For The Budget Gamers
Every gamer who is reading this has at least once had the experience of not having enough money to purchase a game they really wanted, and contemplated selling vital organs to fund their hobby. Gaming, especially console gaming, is not a cheap hobby these days. It really hits your pocket hard when you need to splash out R 500 a game never-mind the R 800 for those nice special editions. Back in the day (yes I am that old) when I was still single I would not have blinked when handing out that amount of money on games, partly because I could survive on fruit loops mixed with orange juice (because I ran out of milk) for weeks on end. But when you get older and you get married your priorities change and you cannot justify spending so much money on your hobby. But fear not fellow gamers we have a solution for you. Are you flat broke? Are you living off fruit loops and orange juice? Fear not, as experienced budget gamers we will show you the ropes and in and outs. First rule when buying games, if you cannot afford to buy new buy second hand. Simply put the second hand games market locally is absolutely massive, if you do not suffer from “must have syndrome” aka buying a game on release day you will find a massive library of pre-owned games out there at half the price of new games. So with a bit of effort you can save yourself a load of cash, you might ask were to begin? Well the easiest and best place is of course the internet, if you are either a PS3 owner or a Xbox 360 owner there are two places you need to visit first:
The local Xbox 360 and PS3 forums both have excellent second-hand sections where you can buy and sell your games for free, all you need to do is register an account and that is it. The sections get moderated often and users get rated via a itrader system where they get good scores if they are respectable sellers and bad scores if they aren’t. That way it is easy to stay clear of people trying to rip you off, the third forum I can recommend is Carbonite, this is an offshoot of the Prophecy forum. It does not exclusively deal in games, but you often get someone selling their games and consoles at great prices on there. It operates on the same principles as the other two forums, so buying from there is really safe. Then we have Junkmail, Gumtree and Bid or Buy, now these three sites are a bit more tricky because they aren’t really policed all that well, so you need to be careful of people who would take your money. But like everything else using a bit of common sense goes a long way, and if you are looking for older console games such as PS2 and Gamecube games then those are the places were you will find them. The other place you can go looking for second-hand games is the good old brick and mortar stores, with online shops ruling the roost people tend to forget about them. The first on my list would be Animeworx, they have branches in Randburg, Fourways and Centurion.
Their second-hand trade-in system is the best of the bunch, you get good prices on games you trade in which can be used to either buy new games or credit for when you want to purchase something at a later date. They also have an online store for making those online purchases when you are either too lazy or too far away from the closest shop. Runner up on the list of brick and mortar stores would be ZAPS. Though they only have a single store located in Randburg, they also have a on-line store where you can make purchases. And just like Animeworx their pricing on second-hand games and the prices they give for your games is very competitive with them hence they came in a close second. Last on my list of brick and mortar stores is BTGames, they are last on my list partly due to the bad pricing on second-hand games, giving you as little as possible for your second-hand games and selling it at inflated prices, but they are still worth a look if you cannot find a game anywhere else. A special mention must go to Cash Converters and especially Cash Crusaders with their game trade initiative where if you return the game you purchased from them within 90 days you get 60% of your money back on that purchase. They might not have the biggest selection but are worth a visit if you regularly drive past one of their stores.
And our final stop on the budget gamers places to shop is on-line retail stores, yes they don’t really sell second-hand games but they always have some sort of special or promotion running. There is one exception to that rule of course and that is Kalahari which has a nice feature. Basically when you browse their gaming section and you click on a game you want, it will tell you if there is a pre-played copy available and at what price. I never used them before but it looks pretty legit and safe by the look of things. Other on-line retailers worth mentioning are TakeAlot (used to be Take2) and my current favourite place to shop on-line: The Hut. Yes it is a retail store located in England and yes you will need a credit card to shop with them, but the amount of specials they run on a weekly basis is amazing and the discounts are pretty massive. You don’t need to pay for shipping and it takes between 7-10 working days to receive your games, but considering the savings you get it is definitely worth the wait. I have used them before and I have had no issue receiving my game from them. Registering with them is quick and painless and the service is top notch, definitely the best place to shop on-line for games. Don’t shoot me if I missed anything, the above is from my own personal experience as a budget gamer. And there you have it folks, hope this helps those budget gamers out there like myself.