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TifaIA avatar 4:00 PM on 11.28.2011  (server time)
I donít trade in my games

This blog post was sparked by Kotakuís Weekend Talk Amongst Yourself. It was the leading featured comment, but got taken over by Portal socks. Yep. Those were some pretty cool socks.

If you donít want to read, the summary of the question by the poster was ďWhy is GameStop better then BestBuy for trade ins? Anyone moved from GameStop to BestBuy? Why do you stick with GameStop?Ē

All good questions.

First hand experience in the trade sales market, the purchase and sale of used video games can be tricky and varies from company to company. With other retailers such as and Gamefly moving in, GameStop will eventually lose its grip as the leader of used game sales. Even though it is the first place that comes to mind if someone were to ask me where to sell their used games, there are other options.

This isnít an ďI love GameStopĒ or ďI hate GameStopĒ post.

In fact, I donít think Iíll end up answering the questions posted earlier. I want to talk about the fact that I donít trade in my games.

Not only do I not trade or sell my games, I donít buy used products. It is not to make a statement against the sale of used games. In doing so I would be making a protest about the sale of all used products, and wouldnít have 90% of the books that I currently own in my library. Itís not because I have seen and handled customers that got bad game discs, or the wrong game, or someone didnít wipe the DS cartridge saved games clean before reselling the product (swear words are used a lot in naming characters). Itís not even a worry that I will be getting a bad copy of an item. I just donít like buying used games.

Is there something wrong with that?

Iíd think that there would be a pretty good reason behind my logic, but I couldnít think of one. On the rare occasion I will see a New game being sold for less then a Used one. And we all have scratched discs that work just fine on our systems. Itís not about the number of thumb prints or the number of saves on a DS cartridge. I just donít like buying a used copy.

It is an odd circumstance, isnít it?

On top of which, I donít sell any games that I have purchased. Even the Guitar Hero for the DS, which I really dislike and have thought about selling on several occasions. But there it sits on my shelf next to GTA Chinatown Wars and My Japanese Coach. My only reasoning for this is that the buyback rate can really suck.

Used game sales are based on supply, demand, and regional interest. Again this varies from company to company, but this is one perspective that I've worked with for over 3 years. Some of the newer releases with broad appeal such as Madden or other sports titles tend to have a flat rate for buying and selling across the board. Other, much rarer, games like Xenosaga 3 can sell for $20 in one state and $30 in another. It depends on what the demand is, and stores do get feedback from their sales associates to figure out what people are looking for. A lot of GameStopís foot traffic is at physical store locations. Even with a website, it doesnít generate as much revenue as a local store. Thatís also why selection from one GameStop store to another can vary. I have a store that is 5 minutes from my home that is wall to wall filled with used game titles, and one rinky-dink little basket of new games. Another store about 20 minutes away it is the exact opposite. The walls and content are catered to what sells in that area. Yes, your purchase does influence the products availability.

Being in that line of work, I already know what to expect when I try to sell my game back. Not much. And the only way to get the best value is to take the store credit option. Did you know that everyone, BestBuy, GS, Gamefly, Amazon, etc. will give you less money if you ask for the cash equivalent? They want you to spend that money in their stores so they will offer you a store credit or store gift card. They donít want you to walk out with cash to spend at a competitor. You could argue that they got your used game for free; youíre just getting a slight discount on something else youíre buying in the store.

I understand consumer loyalty. But things of this nature make me shake my head and not want to deal with the system. I will probably never play Guitar Hero for the DS again, but I donít want to be sucked into the madness of used game sales to get something just as equally crappy in return.

I think this just turned into one giant rambling piece. Unintended. Though I do want to do a for/against post about used game sales in the near future. There are so many articles about it as of late, it's always an interesting topic to debate about. Particularly with gaming dev's trying to combat used game sales.

So am I crazy for not buying into it all? Or do I have a valid reason somewhere in this mess of text for not being a used game buyer and seller?

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