The toughest part about gaming on your PC is the specificity involved in getting the right part to do the job. There are two instances this may occur during the Holiday Season: 1) You get gift cards to the right retailer for the parts you need, 2) You send the person who is asking you the direct link to the gift you want. No, seriously. You tell them, “Buy this video card right here. I’ve stalked it for the last three months, it’s not getting any cheaper, and if you really love me—BUY IT.” Or, “Yes, I really am asking for an empty case. No, it’s not the actual computer, but it’s still improtant.”
That’s if, of course, you’ve been a good little girl/boy and you’re not expected to receive a nice lump of coal in your stocking. Unless your computer is some form of steampunk custom build and its run by coal, then by all means.
Here are a few ideas that just may land you the perfect set of circumstances to have you online right after everyone has torn open their gifts. You might even have all the right parts necessary to complete your build, know where to get them, or at least be set up to find them on your own at your local retailer.
Parts, parts, parts, parts, parts, EVERYBODY
Some of the best places to buy parts during the Holiday Season has to be Cyber Monday, right? Well, “Yes” and “No”. Many sites, like Tiger Direct, offer up deals from now through December. However, there are timed deals that you can take advantage of in the meantime. You’ll find that they have discounted prices and often come with incentives to buy. For someone who doesn’t know exactly what you want, you could simply send the link to the item that you are seeking. It might sound a bit crass or crude, but if they want to really get you what you want, then they just need to follow the link.
And, when you buy a new video card during a promotion, you might just get a free game with it.
Surprisingly, Best Buy has started to cater more towards PC gamers. Razer mice and keyboards are commonly found along the wall of the PC gaming area near the console games, and can also be seen in the regular computer area depending on your local Best Buy store. There are more options in-store for things like power supply unites (moderate quality), new graphics cards, and things like thermal paste when you’re in a pinch.
Honestly, I can admit that Best Buy actually fed the impatience inside as I bolted down to my local store and actually walked out with the parts needed to finish my Sunday project. Best Buy gift cards may bring you a nice chunk of cash off a new monitor, an extra dash of RAM, or even that video card that they price-matched to a competitor. You never know until you put your best foot forward and trek through the crowds of shoppers. Just make sure you know what you are looking for.
Tip: If you are fairly new to PC gaming, there are tools out there to find out just what you are looking for. For example, if you use Crucial’s scanner, it will run a quick diagnostic and hopefully better align you with what parts you need. This is also a great guide from PC Gamer. Don’t know if it’s time for an upgrade? Check out if you can run a current game here.
Do stores carry discounts on PC games or Steam cards?
Yes, stores do carry discounts on games and Steam cards. Many brick’n’mortar stores offer seasonal sales on video games and gaming cards. I previously worked for one of the larger retail stores for over seven years. Ya’know, the one where there’s a dog and some khaki pants involved. There’s a plus side to being a PC gamer in a world of console games found at physical retailers. If you shop at places like Target or Wal-Mart, you can find things such as redeemable Steam cards on their shelves. These cards can often be found with discounts, such as “20% off all gaming cards” during Black Friday events and even after.
I’ve personally seen items like these discounted in the past, applying also to online cards such as Minecraft and League of Legends, both being PC titles. If you look at the Target Black Friday ad for this year, you’ll see gaming cards shown. Although it pictures an Xbox One card, you’ll often find all cards in store for various discounts.
For those looking into finding PC games, you don’t always have to go to Steam. Retail stores still carry limited quantities of PC games. So, when things like “Buy One, Get One Free” or even “Buy One, Get One 40% Off”, you’ll also see the same discount applied to physical copies of PC games. When a game is also on sale, you’ll most likely find that the same amount taken off of the console counterpart is the same taken off the PC version. At this time, the link listed below for Wal-Mart’s PC games are discounted the same as the console titles listed on the site.
Tip: Sometimes, you just need a controller. Retailers offer discounts on controller accessories during the Holiday Season to gain additional sales on top of the consoles they have in store. This may be a great time to pick up one for your PC. Even in the ad seen above, Xbox One controllers will see a price reduction depending on your geography. Don’t forget: you can always use a gift card for these stores to still get what you want on your own.
Buying yourself Christmas gifts: Giving/Getting the best gift EVER
Again, gift cards are sometimes the best options to really get what you want. But, there’s another way.
In the eyes of a PC gamer, sometimes the best way to really get what you want is to nab the item yourself. Yes, it is after all the season of giving, so why not treat yo’self? If you are judging, or if this seems a little selfish, hear me out. You are the best judge of what is or isn’t a good price. And, if you are really going to get the best deal possible for the GTX 960 card that goes on sale right at midnight with limited stock on Fry’s, well, then you better be ready to input your shipping information and click away come when the clock strikes 12:00AM.
If you are looking for quick links to some great sites, check the list below:
- Newegg Site: There are Shell Shockers (blowout sales) and Daily Deals
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer timed deals until they are gone.