The stores around me that sold them, before the one went out of business and the other just stopped stocking GW stuff, all offered discounts. I think I have spent like $75 at GW/their online store over the course of 5 years in the hobby, because I can get their products cheaper from nearly anywhere else! Ebay and online stores have cheap stuff too. thewarstore.com has everything 20% off and only 6 bucks for shipping regardless of the order size. Me and 3 friends ordered like 300 dollars worth of stuff and only paid 2 buck each to get it to my house.
I will buy some stuff from GW cause the employees get commission and I try to help them out. But for like 80% of your army go to online stores.
I know I should support my local GW but after firing 10 different employees from there, especially just when you get to know them. Their incompetance in judging painting comps (You get full score everytime yet 1 part of some other model makes it so you lose). No in store copies, no tools, except for academy members (you forget your clippers once and you're DOOMED!) and the constant pressure to buy new stuff just frustrated me to the point that I'm an E-bay man, PURELY! (the sad thing is about 25% of the time I pay more than it's worth.)
My local GW store, definitely. I'm still a bit baffled by all the flak GW stores get - mine's always been a good place, and I tend to support it (and by extension, the community that's formed in and around it).
I got my latest stuff from Acme_games on amazon. Some stuff is almost half price!
I got a lot of stuff from megaminis.co.uk, again, cheaper than getting it from GW.
I bought Space Hulk direct from GW website.
My nearest GW store is a 5 hour drive away, or a 70 euro train ticket!
My local gaming shop is a dump that charges even more than GW, so I use it purely for paint or emergency gifts!
Here in Ohio, we don't have any GW Hobby Centers, but luckily, I'm located between two independent stores that carry the Partner Store rating. Both stores offer discounts: one offers 15% off anything on the shelves, the other offers a frequent purchaser discount that equates to a $40 credit after 10 purchases of $20+. Both stores have discount/used bins where you can occasionally find the odd model or two for paint testing or filling out a squad. Both stores also have great player communities, sponsor tournaments and events, and try to have as much GW stock as they can reasonably move.
The only downside to their independent status is that they can't afford to stock every last little thing for every army supported by GW. Both stores have at least a bit of every supported miniature range, but its not uncommon to go to the store wanting a specific kit, only to find that its not on the shelves. That said, they both have very responsive ordering processes in place, and its never more than a week's wait if you want to order a kit from the GW catalog through them.
I've used TheWarStore online occasionally for paints and kits. I find their discounts make them just a little better than shopping local retail. However, to keep my local stores open and the gaming community healthy, I try to make my purchases at the local game stores as much as possible. Having a store or two to actually browse around and a community to enjoy every weekend is not something to take for granted.
Local store as much as I can. Internet purchases are a false savings--the price difference comes from online stores not having the overhead of having a place you can game at. I like my weekend watering hole so I spend my money there.
Interesting answers keep them coming. I just buy from my store and i tend to look for their weekend sales when they sell 20% off its awesome. I'm waiting till their Valentines day massacre sale to round out my necron army
I buy most of my stuff from Maelstrom Games, it's the only way for me to afford the hobby. I'd much rather buy it from my local GW as it doesn't take 3 weeks to get the stuff but the recent price rises have made it pretty much a no-go when it comes to models. I buy paints and supplies there though.
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