Urge to scream in rage… rising…
Okay. I think I made a bit of a mistake.
You see, usually, I buy my tabletop roleplaying products either from the print-on-demand service at DriveThruRPG, direct from the game publishers themselves, or from Amazon. I stopped buying from brick-&-mortar gaming stores, since my local one kinda sucks, and buying from others online can be… disappointing.
Now when it came to “Cyberpunk RED”, I went against my normal process, and chose instead to support a gaming store called “The Dragon’s Trove”. I pre-ordered through them a month in advance of release, and expected the game to be shipped out in a reasonable timeframe. Even with USPS Media Mail, it doesn’t take all that long to travel across the US (New Jersey to Oregon).
… or does it?
Turns out, once the game was released on November 19th, I still hadn’t received my email from “The Dragon’s Trove”, with the tracking information for my book, so I emailed them. But to do that, I dropped by their website first, only to find that – unlike many retailers – they don’t receive product early, so it can be shipped out in advance, and customers will receive their products on or at least near launch day.
Well, that sucks.
Regardless, fine, whatever. At least if it shipped on the 19th, I should receive it relatively soon, right? Right?
You see, my book did get set aside for shipment on the 19th, that much is true. But according to the Postal Service, it wasn’t handed over to them until the 20th, and didn’t arrive at the Distribution Center until the 21st.
Okay, that sucks a bit more, but hey, at least it’s on the way, right? Right?
The USPS estimates that my copy of “Cyberpunk RED” will arrive on – get this – November 30th. Yes, a full eleven days after it launched! I could have bought it from an online retailer without even preordering it, and received it sooner. I could have gone to my local store, or one of the many game stores in nearby Portland, and had it in hand on the 19th, if I had wanted. Hell, I could have just bought it from R. Talsorian Games themselves, and would have had it before the 30th!
The point here is that I had no idea that purchasing my book from “The Dragon’s Trove” would mean waiting nearly two full weeks to receive said book. Had I known that, I would never have done so. I feel that I was misled, and while it is too late to do anything about it now, I almost want to buy another copy of the game from another retailer, just so I can get it in a few days… if only to prove a point.
I guess this just goes to show why brick-&-mortar game stores are dying, and will continue to die off. They can’t compete with online retailers, and when they try to do so, they end up doing stuff like… this…
TL;DR: Got screwed buying a TTRPG online from a brick-&-mortar game store. Won’t repeat that mistake ever again.
[UPDATE: My copy of “Cyberpunk RED” showed up five days ‘early’, which is to say, on the 25th, rather than the 30th. So it only took six days to arrive, rather than the 11 days it was slated for delivery, according to USPS. Of course, if the book had actually left the store I bought it from on the 19th, like it was supposed to, it might have only taken four days, which would have been way more reasonable.
Regardless, I do have to say the shipping wasn’t as abysmal as it was originally thought to be.]