Consumers beware: DO NOT SELL GAMES TO GAMESTOP!   Leave a comment

Just don’t. You’ll get enough money to buy a tank a gas if you’re lucky.

I thought about posting this on my Game Blog but I thought it better to post this on my main blog since this is a little known yet well known fact. The pictures above are Internet Memes but they’re mostly true. For the gamers in the crowd you probably already know this. This post is for non-gamers and parents of kids/teens who may be interested in selling off their library of video games.

To start, let me share a few facts about Gamestop you probably never thought about. Now, what I’m about to share is public knowledge and Gamestop itself is open about them.

  • Gamestop, EB Games and Funcoland are all the same company. Different name brand but same company regardless. Kinda like Marshalls and TJ Maxx or Microsoft and Windows. In addition to that, Game Informer is owned by Gamestop. If you ever wondered why they give a free subscription with people who get a Power Up Rewards Card (more on this in a bit), this is why. Unlike during the 1990s Game Informer writes what they’re paid to: They’ve spent the last 10 or so years bashing anything Nintendo except Pokemon, Mario and Zelda for example.
  • Gamestop makes over 70% of its sales on PREOWNED (Used) games and consoles.
  • All video game consoles traded to Gamestop ARE tested before they’re shelved (and if it doesn’t work you can exchange it for another one). The Vita, PSP Go and DS Lite I own were bought Preowned from Gamestop and have been problem-free since I got them. In fact they all work fine. Regardless I would follow this basic rule of thumb: Request the clerk test the system for you before you buy it.
  • Gamestop is not a pawn shop. This is fact. They do not advertise themselves as one. See, with pawn shops you and the store negotiate until you’ve reached a price that works for both of you. Gamestop buys games/consoles/accessories from the public at a flat rate. Said asking price isn’t negotiable.
  • Typically, Gamestop buys new console games at half the retail price and handheld games at 66% of the retail price. If you were to bring your copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts or NBA 2k14 (any system) to a Gamestop RIGHT NOW (December 12, 2013) you’d leave with $30 cash or $35 Store Credit (both games sell for $60 new right now). In case you’re wondering no, you wouldn’t be reimbursed for the Season Pass if you bought it or any DLC you downloaded. Just the game itself. Bring your copy of Pokemon X or Y (Nintendo 3DS) or Dragon’s Crown (PS Vita) to a Gamestop and you’d get $25 cash or $30 Store Credit (both games sell for $40 New on their respective systems).
  • Recent game releases resold at Gamestop have a mere $5-$10 off the price of a new game. A preowned copy of The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds (Nintendo 3DS) goes for $35. It sells for $40 new.
  • Gamestop Store Associates have no control over the amount offered for trade-ins. This is decided by the suits at the corporate level.
  • The trade in system is set up so that the public always sells games/consoles to them at a loss no matter what. This is fact. No matter how Gamestop spins their reasons for their obviously abhorrent trade-in system it is designed to ensure that in the end they get games/consoles from the public for next to nothing.
  • At the moment the original Wii sells for $70 Preowned at Gamestop ($150 new in case you’re wondering). You’d get $35 if you traded it in to Gamestop. No, any games you downloaded onto it will have no effect on the price/value of the console.
  • Until a few years ago Gamestop used to keep a log of all trade-ins including the seller’s name and contact info. They no longer do this in most stores except where required by law. Yes Store Associates test every game and console before putting it on the shelf but it’s a good idea to make sure the console works before you leave the store with it. With console games ask to see the underside of the Disc before it’s rung up.
  • For those who do not know yes, a government-issued ID (Military ID works too) is required for all trade-ins. Sometimes folks sell stolen games to Gamestop so…yeah.
  • Going with the above: Gamestop Store Associates can refuse trade-ins for any or no reason. It rarely happens these days but some folks do try to sell them stolen games and consoles.

Prettymuch if you want to make money off your mega collection of games, you’re better off trying your luck with eBay, a yard sale or a convention like Anime Boston. Or if you’re feeling daring try Craig’s List (LOL!).

Don’t get me wrong Gamestop is still a great place to buy games for less but I would NEVER advise you sell your games to them. I’ve done it in the past and each time, honestly I felt like shit. I knew the games I sold were worth WAY more than what I got for them. Now when I buy games they’re for life. I’ll post a picture of my game libary this weekemd so you can see. Some of you know I own every console of the current gen except the PS3 (my brother wanted it back when GTA V came out, LOL). When you see my collection of games…let’s just say you’ll be surprised =O

Getting back to what I called The Gamestop Controversy around this time last year, game makers don’t get a cent from those proeowned sales. Some will argue Paid DLC (Downloadable Content) is their answer to this. Little did we know that was just the tip of the iceberg. In recent years they’ve come up with Season Passes. Basically, for a flat rate you get access to all the DLC free and/or at a discount released during a game’s life cycle when you buy the season pass. It’s their way of offsetting lost revenue from those preowned sales made at Gamestop they don’t get. It’s also the compromise by the console makers to not block preowned games on their systems.

Without a doubt Gamestop is here to stay. Some say digital gaming is the future. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with that. Basically it’s the idea game developers will release games digitally like they currently do for most of their games now but it will be like, say Killer Instinct for the Xbox One: The game itself is free but you’ll have to pay with your wallet to unlock features and characters. I don’t particularly like this model specifically though in Fire Emblem: Awakening for the Nintendo 3DS (All the DLC combined is $56, which is $16 more than just the game itself!) it just works. It really depends on how it’s done. In the MMO Community you walk a fine line between paying to play the game and what critics call Pay to Win but that’s a separate topic for a separate blog.

I will be doing one more video game related blog this month and it’ll be for folks thinking about buying a game system for the holidays. To make it extra special there will be a video attached to it. Look forward to it!

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