I tend to shop around online, but have been known to pickup games at Target from time to time. We don’t really have any hobby/game stores local, and the few toy stores we have charge a crazy amount over retail price.
1 – FLGS…but not just any it has to be a real FAMILY game store. I am lucky that in my town I have one that my wife is even happy to go into since the owners are nice and we often talk to his wife, kids, or even the grandparents who stand-in on occasional weekends at the counter.
2 – LGS…there are two other LGS in my area which I have a love/hate relationship. One is all WARHAMMER all the time but occasionally they have the right RPG book on hand. The other one is also minis heavy and they occasionally have the right book/supplement I am looking for – if I can get by the obnoxious counter help.
3 – Online: I try to support my local merchants but that usually only works for family games and some RPG items. For wargames I go mostly online to take advantage of pre-publication offers.
4 – Hobby Store: My local Hobby Town occasionally has items I missed in the pre-pub and still want
5 – Big Retailer: As a matter of choice I try to avoid Wal-Mart but admit that Target occasionally has a good game at a decent price. My X-Mas LEGO games were bought on sale there. Toys-R-Us is a nonstarter given their higher price point (but I have to admit they sometimes have good sales on Wii games….).
Living in Hawaii I don’t get in on all the free shipping deals. So it depends on whether I’m buying one or many games.
For One Game
I’ll call my local games stores to see if they have what I want. If so it will cost just as much to buy it cheap online and pay to ship it. So I’ll buy there. If not, I go with an online store.
For Multiple Games
Online. If I’m going to buy multiple games it is a guarantee that my local game stores won’t have all the items. So I go with online. Lately I’ve been buying from BGG user rsolow from the marketplace, but have bought from Boards and Bits, Cool Stuff Inc, and Fun Again. I’ve been happy with my experiences from all of the above.
I have no FLGS, the nearest one is about 40 mins away and charges ridiculous prices. So its pretty much 100% online for me except when I visit conventions or happen to see something for a good price.