I’ve recently started playing Netrunner and during these past weeks I’ve been searching the web for resources related to the game that I’ll share on this article with anyone else that, like me, is trying to navigate through all the information available about the game online, making the right purchases and getting their own decks up and running in order to fully enjoy the game.
If like myself you were introduced to the game by another player who already has his own core set (and possibly all the other expansions and data packs released so far) you might be wondering where you should buy the core pack and the rest of the cards from.
If you’re not sure what deluxe expansions and data packs you should acquire first I found this “Android: Netrunner Buying Guide List” at Reddit to be a great help. It describes in full detail what are the best cards included in each expansion, what kind of gameplay they improve, what’s their order of importance for someone that’s now starting to play the game and other types of relevant information. If you’d like to browse all the cards contained within each product for yourself than your best bet is to head down to Netrunner DB which has them all neatly organized chronologically on a tree like structure, the “View as Scans only” browsing option is my favourite one.
If you have a local gaming store that sells Netrunner products I strongly advise you to visit them first and take a look at what they have in store and the prices on their products, sometimes it doesn’t really pay off to order online just to save a couple of euros and by supporting your local gamestore and buying Netrunner products directly from them you’re also giving them extra incentive to promote the game, organize tournaments and keep their stock up to date with Netrunner products.
(The following advices on where to acquire Netrunner products are written from the perspective of an European buyer based in Portugal but may apply to other EU countries except for the UK and Germany which have their own regional Amazon stores / German language versions of the game – with cheaper prices)
If you’re dead set on purchasing the game online what I’ve found is that for players based in Europe wanting to purchase the game in English language that are not based in the UK their best bet should be to buy the game from the Spanish Amazon Store. It seems they have the best prices available and you can bundle up the core set, the two deluxe expansions and probably a couple more data packs and pay only around 4€ of combined shipping costs fro the whole lot of them.
As you can see from the screenshot above the shipping cost for the core set plus the two currently available deluxe expansions amounts to only 4.85€. The shipping cost is the same if you order just the core set or one of the expansions so if you bundle them up into one order you will save 9.7€. It’s not such a big amount that will make it absolutely essential to order the three products at once so you might as well just get the core set first and then pay an extra 4.85€ to get the two expansions at once on a future order. This means the core set will have a final price of 36.15€ if you order it through Amazon and I’ve seen it at local stores for around 39.95€ which means that, in the end you’re only saving 3.8€ by ordering the core set online by itself, the real saving comes from getting it along with the two deluxe expansions.
If you’re looking to just buy individual data packs then Book Depository seems to have the best prices available. Keep in mind that Book Depository ships through regular UK mail unlike Amazon which uses much faster specialized delivery companies so expect your data packs to take about 10 business days to arrive (that’s the estimate they’ll give you on your order invoice but it normally takes a few more business days, around 12-13 to get the items). Still, at around 10€ a pack with free shipping included to all EU countries this is quite a bargain.
Also keep in mind that some data packs might be out of stock on Book Depository, they don’t keep their board game and collectible card game stock as updated as their books. On the other hand they do seem to add newly released data packs quite quickly to their store as you can see by the Upstalk data pack below which was just recently released at the time this article was written.
From what I’ve seen eBay isn’t worth it if you’re looking to buy any of the boxed Netrunner products in brand new condition but if you’re patient enough you might be able to find interesting deals for used cards. Sometimes new players get overly excited about a new title and will straight out buy all the content available only to find out after a couple of games that they don’t really enjoy playing the game and decide to sell their whole collection for a cheaper price. Most of those sellers play or have played other collectible card games so they take good care of cards and have probably played with them sleeves so they will have minor wear.
Most of the card lots I’ve found on eBay are also being sold by US sellers and they normally don’t want to go through the extra hassle of shipping to the EU and won’t even give the option for EU bidders to bid on their auctions. One one hand because of the huge shipping costs involved with shipping such a big weight in cards and on the other hand because of the high import fees and shipments getting stuck at EU customs. Your best bet is to go straight to the UK Amazon website if you’re looking for second hand deals but there’s not much going on there.
eBay only shines if you’re looking for promotional material like plastic identities, alternate art full bleed promos or playmats but as a new player you won’t be looking to waste any money on those as they’re only worth it once you get really hooked to the game of if you’re buying it from a collector’s point of view (to resell them sometime in the future).