helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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my boring internet shopping adventure

I'm going nuts here trying to find a non-dodgy copy of Pokemon Emerald on teh intarweb. In short: it was released today in the US & Canada, and the earliest it's predicted for Europe is September - possibly November. So I have little choice but to buy it on import.

However, eBay is overrun with dodgy copies - including several black cartridges with badly photocopied labels. The actual cartridge should be a dark green colour, and at least semi-transparent, with a shiny label. As I couldn't find anyone I've dealt with before & know to be reliable selling it yet, eBay's a non-starter. As regards non-eBay merchants, because I live outside the US & Canada I have to go to someone who deals exclusively in imports, as the online versions of high street shops won't go near the terrible grey area that is region encoding on video games. (Don't get me started on that rant - really!). Precisely two of the import stores in .us have it, and at least one of them requires overseas customers to FAX them a PHOTOCOPY of the credit card. As this is orders of magnitude more complicated and less secure than normal internet shopping, I'm unsurprisingly rather reluctant to do it. Plus, domestic shipping time is quoted as 4-7 days - I want my game today, damnit!

Most of the UK-based import companies don't sell Pokemon games, as they perceive them to be for children, and therefore for people who don't have the money or inclination to buy a game on import. The one exception I know of charged £38 for import copies of Fire Red & Leaf Green (which, seeing as the game cost $40 US, makes a colossal markup even after you've taken out VAT & import duty). Possibly there is one other source, but I'll have to go by there tomorrow and see if there's any chance of them getting it for me and how long the wait will be. Eurgh. Things are made worse by the fact that Monday is a bank holiday, which means that although most shops will be open reduced hours, postal services and couriers won't be operating. So the absolute earliest anyone would get it would be Tuesday, and even that's debatable.

I'm increasingly of the opinion that I should just PayPal a load of money to someone in the US who can go into a shop and buy it for me, and take it to a courier depot. If I'm going to spend $70 for a $40 game, I'd quite like the extra to go to someone who needs it, y'know? Well, I'll see when the UK import companies think they're getting it.

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