Surprise! 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).
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)
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.
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.