Thursday's launch of a games trade-in program by Amazon.com has already begun to make waves in the games resale business. Shortly after the program was announced, competitor GameStop's stock took a dive, dropping nearly 14 percent by end of day Thursday.
As a follow-up to the announcement, GameStop's CEO Don Matteo went on the record telling Edge Online he had no faith in Amazon's model based on his company's earlier attempt at a similar program. Matteo was, of course referring to sister site TradeStop. Back in 2005 the site featured a similar offering, where users could get cash for games which the company would then turn around and re-sell on GameStop.com. The service also let people send in DVD movies and music CDs. GameStop discontinued the program at the end of 2005.
Strengths Amazon is bringing something to the table that brick-and-mortar game resellers cannot easily match: Gamers who send in their used titles can spend their Amazon credit on things that aren't video games. For people who are selling games for a system they no longer have or use this is a clean break. It's also a chance for Amazon to make some extra cash when a user buys something that costs more than the credit they earned.
Another thing users may flock to is transparency. Amazon is showing users exactly what it will pay and has made this list able to be searched. Both GameStop and Game Crazy, two of the largest game resellers, offer no such feature on either of their sites. Instead you're limited to a list of hot games or promotional trade-in values, or you have to go into the store to find out the game values. Both companies will mail larger trade-in value lists, but the lack of an online system has led to users creating wikis to chronicle the ever-updating prices that can fluctuate by supply, demand, and retail price drops.
There's no special membership program. Both GameStop and Game Crazy have special memberships that its customers can join to get special discounts or receive a higher trade-in value for their games. Amazon doesn't offer this, which some may find appealing. Amazon pays everyone the same price in return for them logging-in with their Amazon.com account credentials. There's no annual fee, and the cost of shipping your games in is free.
There are no up-sells or pushy salespeople. You never have to talk to a human being in the entire exchange, which can be seen as a step up. Games retailers typically push paid membership programs, game pre-orders, and certain titles based on sales deals or events. For someone trying to offload their games and buy something new Amazon is letting you skip this.… Read more