Wal-Mart taking on GameStop, will soon accept video game trade-ins

US retailer hoping to "shake up" the secondhand market; trade-ins will start March 26 while inventory should be widely available this summer.


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Watch out, GameStop, you have a new competitor in the used game market. Wal-Mart announced today that it will begin accepting video game software trade-ins at 3,100 stores nationwide on March 26.

During a conference call attended by GameSpot, Wal-Mart merchandising chief Duncan Mac Naughton said Wal-Mart is hoping to "shake up" the secondhand market and steal some marketshare away from competitors like GameStop.

There are 880 million video games sitting in homes today, Mac Naughton said. And according to a cited NPD report, 80 percent of these games, or more than 700 million, are rarely played. Clearly, there is a market for second-hand games, just look at GameStop's quarterly revenue for evidence of that. But why trade these games in at Wal-Mart instead of GameStop or Best Buy?

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Wal-Mart's "true differentiator," Mac Naughton said, is that you can use your in-store credit for purchases outside of gaming like food and clothing. Indeed, GameStop can't compete there. But unlike GameStop, Wal-Mart will not have a cash option for trade-ins. It's credit or nothing. And on top of that, Wal-Mart will only accept games, not hardware.

Wal-Mart will accept all games (provided they are not scratched or damaged beyond repair) and refurbish them via a third-party company. These games will then be sold at stores and online with a "certified pre-owned" label on their packaging. Wal-Mart expects to have a solid inventory of secondhand games available this summer.

GameStop has its own dedicated refurbishment center in Grapevine, Texas and it is this very operation that management believes sets GameStop apart from competitors. We've reached out to Gamestop for comment on this story but we have not heard back.

Just because Wal-Mart is getting into the used game market, it doesn't mean the company is backing away from new games anytime soon. The company's new release business will "remain a focus" for Wal-Mart going forward, Mac Naughton said.

But why get into the secondhand market now, in 2014, when an increasing amount of attention is paid to download services? It's a question we poised to Mac Naughton and he said Wal-Mart isn't worried because bandwidth into homes is still an issue for many. Still, he explained that Wal-Mart is indeed eyeing the digital market as a future growth opportunity.

"We think being on the shoulders of disruptive tech is good," he said. "We're ready to grow into digital as that business emerges."

Wal-Mart's move into the used-game market will also conceivably affect publishers like Electronic Arts and Activision, which do not participate in second-hand sales. We've also reached out to these companies, but have not heard back. We'll have more in the future.

Finally, though Mac Naughton never mentioned GameStop by name during the call, he said Wal-Mart's aim with its secondhand program is to "pay more than anybody else" for your old games. Of course, trade-in prices will vary, but he said the average price paid per title should be around $35.

Here's how Wal-Mart's used-game program works:

  • Customers bring their working video games, in the original packaging, to the electronics department.
  • Associates scan the UPC code on the case and evaluate the game for obvious damage such as deep scratches or cracks.
  • The customer is then provided with a trade-in value for each game to accept.
  • The total value accepted by the customer is awarded immediately and can be applied at checkout in a Walmart store or Sam’s Club, or online at Walmart.com or SamsClub.com

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for fjenna89

I once traded in a ps2 and 14 games at gamestop and they offered me a shiny new nickel. Unless a game is a limited or special edition and gamestop is the only place to get it, I but elsewhere. Don't ever trade used games or systems there, you're just feeding them. Make more money on ebay or craigslist and then you have more money to spend on something else.

Avatar image for Dredcrumb9

Wal mart is a joke, everybody should just steal games form Wal Mart if they can.

Avatar image for GIF

Lower used game prices to beat gamestop, raise them slightly (but still below gamestop prices) to start giving publishers and developers a small percentage of sales and you will wipe out Gamestop.

Avatar image for finalkain

Sometime in the near Future...

"I Think I wanna buy a Used game at Wal Mart... Lets go see what they got..."


Avatar image for da_chub

even if it takes longer, it saves money. lots. I mean, go trade say titalfall in a gamestop, they give you like $30 maybe. but you could get like $55 off ebay. that's $25 extra. now talk about 100 games over a couple years. that's thousands of wasted $.

Avatar image for soulless4now

I'll stick with Amazon...

Avatar image for deactivated-5acfa3a8bc51d

If it is for the sake of recycling used games

Avatar image for divinejester

I swear I am looking at this thread and wondering how paradoxically it is that you can post on an online forum, but can't spend the few minutes to list something on ebay and amazon, and then sell to gamestop and whine about trade in prices. There are many sites to sell online that will allow you to get close to market price, and other sites to trade for equal value. I mean if you dumb enough to trade in games when there is no special offer, then you deserve what you get.

Avatar image for divinejester

Walmart may actually be more disliked than Gamestop. Unless they severely undercut prices I don't see this working out.

Avatar image for hystavito

<< LINK REMOVED >> But being Walmart they might bring a whole new crowd to trading. Think about how many people out there, say parents for example, that probably have no clue that you can even trade in games. Or, maybe people that have heard about it, but don't know where or don't want to specifically make trips to those locations.

Walmart will be convenient as many people are shopping there on a regular basis anyway, and a lot of people are more likely to trust it as opposed to a small store where they might think the people at the counter are going to play around with the trade-in values. I realize that Gamestop/EB use a similar system for trade in values, but a lot of people don't know that and might be suspicious about a small store.

Avatar image for Dredcrumb9

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> people suspicious of small stores are morons. Wal Mart is run by greedy sweat shop workers and their customers and staff are Zombies. People need to just stay away from or steal from Wal Mart.

Avatar image for deactivated-57b685ba234c5

I love this. I hate gamestop. They monopolized the trade in industry and rip everyone off. I hope they go out of buisiness. Competition means better trade in prices. I tried to trade in battlefield 4 for COD Ghosts (BF4 is more expensive) and they offered me 14 bucks. I hate them.

Avatar image for divinejester

@jett_teagues Walmart will give you 14 cents, well maybe a little more but not much. If you want more then sell on it online you twit. I mean who actually sells to gamestop?

Avatar image for robbinsracing29

<< LINK REMOVED >> Walamrt will give you 30.98 for COD Ghosts. So before you call someone names, you may want to look into what you want to discuss. ................................Why can't ppl in online forums...be nice?

Avatar image for taggerung000

So you mean I will be able to go to Walmart, pick up a case or two of beer, and at the checkout lane... Just hand over a copy of last years COD game and walk out? .. I approve.

Avatar image for deactivated-5893d0a8c8591

Well, trading in games at Wal-Mart WOULD mean that I wouldn't have to change out of my pajama's first.

Avatar image for g1rldraco7

I think this will cause hell to freeze over, why is Walmart doing this?

Avatar image for youre_a_sheep

I have no desire to shop at Wal-Mart.

Avatar image for VegasAceVII

<< LINK REMOVED >> Yeah really, much less want to trade in games there. Then again, I never understood the point to trading them in. Few bucks a'int worth it.

Avatar image for StryfeBringer

I hate Gamestop and the way they give you almost nothing for your used games. Maybe with Walmart breathing down their necks, Gamestop will start giving people a better deal for trade-ins.

Avatar image for charlesswann

I like how everyone who works at Walmart is courteous and easy on the eyes.

Avatar image for stylux24

so...best buy does this really badly mind you ($60 games for 16 bucks). So if they do better than them I might be interested.

Avatar image for RyogaRod

Well if they offer more than the 2-3 dollars gamestop offers for games that are released even just a year ago, I think the greedy bastards at Walmart may have something here lol.

Avatar image for NoahRoalson

Good, GameStop is really shady these days, they need some competition. If Walmart can pull this off correctly then GameStop is screwed.

Avatar image for Takeno456

Wal-Mart has never been really good with how they handle their gaming division. I don't think this will be handled very well either but I also think it will probably be profitable simply because of the sheer amount of people who shop there. Like all things Wal-Mart, it will win with quantity over quality.

Avatar image for VegasAceVII

<< LINK REMOVED >> This is my thoughts exactly.

Avatar image for daikkenaurora12

Its about time. Some competition is good good Gamestop.

Avatar image for gcodegamer

Here I come baby.... Pack and ready to deliver.

Avatar image for foxrock66

Because this has worked so well for Best Buy

Avatar image for Phrase_Universe

Trade in your old games for beer n' socks!

Avatar image for thekingofirony

I buy a majority of my games online,but come on.Go into your Wal Mart and see who works the electronics.Most of the time its old farts.

Avatar image for calabuty

<< LINK REMOVED >> Yeah and you'll be young forever

Avatar image for thekingofirony

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>Nah,I'll kill myself before 40.

Avatar image for DeadHUSKSskiN

lol.. Its goofy.. but, i have been down on my luck to the point where im terribly BROKE.. If I could choose between the crap cash prices you get at Gamestop, and in-store credit at Wal-Mart and get a Roasted Chicken to stuff my face with.. It could save lives..

Avatar image for IndremaLover

The only chance GS had to hang on just a little longer was their corner on the used game market. I think Blockbuster Video now has a better shot at a comeback.

Avatar image for Shielder7

I don't think it will last as I don't think Walmart has the patience for this.

Avatar image for mtorre90

Although I do think walmart is late in the game I do like this alternative. Listen I used to like gamestop but now I think they are too cocky and proud, I mean you trade in 6 games (mind you the games are from 2012-2013) and you'll get $12 if your lucky

Avatar image for Hurvl

A big (and therefore evil) company taking on a another big, evil company? I don't have any Wal-Marts in my neighborhood and most of my games are digital (do they even accept used PC games?), so I guess it's moot on who to root for.

Avatar image for yngsten

A little late to the party WM?

Avatar image for XxXDarkness0XxX

this is gonna suck... they will probably accept scratched up disk's without even knowing it.. give you xbox copys when you have a ps4 -_-

Avatar image for sanchango

<< LINK REMOVED >> Not likely. Honestly, how stupid do you have to be when you ask for a game for a certain console version and they give you the wrong version. That's not going to happen.

Avatar image for XxXDarkness0XxX

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> lol there was a time i called for GTA4 for PS3 and they said yes so i go in and there was only 360 copys

Avatar image for da_chub

@Tomcat2007 I have bought and sold hundreds of games on ebay. really, my feedback is over 400, and I bet over 350 of that is video games. I have had exactly 1 issue, in which I bought fallout 3 and got the xbox instead of ps3 version. (seller let me keep both). I make more money trading games that way, which means more gaming. I use ebay as a rental site. buy a game, play it, sell it a couple months later, cost me about $5 to do that. better then renting and I can keep it as long as I want. i have to add i have over 100 disc games still in my collection, mostly for my Wii and Wii U, plenty for my ps3 and 3ds. even more downloaded ones too. if your trading them, then ebay is the way to go. or be lazy and pay for it. and buying games off ebay is cheaper then gamespot/walmart 99% of the time. and waiting 2 days for a game to show up in the mail is no different then waiting a year for it to be released. but gamestop ceo's love it when you trade 2 games in for a discount on a new one.

Avatar image for Tomcat2007

<< LINK REMOVED >> might have to look into ebay more then, i buy most everything through amazon and it often takes a long time to get to me, but then again i only buy technical computer books, maybe those sellers are slower than game sellers that do more volume and are used to getting things in the mail fast since they know buyers expect it

Avatar image for coasterguy65

So the 60-70 year old women that they have working in the Electronics / Game department at Wal-Mart are going to handle my trade ins? No thanks I have a hard time getting them to even get a game out of the display case now. If more than two people are at the register they get flustered as it is. Adding game trade ins is going to kill them.