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EBay Advice for Gamers: Getting the best online shopping deals on video games with EBay.

Updated on August 31, 2011

In modern online shopping, EBay has become a complete craze.  Millions of items are sold on its online auction website worldwide and huge amounts or currency are transferred via Paypal from account to account.  It can be daunting at first, but once you get your feet wet it becomes a simple, yet exciting way to find some great items and very good prices.  I rarely, if ever, purchase anything in person that I know I can find on EBay.  One area where EBay provides a perfect shopping medium is in the area of video gaming.  With EBay a gamer is able to satisfy his love for playing games without huge financial requirements.  All it takes is a little patience, control and intelligence.

Take my Xbox 360 games console for example.  This can be over $200 in stores, and I was able to find one in working order on EBay for $80, and I then proceeded to purchase 6 of the systems very best games for a grand total of $40.  I have then proceeded to sell the games I am done with and buy others.  With this system I have managed to go through around 20 different games, without altering my bank balance whatsoever.  This is the beauty of EBay. 

That is just one example of how EBay can work for you but I am going to break down various tips that may help people get the most out of EBay.  Whether you are a parent who wants to provide your child with games but can’t afford to do so, or a student who is tight on cash but has a love for gaming, these tips can work for you.

Be patient – Wait for dropped value

Probably the most difficult of all of these tips, is also probably the most important.  When a game comes out it is initially priced at around $50-60 in stores.  While it may be listed on EBay, this is likely going to be by online stores who are essentially just using EBay as a medium to sell new items and won’t have them any cheaper.  Now if you can wait 2-4 weeks after initial release you will begin to see some used copies of the game appear at a price that is often around $20 cheaper.  If there is a game that you HAVE to have then this is the time for you.  If you are like me you may be able to wait much longer.  Most of the games I have played have been at least a year old (part of this was that I only purchased an Xbox a year ago), and because of this in the past year I have played almost every “great” game the console has to offer without spending my life away.

NOTE: Sports games can be somewhat of an odd ball in this system, as because they don’t lose their value until next years edition comes out, they remain relatively expensive until that date.  However, you can still see a drop of around $25, which is significant.

Buy and Sell

The most basic thing that you should take into account is one that is no mystery.  You can literally play game after game without changing your bank balance by a penny.  It is really quite simple.  If you want a game, you sell a game.  The best way to do this is to play your games in shifts.  Beat one or two games before you start new ones.  This way you have no use for these games anymore and can sell them in order to generate funds for the next.

You can actually make a rule stating that you are not allowed to buy games with any other money other than what is in your Paypal account.  Therefore, when this money runs out you must replenish it by selling games or other household items, in order to buy the games that you want.

Look for ‘wholesales’ and ‘lots’

One of the best ways to go about buying video games at great value is to search for what EBay sellers call “lots” or “wholesale”. This is simply another way of saying a group of games. For example on EBay a listing called “Xbox Games Lot” will be a set of any number of Xbox games. What you will usually see is that when you purchase a “lot” the price that it sells for is generally less than the total added value of all the games being sold individually. This means you are getting a better bang for your buck. There are a few different things to consider when buying a lot, and there are numerous reasons that buying this way can help you get great value.

  • You want them all! This is the ideal situation for you, as long as you have the money and in the long run you are likely going to save a lot of cash rather than buying each one individually
  • You don’t want them all. In this situation, you should not necessarily let the fact that you don’t have interest in all of the games put you off the “lot”. If you check the line up they are offering, you can look at the games you don’t want on EBay and see what kind of prices they are pulling. If they are decent, you can buy the group, sell the ones you don’t want, and in the process end up getting the ones you do want for an incredible deal. Sometimes, in exceptional circumstances, you can end up MAKING MONEY and still getting the games you want.

To help explain how well this can work, take a recent example of a success story of my own. It went like this. I was going to England for 2 months and I wanted a PSP for the travel. Most were upwards of $120 with no games. I was able to get a PSP, with 2 cases, 2 chargers, a protective cover, 20 UMD Movies and 17 PSP games for $225. I was then able to sell all of the UMD movies and half the games for $180. This meant that I had managed to get a PSP with all the accessories and about 8 games for $45. When I now choose to sell these items, I can do so for around $200 and will have an overall profit of around $150, plus the fun of having the PSP for a long stretch.

The math may be a bit confusing, but all you need to know is PSP + PROFIT!!

Late night shopping

Another tip that you may want to consider, is the idea of late night online shopping.  Now, as an EBay seller, you want to list you items at an ideal prime time point of the day for shopping (I consider this to be late afternoon/early evening), in order to generate the most traffic.  However, there are some sellers who do not consider this and may happen to list an item at a crazy hour in the late night/early morning.  It is up to us to take advantage of this.

For example, if you have a game in mind and you happen to be online at 2am in the early morning, type it into EBay and see if you get lucky.  I once picked up a copy of Fallout 3 for $7 when it was going for around $15 at all other times.  It was listed at 3am and therefore there was nobody online to bid on it, and I was able to get a steal.  Don’t overlook this advice, there are people who don’t think about time when they list items and that is a bonus for us!

Overall, there are a lot of other ways to find deals on EBay and these thoughts can be applied to other areas besides video games.  If you aren’t the kind of person who HAS to have that new game the second it comes out then you can really be a game on a budget.

How often do you use EBay to buy games?

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