Developers and publishers might call it the plague of the gaming industry but the second hand market for games is as thriving as ever, despite the increased prevalence and importance of digital game purchases. Allowing us to offload a generation worth of gaming to a store that will pay us a price for it, it’s easy to see why gamers are so enthusiastic about trade-ins as a way to help pay for future gaming purchases.
That’s not to say that second hand games don’t have their downsides, though. As someone looking to sell games to a brick and mortar store we’re always looking to get more money, but when the retailer has to make a profit it often means that we lose out on money we could have earned if we’d gone through the effort of just listing the things on eBay. GameStop is notoriously known for paying just a fraction of their own retail price for used games brought in by consumers.
GameStop’s profits are largely bolstered by the second hand gaming market (hence Walmart jumping in on the market earlier this year) and so now the popular chain of gaming stores is looking to increase the amount of second hand games they have in stock by reinventing their trade-in structure. And what that means is more money for gamers. With information gathered from sources by Kotaku, GameStop’s trade-in changes are going to be more than simple tweaks to the system. A full scale overhaul is being planned for later this month, starting with an increase in the flat trade-in rate and a decrease in complexity.
According to the leaked internal documents provided (which you can see above), the average ‘base value’ of games they buy will be increased by 20%. So for example, trading in a copy of FIFA 14 might bag you $10 now but the trade-in changes GameStop will offer you $12 instead.
It might not seem like much when you put it like that but the company is offering even more ways than before for that to add up. Previously, the best way to make use of that trade-in cash was to put towards a Game Informer subscription or new items from GameStop (doing so nabbed you extra bonuses) but now all you’ll have to do to get the best bang for your buck is trade them in.
However, less money will be offered if people trade-in games for cash instead of in-store credit and those subscribed to GameStop’s ‘Power Up Rewards’ system will also get an extra 10%. So brand loyalty is obviously still quite important, especially with new trade-in competition from Walmart.
Things will be improved for existing consumers and gamers who are less plugged-in as GameStop’s leaked documents add,
“By eliminating the higher end price of products we buy and raising the lower end, we are able to raise the overall value the customers will receive. With this program, we will not have complex multi-tiered trade promotions for the associates to remember and less math for the customer to understand what they are getting for their games.”
GameStop is also requesting that employees stop using the phrase ‘trade in’ and start using words like ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ instead, to make it easier for new customers to get on board. That won’t happen right away though as the leaked info suggests that things will change from August 18th, so without an official confirmation from GameStop yet we’ll likely know more leading up to that date.