Joining a games rental service, such as Boomerang or Lovefilm, is another option. You typically pay a flat monthly subscription fee and receive a limited number of games which you can keep for as long as you wish. The quality of such services varies greatly and the major drawbacks here are that you must keep a list of top hacks you desire – resulting in you receiving which ever game the rental company has in stock when they receive returned games.
So the danger here is that you may not actually get the game at the top of your list. Other drawbacks include waiting a long time for that one game you want – or receiving games that are scratched to the point where your console won’t play them! Most importantly, you hand out all that cash each month and you don’t actually own anything in the end – it’s arguable that there’s better value in buying a game, keeping it until you’ve finished with it and then trading it once you’re done.
Furthermore, the value in this service varies from game to game. Some games can be completed within a few days of playing, and so the effective cost of playing this game is a fraction of the monthly subscription fee. And some games will be played for many years, making playing these games via rental very expensive! So in this sense, rental has the advantage of letting you try out a large number of games for a monthly subscription fee. If you think the game has long term value, then you could simply buy the game safe in the knowledge that you’ll be playing this game for a long time to come! But then PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gamers can try out new games by downloading them, muting this point in their case.
Another game rental option is often available from a local video store. The rental cost is typically 5% to 10% of the cost of the video game for up to 7 days worth of play. Using a local video store to rent games is definitely convenient and the value of the service to you depends on whether you actually finish the game or decide it’s not your thing (i.e. you’ve gotten the most out of them) before the game is due back.
Selling your video games
Another route is simply selling you video game. One of the most convenient ways to sell is by auctioning your game on eBay or TheGameCollective. If the game is a recent and popular one, you’ll probably get a good price – potentially much more than a local store would pay, and all you had to do was wait a few more days for the auction/sale to complete and then send your game through the post. A little less convenient than a local store but for many the extra value in the video game is worth it.
The draw back here is that eBay will take a cut of the final sale price currently 8.25% of the final fee and if you accept payment via PayPal, you’ll have to pay an additional fee (~4%), representing a loss of up to 12% of the final price (unless you’re cunning and build this into the P&P price – but that’s a bugbear for many!).