Target, Best Buy begin used-game trade-ins

Big-box retailers launch software buyback programs this week, granting in-store credit for previously owned wares.

Last week, GameStop reported yet another stellar fiscal quarter, announcing that profits during the May-July period rose 4.2 percent from the year prior to $40.3 million. Used-game sales have traditionally driven GameStop's bottom line, and the specialty retailer's CEO, Paul Raines, commented in a postearnings conference call that the company has "seen no competitive impact" from new businesses in the used-game space, such as Amazon, Toys R Us, and Wal-Mart.

Used games are a big business.

Of course, that isn't preventing said competitors from continuing their efforts, nor preventing others from getting in on the game. This week, big-box retailers Best Buy and Target both announced that their video game trade-in programs are now open for business. Target's announcement signals its entrance into the used-game business, while Best Buy had indicated its renewed interest in the used-game market in June.

Target's entrance into the used-game sector is part of a larger consumer electronics service program that also includes a new product-support helpline and mobile-phone business. As for trading in games, the in-store program is now available in select Northern California shops, and Target plans to roll out the program to approximately 850 stores across the country by year's end.

According to Target, gamers will receive in-store credit for their wares, depending on the title and its condition. An online trade-in program is also available through Target's Web site. The trade-in program extends to iPhones, iPods, and cell phones as well.

As previously announced, Best Buy's trade-in program lets gamers buy and sell used games in some 600 stores nationwide beginning August 29. While some Best Buy stores will have dedicated trade-in desks, most locations will handle game buybacks at the customer service desk. Customers will receive their compensation in the form of a gift card good for anything in the store, and any used games purchased will be covered by the store's return policy.

Best Buy already offers a buyback program through its Web site that allows gamers to look up the trade-in "estimates" of all their games and systems. When the in-store program launches, gamers will be able to use the Web site so they know how much to expect from their titles before they head to the store.

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Discussion

173 comments
Axe_336
Axe_336

@DaSlyOne: Dude, gamers don't want to deal with the faceless feel of Best Buy when they can have that "Local Game Store" feel of a quality GameStop. Maybe the GameStops in your area just suck, because the one I go to is rock-awesome.

DaSlyOne
DaSlyOne

Good...I boycotted Gamestop a long time ago. It'll be good to sit back and watch them get beaten senseless by these giants! Pass the popcorn please!

badron11
badron11

This is good news. I've stopped buying everything except big games like Halo Reach, and Rock Band(because I have 500 songs or so downloaded). Gamefly is a great alternative, and so far I'm liking it. I also hate that when I go to Gamestop they take my games out of their case and then just scratch the **** out of them when they violently put them back. I'm like, "Hey man thanks for ******* my game up so now I can't take it anywhere else.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Good. More competition = better for gamers.

thebizkit
thebizkit

If you live in a major city nothing beats Craigslist for buying used games, Halo 3 for 30 bucks no tax when it first came out was a steal for me along with other used games I bought. That being said I'm kinda happy to hear Best Buy and Target take a shot at the trade in market, Gamestop has dominated this market for EVER and has ripped off countless gamers and made huge profits. I will never forget the face on a kid who traded in Red Dead Redemption only a week or 2 after release for like only 20 bucks and then see it sold right back out for 55 dollars.

Cloud737
Cloud737

Kinda funny this comes right when publishers are applying those dirty Online Pass tactics. Makes it seem like it has no effect on the used games industry. It seems to be thriving despite it. I recon this could lead to cheaper used games, which would drive more used game sales and in the end will lead the publishers to raise the price of the Online Pass. Then repeat until the Online Pass has the price of a new game (or more), which is ridiculous but don't see it as entirely implausible, unless we offer any resistance to these dirty tactics (which we don't, unfortunately). In any case, with this news and the Online Pass thing, I think cheaper used games is on the horizon.

method115
method115

@ baza66 Amazon is cheap but sometimes it's not worth the wait and not all games are cheaper. Tales of Vesperia is one that comes off the top of my head. Last time I checked it was much more expensive then what Gamestop had it for. Basically some people are willing to lose $5 dollars to get the game right then and there I know I am sometimes. Think of it as an instant shipping price. Also I enjoy the experience of being in a game store unless I bring my gf along cause then she just nags me to death. Then starts pestering me to buy that Lost game or CSI game crap cause she wants to try it. Thats a subject for another time though.

baza66
baza66

Also, Gamestop is on borrowed time. Like music and movies, games won't be on disc forever.

baza66
baza66

I just started buying games from Amazon.com more recently. Most games are cheaper and I don't have to leave the house to get it. I am buying Halo Reach and Black Ops each for $40 tax and shipping included. How can any brick and mortar compete?

robjones2112
robjones2112

I used to buy used games all of the time but now nearly everytime i do i have to go back to the shop 2 or 3 times because most of them are scratched or damaged.

mellow09
mellow09

xOhDamnItsJrx I'm not making a generalization that Best Buy doesn't know squat about games. I'm making a generalization that the people behind the customer service counter won't know squat about games. That's a very different thing to say. And yes, I know that's not always going to be accurate, but I do think that in a vast majority of cases it will be correct because people behind that particular counter are not specialized to deal with games. That's particularly important when you're getting in games that have annoying nuances that differentiate versions. For example, Best Buy gives $20+ for 100 games (of course it counts games on different consoles so it's really like 60ish games) and some of these games are 'special editions'. Now, when you're trading this in, do you trust the person behind the customer service counter to get it right. If you are buying a used game from them, do you trust they got it right, and all the goodies needed for it to be a whole trade-in are in there (I assume for those you'd need non-used codes as well). I see this situation as a fundamental problem quite worth talking about.

Maverickx25
Maverickx25

I just think it sucks when people get mad and start yelling at the employees for the low trade-in prices. That's like yelling at your mail man because he delivered you a subpoena. Don't shoot the messenger.

Wafflezorz
Wafflezorz

I used to work at a Gamestop, and I would just like to say this: Each of you complaining about the "rip off" needs to realize that you have no idea how they determine the prices. You also need to realize that the majority of Gamestop's profit comes from used sales and pre-orders. They make very very little off of new sales. It is a fact of life that whenever you trade something in, be it a game, a car or your old girlfriend, you are going to feel ripped off. We all want want to get more money then we get. Do you really think that Gamestop could get away with ripping people off like you all think they do? No, they couldn't. Which must mean that they aren't ripping people off like you all seem to think. Lastly, if you hate Gamestop so much don't go there and stop complaining. The "sane" people who like to take part in meaningful, polite, educated conversations are tired of your ranting and raving.

xOhDamnItsJrx
xOhDamnItsJrx

@RacerLegend64 the current list is mostly all new gen systems with some ps2 games rolled out on the list. but the system just dropped so im sure the list is expanding because gamecube xbox1 ps2 360 ps3 wii psp and ds games are all available to choose from, just no titles have been listed yet

xOhDamnItsJrx
xOhDamnItsJrx

@mellow09 all im saying is dont make the generalization that best buy knows squat about games they wouldnt be jumping into the gaming business if they didnt. you can keep giving up money to gamestop i mean thats fine if you enjoy getting ripped off but im sure theyre are gamers out there who would enjoy trading in games for money towards ALL electronics and not just other games. thats just my two cents

Solamon
Solamon

@Offworlder1: Yeah, I hear you about charging people you don't really know. I've started taking collateral from people who aren't really my friends just to make sure I actually get my game back. I've loaned out my stuff only to not get it back FAR too often. @KaizerJinn: I totally agree with you. I don't even trade in my worst games either. I used to when I was young though and what a mistake that was. I would do anything if I could have all my games back again. I have probably owned over 1000 games in my life it you add up everything I've owned from the Atari 2600 and on. I suspect a lot of trade in business these stores get are from younger people who don't always have the money to get a new game they want.

RacerLegend64
RacerLegend64

@KaizerJinn, I'm the same way. I still have all my games, around 200 of them (I don't have a job and I'm 16). You couldn't pay me enough to get rid of my games.

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

oh, about the article... i'm a packrat when it comes to games. i dont even trade in the crapest games i've been suckered to buy. -_- i just can't seem to let any of my precious games go ^_^ so this don't effect me that much... :l

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

@advanracer thought i was the only one... that's why i hate shopping at gamestop. only time i'd be tempted to go in there is: A.) when i'm dragged out of the house to go shopping and there's a gamestop close by to pass time by looking at games and playing demo OR B.) BUY 2 GET 1 FREE deal X^D

RacerLegend64
RacerLegend64

Wonder what systems they'll allow? This is a good idea. Though imagine if they took in NES games, unfortunately we'd be having ignorant little kids coming in going "What's an NES? It's old and stupid. Where are the Xbox 360 games?".

advanracer
advanracer

My Favorite Gamestop sales pitch :: "Well it's still Brand New..but its been Opened".."It's still gonna be Full Price.." - FML.

Argle
Argle

hopefully the competition will offer better deals than gamestop. as it stands, you get five bucks for a game that costed 60, and they get to sell it for around $30-40, sometimes even $50-55. to get any money for your used game it usually has to be less than 6 months old, which kinda sucks

gbyd
gbyd

You paid 69.99 for this game We'll pay 1.39 for this game Hallelujah

MagusIM
MagusIM

Buying and trading games ruins the one thing all of us love. The next game. You see when you buy a used game no money goes back to the developer, so in turn they don't have as much to pay their employees, thus they have to either charge more for the new games or make less quality games. A vicious cycle that is the reason why PC games didn't have to raise their prices and console games did.

dabalz17
dabalz17

Alright listen, for all of you who keep complaining about GameStop, they are a business and need to make a profit to stay in business. Buy only the AAA games that come out like Halo, COD, RDR, etc. For the other games go to your local video store and rent them. I’m sure they will have them in stock at some point and it will cost you anywhere from $5-$10. Problem solved. If you REALLY need to sell your old games then, like others have already said, any online site will work. If you don't have access to a computer and can ONLY go to GameStop then look for their specials, get the Edge Card, and trade in your games.

ResidnetEvil777
ResidnetEvil777

Anything to make gamestop give better deals is good with me.

gq_cjc
gq_cjc

Hopefully we'll get another retailer that deals in used games. Gamestop is a complete rip off.

mr_squibble
mr_squibble

dorgfanger Posted Aug 27, 2010 2:35 pm CT "@Mr_squibble : Dude, hold up. As a gamestop employee, I can guarantee that's not what we did. I know, because I had to set up that particular section when corporate told us to change the store fronts. We still sell games with cases and books, it's just the games traded in with only the game that are put in the cabinet. Believe me, it sucks to have that cabinet and having to constantly stock the damn thing all the time when a nine year old comes in and just heaps a ziploc baggie of games on the counter. But we haven't gotten rid of the cases or manuals for the games that came in with them." Not according to Gamestops around me. Used DS games are sold as the games only. There are no used DS game boxes anywhere in the store. It's only a matter of time - you'll get the directive from the corporate powers on high - and be powerless to do anything about it.

NC15
NC15

Over the years Ive learned to work the system(s) to see what benefits me as a gamer. the Corporate Gamestop/EB trade-in system Benefits their business model, not the gamer. For years Ive been dealing with EB corporate to adopt a points program for their loyal Customers, so that they can accrue points to use towards future purchases (much like Best Buy reward Zone/Gamer zone which I highly recommend). They wont do it! They refuse to honor the Faithful consumer. Unless they are running a price drop, or a trade in deal that Cant be beat on Half.com* I avoid giving them my used games at all costs. Notice I said Half.com, because once you put your price up there, if its fair you usually sell Your game in a few days, without the hassles of an auction on Ebay. One of the ways Ive avoided getting ripped off in is just showing patience in buying Games in general. Unless its a AAA title that I MUST have on launch date I usually wait. If I purchase a title that I expected more from and Id like to get close To my original purchase, I put it up on Half.com ASAP. Unless you absolutely no self control This is the only way Ive found to avoid losing money and supporting EB/Gamestop or any other Large retailer’s selfish business model.

legrandfilou
legrandfilou

I'm always using Amazon for games and dvds too. Half of the time people play through the game or watch the dvd once and then throw it up pretty cheaply. For DVDs ZOverstock seem pretty awesome, i buy from them every couple of weeks or so at the moment.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

The used game threads always bring out the hilarious arguments. "Dude, they only give you five dollars off. It's a rip-off!" Why? The game works and you got it less than full retail. You came out ahead. "They give you $25 and then sell it for $50!" Gee, really? They only perform this service because of the massive profit involved, and not because they like you? Who could've guessed there would be dark motives behind a system which undermines the very gaming industry that both GameStop and the consumers depend on for their jobs and enjoyment, respectively. "GameStop employees suck! And pre-ordering is a rip-off!" As much as I dislike the used game market, this is also untrue. Most game store employees do a staggeringly good job considering how little they get paid and how much crap they get from the brass. And I shopped at various GameStops for 10 years before getting tired of their pawn shop mentality, and not once did they fail to hold a game for me, at no extra cost. "GameStop employees don't give me price estimates on the phone!" Probably because their stores are desperately understaffed and they have more pressing things to do with the customers actually IN the store, and they can't spend 10 minutes looking up the prices for all of the awful crap you want to trade in. Or should they automatically know the fluctuating values for thousands of games off the top of their head?

Gigaman222
Gigaman222

@ tainted lynx If you put a minimum of $5 towards the game you are guarenteed to get the game on its release date provided it is picked up within 48 hours if they cant honor that they give $10 in store credit which rarely happens. I dont know want po dunk town you live in where they dont honor that but Im guessing that was an opinion you gave, not fact. I dont consider the bonus content steller but its still free. Madden coins are good, borderlands starting weapons = fun, fun skins for mutliplayer platforms, nice! I wouldnt consider them garbage since if im paying $59.99 at either amazon vs gamestop I might as well get something free with it. Heck, why not? And sorry, but if you order something from craigslist or amazon, why wait or pay shipping fees. Why pay more to wait longer? Preordering from either place is the same quality too dude, its a new product. If your going to bash it use some facts, not opinons, less you really do live in a place where GS people bash you for 15 mins and dont honor pre orders.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

Here is the MAIN reason for these stores that people are not getting. They spend $$$$ on advertising just to get people into the store. Selling games at a lower price and accepting in a trade for store credit or less for cash brings people to the store and they can pick up their everyday items. Now more than ever adults are playing games so now more than ever these stores want them in their store to see whats new that they can also pick up.

tainted_lynx
tainted_lynx

I feel bad for people who still think they are getting a good deal at GameStop yet get ripped off. It's sad.

tainted_lynx
tainted_lynx

@ Gigaman222 Are you serious? It is worthless pre-ordering games at GameStop. That 'free' crap? You can get that anywhere else. They just do that to fool you into buying the thing. It guarantees them the sale. Let me tell you, that stuff they give you is GARBAGE. They have boxes of that crap, and most of it is taken by employees. They just push that crap down your throat. Even if its remotely good, it's usually taken by the managers. You're not guaranteed the game if you pre-order it. If they don't have any copies to sell, they are supposed to sell the pre-orders. Thus making pre-ordering totally USELESS. You can get this stuff anywhere else and at a better price and quality. As for Craigslist and Amazon being 'creepy'.. like getting hassled by a GS employee for 15 mins just to buy one game is any different. Come on. Those places have a much better quality and a better price. It's a fact. Not only that but you can sell games at Craigslist and Amazon for way more. Those bonus days are garbage, you can get a much better deal at other places.

Gigaman222
Gigaman222

Im sure they get their fair amount of business from people who trade in games for 20 and re sale them for 50, but its also based on supply on demand and what a consumer is willing to spend. You, as a consumer, need to be smarter on how you do things in this economy if you dont want to be ripped off. A place that offers bonus content, bonus weeks for games bumping $20 to $40 per game, a free year to a magazine with readily available games with lots of locations is not a rip off good sir.

Gigaman222
Gigaman222

@tainted lynx I dont understand where your trying to get at, its not worthless pre-ordering a game at gamestop for a free gamestop "exclusive" content that you cant get at other locations. Provided sometimes a few select games will offer the bonus conent such as amazon or walmart but those stores dont offer trade ins and most dont want to pay to have things shipped to them. Craigslist and amazon require shipping, meeting creepy people, and/or a few days to get a game without bonus content. If your trading in your games and only getting 20 bucks your doing it wrong. Wait for bonus days then unload your games, 50% trade in weeks are wonderful. People who dont understand this probably dont understand coupons when grocery shopping either.

tainted_lynx
tainted_lynx

It's amazing how GS rips people off, go to Amazon or Craigslist. They have better prices and wayyy better quality.

tainted_lynx
tainted_lynx

@Gigaman222 Pre-ordering games at GameStop is essentially worthless. What they offer can be found anywhere else and cheaper too, so I'm not sure why you would want to trade in games for that. Especially when you get 15-20 bucks for a new game yet they turn around and sell it for 55 bucks used, that is a rip.

jumpy46
jumpy46

I usually replay my games, so I don't use the trade in option anyway.

kwanzudood
kwanzudood

Why not just sell your used games to another person directly using craigslist or ebay?

DrKill09
DrKill09

@XboxGuy1537 Then you're a fool. I don't trade in games much, but when I do, I trade them to a locally owned game store, or Game Crazy (you know, cause I actually want a decent ammount of money to show for my games). Too bad Game Crazy's gone. They gave a lot for trade ins compared to Gamestop. Got $175 for my 360 and all my games a couple years ago.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Good. I hate Gamestop. Target has the best Blu Ray prices, they'll probably have the best used game prices, too.

Gigaman222
Gigaman222

@makeoutboy I dont mind reserving games at gamestop if they continue to give me free crap in return, that alone probably has and always will keep gamestop in the lead for buying games. If people can get free crap for putting $5 towards a game, you know they are going to.

makeoutboy
makeoutboy

lol @ all the gamestop hate. I guess it must hurt when you save your allowance for 4 months to buy Madden 10 and are only offered $6 when you go to trade it in the same day Madden 11 comes out. Tomorrow I'm probably going to trade in ODST and MW2 toward Reach. It's on their list for "trade in 2 games, get $40" for Halo Reach. As I'm typing this I just checked ebay and the highest price for ODST is $20 and the highest for MW2 is $27, both auctions ending in less than 20 minutes. I'll gladly get "ripped off" for $7 if it means I don't have to create 2 ebay auctions and wait around for the money to come in. IMO the only bad thing you can say about gamestop is how they do trick stupid parents into buying a used game for $55 when a brand new copy is sitting on the shelf for $60. It's also annoying when all you want to do is buy a game and the neckbeard behind the counter is trying to get you to reserve every game that's coming out in the next 6 months.

HyruleanLink
HyruleanLink

Nice options. Yet, I usually hold onto my games for memories.

Gigaman222
Gigaman222

Ill stick with gamestop since they offer bonus trade in credit if you save your used games instead of selling them right after you beat them. Heck, they just had a 30% bonus if you trade in 5 ps3, wii, and xbox360 titles with the additon of 10% if you are a card holder. Walked out with almost 200 bucks alone that day.

XboxGuy1537
XboxGuy1537

I'm sticking with Game Stop for trading in my used games......