So, I’ve been hearing some whisperings about the Steam Summer Sale could be starting today @ 1 pm ET! There’ve been claims that people have seen backgrounds in Big Picture mode stating the sale is set for June 19th to 30th. There’s also the Mysterious trading cards that have appeared in the badges inventory. It’s fairly early for the sale, but I think this is an excellent time for one! High schools will be finishing up with their exams, colleges and universities have been out already, and summer is just beginning. This gives all us gamers the whole summer to enjoy our ever building backlog ‘o games and hopefully shrink it down a bit.
Last sale I made a post with some advice about the sale. I’ll reiterate them again here with a few extra tips.
- Make a short list of the games you really want. I add mine to my Steam Wishlist. This is especially helpful if you’re short on cash. It’s the same idea as when you go grocery shopping and if you make a list before hand you’re less likely to impulse buy.
- My personal rule for most of the games I want to play is $5 and under or over 75% off. I let myself have a few games that I REALLY want to play break this rule, but too many and… well, it’s a slippery slope from there.
- Only buy games that are Daily deals, Flash sales, and/or Community Choice deals. Reason being that while the entire catalog is on sale, it’s possible throughout the sale period the game you buy could get an even deeper discount. Even if you think that the game is pretty old or not as well known… anything can happen.
- A follow-up rule is to wait until the last day of the sale before buying any games that didn’t get a featured discount (Daily/Flash/Community deals). Now, here’s where you have to be careful. Steam has been a little sketchy on which day is the actual “last” day. The pattern has been the 2nd last day for catalog-wide deals and the very last day is encore sales. So, in this case you’d have until June 29th for the entire catalog and June 30th would have some encore sales. Pay careful attention to the countdown timers as the sale rears its close. Sometimes they’re decreased to 24 hours instead of the usual 48 hours.
- If you’re able to, refresh the store just as it updates. The times are (in EDT): 1pm, 9pm, 5am. The first being Steam’s new day start time. The store is notorious for its prices not updating correctly and creating price errors. This is where you’ll find those amazing 90-99% off deals. If you happen to see a price that looks too good to be true, jump on it and count yourself one of the lucky few. Also, note that this can go the other way as well. Sometimes the deals will show up as 5-10% off when it’s supposed to be bigger. All prices should adjust to their proper prices after a few minutes.
- Watch the sale trends on other digital store sites. GMG just recently had their summer sale and Amazon had a sale during E3. If you missed your chance with those sales, chances are some of those games will get the same or better discount in the Steam sale. Reason being that the publisher/developer has already given the OK for the game to be put a that price (pricing errors aside) and it’s very possible they’ll do it again.
- Speaking of competitors, I’d watch Amazon closely. During the past couple Steam sales Amazon has either price matched or launched their own big sale. Sometimes their sales are worth checking out because of the coupon incentives. Like their last winter sale gave you a $5 off coupon for Editor’s Pick games in the new year. If you were willing to wait on some titles and take a bit of a gamble, you could’ve saved a good chunk of money.
- Check if lower priced games have Steam Trading Cards. I’d say this is only if you’re willing to take the time to get them and put them up for sale. Also, it helps to be over level 10 to help with getting booster packs later on. You can check for which games have cards at Steam Card Exchange. If you can sell some of the cards, you can potentially get some of that money back for other games. I’d say this is only really worth it if the cards are going for over $0.20 each and sell fast.
- You don’t have to be a slave to your computer. The Steam mobile app is helpful in staying up to date on the Flash sales and voting for Community’s Choice while you’re afk. SteamDB is another useful resource to look through Steam’s catalog as it’s more intuitive than on the Steam Store.
- Get Steam Enhanced for your browser. I love it because I have a huge library of games and I honestly don’t remember all of the ones I’ve bought as quite a few have come from indie bundles. This tool will highlight the games and DLCs you already own. Plus it’s got some other cool features too.
- Lastly, I sync my Steam account with IsThereAnyDeal.com. It will import your wishlist so that you can easily stay on top of when your games go on sale on the most popular digital retailers. You can even set it up to send you email notifications and only to send them if the game drops below a specific price that you’ve set. It also keeps track of the price history so you can see what the current price trend is. There are other sites that do the same things, but this is my preference.
I don’t know what Steam has in store for us this year, but I’m sure it will be fun! Good luck!