The Stupid Gamer

Video Games, Opinions, Thoughts, & Tomfoolery

The Stupid Gamer - Video Games, Opinions, Thoughts, & Tomfoolery

The Hidden Genius Behind Amazon Preorder Credits

Amazon.com is easily the best place to buy video games online. If you’re an Amazon Prime user, there really shouldn’t be any other place to even look when you preorder games; especially on titles that offer free release day delivery. Amazon’s greatest incentive, however, is all of the $10 and $20 credits they give out for preordering select titles. We see the chance to save some cash, and we’ll jump at games that we’ve been watching. So what reason does Amazon have to do this? Why do they seemingly cut into their profit margins?

Well, Amazon doesn’t say if some of these credits are subsidized by publishers, but even if they aren’t, the credits still work out in Amazon’s favor. First, it definitely drives up the number of people wiling to pay for Prime memberships since online shoppers have started to move their game buying almost exclusively to Amazon. Secondly, the credits expire in a fairly short window, so you’re forced to return to Amazon.com to shop soon after your initial purchase to make another or you risk losing the credit. And since it isn’t an instant discount, the credit is essentially shared between two purchases (example: you buy the first game at $60, receive a $10 preorder credit, and buy the next at $50. Basically you bought two games at $110, which is more of a mild discount overall.) Finally, you must preorder the game to get the credit, meaning that you’re paying full price for the game and not buying it after any sorts of price drops.

Another thing to consider is that Amazon.com now takes games back in for trade-in credit. What many people are doing is preordering games that offer the credit, playing them to completion, and then selling them back to Amazon. When it’s said and done, the game ends up costing the gamer about $20-$25 depending on how quickly they finish it and send it back, but Amazon.com is free to sell the game a second time in the used market where they don’t give any cut to the publisher. In this case, if a game carried a $10 credit, Amazon.com sells it for $60, subtracts the $10 in revenue from another purchase, leaving us at $50. They later buy the game back for $30, and sell it again for $50. They’ve taken in $110 revenue and paid out $40, for a net price of $70 for what was originally a $60 game. It’s also possible that that same game comes back in as used again and out the door multiple times, each time making Amazon a bit more profit.

The system is amazing both for Amazon.com and for its customers. For people who buy 2-3 games per month, the preorder bonuses get used and rarely expire, making their hobby just a bit cheaper. It’s up to them if they want to trade the games back in to Amazon, but it’s just as good of a place as any to do so. Amazon has created a system where the retailer increases their revenues but still manages to lower prices for the end consumer. In these days it’s truly rare to see a win-win scenario between retailer and customer, and Amazon should definitely be commended for what they’ve built.

Note: For those unaware of what Amazon Prime is, it’s a yearly fee that Amazon users can pay in order to receive free 2-day and heavily discounted overnight shipping on all eligible items (basically anything shipped by Amazon). It also gives users free release day delivery on many of the bigger name video games.

Go to Gamestop…now!

I’m not Gamestop’s biggest fan, but I don’t believe that they’re evil either. Right now they actually have a pretty strong sale going on for new games. Many pretty good games can be found for up to 50% off. Here’s some of the notable games I saw on the list. I bolded the ones that I found particularly appealing.

Nintendo DS

  • Final Fantasy III – $15
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution – $15
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 – $20
  • Metal Slug 7 – $15
  • Chrono Trigger – $30
  • Exit DS – $10

Sony PSP

  • Worms: Open Warfare – $10
  • Tomb Raider: Anniversary – $15
  • Final Fantasy I – $10
  • Final Fantasy II – $10
  • Silent Hill: Origins – $10
  • Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles – $10
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions – $15

Xbox 360

  • Call of Duty 2 – $15
  • Tomb Raider: Anniversary – $15
  • Guitar Hero: Aerosmith – $10

Nintendo Wii

  • Ghost Squad – $15
  • House of the Dead 2 & 3 Returns – $20
  • Guitar Hero: Aerosmith – $10

PlayStation 3

  • Valkyria Chronicles – $30
  • Guitar Hero: Aerosmith – $10
  • Call of Duty 3 – $20

PlayStation 2

  • Devil May Cry Greatest Hits Set – $20
  • Resident Evil: The Essentials – $20
  • Metal Gear Solid: Essential Collection – $30
  • Guitar Hero: Aerosmith – $10
  • Persona 3: FES – $20
  • Mortal Kombat Kollection – $20

There are also a ton of UMD movies all marked at $5 a pop. PC game selection was weak, but some of the Blizzard Battle Chests were there for $20, and there were a few accessories marked down as well. All in all, you could stock up quite a few games to have around if your gaming budget ever runs dry or if you need to pass the time through some release droughts. Summer is also going to be here before you know it, and there’s no better way to waste the best time of the year than in your basement playing games completely oblivious to the outside world.

PlayStation 2 now $99

Pretty much everybody has a PS2 by now, but in case you passed on it last generation and you don’t have a backwards compatible PS3, it’s time to pick a PS2 and see what the fuss is/was all about. There are countless games worth playing on the PS2, including some all-time classics that shouldn’t be missed by serious gamers. Yes, the PS2 is serious stuff.

ps2

Honestly, it’s probably worth buying a system at this price just to play Shadow of the Colossus, if nothing else.

Killer Deals of the Moment

Since I love all of you, I figured I’d post some nice deals that I ran into checking out games on Amazon. In my opinion, the games listed here are well worth the price of entry, at these prices. In the case of Patapon and Zak & Wiki, that is actually full retail price, but you should go ahead and grab them now, as a price drop will most likely be a long time coming.

The prices below are for the games if you bought them new. If you buy used, from a private seller, you can most likely pick them up for 25%-50% less.

  • The Orange Box (PC) – $29.99 IF YOU DON’T BUY THIS YOU’RE AN IDIOT!
  • Assassin’s Creed (360) – $39.99
  • Assassin’s Creed (PS3) – $39.95
  • Patapon (PSP) – $19.97
  • Zak & Wiki (Wii) – $29.99
  • Dead Rising (360) – $29.99
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas (360) – $29.99

Buy BioShock, get The Darkness free

Pretty nifty deal, huh? Right now, until February 3rd, if you pick up BioShock at Gamestop, you’ll receive a free copy of The Darkness. If you don’t have BioShock yet, somehow 2K games has managed to give you another reason to do so immediately. While I personally felt that the The Darkness was a bit of a disappointment, it’s definitely worth playing through for the interesting mechanics and setting.

bioshock.jpg

BioShock finished second in my personal top 10 games of 2007, and it’s won many, many, game of the year awards from other publications and media outlets. I know that many of us are dealing with some crazy post-holiday backlogs, but you really should promote BioShock to the top of you list. Don’t be silly, buy this game!

Again, you only have until February 3rd to take advantage of the deal.

UPDATE: Super cheap preorders at Wal-Mart.com

Update: The pricing has been changed back to regular MSRP. No word yet on whether or not Wal-Mart will honor the orders already placed.
This might be a pricing error, but many preorders at Wal-Mart.com are worth checking out. The most notable games are:

Wii – Super Smash Bros.: Brawl – $20:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ…30411815755716

Xbox 360 – Devil May Cry 4 – $40:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ…14903098620702

PlayStation 3 – Haze – $30:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ…uct_id=6527031

Xbox 360 – Burnout Paradise – $40:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ…uct_id=7080024

Xbox 360 – Turok – $30
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5651618

Xbox 360 – Condemned 2: Bloodshot – $20
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=8217142

There are more games that are priced way below normal retail price. If it’s a mistake, there’s a chance that Wal-Mart will honor all orders that are placed before it gets corrected, and you could always cancel your order if they don’t honor the price. Who knows how long the prices will be active if it is an error…so be quick!