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



  1. fubar said

    amazon is probably not committed on this. They are having a third party purchase the used games for them.

  2. walter robins said

    nice article. Good netflix reference.

  3. Wal-mart breaking on on the used game action:

    Wal-Mart is testing standalone buy back kiosks at 77 stores in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, Video Business reports. The kiosks will scan the bar codes of used games and separately swallow the disc and casing in exchange for money transferred to a credit card.

    • chris janota said

      These Kiosks seem ripe for fraud. I ran a used dvd and game store and often would experience hucksters gluing on fake barcodes on the dvd or game game to get a higher price when we checked in their items. I can imagine how rampant that scan would be if there was no one present to monitor the transaction.

      Another thing that could be done is a business could unload their defective inventory into one of these kiosks. There is not much love for walmart out there and many people wouldn’t hesitate doing this.

  4. guy levinston said

    good article. thanks

  5. cheeseball said

    One day the robots will run the world

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