Best Buy testing used-game buyback kiosks

Big box electronics chain rolls out plan in Dallas and Austin stores, will pay users with store credit on the spot.

Best Buy promotes itself as a place of low, low prices, but that might not be the best way to talk about its latest initiative: used-game buyback. The company's chief marketing officer, Barry Judge, revealed on his blog today that the electronics retailer will be testing game buyback kiosks at several of its Texas stores beginning this week.

Turn your used games into anything from blank CDs to big-screen HDTVs.

As with a recent buyback program started at Wal-Mart locations in the Northeast, customers will feed their games into a kiosk that then scans them to identify them and test them for functionality. Unlike the Wal-Mart program, which gives customers a credit on their credit card accounts within days of the transaction, the Best Buy kiosks will print out vouchers for Best Buy gift cards on the spot.

"It's a pretty slick system and one of the few trade-in programs to provide instant gratification; you get the gift card on the spot and can redeem it on anything in the store--not just another game," Judge said in his blog entry, adding that Best Buy will also test the sale of used games in its stores, and kiosks may also be used to rent games and movies.

In a note to investors this morning, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian downplayed the impact the kiosks would have on current used-game market leader GameStop.

"Expect Best Buy's used game initiative to expand market," Sebastian said. "While we believe that Best Buy's entry into the used video game market will create a new overhang on shares of GameStop, we expect Best Buy's initiative to expand the used video game market rather than take significant share from the specialty channel."

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51 comments
dmdavenport
dmdavenport

Awesome! Now you can kiss my @ss, Gamestop.

aozman
aozman

what about disk covers?

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

If more and more stores do this then they'll have to buy your games at a higher price, then their profits won't be as big and the whole scheme to take your money will fall. No really, this used games market will fail when we get digital distribution next gen.

chronolzx
chronolzx

amazon.com! cause you get money and not a gift card for a store where everything is SUPER expensive.

Melty123
Melty123

I think I'll still be using e-bay.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

Ugh, another chain begins its transformation into a dingy pawn shop, and more profits drift away from the pockets of developers and publishers and into bloated retail franchises. It's no wonder the industry is careening towards digital downloads.

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

I prefer ebay. It's good for sellers because they're paid much more than they are from Gamestop. At the same time it's also good for buyers, who end up paying less than they would at Gamestop.

Lucidmike78
Lucidmike78

You can hate GameStop for offering you $1-6 per game that you paid $50 for. But I've learned its either a few bucks or they stay in your closet forever taking up space for the rest of your life. Equally painful if you think about it. $3 for a game that you have a lot of fond memories with. Maybe you can ebay it. I heard its easy if you understand some sales strategies. But I probably will never do it. I've only sold games that I made the mistake of buying. I returned those on the same day/week, hoping the recoup some of the costs. The games I played through, they are in the closet collecting dust.

prioritymail
prioritymail

Good, now maybe best buy will give us some decent buy-back rates

Autolycus
Autolycus

speaking from experience, Gamestop makes profit because they are cheapskates. BB at least pays their managers a lot, with the notion of them coming into the job position with having to let go of 3 people.(also speaking from experience) IF THIS TAKES OFF EXPECT YOUR VIDEO GAMES TO BE DOUBLE WHAT THEY ARE NOW, within 3 years

Lucidmike78
Lucidmike78

I guess I don't mind emptying out my closet full of PS2 games that will never see the light of day again. And some Wii games I bought that I never really played because I bought into the hype. I doubt it takes Dreamcast games. Hahaha.

nate1222
nate1222

It's only a matter of time before this becomes an industry norm. Even in a good economy, it'd be hard to not notice the profits of Gamestop/EB, PlayNTrade and pawnshops. Now that the economy's in a rutt, used/thrift might just become a market unto itself. Not just for games, music and DVDs. But tangible merchandise in general. There's just too much good used stuff floating around to ignore it or continue buying new. Hell, take a look at any decent flea market.

sieg6529
sieg6529

Interesting, but not getting cold hard cash is a real let down.

Mr_Fujiv1
Mr_Fujiv1

o this doesn't apply to me ;/

Henninger
Henninger

They should bring this idea 2 NY.

solidine
solidine

It's a good system and anything that adds an option other then independant chains or EBgames/ Gamestop is fine. Of course, how much you get it what's going to be important. I imagine it won't be much if you can buy anythign in the store. Also, Best Buy seels a lot of things at prices that aren't very good. Then tend to have good deals on certain things, but I often see movies and games (among other things) significantly cheaper elsewhere. Also, though I don't use it, everyone seems to like Ebay a lot.

FinalDuo1886
FinalDuo1886

If the trade in values are higher (obviously not going to be too high), but enough too actually make it worth while, then finally! A competitor that can actually give Gamestop a run for it money. I just hope this isn't another failed attempt like the Amazon trade in system.

ColonelRadec
ColonelRadec

This sounds interesting but I wonder how long it will take for this to spread to other stores...

sthehill3
sthehill3

Here's the Gamestop will remain safe: they have amazing customer service. I bought a used PS2 game, and had trouble with at. I took it back, and they exchanged it, no questions asked. It only took 1 minute, and they were very apologetic. I cannot see best-buy providing this level of service should they choose to enter the used game market.

gnbfd
gnbfd

sounds nice. But why Texas? What's wrong with Maryland huh?

robfield
robfield

I would much rather trade games with friends, but being able to get store credit isn't bad either.

GodsPoison
GodsPoison

If they can give me more for my games than gamestop then id deffinately consider driving the extra milage for it. I mean i dont even have to put it towards other games, i could buy some new anime or knock a few bucks off a fancy tv.

Merl57
Merl57

just wait another 10 years retailers might be in more trouble

dentui
dentui

Nice...I live 5 miles form a Best Buy, Could even save gas and get some exercise by walking.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

Just another company that is going to give you a small fraction of what you paid for your game, and in turn sell it for 2 or 3 times what they gave you for it and to top it all of screw the developer out of his cut of the money for making it.....I personally can't wait to see all digital downloading of games

Paulf001
Paulf001

Let's hope they give you more then the $5-10 Gamestop gives. They turn right around and resell for $55.

jjwalker9600
jjwalker9600

I hope the buyback is more than Gamestop has to offer. I resell my games on craigslist. I can get at least $20 for most of them. Not the joke that Gamespot gives you.

wiiplay1
wiiplay1

@soundsofsilence They do have some preorder bonuses. But isn't preodering a bonus in itself? I'm excited to see how this works out. I'm not in those places testing it, but I hope they eventually bring it to every Best Buy. This seems awesome. Also, I hope they give you more than Gamestop does. Gamestop is just cheap with it, and I hate them, not just because of that. Plus now I can buy my games cheaper at Best Buy.

Arkady1
Arkady1

Okay...Best Buy has terrible customer service and I can't stand buying games there, why would I trade there? I don't think this will go over well, places like Game Stop are great because they cater to gamers only, not all types of media.

PhilWil92
PhilWil92

I was one of those fools who sold their GTA IV for $12 before hearing about the expansions...

ldonyo
ldonyo

Hopefully Best Buy will give more than GameStop.

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

Dizle54 you might be right. If the programs work, than more people would be buying used games, since I have friends who do that. This might cause games to be cheaper and more affordable, making an increase in the business. This is great news, used games at GS are a ripoff. When I was at gamestop, I heard how someone wanted to trade in GTA IV and he would get $11.50 cents when the game is like $60 or $50. Capitalism at its best!

coltsfan4ever
coltsfan4ever

Gamestop may be in some trouble in the near future with all these companies getting in the used games business. Best Buy,Wal-Mart,Amazon,etc.. Thats not including the PSP GO with it's downloadable only games. I like Gamestop but their buy backs of games can be a rip off sometimes. Competition is a good thing and maybe this will force GameStop to offer more incentives and more cash back for game trade ins.

Linkman0714
Linkman0714

maybe this will drive down prices. great news for the customer

soundsofsilence
soundsofsilence

Now if they could only get the pre-order bonuses I could stop dealing with Gamestop all together.

Dizle54
Dizle54

Wouldn't this increase in competition and decrease in used game prices just cause the consumer to be more apt to buying a used game over an unused game. Thereby, causing a larger strain on game developers and fewer independent licenses?

jshaas
jshaas

This is great news... capitalism at it's finest. This won't cause GS to go out of business as many have suggested, or hope. It will most certainly cause both GS and BB to become competitive when it comes to used game pricing. Since developers, nor publishers, see any money from the sale of a used title... each sale is all profit. This will allow both BB and GS to set the price to anything they want. When they begin to outbid each other, gamers everywhere will rejoice... especially PS3 owners, because the Blu-Ray discs are very durable... so buying a used PS3 game usually gets you a near perfect disc. This will surely be nationwide in no time... maybe by the end of the year.

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

I'm surprised it took so long after gamestop did this (w/ success) especially since most people hate their low buy back value, high resale value which bestbuy, walmart can offer better prices (which will cut a huge chunk out of GS profit if they do)

tutt3r
tutt3r

If the used game prices are better than gametstops, then best buy will be my fave. They already have better new game prices.

cantor2537
cantor2537

I really dislike Gamestop (EB Games) in Canada. I've been to GS in the US and their stores have games that are much cheaper. I've seen MGS4, used for 45 bucks at GS, whereas I got my LE at FutureShop (like Bestbuy in Canada) for 30 bucks, with a Bluray and a soundtrack. Likewise, a used Oblivion is 30 bucks (a NEW Oblivion is 30 bucks at Futureshop). I never shop at EB Games in Canada for the reason that their used games typically are the same price or more expensive than the games at Futureshop or Bestbuy.

Akivaria
Akivaria

Sweet. Hopefully this will prompt Gamestop to provide better service to its customers.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

Gamestop will slowly go out of business unless they can bring something unique to teh table to keep them afloat.

Dman0017
Dman0017

its good that gamestop will finally have some competition. i am sick of dealing with them

OmegaGear
OmegaGear

Mmm, this is interesting since Bestbuy has a more robust selection of goods than gamestop. This may also help by making trade in values competative, much like gamestop and EBgames did before they merged. Ever since they merged, trading in games has become much less valuable.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

Is this the future of gaming just used games thats kinda depressing.

HatchetMan715
HatchetMan715

so does this mean Best Buy will sell back used games? or will they use them for something else?