If you’re lucky enough to live in the UK or the US you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding games at big discounts off of their retail price.
Accounts such as @ have been operating for years, putting in the work to seek out the cheapest gaming deals and serve them up in a simple link for you to follow and save money.
But down here at the tip of Africa we aren’t so lucky. Our plucky little gaming community is often overlooked and we don’t have the same community-driven services.
Enter Brad Vink, a student from Polokwane who operates Cheap Gamer – a site that brings you the best deals from international stores and marketplaces, as well as local-only offers you’d probably miss if not for him.
We got to speak to Vink about what he does and why…
htxt.africa Tell us the history of Cheap Gamer. How did it start and where is it now?
Brad Vink I’ve always been one to enjoy a good deal and share it with everyone. Especially of the gaming variety. Also, as I’m sure everyone has noticed, the price of games have skyrocketed. There was a time where you could pre-order a new release for R450. Those days are unfortunately long gone. So two years ago I decided to create Cheap Gamer, where I could post all the deals I found lurking around. Choosing a name for the site wasn’t easy but I felt “Cheap Gamer” was the most appropriate. Plus it was simple to remember.
The site started off slowly getting a couple of hits here and there, and it was only after a year did things really start to pick up. To create a better experience for visitors I decided to change the original theme. This helped streamline the whole site so deals were more visible and could be posted faster. Server load has also been reduced, which is crucial for Cheap Gamer. You can’t have your site going down on a day like Black Friday.
htxt.africa Walk us through the process of finding a good deal that is worth sharing with your followers.
BV Doing a bit of quick research is important. Like is it the lowest historically price? How much stock is available? Does one retailer have it for significantly cheaper than another? I have to ask all of these questions and more to determine if a deal is worth posting. It also helps that I have a lot of pricing already memorised. Time is of the essence with certain deals.
htxt.africa What sites to you personally use to find the deals?
htxt.africa You post about games for consoles, PC and mobile, but where do you do most of your gaming?
BV PC is my go-to platform at the moment but I also find some time for the [Nintendo] DS. Busy with Battlefield 1 and Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story [at the moment].
htxt.africa How do you decide what hardware wins a mention on the site? Certain hardware such as headphones aren’t always gaming-focused but can be used for it.
BV If there is a really deep discount on hardware that isn’t gaming related I’ll post about it. Some deals just can’t be missed.
htxt.africa What’s your policy on deals which are the result of an error? The most recent example is Microsoft giving away Fallout 4 for free.
BV I’m always hesitant about posting deals that are clearly an error of some sort. Since most of the time nothing will come of it. But there is the odd occasion where you do score something for free. So I usually put a disclaimer in the post.
htxt.africa How has Steam’s regional pricing changed the way you do things? Sometimes Steam’s full price games will be cheaper than those that are on sale.
BV Before Steam’s regional pricing many sites like [Green Man Gaming], Humble Store and GamersGate had better deals than Steam. So they got a lot more posts on the site. But nowadays not so much since they can’t beat Steam’s pricing.
htxt.africa What’s your opinion on the trend of new AAA games costing R1 000 (or more) in South Africa?
BV It’s pretty depressing to be honest. But what can you do with the weakening rand? These days you can’t really give some games a chance on release because of the cost. So you have to wait for sales or grab it secondhand.
htxt.africa What was the best deal you ever wrote about?
BV There have been quite a few ones but nothing has topped Incredible Connection listing Sniper Elite (PS4) and Lords of the Fallen (PS4/X1) for R0. Plus they honoured the deal which was unexpected.
htxt.africa Do you monetise your work at all?
BV My site does actually run Google Ads. Any income the site generates, either via affiliate links or ads, is used to keep the site up and running. Server and data costs don’t exactly come for free.
htxt.africa If you won the lottery would you start buying things at full price or would you still look for deals?
BV I would never stop looking for deals. It’s just in my nature.
[Main image – Edited from zimbusiness101.com]