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Save money on video games

Save Money on Video Games

Video games are growing in popularity as family entertainment, but it can become an expensive hobby. Here are some ways to enjoy video games on a tighter budget.

Don’t be an Early Adopter

This is a big rule for all electronics if you want to save money. It’s better to wait for second and third generations of electronics, especially gaming consoles, to avoid bugs and known issues. Most companies will have a price drop after the initial excitement of their product wears off so if you wait, you can get a much better deal.

Buy a Used Gaming System

The next step to save money is to buy a used gaming console. Game Stop, Amazon and Craigslist are all good places to start. You will probably find the best deal on Craigslist, but you have to be savvy to avoid buying a nonworking or about-to-break system. To play it safe, you can buy one from Amazon or Game Stop and it comes with a return policy.

Rent Games with GameFly

GameFly is the Netflix for video games. You pay a subscription (1 discs at a time is $15.95 and 2 discs is $22.95) and can rent and return video games by mail. I have personally used this service and am quite happy with it. If there is still a Blockbuster or another movie rental store near you, you can rent games there, but if not, you are probably limited to GameFly or RedBox.

Buy Used Games

For games that you want to buy, buy them used. Used games are priced at a fraction of new games and are generally in good or perfect condition. You can buy used games on Craigslist, at GameStop or another video game equivalent, on Amazon or eBay. If you’re buying in person, make sure to check the disc for scratches. You can also shop around to see what market price is for particular games.

I’m an advocate of not buying games unless you’re going to play them for a long time or they’re really, really cheap. If you rent a new game (retail $60) for two weeks from GameFly, you’re paying less than $20 for it. If it’s something you’re going to play for months, usually games with online play, then buy it, otherwise you’re better off financially to rent games.

Trade-in or Sell Old Games

For games that you’re no longer interested in owning, you can trade them in or sell them. All the big electronics retailers have trade-in programs. Game Stop, Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy all have video game trade-in programs. You can also sell them yourself on eBay or Craigslist to get a higher profit.

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