Saving on the Items that You Love (but probably do not need)

by Matt B

At one point in my life, I was a glutton for certain things. DVD’s were my biggest Achilles heel, but CD’s and video games were also a big drain on my money. Since those wasteful days, I have trimmed all of my collections. At one point, I estimate that my DVD collection was close to 400. I had well over 500 CD’s, the video games never stuck around long, as I would trade them in for new games or systems.

Last year, I dissolved a good portion of my DVD collection through Amazon Marketplace. I did the same for a few CD’s, but most of them have been played so much that I did not feel comfortable selling them due to condition.

The internet is by far the number one resource for saving money, among many other things. Digital media has brought us movies and music that are downloadable, outlasting their more breakable predecessors and making organization much simpler.

Books are another of the items that I love. I find it easiest to ascertain free or nearly free books at any number of places. Libraries, goodwill, yard sales or used book stores can get you a plethora of reading material for just a couple of dollars. There are also online libraries where getting free or inexpensive reading materials digitally is simple.

The Free Library
Free E-Books

Many of these free online libraries have plenty of “classic” content, but often do not offer newer selections due to copyright and distribution laws. More content is online every day, so if you do not find what you are looking for, do not give up. It will likely come along eventually.

If you require that the product be new from the manufacturer, it can be hard, but there are still ways to not pay the suggested retail price. One of my new favorite toys for finding great prices is Beat My Price. Just type the product of choice, and you are instantly rewarded with an easily navigable list of sites that carry what you are looking for, along with the price (in ascending order) and a photo (in case of variance/different versions). Amazon has frequent deals on DVD’s and a smart shopper can find plenty of quality movies and TV shows at discounts with regular monitoring.

Used DVD’s are becoming much easier to find, and condition is rarely an issue, especially with more online retailers who purchase these products. Sites like Second Spin, Wherehouse and Spun are just a small sample of sites that offer previously owned DVD’s and CD’s among many other items. Used DVD Search is also a growing and viable resource for easily finding inexpensive DVD’s. Let us not forget local resources

Many of the same sites to save on DVD’s also deal in CD’s as well. As mentioned above, many of these online retailers carefully look over the products before re-selling them to give customers the best possible experience. If you have “outgrown” the tangibility and clumsiness of CD’s, and your entire music collection is now digital, there are plenty of resources available to save while finding music online.

MP3 Raid, Bee MP3 and MP3 Center are just a small sample of search engines that can help you find free or inexpensive digital downloads. A word of caution: Many of these sites have ads everywhere, making navigation clumsy and annoying at times.

Many people I know swear by Itunes. Though Itunes makes downloading and managing files simple and stress-free, deals here are few and far between. Gift cards are available which provide a code that you enter in Itunes to get the amount of the card in music. One downside to Itunes gift cards is a high level of fraud, especially for cards sold on ebay or other unverifiable sources.

Video Games
If looking for a deal on video games, time is your best friend. Shelling out $50-$70 for a brand new game is just a waste of money. There will always be the people who have to have the game first. Often times, you can find these brand new games in a used retailer like Gamestop in less than a week. When they become available used, most games are significantly less expensive than the new version.
Gamefly is becoming a very popular choice for gamers. If you are unfamiliar, Gamefly is the video game version of Netflix. You receive games in the mail, play them for as long as you wish, and return them for the next game(s) in your wish list. For people who play games frequently, the relatively low monthly fee for gamefly could save thousands when compared to purchasing the games.

Local video rental outlets also carry video games for rent. If you are looking for a game for a few days, this will suffice. If you need or want the game longer than the 3 or 5 day rental period from the store, gamefly will suit you better.

With some searching and patience, all of these items can be obtained for less than half of the stic
ker price. Just a small amount of time can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on these items that we all love, but do not really need.

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Rajeev May 3, 2009 at 3:22 am

Nice post.. thanks for sharing some great tips and saving techniques..keep them coming..

Blalex May 3, 2009 at 8:32 pm

another good site for electronics that will save money is I’ve bought a couple of video games there for under $20 and even found out some of them are worth more than what you paid for them at places like Gamestop when you trade them in…

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