New video games can be expensive, and sometimes only provide a few hours’ entertainment before they are set aside and forgotten. Gamers on a budget can buy used games to build their libraries instead. This can be done through retail stores, websites, or through less formal means.
Buying Used Video Games at a Retail Store
Used video games have long been available to buy from stores that rent video games, such as Blockbuster. Selling off used games as “Pre-Owned” or “Previously Enjoyed” has long been a way for stores to get rid of excess rental inventory. Recently, even retailers such as Best Buy have begun stocking used computer and console games.
But gamers should be aware that retail stores tend to mark up used games for resale. With more recent games, the price of a used copy may only be ten or fifteen dollars less than what the same title costs brand-new. Consumers pay a premium for the convenience of buying from an established chain.
Also, some retailers who specialize in video games may charge a lot for “collectible” copies of games, such as old 8-bit cartridges of Nintendo or Sega games. Gamers who wish to play 1980s classics might be better off with software emulation rather than trying to track down such rare copies.
Online Options to Buy Used Video Games
Used games can also be purchased online through eBay or similar auction sites. As a general rule, newer games end up selling for more, while older games, especially for consoles which are no longer available at retail, can be bought for a lot less.
Online retailers can also be a good source for old games which may never have been used. These include remainders, opened or mismatched packages, and other perfectly good copies which are otherwise unsaleable as new.
Like brick-and-mortar stores, online video game rental services also sell used games to cut down stock as demand for certain titles drops. Some online renters even let their subscribers simply pay extra to keep the game they have just rented, which can be very convenient for both parties.
Other Ways to Find Used Games
Trading games is another method to get a video game for less than full retail price. Often retailers will accept old games for trade-in when buying a new title. However, gamers usually get only a fraction of the original retail cost of the game in such trade-ins, as the retailers must be able to re-sell the used game at a profit.
There are also websites which, for a small fee,? facilitate swaps between gamers. Even sites like Amazon.com have experimented in giving store credit for video game trade-ins.
Of course, gamers can also trade among friends, or buy used games at garage sales and other informal venues. While this can cost very little – or even nothing – the choices may be severely limited. On the other hand, such old-fashioned local methods are often the best way to find a bargain on hard-to-ship items or complete gaming systems.
Used Video Games For Less
Getting a good price on a used video game is a matter of balancing priorities. The more convenient the option, or the newer the game, the more it will generally cost.
Buying a used game from a big retailer may be the best option for those without the time to shop around. Those looking to save the most money, or looking for more obscure titles, will have to track down sellers themselves, whether locally or online.