Trading Video Games in 2015
2015 is here. It is going to be a great year for games and as gamers start looking for new games in the next few months, some will carefully weigh trading in their old games. There are a lot of options these days and some are easier than others. The Gamer’s Lounge takes a look at a handful of options and speculates what may be the best deal for gamers looking to get the most bang for their buck.
2014 introduced more game trading options. Walmart recently signed up to handle game trade-ins, and the rumor is Toys ‘R Us is bringing this back. Other options include Best Buy, which has had some decent trade-in bonuses this year, and Target. Amazon is still around and still taking trade-ins, but their values can fluctuate for the demand of the game. All of these other stores mean competition for the biggest store in the used game market, Gamestop.
Some of the other stores can offer gamers a better deal. Some have better TIV for newer releases. Target is a great example: if gamers upgraded from GTA V from last gen to GTA V on Xbox One or PS4, Target offered $30 minimum trade-in. They had a similar deal for Destiny and offered gamers $20 in credit for such games as Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Combining this with a coupon from the Target Cartwheel app, gamers picked up Destiny for under $10 out of pocket. At the time, this deal blew away what Gamestop and Best Buy offered.
At places like Target, Walmart, and Amazon, gamers can buy anything they need with the trade-in credit. Gamestop is still limited to electronics and games. But Gamestop does have the appeal of having a smooth trade-in process (most of the time) and the stores are everywhere. This makes it convenient for the average consumer.
As someone who has tried Target’s trade-in program, it's not that bad. Everything has to be printed out and signed, and there are only a few associates that can take care of it.
Best Buy’s trade-in program can be a hassle, but with Gamer’s Club Unlocked gamers can get an extra 10% credit, which usually beats Gamestop. Best Buy also occasionally offers 50%-100% trade-in bonuses.
I have never tried Walmart’s trade-in program, but I am sure it is as annoying as trying to find something in the store. Their TIVs seem pretty comparable to what Gamestop has to offer. No matter where gamers take their used products, store credit will always pay higher than what the stores offer in cash.
Gamestop also has more competition from trading sites such as 99Gamers and Leaptrade. I have talked about LeapTrade before. They have queue and friend to friend trading for virtual currency which users can buy more games with. 99Gamers has a free economy market, meaning gamers set their own prices for coins and other users buy their games. Out of the two sites, the 99gamers community has really grown in the last two years as they continue to improve the experience but both are excellent alternatives to trading games to Gamestop. Both trading sites have a guarantee to protect buyers and sellers.
I have noticed Facebook game trading has really picked up in the last two years. People are buying and selling games via Facebook instead of dumping them to Gamestop. The bad thing is there is no instant gratification like Gamestop or Target. Interested parties must meet face to face and there is some risk with that. But there are good deals to be had. I picked up many N64 games, complete in box, for $25. This included such gems as The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and Super Mario 64. Craigslist is still an option. I have bought and sold games hundreds of times over there. But it, like Facebook, also could have some risk involved.
Don’t forget there are other options such as Play N’ Trade, eBay, Gamelock.com, CAG, GameTZ, reddit trading groups, and local mom and pop stores. Personally, I think most gamers should be using multiple outlets. Don’t just take the games to Gamestop since it is convenient. Utilize Best Buy, Target, and some of the other options to get the most bang for your buck. As of right now, there are still plenty of options for trading and cutting costs for new releases, such as Super Mario 64 and Mortal Kombat X.