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Best Sites to Trade in Used Video Games

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BorderlandsSurprise! I enjoy video games. That makes me just like one of the many millions of, mostly male, gamers who spend countless hours each year in front of a television or computer monitor trying to blow the heads off other, mostly male, gamers trying to do the same thing. In the last few years, I’ve noticed a pattern to the games that I buy and play. They’re usually, almost always, multi-player games and I only play when I know I can compete with or against my friends. Like a hive, the game we play will move from one new title to the next, with very little backtracking. I played Halo 3 with this group, then we moved onto Borderlands, then we moved onto Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Red Dead Redemption, then Monday Night Combat, and now Halo: Reach. In each instance, we went forward and only very rarely went back (after some RDR, we moved back to BF:BC2).

Once a game is two steps away, we almost never go back. For me, I recognized that the game had zero entertainment value for me and it was time to move on. In the past, I would just leave the game on the bookshelf but lately, maybe spurred on by my desire to simplify things and shed “junk,” I’ve been reselling the games. I still think that video games are one of the great ways to maximize your entertainment dollars and by reselling the games I can boost that.

Here’s a quick and dirty comparison of the options available to gamers if they want to resell or trade in their games online. The baseline for this comparison will be Borderlands on the XBox 360, a game that was released on October 2009.

Amazon Video Games Trade-In

Amazon offers trade-in credit for video games you can use anywhere on Amazon.com, free shipping (you print out a prepaid label), and a big brand name so you know you won’t get hosed by some smaller company. The price that you get on Amazon will fluctuate because Amazon resells them in the “used” category of their site. Depending on how much supply there is for a product, the price will go up or down.

Here’s a tip I learned from other gamers resell their games to Amazon – if you start reading negative reviews about the game after you buy it and you personally dislike it, wait a little while to trade it in. If the game wasn’t well received, there will be a huge surge in trade ins to Amazon and the price will go down. After the initial trade in reaction has passed, you can usually get a better price for your game, with a fluctuating of over $10 in trade in credit value.

You could trade in Borderlands (XBox 360) for $16.75 in credit (in the time I’ve been researching this article, which was slowly over two weeks, the price has ranged from $12.75 to $16.75 and the game is nearly a year old).

Game Pawn

GamePawn.com is a smaller operation I’d never heard of before and they give cash for used games. They will reimburse you the cost of shipping, at the media mail rate, if you send in $30 or more worth of games. This is another site where the price will fluctuate greatly as they resell the games in other marketplaces. You cannot buy games on this site. For some titles, you can resell your games without its manual at a small discount.

You could trade in Borderlands (XBox 360) for $12.82. (in researching, the price was as high as $16.02 and a 50 cent discount if you don’t include a manual)

Some readers have reported that GamePawn.com has a less than stellar record.

Glyde

Glyde doesn’t buy games directly from you, they let you list games for free on their site that others can buy. You pay Glyde a 10% commission after a sale and they mail you an envelope to ship the game in once it sells. It’s basically a very straightforward eBay for Video Games. The one benefit this has over many other marketplaces is that you can sell a game where you only have the disc, which is rare. The drawback is that you can list it but you only get paid if someone buys it.

Borderlands (XBox 360) in good condition has a list price of around $17.25 (as high as $23.75 in the last two weeks), with the proceeds of $14.28 if someone buys it.

Summary

The fluctuation in prices varies quite a bit, with the game going for as much as $16.75 in credit at Amazon to as little as $12.82 for cash from Game Pawn. I avoided looking at eBay because I wanted to focus on areas where the the trade in was fairly straight forward, without much additional work (eBay would require you to setup an auction, collect payment, etc), though copies of Borderlands have been selling for over $20 a copy there.

I think I will continue to trade games into Amazon because I buy them there, so the credit is as good as cash for me. I buy games from Amazon because they often offer a $20 credit, available for use on future games, when you order a game before it’s released (pre-order). If you don’t buy your games from Amazon or don’t otherwise spend a lot there, a service like Game Pawn or Glyde may be a better fit.

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14 Responses to “Best Sites to Trade in Used Video Games”

  1. live green says:

    It’s definitely better to trade in games once finished. When they sit too long, the value tends to go way down and you won’t get anything for the game. This is especially true for sports games like Madden. I usually like to wait a little while before buying a game just in case the reviews are bad or in hopes that it may go down in price.

  2. Dave says:

    How do brick and mortar stores, such as Gamestop compare? I know they will also buy used games and resell them.

    • shiftomnimega says:

      Never sell games cash at Gamestop. Always get the store credit. I once saw a kid trade in a bunch of stuff and took $17 cash instead of more than twice as much in credit. He probably could have bought a brand new game with the credit.

      Be sure that you only trade in during some sort of promotion that multiplies the credit you will get. Sometimes you can get more credit than what they actually sell the game for (using an Edge card).

      Be sure to pay attention to pawn shop laws in your state. Buying with credit may exempt you from paying taxes which helps when you’re trading and buying to Gamestop.

      After you get a bunch of credit you can buy games and sell them at all these after mentioned sites for profit. When Best Buy was doing game trade ins earlier this year I was able to make a killing.

  3. moljacks says:

    I actually donate my old games to the local library. They have started a video game section, so anything that’s not a adult rating I donate.

  4. Jess says:

    I found goozex.com from a rec on the Joystiq podcast. You trade your games in for credits you use to get a new (to you) game someone else offers. It’s a big enough community you can usually find whatever you’re looking for just a few weeks after release.

    @Dave- Gamestop’s a rip off. They make most of their business from the huge margin they make off buying and reselling used games. Selling new games has become a secondary market for them, which is hurting the companies that make your favorite games.

    • live green says:

      I agree with you on Gamestop. They give you nothing for you games and mark higher than you would normally find on sights like Amazon, Ebay or half. The only reason they are still around is that they have a physical store and that some people still think they are the only option for used games.

  5. Kevin says:

    I second the Goozex.com recommendation. I’ve been using them for around 3 years now. After initially unloading around 10 games I’ve just been recycling my points. You do have to wait around 3 months after a game is released to get it though.

  6. Aaron says:

    I don’t buy games anymore. I rent them from Gamefly, which is like Netflix for video games. I found that a $60 game pays for about three months of Gamefly service @ a two game rental. So I could either buy 4 games a year or have a year of Gamefly. I’m sure other people can find great deals on buying/selling games but I got tired of doing that. Plus I get real mad if I buy a game and don’t like it.

  7. Eli says:

    Half.com is another good option. It’s owned by eBay but is set up for books, games, and other similar categories with “standard” products that don’t really change except for condition. It’s very easy to create a fixed price listing (not auction format like eBay). You simply type in the bar code or title and it auto loads the details and picture from an internal database. You specify the condition and a short note like “adult owned. Game, case and manual in excellent condition”, and set a fixed price. Feedback also adds to your eBay feedback score. I’ve sold dozens of games for fantastic prices and also textbooks from college.

  8. thunderthighs says:

    Does amazon.com not allow you to just list them for sale anymore?

  9. Willnet says:

    Gamepawn.com = Scam

  10. marcos says:

    i also find playusedgames.com

    you can list your games for sale there.


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