Avatar The smart man cometh

Welcome to a story that starts off well, gets a bit bad and then goes all grand mal on your ass before you realise what’s happening.

I’m a nerd. I’m sorry to hit you with that reality but I’m not the cool guy you thought I was. I know that I dazzle you all with my endless tales of motorcycles, bar fights, chicks and umm cool stuff however in reality it is the complete opposite. My nerdity stretches to almost all levels of nerdom (although I’ve yet to play a proper game of D & D and I’m not ready to quite drop my trousers and start collecting Magic: The Gathering cards) although recently, and for the last few years, it has settled in v. game town.

I collect for a huge range of systems. The Sony PSP, the slightly older, less attractive handheld cousin of the PS Vita, has a large library and currently most of the games are dirt cheap. We’re talking cup of coffee and a toffee crisp prices here, people. We’re talking a day ticket on the bus with all the trimmings (you know, some have TVs that don’t work and some have a USB port so you can charge your phone because it’s an electric bus and it’s the FUTURE). There will always be rarer titles as there is for every console and it is here we find me with an idea.

The PSP isn’t region locked meaning you can buy a game from the other side of the world and it will run on your machine. There’s a game I’ve had my eye on that only ever keeps going up in price in the UK so, in a flash of brilliance, I check a used video game website in the US that I’ve used previously. Lo and behold there it is, in stock and about twenty quid cheaper overall. I know there’ll be postage and import tax to pay yet it’s too enticing to ignore. Surely this is a good idea and nothing can go wrong. This is the loophole that will see me through to the good side of the fence. I go to the basket only to be told that the website doesn’t post to the UK anymore.

Sniff sniff, can you smell that? If you can, it’s probably Brexit.

Foiled and a little crestfallen I mull over this for a day or two. Then it hits me, a second brainwave. Twice in one lifetime? When you’re hot, you’re hot! There’s a website where you can order anything from the US and have it sent to a shipping depot in the US, they’ll then reroute it to your address in the UK and sort out the tax and everything else at the same time. This is too good to be true, right? Right?

My fingers are already going, it’s ordered and paid for. I get the notification that my parcel is on its way to the depot. I am the Thriftmaster. Thrifting is my middle name. Bow before me, peasants, for I am both the king of the Co-op and king of the thrift.

I go to create the shipping request. Duties and tax are reasonable, of course there’s VAT and… the shipping method. The cheapest option available is a little over thirty dollars. Taking into account the aforementioned other charges, this will now put the total cost of getting the fucker to my address in the UK ten dollars more than I actually paid for the game.

I wanted to believe that this was a good idea. This will be the last time I try to be clever. For now, I will be sitting in the corner wearing the dunce hat and counting up to ten only missing the seven out every single time I try. I await your lambasting.

9 comments on “The smart man cometh

  • Why would you not look for other games that are cheap in the US but pricey here, buy them, and have them all shipped back in one parcel, thus making that steep shipping cost more economical? You could even eBay them when they arrive if they’re not ones you particularly want. You could make it pay for itself. Why didn’t you do that? What’s wrong with you? Don’t you want to be a business tycoon? Hmm? HMM?

  • I did lump in a US-only game to offset the cost a little, which people were charging four times as much in the UK on EBAY (why does this laptop want EBAY in capitals?) for, so my absurd behaviour resulted in a tiny net gain. It’s so small though I can’t see it through my tears.

  • Good work. That’s told the people on EBAY who’s boss.

    In my head you’re just shouting “eBay” in the middle of a sentence that is otherwise spoken at normal volume.

  • THANKS I DO PRIDE MYSELF ON… sorry, thanks I do pride myself on my ability to keep on top of the trends. All the cool people shout “EBAY” in a similar vein to “YAHTZEE” or “BANACEK”.

  • How dare you. I know perfectly well have to spell Banaceks.

    “What are you looking for sir?
    I need some fruit. A bunch of Banaceks would be ideal.”

    See? Take your pity and throw it to the maid.

  • The maid threw it back at me and now I’m covered in pity. I hope you’re happy with yourself, or at least your chagrin is scuffed.

  • That’s the sort of scuff that won’t buff out. Meanwhile I’ve put all my clothes through the wash twice and they’re still covered in pity stains, so I think I’ll have to bin them. Thanks a lot, mate.

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