10 Easiest Ways to Save Money on Video Games

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Video gaming is quickly becoming a very expensive hobby. Not only are the prices of games going up, but once you factor in the cost of consoles or gaming computers, accessories, and the cost of internet access, it’s easy to see why many cannot afford to game as much as they would like. There are ways to save money, though. Some options are obvious, some more obscure. Here we’ll outline our favorite money-saving tactics when it comes to gaming.

1)Watch for Sales.

This seems a little on the nose, but watching and waiting for good sales is a great way to save money. Target recently ran a sale, buy one game get one half off. With the holidays coming up, many stores will be running great sales. Don’t just focus on typical gaming stores, though. Watch for sales at stores like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, etc. I happened upon a nice wireless keyboard and mouse set at Target one day on clearance for $9.  Also, watch online. Online retailers like Amazon will run great sales, some unadvertised. Sometimes, Amazon will sell bundles as well. They will bundle together two or more games or a console with games for a discounted rate.

2)Buy used.

This option can be a little tough when you really want a new release game. However, if you can wait even a couple weeks, you can usually find the game for up to half off its original sale price. You can find used games at places like Gamestop, but for real savings, check out sites like eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook marketplace. By buying directly from another person, you cut out the middle man and the mark up. You can also try to haggle the price down, just be nice about it. I’ve found several instances on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace of a mom selling off her kids games and consoles for super cheap. Sucks for the kids but great for you.

3)Trade.

When I say trade, I don’t mean at a gaming store. You’ll be lucky to get a fraction of the selling price. Try to trade amongst your friends and other gamers.  If you have a trustworthy group of friends, you can even set up a cost share program. You can all chip in and buy a game and then share it amongst your group. Just be careful to set up ground rules ahead of time.

4) Sell old games/ accessories

Again, I don’t mean at a gaming store, you just won’t get much for any of it. If you have old games you’re not playing, an old console you don’t use any more, or if you want to upgrade, consider selling your items on a site like Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. Even if you price your items competitively, you will still get more money than selling them at a gaming store. You can also sell your items on sites like eBay and Amazon, but in my personal experience, you tend to get more money selling on local sites. That way you can avoid shipping costs and service fees. You can then use the money you made from selling your items to go buy new games and accessories.

5) Rent games.

Rather than buy games, you can rent them. Gamefly, a Netflix-like subscription service, allows you to rent games through the mail. They have a great selection and you can keep the game as long as you like (if you keep paying the monthly subscription) and trade it out if you don’t like it. The only downside is you have to wait for the game to come in the mail. Redbox also rents games very cheaply. You can get the game instantly, but they do sell out of new releases quickly.  With renting, you don’t get to keep a physical copy, but you do get to play the game. If you really like it, you can always buy it later (when it’s older and cheaper).

6) Pre-Order

When a new game is about to be released, some gaming companies will allow pre-orders. Sometimes these pre-orders come at a discount. Usually, the discount is only around 10%, but every bit off helps. Check with your local stores about pre-orders for your favorite games. If you have a Target locally, check their Cartwheel app. They often have special deals on pre-orders that are only available through Cartwheel. I have seen pre-orders for major new release games for 50% off through Cartwheel.

7) Watch for Coupons

Coupons aren’t just for toothpaste anymore. Sometimes gaming magazines will offer coupons to some gaming stores or promo codes to online retailers.  The aforementioned Cartwheel app through Target frequently has coupons for new games and pre-orders. You can also check the ads in mailers and the Sunday edition of your local paper. These sale papers often have coupons for local stores.

8) Thrift Stores

You probably won’t find the latest releases sitting on a Goodwill shelf, but thrift stores can be a great option.   I can’t count how many times I’ve gone into a thrift store and seen stacks of games for $2 or less or consoles for ridiculously cheap. Smaller mom and pop type thrift stores tend to have the best deals. Plus, many thrift stores benefit a charity so you can help others on top of saving money.

9) Online Promo Codes

If you’re shopping online, never check out before searching for a promo code. Nine times out of ten, you can find a code for a discount or free shipping. Sites like RetailMeNot.com and Coupons.com compile popular promo codes. You can also go to a search engine and type “{website} promo code” and search that way.  I will warn you though, that I rarely find promo codes for eBay and Amazon.  Other sites though usually have at least a few promo codes floating around.

10) Buy Discounted Gift Cards

This saving trick is a little more “roundabout,” but can save you some money. Sites like eBay, CardPool, Raise.com, and GiftCard Granny sell discounted gift cards, sometimes at pretty significant savings.  You can buy discounted giftcards to stores like Target, BestBuy and GameStop, and then use the cards to buy games and accessories. For example, one of the sites has a GameStop gift card for sale. The card has a value of $25, but the site is selling it for $20. Order the card, and then use it to buy a $25 game. It’s like having a $5 off coupon or hitting a good sale.

 

Do you have any other money-saving tips? Let us know in the comments below!

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