Hi there board gamers!
After a question from Pat (@itsAllAboard) about the best sites for international delivery of board games, I thought I would do a little research and offer up some suggestions in case he, and others, found it useful.
I found 10 of the best known international retailers and searched up the costs for shipping to 5 disparate countries to give you an idea of what you might expect if you were to buy from them.
Let’s get started!
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Amazon has a global reach – but how do its prices compare to other companies? I chose 5 countries and compared the cost of sending Magic Maths, a game I recently reviewed here, to see what the delivery prices were like.
So they all seem pretty pricey for a game that you can get for £5!
Now eBay shipping can vary a lot so the prices here may vary a fair amount from what you might find at another time, but they will do as a guide. Again, I have taken Magic Maths as an example game.
Note: Many sellers do not ship internationally so you will need to search through a number of posts to find one that does.
Turkey: I couldn’t find a single seller shipping to Turkey
Canada: £23.32 + £3.39 import fees
Australia: £14.59 + £4.43 import fees
Again, all these seem pretty steep for a game selling for around £12.
Firestorm Games, based in the UK, is a winner if you are willing to fork out the minimum payment for free shipping which is £40 in the UK, £50 in the EU and £75 for the rest of the world.
This is a really simple pricing guide which makes it very clear what their minimum purchase requirements are.
There are three countries currently not eligible for free delivery due to the high number of missing parcels or high costs – these are: Russia, Brazil and USA. Firestorm use Royal Mail for their international deliveries.
I took a look at the costs for the small game Dice Academy which costs £7.69 and here are the prices for each of the above countries:
Well, that’s reassuringly consistent and all are cheaper than both amazon and eBay except for Amazon to Australia.
Total Cards are UK-based and also have a clear website with their shipping costs clearly displayed but only for European nations. It is not as clear for international shipping beyond that, so I had to set up some dummy orders to see the shipping costs. Total cards use DPD for their shipping internationally.
Here are the costs for the game Ticket to Ride – New York, which costs £15.95 to the following countries:
So, again, all those prices are more than the game and there is no promise of free delivery with a minimum spend.
Gammon Village are US-based and use UPS international shipping. They sell high-end classic board games such as chess and backgammon sets.
Canada: $28.58 + $3.43 tax
So, unless you live in North America, Gammon Village shipping costs seem prohibitively high. Unless, of course, you are buying a luxury Leather Backgammon Set. I guess if you’re spending up to $6000 on a board game, a couple of hundred dollars on shipping won’t seem an issue!
OK, so Shop4World.com seem to be a good choice for small packages. Shipping is not free, as with Firestorm, but it is very reasonable no matter where you are in the world. Although not all countries are available:
Turkey: Not available
Australia: Not available
Grooves.land have a super simple international shipping policy.
All orders over £17 are free and orders under £17 have a shipping charge of just £1.70 which is a bargain.
There is also a small fee for using PayPal.
I am also not sure that their board games range is that comprehensive. Worth a look though if you have a specific game in mind, although you might find the prices a bit higher than other retailers.
Grooves.land have very mixed reviews, I checked several review sites and although some people seem very happy with their purchases, they have a fair amount of negative reviews across several sites, so maybe one to be a bit careful of.
Turkey: Free on orders over £17
Japan: Free on order over £17
Canada: Free on Orders over £17
Australia: Free on orders over £17 – note 10% tax applies
These guys are based in the Netherlands and offer free shipping above a certain spend to a number of European countries. They have a slick website with a good range of games, definitely worth checking out!
I looked into the cost of sending a €50 game to our 5 favorite countries. Here’s what came up:
Philibert are based in France and have a great-looking website with a wide range of stock. They have a rather convoluted pricing strategy for international sales, and rather than free shipping over a certain amount, the cost rises with the amount you spend.
The prices are very reasonable for most of Europe, but Let’s look at how our 5 countries compare. Again, I took the price of a €50 game:
Zatu is a UK-based company with a great range of stock. They ship to a wide variety of international locations at reasonable prices.
I Chose Ticket to Ride which retails at £21.74 and compared the cost of shipping to the 5 nations we know and love so well:
So there you have it, 10 of the most popular websites for international shipping with costs for 5 well-spread countries so you can get an idea of the different prices at each shop.
For me, the hands down winner is Firestorm Games at which if you spend over £75 they will deliver free to pretty much any part of the world. And even if you don’t spend this minimum, their costs are still the very reasonable.
They are outdone by Grooves.land, but Firestorm have a better selection of games, an easier to navigate website and a better reputation.
If you are not looking to spend the £75 necessary for free delivery from Firestorm then Shop4World might be the best option, if you live in an eligible country, as they have pretty low shipping costs.
Let me know what you think in the comments below, especially if you have a favored international shipper of board games that I’ve not listed here.
Let us know where you’re from and from which retailers you buy your games.
Thanks for reading!