Hi, I'm Terry Stevens, Radio Personality, Copywriter, Producer and Budget Gamer.
Whats a Budget Gamer? I'm glad I pretended you asked.
A Budget Gamer is any gamer who has to plan out how he spends his gaming money. As a married father of two who has to pinch pennies so hard that I can make a dime pop out of them, I'm always looking for ways to make my gaming habit more affordable. Gaming Generations in Rib Mountain and Rothschild and I have teamed up to help gamers enjoy their hobby while being able to afford food, shelter, clothing, etc.
If you just realized that you're a budget gamer too, read on! If you're like Bruce Wayne/Tony Stark/Scrooge McDuck rich, this series probably isn't for you.
This is what happens when you make someone use the crappy MadKatz controller every time, Bats.
PHOTO CREDIT: By Raffi Asdourian (Flickr: Batman Joker) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
If you've been gaming for as long as I have, you've probably built up a nice little collection over the years. I have decent sized library of X-Box (the first one), Gamecube and X-Box 360 games.
Most of those games are just taking up space.
There are only so many hours in a day, and I only get so many of those to myself to get my game on. Add to this fact, that more and more of my gaming time is done with two kids playing alongside on the couch, and those Rated-M games collect even more dust,
This is the closest I get to Grand Theft Auto these days...
Obviously, if you're a gamer, you've dealt with trade-ins in some way, shape, or form. Maybe you bought a used game that someone else traded in. Maybe you brought in a stack of games to this joint...
PHOTO CREDIT: By Oxiq (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
...and were told that your stack of 50 some odd games was "worth between jack and squat, but hey wood u lik 2 join R Reewardz Klub?"
Two things on that.
1) You should have gone to Gaming Generations with those trade-ins.
2) Some of your games probably were worth between jack and squat.
Look, it's not you. It's your games.
The average video game depreciates faster than an average automobile. You know how they say "a loses half its value the second you drive it off the lot?" Video games can be like that too.
As a budget gamer, I can count the number of times on one hand that I've bought a game on day one of its release. I just can't bring myself to buy something for $60 when I KNOW it will be $20 in a few months.
When it comes to getting the most bucks out of your trade-ins, you have to play it like you're managing a stock market portfolio and the produce department of a grocery store.
Like this, but with a bunch of mangos, avacados, and stuff.
PHOTO CREDIT: By bfishadow on Flickr [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
For instance, like the stock market, you have to...
Sell when the price is highest!
This one's a big "duh", but a newly released game commands a higher trade-in price than a year-old game.
Let's say you buy a copy of Madden '15 the day it comes out. You bring it home and play it. Then you realize that IT'S THE SAME FREAKING GAME AS LAST YEAR ONLY WITH DIFFERENT NAMES ON THE JERSEYS OMG I'M WASTING MY LIFE!
Seriously, is that REALLY worth $60 a year?
Much like produce, games have a shelf life. You can get more dough for your trade if you bring it in the next day rather than letting it fester on your shelf for a month and a half.
This is especially worth taking into account for more story-oriented games like the Bioshock, or Elder Scolls series. Once you beat the story a few times and see the alternate ending, the replay value dips by quite a bit.
This is what Bioshock 2 looks like to a game appraiser.
PHOTO CREDIT: By TwoWings (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
To get the most out of your trade, buy it, beat the game fast, and trade it in for maximum value.
In addition to the march of time, there's another factor that can kill your game's value.
Your game might already be free (or close to it)!
On the console side of things, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and whatever Nintendo provides the three people who bought a WiiU all offer free games or nearly free games on a monthly basis.
I'm an XBox Live guy. Over the last 3 months I've downloaded Street Fighter IV, Dark Souls, Saints Row 3, Hitman: Absolution, and a bunch of other awesome titles for the low price of $0.00. That takes me out of the used game market for those titles.
In addition, via sales on digital downloads, I've picked up other titles for next to nothing.
If you bring in a game to trade in that every one else grabbed for free, you're basically trying to get money for a very nicely decorated drink coaster.
Bottom line, don't expect a lot of dough for old games, especially if they're being given away via digital download. Certain collector's edition versions can pull in a little extra, but don't expect to retire on it or anything. If you insist on buying new, beat the game fast, and trade it in for maximum value.
Also, when you do trade your games in, take them to Gaming Generations in Rib Mountian and Rothschild. They'll give you a better deal than the chain stores any day.
Until next time, GAME ON!
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a sponsored post. The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
*** In addition to being a budget gamer, "Scary" Terry Stevens is a radio host for Midwest Communications. You can Book Face with him here .