Archive for January, 2009

Amazon Trade in program questionable

The announcement on 3/5/09 of Amazons launch of game trade-in program is nothing new to the gaming world. Websites that buy your used games and dvds like Buyback, MX123 and Second Spin have been in existence for years. These sites allow and many others allow consumers to sell their no longer wanted Video Games, DVDs and CDs for cash via payment by check or Paypal. Amazons program of offering trade-in credit for your used games is a less desirable alternative than receiving quick cash – especially during these economic times. That being said, I welcome Amazons presence into the fray as an upward force to buying price pressure in this blooming marketplace.

Though these buy sites have been around awhile this category of ecommerce (consumer to business) has been a sleeping giant. No one with any significant resources to date has offered consumers the type of service that really compels consumers to trade online in the numbers consumers do with online ecommerce or rental of movies through Netflix type services. With Amazon’s entry this sleeping giant of an online commerce segment will wake up and challenge brick and mortar stores (who trade) like ecommerce did with brick and mortar for the last 10+ years.

Gamestop believes that online buyback will fail because of their experience with Tradestop. With Tradestop – Gamestop customers were already used to trading pre-owned for new games in the thousands of brick & mortar Gamestop stores across the country and the way Tradestop was presented online it didn’t provide any additional benefit to the current Gamestop consumer who had been trained on in-store trading, plus (IMO) Gamestop shuttered Tradestop due to it?s recent (in 2005) acquisition of Electronics Boutique and since it owned a monopoly ( ~80%) of the pre-owned video game space, why offer a service that exposed their buyback prices with no material benefit to their existing customers. First, what Amazon and other buy sites offer is a trade for cash platform that isn’t Gamestop. Many gamers feel that Gamestop doesn’t pay a fair price for their games.
In my opinion, for Gamestop to say that online trading will fail is like Blockbuster saying that Netflix will fail because why would people want to receive new movies in the mail rather than go to their local Blockbuster store. We now know how that story line has played out

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