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Game Affordably: 6 Tips for Getting the Best Board Game Deals and Discounts

I am a sucker for sales, and when I find that sweet deal on a new board game, I can’t resist. That dopamine rush of scoring a deal that seems too good to be true is enjoyable, but it can lead to problems of overbuying, which we do not condone.

I will admit that there are still a few games sitting on our shelves that aren’t great, and I knew that when purchasing them, but the deal was too good to pass up! Now they just sit there, not good enough to play, but we paid so little for them that there’s no point in getting rid of them.

Our entire collection is built on board game deals, and I’m not exaggerating! I don’t know if I have bought a single game at full retail price. You can call me cheap, but I am quite proud of all the great game deals I have snagged over the years. It’s not easy to accomplish such a feat, trust me.

Board games can be quite an expensive hobby, but if you’re patient, resist FOMO, and don’t need every shiny new thing that Twitter and the internet are talking about, you can build quite an extensive collection of great board games for a reasonable amount of money.

I don’t fall victim to buying games I don’t need anymore or overbuying, but I still spend way too much time looking for that next great deal. As long as your buying habits are healthy, there’s nothing wrong with a little board game deal shopping.

Now, how do you find board game deals?

How to find the best board game deals

1.) Board Game Deal Forums

Honestly, these are the number one best source for finding board game deals. Users post deals all the time, and if you watch consistently, you’ll score some great deals on games you want. However, if you don’t have healthy shopping habits established and don’t have a predetermined list of games you’re looking for, I would recommend not browsing these forums. It’s easy to succumb to the temptation of the deals and end up spending too much and overbuying.

The two best forums I personally use are the board game deals subreddit and the BGG Hot Deals forum. They both have different active communities, so the deals posted aren’t always the same. It’s good to use both occasionally. BGG Hot Deals seems to have more posts, but there are more deals for less popular and more obscure games.

If you’re looking to score deals on solid and popular games, the board game deals subreddit is the better option in our opinion. It’s easier to navigate and less distracting, and you won’t be as enticed into buying really random things you don’t need.

2.) Board Game Deal Websites

There are a couple of decent board game deal websites out there that work well for keeping track of prices and finding deals across all reputable online game stores. The two popular ones are Board Game Atlas and Board Game Oracle.

In our opinion, these websites aren’t as valuable because they have too much data and listings that you have to sift through, and sometimes the prices can be incorrect or misidentified, which can throw off the information you’re looking at.

The advantage of the previously mentioned deal forums is that they are posted by humans, so they are deals that other people are actually looking for, and they have been confirmed to be accurate and good deals. But, if you have the time to look through all the listings or are looking for deals on less popular stores or games, these sites can still be of some value to you.

Now that you know where to find board game deals, we have some tips to make sure you’re getting the best deals and not overbuying.

  1. Make a list of games that you are absolutely sure you want before you go deal shopping. This way, you won’t buy games you don’t need or have no interest in. Don’t fall victim to impulse buying. You can make a shopping list on BGG, Amazon, or somewhere else to keep track of which games are on the top of your wishlist.
  2. Be patient. Once you have your list of games, it’s easy to see that you can get new games all the time for a reasonable price. The caveat is that they may not be brand-new releases but rather new to you games. Does it really matter if it’s still a great game, and you can grow your collection more affordably? Avoid the hype train if you want to save money.
  3. Once you find a good deal, make sure it actually is a good deal before making the purchase. Use tools like CamelCamelCamel or board game deal sites to track previous price history and see if the sale price that’s tempting you is actually a good deal or not.
  4. Be careful of shipping charges because they can often negate the deal. Free shipping thresholds can be a good thing but they can also tempt you into buying more games than you need, so always keep this in mind. To avoid this, you can sign up for shipping holds at certain board game stores or focus on shopping for deals at stores that offer free shipping or store pickup.
  5. Be even more patient. We’re emphasizing this because it is the most important tip! You won’t get good deals if you buy the newest games or can’t wait for shopping holidays or sales on the games you want.
  6. Bonus tip to save you more money! Don’t fall prey to board game Kickstarters. More often than not, the game will not be worth the time and money you put into it. If it is a good game, it will probably eventually come to retail where you can get it knowing it’s a pretty decent game. Kickstarting games can quickly become an addiction, and there are a surprising number of bad games that get funded and sold based on hype and good advertising. In our opinion, it’s best to avoid Kickstarter like the plague if you’re trying to save money and game cheaply. One exception might be expansions for games you already love or a publisher that you genuinely want to support.

What are the best places to buy board games on sale?

Now that you know how to find and be alerted about deals, you might be wondering where you will usually be buying these deals. Below are typically the places where you will find the best board game deals:

1.) Target

Target has one of the best board game selections among big box stores. Depending on where you live, you can occasionally find board games for ridiculously cheap in their clearance section. They also run sales occasionally, such as buy 2 get 1 free board games, which allow you to get a lot of games for a great price. Depending on how you feel about it morally, they even allow you to buy 3 of the same game and cancel two to maximize your savings. (Some people have called Target to confirm that this practice is okay, and were told it was.)

To get even better deals at Target, you can sign up for a Target Circle card and get an additional 5% back on all purchases and free shipping on all orders.

2.) Amazon

Amazon is a great place to find deals on board games, although the deals here might not be as impressive as those found elsewhere. However, being a Prime member comes with the advantage of free shipping and easy returns, which can make the overall deal more appealing.

Another great thing about Amazon is its wide selection of board games for purchase and its useful shopping list tool. You can keep a list of all the games you want and quickly keep track of their current prices all in one place.

3.) Barnes & Noble

If you’re lucky enough to still have a Barnes & Noble store near you, they often have good games on clearance. These deals might not be as frequently posted online since they are location-dependent, but they are always worth checking out.

4.) Gamenerdz

Gamenerdz is one of the more popular online board game retailers and offers daily deals that are usually quite good. They also offer shipping holds, allowing you to accumulate enough game deals to reach the free shipping threshold. They have their own Gamenerdz Day, which is similar to Prime Day and is a great way to jumpstart your collection.

5.) Other Game Stores

Many other game sites have daily and weekly deals, so if you have another preferred vendor, it’s always worth doing a quick scan to see if they have any ongoing promotions. For a list of some of the best places to buy board games online, you can refer to our list of online board game retailers: The 5 Best Places to Buy Board Games.

The Best Times to Look for Board Game Deals

Best Times to Look for board game deals

Again, patience is key to getting the best deals on board games. Be patient, and you’ll be able to fill your shelves at a great price. You don’t need every new game that catches your interest, and you’ll have plenty to play even if you strictly buy board games only from your wishlist that are on sale.

If you’re patient, you can wait for holidays, clearance sales, and other promotions. Some important shopping days to be mindful of include the following:

  1. Prime Day: This is a great day to find board game deals, and with the wide selection available, you should be able to get many games off your wishlist for a great price.
  2. Black Friday: This holiday is filled with sales and crazy deals, it might not be the most focused on board games because if you scour the big retailers’ listings you should be able to find some sales on the games you want.
  3. Cyber Monday: Another good shopping holiday to find board game deals. Amazon would be a great place to search for deals, but other retailers like Target would likely have good sales on board games as well.
  4. Gamenerdz Day: This is a retailer-specific day similar to Prime Day but focused solely on board games. To make the most of the sales, you should sign up for shipping holds to get the deals you want and avoid additional shipping costs. This sale usually features a new game on sale each hour.

We hope these tips help you find and obtain the best board game deals. Try to resist FOMO, buying new releases, or overbuying, and you should be able to fill your shelves at a reasonable cost. Don’t be this guy!

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A Word on Used Games:

Used games are another way to save money when buying board games, but the process is more complicated than simply searching for deals. Often, people list their used games for more than the sale prices you can typically find them at, especially if the games are out of print or if the seller just overvalues their collection.

To get a good deal on used board games, you’ll have to look locally, which can take time and luck, or try to arrange math trades on BGG, which also requires effort and time. Keep in mind that trades only work if you have games you want to get rid of, so if you’re just starting your collection, it might not be a viable option.

In our opinion, buying used or trading is not the best option for newcomers to the hobby. However, if you’re experienced and know what you’re doing, it can be another avenue to explore for finding good board game deals.

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