Your Complete Guide to Buying Gaming Merchandise on a Budget

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Your Complete Guide to Buying Gaming Merchandise on a Budget

Video games and computer games are enjoyed by people of all ages; however, the cost of gaming consoles, accessories, and the games themselves can quickly add up. Many gaming enthusiasts are not operating on an unlimited budget and must, therefore, be selective about their video games and accessories. There are currently several popular gaming consoles and thousands of games for gamers to choose from.

Certain game franchises are only available on specific gaming consoles, which means some gamers need to buy more than one console to play their favourite games. Additionally, some gamers also play games on their computers, so they need a computer powerful enough to run these games along with their gaming consoles. Many of the more popular game franchises also have multiple games in their franchise, such as Halo and Call of Duty. Although gaming can be an expensive hobby, there are tips and tricks for individuals who want to buy gaming merchandise on a budget.

Gaming Consoles

There are several popular gaming consoles currently on the market, including Microsoft 's Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation, and Nintendo's Wii. Each of these popular game console manufacturers releases a new console every so often, usually within five to ten years of the previous release. The new consoles typically offer better graphics and new features, which is why gamers often purchase the newest consoles as soon as they are released. Most consoles are capable of playing games from the older consoles, but newer games are not backwards-compatible; that is, games designed for the newest console cannot be played on the older consoles.

The consoles can be quite pricey, but they are necessary to play video games. While most individuals purchase their consoles brand new, buying used consoles is a great way to save some money. Some people purchase the latest and greatest consoles only to find out they do not like any of the games, or that the games they want to play are not available for that specific console. These people then sell nearly brand new consoles for a fraction of the original cost. Prospective buyers should be sure to test the console out before buying or as soon as it arrives, if it is sent via post, so that they know the console is in good working order.

Gaming Computers

While the price of computer components keeps dropping, a basic computer system is typically not powerful enough to run the more popular, graphics-intense games on the market these days. These games require a fast processor, plenty of memory, and a powerful graphics card, otherwise the graphics may lag and the gaming experience may wind up being subpar. Beefing up these components adds to a computer's sticker price, so those looking to purchase a gaming computer may want to watch sales both online and at local stores to find the best prices on gaming computers.

Another option for gamers who are on a budget is to buy the best computer they can afford and then upgrade components as needed and as their budget allows. This way, gamers can begin playing their favourite games now and upgrade the various components as needed. If the graphics are lagging, individuals may want to invest in a more powerful graphics card first, and then consider adding more RAM or a better processor if it is needed in the future.


Gamers can do nothing with their gaming consoles or computers if they do not have games. Though individual games cost less than the console itself, they are still quite expensive, and buying multiple games adds up quickly. For those who like to have plenty of games at their disposal, there are ways to do so without breaking the bank. Using one or all of the methods mentioned below should allow gamers to build up a nice game collection without causing them to go broke.

Wait to Buy Games

Games, like most retail products, lose their value quickly once they are released. Typically, the games are at their highest price when they are released, but if buyers wait even a couple of months, they may find that the price has dropped. In addition, gamers who wait can read reviews from real gamers and determine if the game is worth their money. They may also be able to find a friend or family member who has bought the game so they can take it for a test drive to make sure they want to purchase it.

Rent or Borrow Before Buying

Most gamers have purchased at least one game that they ended up not liking for one reason or another. While they can turn around and sell it or trade it in for a different game, they do not get the full value for the game by doing so. The best way for gamers to avoid buying games they may end up not liking or not playing is to try before they buy. Gamers can subscribe to a game rental service so they can rent titles whenever they would like to, or they can ask friends and family members if they have the game and if they could borrow it to test it out.

Be Selective

Some gamers need to be selective in the games that they buy due to their small budget. In this case, gamers should look for games that they can see themselves playing repeatedly. These games could have multiple levels that take the gamer time to beat, or they may offer entertainment by replaying the same levels. Typically, games with many levels or levels that take a while to beat are best because they offer long-term entertainment value.

Buy Used Games or Trade Games

There is nothing wrong with purchasing a used game, especially when it is as much as half off the retail price. There are many stores as well as online services that sell used games, so prospective buyers should find a couple of places to check anytime they want to purchase a new game. Some stores or online retailers may offer a better selection or lower prices on used games, so gamers should shop around so they can find the games they want at the lowest possible prices.

Some companies also offer gamers the ability to trade in their games for different games. This is a great way to add new games to a collection without spending a fortune. Individuals who do not want to trade their old games in for new titles may want to consider selling their used games on sites such as eBay. The money earned from selling older games could fund future game or gaming accessory purchases.

Individuals who have friends who also enjoy gaming may be able to borrow or trade games with them as well. If a gamer decides he or she simply must have the game, he or she can then search for the best price on a used copy of the game after returning the borrowed game to its owner.

Gaming Accessories

Most game consoles these days come with only one game controller, which means anyone who plans on having more than one player at a time must purchase additional controllers. Controllers vary in price depending on the manufacturer and which console they are compatible with, but most controllers cost about as much as one of the newer games. Since most gaming consoles can handle up to four players at a time, the maximum number of controllers any gamer would need for one console is four; however, purchasing three additional controllers for each console a gamer owns can be expensive.

It is better to wait until additional controllers are needed; even then, gamers should look for sales or possibly even used controllers if they can find them. Another option is to purchase a game console bundle. These bundles include the game console itself and sometimes include two controllers rather than just one. The cost of the bundle is usually lower than if the buyer purchased all of the items separately, but bundles typically cost more than used consoles and controllers. Gamers who need consoles and accessories should consider all of this information before making a purchasing decision so they can get the best possible deal.

Shopping for Gaming Merchandise

Prospective buyers can find a wide array of gaming consoles, games, and accessories at local electronics and department stores; however, there is often a price to be paid for the instant gratification these stores offer. Gamers who are willing to wait and who shop around can save quite a bit each year by comparison shopping, buying used equipment and games, and patience. Prices for consoles, accessories, and games are always highest at the item's release, but falls drastically over time. Those who wait can find new merchandise at lower prices or potentially even used merchandise in excellent condition for a fraction of the cost of new.

Type of Merchandise

Ways to Save


Look for used, consider bundles, wait for prices to drop

Gaming Computers

Buy a good system and upgrade as needed


Wait for prices to drop on new releases, borrow or rent before buying, consider buying used

Gaming Accessories

Look for sales, consider buying bundles, consider buying used if available

There are several strategies gamers can use to get the most for their money. By using these tips, gamers could reduce their gaming budget, or even buy more games and accessories with their current budget, the reward for which is more hours of gaming enjoyment throughout the year without spending more.

Buying Gaming Merchandise on eBay

If you are ready to take a look at the listings for gaming merchandise on eBay, go to the site's homepage and type a phrase into the search box. To get the best search results, determine exactly what you want to search for. For example, if you are looking for gaming consoles, type in gaming consoles or a specific console, such as the Sony PlayStation 3. If you know which game you want to buy, you could also search on the game title, or you could browse the listings of games currently available for a specific console to see if any catch your eye. You can use the filters on the search results page to narrow down the listings by platform, genre, and price.

Before making a purchasing decision, buyers should read through each listing carefully to determine what is included in the listing. Prospective buyers should also review the seller's return policy to determine whether the item can be returned if it does not work properly.


Video games can provide hours of entertainment and even education, but purchasing games, consoles, and accessories as soon as they are introduced can quickly amount to a small fortune. Gamers should be patient when new games are released and allow others to test them out and confirm that they are worth the purchase price before they shell out their hard-earned money. To do this, gamers can read reviews by professionals and other gamers, as well as ask around to find out if anyone they know has purchased and played the game yet.

Being a savvy shopper allows gamers to reduce the amount of money they spend each year on gaming or to purchase more games and merchandise with their existing budget. Shopping online, checking out the prices on used merchandise, and trading out older games for newer titles are all effective ways to accomplish this. Using these techniques ensures that gamers find the perfect gaming merchandise on eBay.

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