back to article Wii buyers follow French Connection for consoles

If you’re after a Nintendo Wii this Christmas then you’d better get your credit card out - and maybe start brushing up your French too. A report by the Daily Mirror claims that British shoppers are donning their best French accents and sailing over to Calais, where the console’s reportedly ready to be had for just £150 (€210/$ …


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  1. Richard Kilpatrick
    Paris Hilton

    It's the same with the DS

    I don't understand why people are so astoundingly stupid. Whilst the lure of new technology for Christmas must be strong, surely the misguided, (and frankly) idiotic parents forking out more than twice the retail price for these devices would be better off telling their kids that "they'll get the Wii when they're back in stock - with a huge selection of games, too", It's not as if Nintendo have stopped making these devices.

    Can't really blame the sellers for making an additional profit, but anyone paying more than retail for a mass producing and still current device really needs to have their priorities, finances and head examined - I'm sure that the same people paying £352 for a Wii are the ones that complain about "Rip Off Britain", the dollar-pound exchange rate, and the high cost of fuel (probably whilst driving their kids 1 1/2 miles to school every day in a modern, heavy, cat-equipped car (random footnote - the catalytic converter is useless when the car is cold, and in fact the cars so equipped create significantly more emissions for the first few miles than non-cat, lean-burn injection engines)).

    I'm surely tempted to box up and sell my own Wii. I'll probably get > new price for it over a period when I'm too busy to play Wii games anyway, then buy a new one with a new warranty in the New Year for the rrp.

    Sony must be gutted. I see the PSP and PS3 are in ample supply everywhere...

  2. Simon Oxlade

    Dumb parents + Spoiled Kids = £££

    CEX, the exchange shop, has a number of Wiis in the window for a range of prices. Those with the box are £300 (no WiiSports and no Nunchuck by the look of things), and a couple out of the box for some £230-£280.

    A swift walk inside the shop and you'll find several copies of WiiSports (some in the cardboard sleeve as opposed to the DVD packaging) for £20 a pop. So you're looking at paying somewhere between £250 - £320 for a Second-hand console and the software it chould have come with for £170!

    I'm glad to see they're still there at the moment, but I don't doubt some idiot will buy them before Christmas - and all that lovely profit goes into CEX's pocket, not Nintendo's, which sucks too.

  3. David Cornes

    Milking b'stards

    There's an indie mobile phone shop just up the road from me who are currently offering "European imported" Wiis for £255 for just the base bundle.

    Needless to say I declined. Me and the kids might be looking forward to getting one, but we can wait until supply and prices sort themselves out next year thanks very much!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also Germany

    Apparently/Alledgedly a few weeks ago you could order a Wii from for delivery to the UK and they had plenty of stock. Then suddenly they stopped allowing orders for the Wii from the UK.

    Is the UK shortage just being 'manufactured' by Nintendo? Why can we not freely import from the rest of the EU?

  5. Hedley Phillips

    Must have society

    This is so typical of the must have it now, credit society we live in.

    I so agree with Richard's comments. Why not just wait? We have only just bought a PS2 this summer. Cracking price (£30) and came with loads of games.

    And anyway, as a skint parent of 3, there is no way my kids would ever get a prsent worth that much. We just don't have the money and I am sure as hell not going to go into debt just to buy them Christmas presents.

  6. Stu

    Wii pricing

    I myself came back from Barcelona in November with one Wii console, with the intention of selling it on Ebay - I only got £230 though.

    Then bloody Ebay stung me for about £20 listing fee + £9 paypal fees, and Royal Mail charged £20! OUCH, what does this tell you about Ebays role in this fiasco created by Nintendo? Current listings for Wii Consoles on Ebay - 8415. Listings last mostly upwards of a week to 10 days. Multiply it up to see Ebays profit.

    Aside from this, I see no problems bringing them into the country and selling them at a profit - its this little thing called supply and demand.

    If supply is low, and demand is high, the price goes up. It is also very clear that people are perfectly prepared to pay above the odds for a high demand product. In fact if you go around the retailers trying to find its normal RRP, you'll not find it anywhere.

    You may indeed look at it as a scummy tactic, its not really it is normal business tactics. But what is more scummy is that Nintendo could quite easily have instead re-routed the stacks of Wii consoles still in shops all over europe to the UK where demand is thru the roof and nobody would have suffered. They couldn't have gotten it more wrong!

    Fact is that this method of making more money has been going on for thousands of years, its called free enterprise and it is how the banks and large companies made it big in the first place.

    Get over the overpricing, people!

  7. mark carlisle

    sony gutted?

    Anyone whos pays over the odds for anything needs their head looked at by the relevant professional.

    French Wii's are now listed heavily on eBay, with the listings still in french!

    As for Sony, the much sought after PS3 60gb model is the console a lot of gamers are searching for. since being replaced by the 40gb model, a lot of retailers are now selling the 40gb console for £349.

    The same price I paid for my(whoops! the kids) 60gb model with 2 games.

    you gotta love capitalism!

  8. Andy

    210 euros ?

    Sounds incredibly cheap to me.

    I've seen them for 239 euros in the Auchan supermarket in Luxembourg.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    RE: It's the same with the DS

    "Sony must be gutted. I see the PSP and PS3 are in ample supply everywhere..."

    The only ones gutted will be Nintendo. They are not able to sell a console to everyone who wants one, and they are seeing the retail price of their console being almost doubled because they can't satisfy demand.

    This is NOT good business! Yes, some people will pay over the odds but many will simply buy something else, like a PS3, which at £300 is the same price as these inflated Wiis and which is in ample supply (and at that price arguably offers better value than a £300 Wii?).

    I don't think it's necessary to go to France for one though, UK consoles can be had if you do enough digging. The DS does seem to be rarer at the moment.

  10. andy gibson

    Well done CPC

    I hope the money you make on your overpriced Wii compensates for the lost business from my company and many others due to your blatant profiteering!

  11. Anonymous Coward

    I got mine ages ago

    <gloat> I got mine ages ago from a local supermarket and it only cost me £160!</gloat>

    (One of the advantages of having a SO who works there)

  12. Jeff Wojciechowski

    Extra Wii

    I've an extra one on listed ebay if anyone is interested ;)

    (how do i get the auction number on here without my post getting denied hehe)

  13. Adam Harris
    Thumb Up


    I work for an online e-tailer who has been doing a lot of importing (over 2000 units so far) this Christmas.

    The price hike is partly due to the extra costs involved. Most of the retailers are buying "off the shelf" at retail price in bulk. Then add the cost of air freighting, insurance and changing plugs. It all adds up.

    Now include a slightly better profit margin that retailers can make when selling them at £179 (around £8), and I think the high price is more than justified.

    Retailers are taking huge risks paying cash up front to unknown suppliers in Europe to secure quantities for people for Christmas since Nintendo failed to meet demand.

    Sure prices might be out of proportion to the value of the product, however there are people willing (and desperate) to pay it. Those that aren't can blame Nintendo and wait until stock finally sorts itself our late Q1 2008. You cannot blame the retailers at all.

    As an aside, a small bonus in paying over the odds for a European import is that you get a 2 year warranty instead of a 1 year warranty!

  14. Danny Traynor

    What's all the fuss about?

    I dunno what the problem is? I was asked on Friday to buy a DS for my wifes mums xmas pressie, got one on tinterweb for retail, was delivered yesterday. Asked to get a Wii yesterday for someone, again, bought one at retail on the internet which is being packed as we speak. These are UK consoles. If people bothered to actually look about rather than rushing in all guns blazing there'd be no need to be so seriously out of pocket. Having said that, they did both take a risk leaving it a bit late!


  15. steogede


    >> As an aside, a small bonus in paying over the odds for a

    >> European import is that you get a 2 year warranty instead of a 1

    >> year warranty!

    Do you still get a warranty on a grey import?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    its called price gouging in the states

    and is illegal I think, you see diy stores upping the price of wooden boards in hurricane season.

    MicroDirect, SavaStore (new Version) and CPC et al. You should be ashamed of yourselves

    Asda and Morrisons get fined for messing with the price of Milk

    its time some legislation around a products' RRP is brought in to include grey imports, as its shameless.

    unfortunately you are stuck paying over the odds on EBAY and a CEX etc. as you are buying "second hand" products.

  17. Alex

    as the saying goes

    a fool and their money....

  18. Frantisek Janak

    Better get...

    ...some Wii'd!

    Microsoft's Santa C. would agree!

  19. Paul

    Or you could...

    Just look around. I got one at RRP in Argos when they first came out, just by asking nicely when they were expecting a dilivery and when they would let me pre order (which with Argos meens they accualy keep it for you for two days rather than "You must colect it at the start of the day but we may have sold it anyway, as we take more pre orders than we have stock for").

    Noone else seemd to that. It seems to be because they didnt want it next Tusday, but RIGHT NOW!!.

  20. Andy Silver badge

    Imaginary exchange rate

    Not that I doubt the Mirror, of course, but it's some time since £150 bought you 250 euros.

    I got mine in Andorra for EUR220. No VAT there.


  21. Adam Harris

    Wii Warranty


    Yes they have European warranties, the first section of the manual is in english and has the full UK warranty details and specifically says it is a 24 month warranty.

    The only thing to watch out for is that the warranty is void should the products have been resold privately. Therefore eBay purchases will NOT be warrantied unless you are buying from a shop selling on eBay.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    not worth THAT amount of money

    hey, I bought a Wii in spring of this year - after controlling my urge to buy for for christmas LAST year - i said ' nope, get one when its freely available' - there were reasonably available for RRP + some special game bundle offers for the period april - june - then things went silly again.

    people, just wait until after christmas. the Wii is a great console..and some good games. but it is not worth 300 quid.

    yes, its worth 180, but for 300? well, with argos discount voucher + offer i got a 60Gb PS3 for 300 quid. i could have got a decent xbox360 setup too - those ARE both worth 300 quid - with HD playback, more 'advanced' games and better output. the Wii is a great 'fun game' system.

    if you REALLY want to sink into some great Nintendo gameplay then get a gamecube + 10 games - that'll set you back around 100 quid from gamestation - and will be an ideal stop-gap until Wii is available - as the games are all Wii precusors too - metroid prime 1 & 2, Zelda Windwaker, Paper Mario, Super Mario Sunshine, Resident Evil 4 etc etc

  23. David Gosnell

    "Or you could... "

    Spot on. From our experience, Argos are brilliant with their stock reservation if you go in-store, and also have plenty of games at little over half the price of anywhere else. Why are people prepared to risk eBay and dodgy importers, where it's going to take a week to enter the lottery of getting something at an inflated price, when they can probably get it in a couple of days, at RRP, on the high street?

  24. Anonymous Coward


    The top 10 Christmas toy list is released in the summer (August I think), with the wii in there (dunno where it came on the list this year). In the summer there was easy availability (or enough time to pre-order), and as a parent you could guess that your kids (or you) might want one and they would be scarce at Christmas, so if you are complaining about not being able to find one for your kids or not wanting to pay twice the price, it is there for partially your own fault for being disorganised, (personally i waited till January this year to pre-order and it came in 5 )

  25. Adrian Esdaile
    Thumb Up

    At last some payback

    for all you Euros and Merkins getting the best of everything! Come on down to sunny 'STRAYA for Nintendo deals!

    $399 Australian which works out to £171. W00T! The shelves here are full of the things, too. Sure they are selling a lot, but there is plenty of stock.

    Now here's my plan:

    1. Buy Wii

    2. Find UK-based numpties

    3. ...

    4. PROFIT!

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