UPDATE 8/10/2011 pretty much everything in this article is not true anymore. What corporate as done to these stores is shameful. Your Mileage May Vary
So I ended up spending some serious time in the SI mall today. Instead of just going to the more indie stores I am used to (saturday matinee) I walked into hot topic and gamestop.
This is going to sound very strange coming from me but I highly recommend giving these places another shot. They’ve leveled up their customer service and selection.
First up Hot Topic:
Let’s just say they are no longer like kmart. They have every cartoon from the eighties and nineties represented in t-shirt format. Ducktales chip n dale rescue rangers angry beavers rocco’s modern life doug dexter’s lab (the original) etc.. anything you loved as a kid is on a t-shirt. For game and movie merch Fye group is still the way to go but for everything else subculture hot topic has it. Most of it is clothes but they do have an amazing cd store. They also have a reward club now. 150 spent gets you 15% off next purchase along with the random coupon emails typical of these programs. If you’re tired of buying from the gap and marts and old navy they’ve got what you need. One caveat however, preteens and high schoolers love all of that stuff too so be prepared for lots of squealing etc.. Also the prices are extremely reasonable as long as you stay non gamer. Twenty bucks still gets you any shirt. Haven’t been to one of these since early last decade so maybe you all know this already but for the old dudes like me who remember when these stores first opened up it’s good to know they are doing it old school.
Next up gamestop:
They currently have a lot of bargain bin last gen and early current gen stuff. Right now all used games are buy two get one free. Unless a game is a couple of months old, the prices are amazing. Most games from the last year or so (Prince of Persia Fallout 3 GOTY etc..) are anywhere from ten to thirty five bucks. Couple that with the free third game and the ten percent off used game card and you can get a lot of games for a lot cheaper. All those games you missed out on by playing modern warfare can be had for at least sixty percent off. They also have long boxes filled with old ps2 games for less than ten dollars. I picked up the original manhunt for two washingtons. They are all used and come in cd envelopes but they count for the free third game deal. All used games are guaranteed so there are no negatives in any of this. I bought roughly 500 dollars worth of games for less than ninety. The store will also call other stores and help you track down any game you want. If you can’t find newer games used they also have select titles for 20-60% off. Games from only a few months ago like darksiders are going for roughly half off new. I also overheard something about a points system but after an hour spent contemplating which games to get I was too drained to ask. Their loyalty card is 14.99 and you get a year of game informer.
The big companies may have killed the little guys over the last twenty years but now the little guys are finally pushing back. Brick and mortars no matter how big or small are bringing back those age old pillars of superior customer service, expertise, and the glory of the bargain bin. The independently owned and operated franchise mentality is back in full effect. SO UNPLUG THEM INTERNETZ AND GET OUTTA THE HOUSE PEOPLE YOU GET WHAT YOU WANT CHEAP, INSTANT, AND YOU GIVE SALES TAX DOLLARS SO THE STATE DOESN’T CUT THE CRAP OUT OF HEALTH CARE.
By the way if you are truly agoraphobic most of these deals are on their websites as well.
Look for more lists like this as deals are found and for a more regular sampling checkout cheap ass gamer and Kotaku’s weekend deals.
If you have a tip on how to save money on anything from the mainstream to the not so much feel free to comment or email.