Trade-Ins: The Ugly Truth

on October 13, 2009 11:00 AM

Oh dear me this subject cannot go without a bashing. I simply cannot allow it, because every time this topic goes untouched, I feel like I have testicular cancer. It’s very tough to prove that theory, I know. All gamers, large and small, at least once in their life, have traded in games to their local trade-in game store, for either cash or credit so they can continue to buy games at a bigger discount. Sounds reasonable, right? To me this was the greatest thing that ever came to gaming, especially when income was an issue. I could trade in my games that I would never play anymore, and in return I could buy games that I would play. This was so sweet, but yet to the trained eye, it was also very sour.

How much are we getting for our games? Did anyone besides me stop and think about that for at least 10 seconds? If not, then here’s a reality check. You get a lovely new $60 game which you purchased at some game store, and eight days later you are sick of it. You go back to a game trade-in store, they take the game, and they tell you “we’ll give you $22 for the game as credit, or $17 cash back”. If only you could see my face when this happens, because I looked like someone who just brought a brand new car, only to find out that there was 20,000 miles already on it. Let me get this straight, for a $60 dollar game, you get back a third, but to top it off, they sell your game for 5 dollars less than the new game price, sometimes more. I know I must be crazy because for some reason, even knowing this, I still trade in my games. I can’t help it, I can’t stand the fact that I have to buy a full priced game when money is an issue. But these trade-in values are not helping out either.

Trade-ins have become a ‘quick buck’ asset for when we need money quickly or when we want to buy a new game but don’t have the money. One day at my local game store, a family brought 32 PS2 games, some which were really popular and hard to find. After the employee scanned all the games, he tells the father that all the games are worth $12 all together. I was like ‘there was no way he was going to accept that’, but as I was thinking that, the father quickly agreed to the employee’s terms, and took the $12 dollars in credit. Holy crap! If I had a butt-load of games, and someone offered me $12 for them, that person would be on the floor right then and there.

At the peak of my “Pissedoffitude”, even with the low trade-in value we all receive, there are these ‘not so secret’ cuts these employees try to pull on us to give us even less value on a game. “Sorry sir this game is a little scratched and seems to be used”. Of course it was used you asshole! Sure maybe I did not use it on my naughty places if I really enjoyed the game, but of course it had to be used. Don’t give me that bullshit excuse. If it is scratched, I see some scratch remover on your desk. Why don’t you fix it yourself? “Anyways sir I have to cut the value you would be getting for the game from $25 to $17”. And now you see why I have a smile on my face everyday, because crap like this wears me down so much, that if I had a frowny face, someone would die. It’s like “when a bell rings, an angel gets its wings,” but death related.

Here’s an idea. We should learn how to use Ebay more. Sure it sucks and some people are scam artists, but if we learn how to buy and sell properly, we clearly could be getting better value for the games we sell. There won’t be these scratch fees or employee bullshit, just our price we put on it. We are the owners and therefore we have the right to put a price on the things we want to sell. Game stores who take trade-ins need people like us to sell games back to them. Other than selling used games, what else could they sell, new games? Pssh, I could go to a store like Best Buy where they have sales on games every week. Knowing this, game trade-in stores should not take us so lightly anymore. Maybe they should adopt the haggling policy; who knows, there are definitely some customers out there who would trade all their stuff just for a beer. It could be a win-win situation.

My rule of thumb; if your game has value less than $10 at a game store, and they sell it for more than $30 there, then do not sell it to them because it is definitely worth more than it is being there. Other than that, I hope this story was of use to all of you. I hope some of your eyes, and maybe mouths, are as open as mine was when I realized the scam these stores were pulling.

All of you out there who want to express yourselves to this article or to something that pissed you off in the gaming world, feel free to write to me. You know I will be watching all of you. (Creepy God stuff)

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