When trying to buy a decent quality chess set it’s virtually impossible to find a high street shop that stocks more than ten or twelve modest sets. If you are looking to spend a medium to high amount of money on a chess set there is really only one shopping mall to consider, the Internet!
A quick look on any search engine will reveal a good couple of handfuls of online shops who claim to be selling the best chess sets, at the best prices. The fact of the matter is that all but a couple of these online shops are very small home run businesses with a bedroom style office and stock piled up in the garage. Indeed one such retailer was so dishonest he stole an image of a huge computer game distribution warehouse and published it on his amateur chess retail site in an attempt to fool buyers into thinking he was a proper legitimate company!
It’s very easy for a budding chess retailer to get started selling online, mainly because most chess wholesalers will supply in very low minimum order quantities. There is certainly nothing wrong with buying from the underdog with a garage full of boxes. But remember that the small one man band won’t be able to offer you the same level of service and backup as a dedicated retail company.
These days it’s all too easy to buy extremely cheap imported chess sets from abroad and sell them online using images copied from a genuine retailers website. The professionals in the market place will have dedicated retail showrooms where they are happy to show off their stock in it’s physical form, not just from a load of carefully adjusted images.
If you want to buy the cheapest set possible and are not fussed about the quality, delivery time or back up service then the Internet is your oyster! If you care about what you buy, and you should, then stick to the professionals and remember that you will get what you pay for.