Earlier today, the hard-to-find NES Classic Edition was briefly available at Best Buy. As is usually the case with the NES Classic Edition, it sold out quickly, but there’s one big difference this time around: this could very well be the final restock Best Buy gets. We might see other retailers get more consoles sometime this week, but once April is over, there won’t be anymore replenishment coming from Nintendo.
So, where does that leave everyone who wants an NES Classic Edition but wasn’t able to beat the rush of buyers every time stock appeared? Sadly, it leaves them in a bad place. It’s still possible to find an NES Classic Edition, but picking one up is probably going to cost you a lot of cash.
What should I reasonably expect to pay for an NES Classic Edition from a 3rd-party source? Obviously, the best case scenario is that you manage to find one for $60, the normal retail price for the NES Classic Edition. That most likely isn’t going to happen unless Nintendo does an about face and changes its mind on ending production. Instead, it looks like the minimum you’ll pay to resellers who operate on nationwide or global websites is around $200, with prices climbing as high as $400 in some cases.
Taking a look around the internet paints a pretty grim picture for anyone looking to buy an NES Classic Edition. Three sites in particular allow sales from third-party sellers: Amazon, Walmart, and eBay. When the final shipments leave the warehouse, these sites are probably your best bet for finding a listing for the mini-console.
For the moment, though, neither Walmart nor its retailers have any NES Classic Editions in stock. We may see third parties begin offering NES Classics once we’re into May, but for now, that leaves us with eBay and Amazon. Looking at Amazon, the price gouging has already moved into the realm of the absurd – listings from Amazon sellers begin at $265, around 4.5 times the retail price.
Over on eBay, things don’t really change a whole lot. Many listings offer the NES Classic Edition for $200 to $300, with some being so bold as to ask $400 for one. If you have the patience, eBay is probably the better place to buy, as you might be able to find an NES Classic for less than the $265 starting price for Amazon retailers.
Regardless of the site you go with, chances are you’ll pay well above retail price for an NES Classic. These prices are likely going to increase as we head into May – the knowledge that Nintendo has stopped shipping stock to retailers will likely embolden these sellers who know they’re the last resort for an in-box NES Classic. At this point, you may be better off just buying a real NES and the 30 games separately.