With the release of the Xbox 360, PS3, and Nintendo Wii consoles, we’re seeing a rise in prices for games, accessories, services, and hardware. There isn’t any reason to think that the trend will be reversed any time in the future either. So, if you are an avid gamer, but also budget-minded, I’ll provide a few tips on how you can stretch your gaming dollars enough to afford the games you really want.
By shopping online you may not get the game the exact day it’s released, but you can usually find a site that will be offering the game for $5-$10 cheaper than in a store. Searching eBay really is a great place to find and buy from discount sellers as well. Many eBay sellers buy in bulk and sell their games for a cheaper price than the stores. In most cases, you can also avoid paying sales taxes by shopping online.
In addition to eBay, Amazon.com and Half.com are great places to find solid deals. A lot of sellers on Amazon are collectors and keep their stuff in very good condition, so don’t be afraid about the quality of the game discs, manuals, or boxes that you buy.
Sell Used Stuff Online – Don’t Trade Games In at Specialty Stores
Unless your local store is offering great trade-in deals, you will really make a lot more money unloading your older games if you sell them online. The best places to list your stuff are on half.com, eBay.com, or Amazon.com. Usually you can make 2-3 times the amount selling your games online than you can trading them in. Selling games in bundles helps to drive up the price as well. However, if you have rare games, sell those separately to get the max value out of each one.
Classifieds are great for saving money on gaming hardware and software. Often times people will be willing to sell their stuff cheaply because they need some quick cash. Certain classifieds will also have people looking to trade games straight across for other titles. I’ve swapped titles straight across with users from IGN, Advanced Media Network, and the NeoGAF forums. Trades allow you to break even when unloading one used game in favor for another one. Just make sure that you have some way to verify that you can trust whoever you are going to deal with in these instances.
Many people don’t like to buy used games simply for the fact that the case is covered in price tags and stickers from the used game dealer. However, these are easy to get off with the help of either Undu or Goo Gone. You can pick up these products at any local Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Once you’ve taken off the stickers, a used game is no different than if you bought it new and you’ve saved anywhere from $15-$25.
Here’s a pic of Undu for an example:
Focus on Your Backlog
Before getting every new game that releases, try to get through your backlog of games. By the time you are finishing up the games you already own, those new releases usually have dropped in price $5-$10. It’s not always easy waiting to pick up a new game, but you’ll get used to it after a little while. Obviously there are certain titles you just can’t wait to pick up…
Jump in Late
If you wait for 6 months to get into the next-generation of consoles, you’ll be able to get most of what you want used or discounted. By waiting just a little while, you can find used consoles; usually with the same warranty as a new one. Also, the launch titles are half the price that they were when the system launched. This makes for a pretty tough waiting period, but the patience pays off. If you absolutely must buy your consoles/handhelds new, you might be lucky enough to catch a price drop by the six month mark.
CAG (Cheap Ass Gamer)
Most gamers that buy stuff online know about CAG. This site is constantly being updated with online coupons and information on hot deals for videogames. Use this site as a resource when you are looking to pick up some new games, hardware, or accessories.
Here’s the link: CAG
The last tip is pretty simple: be patient. Don’t be afraid of waiting a couple of days to pick something up. Shop around and find the best deal or wait for price drops. With the rising costs of gaming, it’s important to save a few bucks wherever you can.
Good luck, and happy deal hunting.