The economy is a funny thing. I should buy locally, to support the local economy. Yet the same rules of economics make me shop for technology elsewhere. Because the price is right abroad, especially when buying video games.
With the arrival of the Xbox One the local (web)shops have increased the price of a single game from €60 to €70 – a 15% price hike. (*) I always thought €60 was a bit expensive (but when you apply a Price / Hours of amusements = Price per hour of entertainment formula it’s still a better deal than, for example, visiting a €30 football game). And I think €70 is ridiculous.
So I started searching for a solution, and found it in Amazon.co.uk. After doing some real research, I realized that they check all boxes:
- Have items in stock I want X
- Shipping to Belgium X
- Reasonable shipping time (3-4 days shipping works fine for me) X
- Reasonable shipping costs X
- A payment option which isn’t VISA is a bonus. X
Of course the mayor factor is the price. And oh boy, is the price right. My latest purchase was two copies of a next-gen open-world game.
- Bol.com price: €140 for two copies
- Amazon.co.uk price: €115. AFTER adding shipping costs and the costs for the payment method of my choice.
So by buying abroad and having patience for a day or two, I saved €25. Or almost half a game. With the guarantee that they’ll be shipped in a “container” that’ll actually fit in our mailbox. So yeah, buying locally is nice when you’re doing grocery shopping (although we do that in Germany, so yeah…) but as a customer I’ve got to look at other aspects of the economy as well. Sorry, local webshops!
(*)Officially the Xbox One isn’t available yet in Belgium, but I’ve got no reasons to believe the prices will be any lower in September.