Where to Buy a Nintendo Switch If You Didn't Pre-Order
How out of luck are you? Answer: Very.
The Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are no longer the stuff of dreams, and if you’re one of the sad sacks who find themselves struck by FOMO after having not pre-ordered in time for the release, we’ve got you covered — or, at least, we’ll go over your options. It doesn’t look pretty, but if you’re willing to have a little patience, we’ll be just fine.
GameStop, Best Buy, and Target had all promised to have a limited number of Nintendo Switch units available for walk-in midnight purchases upon release, but those almost certainly sold out almost everywhere. Target also opted to save limited quantities for when stores opened at 8 a.m. today, but sadly you also missed that window. Even with a pre-order, you were looking at long waits in lines anyway during what’s feeling like peak winter in a lot of places.
Private resellers will be scalping consoles at a significant markup, which you should definitely avoid at all costs. Remember that the MSRP retail value of the Nintendo Switch is $299.99. Many bundles are being packaged with a Pro Controller ($69.99), extra Joy Con controllers ($79.99 each), and the release title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ($59.99).
Nintendo has been very vocal about striving to restock the new console at retailers in the coming weeks and months; after all, the company has had a history of hard-to-find consoles. Your best bet for trying to track one down is latching on to the list of retailers that Nintendo provides on the page for the Switch. That’s Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Walmart, and Toys “R” Us.
Of these major retailers, checking your local Target in-person stands the best chance at success, but all of the locations are worth a phone call, if only to learn when shipments tend to come in. They might even offer some sort of a wait list.
Here’s a rundown of where things stand:
- Amazon is almost certainly going to route you towards private resellers online at a significant markup.
- Best Buy, due to limited supply, is going to be in-store only for the foreseeable future, and they provide the option to check available stores, which you can and should do. You might just luck out.
- GameStop is currently out of stock online, but they’re a wise option to check back frequently with, as they offer bonuses if you trade in old games or systems towards the purchase of a new Switch. They also have a limited-time hold policy against people who don’t pick up their pre-orders, so there is a slim chance that you might find one over the weekend.
- Target is only selling them in-store currently. Though you can see where the Switch is 100 percent sold out, other options will require that you look at the store info and likely call to confirm availability. There’s no guarantee, but you might be able to get a location to set one aside for you.
- Walmart appears to just be shamelessly jacking up the prices online, so unless you can somehow find one in your local store, avoid trying to get one from them.
- And Toys “R” Us appears to be completely out of stock on its website, with no real option to check in-store availability.
Between you and me, unless you live somewhere where demand is low, you’re going to have to wait up to a week for even a chance at finding Nintendo’s newest system. Your best bet is to call around and see when your retailers are expecting the next shipment, which is when you should show up to buy your new console at face-value. Watch online for random pop-up deals or restockings from the web retailers. There’s a chance you might just luck out.