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Game Sale Fever: A Survival Guide

The first time I ever went to a Best Buy with my girlfriend, she got to see a side of me that only comes out when browsing the games section.  A look of horror swept her face as I squealed with happiness.  You see, Killer 7 was on sale for the Gamecube for the low price of $9.99 and I had been looking for it for some time.  I’m a nut for good deals on games, but you do have to be careful.  Some deals are not always what they seem.

Spring is finally here and stores are celebrating by giving us some enticing offers.  With sales going on this week at Gamestop, Best Buy, Toys R Us and a lot of the online retailers, it’s hard to know how to spend your money.  While, in the end, it will be up to you, I’m here to share my experiences with the excitement and the pitfalls of different kinds of deals.

The Buy-One Get-One Something...

This is one of the most common sale of all and it can come in many forms.  It can be a great deal, but it’s always wise to do your homework before walking out of the store.  With this type, check around to see what the price would be to get each game separately at another store.  Sometimes I’ve noticed prices either being the same (if not lower) to do this.  It’s also a good practice to make sure that the second game is one that you intend to play, especially if the savings is only happening when both games are purchased.  If not, it may just end up rotting in your backlog forever.  It is also ideal in these situations if the games are the exact same price.  If you find two games that you equally want to play for the same price and it would save some dough (best case scenario), then go for it!

The Multi-Game Pack

Also quite common, this one is very similar to the previous example.  The most common version of this would be a collection of a series of games.  The only danger here is the temptation to re-buy a game you already have in order to complete the series.  One way around this would be to trade in your old game towards the purchase of the collection, but again you want to make sure it’s not costing you more that way in the end.  This deal is a great way to fill out a collection or get caught up in a new series.

The OMG Free Money

Sometimes, they just say “Buy it from us and we’ll give you money!”.  Hard to argue with that.  Again, just do your homework because if the game costs less somewhere else then you’re not even spending that money to begin with.  Think of it as cash automatically being added to your account.  This one is the easiest to research, because all you have to do is check the prices.  If the price before the monetary kickback is equal or lower than other prices then this is a no-brainer, go for it!

The Low Low Prices!

Sometimes hidden in the depths, sometimes thrown in your face, this sale is the most common and most beneficial.  It does however, come with pitfalls of its own.  Checking around to see if the lowest price is being offered is definitely part of it.  The most important thing (and the one I’ve failed to adhere to myself) is making sure, no matter how low the price is, it is a game you actually intend to play.  There’s something thrilling about paying five dollars for something that cost sixty at one point.  Don’t let that thrill get the best of you though, because if you never play that five-dollar game, the money was still wasted.  This is the kind of sale that I search for deep in the game section and the one that got me Killer 7 at Best Buy that day.

Game sales are what keep penny-pinchers playing games and keep us entertained during the slow months of the year.  They are both fun and exciting and I personally look forward to them occurring.  Happy shopping!

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