Walmart Starts Selling Used Games, But GameStop Isn't Worried

Retailer now offering used games in stores across the US; GameStop president says his company isn't threatened.

125 Comments
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Giant retailer Walmart started buying pre-owned games earlier this year, and now it's ready to sell them.

The retailer announced today that it has started selling "certified, pre-owned" games in 1,700 of its more than 3,600 stores across the US. Secondhand games were already available to buy through Walmart's website.

With the move, Walmart is pushing into GameStop's territory. But GameStop isn't worried. In fact, the retailer says Walmart's move could actually be a boon for GameStop overall.

"Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, they've all tried or are trying used games," GameStop president Tony Bartel told Bloomberg. "Frankly, when someone comes it helps us, because it raises awareness that you can turn in video games, and we have the lion's share of the market."

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Bartel went on to say that setting the buy and sell prices for used games is not a simple task. If Walmart gets its wrong, the retailer could be stuck with inventory, he said.

Another differentiating factor regarding how GameStop and Walmart conduct their pre-owned business is that GameStop operates its own refurbishment center, while Walmart contracts this out to a third-party. GameStop says operating its business in this way has been one of the main reasons it has been able to remain king of the used game category for a long time.

Next week will be a busy one for Wal-Mart as it relates to gaming. In addition to its used game plans, the retailer has announced a special promotion around Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The retailer is throwing midnight launch parties at locations nationwide, and you'll be able to buy the Day Zero edition of the game on November 3 without a previous preorder.

The midnight launch events begin at 10 PM local time on Sunday, November 2 at more than 2,800 stores across the US. In the two hours leading up to launch, attendees can participate in Advanced Warfare tournaments and win Call of Duty posters and patches.

In addition, on November 3 and November 4, Walmart will offer 50 percent bonus trade-in credit for any game when you also buy Advanced Warfare. If you're in the market for a new console, you can also score double trade-in value when applying your trade to the purchase of a new PlayStation 4. This deal does not apply to the Xbox One.

Finally, if you buy specially marked packs of Mountain Dew, Diet Mountain Dew, and Doritos, you'll receive a special exoskeleton to use in Advanced Warfare. For more on Advanced Warfare, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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

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Avatar image for daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Prices are still terrible.

Avatar image for bigrod69
bigrod69

Great, just what the world needs, more Obamaphone welfare trash trying save $2 and killing the game industry. Just complete and utter trash.

Avatar image for gaealiege
Gaealiege

<< LINK REMOVED >> I think I've spotted the trash in this comments section. The white trash anyway (you).

Avatar image for bigrod69
bigrod69

<< LINK REMOVED >> oh snap... you're such a rebel.

Avatar image for penkowalski
PenKowalski

Hell, Wal-Mart cant even manage the new games behind the glass and the 19.99 and under section. This is a fail for Wal-Mart but then you'll have the m0rons that will support this service with this store.

Avatar image for Auriken
Auriken

Being a PC gamer and going digital years ago means I don't have to deal with this crap. Besides, there's not a used games market on the PC.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

The only thing keeping GameStop going is the ability to buy a game new, beat it in a weekend, and then trade it in for something like $40+. You can often put it towards a new game and you end up paying like $20 or something for every game you buy. Resale wise, they're the worst, and anyone with any net savvy knows they can get the same games, and keep them, for just a few dollars if they're patient enough.


Granted, most gamers aren't hardcore gamers.

Avatar image for GinsuVictim
GinsuVictim

Anyone who has seen the used selection at Walmart knows that it's a joke.

Avatar image for rolla020980
rolla020980

CAUTION!!!! WALMART IS FULL OF FALSE ADVERTISEMENTS!!!! DO NOT SHOP THERE!!!

I went to pick up a copy of COD Ghosts at a Walmart about 6 months ago. they advertised it as $29.99 new, which was cheap for it at the time. I went there and they refused to give me the price they advertised.I argued with them for close to an hour and showed them their own website with the price and they could not point out where it said online only. They said it doesn't need to specify that because Walmart.com and Walmart stores are not the same thing. I called them out for that BS and left a cart full of groceries sitting in their electronics section. I went to their website to complain about this and they sent a response back saying the same about the separation of Walmart and Walmart.com.... Target made a new customer that day. I swore off Walmart for life.
Avatar image for blprater
blprater

<< LINK REMOVED >> Been there and done that. Had the same issue. I found a Wal-Mart store that would let me pay the online price and pick it up in the store. What is sad is that some stores offer this feature and some don't. Not sure why that is but it sucks. So when I look online now at Walmart prices, I make sure that I can pick it up int he store the same day. Otherwise, I move on.

Avatar image for rolla020980
rolla020980

Local used game store>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Amazon>>>>>>>>>>>>>>crap>>>>>>>>>>rotting flesh>>>>>>>>>Walmart=Gamestop.

I will never set foot in a rip me off Gamestop or a rip me off Walmart again. Walmart and GS will give you like $10 for a $60 game and then try to sell it for $55. Forget that. Its a waste of my time. I can get a much higher amount for my trade and get the used game for much less at a local shop... not to mention the local shop will give you even better deals if you are a loyal customer. GS and WM treat you like dirt.

Avatar image for jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

I went to a heavenly place called GameKing here in Lexington, KY not to long ago. It was like a gamestop but with much better prices and the selections were amazing and childlike wonderment to behold. Literally almost any game console you could think of was ready for sale: Turbo grafix, sega saturn, Atari Jaguar, ps one with serial ports, gold game cubes. All with controllers and cords. Prices for used games were just a few dollars more then Amazon (I checked on my phone) and of course a mint black label Final Fantasy 7 and gold colored SNES Zelda with replaced batteries were of premium price, deserving so. Just looking through all of the gameboys as they changed through time made me giddy. While CPU emulators and digital is convenient holding some of these items in your hands was humbling.

So I asked the manager how they have a store like this, they said because Gamestop buys just about everything and we only buy used items that will resale - they can give more per used game and also sale cheaper. Plus they buy and resale off the internet.

I understand Gamestop needs to make a profit or go the way of Hills, Ames, Babbages, Electronic botique but I think they can remodel their stores to focus on what gamers love the most - games. Gamestop fills a need (largest pawnshop of video games for pillheads to sale their kids games, no question asked) I think they can do it better.

BTW digital is the future but it is still a very long ways off. And no place shows this better then GameKing.

Avatar image for driftinghaze
DriftingHaze

<< LINK REMOVED >> In my area there are stores called Vintage Stock that sells every console you can name plus games and comics.

Avatar image for viper_3240
viper_3240

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for rolla020980
rolla020980

<< LINK REMOVED >>

There's a place like that by me. PS4 and XBOX One are an afterthought. The retro consoles and games, both US and Japanese versions, take up the vast majority of the store. They give me great deals on used stuff too and I can always talk them up a few bucks on my trades.

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DriftingHaze

Gamestop or Gamespot are dead men walking, it's just a matter of time.

Avatar image for NoSoul81
NoSoul81

<< LINK REMOVED >> Gamestop or Gamespot? How are the two comparable?

Avatar image for rolla020980
rolla020980

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

They are spelled with the exact same letters... beyond that, I don't know.

Avatar image for ditronus
Ditronus

As long as Walmart allows 7-day used returns--no questions asked--then Gamestop should be worried because Walmart is usually always closer to someone than a Gamestop is. Also, I hate shopping at Gamestops. No matter if there are only 1-3 people in line ahead of me, it always takes 30-minutes or more as the employee updates addresses, billing info, suggestive sales, and asks for a medical history of each customer.


It's miserable being in Gamestop.

Avatar image for knight1014139
knight1014139

Oh yeah, because it's going to be so exciting to wait in line to trade in games at Wal Mart.

Avatar image for archav3n
archav3n

King of used games.. lol. It's worst than piracy. On PC games are not resellable.

Avatar image for Suaron_x
Suaron_x

I've seen used games at various Walmarts for the past two months... Nothing like coming to Gamespot to get hot fresh gaming news.

Avatar image for sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

Don't forget Wal-Mart customer service is the worst..... Good luck even finding someone competent enough to accept your trade in at Wal-Mart. Amazon is great, and BestBuy gives you great value for trades. I got 50 bucks for a bunch of old games once.

Avatar image for knight1014139
knight1014139

I second this motion.

Avatar image for crazkanuk
crazkanuk

<< LINK REMOVED >> Lol, competence has nothing to do with it. GameStop won't match prices, reason, or even consider giving you more money. It's just tap, tap, tap, "OK! The computer says I am going to give you $8. Sorry, there's nothing I can do about it, the computer said so."

Avatar image for sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Yeah, but did you find someone? Find someone that understands what you are doing and understands how to use the computer to get it to tell them what to do? lol

At Wal-Mart you will spend 15 minutes finding someone after 3 people tell you "hang on let me get the person for electronics" then that person will come up and go "we don't do that here..." and you will show them an ad, then they will call the manager and the manager will come scratch their head while staying at the computer for another 10 minutes before finally offering you $8 for it, at which case they most likely forget to load on the card and leads to another 20 minute customer service meeting about how you traded in a game for store credit....

Avatar image for gaealiege
Gaealiege

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> You seem to expect a great deal out of people being paid minimum wage. I would expect the minimum from someone being paid the minimum.

Avatar image for hystavito
hystavito

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Not sure I would completely agree with this, but it is funny :).

Avatar image for ditronus
Ditronus

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> And during that whole time, at Gamestop I'd be waiting in line behind 10 moms trying to buy their brat kid some used grand theft auto games anyways.

Avatar image for Banyek
Banyek

It definetely raises awareness to the importance of phisical copys, that just seem to go away these days, everybody just downloads the game, people dont see value in phisical copies anymore.

Avatar image for sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

<< LINK REMOVED >> Lots of people do. Why do you think MS had to do a 180 with the Xbox One? lol

Avatar image for Banyek
Banyek

@sargentpsgamer @Banyek one year changes a lot!! the amount of games that are out in store shelves are the lowest in numbers ever since I got into gaming. The arcade games took over, which are almost all Download only, and the AAA boxed titles are down in numbers so drastically , that the future is frightening for them.
Hell , boxed console only games dont even exist anymore. ( the games that are out for both ps and xbox, but not out for pc)

Avatar image for jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

<< LINK REMOVED >> I am not exactly sure where you are getting your numbers at friend but they seem to be way off, try wiki. GTA5 was not only the highest pre-order game in history. Diablo 3 - has sold an unexpectedly high number of boxed retail copies of its game to consoles at the delight of Blizzard whois 3 or 4 year old game has been sold digitally this whole time. Also the 3ds game RPG and many of Nintendos games Smash Cart sold very well retail (true they have very few games and big N always sold well retail). On and On.

While there is a steady climb of digital sales in the gaming industry (mostly from faster broad band, digital only games, and simply offering a game digitally) the retail box has not had a huge backslide. Take Destiny - by far more copies of its game were sold through traditional brick and mortar retailers, that game sold very well.

What is different is the profit range publishers get between the two. Retail being less and less and digital being more and more. The gaming industry would really love for its consumers to move to digital as quickly as possible, but the overwhelming majority of its consumers are still analog.

There is also a few problems yet with digital: that can turn some off. Collectors love the old retail boxes in their hands, sharers like giving something away to family/friends (like me), and some of the digital caveats that consumers are forced with are a big turn off.

For one thing a digital copy of a game has no value: at the time of purchase and then on the consumer owns nothing of value. IT cannot be traded, resold, bartered, or even turned in for a refund. DRM- well I wont bother getting into that as the forums of frustrated consumers who cannot play their games will attest. But one of the biggest is the always online requirement that sours a games enjoyment. Ex. D3, Sim City. Also in TOA you give away your right for any litigation including class action, while States retail laws still protect box sets regardless of what TOA you agree to afterward.

Now do not get me wrong I love digital also, and it is the future (just not one that is all digital at this time) and the above OP got it very much right in that those console makers who are in a hurry to reap the reward of digital only got the chit stomped out of them. MS made a mistake of the ages in regards to the gaming industry by trying to push antiused games and strong DRM practices.

The 9th gen of gaming will not be all digital either, because as gaming increases world wide it opens the market up to digital gamers and retail only gamers alike.

Avatar image for Banyek
Banyek

@jenovaschilld @Banyek It might be true, that some titles sold pretty well, which in numbers add up to a good number in terms of boxed sellings, but the quantity of the available games are just simply not there(which was mainly my problem with boxed titles). And yes wikipedia backs this up. Also, keep our numbers in the 2013 november to 2014 oktober zone, which counts as "this year". Now I totally agree with you, but you see, Im a collector. I collect games. And this far, every year , I got about 80 games for my console collection. (dont even ask!) and this year, the count is at 32. Now I also have to mention, that I only collect boxed titles. This far , the multiplatform titles are 25 the console exclusives are at 7. And I collect any non-sport/kinect-move titles.ANY! So guess what! I kind of know what Im talking about, and the statistics are backing up the suggestion, that boxed titles are goint to either dissapear, or drastically go down. I really dont know how to feel about it though, I think that the future will decide that.

Avatar image for ditronus
Ditronus

<< LINK REMOVED >> Digital games are better for the gaming industry...I hope you understand this. Increased margins for publishers is always a better thing instead of those proceeds going to a retailer. Steam got me off the old "need" for having a box sitting in a shelf some where in my house collecting dust; it's just another thing to become lost, forgotten, or stolen.


Digital is the Future--er-er-er-er...

Avatar image for sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

<< LINK REMOVED >> I agree, but lack of games doesn't mean we don't still buy retail. That's why they release games like Minecraft in physical form still. I agree boxed numbers are down and arcade digital titles are a popular thing right now, but that's also why I've only bought 2 or 3 games the entire year so far.....

Avatar image for electrichobo99
ElectricHobo99

GameStop is one of the hugest rip-off businesses in existence. For example, a friend of mine never got to play through GTAV and was looking for a used copy at the local GameStop and found it still carries a hefty $49.99 price tag. I pulled up my Gamefly account and looked at what it would cost to "keep it" used from them, and you can get GTAV with a brand new case for something like $23.89. In fact, Gamefly is hands down the cheapest way to get to keep new and used games compared to the likes of GameStop, but GameStop is a publicly-traded company while Gamefly has yet to issue an IPO and may account for the substantially lower prices. You do have to be a Gamefly member to take advantage of the low prices though.

Avatar image for iMpLuX
iMpLuX

<< LINK REMOVED >> And how much does GF cost a month? $16 for 1 game, $23 for 2. So $40 minimum at GF. GameStop gives you 10% off used. So 10% off $50 makes it $45. So I guess it depends on if you want to save $5 and wait to get it or spend $5 extra and get it now.

Avatar image for sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> You don't need to pay for GameFly to buy the games. I buy games from GameFly all the time. They will unload their extra stock (they buy a whole bunch to meet rental demand) for like 10 bucks. And lets say you do rent it, thats $23 to try a game and realize it sucks (or perhaps you like it) not $60 bucks.

Avatar image for 4kgamer_lmxxx
4KGamer_LMXXX

10 years from now, GameSTOP will have either STOPPED their business or moved on to a new one. lol


The future is all about digital. :)

Avatar image for pork7
pork7

I was at walmart yesterday (quit laughing!). Their used game bin was pitiful. You can tell it's just an afterthought. Plus, their prices sucked.

I'll stick to family owned shops.

Avatar image for unreal849
Unreal849

Considering the godawful condition that Wal-Mart keeps their "new" items in, I shudder to think of their standards for used products.


"Very Good Condition: disk is in only two pieces and has faint traces of Ebola. Comes with original case and manual!"

Avatar image for aretilda
aretilda

<< LINK REMOVED >> With crap stains on the manual. Only at Walmart.

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homelessgamer

Ebola? I hardly knew her.

Avatar image for greaseman1985
greaseman1985

<< LINK REMOVED >> I've bought games from walmart a couple times, never again. You have to run around the store to find someone with a key that can open their damn game cabinet and get you the game.

Avatar image for unreal849
Unreal849

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Lol, sounds like the K-mart that's in my town.


..and yes, I've bought games in a K-mart. They always have pre-order editions in stock, even weeks after the game launched. I am a little ashamed of myself.

Avatar image for dannydopamine18
dannydopamine18

Yeah but more people go to walmart than go gamestop, and im sure walmart gives more money for used games than gamestop does