How to Find Puzzles to Buy: Online or In Store?

In 2020, puzzles were one of the most sought-after items in the United States. Some companies reported an over 300 percent rise in sales. With people spending more time at home, puzzles are a great way to pass the time. However, with all these different puzzles available to purchase, you may wonder how to find them.

You have options. You may wonder if you should buy your puzzles online or in-store. Both methods have their advantages. It is important to do your research first. Read on to discover how to find puzzles to buy, and whether you should consider shopping online or in-store. 

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How to Find Puzzles to Buy

As with any product, there are methods to find puzzles to buy. If you have never bought a puzzle before or you have not done so in a long time, it is advantageous to come up with a plan before you start looking for puzzles. 

With the sheer amount of options available, it can seem a bit overwhelming at first. Too many options come with too many decisions. However, making a structured plan on how you want to obtain your puzzles will help smooth the process. 

So, how do you find puzzles to buy? There are three simple steps to take at the beginning of the process. Before you even step foot in a store or click “buy” on a website, you should consider these steps:

  • Know what you are looking for
  • Know how much time you have for the puzzle
  • Research stores that carry puzzles

You may think that all puzzles are the same, but they are not. Knowing what you are looking for is the first step in finding the perfect puzzle for your free time. 

Know What You Are Looking for

Puzzles come in many shapes, sizes, and patterns. Moreover, they come in different difficulty levels. Knowing what type of puzzle you are looking for can make the process of finding one much quicker. 

Often, if you do not know exactly what type of puzzle you want, you end up searching endlessly trying to find something that you like. However, by knowing ahead of time what you want, you can tailor your search with specific keywords. 

For example, perhaps you want a large jigsaw puzzle of a national park. Instead of searching for a general term, such as “jigsaw puzzle,” you would be able to search for something more specific. The result? Puzzles that are more suited to what you are looking for. 

There are many types of puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles are the most popular, but there are also children’s puzzles and 3D puzzles, to name a couple. Jigsaw puzzles are the most popular, and they are the most widely available. 

Take note of the type of puzzle you want. This can include what the theme of the puzzle is. For example, you may want a science-related puzzle, or you may want a puzzle that recreates a photograph or a famous painting. Use these specifics to help tailor your search. 

Know How Much Time You Have

Puzzles come in a wide range of difficulties. There are some puzzles that you can finish in an hour, while there are others that could take days. Likewise, certain patterns of puzzles are much more difficult than straightforward patterns.

An example of a really difficult puzzle is a gradient puzzle. If you want a challenge, a gradient puzzle may be what you are looking for. Gradient puzzles are what they sound like. Essentially, the puzzle is a mixture of color gradients, which can be a real challenge to put together. 

The size of the puzzle does not necessarily equate to the difficulty level. Of course, larger puzzles may take longer than their smaller counterparts, but a small gradient puzzle, for example, could end up being more difficult. 

Knowing how much time you have will help you dictate what sort of puzzle you want to get. If you do not have much time, an easier puzzle may be the way to go. Additionally, if you want to spend a lot of time on a puzzle, you should look for more difficult ones. 

Research Stores

Once you know how much time you have and what type of puzzle you want, it is time to start researching what stores carry puzzles. 

Many stores, both online and in person, carry puzzles. A quick Google search can come up with many options. Stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Barnes and Noble carry puzzles. In fact, many local bookstores will carry puzzles. Additionally, these stores also have online stores you can look at.

You should also make note of the different companies that manufacture puzzles. If there is one you prefer, you can tailor your search to stores that carry that brand. Some of the most popular puzzle manufacturers include:

  • Hasbro
  • Fisher-Price
  • Buffalo Games
  • Ceaco Inc.

Knowing what stores carry puzzles and specific brands will help you choose the right place quickly. You will not have to guess what store you should visit. Moreover, since you will have decided what type of puzzle you are looking for, you can easily see which store has the kind you wish to purchase. 

Online vs. In-Store

Once you have done your preliminary research, it is time to go out and find the puzzle. But where should you look? Should you search online or in-store? Many in-person stores have online stores, too, so which is the better choice?

The choice comes down to your personal preference, though each method has its advantages. Consider these questions before deciding between shopping for your puzzle online vs. in-store:

  • When do you want the puzzle?
  • Are there stores near where you live?
  • Which stores carry the puzzle you are looking for?

Once you ask yourself these questions, you will have a clearer idea of where you want to shop. For example, if you want the puzzle immediately, then shopping in-store may be the option you choose. 


Online shopping affords you many pros. As mentioned, many in-person stores also have online stores. So, if there is a store near you that also has an online shop, it is a good idea to check online first. 

Here are some reasons why shopping online for your puzzle can be preferable to shopping in-store:

  • More options. When you shop online you will get many more options than you would in person. Think of Amazon and how endless it can seem when looking for something. Amazon is a great online shop to find puzzles because they carry all the major brands and will probably have what you are looking for. 
  • In-person stores have expanded inventory online. Brick and mortar shops carry puzzles, but their stock may be lower in person than online. Additionally, you may find online-only options that the store is promoting that you would not see in their physical location. 
  • Easy. It can be easier to search your keywords in the online store and scroll through all your options. Once you are ready, you only have to click “buy.”
  • Check in-store inventory. If you want to shop in person, using the online store is still beneficial. Many stores will allow you to see if the puzzle you want is in stock at a store near you. If it is, you know you will find it once you arrive. 

It is important to remember that if you order online, however, you will not have the puzzle immediately. Depending on shipping, you may have to pay extra to get your puzzle quicker. If you want to work on your puzzle immediately, online may not be the best option. 

However, online shops can come from all over the world. Your options for puzzles online are essentially limitless. 


For all the pros that shopping online for your puzzle affords you, there are still pros with shopping in-store. 

When you shop in the store you will be able to see the puzzle physically in front of you. You can take a much closer look at it. You may find that, upon closer inspection, it is not exactly what you wanted. 

Additionally, some stores may have puzzles that do not advertise online. Much the same way you can find puzzles on your computer, you can also find puzzles in-store. 

Of course, your options will not be as vast as online, but if you know what you are looking for, this should not be an issue, especially if you checked the availability of the item ahead of time.

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