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Thread: Best Buy Gamers Club

  1. #1

    Best Buy Gamers Club

    As some of you may know, Best Buy made significant changes to its Gamers Club late last year. I've been debating whether the Unlocked portion would be a good deal for me, so I thought I would make a thread to document my thought process so that others who may be making a similar decision could potentially benefit. These are the key data points:

    • New members have to pay $120 to join the Gamers Club Unlocked program for two years.
    • Members get 20% off of new video game software.
    • Members get 10% bonus trade-in credit on video game software trade-ins.
    • Members get 10% off pre-owned video games.
    • One-time welcome coupons provide a B2G1 on used games and 50% off a strategy guide.


    There are also soft benefits. For example, people who would be buying Nintendo games could get them day one, which is often not possible with online retailers. I am not going to attempt to quantify these, but they may be important to some people.

    For comparative purposes, I am going to use a tax free online retailer, such as Amazon or NewEgg, as the standard as that is the case for the vast majority of states. I will use 7.5% sales tax, as that is my state and local rate. Obviously this will vary, but I would guess mine is roughly the median value.

    I'm going to go through two scenarios to determine the break even point. The first will assume only buying new games, while the second will assume buying and trading used games. I'm not going to get into the time value of money, because of the relatively small amount we're talking. Most people wouldn't invest it either way.

    New Only Scenario

    • Assuming a "normal" strategy guide is $20, the welcome coupon would be worth $10.75.

    • Each $20 game purchase would save $4.30. The break even point for a $20 average would be 26 games.
    • Each $30 game purchase would save $6.45. The break even point for a $30 average would be 17 games.
    • Each $40 game purchase would save $8.60. The break even point for a $40 average would be 13 games.
    • Each $50 game purchase would save $10.75. The break even point for a $50 average would be 11 games.
    • Each $60 game purchase would save $12.90. The break even point for a $60 average would be 9 games.


    New & Used Scenario

    • Assuming a "normal" strategy guide is $20, the welcome coupon would be worth $10.75 after tax.
    • Assuming someone wanted to maximize the value of the B2G1 used coupon and used it on three $50 games, it would be worth $53.75.

    • Each $20 new game purchase would save $4.30. The break even point for a $20 average would be 13 games.
    • Each $30 new game purchase would save $6.45. The break even point for a $30 average would be 9 games.
    • Each $40 new game purchase would save $8.60. The break even point for a $40 average would be 7 games.
    • Each $50 new game purchase would save $10.75. The break even point for a $50 average would be 6 games.
    • Each $60 new game purchase would save $12.90. The break even point for a $60 average would be 5 games.

    • Each $20 used game purchase would save $2.15. The break even point for a $20 average would be 26 games.
    • Each $30 used game purchase would save $3.22. The break even point for a $30 average would be 18 games.
    • Each $40 used game purchase would save $4.30. The break even point for a $40 average would be 13 games.
    • Each $50 used game purchase would save $5.37. The break even point for a $50 average would be 11 games.

    • Each $10 used game trade-in would increase $1.00. The break even point for a $10 average would be 69 games.
    • Each $20 used game trade-in would increase $2.00. The break even point for a $20 average would be 35 games.
    • Each $30 used game trade-in would increase $3.00. The break even point for a $30 average would be 23 games.
    • Each $40 used game trade-in would increase $4.00. The break even point for a $40 average would be 18 games.

    This scenario is more complicated, because there are so many combinations possible. However, the key to all of them is to use that B2G1 used coupon to its fullest, as it wipes out over a third of the cost of membership by itself. Failure to do so would increase all of the break even numbers significantly. Obviously trading in games with the 10% bonus and then using that to buy games with the discounts helps as well, though this assumes the trade-in value is identical between Best Buy and Amazon or elsewhere, which certainly is not always the case.

    The net in both scenarios is that you have to plan to buy a bunch of games over the two year membership period to benefit. The minimum would be a dozen of the most expensive games and a strategy guide, which would cost a total of $762.25 to save the $120 (15.7%). Since I buy most of my games on Steam, it would be hard for me to hit that number. Plus it would reduce the value of my Amazon Prime membership, so this service is probably not for me.
    Last edited by Yoshi; 21 Jan 2014 at 05:44 PM.

  2. You also forgot to mention you get 2x reward points on new game purchases. Every dollar spent earns you a point. Every 250 points earns a $5 reward certificate. Spend $125 on games, get $5 back. Not a huge thing, but it can add up.

    Here's an easier formula.
    (.20)x = 120
    x = 600
    You have to buy $600 worth of new games before the membership starts working for you. Amazon charges me tax, and we all should be reporting newegg purchases for tax collection too, right? So I consider tax to be a given no matter where I purchase from.

    I don't factor in the used stuff because 1) I rarely trade in and with a few exceptions, their trade in prices are shit and 2) I rarely buy used.
    Thanks to sales on new and the 20%, it's not very difficult to get new games for less than they are used. For example, right now Ass Creed Black Flag is $30 new or $24 if you're unlocked. Yet their used price is $50. Right now there are coupons for $20 off Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls. After coupons and GCU discount, that's $32 for a new copy.

    I was grandfathered into this for $30 because I was already a card carrying member of the magazine incarnation, which also was a great deal. Just last month I got Dynasty Warriors 8 for $8 because of the coupon in the mag. I also got 3DS Etrian Odyssey Millennium Girl for $17. The annual $15 subscription saved me $85 in just one month. I will be sad when it goes away in a couple of months.

    The nice thing about this is that it applies to sales (but not price matches) and if CE's are your bag, it applies to them too. Picking up a $150 CE for $120 day 1 is a nice perk.

    I just looked through my purchase history and did some math. Since this new version went live in November, I've saved $200. Of course, I am not your typical gamer. I sometimes buy to resell, but that brings up a major limitation to this. You are only allowed 3 copies PER TITLE. Not per system. Per title. Makes gift giving a bit of a pain in the ass. I'm not sure if anyone has been kicked yet, but it certainly can happen.
    Last edited by Some Stupid Japanese Name; 08 Jan 2014 at 12:33 PM.

  3. It's just easier for me to go through Amazon 90% of the time. I'm not about to build a model of my game shopping habits to determine the NPV.

  4. It's certainly not for everyone. But if you tend to buy a lot of games and prefer new (remember: it's not relegated to new releases, just new condition), it's not hard to make it pay for itself within a year.

  5. Another thing to consider: the discussions about this on CAG when it was announced centered around the idea that Best Buy is circling the drain and may not even be around for the whole two years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gohron View Post
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  6. #6
    Isn't Yoshi the one bitching about tax returns being a free loan to the gubbamint?
    Quote Originally Posted by Razor Ramon View Post
    I don't even the rage I mean )#@($@IU_+FJ$(U#()IRFK)_#
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    I'm sure whatever Yeller wrote is fascinating!

  7. Even if one could make it work out favorably, the cost of having to enter and shop at Best Buy (ever, let alone regularly) would negate all possible savings.

  8. #8
    Best Buy sucks in a lot of ways, but video games is one of the few things they get right.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Space Pirate Roberts View Post
    Another thing to consider: the discussions about this on CAG when it was announced centered around the idea that Best Buy is circling the drain and may not even be around for the whole two years.
    BB is doing better now. They will probably survive at least 2 more years.

  10. #10
    To SSJN's point above and the fact that Amazon is going to start collecting tax here February 1, I've updated the numbers above to assume equal taxation. It made a huge difference in Best Buy's favor. Unfortunately, I forgot about the Reward Zone stuff, so the break even points are actually a little bit better.

    edit: I can almost already see a path to this paying for itself within the first year, and we still don't know about all of the 2H games.
    Last edited by Yoshi; 21 Jan 2014 at 05:52 PM.

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