These are my tips, first find out when Hasbro delivers to your area. My stores get shipment Tuesday and Thursday night, so I know Wensday and Friday are my best bet.
Also, make nice with long term staffers.
Case in point...
Many years ago I went to the TRU in Totowa NJ, the customer service clerk was tired and confessed she needed some coffee. I went and got it for her. To this day I never waited on line there. To further that, anytime I need to return something, I walk in, drop it off, pick up what I want. Holding it over my head so she can see it's the same thing, I walk right out.
More recently I met a guy Jerry at my local Target, he told me I was out of luck on the G1 Jazz redeco that I wanted. I then told him how much I just paid onlone for the TIT Fallen he was unpacking.
He put it aside for himself
Next time I went in, he had 2 Jazz's waiting for me and rang me up with his employee discount cause he made a fortune off that figure.
Also, no name department stores, closeout stores, and unassuming shops are often gold mines, don't be afraid to turn some rocks every now and then.
In local department store called Valley Fair, I found like a million Classic StarScreams long after everyone else sold out of them. I got 2 extra for me(one's on its way to becoming ThunderCracker) then I hooked up some members here.
Side shops and isles are great places to look
These are my tips, I never wait long, if at all for retail bots, so I hope this helps