The Cheap Ass' Survival Guide to Saving Money on Video Games
Microsoft's Bing Cashback program, previously known as Live Cashback, allowed shoppers to get a percentage of their purchase price returned to them. This percentage fluctuates constantly, and can range anywhere between two- to 30-percent cashback. Popular stores that participate in this program include Bestbuy.com, Walmart.com, Buy.com and eBay.com. The only drawback is that you're often going to wait over two months for your money to show up in your account. Pay using Paypal, however, and you'll see the money sooner. So you want that ridiculously overpriced PSPGo real bad, huh? Wait for the 30% return on eBay. That can save you at least 60 bucks.
2. Don't Trade in Your Games at GameStop.
Although the instant gratification of trading in your games to GameStop for store credit can be tempting, don't be a sucker. GameStop's buy back prices are horrible compared to almost any other video game retailer. Instead, sell your games on eBay. It's a bit more work, but you'll also get a lot more money. If you really need that store credit, Amazon has better store credit rates, if you're willing to wait around 10 days to receive the credit. Here's a comparison of the average buy back prices of two relatively new games from different outlets:
Modern Warfare 2: $30
Assassin's Creed 2: $30
Modern Warfare 2: $37.50
Assassin's Creed 2: $37.50
Modern Warfare 2: $43
Assassin's Creed 2: $51.00
(Note: Prices checked on 12/14/2009 at 8:30 pm)
3. Check out CheapassGamer.com
Cheapassgamer.com is a website designed by bargain hunters, for bargain hunters. What makes cheapassgamer.com different from any other discount bargain site is their price tracker. Let's just say, for example, that you really want to buy Punch Out!! for the Wii and you refuse to pay more than $2 for a copy. What a cheap skate you are! All you have to do is set the slider bar on $2, and you'll receive an email notification once the game reaches that price point. Simple, huh? Just don't expect to ever hear from them again if you're going to be that cheap.
4. Buy Games from Amazon.com
Amazon is a popular place to shop for gamers. Many of their prices are marked significantly below MSRP, even before the official release date of the game. To top that off, many states are exempt from paying tax when purchasing items sold from Amazon, including California. Spend over $24, and you'll also get free shipping. Let's take Assassin's Creed 2 again as an example;
On release day, Evil Gamestop sells the game for...
$59.99 + 8.75% Orange County Tax = $65.24
On release day, the great Amazon.com sells the game for ...
$50.99 + no tax + no shipping = $50.99 (on top of that, they throw in a $10 gift card)
5. Check out FatWallet.com and SlickDeals.net
Similar in structure to Amazon (but without the price tracker), these two websites list deals for all sorts of goodies, not limiting itself to video games. Who knows, you may come across a deal you never know you needed. I'm currently enjoying my 20 pounds of paper for $10. Thanks, SlickDeals!
6. Don't Buy Games on Release Day
Games, unlike most entertainment mediums, quickly drop in price over time. I realize how tempting it must be to pick up a game as soon as it hits store shelves, but try to to resist that urge. Last year's Dead Space, for example, was released on October 14 for $59.99. By the time November came around, the game was already $30. Now you can find a new copy of the game for $15. As long as you can resist that urge to own everything right away, you can save yourself some serious cash.
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