background: I live in Australia that suffers from high prices for Video games and Retailers have been screwing us for years now, so I have decided to import from overseas and have discovered that lots of nations gamers suffer from the same thing and many don't know there is an alternative out there. I have imported 7 games this year from UK and Hong Kong and found to get 50-60% off the RRP of games here in Australia and pay around the same as US gamers at $60 USD.
GUIDE: HOW TO IMPORT GAMES
Step 1: Reason for Importing games
- in your country you may have high prices for games, forcing you to a few a year and missing out on great titles and forced to wait months even years before getting it and with the rise of Online the community by that time could be hard to break into or gone. But if you import you can get 1,2 even 3 games for the price of one. So if you aren't well off this is what you can do.
- If you can afford retail, dont bother reading on as you are the ones that must support retail stores to make them bring down RRP in that country (more sales of games, the less risk, the lower the RRP).
- Also support you local game store, buying one game is an help as its hard for them against big corporations and the internet.
Step 2: Region Locking
- Region locking was introduced by Nintendo to control pricing, releases and sell exclusivity or selling rights etc. Now most consoles have region locking but its not all bad, find out you region (PAL, NTSC etc) and the countries within them and search in those country only if you have an region locked console.
- Region locked Consoles of this Generation include: Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, the soon to be released Nintendo 3DS. But there are non region locked games such as Sony Playstation 3, Sony PSP, Nintendo DS (and most handhelds)
(It seems Sony has gotten a Clear message that region locking is a load of ****, but they seem that DVD/Blu Ray should have them still)
- Non Region locked consoles you can buy from where ever you want, down side is DLC and Online but can be solved, for DLC create an account of the disk location country (disk has number on it) and download DLC and play on normal account. Pick a country that has your language as major or use a translator (PSN is the same for all in the setup) and for Online you may connect to there severs so i recommend importing Single player games but only EA games have that problem at the moment SCE or other known companies (let me know) doesn't do that.
Step 3: Locating your Game
- Internet is you place to go (i dont know another way to source import company??)
- use sites such as Ebay, Amazon etc to find games but dont be afraid to search in alternatives to those sites eg. Ebay.com, Ebay.com.au etc.
- when using Ebay, search for Power sellers or people who have sold alot and have high rating
- dont be afraid to buy from countries like Hong Kong, Singapore etc You can buy Full English games from those countries and many games have language settings.
- Research and look at many different sites and locations as well as products, stay away from Bidding unless 100% committed to buying that product if you win
- There are also companies such as gaming retailers that have on-line stores such as Game stop and Game UK where you can snap a bargain and can use a credit card without worries
Step 4: Pricing and Postage Costs
- This is the most Difficult part other than searching, is pricing and postage as this can turn what seems like a graet deal into a not so great deal.
- Check currency Exchange (watch the news to see if it could go up), if its good exchange then thats a start
- Postage is the great trap and many people fall into it. For example they could find a game for lets say $30 USD but it has $35 USD postage to your location and if your location has 60 RRP you are paying $5 dollars more. So check the postage when doing you comparison and currency exchange ALWAYS INCLUDE POSTAGE
- oh and check if they post to your location
- Unless it a Major Site of a company always Use PAYPAL, paypal is your online shopping best friend. Scams are everywhere and can trick you so easy and Pay pal is a easy insurance company so you are safe and if things so bad you can dispute and usually get your money back.
Step 5: Confirming
- Make sure you WANT THE GAME because once you buy thats it. While many offer refunds its only the product and not the postage and you will have to pay for postage to send it back costing you more than the RRP. Sp make sure you want it as some stores might not even take it in as a trade in.
Step 6: Be Patient!!
- remember to be patient, you are using the post and international postage can take weeks even months depending on where you live and your local postal service.
Step 7: Expect the Worst
- things can go wrong but thats the risk of importing so dont come yelling here if you got scammed or sold the wrong, broken game, as its the name of the game.
Step 8: Play the game
- and Enjoy it as you should and take it easy as you paid less for it
- Australian/NZ Xbox 360 owners Import from the UK, its cheaper by around 20-40 dollars , same for Wii owners
- If lucky you can get Limited editions as well, but usually if you want a big limited edition by local retail
- games i have imported:
Heavy Rain (Hong Kong- ebay) $65 AUD, RRP $110
BFBC2 Limited Edition (Hong Kong-ebay) $60 AUD, RRP $110
Assassins Creed 2 (Hong Kong-ebay) $ 65 AUD, RRP $ 110
MAG (UK- game uk) $75 AUD, RRP $ 100
Orange Box (UK- ebay) $30 AUD, RRP Unkown
Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising (Uk-ebay) $30 USD, RRP Unknown
Well thats all, I will add more when it comes to my head and please contribute if you have some pointers out there. But hoperly i can help alot of people buy the games they wanted because it was too expensive and really enjoy them. I have found that i have enjoyed by Imported games more than the ones i bought at retail for some strange reason (expect Uncharted 2)
I will import 2 more game this year (ACB and MOH) and will get more next year. Message me for More help or post below.
Oh Sticky this if you think its good mods.
Of Course That's Just My Opinion, I Could Be Wrong