Bargain Hunting for Video Games

June 6th, 2007

super castlevania artwork
Yes, nothing beats old school Super Castlevania IV art!

Don’t you just love it when you go out on an early morning and find a quality game for a cheap price? It just feels that much more rewarding when some of that hard earned cash stays in your wallet. Now I haven’t been out looking for bargain for sometime now but that’s not to say that I don’t have a few tricks up my sleeve to help out you fortunate readers.

Rule 1 Wait until the time is right

If your buying thru your department stores then never, ever buy a game at full price, unless:

Now, the trick is to be patient and wait until the game is going out at a reduced line. Nowadays the wait isn’t all that long. You can find new release games drop $30 within 2/3 weeks of release.

The other thing to wait for is sales. Now department stores generally cycle through their specific reduction themes. That is just before easter time camping gear will be reduced as everyone likes to go camping over the easter break etc etc. This eventually happens with games, so hold off until that period comes and take advantage of it. You’ll find out about these sales if you check your letterbox weekly.

Also be weary of the clearance sales, some stores(like the one I work at) can’t stop having clearance sales, be it Stocktake, Christmas, Bellow Cost, Closing Down it doesn’t matter what excuse they make, you’d be stupid enough to not give it a try.

The other things to wait for are price markdowns down on the rrp. That is when a manufacturer releases a budget range of games or a tie in deal with a console. Try and guess when the markdowns will occur and then go for it. I bought my GBA SP about a week before it was put down $40 and then stuck in a few game bundles. It sucks, so don’t let it happen to you.

Rule 2 Vary your sources

The chances of you finding that cheap rare title increases dramatically when you look in places beyond your local shopping centre. Try places that you wouldn’t normally look. Here’s a few ideas:

different game/department stores
the buy/sell sections of the newspaper
garage sales
second hand stores
clearance/closing down sales
try online auction sites
online retailers
import your games
your local community forum trading post

Rule 3 Demand the cheapest

If your going to buy games anywhere then ask if you can get them a bit cheaper, even a few dollars. It always pays to ask. This works even better if you are going to buy a console in the package as well.

Now if you shop at a store where they claim to beat a competitors price, wait until one of their competitors has a good deal and then go and better it at the other store. Demand the cheapest, the mark ups are plain ridiculous.

Rules 4 Give Pre-owned a go

I’m rather against this whole buy pre-owned deal but in reality its not that bad. 2 of my Gamecube titles are pre-owned and they work fine. I picked up TimeSplitters 2(extremely rare and always full price in Australia) for $AUS30 instead of $AUS100+. My brother nabbed Tales of Symphonia for $AUS70 when it goes for $350 on eBay.

Pre-owned games are pretty easy to find these days, in Australia EB and Cash Convertors are fairly popular pre-owned games sellers. You can also buy second hand games down at garage sales or you can even buy some off your best mate.

When you are buying pre-owned make sure to check:

the return policies
the disc/cart condition
everything that’s included

Rule 5 Never stop looking

That is unless you have all of the games you would ever need, but that only exists in fairy tales.

If your a professional bargain hunter then you would have noticed the first error in the opening paragraph. That is I haven’t been out looking for bargain for sometime now and that’s the trick, you never stop looking. Whenever your out and about always have the bargain at the back of your mind. If your out shopping in a place which you normally don’t shop at, check out the local game stores as they may have a gem hidden away for a good price.

Alrighty folks, that should be enough help to at least get you started. If you’ve got any tips/tricks/success stories/whatever then leave me a comment. ^_^