I’ve stated it before, but for me the last 2 months of the year easily represent 50% of my video game budget. This might be a bit different this year as I my family moved back to Japan and it will be less easy for me to snatch good deals from the US, but it won’t stop me from trying (and I’ll be on the lookout in Japan too, hoping that Amazon Japan drive similar deals).
Among other things this year, it appears the PS4 Slim 1TB will be discounted at $199 at many retailers (good for those of us looking for a second PS4), and I’m sure the SNES Classic will be back in stock (even if only for a short time) as well. 1 year of Playstation Plus is currently discounted for $39.99 and is a great gift for a Playstation gamer friend or yourself (yes, these can stack, you can buy 3 of them for 3 years of PS + Membership) . Also, stuff that was cool 6 months ago might get heavily discounted, and for those who can wait, Black Friday is going to be a massive opportunity to snatch fairly recent games at low prices. Horizon Zero Dawn is on my watchlist, among others.
There are two problems I typically face in the deals season: First, seeing the deals on time (some of them run out very fast) and being ready for them, and second, avoiding the risk of buying a “fake” deal or more generally buying too much stuff I don’t really need. To address these, I do have a battle plan that I’ve been perfecting over the years. Here it it:
Make a list of the stuff you plan to buy
Know in advance how much you are willing to pay for it (what you’d consider a deal)
Jump on surprise “flash” deals that are too good to ignore (e.g. 75% off a game you were on the fence about getting). Worst case scenario you will be able to resell the game easily (even maybe for a profit) afterwards.
It’s not only about video games, there’s other stuff you probably want/need to buy and now’s the right time: clothes, etc… Include those in your list
Do a bit of comparison shopping, but don’t waste too much time (you could lose a deal if you hesitate too much). You probably already have your favorite sore anyway, that’s where you’ll get 90% of your deals. You don’t need to do comparison shopping if you already know how much you are willing to pay for the stuff you want! (see steps 1 and 2)
You can also subscribe to our deals mailing list to get the latest updates (form below)
We do not share your email with any third party
1. Make a list of the stuff you need/want
So, that one is simple: ahead of the sales days, I make a list of what I want and need. Typically I’ll be looking at the video game section on Amazon, and make lists of the games I’ve thought about buying this year. ast year I focused heavily on couch co-op games I could play with my son. This was a semi-success: we got a lot of games, but we didn’t play even half of them. So I’ll focus a bit more on my own gaming needs this year. I’ve mentioned Horizon Zero Dawn, but will also look for deals on Nier:Automata, Wolfenstein II, and others. Any games you’d recommend?
I’ll also be on the lookout for deals on the PS4 Pro: last year it was a hot new item and there were no significant deals on it. This year, with the increased competition of the Xbox Scorpio, we might see some deals on PS4 Pro.
The PS4 Pro: This will again be a hot item this holiday season. We might get good deals this year
2. Know in advance how much you are willing to pay for the things on your list
Once you have a pretty good idea of what you want to buy, you have to know what’s a “good” price for you for that game or piece of hardware. You can search the net for some price comparison to understand how much the game currently sells for. Then you have to know if you would buy it even without a sale, or if you’re really looking for a sale to justify the purchase. In the first case, this is simple: if you catch that game on sale during the holiday season, just get it without thinking, even if the sale is just a mere 5% off or some gift code you don’t intend to use. You would have purchased the game at retail price anyway, so you might as well do it. In the other case, ask yourself how much you would be willing to pay for that game, and set that as your limit. If the game doesn’t sell for your target price, then you’ll wait for another opportunity, you don’t have to buy it this year.
For example I know that I can get a used PS4 Pro for about $350 right now. I also know that the PS4 Slim will sell for $200 new. I feel that if I can get a PS4 Pro for about $300 I’ll jump on it. $350 and I’ll consider it. Anything above that I’ll probably pass.
Heads up that CheapAssGamer maintain a huge list of all announced prices for Black Friday in the US so far.
3. Be open for surprise deals that are too good to ignore
While always keeping in mind that you don’t want to buy stuff you’ll never play, keep an open mind for really good deals. In the past, I’ve been able to get great deals on Amazon for games such as Uncharted 4 or Doom. The prices were so good that I was able to buy the games, play them, resell them for a profit and the buyer was still amazed at the good deal they were getting from me! These don’t happen often so you have to seize the opportunity when you see them.
So, generally, have a list of what you want, but also be open for such opportunity deals, if the item on sale is something you would like to play at some point
4. It’s not only about video games!
I tend to focus my shopping spree on my hobby which is video games, but there’s also a bunch of things I need or want to buy that I’ll include on my list. This goes from board games for my family to other items (pretty sure I need new socks – again – this year)
For all of these, just like for games, I have a vague idea of what kind of stuff I want, and will be on the lookout for deals in those categories.
5. Price is not the only convenience you should look for
I’ll be very bold here, I do most of my shopping on Amazon. There’s so many places one person can look at during the shopping season, and rather than miss on a good deal just because I want to compare prices, I’d buy on Amazon. I don’t want the shopping season to become an obsessive price comparison thing, so I’ll only do the occasional check on target, Newegg, bestbuy, eBay, or walmart if I come across some surprise deals over there (note: being in Japan this year, this most likely limits my choice to Amazon, the only company I’d trust with international shipping from the US). Your choice might vary. I am a member of Amazon prime (both in US and Japan) and have gotten back that investment tenfolds since I subscribed, but you might have your favorite retailer too. Pick your main choice, but stay on the lookout for deals on other retailers if possible.
For those of you in the US looking for video game deals throughout the shopping season, we’ve got your back: I’ll be looking for video game deals as much as I can, for myself and for you, so you don’t have to. The most convenient way to get deals as soon as they show up is to follow me on twitter. I’ll be a bit spammy regarding deals in November or December, and I apologize in advance to those who are annoyed by this, but over the years I’ve received very positive feedback from many of you who have been able to catch those deals as I found them for you. Many of you got the Playstation Plus codes at heavy discounts earlier this year and thanked me directly for those deals. It makes me super happy!
If you’re looking for something less immediate, we have a deals mailing list, where I’ll keep people updated on the upcoming deals, on days where it matters. This is a good way for you to get reminded of upcoming announced deals ahead of time. You can subscribe below:
If you’re looking for deals on specific games or hardware, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to look for those in particular in the weeks to come!
Disclaimer: Wololo.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
We are constantly looking for guest bloggers at wololo.net. If you like to write, and have a strong interest in the console hacking scene, contact me either with a comment here, or in a PM on /talk!