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Posted by moonhead on Nov 19, 2007
The 'Save A Few Quid!' Buyers Guide

The 'Save A Few Quid!' Buyers Guide

Gaming is an expensive hobby and nobody can deny this, but we here at Game4Anything hope too impart some of our games buying wisdom. Not that we can make things cheaper but we might be able to point you in the direction of making your money go that little bit further.

In the main you can buy games and hardware either on the high street or on-line and if you’re smart enough you should be able to, in both environments, save a few quid off that RRP (recommended retail price) which with games can be anything up to £49.99 for a new next-gen title. So shall we start with the high street retailers?

On the high street you there are plenty of options, you obviously have the two major dedicated game shops in Game and Gamestation. Then there are the major music stores HMV and Virgin (soon to be Zavvi) and the supermarkets Sainsbury’s, Tescos, Asda and others. You can add on to these the electronics suppliers such as Curry’s and Comet and then bringing up the rear are the ever dwindling independent game stores. If you’re after an immediate discount off the RRP price of a newly released game you can discount using Game, Gamestation, the big music and electrical chains. Unless there is some sort of special offer like game of the week it will be sold at the RRP. In fact the best place to get immediate discounts of that RRP are the big supermarkets. Both Asda and surprisingly Morrisons offer significant discounts on the RRP price which can sometimes be as much as a tenner off. The supermarkets are also the only place where you will get a few quid slashed off the price of game consoles but you cannot normally get any bundle deals unless it is a pre-packed bundle direct from the consoles manufacturer. Bundles is where Game and Gamestation sort of win out although they will not discount the console itself they will discount games and accessories bought with the machine. The thing to watch here is the quality of the games in the bundle as what they tend to do is have one newly released quality title backed by up one or two rubbish games that are not selling well. Our advice would be, not to buy a console game bundle off the shelf. Instead, pick out exactly what you want and see what sort of deal they can offer you, and especially try a couple of shops in particular if you have a local independent game store nearby. Also when buying games on the high street you have with Game and Gamestation the ability to trade in your old titles in part exchange for new titles or cash on a gift card. In theory this sounds great but actually for me turns out to be a bit of a rip off as they tend to offer you a measly price for a title that is only a month old on average no more than £18.00 and then have the cheek to stick it back out on the shelf for say five pound less than a new copy if the same title at £34.99 so they end up making double back. I will only ever trade in nowadays when I am absolutely penniless and just cannot wait to get my hands on that new must have title. Even then I cannot escape the feeling of wanting to vomit as I hand over my old games, so please beware it really is not as good as it sounds. One last little tip with the high street in the run up to Christmas, consoles themselves can be hard to track down as they are flying off the shelves for Christmas presents remember to check places like supermarkets as well as specialist stores. It may sound strange but people forget that these other places sell consoles as well and occasionally stock lasts a little longer.

So we now come to on-line game buying and it is here where you will find the biggest discounts. You can split on-line buying into two with Ebay on one side and retailers on the other. Quite a lot of people are still quite scared when it comes to buying on-line and there really is no need as long as you stick to reputable sites and ensure they have secure payment areas or the ability to pay with Paypal you should not run into any problems.

Your first port of call when buying on-line from a retailer should be a price comparison site to check out who has the game you are after in stock and at the cheapest price. There are several price comparison sites but we recommend Games Tracker (http://uk.gamestracker.com/) as it is a dedicated site for video games and has a comprehensive list of retailers as well as a good community.

Before purchasing from a site Games Tracker recommends always check the retailers rating to see if they are reputable and offer a good service. Also keep an eye on delivery fees, Games Tracker should make it clear what these charges should be. Delivery for games on most sites is generally a nominal free. In general you should look to be saving around £7 – £10 a game and in some circumstances as much as £20 (I managed last week to pick up “PES 2008” for £29.99 which is £15 pound off the RRP). Even though I use Games Tracker I nearly always end up using the same 2 or 3 retailers as I trust them and their prices are always competitive these are Gameplay, Play.com and Shopto. Shopto (http://www.shopto.net/) in particular are a relatively new company and have really impressed me. Their prices have generally been the lowest via price checking on Games Tracker and there delivery is the quickest! In fact they aim to get any order made before 17:30 delivered within 24 hours. They also offer an interesting spin on selling your old games called “Sellto” you place the game for sale on Shopto’s website you pay for any postage to the buyer and they take 10% or a minimum of a pound and credit your account with the rest of the sale money to spend on the website. I have yet to try it myself (and don’t know anybody who has, if you have let us know how it went) but it looks a better way of doing the whole trade in business with both buyer and seller getting better value.

I have not mentioned buying hardware from on-line stores as I have never done it, it is just a personal thing and I just do not trust couriers (I have worked as one you see) to deliver safely a few hundred pounds worth of goods. Do not let this put you off I know loads of people who have ordered their machine on-line and had no problems. To be honest I enjoy the excitement of going to a store and carrying my new machine home. (Big kid you see!)

On to Ebay, a few weeks back on these very pages Drew quite rightly lamented the demise of the independent retailer. One quick look at Ebay though and you will see small shops selling games very competitively priced, could Ebay see the resurgence of the independent in a different guise? Let’s hope so. Also remember that Ebay is probably the best place to get a good return on your old games and also somewhere to look for those old retro classics. Drew himself has just found a Ebay store selling new releases at £25 – £30 called Offer House-UK. The game was cheap and arrived within 24 hours! Remember when using Ebay try to only pay through Paypal and check the sellers feedback history, number of sales and that they have made recent sales and very importantly check the delivery charges as some Ebay shops items may look cheap but they load the delivery price. Use these simple steps and all should go well.

Well that is it for now happy bargain hunting, and if you know of any other ways of saving money or know of any shops dishing out unbeatable bargains for our favourite past time get in touch by leaving a comment.

Moonhead.

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  1. […] that. For those of you interested in learning some tips in how to save money when buying games read this article I wrote nearly 2 years ago. Also please comment below on whether you agree or disagree with my […]

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