-wanted items in order, especially if the SNES Classic Edition isn’t the only thing you’ve set your sights on. Savelist monitor’s product pages from anywhere on the internet and allows users to organize those websites into lists.
Creative Commons | Ardfern
Deals Sites and Forums
Slickdeals is a community-driven forum and deal sharing website in which members post money-saving tips, product discounts, coupon codes, and retailer sales from across the interwebs. It’s a thrifty shopper’s paradise, and if used correctly, a valuable weapon in your mini SNES buying arsenal. Slickdeals boasts over 10 million monthly users, an active community, and a dedicated mobile app for both iPhone and Android for deal alerts on the go.
Rather than acting as an in-stock checker which sends notifications whenever an item is available to pre-order or purchase, Slickdeals’ alert system is based on community submissions. When a member creates a thread about the SNES Classic, you’ll know about it. With such a large community, you’d be surprised how fast in-stock news travels throughout the forum; often faster than Nowinstock or Zoolert.
Creative Commons | Ibrahim
Social Media: Twitter and Reddit
If you’re on the prowl for the illustrious SNES classic edition, know that you’re not in it alone. Thousands of retro fans are in the same boat, many of which are happy to help fellow enthusiasts on the hunt. Leverage the power of others through social media such as Twitter and Reddit.
Twitter is best for real-time engagement. While you could follow the #SNESClassic keyword to receive all the Twitter chirpings about Nintendo’s latest console, if you want to avoid an unwieldy stream of notifications, it’s best to be a bit more selective. Follow folks like @Wario64, @CAGNewDeals, and @IGNDeals to start and make sure to turn on mobile notifications so you’ll get a buzz when the accounts post new content.
Another great resource on the social media spectrum is Reddit, specifically the miniSNES, Retro Gaming and SNES subreddits. Since these communities are dedicated to discussing only retro gaming and SNES topics, you’ll spend far less time sifting through irrelevant content. Feel free to ask questions, read about ordering tips, find all the preorder links, and monitor in-stock updates. Once the SNES Classic is released, Reddit is a great place to find trade groups as well.
Creative Commons | Bas de Reuver
Retailer Sign Ups
If you check for the SNES Classic Edition on Amazon, Best Buy, or Walmart’s website, you may notice a notification button with some iteration of Email Me, Notify Me or Get In-Stock Alert on the product page. These little guys promise to send you an email “as soon” as the items come in stock.
Do they work? Sometimes. Realistically, for limited items like the highly anticipated SNES, there’s a good chance that the retailer’s alert systems simply won’t be fast enough to give you the edge you need to beat the shopping hordes. But I like to think of them as the last line of defense. If all other methods fail, perhaps the retailer notification will be sent in time for you to make the sale. I’ve lucked out before, so you never know.
Make sure you’re already registered and logged into all retailers’ websites prior to an in-stock notification, or you will be forced to waste valuable seconds that could cost you your shot at buying the SNES Classic Edition.
Since most SNES preorders will be facilitated online, I recommend storing at least two payment methods into your accounts—one main card, one backup—to ensure the checkout process is as fast as possible. PayPal is a good payment option or alternative because it processes purchases differently than a typical card. If a website is experiencing payment issues, where one payment method fails, another may work.
If a retailer provides a specific online launch window such as, “The SNES Classic Edition will be available at 1:00 pm on this Sunday,” be prepared. Get to the website early and continually refresh the page until you see the glorious “Add to Cart” button. If you’ve been unsuccessful for several minutes, I’d recommend checking in on Twitter or a forum like Slickdeals to see if anyone was able to complete their purchase.