Discussion: Do You Trade-in Games?

What’s your take on the topic?

By Anthony Vigna. Posted 03/12/2014 09:00 7 Comments     ShareThis

Roughly a decade ago, back when I was a wee lad, I didn’t have a steady job to provide me with disposable income. For someone as invested in gaming as I am, this presented a very serious problem. Our very own Robert Marrujo recently wrote about how the high prices of games create a barrier for those that cannot afford them, which is something I know all too well. Due to my tight budget, I relied on GameStop’s trade-in credit to help me purchase new games coming out. I remember trying to justify each trade-in by only giving away games I didn’t like, but I eventually transitioned into giving away games that I thought I would never play again.

Elebits was one of the games that I thought that I never would play again, so I traded it in after a month of playing it. For those that don’t know, this is an arcade-like action game where you use a gravity gun to search for electricity-generating creatures called Elebits. The more Elebits you capture, the heavier the object you can pick up and manipulate. Also, because each level starts in the dark, capturing these electric creatures helps turn on each piece of technology in the area, which helps you capture more Elebits. When I saw it amongst Wii’s launch titles, I knew I had to have it.

There were some really good ideas presented in the game, but for some reason or another, I decided to give it away. I must have thought that I wouldn’t play it anymore and needed the money for something else. However, after seeing Elebits at a GameStop last week, I found out how wrong my assumptions were. The game was sitting on the used rack with a meager $2.69 price tag! How could I refuse a price like that?


Above is a recreation of what I probably looked like when I found it in the store. It was love at first sight! Photo Credit: Heather Landfield

After re-experiencing the joy of Elebits once more, I realized that I should drastically lower the amount of games that I trade-in. Of course, there will always be those games that you’ll never want to play ever again, but if there is a slight chance that I think that I will return to a game, I will keep it instead of trading it in. At the end of the day, five to ten dollars of trade-in credit isn’t worth it for me if I can still go back and enjoy the game. Now that I am older and have more money to spend, this seems like the best course of action for me to take.

Even games that I don’t really like too much still hold sentimental value to me. For example, I was never the biggest fan of Star Fox Adventures, but I haven’t traded it in once. The game was one of the first GameCube titles I’d ever played, and I’m a huge Star Fox fan, so I have a lot of fond memories of playing it. Our wonderful editor-in-chief, Kevin Knezevic, indirectly convinced me to play through it again after I read his well-written editorial defending the game as well, so I’m glad I’ve kept it all of these years!

I’m personally going to make a more conscious effort to keep most of the games that I buy. What about you? Do you trade-in games? Do you see worth in trade-in credit, or do you hold onto every game you purchase? Let us know in the comments below!

7 Responses to “Discussion: Do You Trade-in Games?”

  • 678 points
    amishpyrate says...

    I used to when I was younger. Now, I try not to just because I like to hold on to games as I’ll eventually replay them. Also GameStop doesn’t give you as much in trade in credit as they used to back when we had an EB games. Before the merger I used to get $30 when I traded in a relatively new game, now I get about 15 to 20 and they try to sell it for only $5 less than new. So, I’m not into helping the “corporate greed”

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  • 1249 points
    Robert Marrujo says...

    I’m a total collector, so I never trade in anything and have the original box for like 95% of all my video game stuff. My games are equal parts sentimental and fun from playing. I love poking my nose around GaneStops and asking for pieces of marketing they’re going to toss =) I am not a hoarder, lolol.

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  • 1396 points
    penduin says...

    I have traded or sold the odd game with friends, but for the most part I keep games. Drawers and boxes full of little playgrounds, ready to be revisited. I still have the old systems (several hooked up) and my retro cravings go through phases, so a fair number of my old games do still find their way into active rotation now and then.

    No store I’m aware of offers any reasonable trade-in rates on anything halfway common, and anything I’ve got that’s rare enough to be worth selling, I’m pretty attached to. Better to talk with friends about who buys what and trade/borrow a few months later.

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  • 1370 points
    xeacons says...

    Aside from rebuying a lot of classics I initially sold, I had an incident at Gamestop that ceased my trade-ins altogtether. Gamestop’s trade-in prices USED to be reasonable. But after receiving a game for Christmas I had no interest for (LOR: Return of the King) I decided to trade it in. I was a Platinum Power-Up member at the time, and traded it for store credit. According to Gamestop’s own website, RotK got 5 stars. I should have gotten top dollar. $5 back (10%). Which is what I would have gotten in cash, member or not. I then swore never to sell another game as long as I live. I have not regretted that decision as my library has grown quite impressive, even with a couple of shovelware titles.

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  • 780 points
    Toadlord says...

    I traded in many of my gameboy and gameboy advanced games to help subsidized the purchase of my Wii back in the day. I don’t play handhelds now, so I don’t regret that decision.

    Still, I can’t see myself getting rid of too many of my games nowadays. If I do it would likely be through independent sale.

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  • 21 points
    Angela Marrujo says...

    Trading in my games is something I’m simply not interested in. I’m extremely picky about what I like to play anyway, so the moderately sized collection I’ve amassed over the years is made up of titles I’d be happy to go back and play at any time. My collection is also sentimental to me, with games I’ve owned since I was in elementary school and that I would never want to part with.

    GameStop’s trade-in values are determined by a number of factors, namely popularity, the frequency with which that game is being traded in company wide, age, condition, and rarity (which sort of goes hand in hand with how often it’s being traded in). Sports titles of course lose their values the fastest, as do games like CoD that come out annually.

    Nintendo titles keep their value the longest of any other platform, because they get traded in the least and are the most desirable. Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver are currently selling for more used than they were new (but don’t expect to get anywhere near the selling price when you trade it in…).

    I remember GS giving much more in store credit a few years ago, and people walked away happier because they could get more for their trades. More and more frequently I hear dissatisfaction with the lowball trade-in values and the sizable markups in price once the game goes out on the sales floor after being traded in. And quite frankly I’m inclined to agree with the outrage – hey, here’s $22 in credit for this game that’s going to sell at $50 used!

    This has been a PSA from a veteran SGA at GameStop. I hate my job.

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  • 849 points
    ejamer says...

    Like many others, I used to trade in games… but eventually realized that it’s usually not worthwhile. Unless GameStop is offering an attractive deal, or unless I suspect the game will drop sharply in price and be easily available for much less later, I never trade in my used games. Instead I keep the vast majority, finding a way to trade/sell the games I don’t want directly to other gamers.

    (There is an online site that I have had very good success with trading, but not sure what rules are for posting links here so won’t say anything more directly.)

    Thumb up 0

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