Written by Erik Kubik, kube00 Wednesday, 04 July 2012 06:00
Being a budget conscious gamer and playing all the new releases are tough these days. Do gamers just go out and buy on day one? Should they wait to see who has the better deal, or wait for a price drop? Can a Mom and Pop store survive against the likes of Gamestop/Best Buy/Amazon?
Looking at the big games stores it's tough to decide who has the best deals. Amazon is a hot spot for gamers these days. Often times Amazon’s day one prices are better than what Gamestop/Best Buy offers. Their Warehouse deals for used games is fantastic and that should be the first places gamers check for used games. A great example of this is that the Amazon Warehouse has had Vitas for $160 and Lego Batman 2 for less than $40. They do take trade in’s and this is the weakest area, often times I've discovered Gamestop/Best Buy will offer more.
Gamestop, love it or hate it, this store is here for the long haul. Most gamers hate their used game policy, the pressure to pre-order, and the way they handle new games. But their coupons and their PowerUp Rewards program can be very beneficial to a savvy consumerist. Often times I have found used games at great prices before other retailers drop the prices. Their trade in and get an extra $10/$20/$30 or extra 30% has come in handy quite a few times for getting rid of games that most retailers will only offer a $1 for.
Best Buy has a trade in program. Most of the trade in values fall between Gamestop and Amazon. They’ve offered a 100% bonus for games you trade in before. Sometimes they have deals on pre-order bonuses. Their used game selection is a lot smaller than Gamestop's. Their employees can be annoying and not very knowledgeable, but at least they don't bug the potential customers about pre-ordering. But like with Amazon, you can use their credit on other items besides video games. The @Gamer magazine has great monthly coupons which makes that alone a reason to shop at Best Buy.
Gamers cannot forget about the timeless Mom and Pop store. There are a few in my area. Bigger cities may have more. Most of the time they do not follow universal price drops and sometimes their pricing on games is terrible. For example everyone drops Syndicate down to $30, the Mom and Pop store still has it at $60. But often times gamers can find older, rarer games for a lot less than other places. The Mom and Pop may offer more trade in credit and if you are a regular customer maybe you'll get a better deal.
There are so many other retailers out there worth mentioning. Target has great deal on clearance games and can have good TVs. Glyde.com is a great online place to shop as they play middle man between the seller and buyer, much like eBay does. With Glyde though I feel a lot more comfortable buying used games and selling my games and getting a fair price. Wal-mart has deals sometimes, they offer pre-orders, and some of the stores will take games for trade in. Kmart has a great program for earning discounts on future purchases. They still have good prices on a lot of games. Toys ‘R’ Us also has good deals, most of the time on new games but they seem to frequently have B2G1 sales. Play ‘N’ Trade is a franchise I'm not familiar with, but from what I hear they have good deals on games, from retro to modern and are worth checking out. I couldn't forget Hastings and GoHastings.com, a chain primarily in the West Coast and the Midwest. Hastings has pretty poor pricing on new games. They don’t follow universal price drops very close. But they do have great deals on their online store and are always having sales.
Hopefully, as a gamer you live in an area where you have access to a few different stores to help you spend your money. For me it comes down to Amazon vs Best Buy vs. Gamestop with Target/Hastings/Gylde/eBay intermixed. Gamers just need to patiently watch the prices deals to score the best deal possible on trade ins and buying games.