Board games have experienced a remarkable resurgence in popularity over the past decade.
These tabletop games offer a unique form of entertainment, bringing people together for hours of fun, strategic thinking, and social interaction.
If you’re a board game enthusiast or looking to dive into the world of board gaming, it’s essential to know where to find and buy the games you’re interested in.
In this article, we will explore various online and offline stores that sell board games to help you discover the perfect place to buy your favorite games.
- Stores that sell board games include online retailers like GameGeek, Miniature Market, and CoolStuffInc.
- Specialty board game shops offer expert knowledge, unique games, and gaming events.
- Local game stores provide community, game nights, and dedicated gaming spaces.
- Department stores and toy stores offer wide availability and competitive pricing.
- Secondhand stores and thrift shops are great for affordability and finding rare games.
- Online marketplaces like eBay and BoardGameGeek Marketplace provide a platform for buying and selling board games.
- Board game cafés and bars offer game libraries and a social atmosphere.
- Kickstarter and crowdfunding platforms allow early access and support for independent game designers.
The Rise of Board Games
Board games have undergone a renaissance in recent years, with an explosion of creativity and diversity in game design. This resurgence can be attributed to several factors:
- Social Interaction: Board games provide a unique opportunity for face-to-face interaction and socializing in an increasingly digital world.
- Nostalgia and Escape: Many people have fond memories of playing board games during their childhood and see them as a way to disconnect from screens and engage with others.
- Innovative Designs: Game designers are constantly pushing boundaries, introducing new mechanics, themes, and storytelling elements, making board games more appealing and immersive than ever before.
- Online Communities: Online platforms and communities have facilitated the sharing of board game reviews, recommendations, and experiences, creating a vibrant and supportive community of enthusiasts.
Benefits of Purchasing Board Games from Physical Stores
While online shopping offers convenience, there are distinct advantages to purchasing board games from physical stores. Consider the following benefits:
- Hands-on Experience: Physical stores allow you to see, touch, and examine the components of a game before making a purchase. You can assess the quality, artwork, and components firsthand.
- Expert Assistance: Knowledgeable store staff can offer personalized recommendations based on your preferences, gaming group size, and skill level. They can help you discover new games that align with your interests.
- Immediate Gratification: With physical stores, you can take your new board game home right away, eliminating the wait time for delivery.
- Community Engagement: Physical stores often host game nights, tournaments, and demo events, providing opportunities to meet and play with other board game enthusiasts in your local area.
- Exclusive In-store Promotions: Some physical stores offer exclusive promotions, discounts, or loyalty programs for in-store customers. These incentives can make your purchase more cost-effective.
Online Stores for Board Game Enthusiasts
Online stores provide a wide selection of board games, often at competitive prices. They offer convenience and accessibility, allowing you to browse and purchase games from the comfort of your own home. Here are some popular online stores for board game enthusiasts:
- Amazon: As one of the largest online marketplaces, Amazon offers an extensive selection of board games, including popular titles and niche options. It also provides user reviews and ratings to help inform your buying decisions.
- BoardGameGeek: Known as the go-to website for board game enthusiasts, BoardGameGeek not only offers a vast database of games but also provides links to reputable online stores where you can purchase them.
- Miniature Market: Miniature Market is a reputable online retailer that specializes in board games, card games, and tabletop miniatures. They often provide discounts and promotions, making it a favorite among budget-conscious gamers.
- CoolStuffInc: CoolStuffInc is another popular online store that offers a diverse range of board games, including hard-to-find imports and collectible items. They also provide a buyback program, allowing you to trade in your old games for store credit.
Specialty Board Game Shops
Specialty board game shops are dedicated to the world of board gaming.
These stores curate their collections to include a wide range of games, from popular titles to obscure gems.
Here’s what you can expect from specialty board game shops:
- Expert Knowledge: The staff in specialty shops are passionate board gamers themselves and possess in-depth knowledge about the games they carry. They can guide you through the selection process and provide insightful recommendations.
- Unique and Exclusive Games: Specialty shops often stock exclusive or limited-edition games that may not be readily available in other stores. They take pride in offering a diverse collection to cater to various gaming preferences.
- Gaming Events and Demos: Many specialty board game shops host regular gaming events, demo nights, and tournaments. These events provide opportunities to try out new games, meet fellow gamers, and expand your gaming network.
- Supporting Local Business: Shopping at specialty board game shops helps support local businesses and contributes to the growth of the board gaming community in your area.
Local Game Stores: Community and Social Interaction
Local game stores, often referred to as FLGS (Friendly Local Game Stores), are more than just retail outlets.
They serve as community hubs for board game enthusiasts, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie.
Here’s what you can find at local game stores:
- Game Nights and Tournaments: FLGS organize regular game nights and tournaments, allowing you to join existing gaming groups or participate in competitive events. These events are great opportunities to connect with like-minded gamers.
- Dedicated Gaming Spaces: Many local game stores provide dedicated gaming areas where you can play board games in a welcoming and comfortable environment. These spaces often have tables, chairs, and game libraries for patrons to enjoy.
- Gaming Events and Workshops: FLGS organize workshops, gaming tutorials, and learning sessions for both beginners and experienced players. These events help foster growth, skill development, and a deeper understanding of various board games.
- Building a Community: Local game stores provide a sense of community by bringing together board game enthusiasts, fostering friendships, and creating opportunities for shared experiences and discussions.
Department Stores and Toy Stores
Major department stores and toy stores often feature dedicated sections for board games.
While their selections may focus on popular and mainstream titles, there are advantages to considering these stores for your board game purchases:
- Wide Availability: Department stores and toy stores carry a broad range of board games, making it easier to find popular titles and new releases.
- Competitive Pricing: These stores often offer competitive pricing and occasional discounts on board games, making them budget-friendly options.
- Convenience: Major retailers are easily accessible, with multiple locations and online platforms, providing convenience and a one-stop shopping experience for all your gaming needs.
- Discovering New Games: While they may prioritize popular titles, department stores and toy stores can introduce you to new board games you might not have considered otherwise.
Secondhand Stores and Thrift Shops
If you’re on the lookout for budget-friendly options or hard-to-find treasures, secondhand stores and thrift shops can be fantastic sources for board games.
Here’s why you should consider them:
- Affordability: Secondhand stores often sell board games at significantly lower prices compared to their retail counterparts. You can find great deals on used games in good condition.
- Out-of-Print Games: Secondhand stores occasionally stock out-of-print or discontinued games that are no longer available in retail stores. These stores can be a goldmine for collectors or enthusiasts looking for rare finds.
- Sustainability: Purchasing board games secondhand promotes sustainability by giving pre-owned games a new life instead of buying new copies. It’s an eco-friendly way to expand your board game collection.
- Hidden Gems: Thrift shops often have a mix of mainstream and lesser-known board games. Exploring these stores can lead to unexpected discoveries and hidden gems that you may not find elsewhere.
In addition to dedicated online stores, several online marketplaces provide platforms for individuals to buy and sell board games directly.
Here are a few notable online marketplaces:
- eBay: eBay offers a vast selection of board games, including new and used copies. You can find both popular and obscure titles, and you have the opportunity to bid on auctions or buy games at a fixed price.
- BoardGameGeek Marketplace: BoardGameGeek has its own marketplace where individuals can list board games for sale. This platform is popular among board game enthusiasts, and you can often find rare or out-of-print games.
- Facebook Marketplace and Buy/Sell Groups: Facebook Marketplace and dedicated buy/sell groups provide a convenient way to find local sellers who are offering board games. You can negotiate prices, arrange pickups, and support fellow community members.
When using online marketplaces, consider the following tips:
- Seller Reputation: Check the reputation of the seller by reviewing their ratings and feedback from previous customers. Look for sellers with a history of positive transactions.
- Game Condition: Request detailed photos and descriptions of the game’s condition to ensure you are getting what you expect. Clarify any doubts or concerns before finalizing the purchase.
- Authenticity: Be cautious of counterfeit or bootleg copies. Verify the authenticity of the game and the credibility of the seller to avoid purchasing counterfeit products.
Board Game Cafés and Bars
Board game cafés and bars offer a unique and enjoyable experience by combining the pleasure of playing games with the ambiance of a café or bar setting.
Here’s what you can expect from board game cafés and bars:
- Game Libraries: These establishments boast an extensive library of board games that patrons can play while enjoying food and beverages. You can try out new games or revisit old favorites.
- Social Atmosphere: Board game cafés and bars create a social environment, encouraging interactions and fostering a sense of community among patrons. It’s a great way to meet and connect with fellow board game enthusiasts.
- Purchase Options: Many board game cafés and bars also sell board games, allowing you to take your favorite titles home after playing. You can support these establishments by making purchases directly from them.
Kickstarter and Crowdfunding Platforms
Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms have become popular avenues for independent game designers to fund their projects and bring their games to life.
Backing a board game project on Kickstarter offers unique benefits:
- Early Access: By backing a game project, you can gain early access to the game before it becomes widely available. This gives you the opportunity to experience and enjoy the game before others.
- Supporting Creativity: Crowdfunding platforms allow you to support independent designers and contribute to the growth of the board game industry. Your backing helps bring innovative and unique games to market.
- Exclusive Rewards: Backers often receive exclusive rewards, such as limited-edition components, additional expansions, or exclusive stretch goals. These rewards add value to your purchase and enhance your gaming experience.
Finding and buying board games is an exciting journey for enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
Whether you prefer physical stores, online shopping, or exploring unique venues, there are countless options available to satisfy your gaming needs.
Consider the benefits of each store type, from the expertise of specialty board game shops to the convenience of online marketplaces.
Engage with local communities, attend game nights, and explore the vast world of board gaming.
With a plethora of options at your fingertips, the joy of discovering new games and engaging in memorable gaming experiences awaits you.
Can I sell my old board games online?
Yes, online marketplaces and dedicated board game forums provide platforms for selling used board games.
Take clear pictures, describe the game accurately, and set a fair price to attract potential buyers.
Are board game cafés only for playing games or can I buy them too?
Many board game cafés also sell board games, allowing you to take your favorite titles home after playing.
Supporting these establishments by making purchases directly from them helps sustain their business.
Are there benefits to backing board games on Kickstarter?
Backing a board game project on Kickstarter grants you early access to the game, allows you to support independent designers, and often offers exclusive rewards such as limited-edition components or expansions.
Can I find rare or out-of-print games in secondhand stores?
Secondhand stores and thrift shops can be excellent sources for finding rare or out-of-print board games that may not be available in retail stores.
How can I verify the authenticity of board games when purchasing from online marketplaces?
To ensure authenticity, check the reputation of the seller, request detailed photos and descriptions of the game’s condition, and clarify any doubts or concerns before finalizing the purchase.