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Let’s face it: no matter how old you get, there’s always that special place in your heart for your favorite video games. The only problem? You may not have that special spot in your wallet to cover the desires of your heart. After all, video games are incredibly expensive regardless of whether you are shopping retro or for new-release video games. In this article, we are going to look at how to save on video games so that you can really “take your game (and wallet) to the next level!”
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You Can Save on Video Games If You…
I know, video games cost an arm and a leg. Trust me, I’ve been hearing that from my wife ever since we got married. Actually, this was what prompted me to find some great ways to save on video games and still enjoy one of my favorite pastimes. And now, I’m sharing them with you. Here we go!
1. Get an Amazon Prime Membership
Online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay have already become incredible places to buy video games from due to their usually discounted prices compared to traditional game stores. However, Amazon recently sweetened the deal for video game pre-orders through its Amazon Prime Program.
Any Prime members who order a video game before its release through Amazon will receive 20% off of the original price. Prime membership costs $100/year for the subscription, and it is $50/year for students. Besides games, it comes with a whole slew of other benefits like free two-day shipping and access to a free video network through Amazon Instant Video.
2. Find a Local Games Shop for Your Video Game Needs
I still remember the first time my friends and I walked through the doors of Game Haven–a local video game store that had been started by two young college students who loved video games more than anything. They taught us more about video games and how to save on video games than we had ever learned before!
It was there that we were able to purchase all sorts of retro games that weren’t available anywhere else. Furthermore, and more importantly, the prices at this store were cheaper than anywhere else that we could find, even online! See if you can find a local games shop that isn’t nationally branded. You never know, you may find great deals at such a location!
3. Purchase Discount Gift Cards First
Have you ever had somebody give you a gift card that you couldn’t use? You may have been willing to sell that gift card for a large discount to someone else who you knew would need it in exchange for cash. Recently, gift card exchange marketplaces like Raise and Gift Card Granny have been popping up online to allow individuals to make exactly these kinds of trades.
If you want to game, why not buy a discounted gift card for the gaming store that you plan to shop at? To you, that gift card is as good as cash. Try looking at online marketplaces like Raise, Cardpool, and Gift Card Granny to find discounted gift cards that can save you money on gaming purchases.
4. Buy Used Games Instead of New Ones
The only real reason that you should ever buy a new game is if you plan to hold that game unopened in its original shrink wrap because you think you can sell it far in the future as some sort of investment. Otherwise, there is never any good reason to purchase a game when it comes out (excluding Amazon’s pre-order discount discussed above).
Instead, consider purchasing games one to two weeks after they come out. I have found on secondary marketplaces that most games will drop in price by $10 to $15 during that time period, and that amount of money can save a pretty penny when you add up all of your game purchases during the year.
5. Subscribe to Gaming Newsletters and Magazines
In many instances, gaming companies will send out coupons and discount codes in the materials they publish to draw in more business. By subscribing to newsletters for stores that sell video games like Target and Best Buy, you may find that you receive 10% off codes and other bonuses in the mail from time to time.
We also recommend signing up for any free gaming magazine subscriptions that you can find. They often provide great discount codes for various games and systems. They can also give you more tips on how to save on video games.
6. Choose Renting Instead of Buying
With digital downloads and streaming services being as easily accessible as they are today, it may be worth your while to consider renting games instead of buying them. Places like Redbox kiosks and online stores like Gamefly allow gamers to test drive games. You rent them for a few days at a time instead of going all in on a purchase immediately.
Personally, I can usually beat a game in a couple of days (2-4). Assuming I spend four days playing a new game, I can either purchase that game for $60 or rent it for four days for $8. You do the math: renting is a great option if you want to know how to save on video games.
7. Put Games in Your Online Cart…Then Leave
Knowing how to save on video games requires being aware of a few key tricks of the trade. One of them that can be executed when shopping online is putting a video game into your cart for checkout and then leaving the site entirely for a day or two.
In many cases, if you have already created an account with the seller website (thereby giving them your email address), you may find that the seller will contact you with an offer email to entice you to complete your purchase. These offers can range from anywhere from 5%-25% off your purchase price!
8. How to Save on Video Games? Wait for Great Sales Periods
Black Friday and the day after Christmas are some of the best times to purchase video games. Cyber Monday (the Monday after Black Friday) is usually a great day for sales as well. During these times of the year, sellers are desperately trying to flip inventory to make their fourth quarter reports look good for investors. This means that incredibly enticing deals for video games are coming your way.
Always look for holiday-related and company-related deals and sales periods. They could help you save a lot of money on your gaming purchases.
9. Purchase Bundled Games When Possible
I would never suggest that you buy a video game bundle just because you’re looking for a good deal. Often, you will get price gouged if you don’t truly want all of the games being offered in a bundle.
Still, there are rare times when all of the stars align just right and there is a great deal available on a bundle that has all the games that you want. Make sure to stay on the lookout for offers like these, as they can really help you save some cash.
10. Use a Rewards-Based Credit Card
There are a couple of great credit card programs out there that can help you save money on games. The Amazon Visa Rewards card can save you 5% on all Amazon purchases. This translates to direct video game savings if you shop there. The Playstation Rewards card is also a great option for those of you who are Playstation-oriented gamers.
No matter who you are, try to locate credit cards that will offer rewards programs which can help you save some cash on video games and accessories.
Knowing how to save on video games can really save you quite a lot of money. If you apply the methods described in this article, you will usually save a minimum of 5% on most game purchases. Moreover, you will usually save somewhere between 10-25% on purchases.
So, get out there and enjoy all that the world has to offer, you gamers! Now that your wallet won’t be crying anymore, neither will you!