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PSA: How To Save Money On Your Games


Saving money is one of the hardest things to do � period. It requires tons of time, effort, and sometimes painstaking research to skim a few bucks off of your daily expenses.

But it certainly isn�t impossible, especially in the gaming realm, where technology and sales go hand in hand. Feel free to jump into my (hopefully) helpful guide below, and save a few bucks in the process. Warning: it�s pretty lengthy, so grab a discount Sam�s Club soda and relax.

Comparison Shop, Comparison Shop, Comparison Shop

Even though shopping at a retail location that doesn�t have some sort of store credit requires you to use real money, make sure you comparison shop on every outlet you can � Amazon, Gamestop, Goozex, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, iTunes, Steam � anything. In fact, if I had one rule of thumb for all consumers in any potential market, it would be �research before you buy � then research some more�.

How many times have you heard �I JUST bought this, and �X� store has it for $20 cheaper!� I think at any given point in time, Amazon has offered free same day shipping on a particular game, or any number of those other retailers have given a unique $5 gift certificate with a purchase. Read your Sunday ads before you head out on Tuesday to buy your game of choice.

Unfortunately for you, IP owners are now making it harder and harder to get your money back, in the form of digital distribution, and those two cringe inducing words printed on every Steam and iTunes EULA/TOS you've ever signed � �no refunds�.

If you can, try and stick with physical media to prevent this from happening � but don�t forget to attempt to embrace the digital age, because it is coming, and you can find superior deals � especially on Steam.

Use all the tools you can

Cheap Ass Gamer�s Trade in Value aggregator is pretty much the best thing ever. If you�re shopping around the trade-in market, you can easily pop all your games in, and get a running total of what your collection is worth. But the vast utility of the internet doesn�t stop there. You can also employ:

Good old fashioned Gamestop price check cold calling

Said CAG Trade In Value Tracker

Gamestop�s Trade-In deal listing

Online Coupon Code Services (think Amazon and Goozex)

Best Buy Price Matching

Forum Threads like this Steam Deal post

Dale [Deal] North of Destructoid Fame is one of the biggest Deal Hounds on the planet � follow him

Microsoft�s conveniently labeled Xbox Live Deal of the Week

An attempt to wade through the PSN Blog�s heap of posts to find a deal in there somewhere at some point when they feel like posting it

Amazon�s Deal of the Day, which is frequently a video game

Woot.com, which on occasion can suit your gaming needs

Think about registering for Goozex

No, it�s not a scam; it actually works! Goozex is a mediated game trading hub, that gives you �points� for your games. With the company guarantee (provided you use delivery confirmation), you will get your money back if someone tries to scam you � Goozex can check and see if the item was delivered, and, if need be, the game must be shipped to them for testing if the buyer is claiming the disc is scratched beyond repair.

It�s completely free to register, and sometimes the deals you find can�t be beat anywhere else. I would advise you to sign up, and trade the first new release you get bored of on Goozex. You�ll receive 1000 points (don�t try to equate them to other forms of currency, but if you have to, 1000 points is around a $60 game) for potential trades. Just by doing a quick comparison shop, I see:

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops on Amazon for $18 used


Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops on Goozex for 100 points, used

When you think about the fact that you could get 10 copies of Portable Ops through Goozex for a $60 game trade (which is essentially worth $200 in total): that�s a pretty sweet deal. While you might have to wait a few months to creep up on the top spot, as long as you�re willing to play the waiting game, you can save hundreds of dollars a year through this method.

Another Goozex strategy is �flipping� � that is, buying a game during Amazon�s insane half off a brand new game sales, and trading it on Goozex for 1000 points. Community members are usually really open about posting these deals, and if you become a swarthy enough bargain hunter, you can do the posting.

Here�s another huge tip � say you really want Red Dead Redemption, but don�t want to pay $60, or anywhere close to that. Just log onto Goozex.com, and immediately place the game on your �hold queue�. It will save your place in the waiting list, and three to four months down the line, when the Goozex point value drops to $30 or so, you can just make your choice active, and reap the benefits. A lot of Goozex members actually have all 100 hold spots filled, so make use of it!

As you can see I could talk about Goozex all day, so if you have any questions, post them below.

Your love/hate relationship with iTunes? Get over it

I�ll be the first to admit: I hated iTunes with a passion. While I was still going out to my local record store and buying the latest power metal CDs, teeny boppers were bragging about how cool it was to buy DRM-infused albums over the internet.

Well, now iTunes is much bigger than that. It has a vast library of $0.99 games that push 10-20 hour playthroughs. It has at least 10-20 daily free game sales. But most importantly: you can easily take advantage of all this.

Are you a He-Man Apple product hater? Well, you might cave in the future, so why not use and abuse Apple�s open marketplace while you can? Download iTunes, make an account, and just pick up these free games now. Maybe you�ll get an iPod Touch for Christmas: well, now you�ll have a myriad of free games to try out on it! Beat that Xbox Live, PSN, and WiiWare!

Pro-tip #1 � GET BARGAIN BIN � it�s a free version of AppSniper, with Push Notifications � in a nutshell, it updates you with every free/reduced price App daily

Scour FreeAppADay for the latest big promotion

Follow AppToday on Twitter and scour their free app list updated daily

Check out gaming blogs for updates on major free games (see what I did there?)

Consider Gamestop an option

I�ve seen Gamestop demonized way too many times in both the media and consumer realms � sometimes for good reason, but mostly because they had one bad experience with a snooty manager, which could happen anywhere.

Did you know that during their �extra 50% trade in value� promotion, Gamestop actually gave you $55 store credit for Mass Effect 2? Keep in mind this promotion lasted at least three weeks after the release of ME: 2, which was plenty of time to beat it twice as both Renegade and Paragon, claim your Cerberus Network Code, and return it for pretty much what you paid for it.

Make sure you take notes where I said "redeem your Cerberus Network Code". A handful of publishers (and recently, EA) have rolled out an initiative called �Project Ten Dollar�: an idea that essentially withholds $10 worth of content from you unless you buy the game new. A good way to get around this would be to buy the game, redeem the code for future use, trade it in (make sure you get a good deal � ie the $55 from Gamestop), then pick it back up at a later date, �Ten Dollar� code intact.

On occasion, like in the case of Dragon Age, new copies will actually provide you with $15 worth of content, netting you an even bigger savings. In fact, the new Madden is actually going to require you to have an �Online Play� license that is only free with new copies of the game.

But no matter how much Gamestop can pull through, sometimes, you�re going to get chumped. You�ll get a game for a Birthday gift, hate it, then go to Gamestop and want to slap the manager across the face for offering you $20 for your brand new unplayed copy of something that just came out that day. But that�s just business, and you don�t have to hate Gamestop for it � just leave, Goozex it, sell it on Half.com or Ebay, look for a trading forum � anything. Just don�t count out Gamestop forever � you may have already missed out on a few good deals because of it.

You never want to completely axe out a potential buyer just because you had a few bad experiences. As long as Gamestop isn�t holding a gun to your head and forcing you to accept pennies for your game, everything will be ok.

GameFly isn�t just a rental outlet

This guide is mainly meant for purchasing games, but even with the rental service GameFly, there is a viable ownership option. While it may not be quite as exciting as the guy in the picture would make it seem, GameFly is extremely tempting if you want to �own� a game (also known as never returning it) for $16 or $23 a month (for one or two games, respectively).

Once you get your grubby mitts on the two game plan, you can either keep one of them indefinitely (which works wonders with long legged multiplayer shooters), or purchase them at a discounted price, at which point GameFly will ship you the manual and case free of charge.

Well, that�s it for now folks � if I had any last words for you, it would be �always call your local 7-11, because they have no conception of what a street date is, and some of them do sell games�. Do you have any money saving tips to share below? Feel free to type away.

[I normally hate reposting things from my blog, but this was requested from a few community members - and tweaked accordingly - so I hope it helps out!]
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About Chris Carterone of us since 3:56 PM on 01.05.2009

Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!


Twitter - @DtoidChris

I'm married, and I've been playing games since I was 4. I still remember buying my own NES system at Sears and going home and playing Mario/Duck Hunt. Fast forward to the present, my wife and I now own a PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U.

If I had to choose a system I had the "best times" with, it would be a two way tie between the Sega Dreamcast and Sony Playstation 2. My favorite game series is Mega Man Classic, but I own every Metal Gear, Devil May Cry, Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, Wario, Tony Hawk, main series Final Fantasy, and Resident Evil game ever released in the US (and a lot more), so it's a close call!

There are too many good games out to count now, but I'm always itching to play my backlog of old PS2 action titles. I'll play anything and everything action-adventure, so if you have a game in mind, drop me a line! I have strong opinions regarding the financial decisions of many publishers, but at the end of the day, I'm willing to give anything a chance; especially if it comes recommended by a community member.

Oh; and in 2012 I started contributing to Destructoid.

Currently backed upcoming crowdfunding projects:

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Shenmue III

I also backed the Tiny Cartridge Patreon in 2014 for several months, but no longer back any gaming personality Patreon campaigns currently


Here is my story, from my humble beginnings as a c-blogger.

Carter's Quests (previously Magnalon's Quest):

2011 - Zelda
2012 - Resident Evil
2012 - Tony Hawk
2012 - Kingdom Hearts
2012 - Wario
2013 - Mega Man Classic
2013 - Devil May Cry
2013 - Mega Man X
2013 - God of War
2013 - Metroid
2014 - Diablo
2015 - Batman: Arkham
2018 - Souls/Dark Souls

Future - Pokemon
Future - Splinter Cell
Future - Mega Man Spinoffs
Future - Elder Scrolls
Future - Mario
Future - Platinum Games
Future - Kirby
Future - Clover
Future - Castlevania
Future - Metal Gear
Future - Tenchu
Future - Ninja Gaiden
Future - Onimusha
Future - Ape Escape
Future - Disgaea
Future - Twisted Metal
Future - Deception


Promoted (before I was staff):

Playing with Others: Phantasy Star Offline

Magnalon's quest to beat every Zelda in 2011

Tips for Securing Your Xbox Live Account


My top 20 games (in no particular order):

Resident Evil 5
Fallout: New Vegas
Dragon Age: Origins
Demon's Souls
Skies of Arcadia
Lunar 1 and 2
World of Warcraft: All Expansions
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Tenchu 2
Devil May Cry 3
Phantasy Star Online
Ape Escape 1
Rockman & Forte (Mega Man & Bass)
God Hand
Jet Set Radio Future
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Donkey Kong Country 2
Final Fantasy Tactics


God of War (2018)
Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Bayonetta 2
NieR: Automata
Guilty Gear Xrd
Mario Kart 8
Gravity Rush 2
Dark Souls III
Shovel Knight
D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die
Uncharted II
Yo-Kai Watch
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Ori and the Blind Forest
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Dark Souls II
Deception IV: Blood Ties
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Strider (2014)
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy
The Wolf Among Us
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Super Mario 3D World
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Dead Rising 3
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
Pokemon X & Y
Super Mario 3D World
Grand Theft Auto V
Dragon's Crown
Gravity Rush
Dragon's Dogma
Persona 4 Golden
Pokemon Silver
Tomb Raider (2013)
Brave Fencer Musashi
Shenmue II
Dark Cloud
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Asura's Wrath
Mutant Mudds
Far Cry 3
Binding of Isaac
Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning
Zone of the Enders 2
Kid Icarus: Uprising
God of War 2
Batman: Arkham City
Kingdom Hearts II
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Diablo II
Diablo III
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Tomb Raider II
Metal Gear Solid 4
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Zombies At My Neighbors
Super Bomberman 2
Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 3
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Tony Hawk's Underground 2
Onimusha 3
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Ninja Gaiden Black (Xbox)
Power Stone 2
No More Heroes 2
Ultima Online
Aladdin SNES
Super Punch-Out!!
Demon's Crest
Secret of Mana
Shadow of the Colossus
Borderlands 2
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy X
Super Mario RPG
Super Mario 64
Super Mario World
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario 3D Land
Mega Man 8
The Lost Vikings
Bujingai: The Forsaken City
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Odin Sphere
Donkey Kong Country
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Call of Duty: World at War
Chrono Trigger
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Half Minute Hero
Kirby Super Star
Super Meat Boy
Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony
L.A. Noire
Outland (XBLA/PSN)
Shantae: Risky's Revenge
Mighty Flip Champs
Child of Eden
Kirby's Dream Course
Shadows of the Damned
Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR)
Rayman: Origins


The following are a few beloved fictional characters, compliments of SuitcoatAvenger

-My favorite video game character of all time: Magic Emperor Ghaleon.

-Legato Bluesummers from Trigun: classic villain.

-Although obscure, Zero Beat is among my favorites.

-My original avatar.