There are generally two different mindsets when purchasing video games online is concerned. Some hard core fans claim that a video game should never be purchased in any less than new condition. After all, nothing beats that new video game smell (seriously, try opening a new video game right by your face next time you buy a new video game – it’s heavenly). However, many gamers will find the good deals of used games hard to pass up. Regardless of your personal opinion, it is important to know the differences between buying new and used games beyond the price. The average used copy of a new release is only about .00 cheaper than the used copy. If you’re going to be living on Ramen noodles the next week because you bought the video game, that extra .00 might let you splurge on a sandwich or two between rounds.
Why Buy Video Games New?
Beyond the fact that it can be very gratifying to be the first to unwrap the packaging on a video game and flop the disc into your system, many of the product quality problems that are associated with the purchase of used video games are virtually eliminated with used games. New games are free of the previous owner’s negligence. In addition, it is quite obvious when a previous game owner was a smoker. If they smoked in the house, the manual likely soaked up that smoky smell and transferred it on to you. For many gamers, nothing beats the gratification of buying a new game online.
With special editions and complete video games (packages that include extras like figurines, art books, game maps, etc.) it can be almost essential to purchase the video game new. Without knowing something about a video game before it was purchased, you might be missing out on a part of the package without even knowing it. For video game collectors, this can be a very disheartening situation. In general, this is one of the few situations that almost requires that you make your purchase new. Otherwise, it could be a mistake – especially considering the small reduction in price compared to quality.
Why Buy Video Games Used?
There are essentially two reasons that people buy video games used – price and necessity. Used video games are almost always cheaper than new video games. For new releases, this price is not as apparent. However, for games more than a few months old, this difference becomes more of a consideration unless the game goes on the greatest hits list. After a few months, the price reduction hits about .00, on average. After more than 6 months, the reduction can rise to as much as .00 and more. People often buy used games simply because the price is appealing. Many video game retailers offer further discounts through membership programs provided that you buy video games used.
Of course, some video games, especially older games, are really only available on the market as used games. There might be a few new copies still in circulation. However, as a game gets older, the new copies will become higher and higher in price. If you’re looking for a copy of Halloween on the Atari, you will have a very difficult time finding it new. Even if you do, expect to pay a price in the thousands. Is it worth it? That is the real question. If you just want to experience the game, bite the bullet and buy it used. If you are a serious collector, it might be valuable to purchase it new. However, expect to pay a premium.
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Identifying The Right Video Game Situation
When deciding whether or not to purchase a video game used, consider exactly why you need to purchase it new. If it is a game that you just want to play through and then exchange, there is really no reason for you to buy it new. However, if you have been in love with the series since the beginning or know that you will get a great deal of play time out of it, you might consider buying it new. After all, if you appreciate the hard work of the game developers, you might as well support them as much as possible. You might also value having your fresh copy that will sit in your collection for ages.
If you are a collector, remember the value of an unopened video game in perfect condition. Did Atari players realize how valuable the games they were playing would be in the future. Luckily, a few did. If you are truly a dedicated collector, you might consider buying two copies of the game – one to play and one to add to your valuable video game collection. In the future, when all video games are virtual reality masterpieces downloaded directly into our brains, you might make a retirement plan out of your collection or enjoy looking at the nostalgia sitting on your sealed game shelf.
Swallowing Your Pride
If you are willing to accept a less than new copy of a game, it might be best to simply swallow your pride and buy it used. By purchasing just 5 games used rather than new, you might save enough money to buy an additional game. Just because a game is used does not mean that it is in poor condition. Choose used games that are in “like new” condition. Although the seal might have been broken, they are likely still in the same condition as if they had never been opened. Try to evaluate how important it really is that you buy every game new. It could mean a savings of hundreds of dollars over the course of the year that you save by buying your games used.