Video gamers, rejoice! Today is Video Games Day, a timely celebration of all things gaming. During the peak heat, there’s nothing better than drawing the blinds and escaping into your favorite fantasy world, whether it’s filled with carjacking thugs or mushroom-hyped Italians. Video games can be a costly addiction. According to Strategic Analytics, an estimated $62 billion will be spent worldwide on video games in 2014. Considering a top title for a new game console runs about $49.99 these days, applying a smart shopping strategy will ensure you keep on gaming without going broke. Before you run out to pick up the hottest new release, consider these video game savings tips to win a deal.
1. Trade In
Many electronic retailers offer trade-in programs where consumers can swap old games and consoles for credit or cash toward new stock. GameStop often features special promotions like an extra 50-percent credit when you trade in any system toward a new PS4 or Xbox One. At Amazon, submit your items online and receive a free shipping label to send them in, all in exchange for an Amazon gift card. Check out trade-in programs at other stores like Walmart, Target and Best Buy to see who offers you the most credit.
2. Compare Used Game Prices
Buying used is an obvious way to save money on video games, but make sure you compare used-game prices before buying. While GameStop is a popular used-game outlet, sometimes Best Buy offers better prices on popular titles. Use PriceGrabber.com or their in-store comparison app to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
3. Keep Tabs on Price Drops
In addition to comparing prices, tracking price drops can help you land the best deal on your favorite video game. Browser add-ons like Hukkster will send you an email notification when your coveted game goes on sale or drops in price.
4. Join a Club
Members of the My Best Buy Gamers Club receive such benefits as 20-percent off new video games for two years, double points for new video game software, digital content and accessories, two points for every dollar on trade-ins, 10 percent bonus trade-in credit, 10-percent off pre-owned games and much more. Beyond such clubs designed for the dedicated gamer, casual players can take advantage of rewards programs that earn points towards discounts on new purchases, like PowerUp Rewards at GameStop.
5. Review Return Policies
Seasoned gamers know that full refunds on new games are reserved only for undisturbed packaging. The minute that plastic comes off, your only option is to sell the game for credit at a used game outlet. Returning used games can result in a full refund within a specific timeframe, however, so review return policies thoroughly before buying.
6. Use Gift Cards
You can save a few bucks on your favorite video game titles by purchasing them with discount gift cards. Sites like GiftCardGranny.com offer gift cards for less than face value to GameStop and Best Buy, where you can save up to 5 percent off your purchase.
7. Look for Pre-Order Deals
Those planning to purchase a video game shortly after the release should consider pre-ordering since many stores offer a discount or extra rewards. Though you’ll pay full price for the game, shoppers will typically receive bonus content like online passes, map packs and bonus points. For example, Best Buy offers a $10 reward certificate for each pre-order game.
8. Check out GameDealDaily
There’s a daily deal for everything these days and it’s no surprise there’s a site dedicated to discounts on video games. At GameDealDaily.com, gamers can find huge savings on video games, consoles and accessories. The site features a single daily deal posted on the homepage for 24 hours or until the product sells out. New daily deals are posted each night at midnight Eastern, so sign up for emails to stay on top of the offers.
9. Research the Game
Commercials can make even the most basic video game appear exciting. Before you rush out and buy the latest fad, let the early adopters test it out and read reviews online. Once you’re assured the game is worth your investment, feel free to buy.
10. Save Beyond the Store
The best deals on video games can be found over the weekend by browsing local garage and moving sales where you can typically negotiate prices and pick up a games and consoles for just a few dollars. There’s also eBay and Craigslist if you’re looking for deals on something specific.
About the Author
Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc., who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.