Amazon begins game trade-ins

Online megaretailer now offering gift-card credit for used games; analyst suggests it could spur GameStop to pay more in buyback values.

Everyone wants a slice of GameStop's lucrative used-gaming pie. Toys "R" Us recently joined Best Buy and the late Circuit City on the list of big-time chain retailers who have trafficked in used games, and today yet another competitor has entered the field.

Coming soon: Used car sales.

Online retailer Amazon.com today launched its Video Games Trade-In beta program, offering customers gift-card credit in exchange for their used games. Once customers have selected a list of games to trade in (all trades must be in good condition with original packaging), they can print out shipping labels for free and send them in. Once the games are received and inspected, Amazon.com will deposit the gift-card credit into the user's account.

For those who give the program a try before March 19, Amazon is also offering a coupon code for 10 percent off a single game or accessory. Although all of the transactions take place through Amazon's online storefront, the trade-in program is actually being run by a third party, NorAm International.

Despite the encroaching competition in the used-game business, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian told investors that he does not expect the Amazon program to have a significant impact on GameStop's bottom line.

"We believe the primary risk to GameStop from Amazon's initiative is greater competition for inventory of used games, and the potential for trade-in values to increase," Sebastian said.

To make his point, Sebastian compared a selection of 10 games' buyback prices at both GameStop and Amazon, and found that Amazon offered 8 percent more credit on average. Similarly, Amazon was asking an average of 25 percent less than GameStop when selling the used games.

"Importantly, we believe GameStop still offers a unique in-store value proposition for core gamers, and believe that its preowned business should continue to thrive," Sebastian said. "In addition, the Amazon initiative does not appear to include hardware or accessories, which is a meaningful portion of GameStop's used business."

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Discussion

90 comments
Cabal23
Cabal23

@Bloodmist Because I stated the obvious, doesn't mean I follow the party line. I am so glad you are aware of my economic and political leanings. And what does complacency have to do with capitalism? Actually it the antithesis of complacency. I pay my bills, save money, teach, pay taxes, vote, volunteer, donate, contribute to the economy, and make babies. If that is complacent I must be confused with the definition. You are free to move to any country of your choosing to follow your dream of a better life. Think the grass is greener elsewhere? Go experience that for yourself. Hundreds of great thinkers can't seem to think us out of the problem perhaps you should enlighten us with your strategy for economic success. I am sure you are out there on the front lines pushing revolution, right bloodmist? Go back to playing video games and try not to contribute to a conversation when you obviously have no viewpoint other than to make assumptions about people posting here. You know what happens when you ASSume.

msudude211
msudude211

Sounds compelling. I might send in an old game just to try it out.

akiwak
akiwak

Just what I like to see... Competition which will in turn benefit us the consumers. Amazon will pay you more for your game and charge you less on a purchase. Should they be successful in this it may affect Gamestop and therefore they may have to make changes also. One can only hope, best of luck Amazon.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

Its sad though, because the developers aren't going to see any of those $$ from the re-sold game. At least it will give Gamestop some competion. It's ridiculous what the mark up is on a trade-in vs what they sell it for. I was going to trade Madden 08 in when 09 came out, but they only wanted to give me $1 for it?! They were selling it used for 29.99.

prioritymail
prioritymail

Pretty cool, but I doubt it will compare to the convenience of going to a local gamespot and make the quick transaction... but, on the other hand, amazon has much more to offer than just games, so amazon credits may be more useful than gamespot's game bucks...

BloodMist
BloodMist

Yeah and it's complacent people like you that keep it that way Cabal.

necronaux
necronaux

Just a quick check at the on-line trade in values... Amazon seems to have a better offer, eg. WWE Smackdown.. Amazon $23.50 and GS $21.25... but is an extra 10% worth dealing by mail? And, what will Amazon be selling their used games for?

grigjd3
grigjd3

I think this could only really be done by a company like Amazon or perhaps buy.com. Intrinsically, this kind of transaction takes a great deal of trust and you have to have a pretty reliable name to gather any market share.

Cabal23
Cabal23

If you want fair move to a socialist country. We live in a capitalist society, so if a company provides a service, then you have the choice to use it or not. Gamestop is not a monopoly, despite what the brainless people keep saying on here. You can sell your games anywhere, GS gives you enough to keep their profits where they are. they have shareholders like any company. They must be doing very well with their used programs because it the number one revenue source for them. Complain all you want but everyone is getting in the biz of used games and they all will be competitive with their pay outs. No one is going to give you more than another. The best price you will get is selling it yourself, otherwise these stores that buy used will continue to offer what they feel is a competitive pay out. Don't like, don't shop there. Welcome to Capitalist America.

LeoGoBezerk
LeoGoBezerk

eBay needs to much job done before you can actually trade your stuff with ease. Its a lot simpler to just hang your used games to service like Gamestop. You buy fun, you get it, and then you trade your raw materials such as box and other medium for money. But its still a question of amount of money you will get. If some new service will give you more money with the same ease - ok.

sirfrieden
sirfrieden

Trading in game discs is just insane... Anyone who gives their used games to Gamespot is either 1. Has no idea what the word "eBay" means, or 2. Needs quick drug money.

cannibal87
cannibal87

I just think it is a rip i got fear 2 for a 100 not a week i had it for then i traded it and got 40 bucks for it i find that it sucks gave me 40 they well sell it for 80 to 90 bucks its crap

BloodMist
BloodMist

The more competition there is, the more chances of the used game trade being perhaps more fair, since it can be a real gip at times, whether buying or selling.Especially when it comes to GameStop, oh yeah.

madmidnight
madmidnight

Meh I just checked a bunch of 360 games i just traded in at gamestop, and amazon offers way less than gamestop gave me.

Hekynn
Hekynn

thats good come on big retailers kick the crap out of Gamestop/Ebgames they totally suck right now and their employee are sooo freaking STUPID!!

Kiece
Kiece

""Used games help the seller, but not the game companies." Maybe someone who actually works for GameStop could vouch for me on this, but I've been told that the company does pay some sort of royalty or licensing fee to game manufacturers. True or false?" They pay that stuff on new games only, all used games are purely GameStop property.

Onsokuni
Onsokuni

"Used games help the seller, but not the game companies." Maybe someone who actually works for GameStop could vouch for me on this, but I've been told that the company does pay some sort of royalty or licensing fee to game manufacturers. True or false?

BtmnHatesRbn
BtmnHatesRbn

Enjoy this while it lasts. Words buzzing around the HQs are "starter-discs" that are bought at a store, installs on an internal HD, the "calls home" and "locks" the disc to the system are in the works. Could be coming in mere few months.

saiyandeus
saiyandeus

it's about darn time. Hopefully this will force Gamestop to quit being so greedy and cheap and start being fair. Honestly. I have a collector's edition of Final Fantasy XII (the tin with the bonus cd). I played the story line once. This game is immaculate. No scratches, no wear marks, no smudges. They offered me $13 for it. $13 for a collector's edition Final Fantasy game. BS.

kiramasaki
kiramasaki

yea i think the fact you have to send it in doesnt help, the only serious competition that gamestop will get is if chains like MovieGamesPlus and Play N Trade expand to more locations

stevenrkorea
stevenrkorea

Wow, weird. If you're going to all the hassle of sending used games to Amazon and then waiting for them to get inspected, why not just sell that stuff on ebay or craig's list? Of course, never underestimate people's laziness or impatience.

beardmoen
beardmoen

I can only imagine the number of gamers that send in their games and get pwned with a less than what they thought value. I work at a privately owned video game store and I am amazed at the number of scratched beyond repair games that come in here. With the tag line, "I just bought it a month ago", or "I've never even opened it". Gamestop takes any game, and sells any game no matter the condition. I hope this Amazon business kills Gamestop. We offer well above what Gamestop offers and sell back to the public unscratched games that work.

a7xfan7
a7xfan7

Hell yeah. Good to see Amazon in the Used Games business. I personally don't like Gamestop's trade-in system. They buy games at too low a price. I know i'll be trying out Amazon.

GodsPoison
GodsPoison

I like going into gamestop and browsing through theire used selection as much as the next guy, but if amazon can match the sales price AND deliver it to my door then i think we have a winner.

EnderSR388
EnderSR388

You know, I never knew Best Buy, Circuit City or Toys 'R' Us accepted trade ins. I was wondering why there were so many "used" games at Circuit City when I went to the liquidation. I thought that maybe some of the employees were trying to sell some of their stuff in the liquidation as well. lol! Good to know that Gamestop isn't the only place I can get ripped off at now! :P

somberfox
somberfox

Heck yeah, I already use amazon over Gamestop whenever I can, GS' used stock is the only reason I use them at all and if Amazon's prices are competitive I will happily never have to give money to GS again.

ChamomileBaths
ChamomileBaths

I'd rather download games via XBLA or through D2D or Steam and pay less. But it's nice to have competition with Gamestop, my used game money might go a little further when I'm using it for needed appliances and not more games.

DeathHeart95
DeathHeart95

Used games help the seller, but not the game companies. Unfortunately for the sellers, they need game companies to make games that can even be sold!

ywywyw
ywywyw

Horrible idea. I can sell my games for more money on amazon and its real money lol. So if your an amazon member your better off selling your games.

XeonForce
XeonForce

I'm glad to see Amazon respect a rival in business, and I now have a new respect for Amazon myself.

CapitalistPride
CapitalistPride

I hope Amazon can really succeed here. I've vowed never to buy from GameStop again after one too many rip-offs and horrible customer service on their part. As far as I'm concerned GameStop can join Blockbuster and prepare for bankruptcy. Two horrible companies that won't be missed.

HK88
HK88

Gamestop allows you to return a used game within 7 days for any reason... Its like a free rental. I doubt Amazon will offer that deal.

nintendokid
nintendokid

@djphelps Because some people don't want to fumble with shipping, waiting for a buyer, building up a good rep (would you buy games from a zero rating seller?), paying seller fees, and some just want simple credit instead of trying to get the highest value down to the fraction of a penny. It's like trading in your existing car towards a purchase of a different car. Sure, you'll get more if you sell it privately but sometimes, you just wanna get rid of it right there and then, no frills. And for the haters out there, no one could run a business if trade-in values were 90% of its perceived value. You can't expect $40 return for your newer games. After GameStop paying employees, business place rental and electricity, they would be running a charity more giving than the Salvation Army.

Zidaneski
Zidaneski

The good I want to see come from this is I want to see the developers push harder to sell new game copies. In other words give me more bang for my buck when I buy a game new!

pats_1
pats_1

there trade in valuein amazon is S*** go post it to ebay fetish game collector will pay for your game... well just my 2 cents

VenomRitual
VenomRitual

hopefully amazon inspects games better than gamestop does.

daabulls23
daabulls23

If it's worth it, I might try it. Gift card credit isn't too bad since amazon sells pretty much anything. Edit: $26 for COD: World at War. That's about a 43% return. Is that better than Gamespot?

djphelps
djphelps

Wait...why not just sell the game on Amazon instead of trading it to Amazon for credit?

PS2Dude89
PS2Dude89

I totally agree with -Saigo- Hopefully this will encourage Gamestop to offer more trade in credit for games and lower the prices of used games. Selling a used game for $55 when the new version is $60 is just dumb and a ripoff for the gamer that buys it.

NR1224
NR1224

well, at least we have more options, even if this falls through, competition can only help

Vuud
Vuud

sweeeeeeeeeeet

please-help
please-help

the trade in value from any of those retailers is like a kick in the mouth to gamers, games like MK vs DC which are new are worth $20 to them even though they will sell it for an almost brand new price. Anyone who is dumb enough to trade in games like that and not sell them through craigslist for alomost twice that amount deserve to be ripped off.

dennis8
dennis8

more competition = better deals for us gamers.. lets just see how better hehe

-Saigo-
-Saigo-

Competition is a good thing. Game Stop has had the monopoly for too long.

TehEliteElite
TehEliteElite

"Good, gamespot is an abomination and I hope it's ruin shall be smote upon the mountain side of all their unsold tripe." Amen to that!

crunchb3rry
crunchb3rry

You guys are missing the most important part: Amazon demands all trade-ins include the box and manual. Gamestop's online used game sales are officially dead.

reckeweg
reckeweg

Good, gamespot is an abomination and I hope it's ruin shall be smote upon the mountain side of all their unsold tripe.

GSVale
GSVale

A much wider variety of products and cheaper games from a much wider variety of retailers without having pre-orders and strategy guides pushed on me AND I get more money for turning them in? I think I've probably made my last trip to Gamestop.

tyrant490
tyrant490

i just go to bestbuy or online downloading for games that i want but it would be nice to see a game i don't want anymore worth something more than a few dollars especially is its current gen games. so in my opinion this might be good

okassar
okassar

YAY:) But I would have liked it more if it was something where you pay Amazon like a 2-3 dollar fee and trade your game for someone else's game,cuz I don't trust the small companies that do that online now,plus,they have big account fees.