GameStop's simplified trade-in process, which the company confirmed yesterday after internal documents found their way online earlier this week, will indeed begin on August 18. GameStop senior vice president for pre-owned business, Jason Cochran, not only confirmed the start-date for the initiative in an interview with GameSpot today, but also explained how he thinks it will benefit the consumer.
"What we're doing is we're ripping out a lot of that complexity and being able to show or convey a more straightforward way for customers to understand the true buyback price," Cochran said. He explained that GameStop heard from its customers that they want a better way to understand the value of what they sell to the retailer, and this new initiative is a way to deliver on that feedback.
GameStop's current trade-in system has been criticized for being somewhat cumbersome and difficult to understand. Currently, to get the maximum trade value, you often have to apply your credit toward a preorder or another promotion. But come August 18, this will no longer be the case. You'll still see bonus trade-in credit if you're a Powerup Rewards Pro member or if you take credit over cash, but you can soon expect greater visibility for the true value of your games.
"What we're doing is we're ripping out a lot of that complexity" -- Jason Cochran
The introduction of the new initiative comes in the lead-up to the all-important holiday season. GameStop stores are likely to be flooded with shoppers heading into Christmas, but the simplified trade-in structure is only one component of GameStop's new strategy for secondhand games. Cochran also reiterated than fewer than 50 percent of GameStop shoppers even know that the retailer accepts trade-ins.
This is a surprising statistic, given how dependent GameStop is on the secondhand market. But it also shows how much room GameStop still has to grow beyond the $1.2 billion in trade credits the company posted last year. If GameStop can get even more shoppers to trade in their wares, the company could grow its secondhand business to new heights. To help GameStop get there, Cochran said the retailer will ramp up its marketing efforts through its email lists and by communicating directly with customers in-store.
Looking ahead to the August 18 launch of the new trade-in system, Cochran teased that GameStop has some compelling offers in store that gamers won't want to miss.
"We've got a lot of great things lined up on what we look to expose and put out there on the 18th," Cochran said. "Our customers, the gaming community, the publishers, the developers, and the core gamer is really going to appreciate what we're doing to help them buy more products and keep them in the game."
Are you more likely to shop at GameStop when the new trade-in program rolls out this month? Let us know in the comments!
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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