Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cheap Geek: Saving on Video Games

Paying too much for video games?One of the banes of being a gamer is the high cost of buying new games to play.  No one loves shoveling out $60 or more every time an interesting game is released (especially me!).  The good news is, just like almost everything else in life, there are multiple ways to save money on video games!  Many people will tell simply tell you to buy games used instead of new.  While there is no problem with that, there are others that frankly just prefer new games.  There are many, many ways to buy a game brand new and still save tons of money (sometimes more than buying used!)
Here are some of the better ways:
  • Preorder
    • What? I can save money by preordering games?  Don’t I have to pay full price?”  Yes! You can save lots of money by preordering the games you want and getting them before all your friends!  And yes, this will also require you to pay full price (or near full price)--up front, anyway.  One of the best ways to save money on video games, especially new releases, is preordering.  Wal-mart Preorder Video Game DealsMany websites--Wal-mart, Amazon, Newegg--often offer gift card deals when you preorder.  For example, at the writing of this post, Amazon is offering $20 credit when you preorder Portal 2.  Plus, you get $5 off.  How sweet is that?  You pay full price, but with the gift card coming back to you, it’s as if you paid $35.99, or 30% off.  The best way to use these deals is to continue preordering.  Take that $20 credit you got from your first preorder, and use it to preorder another game that offers $20 back.  Make sense?  You continually get $20 (30%) off the game before it even hits shelves.

  • Wait.  Just Wait.
    • Not too long!  While browsing the net for video game deals, I’ve noticed something.  Usually, two or three weeks after a game is released, stores start lowering prices to compete with other stores.  Many times, the price of a just-released game ($59.99) will be dropped down to $39.99, a savings of 30%!  All from simply waiting after the game was released. If you want to take this route, I suggest doing a lot of shopping around.  Don’t just go to one store.  Check Target, Best Buy, Wal-mart, Amazon, Newegg, or any other you can think of to see which ones have the lowest price that week.  Granted, you can always wait for a much longer period of time and watch the game’s price slowly fall throughout stores.

  • GameflyGamefly Logo
    • Gamefly is the Netflix of video games.  Once you have a subscription, you receive games in the mail, play them as much as you’d like and send them back when you’re done.  Just like Netflix, you can choose to have one, two, three, or four games out at a time.  After you send one back, the next game in your queue (as long as it’s available) is sent to you. 
    • Having a Gamefly subscription can really save you money if you’re the type of gamer who likes to play through new games quickly and move on to the next one.  Instead of purchasing each game, get it in the mail and send it back once it’s finished.  My boyfriend and I like to use Gamefly to try out new games before actually purchasing them.  We can try out just-released games and send them back if we’re not impressed.  No money wasted on buying the game!  If you do end up wanting to keep a game, Gamefly gives you the option of buying a game you have out, usually at a discounted price.  And the longer you stay a member, the better discounts you get for buying games.  If interested, you can sign up for Gamefly and get a one month free trial right here.

  • Buy.  And Sell.
    • I’m not a fan of this method, mostly because I like to keep the games I like, but some people swear by it.  Basically, buy a game, play through it, and when you’re done head to one of the many stores that purchases games like Gamestop or Best Buy and sell it back.  Alternatively, some online stores like Amazon give you store credit for your games, or rewards sites like Swagbucks will give you points for trading in your used games. 
    • I guess, used with a method from above, like preorder deals or buying the game new at a discount, you could potentially get profit from selling games back.  But, I can’t be sure about that, since I’ve never sold a game back.

Readers: What do you think about my money-saving methods? Did I miss something? How do you save money on video games?

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