Monday Rant Corner: The Trade-in Tragedy

Darryl Linington from ITF Gaming writes: We have all traded in games; however, when the cashier gives you the total value of your trade-in you tend to feel robbed, fondled inappropriately and then stepped on by a shoe that recently stood in a little doggy doo, doo. Not only did I feel this way yesterday, while looking for a place to trade-in games, but I also felt as though I was shoved to the ground and kicked in the kidneys at a few stores.

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Excalibur1794d ago (Edited 1794d ago )

Amazingly I have NEVER walked into a Gamestop store and had a clerk stick a gun in my face and made me trade a game in. ;)

The thing people need to understand is not only does the re-seller have to make money from your used game, they assume the responsibility for said game, if something is wrong with it, they eat it.

They also base what they give you for the game on how popular or unpopular the game is, if the game is popular it may have tons of trade-ins and they may have tons of copies of it, if a game is not so popular they may have a harder time getting rid of it.

How many times have you walked into a Gamestop and seen BTGOF sales or super low prices?
GS may have paid someone $20.00 for a $60.00 game and now they can't even get $5.00 for it.

Another thing is the game may be $60.00 this week and drop $10.00 the following week, now that re-seller has in fact lost $10.00 on the used game price because new is $10.00 less.

We don't see every angle of a used game sale but these are a few things that should be considered, there are probably a lot more than none of us really know about.

Lastly places like Amazon give you pretty good trade-in deals, I've goten as much as $45.00 for a game a few weeks after I bought it, you have to factor in it is no langer new and your play time, $15.00 to play a new game is pretty good IMO.

from the beach1794d ago (Edited 1794d ago )

We understand that they want to make money off used games, and clearly you and other people are very sympathetic to their cause.

What bothers many of us is that gamers and developers - the people who matter, who aren't leeches - get a raw deal out of it. Especially when don't have to, due to Gamestop being a disposable and easily replaceable service.

Excalibur1794d ago (Edited 1794d ago )

@ from the beach
I'm not sympathetic to it, I simply understand there is a lot more involved than simply ripping you off.

And please enlighten us on how the developer is ripped off?

In order for the game to be used it had to be sold NEW at some point and if the game was SO GOOD it would have never been traded in to begin with, I have tons of games that I have completely beaten it and all it's DLC that I would never trade in simply because they are still fun to pull out and play every now and then.

I don't want to hear about the POOR developers especially when you have Devs like Cliffy B and his model wife ridding around in his and hers matching Lamborghini's and living in his million dollar mansion.
There aren't Devs out there that are leeches? please...
Who's being sympathetic now?

I've also bought used games just to try it out and like it so much bought other products from the Dev that I never would have if I didn't buy used in the first place so that used game in fact earned them a NEW customer.

If you make a poor product it will either be traded in, never bought or bought when it's $10.00 or $15.00, simple as that, make a good product and it will sell millions, there are tons of games out there that prove that.

from the beach1794d ago

Why do you direct your anger at the developers? Aren't they the people making the games you love playing - don't they deserve the money as reward for their efforts? I have no bitterness towards Cliffy, anything he has he's earned, plain and simple.

But on the other hand, what do Gamestop do to deserve the right to rip us off? What do they offer that would be missed if they simply didn't exist?

crazysammy1794d ago


I think you really underestimate the power of retail and how beneficial the preorder program that GS has created is. You act like all they do is buy used games cheap. They sell more new games than any other company out there.

Most of us internet savvy people have no problem ordering online from many choices like Amazon but I'm sad to say that we are not the majority. The majority of games are still bought in brick and mortar stores.

I guess my point is that you cannot just call out GS for what it does poorly (Which I fully admit they have policies in place to flop new sales into used) and not admire them for what positives they do for the industry.

creatchee1794d ago


"And please enlighten us on how the developer is ripped off?"

The first sale is fine. You pay money to play a game and the developer and publisher gets their cut.

The first resale gives nothing to the publisher and developer. Neither does the second. Nor the third. Nor the fourth. Nor the twentieth. The only people benefitting are the resellers and and used buyers.

The rip off comes because all of those sales that weren't the first sale have the POTENTIAL to have been a new sale where the people who made the game would have been compensated. When one copy is traded and resold multiple times, hundreds of dollars are exchanged, but only the initial 60 dollars (really, a portion of the 60 dollars) is ever seen by the developers and publishers. And that's just one copy. Now multiply that by the total numbers of copies traded in and you're talking millions of dollars not given to game makers.

If used games weren't an option, then at least some of the sales of used games would turn into new games. This means more money for the game makers.

Excalibur1794d ago (Edited 1794d ago )

Again if you make a product everyone "just has to have" they will buy it day/week one new and what is the guarantee people still will?
Not everyone can afford to run out and buy a new game every week and a lot of people depend on re-selling their games to buy the next new game so without that re-sell outlet a lot more new games could POTENTIALLY NOT be sold.

Ya know it's Amazing that every other form of media (DVD's, Music, Books and such) and even things such as cars do just fine year after year with their products being sold used, why can the video game industry?
Maybe they have a poor business model that needs to be re-evaluated.

@from the beach
There is no anger here on either part DEVS OR Gamestop and I'm in fact happy for Cliff, that is the wonderful thing about capitalism.

And again how does Gamestop rip you off?
Is there a person that stands there at the front door that sticks a gun in your face the moment you walk in?
There are many ways to get rid of your used games such as Ebay, Craig's list, to your friends and such, no one is forcing you to use their service, if people didn't use their service,capitalism would once again come into play and they would go out of business, obviously people must not mind being "ripped off", I know if I don't like a restaurant, grocery store or whatever I don't shop there, it's just that easy.

As Crazysammy says be a smart consumer, no one rips you off that you don't let. ;)

from the beach1794d ago

I appreciate that Gamestop also sell new games, but when you go in and are offered a used one for a few pounds less it's pretty clear where the priorities lie.

Also, just as an aside, I'm using Gamestop to mean 'any company ripping the arse out of the trade-in system', it's not personal!

The rip off, quite obviously, comes from the joke price they offer for your game, in comparison to what they sell it for. Meanwhile developers lose out on repeat sales, as has already been explained.

Games and other media all 'do fine', but they can only stand do better if more sales and more money are cycled back towards the artists rather than the middlemen.

As someone who enjoyed Gears of War I would rather see Cliffy in that flash car rather than Mr Gamestop CEO.

rainslacker1794d ago (Edited 1794d ago )

If you have a problem with the devs not getting a kick back on used sales, why not just send them $5 every time you sell a game on your own, or through the trade in cash at a game shop.

That's essentially what this whole "developers should get something on 2nd hand" comes down to. It's the person selling the game that is going to pay that. The person buying isn't going to pay more for the game to give money to the dev. If they cared about the dev, they would buy new. They are still going to charge the same price for a used game, and that price will be determined by supply and demand. The person trading in is going to take the hit at retail, because it's the least risky way for retail to keep making profits.

I don't believe devs deserve a portion of the 2nd hand pie. I believe the logistics of making sure the right people get the right money would be burdensome and unproductive and wrought with problems. In the end, it's easy to say they deserve something, but I don't see you offering any alternative, and doubt you'd be so willing to part with that extra $5+ per copy on your private sale. What you want is for GameStop to hurt, not for the developer to profit.

Answer me this. If GameStop gave reasonable trade in values, do you think so many people would be saying how the dev deserves a kick back? And if they did, what do you think people would say when all of a sudden they are getting less per game traded in than before? It's a no win situation.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1794d ago
Max Power1794d ago

I've never traded in a game.

Excalibur1794d ago (Edited 1794d ago )

I haven't until the last few years or so when all my games started piling up, between my PS3, 360 and PC I still have over 300 physical copies.

Lately whenever I completely finish a game, know there won't be any DLC for it and know I probably won't ever play it again, I trade them in and at that point realistically what does it matter? It can either sit there collect dust and depreciate or I can get 15 or 20 dollars for it towards another game.

quantae061793d ago (Edited 1793d ago )


Yeah, I'm collecting so much I think I'm have to buy a 200 capacity disc case eventually, to keep all my games in one case. I just can't keep all these game big Dvd/Blu-ray sized individual one disc cases lying around, they are piling up too high. I travel a lot and the physical copies eventually won't fit in my luggage after a while lol.

As far as trading I'm not going that route again personally. I rather sell a game then trade it in. But some games I keep for good. Like I still have my all-time favorite Splinter Cell game in Chaos Theory today.

quantae061793d ago (Edited 1793d ago )

@Max Power

I haven't traded a game in since Sega Genesis in 1998 when I was real little lol. I traded something in for Deion Sanders Primetime.

Einhert1794d ago

I stopped because I felt like I was getting short changed so I just started waiting until the game went down in price or relying on steam sales.

crazysammy1794d ago

We are all responsible for being smart consumers. You HAVE to shop around. Yes if you go to GS they have the lowest trade prices FLAT from anywhere. However they often have really good trade deals that you can take advantage of. Just like waiting for your grocery store to have a sale on your favorite cereal!

When you go to a store to sell games, you are paying them for the convenience they offer. You will always make more money selling the game first hand. However you are also assuming risks of returns, your time and effort to find a buyer, etc.

Like in any deal the person more desperate will get the worse end of the bargain. Be patient and wait for good deals or sell it yourself. If you need money for then next game and can't wait, then you get what you get.

Jagsrock1794d ago

Yep they can be a ripoff no doubt. Lately GS has had some decent promotions where if you are in a hurry to trade some games you won't feel completely cheated. The rewards program they have isn't that bad either.Not defending them but just saying. Overall If you want to get the most for your games there is always craiglist and ebay if you are willing put in the time.(and deal with the potential risks)
This can be said for almost any trade in business. You should never really expect to get maximum profit when you are going through a middleman.