GameStop's Used Games Business: Stop Hatin'
For some people, used games and trades are not only affordable, but a necessity. Yes, like water.
Unlike some folks, I hold no ill will towards GameStop. The fact that its employees sell opened copies of new games has always been a valid sticking point for despising the company (that and the fact that each store has a weird smell), but at the end of the day, there are bigger things in life to worry about than a corporation making millions selling Pokemon titles.
That said, I don't look down upon its used games business. If anything, I'm thankful for the practice, largely because it's the sole reason for my affording video games to begin with.
The current holiday season has been, for lack of a better word, insane. Each week brings with it a handful of highly anticipated games that belong in my collection and plenty of surprises in between. Seriously, Skylanders for 3DS. Who saw that one coming?
A year ago, there was disposable income to stroll into a store and buy the game(s) of my choosing. Then I went and got engaged. Over time, I've watched a respectable bank account come dangerously close to zero.
Make no mistake, there's nothing about a wedding that costs several hundred dollars. Everything's in the thousands. Bills become so ridiculous that the random $400 fee seems like a bargain, because it is.
That said, GameStop has played an instrumental role in helping me experience this year's must have titles. I rarely buy used. Instead, I trade games back to the store for credit, and the great thing about this is the company's willingness to not only accept used games, but offer a decent amount of credit in return.
Obviously, no one will make a hefty sum on some Madden they purchased several years ago, and it's debatable whether or not GameStop offers a fair price for these games, though it and Gazelle (I love this company, FYI) are nearly identical.
What's especially cool, though, is the current promotion that offers an extra 30 percent of a traded game's value, so long as the buyer reserves one of several high profile games (Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim, to name two). You can even score an extra ten bucks for every three games you trade.
I'm also a PowerUp Rewards member, and have accumulated enough points for a $25 gift card.
Does this make GameStop seem friendlier to its critics? No, probably not, but to a cash strapped gamer like myself (with a wedding and then babies on the way), it's a great deal. I've been able to enjoy tons of games while spending a manageable amount of real world dough without breaking the bank.
Because believe me, it's tough justifying new games to a fiancee when the catering hall comes calling.